Tangents (Ludwig, Cage, Primo)

Quote of the Week: Osamu Tezuka is the subject of a retrospective exhibit, Marvel of Manga, at the Asia Art Museum (asianart.org) in San Francisco. (Full disclosure: I am employed by one of the exhibit’s corporate sponsors.) Of a Beethoven manga by Tezuka, titled Ludwig B, the exhibit notes state, “Possibly because of this silence, Tezuka’s manga pushes the medium to staggering heights of abstraction in its representation of music.”

News, Quick Links, Good Reads: Seattle Weekly on Paul Rucker‘s sound art, including a laser interface called the Happy Ending Machine (seattleweekly.com); Rucker’s Catalyst exhibit at Jack Straw (jackstraw.org) in Seattle closed on Friday. … Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program for 2007 divided over $200,000 among 17 separate commissions, at least two of which have electronic components: Annie Gosfield is a solo work for piano and electronics (for pianist Lisa Moore) and David First‘s Elegies for the Afterland, which investigates “3D tuning,” is a work for string quartet for string quartet and computer (meetthecomposer.org). … Among the pieces at this year’s installations at the Paradise Ridge Sculpture Garden in Sonona County, California, are sound-related work by Nicolas van Krijdt and Robert Ellison; view images at paradiseridgewinery.com; get the story at the North Bay Bohemian (link). … Among the events during the upcoming Japan! Culture and Hyperculture series at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. are a tribute to composer Toru Takemitsu (February 9, 2008) and a performance by a Tokyo-based laptop orchestra working with the sho, a traditional Japanese mouth organ (February 11, 2008); more info at kennedy-center.org. … A mention on downloadsquad.com and and a subsequent search for “sound art” yielded this result at findarticles.com — as of this writing some 76 entries, the majority of them free, from such publications as Art in America and Artforum. … The eMusic.com edition of Mexican Institute of Sounds‘s Pinata album has two extra cuts. … A rotating disco ball for your floor — think R2D2 rumbas with the roomba (miuro.com). … A massive, battery-operated guitar pick productizes air guitar (rocktamashii.com, via we-love-technology.com). … Two anthropomorphic music toys: Mr. Tengu is a USB box that responds, albeit with limited variations, to sound and other input (gizmodo.com, solidalliance.com) and bleeplabs.com makes the cutest little analog synth you ever did see (thanks, Brian, for the latter). … The hipDisk by Danielle Wild (audiomulch.com/~danielle), according to engadget.com, “goes about its noise making ways by utilizing soft switches on the two discs, which create a variety of chimes based on one’s movements.”

YouTube Goodness: A 10-minute, handheld recording of Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin‘s “Listening Post” installation, about which I wrote yesterday (youtube.com); the footage is better as a memory aid than as a viewing experience. … John Cage performing “Water Walk” in January 1960 on the TV show I’ve Got a Secret (youtube.com).

Heavy Rotation: The first single off Common‘s new album, Finding Forever, has “The Game” on the flipside, and the instrumental is producer Kanye West at his best, which is to say minus the goofy, feel-good hyper-vocals: just hard-nosed studio beats; the only downside is that the guest scratching on “The Game” by DJ Premier is only heard on the version of the song with Common’s vocals. … The Disquiet Downstream entry of the week is Stephen Vitiello‘s remix of Scanner‘s “Sleepless City” (disquiet.com, MP3).

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