Tangents (Robotspeak, Roc-a-Fella, Grateful)

Quick Links: (1) Robotspeak, the next-generation computer-music store on Haight near Fillmore in San Francisco (and which carries Chachi Jones‘ bent Speak & Spells) has launched its own print magazine: robotspeakmagazine.com. How will it distinguish itself? Says the website, “Our business plan involves sucking less and costing nothing.” … (2) Among the planning grants awarded by Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative this year, “Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia ($20,000) for the development of Sounding Site: Revisiting Historic Sites through Sound and Light Installation, in which sonic installations will be placed in under-known historic sites throughout the region” (link). … (3) Leonardo Music Journal, edited by Nicolas Collins, has put out a call for papers “on the expanded role of sound in art, science, business and everyday life” (link). … (4 – 8) Five via boingboing.net: how humpback whales play variations on each other’s songs (link); the sound of “solar wind termination shock” recorded as NASA’s Voyager 1 prepares to leave our solar system (link); two websites of communities that remix video-game music (vgmix.com, ocremix.org); a scientific study on listening to music as a sedative during surgery, “Music and Ambient Operating Room Noise in Patients Undergoing Spinal Anesthesia” (link) … (9) Among those awarded in this year’s Prix Ars Electronica international competition for “cyberarts”: Maryanne Amache, for TEO!, a sonic sculpture, conceived as a sound installation for the Esplanade des Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City; John Oswald, for a CD collection spanning his work from 1969 through 1996; and Finish duo Pan Sonic for their Kesto album. Among the honorable mentions in “digital musics”: Haco, Mike Cooper, Nicholas Bussmann and Martin Brandlmayr, skoltz_kolgen, Paul DeMarinis, Gilles Gobeil, Louis-Philippe Demers, Scott Arford, Jens Brand, Kateryna Zavoloka (Nexsound), Yoshimitsu Ichiraku and artificiel (Alexandre Burton, Julien Roy and Jimmy Lakatos). More info at aec.at. … (10) There are three volumes of 12″s derived from the Motown Remixed album, labeled “hiphop,” “chill” and “club.” The “hiphop” one includes a 2:20 track of “bonus beats” from Z-Trip‘s version of the Jackson 5‘s “I Want You Back” (motownremixed.com).

New Releases: Among new releases due out this week: (1) Hazardous Materials (Consumers Research and Development) features tracks and mixes by Miles Tilmann, Atom Heart, Made, Cepia, Mr. Projectile, Single Minded Pros, Tstewart, Innerstance Beatbox and others (consumerslabel.net). … (2) Alio Die and Jack or Jive‘s Mei-Jyu (Projekt) is a collaboration between Italian producer Stefano Musso, aka Alio Die, and Japanese pair Chako and Makoto Hattori, aka Jack or Jive (projekt.com). … More new-release info at brainwashed.com/releases. … Commute Blues: On the morning bus ride, an increasingly common sight is impatient iPod Shuffle users pumping their gum-package-size MP3 players, thus resembling hospital patients self-administering morphine.

Heavy Rotation: (1) Current hip-hop production macher Kanye West‘s “Breathe In Breathe Out (Instrumental)” (Roc-a-Fella) … (2) Amon Tobin‘s cinematic video-game score, Chaos Theory Splinter Cell 3 Soundtrack (Ninja Tune) … (3) AFRA‘s digitally enhanced human beatbox EP, Digital Breath (W+K Tokyo Lab) … (4) Various artists’s The Relay Project, a “magazine that you listen to” (therelayproject.com). … (5) Michael Nyman‘s pointilist three-piano Manhatta (Downstream entry on May 9, 2005).

Quote of the Week: “What was new, of course, was electricity: Amplification of instruments and voices enabled nuances that once would have been lost in the noise floor to be clearly heard and developed further in a seemingly infinite progression.” That’s Phil Lesh writing in a purposefully comma-free stream in his new autobiography, Searching for the Sound (Little, Brown), of the night that changed his life, watching the Warlocks play in 1965; soon after he would join the group, which would become the Grateful Dead. Lots of interesting stuff early on in this book, notably on his work and studies with composer Luciano Berio at Mills College, where he pursued a course in composition, and his participation, with classmate Steve Reich, on musical direction for a local anarchist theater group.

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