Tangents (minimalism, youtube, Superman)

Quick Links, News and Good Reads: (1) Steve Reich‘s “Music for 18 Musicians” has been posted for free download by the BBC as part of (yeah, you guessed it) a remix contest. The winning track, to be selected by Reich, will appear on a Nonesuch release, along with remixes by Four Tet and Alex Smoke. Unfortunately, as with the 1999 Reich Remixed album, the individual parallel tracks of the “18 Musicians” recording have not been made available to the remixers; only the final mix has, as a single file (MP3). More info at bbc.co.uk (via Robert Gable‘s aworks blog). … (2) Roundup of a new generation of young British artists, many with an interest in sound, including Jem Finer, Matthew Bourne, Vicki Bennett, Dreams of Tall Buildings, Claudia Molitor, Alex Bradley and Charles Poulet (guardian.co.uk). … (3) Trimpin‘s large-scale sound art tribute to Pythagoras is at Suyama Space in Seattle, Washington, through July 28 (suyamapetersondeguchi.com). … (4) Review of Lucas Fowler‘s art film about composer Cornelius Cardew (nytimes.com). … Synaesthesia is the theme in an exhibit of Wassily Kandinksy paintings at the Tate Modern: (5) telegraph.co.uk, (6) guardian.co.uk. … (7) The Sound Travels series of events is running in Toronto through October 1 (naisa.ca/soundtravels), and it will include “guerilla sound art” events that “that draw attention to the contemporary urban soundscape.” … (8) Interview with Hefty Records founder John Hughes III (chicagoist.com): “We kind of live by file transferring over chat programs or uploading a file to an FTP and kind of swapping it back and forth until it’s finished.” … (9) Interview with Amanda Stewart as part of the annual Liquid Architecture festival in Australia (smh.co.au): “When you are cutting up voices all day,” she says of her time as a radio producer with ABC, “you hear different things.” More info at (10) liquidarchitecture.org.au and (11) couriermail.news.com.au. … (12) Interview with Janet Cardiff on her audio walk at the Hirshhorn in Washington, DC (hirshhorn.si.edu): “Sound has an innate ability to transport you out of your body, so if you give an audience various soundscapes, you can transport them through their imagination into many different places.” … (13) Cardiff and George Bures Miller‘s installation The Paradise Institute is part of And Therefore I Am at Skidmore’s Tang (tang.skidmore.edu). … (14) Squarepusher‘s next album, Hello Everything, is due out on October 16; a track off it, “The Modern Bass Guitar,” is currently streaming from the home page of Warp Records, warprecords.com. … (15) Alex Ross on Morton Feldman at newyorker.com, plus a follow-up at Ross’ blog, (16) therestisnoise.com. … (17) Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke talks about his new, electronic-infused solo album (boston.com). … R.I.P., Gyorgy Ligeti: (18) nytimes.com, (19) bbc.com, (20) guardian.co.uk, (21) washingtonpost.com.

… YouTube Treats: There’s an absurd wealth of video available at youtube.com. These are just a handful of suggested viewings, most under three minutes. (1) A minute and a half surreptitiously taped at Janet Cardiff‘s 40-Part Motet exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan (youtube.com). … (2) Brian Eno pays tribute to Can (youtube.com) and (3) talks about the making of Music for Airports (youtube.com). … (4) Robert Fripp performs a soundscape live in Japan in 2003 (youtube.com). … (5) Fan of Cliff Martinez for his ambient scores to Solaris and sex, lies and videotape? Check out this footage of when he was the drummer for the punk-funk band Red Hot Chili Peppers (youtube.com). … (6) Video for David Holmes‘ “Don’t Die Just Yet” off Let’s Get Killed (youtube.com). … Lots of live DJ Krush: (7) dark with skateboard clips (youtube.com), (8) at the Sonar festival (youtube.com) and (9) rockin’ some “Tubular Bells” in Tokyo (youtube.com). … (10) And via Google’s similar video service, footage (video.google.com) of that drum game for the Nintendo Wii that I mentioned in my E3 overview (“Synaesthesia at E3”; footage link via digitalmusicmag.blogspot.com). … Oh, and there are also at least four versions of John Cage‘s “silent” piece, 4’33”, on (11) youtube.com and (12) three (one of them “abridged”) at video.google.com.

… Quote of the Week: “Gentle theme begins.” That’s the text description you’ll see of a scene’s background music toward the end of the new movie Superman Returns if you use the Rear-Window Captioning system (or equivalent). I noticed this because the fellow in front of me at a screening this weekend was using the system, which involves a wide mirror that reflects text that’s displayed at the rear of the theater. When music is playing and there’s no voice over, the screen would occasionally display a pair of quarter notes.

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