My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Tangents: Hangout Concerts, Orchestronic Stream, Glass Remixed, …

News, quick links, good reads

Beyond Bunker Broadcasts: Ambient musician Mark Rushton has been trying to use Google+ Hangouts “as a way to broadcast live or on YouTube, in unedited form.” Rushton has a great brain for music distribution. Between his website, his podcast, and his SoundCloud work alone, he’s a model of the individual who manages to be productive creatively while still experimenting regularly with infrastructure. He’s made some notes on his blog about using the Hangouts’ Studio Mode, which, according to Google, “optimizes your individual audio for music instead of conversation.” Rushton discusses various issues, some technical, some relating to the potential audience: “the potential boredom of looking at somebody looking at computers.”

Rushton’s post is at markrushton.com.

Orchestral-tronic: Chicago-based composer Olivia Block has posted an excerpt from her forthcoming album, Foranum Magnum. Performed by Chicago Composers Orchestra, it’s a mix of Ligeti/Feldman-style spectral density and the low-level percussion of what could be shuffling feet.

More on Block and the orchestra at oliviablock.net and chicagocomposersorchestra.org.

Screen Sound: “Since your display is flexible – it could be able react to the sound vibrations as you speak. So why not put a laser microphone behind the display to capture those vibrations, and get rid of traditional mic holes?” That’s unwiredview.com reporting on a recently revealed Apple patent application (found via macrumors.com). From the patent: “The internal component may be an output device such as a speaker that transmits sound through the flexible display or an actuator that deforms the display in a way that is sensed by a user. The internal component may also be a microphone or pressure sensor that receives sound or pressure information through the flexible display.” The question that should always linger with patents is the unintended consequences. When Apple announced that the new iPhone 5 would have three microphones, coders live-commenting via Twitter sat up straight for a moment and pondered the potential uses. As for a screen that doubles as speaker and microphone, what opportunities are there — could what’s on the screen impact the sound, could intense visual activity in some way serve as a kind of filter, could the whole thing end up a useful or otherwise artistic feedback system? View the patent: patentscope.wipo.int. Here’s an image from the patent:

In Brief:Blue Fringe: Update to recent post on the use of music in the first episode of the new season of Fringe: the theme that the Dr. Walter Bishop character summons up during interrogation, as a means to concentrate, is “Song for the Unification of Europe” by composer Zbigniew Preisner, from the movie Blue (1993), directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski: “Resolving the Sonic Themes in Fringe.”Glass (Re)Works: That remix album of Philip Glass‘ music featuring Beck, Tyondai Braxton, Amon Tobin, and others mentioned here recently is now streaming in its entirety at npr.org. It’s part of the ongoing Glass-at-75 celebrations, and there is an app in the works as well (it’s by Scott Snibbe Studio, best known for the development of Björk’s Biophilia. … Genre Ceasefire: Just as a side note, it’s interesting that Beck is mentioned as an exemplar of the rockist side of cultural life in a recollection by Tim Munro of the ensemble eighth blackbird. He’s discussing how he was the classical kid, always fighting with his brother, the rock kid, about the relative merits of their pastimes: “While other mothers worried that their kids were doing drugs or having sex, our mother was defusing brawls about the relative superiority of Ligeti and Beck.” The post is from the blog at eighthblackbird.org (found via rgable.typepad.com).”

By Marc Weidenbaum

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