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Why don't you take a picture, it'll last longer!

Photobooth Innards: the inner workings of a vintage black and white photobooth in real time. Via photobooth.net, the most comprehensive photobooth resource on the internet (previously)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 8, 2014 - 7 comments

Genius

Walter Kitundu is an artist and MacArthur Fellow (previously). In this video, he gives a lecture at the San Francisco Exploratorium about his bespoke instruments and lighting experiments. At around 16 minutes in, he plays his digital revision of a kora.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 28, 2014 - 1 comment

Pyro Board

Pyro Board. Or flammable sound waves and music. Danish Fysikshow demonstrates a 2-D Rubens' tube (wiki, demo).
posted by severiina on Apr 18, 2014 - 15 comments

Sølar-pøwered flashlights? But wait, there's møre!

The Nordic Society for Invention & Discovery has brought never-before-seen and totally exclusive technologies into the world, such as the Aaltopuck (an ice hockey puck modeled after Alvar Aalto's Savoy Vase), the Flower Shell (a shotgun shell that shoots seeds into the ground), the Wall of Sound (an 8000-watt iPod dock) and No More Woof (a device that wraps around your dog's head and translates his or her brain waves to computerized speech).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 15, 2014 - 11 comments

"The waves, the waves, the waves..."

The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009) - A 25-minute documentary about composer and pioneering electronic musician Delia Derbyshire, perhaps most familiar to Mefites for writing the theme song for "Doctor Who".
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 10, 2014 - 8 comments

7 Visionary Women Who Paved The Way For Electronic Music

7 Visionary Women Who Paved The Way For Electronic Music
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 9, 2014 - 50 comments

Scale invariant art

Astroblast and Overstepping Artifacts are music videos by the project Musicians with Guns, which take the viewer through detailed tours of some beauty. Relax and enjoy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Feb 27, 2014 - 9 comments

This ain't chemistry. This is Art.

With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 29, 2013 - 974 comments

"We do judge books by their covers."

The sound of silence - Research by Dr. Chia-Jung Tsay published in PNAS suggests that top musicians are judged as much for the visual aspects of their performances, as much as for the aural ones, regardless of the experience level of the listener or judge
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 8, 2013 - 22 comments

A Song of Our Warming Planet

"University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford did something very clever: He took surface air temperature data and converted them into musical notes, one for each year from 1880 to 2012, and played them on his cello." Direct Vimeo link.
posted by brundlefly on Jul 18, 2013 - 21 comments

Beethoven's Hair

On March 26th, 1827 Ludwig Van Beethoven died in Vienna. The day after, a twelve year old boy took a lock of his hair as a souvenir. 167 years later the hair was sold at an auction in London. Its new owners were two Americans, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevera. Between those dates the lock of hair undertook an extraordinary historical odyssey. From hand to hand, from country to country, and from century to century. This is the story of that journey. [more inside]
posted by 23 on May 18, 2013 - 15 comments

Chilled beats

Ice Music - ethereal, Nordic ambient created with percussion instruments made out of ice
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Feb 20, 2013 - 5 comments

Get your hi-hat on.

Real-time MRI study of human beatboxing, with lots of videos. See what snares, kick drum effects, cymbals and more look and sound like as they happen inside the head. Here's a BBC radio segment on the project.
posted by iamkimiam on Feb 15, 2013 - 7 comments

Firewall

Firewall by Aaron Sherwood (more detail)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 21, 2012 - 4 comments

Microbial Bebop

When looking for inspiration, most songwriters to go well-used emotional wells – triumph or loss, love or heartbreak. But Peter Larsen, a biologist at Argonne National Laboratory, looked to the microbes of the English Channel. He used seven years’ worth of genetic and environmental data, converting geochemical and microbial abundance measurements into notes, beats, and chords.
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 8, 2012 - 13 comments

*This* is the science of sound and matter.

Two elements: tempo and volume. Researchers at the Sundance Research Facility have finally discovered how to turn sound into matter.
posted by Dr. Fetish on Oct 4, 2012 - 12 comments

Colorful Cephalopod Musical Reactions

Squid can't hear, but that doesn't mean they can't react to music. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Aug 23, 2012 - 19 comments

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 2, 2012 - 60 comments

The Longest Time (Coral Triangle Edition)

Billy Joel has now officially endorsed - The Longest Time (Coral Triangle Edition), by the Barber Lab Quartet [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jul 18, 2012 - 17 comments

The Geographic Flow of Music

In The Geographic Flow of Music (arxiv), researchers Conrad Lee and Pádraig Cunningham propose a method to use data from the last.fm API to track the world's listening habits by location and time, showing where shifts in musical tastes have originated and subsequently migrated. Results show music trends originating in smaller cities and flowing outward in unexpected ways, contradicting some assumptions in social science about larger cities being more efficient engines of (cultural) invention.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 26, 2012 - 13 comments

The successful scientist thinks like a poet but works like a bookkeeper.

Harvard sociobiologist E. O. Wilson explores The Origins of the Arts.
posted by shakespeherian on Apr 25, 2012 - 38 comments

Day at Night, half-hour New York public television interviews from the 70s

Day at Night was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury, actress Myrna Loy, medical researcher Jonas Salk, singer Cab Calloway, writer Christopher Isherwood, nuclear scientist Edward Teller, comedian Victor Borge, tennis player Billie Jean King, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, composer Aaron Copland, actor Vincent Price and boxer Muhammad Ali.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 16, 2012 - 6 comments

Monsters of Grok

Monsters of Grok. Fake band t-shirts for history's greatest minds.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 31, 2011 - 127 comments

Science Fiction You Can Dance To

Claire L. Evans is half of the music group YACHT. She also writes two thoughtful blogs: the science blog Universe, and the science fiction blog Space Canon. The latest post on Space Canon is her sci-fi infused hour long dance mix Fly On, UFO. (direct mp3 link, 111mb) It promises "to travel to disco dystopias and far-flung cosmic boogies." Groovy.
posted by HumanComplex on Jun 3, 2011 - 6 comments

The Definitive Look at the Diversity of Our Planet

Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 7, 2011 - 69 comments

Visualizing data: scientific sculptural weaving

Nathalie Miebach translates scientific data related to meteorology and ecology into woven sculptures and musical scores. She discusses her work in an interview with the Peabody Essex Museum. (via Mira y Calla)
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 5, 2010 - 4 comments

Nature / Nurture / Talent

Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 21, 2010 - 18 comments

Don't Worry. I Will Survive. I'm Just Singin' In The Rain.

What do Singing in the Rain, Live Is Life, Don't Worry, Be Happy, I Will Survive and Ça fait rire les oiseaux have in common? In a study, French-speaking Internet users identified these five pop songs out of 100, as the most pernicious earworms. Here are their top 25 picks from BRAMS, including audio clips. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 27, 2010 - 58 comments

Turn Almost Anything into a "Theremin"

Drawdio: A Pencil that Lets You Draw Music
posted by brundlefly on Apr 17, 2010 - 29 comments

rodent based processing

Rats process musical information. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Apr 14, 2010 - 24 comments

We are all connected

Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, sing to us (auto-tuned in a way that I actually don't hate), in We Are All Connected*. *Possibly NSFW owing to sidebar video links. Something similar was mentioned here previously.
posted by bwg on Oct 28, 2009 - 38 comments

The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma

...the lyrics to that last song were basically taken from an encyclopedia written in the 50s, and since the 50s, some remarkable things have happened...
In 1959, a number of songs about science were released on an album called Space Songs. One of these was later covered by the band They Might Be Giants: Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas). Only one problem: it isn't--the song was based on an incorrect text from 1951. So they wrote an answer song to themselves: Why Does The Sun Really Shine? (The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma). Bonus link: see for yourself! (previously)
posted by Upton O'Good on Sep 6, 2009 - 35 comments

What language is music?

Western musical intervals are derived from speech tendencies, according to Duke scientists. Specifically, "most of the 12 chromatic scale intervals correspond to peaks of relative power in the normalized spectrum of human vocalizations." A somewhat more layperson-friendly summary of the study is here. [more inside]
posted by univac on Mar 15, 2009 - 42 comments

People doing strange things with electricity

Dorkbot is a "monthly meeting of artists (sound/image/movement/whatever), designers, engineers, students, scientists, and other interested parties who are involved in the creative use of electricity." Started in NYC in 2000 by Douglas Repetto, Director of Research at the Columbia University Computer Music Center as well as one of Wired's 10 Sexiest Geeks, there are now dozens all over the world. Past presenters have been featured here on the blue. For instance Jeff Han presented his multi-touch interface at dorkbot-nyc in April of 2006. Miru Kim presented her naked city spleen at dorkbot-nyc in October of 2006. Bummed that there's not one in your own city? Start your own! [more inside]
posted by funkiwan on Dec 30, 2008 - 19 comments

Associative Musical Visual Intelligence

"Associative Musical Visual Intelligence (or "amvi" for short) is a type of intelligence that's difficult enough to define, let alone test. Many creative people can associate across sensory domains: they "hear" hints of shapes and can "taste" the essense of colors. At its most extreme this phenomenon is called synesthesia. However, I believe that creative people subconsciously employ elements of synesthesia every day when attempting to think of things in new ways. This is a logic test that attempts to measure one's ability to correlate musical phrases with abstract shapes and symbols." [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jun 1, 2008 - 40 comments

Gloria in electronica

The University of South Carolina recently completed an ambitious survey of all medieval texts in the state for an exhibit at the university library. All the works were scanned and archived electronically. However, not only can you view the texts online, you can hear the university's chorus sing (MP3) the musical manuscripts. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 18, 2008 - 8 comments

golden ratio in the amen break

The Amen Break and the Golden Ratio by mathematics educator and author, Michael S. Schneider. Schneider, having already researched and written about the golden ratio extensively, noticed it right away when hearing the the amen break for the first time (amen break previously on the blue). While some composers have been known to intentionally incorporate fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio into their works, perhaps this is just another one of the many instances of the ratio showing up in nature.
posted by p3t3 on Mar 12, 2008 - 27 comments

Geek Pop 08 Science Songs

Geek Pop '08. Online science music festival at the Null Hypothesis science blog, with mp3 downloads. Featuring the immense Dark Matter by Johnny Berliner. [more inside]
posted by algreer on Mar 7, 2008 - 3 comments

Nothing's gonna change my world?

Fears that malevolent aliens will tune into this week's broadcast of The Beatles' song "Across the Universe" have been voiced by scientists.
posted by monospace on Feb 7, 2008 - 68 comments

Stainless Steel Ondine

Steve Mann's hydraulophone with sculpture gallery and performance video snippets: [1] [2] [3]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 27, 2007 - 9 comments

This Should be Played at High Voltage

Steve Ward's Singing Tesla Coil video. Previously.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2007 - 22 comments

Party at NASA!!!

Bay Area Yuri's Night 2007 Bay Area Yuri's Night 2007 Yuri's Night Bay Area will be held at Moffett Field in the NASA Ames Research Center's massive SOFIA hangar, home to the world's largest aerial observatory. Our host for the evening is pioneering space traveler Anousheh Anasari, the first privately funded female to reach orbit. She is joined by Dr. Chris McKay, world renowned expert in astrobiology and terraformation with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center, as they welcome you to a dazzling array of interactive art installations and science demos, interwoven with musical and acrobatic performances by some of the world's finest entertainers. Complete write up. Partially via MeFi's own lannanh.
posted by loquacious on Apr 6, 2007 - 23 comments

Time-Lapse Phonography

R. Luke Dubois' Billboard is a study in time-lapse phonography. Dubois digitally analyzed every #1 Billboard single from 1958 to 2005 and found a "spectral average" sound for each song. Every second of the piece represents one week in music history. The results are more interesting than you might think: compare the Beatles-dominated 1964 with the more processed, percussive sounds of 1997. Dubois has also created a time-lapse study of Oscar-winning movies. See also: "Chart Sweep" (scroll down to bottom of page). (via)
posted by roll truck roll on Feb 25, 2007 - 10 comments

The music of things.

If you've ever thought that music can be an extremely intuitive and effective way to communicate things, then Stanford Professor Jonathan Berger (samples of his music) is doing some research that might interest you. (via)
posted by wander on Feb 6, 2007 - 8 comments

The Science of a Human Obsession

Daniel Levitin is a musical neurologist. His new book, This is Your Brain on Music, has an intriguing premise, and a very entertaining website.
posted by owhydididoit on Sep 5, 2006 - 12 comments

Just a girl?

Muse + 120% pitch shift = Gwen Stefani
posted by mr.marx on Aug 26, 2006 - 77 comments

Piero Scaruffi is a normal person.

Piero Scaruffi is a normal person. Like so many others, he ponders knowledge, language, and art from time to time. When he travels, he takes pictures. Just like everyone else. Sure, he has his thoughts about politics and world affairs, who doesn't? And when he's done with all of this he just wants to rock. Exactly like you. See?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 23, 2006 - 12 comments

Music history rendered on a London Tube Map

Music history rendered on a London Tube Map They say: "Could we chart the branches and connections of 100 years of music using the London Underground map? Dorian Lynskey explains how a box of coloured crayons and lot of swearing helped." I say: Look also at the comments in the accompanying thread, which features trolling, snarkiness and repetition, beginning with "Why did you do this? What is the point? Wouldn't you have been better off doing something else? Sometimes you media people really worry me." The Guardian are introducing commenter registration on their new blog.
posted by feelinglistless on Feb 12, 2006 - 18 comments

music, sweet music

Mouse serenade: Tim Holy and Zhongsheng Guo at Washington University School of Medicine in Missouri discover the songs of mice. Published at the Public Library of Science, Biology, (non newsie, science article). Examples of the singing, 1- shifted down 4 octaves, timing intact (MP3 file) and, 2 - shifted down 4 octaves and slowed down 16 fold. (MP3 file) (partially via)
posted by edgeways on Nov 1, 2005 - 17 comments

Singhing the blues

When science meets art. Science writer Simon Singh was annoyed with the lyrics to British singer Katie Melua's latest single. He rewrote them to be scientifically accurate, and she sings the unfortunate result (RealAudio file).
posted by smackfu on Oct 22, 2005 - 21 comments

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