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]