Monday, December 24, 2007

The Complete Making of Indiana Jones

The Complete Making of Indiana Jones will be released on May 22, 2008, the same day the fourth Indy adventure is set to hit theaters. This new book will cover the making of all four Indy movies, including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

...from the Past…out of the Future...

...from the Past…out of the Future...

There are places where consciousness and matter coexist.
Perhaps they share the same origin.
We learn that collective consciousness is shared among human beings, dynamically redistributing itself via unknown processes.
It permeates objects themselves and contributes to reality in its entirety.
We can perceive only a small part due to our biological nature and our tools for scientific research.
Our unconscious through reminiscence collects and dynamically rearranges fragments, and they interact in the explicit order.
The uniqueness of all things appears under different forms of experience..
We are searching for the wholeness, but we can only guess, sometimes in our dreams, in the arts, and in our philosophical speculation.
We ask ourselves about the deepness of matter and spirit with often inadequate or sometimes inconclusive tools and believe in the specificity and singularity of phenomena.
Each event persists in a place, in the past, in the future, because it is a permanent image itself, flowing the wholeness, like the story and the experience.
There's no distinction, no limits, no difference, every possible infinity resonates in the wholeness.

Matteo Milani and Federico Placidi
Unidentified Sound Object) will be online today 23rd December 2007 for a live gig via Mogulus, the Internet broadcast network. Starting 21:00 UTC time, you can enjoy a live video feed of USO performing live with Kyma and Ableton Live from Rome
Don’t miss the event!

Later rebroadcasts will also be available on the USO channel.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pixar's corner

The new trailer for Disney/Pixar's WALL•E is now online!

WALL-E Exclusive Trailer

You can download a higher quality quicktime (640×360) on

More on Lifted:

Is Linguini...

( Copyright 2007 Disney / Pixar. All Rights Reserved)

... the unfortunate human who gets brutally bashed about while he's being abducted in Gary Rydstrom's Lifted?

( Copyright 2007 Disney / Pixar. All Rights Reserved)

Tinny actually make a quick cameo in Pixar's most recent short, "Lifted." This tender-hearted wind-up toy is located under the bed during the attempted abduction sequence.

( Copyright 2007 Disney / Pixar. All Rights Reserved)

( Copyright 2007 Disney / Pixar. All Rights Reserved)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa being taken to an Imperial Shuttle—or something like that

[courtesy of]

Thinking About Helmut Lachenmann, with Recommended Recordings

Helmut Lachenmann, the German composer born in Stuttgart in 1935, has been at the center of musical debates for nearly four decades and remains there, undaunted, today. His works offer both listeners and performers tremendous challenges — insurmountable challenges, some would say — but his music nonetheless is performed and people do listen to it (perhaps in the ways in which the composer intends). Vital to his aesthetic belief is the reformulation and renewal of musical traditions; why simply accept the hierarchy of traditions the evolution of music has handed down to us? He achieves this musical bouleversement by asking his listeners and performers to suspend, or perhaps completely reject, their inherited beliefs about music, because they serve only to hinder and distort the listening experience. His ability to achieve beauty through the use of unheard or undesired sounds is a testament to his meticulous craft.

[read the entire piece - via La Folia]

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Producer sues New Line over "Lord of the Rings"

The Academy Award-winning producer behind the "Lord of the Rings" franchise has sued the films' distributor, New Line Cinema, to force it to disclose its accounting for the multibillion-dollar epic.
The lawsuit, filed by octogenarian producer Saul Zaentz, was at least the second involving profits from the trilogy against New Line, which is accused in both suits of hiding profits.
Zaentz acquired the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" novels in 1976 and licensed them to Miramax Film Corp, which later assigned the license to New Line.

[read the full article - via reuters]
[Saul Zaentz Media Center]
[Saul Zaentz Company]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A happy holiday season from Lucasfilm

A donation has been made to the Imagine Bus Project, which provides visual art education to underprivileged children and at-risk youth in San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma Counties.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pierre Schaeffer - "Etude aux Chemins de Fer"

The first piece of musique concrete, composed by Pierre Schaeffer in 1948 out of sounds produced by trains.

> This is posted as a reference to a series of articles on the problems of composition posed by musique concrete.

[the article on Pierre Schaeffer can be found here]

Monday, December 10, 2007

David Lynch - The Air is on Fire

The Triennale di Milano presents David Lynch, The Air is on Fire, a major art retrospective devoted to the multiple facets of David Lynch as a visual artist. This exhibition event brings together the movie director’s paintings, photographs, drawings, experimental films and soundtracks. The public will have the chance to discover and rediscover David Lynch’s fine art, with never-before-seen works, and site-specific installations created specially for this exhibition.

The Air is on Fire takes us into David Lynch’s studio cluttered with paintings, black cupboards full of old files and shelves packed with labelled folders containing hundreds of drawings. This is Lynch’s own beautifully kept personal collection, dating back to his high school years and displayed in Italy now for the first time. Revealed to the Director of the Fondation Cartier, Hervé Chandès, all these works have been gathered together and specially staged for exhibition by David Lynch himself: pictures hung on large metal frames and mounted on brightly-coloured curtains, animated films projected in a tiny cinema evoking Eraserhead (1977), the sketch of a living room turned into a life-size scene. These settings give the visitor a rare insight into David Lynch’s approach to production design and his unique visual style.

[David Lynch - The Air is on Fire
Triennale di Milano 9 October 2007 – 13 January 2008
Opening hours: 10.30 am-8.30 pm, closed Mondays]

Sunday, December 09, 2007

TMH Sound System: next generation surround sound

5.1 was named by Tomlinson Holman in 1987 and came out on film in 1992 and became popular since then. What comes after this is the addition of more channels and from that comes the 10.2 sound system which is twice as good as 5.1. How far the number of channels can go is known and largely speculated but the most logical answer at the moment is 10.2.
The purpose of 10.2 is to allow much greater flexibility for sound designers and create a far more immersive environment for the audience. With these channels, it is possible to recreate the acoustics of nearly any location with astonishing realism. Holman found that the second most important sound wave to hit the audience - after the one from the source - is the one that comes from a point on the ceiling, halfway between them. This is because most rooms have hard and reflective ceilings, but the walls are semi-absorptive due to objects in the room; while the floor, usually covered with carpet, absorbs most of the reflected sound. So this first, overhead reflection reaches the ear at a slightly different time, allowing the brain to both localize the primary sound and compute the size of the room. By placing two speakers 45° above and to the left and right the audience, this key sound wave can be recreated. The other speakers can fill in the other major reverberations from the sides and off the back of the room, recreating a full acoustic signature. The strength of traditional 5.1 surround is that its left and right surround speakers are diffuse; they spread the sound around the entire area. This helps to prevent the " Exit Sign Effect" - audience members looking away from the screen at the source of a localized sound, not realizing it is part of the movie. However, this diffusion carries a cost in flexibility. Therefore 10.2 augments the LS (left surround) and RS (right surround) channels by two point surround channels that can more finely manipulate sound - allowing the mixer to shift sounds in a distinct 360° circle around the movie watcher.
The .2 of the 10.2 refers to the addition of a second subwoofer. The system is bass managed such that all the speakers on the left side use the left sub and all the speakers on the right use the right sub. The Center and Back Surround speaker are split between the two subs. The two subs also serve as two discrete LFE (Low Frequency Effects) channels. Although low frequencies are not localizable, it was found that splitting the bass on either side of the audience increases the sense of envelopment.

[read the full article - via uscsoundconscious]

Friday, December 07, 2007

Karlheinz Stockhausen, 1928-2007

One of the great visionaries of 20th-century music, the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen passed away on December 5th 2007 at the age of 79 and will be buried in the Waldfriedhof (forest cemetery) in Kürten, Germany.

News of his death was released by the clarinettist Suzanne Stephens and flautist Kathinka Pasveer, two "companions" who had been associated with him for than 30 years and performed many of his works.

May he rest in peace.

[announcement, via Guardian Unlimited]

Skywalker Sound: Technical Building revealed

Skywalker Sound is located in the serene rolling hills of Marin County, California, forty minutes north of San Francisco. Occupying the 155,000 square foot Technical Building, Skywalker Sound is one of the largest, most versatile full-service post-production facilities in the world.

[Read the article: The hills are alive with the sounds of Skywalker - via CNET]

Working to capture a sound that rings true

Immortalizing a performance takes more than hanging a mike and hitting 'record.' There's an art to these engineers' science.

Rick Rubin, George Martin, Timbaland, Brian Eno, Phil Spector -- the average pop music fan, if asked, could probably come up with at least a handful of names of notable recording personnel. It seems fair to say, though, that the typical consumer of orchestral and chamber music recordings, faced with the same question, would draw a blank.

Yet just as in rock 'n' roll or hip-hop, the engineer for such music -- who is often, though not always, the producer as well -- is the person who makes or breaks an audio performance. He chooses and then places the microphones for a recording session and later meticulously splices various takes -- in the old days with a razor blade and tape, today on a computer -- to achieve the best possible version of a composition. It's a version that may well reach far more listeners than live performances of the work did even many years after its premiere.
While you can eliminate mechanical imperfections, you can't make someone an artist by making 400 splices," he says. "You can't give a violinist a more beautiful tone or a better conception of the music or a better idea of the tempo. You can make it sound mechanically and technically solid, but all the things that make 'music' can't be fabricated."

By Constance Meyer,
December 2, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jazzmutant: Dual Mode Capability

JazzMutant introduces the Dual Mode capability for the Lemur and Dexter controllers.

The Lemur is dedicated to anyone who's looking for maximum modularity and customization of their controlling experience. The Lemur can adapt to all kinds of applications, from live Djing software to light control and interactive media arts.

Dexter is a dedicated solution for studio professionals looking for a complete and easy way to get access to all features of their Digital Audio Workstations. Dexter provides in a minimal form factor functionalities only expected from large bulky desks, and introduce novel ways to get in touch with your DAW.

You can now get both on one single device: the Dual Mode capability lets any Lemur or Dexter run the two feature-sets on the same machine. Since Lemurs and Dexters are based on the exact same hardware, installing the Dual Mode capability allows you to select Lemur or Dexter functionality when booting up your controller, effectively doubling the potential for your JazzMutant hardware.

The upgrade will be free to all Dexter users.
Lemur users will be able to upgrade to dual-boot for 390 euros.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lifted movie poster (autographed by Gary Rydstrom)

Full-size poster from the Pixar short film Lifted. Autographed by director Gary Rydstrom.

All proceeds of this auction (less eBay and PayPal fees) will be donated to The Cancer Research Society, a Canadian not-for-profit organization whose principal mission is to fund basic research and promote prevention in order to defeat cancer.

[ebay - auction]
[Frames Per Second online charity auction]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

EMS: Electronic Music Studios

The Synthi A (formerly Portabella) has three oscillators, and a unique patch system. Instead of patch wires, it uses (like the VCS3) a patchbay grid in which the synth components are laid out, and signal routing is accomplished by placing small pins into the appropriate slots.

  • 3 x Voltage Controlled Oscillators.
  • Noise Generator.
  • 2 x Input Amplifiers.
  • Ring Modulator.
  • Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter (VCF).
  • Trapezoid Envelope Generator.
  • Voltage Controlled Spring Reverb unit.
  • 2 x Stereo Output Amplifiers.
  • Joystick Controller.

[Vintage Synth Explorer]

We are not alone

The synthesizer used to communicate with the aliens at the end of the film is an ARP 2500 modular system. Phil Dodds, a tech from ARP Instruments Inc., is the man playing the keyboard. The motif woven through the film (the five tones that the space ship plays back and forth with the humans) is re - mi - do - do (octave lower) - sol. These tones all lie on a major pentatonic scale. The motif was developed to resemble Hello (H-E-L-L-O) in musical form. Steven Spielberg remarked that "it shouldn't even be a melody: it should be more like somebody pushes a doorbell. Like Avon calling—you know. 'Ding Dong.' It's not a melody. It's not even a phrase. It's just musical intervals. With no rhythm assigned to them or anything. Just five notes." [Wikipedia]


The target consumers are (not ) audiophiles (?)

"...over the last decade the ranks of true audiophiles have been thinning, in large part because of the growing popularity of MP3 players and iPods. These nifty devices enable you to store thousands of hours of your favorite music and take it with you as you bop through your day. You can listen while shopping, while jogging or even, depending on your job, while at work. No one, not even devoted users of MP3s or iPods, claims that the sound reproduction on these technological marvels is equal to that of the best home CD systems. After all, they work by eliminating some of the digitized sound bits to open up storage space for multiple compressed files of music, rendering the sound a little thinner. Still, for consumers, easy access has trumped high fidelity".


Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Audience is Listening.

A brand new THX trailer is coming to a theater near you: it's called Amazing Life, It focuses on strange photo-realistic organisms of various shapes, sizes and colors, growing from a metallic surface. These creatures appear organic in nature, yet foreign to anything on Earth. They spread across the gleaming surface, each one communicating through its own unique sound. These sounds build upon each other, becoming more harmonious, and eventually culminate into the famous THX Deep Note crescendo. A final panning shot reveals the metallic surface to be the THX logo covered by these vibrant, living, musical creatures.

For Amazing Life, THX turned to veteran composer, Marco d'Ambrosio, to design the more than 160 sound tracks featuring voices of "Speaker Flowers," "Helicopter Plants" and other unique organisms. The final mix was completed at Lucasfilm's Skywalker Sound under the direction of award-winning re-recording mixer, Gary Rizzo.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers: Collector's Edition

The Man Behind The Scream: The Sound Effects Pod - Coming in at just under thirteen minutes, Ben Burtt goes into great detail about the different sound effects heard throughout the film. Burtt really felt strong about how the effects were heard and explains their importance to Body Snatchers.

[dvd review - via the-dvd-lounge]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Multiplicity of Noise

The advent of audio recording and playback technologies greatly facilitated the increased use of noise as a compositional element in the 20th century. As this phenomenon progressed, the idea of noise itself began to rupture into multiple strings of conceptions and possibilities. In this paper, Abe Straus show some of the ways that noise has been used as an element of modern audio composition. This is accomplished through discussions of works by Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage, Brian Eno, John Zorn, and Merzbow. Though all of these works are radically different, they all make use of noise to accomplish their goal. As noise compositions, these works illustrate the multiplicity and plasticity inherent in the concept of noise.

[download the pdf]
[via Digital Sound Cultures]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Manifesto for Silence - Stuart Sim

[Noise is derived from the Latin ‘nausea’, meaning seasickness]

I bought this book a short time ago and I was planning to write a topic about it soon. I decided to post these few thoughts on the blog today, after I had been to a live electronics gig by the acclaimed duo "Pan Sonic", here in Milan. My ears started to ring after the first minute of very loud playback and I went away soon.
(Sound) Art that is ‘busy’ (like this latest experience) becomes a means of filling up space so that the void is kept at bay, trying to distract us from our fears of being exposed to silence or emptiness, said the author Stuart Sim. I agree.

Silence matters.
We live in an increasingly noisy society in which silence is a threatened phenomenon. Noise and silence are locked in conflict in contemporary existence, with noise pollution becoming a major problem of the developed world.

More and more, it is coming to seem that a life of noise is our destiny. Just as there is a politics of noise, so there can, and should, be an opposed politics of silence. It is possible to speak of the virtues of silence in a general sense and to wish to preserve them in an era where the environment is being scarred by noise pollution.

Contemplation is a matter of solitude and silence, and it is very much against the grain of modern existence, which, particularly in the West, demands activity and ‘busyness’ from us as a demonstration of our social usefulness.

Noise sells.
To export technology is also to export noise. If you cannot escape from the noise, then it is an imposition, an invasion of your space and a transgression of your rights.

Silence as a living presence. Music is unthinkable without silence, which is an integral aspect of all musical composition.

Fortunately, both writing and reading this blog are essentially silent activities which do not contribute to noise pollution.

[review -]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

György Ligeti: Complete Electronic Works

Although György Ligeti has composed less than 14 minutes of electronic music it is impossible to find his electronic oeuvre on a single release. Until now. This generic, self-made Orpheus Records compilation brings you both electronic miniatures that Ligeti composed during his stay at the Electronic Music Studio of the West German Radio (WDR) in 1957/58 - on invitation by Karlheinz Stockhausen.

[available via Orpheus Music: The Electronic Music Time Machine]

Sunday, November 04, 2007

You'll never get tired of WALL-E

[previous topics about WALL-E]

November 8th - Bay Area Computer Music Meetup

Thursday, November 8, 2007, 7:30 PM
CNMAT (UC Berkeley)
1750 Arch Street
Berkeley , CA 94709


Planned Presentations:

* Brian Belet will be giving a demonstration of the Kyma sound design workstation as a performance environment for live interactive computer music. Belet will perform one of his compositions, and then discuss the algorithms used.


Brian Belet is a composer, performer, and theorist (reclaiming the exploratory definition of the term) living in Campbell, California. A Kyma user since 1990, his research activities involve algorithmic composition, real-time software sound synthesis, real-time computer improvisation, live performance human-machine interaction, and microtonal theories. He performs primarily contemporary music using Kyma, computer controllers, bass, guitar, and viola. Dr. Belet serves as Director of the Center for Research in Electro-Acoustic Music at San Jose State University. He has scores published by the Society of Composers, Inc., Warner Brothers / Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp., and the International Trombone Assoc. Press; with music recorded on the Consortium to Distribute Computer Music, the Society of Composers, Inc., and Frog Peak Music CD labels. He served 3 terms, concluding in 2006, as Vice President for Membership in the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States [SEAMUS].

[Bay Area Computer Music Technology Group]

Friday, November 02, 2007

U.S.O. - Live Electronics

...from the Past…out of the Future...

There are places where consciousness and matter coexist.
Perhaps they share the same origin.
We learn that collective consciousness is shared among human beings, dynamically redistributing itself via unknown processes.
It permeates objects themselves and contributes to reality in its entirety.
We can perceive only a small part due to our biological nature and our tools for scientific research.
Our unconscious through reminiscence collects and dynamically rearranges fragments, and they interact in the explicit order.
The uniqueness of all things appears under different forms of experience..
We are searching for the wholeness, but we can only guess, sometimes in our dreams, in the arts, and in our philosophical speculation.
We ask ourselves about the deepness of matter and spirit with often inadequate or sometimes inconclusive tools and believe in the specificity and singularity of phenomena.
Each event persists in a place, in the past, in the future, because it is a permanent image itself, flowing the wholeness, like the story and the experience.
There's no distinction, no limits, no difference, every possible infinity resonates in the wholeness.

[U.S.O. Project 'SoundRoom' - Rome]

Matteo Milani and Federico Placidi
Unidentified Sound Object) will be online Sunday 23rd December 2007 for a live gig via Mogulus, the groundbreaking broadcast network.
Don’t miss the event!

Rebroadcast will available on U.S.O. channel.
More updates soon!

Call: Video Artist

Matteo Milani and Federico Placidi (U.S.O. Project) are currently seeking a video artist for Video Processing performances and which will take place in 2008 in conjunction with Live Electronic laptop sets.
This call is open to all types of current interactive works in any form:
* Installations
* Generative Art
* Cross Media (involving sensors)
* Net.Art

There's no deadline to submit proposals.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Scream like Tarzan

Tarzan’s famous cry could summon animals from the jungle but appears to have had little influence over the beasts of European bureaucracy. After a ten-year legal battle the apeman’s distinctive yell has been rejected as an EU registered trademark.

With a fortune to be made from ringtones, advertising and computer games, the literary estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author who created Tarzan, is keen to protect the sound. But the EU trademark authority has ruled that, although it is possible to protect sounds that can be represented by musical notes, Tarzan’s cry does not qualify.

[

[the Evolution of the Tarzan "Yell"]


Thursday 11.08.07
6:45 pm The Pixar Story
8:00 pm Reception with Leslie Iwerks
9:30 pm The Pixar Story

Detailing the meteoric rise of the Bay Area-based juggernaut, The Pixar Story is a live-action documentary that illustrates the cross-pollination of expertise at the base of the pioneering company. In particular, the film traces the backgrounds and fortuitous intersection of John Lasseter (animator), Ed Catmull (scientist) and Steve Jobs (entrepreneur), which gave rise to one of the most successful film production companies in filmmaking history. Featuring candid interviews with these principals, along with George Lucas, Roy Disney, Brad Bird, Tom Hanks and many others, in concert with great historical footage of the early days at locations such as Pixar, CalArts, Disney Studios and the University of Utah’s computer graphics laboratory, The Pixar Story offers a new perspective on the animation business for novices and experts alike. This special screening and reception will feature director Leslie Iwerks and an onstage discussion with a bevy of Pixar artists.

Dir. Leslie Iwerks, USA 2007, 87 min

[watch clip]

[

Darth Vader In Love





[via immenstrides]

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sound Effects from 'The Birds'

Built by Friedrich Trautwein in 1928 at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, Germany, the Trautonium was designed as a performance instrument. A performer pressed a finger down at a certain position on a wire to produce a tone at a particular pitch. Loudness was controlled by pressing a bar. Timbre was controlled via switches that filtered an initially complex waveform.

Oskar Sala expanded the Trautonium to create the Mixturtrautonium and used it to compose sound effects for films, among them Hitchcock's The Birds.

[Read more & listen - via Orpheus Music]

Friday, October 26, 2007

A geriatric assault on Italy's bloggers

Italy's leaders barely understand word processors, let alone the web. Now they've turned against the country's bloggers.

[From Times Online, October 24, 2007]

Boing Boing, the third blog in the world, has written about the Levi-Prodi law. The Government has created a world image of itself as incompetent.

[

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ear to the Earth

U.S.O. - Unidentified Sound Object (aka Matteo Milani and Federico Placidi) joined Ear to the Earth Network, an extension of EMF's festival of environmental sound that took place in New York City. Composers, sound artists, and scientists came from England, New Zealand, France, Italy, Canada, Austria, Germany, and throughout the United States to present their music and sound art in concerts and installations and to participate in panels at various venues in downtown Manhattan.

What we learned from the festival is that listening to environmental sounds brings the world closer to us. Listening is close and personal. Listening creates feelings of connection and involvement. The more focused our listening, and the greater our feelings of connection and involvement with the environment, the deeper and more immediate will be our understandings of the world.

We can listen to what the world is telling us. Through listening, we can become involved. We can exchange thoughts, ideas, and sounds. Once involved, we can learn. And in learning, we can better understand what is happening to us.

[Read more - About Ear to the Earth]
[Electronic Music Foundation]

Friday, October 19, 2007

Equipment - Selling

Fostex FR-2 Field Memory Recorder

Perfect condition, $ 900, negotiable. Italy. PayPal accepted.


Eowave Eobody 1

Eobody 1: sensors to midi converter. New. Original package.
Programming software included. $ 150.
Plus (free): intruder detection cell block and two-direction velocity sensor.

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination

Could the technologies from a galaxy far, far away be closer than you think? Find out at Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination – running now in Chicago through Jan. 6. 2008 at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Explore the fantasy technologies depicted in the Star Wars saga and the real science behind them. Along the way, view more than 80 props, models and costumes from the films!

[exhibit overview]

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Music of Luc Ferrari

Slought Foundation and Soundfield NFP are pleased to announce an evening of new and experimental music featuring French violist Vincent Royer and Philadelphia-based Ensemble Noamnesia performing music by Luc Ferrari on Thursday, October 18th, 2007 from 8:00-9:30pm.

This concert is part of the 2007-2008 Soundfield @ Slought series.

Luc Ferrari (1929–2005) was a French composer, particularly noted for his electronic music. Ferrari was born in Paris and studied the piano under Alfred Cortot, musical analysis under Olivier Messiaen and composition under Arthur Honegger. His first works were freely atonal. In 1958 he co-founded the Groupe de Recherches Musicales with Pierre Schaeffer and François-Bernard Mâche. He taught in institutions around the world, and worked for film, theatre and radio. By the early 1960, Ferrari had begun work on his 'Hétérozygote,' a piece for magnetic tape which uses ambient environmental sounds to suggest a dramatic narrative. The use of ambient recordings was to become a distinctive part of Ferrari's musical language. Ferrari's 'Presque rien No. 1 (Le Lever du jour au bord de la mer)' [1970] is regarded as a classic of its kind. In it, Ferrari takes a day-long recording of environmental sounds at a Yugoslavian beach and, through editing, makes a piece that lasts just twenty-one minutes. It has been seen as an affirmation of John Cage's idea that music is always going on all around us, and if only we were to stop to listen to it, we would realise this. Ferrari continued to write purely instrumental music as well as his electronic pieces. He also made a number of documentary films on contemporary musicians in rehearsal, including Olivier Messiaen and Cecil Taylor.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Pixar Story - A documentary by Leslie Iwerks

EMERYVILLE, Calif. , October 11, 2007—Starting in the mid 1980s, an exceptional and inspiring trio of innovators, John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs, combined their gifts in art, science and business to launch a whole new approach to making 3-D animated films and ended up reshaping the face of filmmaking forever. In the new documentary film The Pixar Story, Oscar® nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks takes viewers on a dramatic journey filled with personal sacrifice and fueled by passionate belief in the possibilities of a new medium illustrating how Pixar Animation Studios was born. On October 23, 2007, The Pixar Story begins a national theatrical rollout that will include screenings in 14 major markets across the United States.

The first in-depth look at the most influential animation studio of its time, The Pixar Story goes behind the scenes of the groundbreaking company that pioneered a new generation of animated feature films. Iwerks uses never-before-seen footage from the Pixar library, along with historic archival animation and first hand accounts by animators, studio executives, directors, producers and voice performers to chronicle the remarkable company that revolutionized an industry. The Pixar Story includes exclusive interviews with some of the key players in the Pixar story including John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, George Lucas, Michael Eisner, Bob Iger, Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Tim Allen, Brad Bird and more.

[John Lasseter jumps for joy as he introduces Leslie Iwerks' new documentary "The Pixar Story"]


Friday, October 12, 2007

Beyond 5.1

Tomlinson Holman is best known as the guy who gave us the THX audio standard used in commercial cinemas and home theaters. THX was developed when Holman worked with Star Wars director George Lucas at Lucasfilm and was created to reproduce sound as the film director intended it to be heard. Holman hasn’t stopped looking for better ways to reproduce audio, though. He now runs THMLabs, which sells professional audio equipment. In addition, he is a professor of film sound at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, the chief scientist with auto equalization company Audyssey, and in his spare time promotes a 10.2 surround-sound system—which, yes, is supposed to be twice as good as 5.1.

[read the full article - via]

Kyma Sound Design Software Version X.47 Released

Extensive Support for Multichannel Sound Synthesis and Processing

CHAMPAIGN, IL— October 10, 2007 —With the release of Kyma X.47, Symbolic Sound enhances the already extensive support for multichannel sound synthesis and processing in its award-winning Kyma™ sound design environment. Using a compact graphical representation, sound designers can quickly and easily create multichannel music and special effects with independent processing on each channel.

Kyma X.47 features a host of new multichannel processing and synthesis modules including Surroundifier, SplitSurround, MultichannelPan, PseudoStereo, MidSideEncoderDecoder, MonoToMultichannel, MultichannelMixer, and others that can be recorded to disk in split-surround format, combined with the hundreds of existing Kyma synthesis and processing modules, or dropped into the Kyma Timeline to create multichannel mixes and sequences. Also included in this release are over 150 new multichannel patches for the Kyma Sound Library.

[click the photo to enlarge]

Symbolic Sound's Kyma sound design software is known for its virtually limitless sound combination and transformation capabilities and is favored by sound designers for film, music, game development, and advertising.

Pricing & availability

Kyma X™.47, the latest update to the world’s most advanced sound design environment is now available free to registered Kyma X owners. Kyma X.47 runs under Macintosh OS X (on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs), Windows XP, and Windows 98/ME/2000 and Macintosh OS 9.2.


In 1990, Symbolic Sound revolutionized the sound design and music software industry with the introduction of Kyma™, a graphical modular software sound design environment accelerated by the software-reconfigurable Capybara™ multi-processor sound computation engine. Symbolic Sound is committed to bringing the most advanced and flexible sound design technology to sound designers, musicians, educators, researchers, and creative professionals through its innovative hardware and software offerings.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


In 1980, while at USC film school, I tried to be Ben Burtt. I was creating sounds for a student film about a TV game show and didn't want to use a synthesizer because I heard how for Star Wars Ben Burtt made those cool sound effects from real sounds. And I wanted to be cool. But I couldn't for the life of me figure out how he did it, and in the end resorted to a synthesizer. Soon after, my sound career began when Lucasfilm called USC asking for “another Ben Burtt.” Luckily, they didn't know how badly I had already failed at that. Years later, for Star Wars: Episode I, I was amazed when Ben made a video screen sound effect in the style of Flash Gordon by recording my wife playing her flute. Ben combines an aficionado's knowledge of film history with a knack for twisting real sounds into fantastic ones. After 25 years of working with him, I've learned that there never will be another Ben Burtt.

— Gary Rydstrom, Oscar-winning sound designer, Pixar director

[via 30 People Who Shaped Sound, Mixonline]

Monday, October 01, 2007

John Cage - A Dip in the Lake

EMF presents the New York premiere of John Cage's A Dip in the Lake. Performed only once before, A Dip in the Lake is the exploration of a city by means of a 'random' soundmap that leads performers, listeners, or participants to places they may never have been before. The score identifies up of 427 locations within a city. The 'locations' are either very specific (such as the intersection of two streets), or more general (such as 'a park' or 'Lake Ontario'). Recordings are made at each of these locations, and divided into 10 groups of 2 (quicksteps), 61 groups of 3 (waltzes) and 56 groups of 4 (marches). These groups of recordings are then mixed live by the performers.
Originally scored for the city of Chicago, this performance, created by George Boski, Bill Blakeney, and Gayle Young, will use sounds recorded throughout Toronto, Canada. The three performers will each control four channels of sound, distributed throughout the Judson Church Meeting Room. The audience is then invited to walk around the space to hear the piece from different sonic perspectives.

Friday, October 12, 8:30pm

Judson Church
55 Washington Square South
New York City

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Luigi Nono: Fragments of Venice (UK)

Luigi Nono (1924-1990) is one the towering musical voices of the 20th century, a composer of immense power and thoughtfulness. Towards the end of his life, Nono wrote and premiered in his home city of Venice a remarkable spatially inspired composition which is recognised as the summation of his creative output. A colossal work for multiple orchestras, voices, narrators and synthesised sound, Prometeo redefined the very act of public listening.

In celebration of Nono’s work Southbank Centre presents a six month festival that begins with one of Venice’s first great spatially inspired compositions - Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 - and culminates in the long awaited UK premiere of Prometeo. A major theme of the Festival that emerges is Venice itself, the city that dominated Nono’s life and that has over the centuries been home to a unique series of musical spaces.

[read more - via]

[The Luigi Nono Archive]

[Guardian Review]