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First off, let’s just get this out of the way, dude is named Hoagy Houghton . Which is incredible in and of itself. Secondly, and equally as awesome, while graduating from the University of Brighton with Honours in both Illustration and Graphic Design he created “Aleatory Compositions”: A book of musical work, unwittingly written by people filling in colours onto a grid which were then translated into musical notes. All art is connected, just as are all human senses. By taking one medium generally ruled by one sense (colour and the eye) and transcribing it into another (music and the ear) he’s created an almost simulated synaesthesia. A sonic and visual switch-out that highlights the beauty of colour that lives within music, and visually manifests the inherent sonic shapes that live within colour.
I’m currently working on a piece for a benefit supporting the local arts organization, The Kitchen. The event, scheduled for May 21st at the Puck Building, will honor artist and DJ Christian Marclay. I like much of Marclay’s work, so my piece is sort of a tribute to him — or at least it’s fairly inspired by his work. My piece will be comprised of a kind of carpet of one hundred guitar pedals, which benefit attendees must walk on in order to enter the main dining and performance space.
In David Toop's classic book Ocean of Sound – something I cite repeatedly here on BLDGBLOG – we read about a musical performance that, by accident of circumstance, became a process of turning off all sources of noise within a building. [Image: Felix Hess assembles similar sound machines, next to a photo of an unrelated concert hall]. For an installation of fifty specially made "sound creatures" – little interactive robots "inspired by the communication eco-system of frog choruses," Toop writes – experimental musician Felix Hess insisted that there be no "extraneous sounds" in the concert hall. Hess's miniature sound performance required absolute silence , or else the machines would not function. Toop then quotes a lengthy description of the creatures' set-up:
I was reading an interview with Elvis Costello yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to come across this question from the interviewer, David Hepworth: Right. I was interested, you did those reissues, and they're doing them again, and you've got huge numbers of B sides and live recordings and all this kind of stuff, do you have somebody who curates your stuff, do you have somebody who looks after it all? [ The Elvis Costello interview | Word Magazine ] Curates , no less .... He goes on to ask ...
March 18th, 2008 at 6:03 pm by Patrick For the first time, we’re making our annual ‘Intended Play’ label sampler available digitally. Click on the link to get a zipped file of all 12 tracks plus front and back artwork, and burn it yourself (or just listen to it digitally): Intended Play 2008 (zip file) Track listing: 1.
New Album Out in 5 Minutes, in The Cutout Bin in 6
London based Songkick , a Y Combinator startup that launched in October 2007, aims to help music artists pack fans into concerts. They’ve been developing a number of new products that are slated for launch soon. But one that they quietly launched last week without much fanfare is something they refer to simply as “ Battle of the Bands .” It’s a sort of Alexa or Compete comparison engine, but instead of comparing websites it compares bands and artists. They track any band that has 50 or more followers on MySpace – about 1 million bands currently. They then scour the Amazon sales rank for their music, mentions in 1,500 popular music blogs, total MySpace friends and plays, and other stats to determine the overall excitement for a band at any given time.
On Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” and NIN’s “Ghosts”
The end of No Depression is one thing, but this is getting ridiculous. Grant over there sent me an article yesterday about the Atlantic 's new "web brand," The Current, which will crunch articles into 250-to-300-word little thingies. If you have ADD, be warned: this post will be longer than that. Now the Atlantic is one of America's leading magazines. According to the Wikipedia article , it was founded in 1858 by a bunch of famous writers and intellectuals and has been publishing ever since. Just what they expect to accomplish with this new venture I can't say, although they think they'll be able to attract more eyeballs and, presumably, sell more advertising.
China is now the second largest economy in the world and rising rapidly with a star. Predictions are that it will be the world’s biggest economy within 10 – 20 years, surpassing even the United States. How can you benefit from this amazing growth? Good advice, perhaps, but not as simple as it sounds.
[Translations: Chinese , French , German , Hebrew , Italian , Japanese , Portuguese , Romanian , Spanish ] The long tail is famously good news for two classes of people; a few lucky aggregators, such as Amazon and Netflix, and 6 billion consumers. Of those two, I think consumers earn the greater reward from the wealth hidden in infinite niches. But the long tail is a decidedly mixed blessing for creators.
<img width="250" height="221" border="0" alt="L_2fcc5861b4ac5d8e8489cc1ff885db32" title="L_2fcc5861b4ac5d8e8489cc1ff885db32" src="/images_blogs/underwire/images/2008/02/27/l_2fcc5861b4ac5d8e8489cc1ff885db32.jpg" style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px; float: right;" /> You may not know the Danish music-poetry duo Bo hr Hansen & Nils Lassen (how could you not?!), but their current marketing scheme is interesting if a bit inconvenient. To promote their latest recording, Hvem er jeg? ( Who Am I? ), the band is offering those who buy the CD free private concerts — over the phone.
Model Number 7: Fan Supported Label/Distribution Just read the second of a number of articles on Maria Schneider , the jazz composer, and the release of her new album. She’s up for a Grammy, which probably prompted these articles, as her lovely new CD — which isn’t actually a CD — is only available as a download through ArtistShare , her current “record label”. The album, Sky Blue, is a suite composed for a seventeen-piece jazz orchestra, so it must have cost something to record and mix.
<img width="250" height="233" border="0" src="/images_blogs/underwire/images/2008/02/06/foam2_2.jpg" title="Foam2_2" alt="Foam2_2" style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px; float: right;" /> One of the presentations at Wednesday night’s DorkbotNYC really stood out: Jason Van Anden’s BubbleBeats . Rather than playing notes one after the other, as music has been done since the Paleolithic Era, BubbleBeats plays sound samples via a series of connected "bubbles". As Van Anden says, "It’s an interactive probabilistic music making thingamajig." When asked to elaborate, he confessed "I’m not exactly clear what it is." To create a composition in BubbleBeats, you upload sound samples.