Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tetro: Featurette - Music

In this latest 'Behind the Scenes' video for the film Tetro, composer Osvaldo Golijov discusses what it is like developing the original score for a movie with Francis Ford Coppola, and how the movie itself helped create the music.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Deep Green: sound design for iPhone App

Deep Green, a new iPhone OS chess application, is out now on Apple Store. It's developed by Joachim Bondo.
This iPhone App is extremely accurate and detailed, also in sound: it was designed by Diego Stocco, who's described to us part of the process to develop the sound effects. These sounds play a big role in augmenting the "real" experience of playing chess on the multitouch device.

Diego is a composer and sound designer working in films, video games and virtual instruments.
He's one of the main sound designers for the multi Award winning Spectrasonics instruments Atmosphere™, Stylus™ RMX and the new Power Synth Omnisphere™. He produces music for Epic Score, a well known L.A. based company specialized in trailer music. Recently Diego completed the score for "The Conduit" a futuristic game for Wii produced by High Voltage Software and published by SEGA.

"The sound design for iPhone is an interesting thing to me, especially with the options offered by the newer version of the OS, it will increase the technical and creative possibilities" - says Diego.

[Diego recording the sounds of individual pieces, move on the chessboard, laid on the desk...]

"The game is really done well and has a lot of sounds associated with any movement. I recorded the sounds of the chess game itself, and various other noises using mainly vintage material. Another interesting thing is that the sound is randomized within the game, every time you move a piece on the board, the sound is different, and the same goes for the engine of Deep Green. The basic idea was to return an analog game experience, combined with a steampunk style."

[A vintage Harp-o-Chord, built in 1899 (the internal label shows the date June 27, 1899). "I found it on eBay, paid $ 10" - says Diego. "I used to create the sound of the checkmate. The thickest string has resonances that reminds of a bell."]

[Diego recording the alarm clock used to create the sound for the Deep Green engine, combined with other mechanical noises]

[The mechanism of the old alarm clock]

[you can reach Diego at]
[Watch/hear: Playback]

Friday, May 15, 2009

Standing on the shoulders of Kubrick

The legacy of 2001, by Gary Leva

Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey opened the door to all the films and filmmakers who followed it. Through interviews with directors such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Sydney Pollack - as well as special effects professionals and cultural historians (Ben Burtt) - this documentary examines the legacy of Kubrick’s masterpiece and its influence on science fiction films, special effects and world cinema.

Part 1

Part 2


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Curtis Roads on Granular Synthesis

Curtis Roads is a pioneer in the development of granular synthesis (1974). His collection of electronic music compositions POINT LINE CLOUD won the Award of Distinction at the 2002 Ars Electronica in Linz and was released as a CD + DVD on the Asphodel label in 2005.

Excerpt from "Point Line Cloud" by Curtis Roads

His book, Microsound (2002, The MIT Press) presents the techniques and aesthetics of composition with sound particles.
Roads's new book is Composing Electronic Music (forthcoming) Oxford University Press. A new revised edition of The Computer Music Tutorial by The MIT Press is also forthcoming.

'Beneath the level of the note lies the realm of sound particles. Each particle is a pinpoint of sound. Recent advances let us probe and manipulate this microacoustical world. Sound particles dissolve the rigid bricks of musical composition-the notes and their intervals-into more fluid and supple materials. The sensations of point, pulse (series of points), line (tone), and surface (texture) emerge as the density of particles increases. Sparse emissions produce rhythmic figures. By lining up the particles in rapid succession, one can induce an illusion of tone continuity or pitch. As the particles meander, they flow into liquid-like streams and rivulets. Dense agglomerations of particles form clouds of sound whose shapes evolve over time.' - Curtis Roads

Part 1: The Breakdown

Part 2: Getting Granular

Part 3: Build It Up


Friday, May 08, 2009

JoAnn Kuchera-Morin: Tour the AlloSphere

JoAnn Kuchera-Morin demos the AlloSphere, a new way to see, hear and interpret scientific data. Dive into the brain, feel electron spin, hear the music of the elements ... and detect previously unseen patterns that could lead to new discoveries.

Composer JoAnn Kuchera-Morin works on the Allosphere, one of the largest scientific and artistic instruments in the world. Based at UCSB, the Allosphere and its 3D immersive theater maps complex data in time and space. Kuchera-Morin founded the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE) and has been the director since its birth in 1986. In 2000 she began work on a Digital Media Center within the California NanoSystems Institute at Santa Barbara. Her fascinations include gestural interfaces for performance and the expression of complex data in nontraditional forms.

[Mapping terrain in space and time: Exclusive interview with JoAnn Kuchera-Morin of the AlloSphere]


Monday, May 04, 2009

More Sound Trekking

Ben Burtt’s Further Explorations of Audio Frontiers

[photo by Gregory Schwartz]

In the MAY-JUN 09 Editors Guild Magazine’s cover story, "Sound Trek: The Audio Explorations of Ben Burtt," the four-time Oscar-winning filmmaker goes deep into the evolution of a personal 35-year journey that has seen a revolution in the organic art of sound effects creation and editing.
In this interview by Michael Kunkes, Burtt amplifies his print comments about his work on J.J. Abrams' feature Star Trek, revealing how he seamlessly re-created and updated some of the best-loved signature sounds from the original TV series. He also discusses his feelings about picture editing, music and his own still-evolving creative aspirations.

[read the full interview- via Editors Guild Magazine]