Henry Rollins reports that Alan Vega, vocalist for legendary proto-punk band Suicide, has died.
With profound sadness and a stillness that only news like this can bring, we regret to inform you that the great artist and creative force, Alan Vega has passed away. Alan passed peacefully in his sleep last night, July 16. He was 78 years of age[more inside]
Vinyl Terror & Horror are Camilla Sørensen and Greta Christensen, two Danish DJs now based in Berlin. They are not your average DJ duo. [more inside]
Electronic musician Charles Cohen is interviewed for this year's Festival Présences Électronique in Paris, which follows with a roughly ten-minute clip of him performing (previously and more previously)
Musician Charles Cohen (previously) hosts a workshop at Berlin's Schneidersladen, demonstrating the use of the rare and recently re-released Buchla Music Easel
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".
“When I was doing my Post-Doc at UCL I used to go to the British Museum to relax, and work in the beautiful library there, so I chose the space for the mix. I wanted to capture the ambient atmosphere in the central courtyard, so I did some binaural recording to include in the mix. I also wanted to make the mix something of an exploration through history and ideas in line with the contents of the museum, so I brought in lots of disparate music spanning the centuries and continents. I also mixed it in a way to be like a journey though the museum, turning corners and regularly coming across something totally different and unexpected, with each track being like a different exhibit. Hence the name of the mix, in that, each piece of music almost has a visual content.” -- Max Cooper & The British Museum [more inside]
Contrary to popular belief, cats can make great DJs. It's just a small sample, but it's nice to see him really get into it as the set progresses.
Composer Samson Young leads an impromptu iPhone orchestra in one of his pattern sequencer compositions at the 2009 Hong Kong Biennale, and once more here at the Hong Kong Art Fair 2010.
Accompanied by Aphex Twin's classic Selected Ambient Works II, we have the rarely-seen experimental video Stakker (Westworld) in nine parts: Z Twig / Radiator | Rhubarb | Hankie | Grass | White Blur | Parallel Stripes | Z Twig / Lichen | Blur | Match Sticks [more inside]
Introduced to Western culture by the Beatles in their single Norwegian Wood, the sitar has featured prominently in North Indian classical music for centuries. Princeton-based computer scientist Ajay Kapur updates the instrument with his ESitar, an audio and video controller that uses gesture input (PDF) and machine learning algorithms to facilitate joining the computer with Ajay in his sitar performance. Undergraduate engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania work from the other direction, building RAVI-bot, an award-winning, self-playing robotic sitar (YouTube) programmed to generate music from classical Raga scales and melodies all on its own. For those in the Philadelphia area, be sure to check out a live performance of RAVI-bot at the local Klein Art Gallery.
To work around the proprietary whims of digital audio software developers and laptop processor limitations during the mid- and late-1990s, a small band of technically-minded people, including the electronic musician Blitter, pulled together in the late 1990s to engineer the open-source OPEN DSP EZ-Kit platform, a 16-bit computer designed entirely with a focus on low cost and extensible control and DSP arithmetic capabilities. While this project and similar commercial offerings never seemed to gain the critical mass needed to sustain long-term interest, perhaps the new Arduino hardware project from MIT's Processing hardware group may gain a foothold with Processing and Pure Data audio software hobbyists and artists alike, allowing the creative community to extend, enhance and share inventive uses of new technology. Arduino's use has already begun in fascinating museum installations around the world, and has become a part of this year's SONAR and Ars Electronica festivals.
James Patten creates interactive works in diverse media with themes including performance and social commentary. Projects include Tactile Photography and, most impressive to me, The Audio Pad.