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In Bb 2.0
May 12, 2009 7:00 AM   Subscribe

In Bb 2.0
posted by loquacious (60 comments total) 132 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy shit that's amazing.
posted by chunking express at 7:03 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome!
posted by iamkimiam at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You need a pretty fast line to make them all work? The first six worked fine, but when I played them all it got a bit choppy.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:06 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's like a voluntary, floaty, free-form Thru-You.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:10 AM on May 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


HolyFuckingShitThat'sAwesomeNoSeriously. Seriously. Thanks.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:11 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's some excellent b-flatulence.
posted by XMLicious at 7:11 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eloquent.
posted by Don't_deceive_with_belief at 7:12 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:17 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love this.
posted by idiomatika at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Very cool, though.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


This makes me smile on a crappy morning.
posted by mkb at 7:20 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It would be neat to have some machinery noise like a well-tuned engine revving at the appropriate speed to generate a b flat tone.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:27 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


puts the YouTube symphony to shame
posted by ChickenringNYC at 7:28 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some background.
posted by rajbot at 7:29 AM on May 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Absolutely beautiful. True indeterminacy is becoming easier and easier to come by, and I love it.
posted by nosila at 7:45 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


*adds another line item to the Fuck, Why Didn't I Think Of That list*
posted by cortex at 7:46 AM on May 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, when I think about it, this is not indeterminacy. It's closer to aleatoric music, I guess, wherein the interactions are left to chance to a degree. But then again, it's like building-block music, where the listener gets to decide which blocks to use.

I don't know what it is, but I like it a lot. I will think about it a lot.
posted by nosila at 7:53 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm such an easy mark. I totally welled up after about two minutes of that.
posted by minifigs at 7:55 AM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


That was very interesting. Loved it. Yeah nosila, not indeterminate, not really aleatory either. Not sure how I would slap a musico-taxonomic classification on it.

I love that some of the "creative" control is in the hands of the listener. Sort of a musical choose your own adventure book. I would love to get 5 people in a room and hear/see the different outcomes. I think that will be my class tomorrow...
posted by sundri at 8:02 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this something I'd need a modern video card to understand? :-(
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:11 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah nosila, not indeterminate, not really aleatory either.

It makes sense to think of the site itself as a sort of hodgepodge macro-sampler. Like a boutique mellotron with a really clumsy keyboard and keys that all stick.
posted by cortex at 8:14 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is wicked cool. I started them all together, and with all the stuttering, at the end, all I had left were the clarinet, the speech, and the video of the balloons. Really, really nice.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:16 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ha! I love that, cortex.

It's definitely more like musique concréte than anything, in my mind, despite the preponderance of musical sound.

All in all, a really cool compositional technique.
posted by nosila at 8:25 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The monologue bottom right is an absolutely beautiful paen to the Web and information.
She closes the lid, and unplugs a device no bigger than her thumb from the computer.
"My life's work", she says. But it isn't her life's work.
"You see, we store information like an Escher painting. It shouldn't all fit in there, but it does.
And every day we manage to fit more and more into smaller and smaller spaces, until one day,
we'll be able to fit all the information the world has,
everything that everyone knows, and believes and dreams into nothing.
It will all be there, stored and filed, tagged with any keyword you might imagine.
Our hard drives will be thin air, they'll make nanobots look like elephants.
And elephants will be in there too, tagged, accessible with search terms like 'grey', 'ivory' and 'the largest land-dwelling mammal'.

We'll process away at nothing, and understand everything.
We'll think of a word, and the information will slip in,
not through our ears or eyes, but straight through our skin.
Information will breath in and out of us, permeate our skin,
and knowing will be as deep as it is wide.

You see, our work here is to learn so much,
To be so full of knowing, that all there is left to do is unlearn.
Humanity must get to a point where we let go.
We leave the useless ideas and the spent idealogies in the recyle bin,
like an adolescent brain shedding neurons,
like a snake slithering from its old skin,
like an old man who's come to understand so well, the point where reality meets the intangible,
that he is able to decide which breath will be his last.
And he will enjoy that breath more than any he's taken in his entire life."

And her life's work is more than a 4Gb flash drive.

"My life's work," she says, "is the impact this has."
"This is not about what I produce. This is all about what others receive."
posted by Happy Dave at 8:25 AM on May 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


Holy shit. What a great way to start my day in a cube - thank you, loquacious!
posted by rtha at 8:28 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Love that image cortex, thank you.
posted by sundri at 8:36 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the hell out of that monologue. Every once in a while I read things and wish I had written it.
posted by empath at 9:02 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one that hated this?

Kidding. It's fucking amazing. Thanks, loq.
posted by item at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Flaming Lips did something similar with their 4 CD set ZAIREEKA.
posted by batou_ at 9:26 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back in 1997 :)
posted by batou_ at 9:26 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back before MiniDisc fizzled, there was a musician who created a piece for eight Minidisc players on shuffle.
posted by mkb at 9:32 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


batou_: A lot of musicians have created things to be played on multiple machines, but there's a huge difference: they created all the bits of music and designed them to go together. Intelligently. Like intelligent design.

To me, this is a really different concept. Almost all music is parts designed to go together, usually by one person or a small group of people. There is a lot more left to chance here.
posted by nosila at 9:39 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was amazing. Thank you.
posted by purephase at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is like a crowd-sourced In C. I love it, love love love it.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


There is a lot more left to chance here.

Totally riding nosila's wave: it is also mediated by choice at EVERY level, from the designer/composer, to the performers, to the listener. Active choice is involved in a way that transcends other types of (for lack of a better umbrella term) chance music.
posted by sundri at 9:52 AM on May 12, 2009


It's really ridiculously good. The guy editing them is doing a great job, to manage to have so many disparate - ridiculously disparate - sounds work together - in almost any combination? After a couple hours of coming back to this again and again, it's really silly how solid it is.
posted by From Bklyn at 10:14 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Totally missed that post Happy Dave, cheers!
posted by Acey at 10:23 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Amazing!

To add a little more Bb love, my favorite:

Hindemith's Symphony in Bb for Wind Ensemble.

Movement 1

Movements 2 & 3
posted by greekphilosophy at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's amazing how one woman with pretty lips can make me ignore 11 other videos, even if each one is full of its own blinking and clattering.

I need therapy.
posted by rokusan at 11:11 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Definitely, sundri. It's the best of both worlds.
posted by nosila at 11:19 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


and rokusan: you said it, not me. :)
posted by nosila at 11:25 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, wonderful. Thankyou. :o)
posted by paperpete at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


really great, thanks!
posted by ericbop at 12:37 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, like instant Sigur Rós!
posted by yoHighness at 1:23 PM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sweet. Thanks.
posted by futureisunwritten at 1:38 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. I thought you cats would like this one but I didn't think you'd like it that much.

And I'm glad I wasn't the only one tearing up. There's something oddly musically holy about B flat.
posted by loquacious at 1:39 PM on May 12, 2009


Beautiful.
posted by xod at 1:56 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow wow wow. As if I wasn't already completely consumed by make your own, now I have to hole up for hours with this one! Any chance of a G7 coming up? Or an F?
posted by ThistleDownHair at 2:06 PM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Have you heard about B flat?
posted by loquacious at 4:16 PM on May 12, 2009


> The first six worked fine, but when I played them all it got a bit choppy.

I watched it at work, with a fast line and quick downloads, and it was really good.

I just watched it again at home, with a much smaller line, and the videos kept pausing, each at different times, some notes or another hanging in the air and others pulsing in and out in chopped-up phrases. It was even better.

(The video in the lower left, the monologue, was practically calculated to load as slowly as possible with all the pixilation, movement and pixilated noise minimizing the effectiveness of video compression.)
posted by ardgedee at 4:21 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Very nice indeed. So clever.
posted by tellurian at 4:42 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Like a boutique mellotron with a really clumsy keyboard and keys that all stick.

There's a different kind?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:23 PM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've actually seen someone, err, restore a mellotron to working condition, and even hack it with their own recorded or found tape strips. It makes a hell of a weird "sampler".

Also, by "restore" I mean they found one for cheap at a flea market and it was more of a random pile of parts in a jumbled corner full of other vintage synths and noisemakers, including an Optigan, Junos, TB-303s, SK-5s and all kinds of crazy keyboards. The mellotron sometimes worked, and was entirely and completely unportable. If I think too long and too hard about road-casing one of those and taking it on a proper rock/arena tour I think I'll actually have nightmares about trying to fix the damn thing with gaffer tape and baling wire in full on distorted drunken nightmare vision where your hands don't work and time slips and fucks you all up.
posted by loquacious at 7:00 PM on May 12, 2009


They did use to bring them on tours, and yes it was a nightmare. My mum went to see the Moody Blues here in Holland back in the day and the show was delayed for hours as they were fixing the 'tron.

But a 303 at a flea market?! Now there's a find. I hear only 10,000 were ever made worldwide.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:06 PM on May 12, 2009


Sorry, I just went nuts with favorites because I'm a whore, and how. Besides the Wozniak AskMe this is probably my favorite thread ever. I'm really humbled by the response and sincere thanks that I totally don't deserve. I found this on reddit. It could have been a lazy quickie post but it's... a snark free thread?

To be truthful I only heard this through my totally lo-fi netbook speakers in the middle of a bout of insomnia and laptop-pilllow syndrome at around 6:30 am before posting it, but it made me respond in strange ways even then. I don't think I even actually typed to make the post - all of the text, type and links are copy-pasted if I remember correctly. After a good while with decent headphones I had to cut myself off for most of today because it was just too intense. "Welling up" indeed. Upwelling.

Suddenly "accessible" doesn't seem like a dirty word to me. Somehow each of those selected, homebrew musicians are more alive than they would be individually viewed on YouTube. There's something deeply communal, raw and pure and human about the music coming out of this arrangement. It feels like both a comforting balm and a terrifying truth. It makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I'm totally jaded about this kind of experimental/found/ambient/assembled music. I've been thinking about this all day.

And it's just so random and simple and obvious with such a profound payload. No ads as far as I can see. Nearly perfect detournement of ad-supported web resources and facilities, online musical collaboration and then user interaction - all with a few "embed" links to display a simple matrix of remotely hosted flash videos.

Thanks, internet.
posted by loquacious at 8:41 PM on May 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


But a 303 at a flea market?! Now there's a find. I hear only 10,000 were ever made worldwide.

This guy found multiples. This was in Los Angeles and Orange County. He had the biggest pile of SK-1 and SK-5s I'd ever seen. He was a religious keyboard hunter, every weekend out at dawn prowling giant flea markets and auctions. Keep in mind he probably started seriously collecting in the early 90s and had it down before the big stampede for electronic gear.
posted by loquacious at 9:00 PM on May 12, 2009


What I'm finding I want now is more notes. This is a great idea, but my mellotron riff was a little bit off in one sense: this is in a sense a monotone instrument, an organ with one single black key—B flat—and 12 different stops.

Wonderful, insanely complex stops, full of all kinds of sympathetic noises and overtones over the tonic, but all of them (and this is why it works, of course) basically an extension or exploration of the basic idea of a B flat.

So what if you added more keys to the keyboard? Do the same thing in C, and E flat, and G, and the rest of the twelve-tone scale. Build out the polyphony more explicitly, make it possible to play not just a strange organic-stochastic vamp on the tonic but a whole harmonic romp through this kind of musical collage. Find out what Bach sounds like as performed by electric guitar and nose flute and man yelling at a bus stop and beer bottles that are almost in tune.
posted by cortex at 10:04 PM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


What I keep going after:

Top far left, followed by top far right. Add middle-center left and center right. Drop in bottom center right after a bit, with bottom far right following. Restart middle-center right and middle-center left again.
posted by flatluigi at 11:45 PM on May 12, 2009


And now with extra auto-play/repeat random awesomeness.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:22 AM on May 15, 2009


Also, by "restore" I mean they found one for cheap at a flea market and it was more of a random pile of parts in a jumbled corner full of other vintage synths and noisemakers, including an Optigan, Junos, TB-303s, SK-5s and all kinds of crazy keyboards.

*asplode*

I wish I had the scratch to collect vintage gear (well, other than my stable of basses & my 1st-year Mesa Boogie D-180) -- everything sounds better when it's old.

It's unfathomable what people used to go through to keep mellotrons running on big tours. Yes, Genesis, & cetera, from what I understand would travel with 2 or 3 & a full-time mellotron dude, just to ensure having one that worked each night. Listening to Genesis Live makes me happy they did this thing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:03 AM on May 15, 2009


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