It looks like what you’d want to wear if you were invited to a dinner party … with Sun Ra and his Arkestra.
It lights up and responds as though you’re about to guest star on a Japanese TV show about a trans-dimensional space princess.
But then… it starts making music. And the wild whimsy of the Chromehatic turns into a sultry set piece for a pitch-perfect performance by vocalist FEMME, celebrated London-based performer/producer.
As for the headpiece itself, it launches a line entitled SENSEries, pairing milliner/couture designer Jodie Cartman (whose work has shown up on the brow of Morcheeba with crewdson, aka London’s Hugh Jones, an instrument builder and musician.
Producer Max Cooper, alongside his collaborator Tom Hodge, this week shares an intimate reflection on what motivates him in sound and science.
In the video for Sonos Studio, the Belfast-born musician describes loving when sound “wraps you up in this warm … sea.” But there’s a system that reveals itself, even as the scientific method can unfold the mysteries around us. So if this music sounds personal and secret, perhaps it has a direct analog to Cooper’s past life as a scientist, the “introspective side of science,” as he puts it. That is, ” whether it’s a piece of music or a scientific idea or a natural system, you’re trying to understand this abstract system in your head… to make models of how the parts interact.” I suppose to me it’s not so much a literal connection to biological computation as the fact that Mr. Cooper can be inspired to find those surprising interactions of parts in both worlds.
But what happens in the mind as you make such explorations? Animator Nick Cobby imagines those unseen moving parts in three-dimensional motion. “Painted” in After Effects and Cinema 4D, flights of colorful fancy speculate on mathematical theory and the way in which the brain might process exterior sound: Continue reading »
Every feel like you wish you could go back to school? Or… go to a different school?
Maybe you want to learn at CalArts, or Princeton, or Stanford, or Goldsmiths. Maybe you wish Robert Henke would sit at your side and teach you about Ableton Live. Or maybe Perry Cook would teach you synthesis. Or Casey Reas would talk to you about creative coding and Processing.
Digital learning gives us some of those chances – without running into campus security, that is. And so we’ve seen some great learning platforms, including iTunes audio courses from Stanford and people like Steve Horelick teaching Logic.
Kadenze promises to expand on this potential in a big way. It’s really two initiatives. Part of it is building a new electronic platform that makes it easier to learn interactively on a computer or tablet – the tools that help you navigate course content and (if you choose) get evaluated on assignments. And part of it is producing new content for that platform, finding a set of experts who can serve as compelling teachers.
Novation’s Launchpad Pro is here. It shares the same compact footprint as earlier Launchpads, but adds full color, pressure-sensitive pads, and MIDI inputs and outputs, plus the ability to operate without a computer. So, with other grids to choose from, where does this one fit?
The Launchpad line of controllers has always been about simplicity. Even when the original Launchpad was introduced, it did less than its nearest rival, the AKAI APC. But it was popular partly thanks to being simple, light, small, and affordable. That fits many users’ needs, and can be nicely combined with other hardware.
The Launchpad Pro keeps to that approach, but with more features to round it out as a production tool and performance controller. And it isn’t just for Ableton Live, either – it has a respectable feature set when used with other MIDI software and hardware. I’ve got one of the first units and have been carrying around using it. Let’s have a look.
First, here’s the amazing Thavius Beck performing with the instrument live:
What does it sound like when a comet “sings” into a magnetic field? Or when you rotate a 600-ton deep space observation station? What if you could hear the radar echoes from a probe descending onto Saturn’s moon Titan?
Oh, yeah, and what’s the sound you hear that tells you the International Space Station is on fire and you should get into that docked Soyuz RFN?
Well, the European Space Agency has released those and more, from sonifying the inaudible to letting you hear the voices of the people who are leading some of the human race’s latest exploits into space.
And, by popular demand, they’re now released as Creative Commons-licensed materials. Not only that, but while the licenses are mixed (the ESA has content from a lot of different sources), but many are under a permissive Share Alike license. That means you can sample them, make music with them, and even use that music commercially, so long as you release your results under the same license for others to remix.
50WEAPONS, the iconic techno label from Berlin known to be a home to major releases from the likes of Cosmin TRG, Modeselektor, Falty DL, Benjamin Damage, Marcel Dettmann, Phon.o, announced without explanation that it’s dead, via a video posted to Facebook (and now, YouTube). There’s even, ominously, a gravestone.
The “50″ in 50WEAPONS is 50 releases. And they weren’t kidding.
It’s not a great time to be a label. Vinyl purchases are up, but production is backlogged and still requires capital. Download outlets are seeing major consolidation, with DJ-facing giant Beatport swallowed up into EDM festival ticket-pushing conglomerate SFX Entertainment. And then there’s streaming – ’nuff said.
The reason for the death at this moment isn’t clear. The label planned only 50 releases, and promised to stop afterwards:
“We still want to keep the concept of only having 50 releases, and then stop the label. Let’s see if we can manage to do so. “
Here, it’s tough to count. They had 39 releases on 12″, but more than 50 by other counts – so maybe they split the difference. It does seem that they are closing shop. Benjamin Damage on Twitter suggests we’ll see more, after death: