functionofmusic

Watch a beautiful meditation on the function of music

As co-host of the American public radio show Radiolab, Jad Nicholas Abumrad is usually in the business of giving you sounds on their own. You provide the mental images. But in a stimulating new film from director Mac Premo, thoughts become images as well as sounds. It’s a fitting conversation. Abumrad (a Lebanese-American, as I am) comes from a background in music composition. Premo, apart from being a filmmaker and commercial director, is an artist. Both live in New York. So what we get is a counterpoint of two imaginations running at once: sonic and visual, musical and optical. And …

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JIMMY EDGAR - DREAMZ COME TRUE

Quick listen – love the new Jimmy Edgar ULTRAMAJIC sound

In the dark, damp swamp that is the stream of dance music that press get in their inbox, Jimmy Edgar has consistently been a rainbow-colored lighthouse. Apart from the tropically-hued surrealist work of Pilar Zeta literally making that true, Jimmy has been an aesthetic compass at the helm of his ULTRAMAJIC label. Basically, stuff this label puts out is worth listening. (Ditto their label showcases… there’s a Friday morning I found myself at Panorama Bar when they were turning the lights on. Thursday is the new… oh never mind.) What I like about the latest direction is, you get pared-down …

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Roland Drum and Bass Machines as Abstract Art, Suspended in Space

Art from archetypes — so much of what we make is built from the pieces of something that came before. It’s doubly true both in electronic dance music and the machines built to make it. From techno to drum machine technology, a great deal of the future depends on whether we can reimagine the past. The legacy of the Roland TR and TB series hangs heavy over those fields. Heck, they cast their shadow over even what I’m reading this week. I’ve unboxed a set of new Roland AIRAs for review that explode each component, modeling it all over again …

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If Carsten Nicolai Had Designed the Lighthouse: Massive, Pulsing AV Installation in Hong Kong

The lighthouse’s white beam of light seems a perfect fit for a Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto to music fans) makeover. α (alpha) pulse is a new audiovisual creation from Nicolai, commissioned by Art Basel for Hong Kong. And in a megapolis that does scale in a big way, the minimalist content gets a grand implementation in Hong Kong Harbor. The entire facade of the giant International Commerce Centre (ICC) – all 490 meters (1600 ft) of it – is illuminated. For fifty minutes, synchronized pulses of light and sound will beam across the harbor, connected and synchronized to mobile apps. …

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submerged

Submerged Turntables, Art Phonographs Underwater, and Life After Records

Submerged Turntable from Brian Lilla on Vimeo. Once upon a time, Romantics dreamt of ruined architecture, rubble and stones on hillsides and whatnot. Today, we imagine ruined technology as our artifacts of culture lost. We don’t need a burning library of Alexandria. We can wait until our machines go out of warranty and go kaput. That subconscious seems to flow in the literally-murky pool of “Submerged Turntables,” an art installation by Evan Holm. But the results are oddly beautiful, making the physical quality of the record enduring. And here’s the upbeat bit: in those dark waters, the record still plays. …

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Part Sculpture, Part Sound: New Work by Tristan Perich, Lesley Flanigan [Videos, Listening]

From top: Tristan Perich’s new piano with 1-bit masterpiece, Lesley Flanigan surrounded by her creations. All images courtesy the artists. Sound may be invisible, setting the air around us aquiver with little visible evidence. But the objects that make sound are physical, and no electronic music is virtual. Composer/musician/sound artists Lesley Flanigan and Tristan Perich continue to explore that material substance of sound, calling attention to the stuff of the media in its purest form. Lesley’s work focuses on the basic technique of amplification; Tristan’s on digital electronics in their rawest sense, 1-bit songs of microcontrollers in chorus. The two …

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Light Art, Music, and Audiovisual Creations, Stacked Vertically in 19 Floors: TodaysArt [Video]

Art in light and sound is routinely spread across venues, or sprawling through buildings in the horizontal. Not at TodaysArt. The festival in The Hague, Netherlands went vertical. Taking to the nineteen-floor tower of the former Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (Binnenlandse Zaken) and the Atrium of the City Hall, the festival established their own space, even going as far as building a custom club (to house the likes of Clark, 2562, and Untold). In images and a beautiful documentary video, you can take a tour of the range of work they curated. It reveals that the latest trend …

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From Hacked VHS and CCTV Tech, An Installation That Reverses Your Sight

Parallax from Incredible Bob on Vimeo. At its best, art can change a perspective, or change the way you see. In the installation “Parallax” by our friend Incredible Bob, that’s meant literally – very literally. Using hacked viewfinders and analog video tech, the Belgrade-based artist shows the viewer what happens when the perspective of your eyes is reversed – without the screaming, bleeding, and vision loss that might otherwise risk. He writes: Parallax is a binocular video installation made out of two hacked VHS viewfinders crossed with 2 CCTV bullet cameras. When you look at it, your eyes become crossed, …

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At NODE, A Community of Digital Artists Meets to Discuss Transforming the Future

NODE13 – Forum for Digital Arts, Documentary from NODE Forum for Digital Arts on Vimeo. Here’s some ambition in an event description: NODE, the Frankfurt digital arts festival, is interested in how circuits and code are transforming the world around us. And unsatisfied with just talking about it, they get a group of people together who are doing it. NODE is built around vvvv and includes a lot of technical content around that Windows graphical programming tool, but it also incorporates work from a variety of techniques and tools – even some analog ones. This video from out of the …

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From Light, Lasers, and Smoke, Solid-Looking Sculptures in the Air [OpenFrameworks]

Call it laser mapping. Melbourne-based artist Jayson Haebich has rendered in thin air, literally, architectural forms in color. He uses custom software to map lasers through particles to produce an ephemeral sculpture of air. The results are gorgeous – frozen digital motion. From his description: These are a series of static light sculptures that have been created using laser light, smoke, shadows, physical shapes and custom built software to create complex compositions of shadow and light that play with the sense of depth and perception. These pieces challenge the observers idea of perspective and ask them to consider what components …

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