DIY Community: Handmade Music Toronto, 2/19, and Why Now is a Great Time for Making

From a previous hackday at InterAccess; photo (CC-BY) Rob Cruickshank. Handmade Music is spreading. Toronto’s InterAccess has been a hub of terrific DIY activity in sound and other fields, otherwise known as a General Gravity Well of Awesomeness, and they’re now doing their own Handmade Music, kicking off this month. Full call below, but as with other events, there is an open call for work (and some nice thoughts on why now is a wonderful time for DIY). Even if you’re not in Toronto, it’s nice to read their take on why this stuff matters. I’m gratified they’ve found this …

READ MORE →

Going Mobile: Nintendo DS-10 Comes to North America

Today was full of good news for people interested in carrying pads in the palm of their hand. Fans of the Nintendo DS in North America, the Korg DS-10 Plus synthesizer for Big N’s game system is now coming to your side of the Pacific Ocean. (That also bodes well, I think, for other parts of the world.) The DS-10 I think really deserves some credit for making a straight-up music title a hit on gaming platforms, and its success certainly surpassed my own expectations. It’s not a game, it’s not an interactive experience, it’s not a music game – …

READ MORE →

South Asian Electronica Lovers: Indian Electronic Festival Returns

Enough of all this nonsense about how the Western Empire is crumbling. In our new “world” in which Mumbai is as powerful a cultural compass as Berlin or New York, one thing is guaranteed: it’s going to be a great party. One stalwart Western-based advocate of a more pluralist electronica scene are the folks at Indian Electronica. Pumping out regular live events, podcasts, radio streams, and festivals, the crew is keeping music south Asian-flavored and eclectic. They’re truly inclusive: previous festivals spotlighted the likes of DJ Spooky, artists who are not connected to India by birth but love the music. …

READ MORE →

All About Montreal: XLR8R Talks to Ghislain Poirier

There really is something special about Montreal, Quebec’s metropolis just beyond the New York Adirondacks. Having shared our own conversation with Christopher Bauder and Robert Henke with video from their stunning ATOM, here’s what our friends at XLR8R Magazine were up to in May: they were on a tour of Montreal with local Ghislain Poirier. Poirer’s Caribbean-infused electronica has made him one of Montreal’s hottest exports, but this Ninja Tune artist isn’t fleeing for Berlin (ahem). Wandering around Montreal, you really get a sense of his love for the city and what you can do to make the scene what …

READ MORE →

We Love Montreal: Pre-MUTEK Warper Party and Open Lab, Tuesday 5/26

MUTEK this year looks to be a tremendous few days of audiovisual performance and art. To get in the mood one day early, we’re working with our friends at New York’s eclectic monthly live electronic party to host a special Montreal edition of Warper. It’s a convergence of New York and Montreal artists (full lineup below), running a full twelve hours. It’ll be totally free (donations welcome), with a cash bar available all day and night. RSVP on Facebook http://warperparty.com/ A big thanks to Jazz Mutant, makers of the OSC-driven, multi-touch controllers Lemur and Dexter, for their support. I’ll be …

READ MORE →

MUTEK Line-Up, Showcases: Incredible Audiovisualism Coming, CDM Montreal-Bound

MUTEK, a half decade ago. The goodness continues. Photo: Britta Frahm. We’re inundated with event info, and one of my general rules is to avoid lots of event listings. But the lineup for famed audiovisual fest MUTEK looks simply epic. Highlights, just for a taste: Moderat. Apparat and Modeselektor. Like peanut butter and chocolate. AVISIONS looks, as always, like an essential event in audiovisualism. Wolfgang Voigt will present GAS and Herman Kolgen has a new piece. For the first time, Club Transmediale gets its own showcase. An unusually eclectic lineup adds dub, acoustic-electronic, and cross-genre collaboration. Robert Henke (Monolake) and …

READ MORE →

Cybernetics and Spare Parts: A Robotic Opera and Workshop in Ontario, Online

Before you correct me, this is actually a Commodore B128. But it’s one of the oddities you’ll see at the Personal Computer Museum. What if all the technology you loved, everything that ran on electricity, came to life and played one epic musical performance? That’s about as best as I can sum up the “Emergence” event happening in Ontario and in an online stream. It’s a workshop. It’s a performance. It’s Commodore 64s and surplus parts. It’s cybernetic theory. There’s a robotic singer. It’s at a computer museum. Nerdtastic. Rod Adlers describes his own setup: “3 Commodore 64’s running Cynthcart …

READ MORE →

Pd vs. Max/MSP Results, in a Battle of Multimedia Tech Nerds

Nerd warfare. It’s like Mexican wrestling for people who enjoy, um, patching together interactive tools for music and visuals! And on one fateful Toronto day, the open source challenger took the prize. As promised, a group of music tech geeks challenged DIY multimedia software environments Pure Data (Pd) and Max/MSP to a mano-a-mano contest of wits. These competing patching environments share interface concepts, code, and even a surprising amount of compatibility, but open source Pd and commercial, more polished-looking Max each have their own loyal converts. I’m pleased to offer the results – though I’m already hearing calls for a …

READ MORE →

Toronto Patching Grudge Match: Pd and Max to End Niceties and Fight to the Death

Preparing for battle: it’s all in the mind. Photo: Aaron Landry. Two modular patching software packages for programming multimedia software visually, Pure Data (Pd) and Max/MSP/Jitter have long had a friendly relationship. The tools share code, are reasonably compatible in patches and external objects (sometimes with some adjustment), and are basically open source (Pd) and commercial (Max) cousins of one another. The user bases are likewise friendly with one another. But a certain rivalry hid behind the surface – until now. Now, it’s personal. Enough of the diplomacy. A group of dedicated patchers in Toronto have decided to dispense with …

READ MORE →

Tenori-On Launch Notes from Montreal; Launch Tonight in New York

Creator Toshio Iwai strikes a "mad scientist" pose for photographer watchlooksee in London. Peter Dines, known for his work with Reaktor (don’t miss his fantastic Reaktor Tutorial Project blog) got a first-hand look at the Yamaha Tenori-On’s first North American stop on its launch tour. He brings us some impressions of the launch, and introduces the phrase "switchboard acrobatics" to the lexicon, which I think will have to find a home in these discussions from now on. I’ll be at the Brooklyn event tonight, so if you’re there, do say hi! We’ll have coverage of the artists and event soon. …

READ MORE →