February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, 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.

Cues: Oliveros Listens, MoMA Limelight, Arup Acoustics

Plus: Amon Tobin ISAM pre-show stream, new CC netlabel, movie trailers, more

Bill Forman interviews deep-listening legend Pauline Oliveros at csindy.com:

Q: I’m wondering what advice you might have for people who think of more experimental music as, you know, quote-unquote difficult. What sorts of things should they be listening for, in order to better appreciate it?

A: Well, I think the best thing to do would be to get something that disturbs them, and play it over and over again, until they’re no longer disturbed.

Q: You’re not gonna get many people to do that.

A: Well, you know, it’s up to them. But the experience is worth it. Because you find out quick that the more familiar something becomes, the more interested you are.

◼ New York’s MoMa is doing a big sound art show later this year. “Soundings: A Contemporary Score” will run from August 10 through November 3, per nytimes.com. The show’s curator, Barbara London, made a comment in the New York Times piece — “Sound has come into the limelight” — that is either synaesthetically coy or, more likely, a prime example of how sound continues to labor in the, shall we say, shadow of the visual.

◼ The following conversation appears in a flashback between the title character in the CBS TV series The Good Wife (Julianna Margulies‘ Alicia Florrick) and her deceased client, Matthew Ashbaugh, played by John Noble, who played Walter Bishop on Fringe. Like Bishop, Noble’s Good Wife character has an emotional and obsessive association with recorded sound. He carries with him little speakers that play back the same Bach piece over and over:

Florrick: “You travel with your own soundtrack?”

Noble: “Yes. Don’t you?”

The episode was titled “Death of a Client” and first aired March 24, 2013.

◼ The global engineering consultancy Arup has launched arupconnect.com, a website-as-magazine about its endeavors. Arup has a large acoustic practice, with a particular emphasis on performance spaces. In a post from late last year, Anne Guthrie, who works in the New York office, explores the idea of “acoustics for musicians,” which is predicated on the observation that much work by acousticians focused on the needs of the audience, at the expense of the needs of the performer: “Today, acoustic technology is faster and more complex, allowing us to recreate the entire experience of playing in multiple halls in a single room. In Arup’s SoundLab, several acousticians — including Iain Laird in Scotland and Terence Caulkins, Kathleen Stetson, and me in New York — have been working to develop a system where musicians can come into the lab and play in any hall or room in real time.”

Amon Tobin has posted an example of the nearly hour-long audio that the recent shows on his ISAM tour have been playing before the curtain rises. It’s streaming-only, over at soundcloud.com/amon-tobin. Found via amontobin.com/news. In a note, Tobin explains that Jamie Harley (“long time friend and collaborator in sound”) has been mixing this music live:

C. Reider has launched a new netlabel, focused on supporting work that employs a Creative Commons license allowing for derivative works. Great URL, too: deriv.cc.

◼ Over at newyorker.com, Ian Crouch explores the “dunnhhh” sound that is in so many movie trailers these days. Correspondence on Twitter between critic Geeta Dayal and Echo Nest’s Brian Whitman rightly questioned some of Crouch’s language, in particular the phrase “accursed bass drone.” One thing Crouch doesn’t mention is how sound in the Prometheus trailer linked the film back to the original trailer for Alien.

◼ The One Hello World project by Jared Brickman, whose hour-long ambient piano work served as the basis for the 65th Disquiet Junto project, has been awarded a 2013 Webby for “net art.” This is the One Hello World project’s summary: “Leave me a voicemail and I’ll write music behind your narrative. Call it a soundtrack to your thoughts.”

◼ The great io9.com website has posted crazy images from the Japanese album of the Lost in Space soundtrack and, separately, asks, “Why do so many electric things hum?”

◼ Also via i09.com, this is (streaming-only, no download) an “auditory representation of the Big Bang” by physicist John Cramer, who “produced the audio by mapping sound frequencies to the changes detected over time in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation”:

◼ SoundCloud had a pretty funny April Fools joke in the form of “the dropometer” (blog.soundcloud.com):

20130414-dropometer

◼ If you use SoundCloud and have an about.me page, they now play together well. Unfortunately, for the time being, if you also have a blog whose feed you want to include, as I do at about.me/marc.weidenbaum, then you have to choose between that and a SoundCloud embed.

◼ And this is pretty nifty. The official help page on soundcloud.com about the Groups functionality uses the Disquiet Junto as a visual. (Thanks to Guy Birkin for letting me know.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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