Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Want No Paper Gangsta

HA! I'm so pleased with the title of this post that I think I'll take my bow and call it good. Thank you thank you I'll be here all week!
(In any case, it is REAL.)

(via collabpiano)

Playing That Organ Music Must Count For Something

Any musical instrument/art exhibit that's described as "the giant lovechild of a bagpipe and a pipe organ" is alright by me.

The √úberorgan by Tim Hawkinson

(via weburbanist)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stars Of Our Stars

C. Bartoli
M. Uchida
R. Muti


(via collabpiano)

One Day I'll Fly Away

James Coleman's Levitating Speakers. Levitating! As in: levitating speakers! Someone who knows tells me we can blame an electromagnet/superconductor combo, but I'd like to believe oh oh it's magic.

Too bad it's still a concept.
(via trendsetter)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just Repeat History

Shorpy specializes in historical photos. This one is of a high school orchestra, Washington D.C. 1905. (Those are bowlback mandolins.)

Hooked Into Machine

Yeah, but Luigi Russolo of Futurist Movement-fame was all about the noise.

Mike Patton plays a reconstructed Intonarumori noise machine for an SFMOMA exhibit opening:

(via youtube)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ocean Of Noise

In keeping with the theme of the day: William Hogarth's 1741 etching "The Enraged Musician." Poor violinist in the window!

It's Oh So Quiet Here

Tomorrow is the 15th annual International Noise Awareness Day!

The General Assembly of the International Music Council (UNESCO), Paris, October, 1969:
"We denounce unanimously the intolerable infringement on individual freedom and of the right of everyone to silence, because of the abusive use, in private and public places, of recorded or broadcast music. We ask the Executive Committee of the International Music Council to initiate a study from all angles—medical, scientific and juridical—without overlooking its artistic and educational aspects, and with a view to proposing to UNESCO, and to the proper authorities everywhere, measures calculated to put an end to this abuse."

Down with Muzak?
Check out Right to Quiet Society and the Center for Hearing and Communication for more information.

Interested in noise pollution and acoustic design? Read The Soundscape by R. Murray Schaefer. It's awesome.

Monday, April 26, 2010

All The Sailor Boys Have Demons

Although I haven't come to any definite conclusions, I think I feel a little better knowing there are people like this in the world.

Shosty's Jazz Suite #2. Played on beer bottles.

(via youtube)

We'll Play It Again

Have I mentioned once or twice or seventeen times that I get to take an ENTIRE COURSE on notation next fall? Madison, Madison, be still my heart.

For your daily dose of minimalism, check out the original scores for Steve Reich's "Pendulum Music," Philip Glass' "1 + 1 for One Player & Amplified Table-Top," and LaMonte Young's "Notes on Continuous Periodic Composite Sound Waveform Environment Realizations."

(courtesy of ubuweb)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Give A Little Whistle

You know how if you say the word "fork" thirty times in a row, it suddenly becomes...almost a different word? That's how I feel about whistling. If, at the end of this clip, you are not absolutely certain that whistling is the silliest of all facial contortions - I'd like to know your secret (and/or your alternative).

Also: these guys and gals are pretty amazing. World Champions, you might say.

Friday, April 23, 2010

All We Wanna Do Is Eat Your Brains / We're Not Unreasonable (I Mean No One's Gonna Eat Your Eyes)

That's Beethoven's skull and it's on the market.
It really is.

Read all about it.
Quote: "Skull collecting is a veritable subculture. One man's macabre relic is another man's Barry Bonds seventy-first home-run ball." Unquote.

(via huffingtonpost)

Imaginary Noises

Performers Nios Karma and Nicolas d'Alessandro.
"The improvised piece they play aims at contrasting two different representations of gesturally-controlled voice transformations. One is instrument-centered and intimate, the other is open and theatrical. This performance is achieved through two innovative instruments: the HandSketch and the Myhag's Puppet."

(via askmetafilter; youtube)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wrap My Words Around You

Ambrose Bierce. He's got wit coming out of his ears.
From The Devil's Dictionary (1911):

ACCORDION, n. An instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.

APPLAUSE, n. The echo of a platitude.

CLARIONET, n. An instrument of torture operated by a person with cotton in his ears. There are two instruments that are worse than a clarionet — two clarionets.

FIDDLE, n. An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat.
To Rome said Nero: "If to smoke you turn
I shall not cease to fiddle while you burn."
To Nero Rome replied: "Pray do your worst,
'Tis my excuse that you were fiddling first."
—Orm Pludge

OPERA, n. A play representing life in another world, whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures and no postures but attitudes. All acting is simulation, and the word simulation is from simia, an ape; but in opera the actor takes for his model Simia audibilis (or Pithecanthropos stentor) — the ape that howls.

PHONOGRAPH, n. An irritating toy that restores life to dead noises.

PIANO, n. A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor. It is operated by depressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience.

It's My Party

This is in a bar in Germany, guys.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take The Breath From My Throat

I've been practicing. My roommates sometimes don't hate me.

(I like this video; no distractions, you see.
A full-blown performance? Well in that case, I choose this one.)

Where Do We Draw The Line

It's the Drawdio.
You attach the circuit to something that conducts electricity and then - you hear it! Basically, it's a simple synthesizer that uses conductive properties to create sound; you can "play" pencil lines, paintbrushes, clothing, water, people. SAY WHAT.

(The website has information on how to make one, how to buy one, where to see one, how to play one, and more things to do with one.)

(via metafilter)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Accentuate The Positive

Carlos Aires
Love is in the Air
cut vinyl record silhouettes

(via weburbanist)

Europe Is Our Playground

Finnish choirs singing "Bad Romance"? Don't even try to tell me this isn't hilarious!

(And just wait till the man with the forked beard sings the lyrics. Just wait.)

(via metafilter)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Don't Need A Drum

Jaime Oliver presents "Silent Drum" (2008-9).
A camera follows the movement of the (silent) drum membrane, takes measurements, and sends them to a computer that reinterprets: sound.

(via neatorama)
(For specific details about the silent drum interface, here.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This Is Your Song

Carnegie Hall commissions new work like I eat cheesecake. That is: in large quantities and, um, quickly. Luckily for everyone involved, they're a little more concerned with the quality of their commissions than I am with the quality of my cheesecake. Rzewski, Reich, Muhly, Lang, Adams - new works!

BEST OF ALL, the big C.H. has complete recordings of featured works online (and some are even available for free mp3 download).

(I'm particularly excited about the Anna Clyne.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Da Doo Run Run Run

Global Inheritance is an organization "working to reinvent activism for today's young generations. Our initiatives focus on the power of creativity to communicate and push for progressive social change while rejecting conflict."

That means social change through music and art!

If you're at Coachella this weekend (oh, hey Evaline!) make sure to check out the Sweatshop Mixer. These unknown DJs are getting the chance to spin at a huge music festival, but with a catch: "Your friends will be running on hamster wheels, riding bikes, turning hand cranks, riding seesaws among other things to power your turntables and sound system" to power the equipment.

A little bit o' music, a little bit o' awareness. I'm for it.

Nightingale / Tell Me Your Tale

The quick-and-dirty: Olivier Messiaen was an avid birder. He would go out into the field, transcribe birdsong into musical notation, and then use these in (or as) his compositions (here and here). For Messiaen, nature - and particularly birds, given their place in Medieval historical theology - led to God; add that to music, and he was pretty sure you'd end up with something truly spiritual.

Also: based on these videos (did anyone else know these existed?!), I think I'd like him to be my grandfather.

(thanks, youtube)
(Don't believe this music sounds like birds? Fine, I'll give you spectrograms.)
(Oooh, and check out this article by Robert Fallon on Messiaen's methods of imitation. Pg 115 will start you out.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bird of Prey

Poet Philip Larkin:
Charlie Parker wrecked jazz by - or so they tell me - using the chromatic rather than the diatonic scale. The diatonic scale is what you use if you want to write a national anthem, or a love song, or a lullaby. The chromatic scale is what you use to give the effect of drinking a quinine martini and having an enema simultaneously.

- The Paris Reivew Interviews, Vol. II (Ed. Philip Gourevitch)

(I'm still making my leisurely way through the series. I'd still recommend it! Where else are you going to learn special tidbits like: Dorothy Parker subscribed to undertaker magazines?)

It Appears To Me The Graph Has Come / And Stolen All The Laughs

Guys guys guys: Information IS beautiful.

More specifically:
How much money do music artists earn online?

(via nerdcore)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today Was A Fairytale

So, given the last post, I thought I would check out the Strings in the Mountain Music Festival - and that led me to:

Mozart's Magical Musical Life: an interactive web fairytale.

It's worth checking out if only for the snark about Nannerl's hairstyle.

When I Take You Out In The Surrey

An impulsive weekend away, but I'm back with this little gem:

Steamboat Seasons: A Medley of Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of Steamboat Springs with Strings in the Mountains Music Festival
"Music, gourmet cuisine, and rocky mountain photography blend together in Steamboat Seasons, a medley of recipes composed by musicians, local celebrated chefs and residents. With anecdotal sidebars, altitude alerts, and culinary counsel, readers are transported to beautiful Northwest Colorado where mountains soar, music sings, and the food is divine."

Extra points if you can fiddle and cook at the same time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Do You Believe In Life After Love?

Auto DE-tune.

Yeah, you read that right. Quote: "Introducing Moog Music's MF-401 Auto De-tune, featuring Authentic Vocal Imperfection(tm) technology, even a T-Pain vocal can be restored to its complete original character, scrubbing the pitch correction and leaving the untreated vocal in all its wavering sharp or flat glory. Results may vary, and Moog Music in no way bears responsibility for discomfort or irritation caused by the use of the MF-401."

(via metafilter)

I Should Get A Hobby Like Learn / How To Play The Accordion

I don't know anyone with an ipad - but THIS...this is wonderful! Get it here.

(via notcot)

Saturday, April 3, 2010