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Saturday
May302009

Hello World! by Christopher Baker 

Hello World is an audio and video installation with the subtitle 'How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise'. Christopher Baker shows us an immense amount of personal video diaries played back at the same time, creating a cacophony of voices, sharing their secrets with an imagined massive audience.

The installation is "a meditation on the contemporary plight of democratic, participative media and the fundamental human desire to be heard". There is no way we can listen to every single person. I love the way the multi-channel sound composition sometimes focuses on individual speakers and sometimes plays everything at the same time, creating an immersive swarm of voices around the visitor.
Via Joachim Baan

Friday
May292009

Urban Explorers festival: Sponge Expanded

This weekend the Urban Explorers festival takes place in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. A festival of film, music, theater, dance, sound art, and crossover between those media. One of the pieces in the exhibition will be Sponge Expanded by Maurits Fennis (website doesn’t seem to be up-to-date).

Visitors of Sponge Expanded will be immersed in sound, as the installation consists of 18 speakers positioned in a spherical manner around them. There are no sound examples on the site yet.

After viewing the art projects and theater performances at Urban Explorers you can enjoy a concert of Mira Calix or the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, to name just two of the 22 performing artists.

Thursday
May282009

Beautiful circuits by Peter Vogel

‘Duo’ is a beautiful interactive electronic sculpture by Peter Vogel. The components and circuits, normally hidden away in boxes, are displayed in various forms in his art works, exposing their vulnerability to the audience.

Duo is an interactive installation. The sounds coming from the speakers can be influenced by moving in front of the artwork, which almost looks like a note bar from a distance. A score for the electronic music it’s generating. See www.bitforms.com for more information as well as other pieces by Peter Vogel.

Wednesday
May272009

Three Pieces: the plants contuct the music

Three Pieces is designed as a collaboration between robots, traditional instruments, and living things. Robots are playing traditional instruments and they communicate and perform together, conducted by all the living things surrounding them.

Temperature, movement of people and animals and the changing moisture content of the soil of the plants are all measured to influence the music. Due to this combination of factors the music will never be the same twice. Have a look at the Found Electronics website where Ziggy Campbell and Simon Kirby provide a closer look at their remarkable creations.

Tuesday
May262009

Places: Amsterdam Central Station

This time we’re at the Amsterdam central station. While making our way to the platform the lady with the nice voice tells us a train is delayed by five minutes. We keep walking. Half a minute later we hear her again, this time telling us the same train is delayed by ten minutes. It doesn’t matter, we’re not traveling to Rotterdam anyway.

At the platform trains are coming and going, people are waiting, but we can’t hear them because the sound of the trains fills up the big hall. Towards the end the lady starts announcing another delay, we don’t know if it’s our train though, as her words drown in the overwhelming sound of another train passing by our platform.

Click to read more ...

Monday
May252009

S0undb1ts by Robin Minard

s0undb1ts, a sound installation by Robin Minard, consists of a web of tiny piezo speakers. s0undb1ts was originally created in 2002 for the Invetionen festival in Berlin. Since then it has been shown in different forms at various places.

This year the project has been revived and the software is rewritten. Instead of mounted on a wall, the speakers are now hanging above the audience, which might create an interesting sonic experience, it also takes away the aesthetic sight of the black speakers on a white wall. On the s0undb1ts website you can see and listen to the newly formed installation.

Friday
May222009

iRedux: Destroy your copyrighted music!

Music and copyrights, not the most inspiring subject to talk about. It’s not very simple either in these days of illegal and legal downloads, subscription models and streaming audio. Unless you do something fun with it, like destroying the copyrighted music and creating something completely new out of it.


That’s exactly what iRedux by Oliver Farshi does. You feed it some music you bought or downloaded, and it completely destroys the file for you. Then it uses this material to create an new piece of ambient music.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May202009

The Storm by Jack Pavlik

The Storm by Jack Pavlik is a great example of using the characteristic sound of a specific material without a lot of machinery. There's just one band of spring steel, rocking back and forth, powered by a single motor. As you can see the movements are small, yet the sonic effect is overwhelming.

Jack Pavlik made more installations with multiple bands, but I find this one to be a great example of effective use of some basic material. The characteristics of the sound create the feeling of an upcoming storm. The shadows on the wall make it a beautiful thing to look at.

Wednesday
May202009

Royal College of Art & Yamaha

The Tenori-on shows how Yamaha likes to experiment with musical instruments. At Futuresonic 2009 Yamaha presents a new collection of unusual experimental instruments in collaboration with the Royal College of Art.

With the title ‘Making Fun Serious’ the exhibition shows concepts of the Royal College of Art students. They try to transform the mundane actions of daily life into a music performance. This results in projects like:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May192009

Marrakech: People singing in the streets

This week I’ll take you to Morocco again, where the sound in the streets can be so very different from what I hear every day. While sitting in a small hotel room in Marrakech, resting after a long walk in the city, this is what I heard.

Is it a wedding? Can someone tell me what they are celebrating? The group passes and moves away. While we can hear the music speed up in the distance, the sound in the street returns to normal.

Click to read more ...