Monday, May 31, 2010


Yale String Quartet Plays Lady Gaga Medley.
You Shouldn't Question People's Love (for) Gaga'd Musicians.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh, Live Like It's The Style / Whoa, Waltz On Your Front Porch

Henri Chopin is known as the father of the Sound Poets. Sounds like a college IM team. Maybe broomball.

Sound Poetry! Think: the manipulation of the human voice, "verse without words." Right up my alley, kittens.
I've embedded this video (Chopin was 85 years old, by the way), but I also recommend poking around the ubuweb page for more audio bits.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tonight / Not Again


("Whom would you prefer singing solo in this mass, Beverly Sills or Renée Fleming? Is either Flemish? Would that affect their singing? Suppose they came to blows over who had the better voice: Would Renée's youth and smarts best Beverly's age and sagacity? Or would Beverly win, because it's creepy to fight dead people? " I laughed out loud.)

(thanks, maureen!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Someday We'll Find It / The Rainbow Connection

The music world is notoriously small. Which is why EchoNest has created a 6-Degrees style database devoted to tracking relationships between musical figures/groups/songs. Ch-ch-check it out:

Philip Glass
-who collaborated on Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso
-who was a member of Mandingo
-that has member Bill Laswell
-who was a member of Praxis
-that has member Bryan "Brain" Mantia
-who was a member of Cobra Strike
-that has member DJ Disk
-who was a member of Invisibl Skratch Piklz
-that has member Mix Master Mike
-who was a member of Beastie Boys

Success! Another, you say?

Bob Dylan
-who created the track Huck's Tune that was performed by Tony Garnier
-who was member of The Million Dollar Bashers
-that has member Nels Cline
-who was a member of Wilco
-that created the track You and I that has vocal performed by Feist
-that is a performance name for the person Leslie Feist
-who was member of Broken Social Scene
-that has member Emily Haines
-who was a member of Metric

(Find your own: 6 Degrees of Black Sabbath; via metafilter)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dream The Impossible Dream

Matt Manos (who, as it turns out, was also the design intern for the Bravo Gustavo online/iphone game) learns how to to play a mandolin and ride a unicycle at the SAME TIME: The Mandolin & Unicycle Project.

Now THAT is a senior thesis, you know? The practical application may be a bit fuzzy, but you could say the same about musicology.

(For the more advanced team: Unicycle with Tuba and Trombone)

(via metafilter)

Monday, May 24, 2010

You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

I love this. It involves voices and plastic cups. And it's very, very catchy. Don't say I didn't warn you when you wake up with it stuck in your head tomorrow.

(lulu and the lampshades via neatorama)

Play Me A Song / You're The Piano Man

Play Me I'm Yours! by Luke Jerram

"From 21st June – 5th July, 60 upright pianos will be distributed across New York City by Sing for Hope. Located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available for any member of the public to play and engage with....Disrupting people’s negotiation of their city, the pianos are also aimed to provoke people into engaging, activating and claiming ownership of their urban landscape."
New York is the latest in a line of cities (including London, São Paulo, and Sydney) getting the piano treatment - and it makes me giddy-happy. Imagine walking down the street: oh a piano! And you stop to play a little ditty, keep on walking down the street...
If you're in NYC this summer, find one and send me a picture please.

(via boingboing; Montage by Luke Jerram)

(Bonus: scores and pictures of Annea Lockwood's Piano Transplants series.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Married To A Mermaid

Here's to the grog, boys, the jolly, jolly grog
Here's to the rum and tobacco
I've a-spent all my tin with the lassies drinking gin
And to cross the briny ocean I must wander

That one's from the sea-shanty classic "Here's To The Grog." Hey, Ho!
Lesley Nelson has a fantastic website dedicated to Songs of the Sea. Information, lyrics, and midi files - SoftheS has got it all.

Oh, Lovely Molly.
Don't let my long absence be a bother to you, dear
Don't let my long journey cause you any pain
Although we are parted I will be true hearted
And I will return in the springtime again.

Friday, May 21, 2010

SIng Like Nobody's Listening

Sing-Along Tongs!
I suppose you could bring them into the shower too if you were so inclined. In fact, what's to stop you from bringing them everywhere?
Yours for $11.95 at the Neatorama Shop.

The Whole World In His Hands

Less-than-greater-than-or-equal-to six-hands piano (aka piano triet)? You decide.

(For comparison purposes: Exhibit B)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Collect Call

Collecting musical autographs and manuscripts. That sounds like a nice (/expensive) hobby.
Stefan Zweig owned a collection of almost 4,000 - most of which are now held by and displayed at the British Library. Read all about it. And he wasn't even a musician.

(via AMS in the news)

Swing 42

Joscho Stephan & Swing Manouche: sitting around in a café playing Gypsy jazz. This is very much how I imagine my life in sideways-world.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's All Right Here / In My Box Set

Cajon! Drum in a box! That's what it is. Often with guitar strings attached to one side. For the resonance, you know.

How to play one, Where to buy one, and How to build one of your very own.

Please Take My Advice / Please Take My Advice

Composing for the Theremin: Some Practical Issues
An article by Eric Ross

"While vibrato is the soul of the theremin tone, a bad player uses vibrato, like a bad cook uses too much sauce."

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer

Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes sponsored a Heriot Watt University study that found how a wine tastes changes up to 60% depending on the music played while drinking it. (60% of what? Don't ask. I don't know.)

The point here, kids, is that cabernet sauvignon is most affected by "powerful" music, while chardonnay moves on "zingy".

Recommended wine and music pairings at the BBC...

(via fridayinformer)

Dance, Dance / We're Falling Apart At Half Time

Rite of Spring Remix? This version keeps the ballet and ix-nays Stravinsky in favor of contemporary pop. But you know what? It's hard NOT to hear the original Rite in the back of your mind, and that's what makes it interesting.

(All of 'em!)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Got No Time To Take A Picture

Indie bands perform live, courtesy of Le Cargo on youtube. 618 videos and counting! I'm particularly fond of this one:

(via metafilter)

Friday, May 14, 2010

We'll Be Together / And I'll Be So Twitterpated

Is exactly what you think it is. Highlights from the 2010 winners!

Father is less than enthusiastic about son’s love affair with aging, bankrupt, terminally ill prostitute. Can you believe it? [La Traviata]

So I wrote this guy this EPIC love letter & he’s like “No thanks”, but now I’m married & rich & he’s all “OMG I LURV U!!” WTF? [Eugene Onegin]

Idealistic poets take note: apparently “I wish to end economic injustice” sounds a lot like “just go ahead and kill me” in french [Andrea Chenier]

Sorry 2 drop this on u babe, but I'm *technically* still married to a suicidal 16 y/o geisha & turns out she had my kid. Oops? [Madama Butterfly]

(All of 'em! at The Omniscient Mussel)

Eight Nine Spoof Of My Inner Youth

Oh, NPR. Another Lady Gaga spoof - but I just can't keep myself from posting them!

(via lifesapitch)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meet Me At My Window

Selfridges invited bands to design store-front windows based on one of their songs! What have we got... Marina and the Diamonds, Florence and the Machine, Hot Chip, Empire of the Sun. Which window goes with which band is still up for debate (there's even a contest), but you get the idea.

(via notcot)
(photos: cakeheadlovesevil)

I Fall In Love With You Multiple Times

Sorry, Paul Dateh cannot hear you, he's kind-a bu-sy. Mostly because it must have taken approximately 7000000 hours to make this video.

(via neatorama)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Living In Your Letters

John Cage replied personally to every letter ever sent to him.
("I fight each day a losing battle against paper," he wrote to Mr. William E. Ratliff.)
UbuWeb catalogues the Memogram Correspondences.

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

I have a friend who, as long as she stays with her current employer, gets 25% off an ice sculpture on the occasion of her wedding. She wants a working water wheel that dispenses champagne, but I think she should get this statue of Marilyn Monroe.

I mean, right?

(via Global Ice)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Strange Things Are Happening Everyday

I like when instruments are played non-conventionally. This looks like a particularly good time, ouais?

Time Has Told Me

University of Cincinnati Library, you are my favorite. Thank you for digitizing all two hundred and forty-two intact pages of the Spanish Antiphoner, a 16th-century book of Gregorian chants for choir. How beautiful!

(via bibliodyssey)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm A-Built For Comfort / I Ain't A-Built For Speed

Turns out, Flight of the Bumblebee is the preferred piece for breaking speed-records. Go figure.

David Garrett on violin (starts 5:30ish)

And then there's this one...complete with a disclaimer: "NOTE: This video is not meant for a good listening experience. It is played purely for speed."
Duly noted.

(Addendum: THIS. Thanks, Kevin!)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Believe I Can Fly

Gao Hong is a pipa master / composer / proponent of fusion music and it is HIGH TIME I post this video.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Even The Sturgeon And The Ray / They Get The Urge And Start To Play

VENTS studies submarine volcanism and deep-sea ecosystems. In their spare time, they find unidentified (underwater) sounds. I like sounds.

(via metafilter)

Bullies Used To Pick On Me Because I Sang In Choir

Sometimes my strange search results pay off. Yes, yes, that's right. It's an episode from "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" featuring Neil Patrick Harris singing his heart out as the evil villain who controls men with his dulcet tones, The Music Meister! Brought to you by Fridays, mornings, and the letter M.

(ps. Depraved-Orpheus? Power-of-music? I'm not going to go there, but now you're going to think about it.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

All Around Me Are Familiar Faces

I wanted to get you a present, and I decided on Luciano Pavarotti's eyebrows (please see 0:24).

Forget women; those eyebrows are mobile, that's what I think.

Throw Your Hands Up

Hey Carls, I wasn't responsible for this!
Do you think they made sure the piano was dead? // Do you think they made their friends spend five hours the night before the performance scraping toxic paint off a last-minute substitution instrument? // At least I bought you beer.

(via collabpiano)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Rhythm Made Me Do It

And also the forks. They're tricky like that.

Gravité from Renaud Hallée on Vimeo.

(via audiocookbook)
(grand merci à Maureen)

Shut Up And Drive

Scene: Lancaster, CA, Avenue G.

The Civic Musical Road
Grooves in the road make some Rossini-noise! It started out as a Honda commercial, but (UNDERSTANDABLY, I THINK) nobody wanted to see it go. I hear tell 55mph gets you the best sound quality.

(There are three other musical roads in the world: score one each for Japan, South Korea, and Holland.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How Many Say I

Oh, can you just imagine being in this room! I'm all shivery even thinking about it!

Piano Phasing (for 50 pianists) by Kristoffer Zegers.

(via collabpiano)

The Lobster Quadrille

I could listen (/okay, have listened) to Matmos all day long. Music concrète meets electronica? I'm in love.

An excerpt from an interview with NewMusicBox:
We were making a biographical portrait of the writer Patricia Highsmith....As we thought about what else this arrangement needs, we looked into Highsmith's life and a bunch of details started to emerge. She really loved snails. She collected snails her whole life, wrote short stories about snails, so we knew we wanted to collaborate with snails somehow or get snails involved in the process of making the music. The first thing that we thought of is that the shell of the snail is shaped a little bit like a French horn. So we got somebody to play a French horn. But then I thought, well, that's not good enough. We need to really work with snails directly, but they're very quiet so it's difficult to get a snail to, you know, pipe up. You could crush one, but that would be sort of wrong, ethically. I decided to set up a situation in which the movement of snails would have a musical outcome. We got a light-sensitive theremin that I bought on eBay, and we aimed a laser at it. Then, in a totally dark room, we put the snails inside a glass tube. They would crawl up the glass and as they would interrupt the path of the laser, that would affect the pitch of the theremin. We then sped that up and turned it into a sort of crazy solo that is played by snails.

They're also known for sampling fresh hair cuttings and the neural activity of crayfish. Like I said: this is love.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ah Get On The Floor And Dance

Maureen is right: how do I get this installed in my room?
Designed by Theo Watson for the first Rotterdam Electronic Music Festival (2006); you control the music by walking on the surface of this floor/record player.

Vinyl Workout from Theo Watson on Vimeo.

(via flavorwire)

Leave The Audience In Silence Like My Name Was John Cage

It's easy to talk about Cage's 4'33" - but have you ever actually seen a performance all the way through? I THOUGHT NOT. This one is a (rockin' (sort of)) full orchestral version.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

To Me You Are A Work Of Art

Ghost in the Machine- Lauryn Hill
Cassette tape on canvas, 2010.

Paperwork, 2010.

Erika Iris Simmons
does amazing things.

(via metafilter)