Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Nixon Doctrine

Here is a video I made over the weekend for my song "The Nixon Doctrine". All of the sampled video is from, a good spot for public domain media. Some of the slides are from random spots around the internet, like here. The music was made from effected samples of regional Cambodian folk music and a news conference given by Nixon. The song will be available on EarthTone Records sometime next year. More on EarthTone later on.

Click here to hear more music of this kind.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Imogen Heap: Just for Now

I woke up this morning and my friend had sent me this link, Imogen Heap performing Just for Now a capella. I've only heard one of her songs, Hide and Seek before seeing this one. I was very impressed with her performance and thought I would share it. Although it's not electronic music, it is derivative of electronic media. As you'll see, she is acting as her own sound mixer as she loops and layers her voice. She brings tracks in and out as she sees fit while still managing to continue the song. On top of all the slick electronic manipulation, she has an incredibly pure voice, lovely to wake up to.

For me, I don't really listen to what she's saying; not to discredit her lyrics. It's just the sound of her voice that moves me. As we've talked about in class before, sometimes you want to talk to your loved ones just to hear their voice, not to hear what they have to say. If this video doesn't convince you of that, watch Hide and Seek. You'll understand.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Consumer becomes the Creator

The discussion in this video mirrors quite nicely what we've been discussing in class. Now everyone has the capabilities of major publishers. Musicians have the same access to distribution that the record companies have. Amateur Film Makers have access to the same tools the Hollywood studios use. It's amazing how it is shaping the record industry.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Prep that Thigh

Straight from the Fall 06 MAPEC concert in the Kimmel Center, it's "Prep that Thigh". This is a video of me and my bandmate Calvin Pia performing his song. Its our attempt at some live electronic music.

As I've said before on this blog, I'm very interested in the new ways electronic music is being performed. Previously there has been a barrier between audience and performer in these types of concerts. Musicians hide behind laptops, moving their fingers around, and the audience sits and listens. Calvin and I have incorporated some video and a little choreographed crowd interaction in an effort to make live electronica more fun. Did it work? I dunno. What do you think?

Here are two other performance from that night. The Volt Collective and Space Disease is an excellent resource for public domain audio, video, and text. There are concerts, speeches, old newsreels, books and tons of other fun stuff. Typically you can download or stream the material in multiple formats. It is an excellent resource for musicians or filmmakers looking for media to sample.

I've been browsing the pages a lot recently. Here is a candid interview with Jerry Garcia. Here is what's considered THE archetypal sensationalized anti-drug movie. Here is a live concert of the Derek Trucks Band, in my opinion the best slide guitarist of all time, and he's only 28!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Reactable: Communal Modular Synthesis

Below is a short documentary about the Reactable, an interactive multi-user synthesizer. Developed in Barcelona, the Reactable is a synthezier with a revolutionary interface that stumps the learning curve of modular synthesis. With it, multiple users can interact with each other on the same table combining and effecting each others sounds. Like JoJo Meyer, the Reactable gives new life to live electronic music. Whereas before performers might sit in front of a laptop or fiddle with knobs on huge modular synths, now we are seeing a new breed of electronic music performance, where the audience can litterly see the textures and sounds being created in a very accessible way. Very Exciting.

To see demos on how each aspect of the Reactable works, click the video screen and look at the related videos on YouTube.

104th Street Curve

This is a video of the New York City Metro when it was above ground, up at 104th street. One of Edison's early films. Because it was originally a silent film, the audio has been superimposed. It is an original track of mine called "you are now About to Begin". It should be noted that I wrote the song before even seeing the film and made little effort to sync the two. What we see is a natural rhythm inherent in the movie, that shows itself at particular musical junctures in the song. I find this happens often when I am soundtracking video. It is a testament to the rhythm that is all around us in the natural world.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

JoJo Meyer: Live Electronica

Here is a video of a live performance by JoJo Meyer and his band Nerve. Jojo's concert's are typically 100% improvised and EVERYTHING is played live. Meyer uses a technique called reverse engineering, in which he takes sounds and textures that he loves from sequenced electronic music and recreates them with a real drum kit. The result is stunning to say the least. Check the video below to see a song or click here to watch a short documentary about the band and its philosophy.

Salad Fingers

The Blogular Synthesis overture: Salad Fingers. This is a cartoon by David Firth that me and some classmates redid the audio to. We stripped out the original soundtrack and dialogue and embedded our own. Enjoy!