A Day in the Life of a Looper

Killian Vidourek's short documentary on tape master Amulets

Enjoy this 10-minute video about the work of the musician Amulets (aka Randall Taylor), who has dedicated much of his music to exploring the low-fidelity pleasures of tape loops. It starts with him buying a thrift store cassette player, which promptly begins to break in his hands. He plugs it in, nonetheless, at his workshop, using children’s bells as source audio for experimentation. “It’s not great, which is great,” he says of the resulting audio, pretty much summing up the aesthetic (frayed) and sensibility (shopworn) that has helped his releases find a receptive and supportive audience.

The mini-documentary, titled “Tape Wizard,” is by Killian Vidourek, a student from Notre Dame who flew to Portland, Oregon, to record it. It was produced in 2019, pre-pandemic, so we get to watch Taylor as he picks up some t-shirts, visits one of his LPs at a record store (Beacon Sound), and does soundcheck before a show.

Video originally posted at YouTube. More from Amulets at amuletsmusic.com, and from Killian Vidourek at instagram.com/kilianvidourek.

SOUND RESEARCH LOG: What Will Be the Hamburger of Voice Search?

Even though it’s over two and a half years since Apple introduced Siri and almost 50 years since Douglas Rain provided the voice for Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey, we’re very much at the beginning of voice control. There are few if any norms or standards for voice commands activated by users, especially in contrast with the increasing uniformity of web design, where common elements are pervasive, such as endless scroll, small-print footers, and the three-lined “hamburger” button that signifies the presence of a menu. The norms in voice search will be accumulated in the coming years, not just thanks to decisions made by the big players, but by small initiatives, like the Tabs Board controller, a Chrome extension covered yesterday by addictivetips.com:

Voice search integration arrived in Chrome quite a while ago and it is an excellent watered down basic version of Google Now. One of the many differences between Google Now and Voice Search on Chrome is that Google Now can launch apps installed on your device while Voice Search is simply what its name implies it is with no support for any other browser function. Tabs Board is a Chrome extension that helps you switch between tabs open in a window. It also lets you search for tabs by a voice command which is what sets it apart from other tab management extensions. Both the voice search and the tab switching overlay can be opened with a keyboard shortcut that a user can customize. You can search for tabs with either a voice command or you can search and select them using the mouse. The extension lists open tabs in an overlay at the bottom of Chrome.

As with most voice commands, the product assumes that your microphone is always one. Get Tab Boards at the chrome.google.com.

This entry cross-posted from the Disquiet linkblog project sound.tumblr.com.