Do Not Adjust Your Radio: Surreal Sound Collage Interventions on BBC Radio 4

Before any explanation, perhaps you should listen. This is what some British listeners will hear as they tune into what they think will just be everyday national radio programming. Suffice to say, something will sound a bit off: Artist Christian Marclay is the person responsible for the work, the first of five such commissions in sound art for the widely-heard UK broadcaster BBC Radio 4. (He joins Ruth Ewan, Mark Wallinger, Susan Hiller, and Peter Strickland. More information on Radio 4’s blog.) This is the sort of commission that invites bold experimentation: working with London-based art platform Artangel, a GBP …

READ MORE →

Choppertone, Wooden Ableton Jazz Controller, and Folk Music of the 21st Century: Video

“Folk music of the 21st Century” – radio broadcaster, jazz aficionado, and jazz-based Ableton Live instrumentalist / remix artist Nick Francis really sums up what this whole site is about. As he chops up jazz greats in Ableton, his mash-up music chops are as much musical analysis as they are performance. He walks through his controller moves in a pedagogical way, highlighting the meat of the jazz legends he puts into play. It’s a kind of digital transcription, transcribing re-imagined for Ableton’s colored blocks in place of. Of course, you’ll only be able to reflect on this once you can …

READ MORE →

Creative Commons, CBC, and Music for Commercial Use: Addendum

The Canadian Broadcasting Centre, viewed from above. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Benson Kua. To me, a license is a tool: it’s a means to an end. But that means that the tool ought to be doing the job you chose for it. After news broke that the Canadian public broadcaster CBC was moving away from Creative Commons, we launched on CDM into a somewhat informal (and occasionally heated) discussion of CC licensing and specifically the non-commercial restriction most musicians attach to their music. Here’s a summary of what I can conclude from those conversations. Abuse of non-commercial CC material is rampant. Very …

READ MORE →

About Those Waves Vuvuzela Presets, Some Open Code, and Broadcasting Noise…

Photo (CC-BY) Bruce Turner. The explosion of interest in filtering out sounds of the vuvuzela has spawned some interesting discussions. Most amusing to me is the notion of some sort of anti-vuvuzela bias. The simple matter of the fact is, recorded (and broadcast) sound are not the same as the sound you hear when you’re physically in a location. If you’re at a sporting event, you hear all kinds of noise. Your expectations are differently calibrated, and you have 360 degrees of (real world) sound spatialization. Watching TV is different. You want background sound, yes, but not to the point …

READ MORE →

Inside the Performance Rights Act, And Deciding Who Gets Paid on the Radio

Performers don’t get paid for radio play, even if writers do. Billy Corgan – yes, the Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan – is getting in on the issue, testifying to Congress. So should you be on Billy’s side, or the broadcasters? That’s a trickier question. Photo (CC) Andra Veraart. Policy, intellectual property, and changing business models remain hot threads to follow on this site as we watch the transformation of music distribution in the electronic age. This time, we welcome a new contributor to look inside the issues. Surprise: one radio host sides with the record industry, and the issues may …

READ MORE →

Re-imagining Pirate Radio Broadcasting with P2P

P2P Radio from robertanderson on Vimeo. Could meshes of data help the creation of new, international radio broadcasting and receiving mechanisms – even in rural areas? Artist Juan Esteban Rios proposes a design to do that. It’s not just a software concept; a hardware design would make the idea accessible even to people who don’t own or know how to use computers. It seems a powerful idea for musicians, as well, particularly if it helped eliminate the need for dedicated streaming servers. (There may be others who are more familiar with P2P broadcasting technology out there; if so, I’d love …

READ MORE →

How to Build a Mic Flag and Look Like a Real Broadcaster

We’ve all seen newspeople interviewing the “average guy on the street” with this sort of device affixed to the handle of their mic: Ever wanted to add a veneer of professionalism to your otherwise ameteurish audio/video production? It’s easy! Here’s how:

READ MORE →

Zoom H4 Mobile Recorder, In Action on NPR

Brad Linder, a freelance journalist, shared his Zoom H4 mobile battery pack hack at a recent coworking event in Brooklyn called Jelly. The idea of coworking is to get “virtual” electronic workers out of their apartments and in an environment where they can meet other people. “Lonely” I think is the wrong word, as many of us have chosen that life, but at the same time we’re aware of missing some of the potential of real-world interaction. As it happens, just that power of random happenstance has me collaborating with an industrial designer on a custom Monome, and picking up …

READ MORE →