Whether taking all mankind close to the edge
with his keyboard contributions
to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes
, or going it solo
(in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII
all the way to the center of the earth
, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table
, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania
in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie
, Black Sabbath
, or candidly singing the praises
... [more inside]
Keyboard legend George Duke
, known for his work with Frank Zappa
, Billy Cobham
, and Stanley Clarke
, as well as for many solo projects, has died
Suppose you’ve got an old computer around, just taking up space
, and your initial attempts at finding alternate uses
for it have not been successful. But you know perfectly well that, according to this super scientific pie graph
, there must be better recycling ideas out there on the net. Let’s have a look at some of them, shall we? [more inside]
The Esc key
was born in 1960, when an I.B.M. programmer named Bob Bemer was trying to solve a Tower of Babel problem: computers from different manufacturers communicated in a variety of codes. Bemer invented the ESC
key as way for programmers to switch from one kind of code to another.
Do you like musical instruments with lots of keyboards
? And lots and lots of dials
? Then you may like 36 15 MOOG
: Stuff with Moog and/or 60's and 70's vintage synths in it. (related Ask MeFi) [more inside]
features prominently on the 1968 album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
, more commonly referred to as The Village Green Preservation Society
. The weird, eerie quality of this electronic keyboard, which uses pre-recorded tapes of individual sounds
such as strings and woodwind instruments, worked well with singer/songwriter Ray Davies
' nostalgic, backwards looking sensibility. [more inside]
Keyboardist Danny Federici
, founding member
of Bruce Springsteen
's E-Street Band, has died.
Dead musical instruments...
brought back to life by YouTube? Check out this mellotron demo film
, a rare trautonium
keyboard in some guy's garage, trautonium music
by composer Oskar Sala, an original Ondes Martenot
, a documentary on the telharmonium (parts 1
, and 3
), and the Sonovox
(used to funny but not-suitable-for-work effect in this parody of Sparky's Magic Piano
). Meanwhile, avant-gardists have revived the art of prepared piano
, but more mainstream acts such as Tori Amos
and Ferrante & Teicher
have also experimented with it. Last but not least, another performer of prepared piano is Margaret Leng Tan
, but I think she should get more accolades as the best virtuoso of the toy piano
since Schroeder from Peanuts.
Some people care
about their keyboards. The Northgate OmniKey
) was once legendary. There are those who mourn the passing of the space cadet keyboard
and its successors
, and those who campaign for its revival
. The late, lamented (though not by everyone
) Apple Extended Keyboard
was finally recreated
But, for the purist, there is only one true keyboard
, the best ever made: the IBM Model M
. [more inside]
The Sancho Plan
"create live audiovisual performances
and installations for your listening and viewing pleasure." Spacequatica
, recently performed at Martyn Ware
's Future of Sound
event, is an intriguing mix of live sound and animations triggered by electronic drums -- worth a few minutes on a Friday.
You may have never heard of it, but you've damn near certain heard it
. The Mellotron (FortuneCity link)
is a keyboard instrument; each of its keys triggers a tape
with a pre-recorded instrument on it. It was effectively the world's first sample player. [more inside]
is the electronic art of the implementation of the creative audio short-circuit. This renegade path of electrons represents a catalytic force capable of exploding new experimental musical forms forward at a velocity previously unknown. Anyone at all can do it; no prior knowledge of electronics is needed." - Reed Ghazala. More proselytizing
from Ghazala, and a LiveJournal
for up-to-the-minute advice, feedback and opinions.
A keyless keyboard
designed to reduce RSI and other typing related injuries - sounds interesting, but slow, and of course useless for gaming. Bit pricey as well.
What lies beneath
. Confirming what you probably already knew, "as we juggle eating, drinking and working at our work stations, the tight shadowy crevices between our keyboard become the computer equivalent of a black hole, sucking in pizza toppings, contact lenses, paper clips, the odd insect...
". Germ freakery or a genuine hygiene concern?
An astonishingly obvious advance in interface design
Your mobile phone's keyboard has been rendered obsolete by this inspired rethinking of buttons and the spaces between them. The manifacturer's home page is here
I've been using a folding, portable keyboard
with my Visor
for about a year now. Very handy. On Monday, Siemens
unveiled an even more portable one
. (My first post. Hope it's appropriate.)
Who needs 204 keys?
I know I do. Damned shift keys. [via the big H.]
Where's the dubya?
Shenanigans by departing whitehouse staffers.