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Tuesday
Nov242009

The Sound of Wood

While creating new and experimental instruments using technology is great, sometimes it is good to be reminded of where our musical instruments originate. In a big forest for instance, where a huge tree is growing for many years.  

The Sound of Wood, a short movie by Anthony Edels, makes us aware again of the process of the creation of a great instrument, handcrafted with love. 

 (via Danny de Graan)

Saturday
Nov212009

Journal de Nîmes - Otherworldly Sounds

Denim inspired boutique Tenue de Nîmes celebrates her first anniversary with the third edition of the quarterly paper Journal the Nîmes. I'm honored to be one of the contributors to this Journal, with Japan as main theme. 

I wrote an article about Japanese music, combined with reviews of two Japanese artists - YMCK and Susumu Yokota. So if you are in Amsterdam, head to the Elandsgracht and grab one, while Menno and René guide you through their collection of beautiful garments, or click on the image to read it online.

Friday
Nov202009

Traffic

My brother Michiel asked me for some sonic support for his motion graphics experiments. So first I gave him a rhythm to sync his motion to, and afterwards I added the sound effects. 

A nice case of sound design under pressure, as I didn not have much time to spend on it. Looking for the right sounds for the falling blocks I dug up a pack of old macaroni and threw it on the floor. After some layering and pitch shifting, it works quite well. 

Sometimes it's good to let go of perfectionism, just give yourself a few limitations in time and resources and do something fun with it. Let us not stop playing!

Monday
Nov162009

Quintetto

The vertical movement of the fishes in these five aquariums is captured by a video camera and this data is used to influence the sounds we hear. So in this sound installations it is the fishes who conduct the music.

Quintetto is an installation by Quiet Ensemble in collaboration with Aesop Studio. They attempt to reveal what they call "invisible concerts of everyday life". As the fishes (most probably) do not know what their movement results in, the live concert they create will never be exactly the same.

Thursday
Nov122009

Syn Chron

It is not the latest project by Carsten Nicolai, but this site was not around by 2004, so I still want to share this with you, just because it creates such a beautiful image. You will have to imagine the sound. 

Syn Chron is an integral sculpture of light, sound and architecture. The images projected on the surface of the object are synchronized to sound, and the object forms an acoustic resonance body.

Monday
Nov092009

Sonic Fabric

Do you still have a cassette deck in your home stereo system? I bet many people still have some old tapes somewhere catching dust in a shoe box under the bed. Well, with Sonic Fabric you can wear those old mix tapes.

Sonic Fabric, created by Alyce Santoro, is woven from 50% prerecorded audio cassette tape and 50% cotton. And it can even be played. While moving a special glove with a tape head over the fabric, a mixture of recordings can be heard.  

The original sounds on the tapes are influential recordings in Santoro's life, from her high school punk band to ambient city street noises, the Beatles and Pachelbel. A highly personal piece of apparel!

(via Noise For Airports)

Thursday
Nov052009

Harvest

Wouldn't it be wonderful to cruise the beautiful Swedish landscape, stop for a while to stretch your legs and then hear the screeching sound of Harvest, combined with the surreal image of a well dressed church choir playing the soil like it's a record.

Harvest is a performance "for terrafon, traditional music ensemble and cropland", created by the people behind Bacterial OrchestraOlle Cornéer and Martin Lübcke. Only this time there are no electronics involved, only old iron, the soil of Uppland and human power. We listen to what the earth has to say.

Tuesday
Nov032009

The four ways sound affects us

In this TED talk Julian Treasure tells us about the influence of sound on how we function in daily life. Do you know how much your productivity decreases when you're working in a noisy environment?

While many people working with sound are aware of its power, of the function it has in our lives and how we can use it in designing new things, many others are not. So it's great to see it explained in clear words

Friday
Oct302009

Sound sculputres and installations by Zimoun

After sharing Woodworms I with you, I have to show you this one too. In Compilation Video 1.0 Swiss artist Zimoun shows us a nice selection of his wonderful, aesthetic sound installations and sculptures.  

I love the way these constantly moving installations seem to come alive, clumsy and mechanical. The sonic result isn't earth shattering, but the noise created by multiplication of one tiny machine is impressive!

Tuesday
Oct272009

Sound around you

Sound around you is a project by the University of Salford (UK). The goal of the project is to create a sound map of the UK as part of a new study into how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel.

To participate in the project you can record a sound clip with your mobile phone or portable recorder and send it to sound around you website, together with the answer to some questions about the recorded sounds.

An interesting attempt. I wonder if a person living in a busy and noisy city center feels as relaxed as a person living on the countryside. After analysis by 'acoustic scientists' significant findings will be reported on the website.