Tangents (Matmos, scores, psychoacoustics)

Matmos Stream: A 20-minute live set featuring Matmos, along with frequent guest J Lesser, recorded March 17 for the BBC Radio 3’s Mixing It show dated April 1 (link). … Keeping Score: Here’s some soundtrack news, courtesy of the imdb.com database. Cliff Martinez (Solaris, Traffic) is attached as the composer for Havoc, a new L.A. story directed by Barbara Kopple, which features actress Laura San Giacomo, a star of Martinez’s score debut, 1989’s sex, lies and videotape. … The Jacket, which featured a score by Brian Eno, died in U.S. theaters, and is tentatively scheduled for a July DVD release. … Gustavo Santaolalla (whose music was featured in Michael Mann‘s The Insider, even before he scored Amores Perros, 21 Grams and last year’s The Motorcycle Diaries) is attached to Ang Lee’s upcoming Brokeback Mountain. … Cross-Cultural Review: The New York Times reviewer of the Onkyo Marathon last week at the Japan Society was Anthony Tommasini, one of the paper’s classical/opera critics. This may have been a signal of appreciation of the compositional roots of today’s avant-garde electronic music, or an act of curiosity on the writer’s part, or one of against-type assigning on his editor’s part. The Japan Society defines “onkyo” as “an umbrella term for a new genre of computer music that is primarily atonal, noise-based and improvised.” Performers included Sachiko M, AOKI takamasa, Carl Stone, Nobukazu Takemura, o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi) and Otomo Yoshihide. The reviewer’s conclusion: “Whether loud or soft, noisy or soothing, an onkyo improvisation is more like a sound environment than a musical composition.” Not, as they say, that there’s anything wrong with that. “You can’t complain when a sound environment runs on or seems aimless. Such concerns are not the point.” (nytimes.com) … Psychoacoustics Today: In today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine, a piece (“Our Ratings, Ourselves,” nytimes.com) on the science of TV ratings mentions “psychoacoustic masking, which places a signal just beneath the frequency of whatever is being transmitted.” The signal helps Arbitron track consumers’ media usage. However, it’s not a simple task. The signal’s developers “discovered that the masked code’s frequency could not be too low (where it would run into technical problems) or too high (where it would bother dogs and cats).” … Quote of the Week: “The bus plows down the highway at a set speed, the tires humming along, never getting any louder or softer. Same with the engine, its monotonous sound like a mortar smoothly grinding down time and the consciousness of the people on board.” From Haruki Murakami‘s recent novel, Kafka at the Shore.

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