Electronic music performed on stage often leaves a lot to be desired in terms of visual entertainment. That is a good point Ajay Kapur, director of Music Technology at CalArts and founder of the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra, makes.
Were as robotic instruments on themselves can still be quite static, controlling these instruments with technology, and combining the result with live instruments certainly creates a more lively image on stage.
The history of modern electronic music can be explored with Sync/Lost, an interactive multi-user installation, created by 3Bits, a creative studio from Brazil. Up to three users can interact with the installation simultaneously.
The installation uses Wii-motes and wireless headphones or speakers. Users can browse and listen to the different genres and see the connections between them. On the right of the screen we find more information about the selected tracks.
Via Richard van Tol
While for some of us the CD is far from obsolete, it is a fact that it is not as easy for an artist to sell a physical album as it was in the pre-iPod era. And as we can buy an album on iTunes for half the price we had to pay in the store, that is what many of us choose.
Limited editions of interesting boxes might convince music buyers otherwise. Like this design by Jaroslav Juřica. The first time you open the package the cover graphics are created. A limited edition: only 60 pieces are manufactured.
Via Dave Haynes
Some sounds border on silence. They are unnoticed, ignored, but gently surround us every day. There is no complete silence in our world, even in our quietest moments. That is what "Silence, Please" illustrates.
Chris Kubick created a catalog of these sounds. He codified these sounds in the form of text (wrote them out on transparencies), thus creating a silent 'sound installation'. This catalog "attempts to represent peace, tranquility, emptiness".
If this installation just makes visitors more aware of the sounds around them, it already serves its purpose, in my opinion.
Berlin Based composer and sound artist Andreas Bick made underwater recordings of a frozen lake near Berlin. It is a wonderfully clear recording, made with underwater microphones placed directly under the ice sheet.
It reveals some haunting sounds we will never be able to hear live. If you would not know the source you would probably not guess these sounds are made by frozen water. Visit Andreas' blog Silent Listening and listen to his recordings!
I have not seen the documentary yet, but watching this trailer makes me absolutely want to! In Trimpin: the sound of invention, San Fransisco filmmaker Peter Esmonde follows the artist Trimpin on his inspiring journey into the world of sound.
Trimpin is a wizard when it comes to sound installations, music making machines and building new musical instruments. In this documentary we can see him collaborate with the Kronos Quartet, designing a perpetual motion sculpture, building a tower of self-tuning, automatic electric guitars, among others.
Via Joachim Baan
While we are on the topic of the different formats our music can come in, this is a great example of the revival of an old one. The Crosley portable Revolution turntable seems to be designed for people who still have some vinyl record but do not have the space for a full size turntable.
I found this nice and compact battery powered machine via Retro Thing, and as they conclude, its form factor is almost identical to the Audio Technica AT-727 'Sound Burger'. It looks great, but the record is unprotected and it will not replace your iPod as it is hard to fit one (including record) in you pocket.
The way we listen to music has changed a lot over the last decade. The iPod was only introduced in 2001, hard to believe in this world full of MP3 players. Many people even listen to music on their mobile phone. But do we still recognize quality?
I have a nice set of speakers and a good amplifier. It is great to be able to listen to music without being distracted by too many technical shortcomings of the system. But then I play back an MP3 I just bought on eMusic or an AAC I bought on iTunes, and somehow it doesn’t feel right. It sounds fine, but I know I’m missing out the details and dynamics of the original recording.
condemned_bulbes is a sound and light installation created by digital creation studio artificiel. The installation was first exposed in 2003 but is still shown at festivals around the globe.
The installation is made of 1000W incandescent light bulbs, controlled by a custom made light dimmer that can bring the bulbs in "a state of excitation that is clearly audible and controllable". I especially like the crackling sound in between the noisy parts.