Tangents (Shuffle, Cage, plasma)

Quote of the Week: “They do not need to be correct because they are symbols; they stand for the essence of music, not specific notes. Their unconventionality also reminds me of the graphic scores of experimental music; they are their kitschy cousins.” That’s Christian Marclay, as quoted on the back of his new box-as-book collection, Shuffle, published by the Aperature Foundation. It contains 75 cards, each a photo that Marclay has shot of some musical notation out in the world: on a hat, a tattoo, suspenders, etc.

By the way, if you’re near Oakland this coming weekend, musicians will be, per Marclay’s suggestion, playing Shuffle as if it were intended notation on Friday, September 7, at the 21 Grand. Damon Smith organized; participants will include Aurora Josephson, Weasel Walter, Jacob Lindsay, Phillip Greenlief and Kristian Aspelin (21grand.org).

News, Quick Links, Good Reads: There’s 24 hours and 33 minutes of John Cage airing on WYNC from Wednesday, September 5, at 12PM until 12:33PM on September 6th. It’s streaming at wnyc.org. That’s 24’33” — get it? … Sound-activated clothes designed by Tomoko Ueyama (engadget.com), sound-based search engine (engadget.com), multi-touch interface innovations from the Jazzmutant folks (engadget.com), a USB drive resembling a cassette tape (engadget.com), a potential guitar controller for the DS edition of Guitar Hero III (engadget.com). … Audio-recognition research from Google (googleresearch.blogspot.com). … The CD turned 25 on August 17 (slashdot.org, cnn.com). … The 12k record label, run by Taylor Deupree, has launched a forum (12k.com/forum). … Useful tips on how to get music on and off your iPod (howto.wired.com); I can recommend the YamiPod software (yamipod.com). … R.I.P. Tony Wilson, Foundry Records head (Joy Division, New Order), Hacienda founder (news.bbc.co.uk).

Score Keeper: The website of Clint Mansell (clintatthecontrols.com) has gone dark; according to Network Solutions it “expired on 08/11/2007 and is pending renewal or deletion.” … Charlie Clouser (Nine Inch Nails cohort) is on a fairly consistent roll: Death Sentence, Dead Silence, Resident Evil: Extinction and Saw IV (he did the first three,too). … Cliff Matinez is on Stiletto. … I’ve added a set of links to the Disquiet.com Elsewhere page that lead to the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) entries for film-music composers with a penchant for underscoring (disquiet.com/elsewhere).

Fellow Travelers: How did Rick Rubin improve hip-hop in the mid-1980s? “Before Def Jam, hip-hop records were typically really long, and they rarely had a hook. … Those songs didn’t deliver in the way the Beatles did. By making our rap records sound more like pop songs, we changed the form” (nytimes.com). … Art stars the Starn twins moving to sound art? “Some day we hope to make it talk,” they say of one of their large-scale photo projects. “Plasma makes a great speaker”(nytimes.com). … According to the September 2007 issue of Vibe: Notch (born Normal Darnell Howell, of the duo Born Jamericans): “I drive to clear my mind. The best place to drive is the turnpike in Miami ’cause the sky looks like Windows XP”; Corbin Bleu of High School Musical: “A lot of music comes to me on the plane — it’s the hum of the engine. The other strange place is … a lot of movie ideas come to me in the shower. I sit there, let the water run on me, and procrastinate. I guess there’s something about a continuous noise.”

Heavy Rotation: Pauline OliverosAccordion and Voice, dating from the early 1980s, reissued by Important, in all its droney glory. … Galactic‘s latest, From the Corner to the Block, teams the group largely with rappers, which means it uses its updated take on New Orleans party jazz to fill the space where loops and beats might have been; the highlight is an exception: “Bounce Baby,” featuring DJ Z-Trip … Disquiet.com Downstream of the week: a you-are-there field recording by Cabaret Voltaire‘s Chris Watson (disquiet.com, MP3).

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