My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

When Music and Video Are Truly Paired

A live performance by mafmadmaf

This is far from ambient, so it won’t be going on my live-ambient video playlist, but it’s an excellent live video. There’s no sound until just about the 30-seconds mark. That’s because mafmadmaf, the musician whose hands dart in and out of view, up until then is still getting the patch started. That is, he’s still adding cables, and until enough are connected, his small synthesizer setup has no sound to make. And then it begins. First with a drone, a low undercurrent of foundational noise. Then the rapid clicking of industrial action, like a fervent sewing machine doing its duties. Not every cable connection alters the sound. Some, as at the opening, are subsets of multi-stage efforts to accomplish a sonic goal. The beauty of this piece, including the intent rhythmic quality, is how precisely the sounds and image correlate, how the viewer takes in the music not merely as sound, but as connected to the device from which it emanates, much as the music itself is predicated on connections made with patch cables.

Video originally posted at youtube.com. More from mafmadmaf, who is based in Guangzhou, China, at mafmadmaf.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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