Images of the Week: Roden’s Architecture of Language

Artist Steve Roden employs the architecture of language in the construction of a sculpture being unveiled at Girard College in Philadelphia this week. The work is a great example of how Roden is always looking for new constraints the way an entrepreneur looks for business opportunities.

Girard’s will apparently stipulates that nothing not mentioned in it can be added to the building. The exact phasing is “nothing but what is therein contained.” So Roden took not just Girard at his word, but that very comment: he “took the phrase and translated it into numbers based on the alphabetical sequence of the letters, and then cut pieces of wood accordingly.”

Here are the letters in wood form:

And here, in situ, is the resulting sculpture:

More details, including other sonic aspects, at the original post at Roden’s blog.

Quote of the Week: Ocean Music

In the opening to their new book Flotsametrics and the Floating World, authors Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano describe how on May 27, 1990, some 61,820 sneakers floated to the surface of the North Pacific:

    These high-seas drifters offer a new way of looking at the seas, their movements, and, as we shall see, their music. Call it “flotsametrics.” It’s led me to a world of beauty, order, and peril I could not have imagined even after decades as a working oceanographer — the floating world.

Chapter excerpt at

Past Week at

  • As always, packing for a trip is as digital as it is physical — photos, notes, tunes, ebooks. I must get my data cloud in gear… #
  • 48 hours til London, not counting flight, of course. … Last time I was there, it was to interview Depeche Mode. Saw Billy Childish, too. #
  • Thanks for London-sound tips for trip next week. Mostly business, but some evening & day pleasure breaks. @mapsadaisical @eleventhvolume #
  • London next week. I get there Monday (June 1) and head back to San Francisco on Saturday (June 6). Anything sound-ish going on, lemme know. #
  • Hosting great Jon Hassell discussion with @eleventhvolume, @richard_kadrey & others: … What artist & album to do next? #
  • Good way to start day: Android phone auto-upgraded to new (“Cupcake”) operating system build. Weird it doesn’t come with “what’s new” note. #
  • There are now not four but five Burmese restaurants in my neighborhood. I love San Francisco. #
  • Good music week in San Francisco: Galindo tonight, Compound show Tuesday, Lx Rudis on Thursday, Illuminated Corridor on Saturday… #
  • Man, under the wire. Finished transferring files from main computer yesterday. As of a routine program upgrade this morning, it won’t boot. #
  • Jon Hassell: “I think the key word there is atmosphere…. If you’re not conjuring up a place, it is not doing the trick.” #
  • Jon Hassell: “If you think of music as horizontal, being melody, and vertical, being harmony, I think of what I do as diagonal.” #
  • Many exhibit and performance notes to post. May go into staccato mode at for awhile. #
  • Sunday morning sounds: distinctly Peruvian accent to belly rumbles, plus ticking of laptop fan that is Morse code for “transfer your files.” #

Taylor Deupree: Daily-Sounds Suite (MP3s)

The daily-sounds project of Taylor Deupree continues to unfold at, ranging from everyday noise to brief studio excerpts. While the entries are fascinating on their own, they’re especially enjoyable in sets, working as short suites of related, or opposed, material. This selection of a half dozen recent entries is placed here as a single, steaming sequence, running through six real-world field recordings, with a penultimate pause for a synthesized concoction: Grand Central Station (MP3), outside a grocery store (MP3), 42nd Steet (MP3), “scraping an old propane tank” (MP3), “a held chord from a Hartmann Neuron synthesizer” (MP3), “the recorder and binaural mics closed into the refrigerator” (MP3).

[audio:,,,,,|titles=””NY NY around 11pm”,”Pound Ridge NY approx. 5:34pm”,”New York NY approx. 3:30pm”,”Pound Ridge NY around noon”,”Pound Ridge NY 10:20am”,”Pound Ridge NY 10:50pm”|artists=Taylor Deupree,Taylor Deupree,Taylor Deupree,Taylor Deupree,Taylor Deupree,Taylor Deupree]

1.5-Hour Sun Ra v. Hip-Hop MP3 Megamix

Been wondering when you might get your hands on an hour-and-half mix of hip-hop producers cut’n’pasting old Sun Ra records. Sure you have. Well, such a glorious thing is available now, for free download, courtesy of the instrumental-hip-hop mavens at Sun Ra, progenitor of outer-space jazz and free-rein collective improvisation, is both a fitting and challenging subject for remixing — fitting, in that his work was groove-heavy, rich in sonic touches, and a natural subject for producers who fancy themselves crate diggers, sifting through cultural detritus in search of lost grooves; challenging, in that his work, like his life, had relatively little formal structure, and thus the mechanical beat of hip-hop has to make peace with tempos that give and take. The producers here do their best, on a voluminous number of tracks, as the following set list attests:

    Electric Egypt “the invisible spectrum” ”¢ Ras_G “jouful noise!!!” ”¢ Space Monk “hello sun ra” ”¢ Afro Bluu “all systems go” ”¢ SoulJim “sun ra beat” ”¢ Ichiro “mori” ”¢ Movementss “cosmos” ”¢ Powell “popcorn contact” ”¢ Skipless “sometimes the universe speech” ”¢ Samon Kawamura “antique black” ”¢ Sauce “travel” ”¢ SK.ILL “5:49 in the a.m.” ”¢ Blak Maul “china gate” ”¢ Space Monk “majestic waves” ”¢ Stevo “into the sun” ”¢ Sudan Life “what i learned from le sony’r” ”¢ Elaquent “calling planet earth” ”¢ The Billion Dollar Quartet “sun ra project” ”¢ Cozmos “one for the sun” ”¢ Infinite Potentials “not like planet earth” ”¢ SK.ILL “graveyard planet” ”¢ -G-R-A-D-E- “summer in paris ”¢ Ravage Beats 2012 sun ra 2012 mix” ”¢ Don Bo “anhk” ”¢ Blunted Monks “lars vertoht de sun ra et” ”¢ Samon Kawamura “imagination” ”¢ Soul Kid “shine like the sun” ”¢ SoulJim “Moon Shoes” ”¢ -G-R-A-D-E- “bad character” ”¢ Dank Grooves “the final sun” ”¢ Jomac “sun rawness” ”¢ The Samurai “i am sun ra” ”¢ Depakote “one for the sun” ”¢ Sun Ra “space is the place (Live)

The full set is available as a Zip archive from two different URLs currently:, It comes as one single, lengthy MP3, which makes coordinating tracks with the above list somewhat complicated — but of course, if it weren’t somewhat messy and confusing, it really would be true to Sun Ra. (Credit is due to, which first tipped off Rhythm Incursions about the existence of this collection.)