News, Quick Links, Good Reads: (1) Generative music-maker Kenneth Kirschner is the subject of a new interview up at tokafi.com: “[Q:] Your music is electronically processed to a large extent. Why then, are you still interested in the piano as a basis? [A:] I think piano is often for me the clearest and most direct way to get across a harmonic or emotional idea.” … (2) Interview with Cousin Silas on his two albums of music inspired by J.G. Ballard, Ballard Landscapes and Ballard Landscapes 2: “I’ve never really considered Ballard or [Brian] Eno as thinkers. To me one writes incredibly atmospheric music, the other writes incredibly atmospheric fiction” (ballardian.com, via blissout.blogspot.com). … (3) Paul Simon talks about his work with Brian Eno and Philip Glass on one of the 26 tracks in the new “iTunes Originals” collection, a mix of new recordings, spoken reminiscences and classic tracks from Simon and from Simon and Garfunkel (apple.com).
(4) The “audioTagger” project at moolab.net lets you geocode a sound sample sent to the website via email from your cellphone (see image at left). The result is a map of the sounds, sorted by city. … (5) There’s a promising “coming soon” message at the website cybersonica.tv, which the originating organization, cybersonica.org, says will host audio and video from its past festivals. … (6) Other Music, the great Manhattan record store, has added a blog to complement its (DRM-free) online store. This link goes to a breakdown of its store’s various features: othermusic.com/wp. … (7) The Wire, the excellent British music magazine, has relaunched its website: thewire.co.uk.
(8) The netlabel Surreal Madrid (surrealmadrid.net) has, after 15 freely downloadable releases, put out a proper 12″, Kill the Headliners!!!, with music by Floex, MMtm, Karaoke Tundra, Zavoloka and Luke Warm. … (9) And the great Lisbon-based netlabel Test Tube has collected its first 75 releases on one DVD-R (testtube.monocromatica.com). That’s over 400 songs and over40 hours of music. … (10) The netlabel Dark Winter has an open call (through December 15) for holiday-themed music, specifically “dark ambient holiday tracks” (darkwinter.com). … (11) Peter Rojas, founder of engadget.com, has launched “a network of ad-supported online record labels and blogs offering completely free music streams and downloads from emerging and established artists”: rcrdlbl.com.
(12) A program called DScratch (gorgull.googlepages.com) is “a little audio manipulation software running on [the Nintendo] DS which ables you to play with an existing .wav file or recorded audio sample; you can pitch it, scratch it, rewind, mute and apply effects on it. Moreover, DScratch sends MIDI through wifi connection, which ables you to control external applications, like VJing software as I do, and can be motion-controlled.” The image to the left is a screenshot of a demo video up on youtube.com (the-palm-sound.blogspot.com) … (13) A homemade gramophone, built from LEGO Mindstorms (josepino.com, via engadget.com and hackedgadgets.com). … (14) Another sonic weapon, the Police Rumbler (engadget.com).
(15) New Yorker music critic Alex Ross has posted brief soundclips for a selection of musical works mentioned in his recent book, The Rest Is Noise (therestisnoise.com). … (16) The pandora.com Internet radio service has added classical music to its repertoire (downloadsquad.com, blog.pandora.com). … (17) Another entry in the soul-sides.com blog’s occasional “Who Flipped It Best?” feature, which compares various rap productions that utilize the same sample. The raw material this time? “Nautilus” by fusion figure Bob James. The end results? Tracks from Lord Shafiyq (“My Mic Is On Fire,” 1987), Main Source (“Live at the BBQ,” produced by Large Professor, 1991) and Ghostface Killah (“Daytona 500,” produced by RZA, 1996).
(18) On his blog earlier this month, writer William Gibson posted a photo of some seals by the shore and wrote, simply, “In their mating season, they sound like motorcycles” (williamgibsonbooks.com).