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Monday, August 31, 2009

"Making boring techno music is really easy with modern tools but with live coding, boring techno is much harder."

Chris McCormick, live coder, sums up techno and live coding in one fell swoop with the quote in the title. Watch video and read about that live coding event in London that was posted here:

BBC Tech Know: Programming, meet music


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Thursday, August 27, 2009

"8-Bit Trip" : Mindblowing Lego Animation Video

I've been a huge fan of the retro 8 bit music movement for years, best typified by online record labels like Jahtari and 8bitpeoples, but these guys might take the prize for more ridiculously die-hard:

Apparently this took them 1500 hours of work slowly moving lego bricks and snapping a digital photo for each frame. The rotations and zoom effects they get totally floored me. I made a few 30 second lego movies as a kid so I can fully appreciate the amount of both fun and work that went into this. I'm definitely going to be watching these guys for what they do next.

(thanks for the link Tina)

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Monday, August 24, 2009

UnTwelve 2009 composition competition

From: Aaron Johnson <[email protected]>

I'd like to announce UnTwelve's first annual composition competition!

UnTwelve's mission is to support and encourage the performance and creation of new microtonal musical works, specifically, music written outside the framework of 12-tone equal temperament.

There will be a $200 cash prize for your winning 3-5 minute electronic, acoustic, or electro-acoustic piece, entries are due by Oct. 1st, and you can find out all the rules and regulations by checking out our webpage for the event:


pubcode2 - livecoded music + vjs, London, Wednesday 5th August

(Ok, so it happened already... but this is just the beginning of more announcements on livecoding performance, and other such fun stuff:)

++ PUBCODE2 ++

Part two in the first series of livecoded music events in London.


Live coding is a new direction in electronic music and video, and is
starting to get somewhere interesting. Live coders expose and rewire
the innards of software while it generates improvised music and/or
visuals. All code manipulation is projected for your pleasure.

7pm - 11pm, Wednesday 5th August 2009


(making machines that make machines that make music)
(beatboxing + livecoding, is it possible?)
Yee-King + Click Nilson
(algorithmic choreography)
(crowdsourced livecoding)

The Roebuck
50 Great Dover Street


Door tax:

Borough (5 mins walk)
London Bridge (9 mins walk)

More info:

kitty mosh

Ever think about how much music can affect your perception? I think this video highlighting that effect quite well. After viewing this, watch the original Reuters Report on Russian cat lady.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Passion Pit - Little Secrets

I think these guys like the 80's... but do the 80's like them?? Ponder on that a while as you take in their smooth synth jams and ironic drum machines:

They pull off one of my favorite compositional tricks on that tune: wherein you start the lead line solo so your ear naturally finds a downbeat in it. Then you bring in the whole backbeat to show that in fact the lead is syncopated and the downbeat you found naturally is actually the upbeat. It never fails to tickle my brain.

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The Future is Early-90's Hip Hop Robots

These robots are reeaaaallly phreshhhhh:
You know my name is Ziv Zoolander
ZZ for short
U know I fight the corps
I'm the botmaster!

Listen up ya'll
You're the boyz brigade
You know its laser time
Put on the 3d shades

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pink Floyd Show Us The "Money"

My High School / College Ska band always warmed up our epic, wandering, off kilter practice sessions by playing Pink Floyd's epic, wandering, off kilter song "Money". Here the band themselves run through the raw premix individual instrument tracks and how they built up the mix:

Somehow I expected pot had a big role in this recording... but I wasn't expecting it to be in the form of a pottery shop.

(from waveformless)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Free Classic Sample Set: PolyMoog Vox Humana

The lead synth made famous on Gary Numans "Cars" is available as a free sample set here:

Polymoog Keyboard Preset 1: Vox Humana

Polymoog's have been used by Chick Corea, Blondie, Keith Emerson, Devo, Gary Numan, Prince, Richard Tandy of ELO, Patrick Moraz, Rush, Larry Fast, Wendy Carlos, Tony Banks, Kraftwerk, Geoff Downes, Jimmy Edgar, Freddy Fresh, and Rick Wakeman of Yes.

My electro side project is very, very happy.

(thanks waveformless)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

R.I.P. Les Paul

Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94

Les Paul, Guitar Innovator, Dies at 94

Lester William Polfuss, known as Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009[1]) was an American jazz guitarist and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which "made the sound of rock and roll possible."[2] His many recording innovations include overdubbing, delay effects such as "sound on sound" and tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording. He is often credited as being the 'father of modern music'.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ditching the X for the U

Here's a very cool story about electronic musician Kim Cascone's decision to switch to using an Ubuntu laptop when his old MacBook died:

Linux Music Workflow: Switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu with Kim Cascone

Switching my main composition environment from Windows software like Live and FLStudio to Ardour just got bumped up a bunch in my todo list...

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Cybraphon: The Steam-Punk Robot Band

When we first started brainstorming our interactive music machine, The Improbable Orchestra many years back, one of the coolest ideas we floated was I think originally Jacob's. Imagine a Victorian era cabinet or Victrola stuffed with weird horns and keyboards and drums and musical instruments that a group of people could play with together to form a highly improbable orchestra. For a lot of reasons, mostly due to time, budget and ease of project completion, we went a more simplistic and electronic direction with hte project, but now it looks like someone else came up with the same idea on their own and made it real.

The Cybraphon:

Cybraphon Demo Song from Cybraphon on Vimeo.

I am so happy this actually exists, now if only I could get one in my living room.

(from engadget)