Live from Beijing: Audiovisual Broadcast Today, and a Platform for Conversations and Education

Artist gogo (Sheng Jie ) in Tokyo. Presenting artists from around Earth to viewers around Earth, a center in Beijing has found a way to do live performance for a sleepless world without waking the neighbors. Let me start out by saying this: if you read CDM from China, say hello. We’re in the wrong language, we have no translation, and I seriously doubt our Texas data center is delivering this site with any speed (until we upgrade to an international CDN), but the only reason I still run CDM is in order to reach people, and to hear from …

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Weekend Pick: Invisible Instructions in NYC Matches Art, Tech, Teaching with Music; Free Listening

I’m fortunate this weekend to be able to be part of Invisible Instructions, a combination art exhibit and music lineup at Culturefix, the same LES venue where we host Handmade Music. “High Priest” HPrizm of Antipop Consortium is playing and (see Soundcloud) this evening is teaching a “signal to rhythm” digital audio workshop with Spacecraft (Soh Nup Ink). (People know Anti-Pop’s music well; HPRIZM has actually done some significant sound design, something you might not know, including presets for the the ElecTribe EMX and ESX SD Edition for Korg.) Some psychedelic HPRIZM sounds to get you through your weekend: PROJECT-Xmp3 …

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mooglab

MoogLab to Teach Science through Electronic Music, But Your Votes Needed

Want to see hundreds of pieces of music kit from keyboards to oscilloscopes, plus some 1500 mini-Theremin toys for students, coupled with US-wide education to help introduce young people to science? That’s the idea behind a grant proposal by the Moog Foundation. The Foundation’s MoogLab teaches science through sound – a worthy cause. Not only was Bob Moog’s life in electronic music ignited by discovering the Theremin, but many of today’s generation of scientists and thinkers were raised on electronic sound kits a few short decades ago. Without the same exposure to science and sound, young boys and girls may …

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From MGM’s Music Master, a View of Sound in Technicolor

Now that digital technology allows rapid creation of new interfaces for music and sound, the question of how to represent those elements visually has new life. But whether digital or not, practitioners of music have long been interested in applying further descriptions to music, from the Baroque Doctrine of Affectations to the involuntary association of color in Synesthesia. Applying colors to the notes of a musical scale is one particularly common idea, but the late master composer/orchestrator Arthur Lange had a different idea: why not give colors to range? Building on ideas from orchestrators Francois Auguste Geveart and Rimsky-Korsakov, he …

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Open Source Lead Sheet, Improv Tool, a Free Band-in-a-Box Alternative

Ask a machine to emulate human creativity, and at the very least, you’re guaranteed to learn something. Modeling creative rules and intuitive algorithms as generative code is itself an eminently human activity – think of it as interactive theory. And where the computer fails to sound like a human, you learn something, too. Improv-Visor is an artificially-intelligent jazz improviser tool, but it’s quite a lot more. It can be used to make lead sheets, to experiment with jazz harmonies and solos, and – by asking human students to fill in their own parts – a teaching tool. It continues some …

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Worldwide Busking Event Turns Street Music into School-Building Power for Zambia

Could busking – street music performance – be a tool for social change? It’s an idea I’ve heard artists mull before. Here’s one opportunity to do just that next month, in April, in support of building badly-needed school facilities in southern Zambia. And yes, digital musicians can participate, thanks to terrific, affordable, battery-powered amplification. I do hope this could launch a discussion, though, on how to organize this kind of action, and how to make busking work for good. Ben Matthews, founder of the charity, writes: LearnAsOne,a UK-based charity dedicated to funding schools in Africa, announces the launch of its …

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Sibelius 6: Notation Software Gets Magnetic Layout, ReWire, More – Details

Sibelius today gets the biggest upgrade I’ve seen from the tool in a long time, with major improvements to the way the notation package lays out musical objects on the score, and ReWire support so you can integrate it with your host of choice. This is an especially meaningful upgrade to me, as I’ve spent a lot of time with Sibelius since its first Mac release about a decade ago, both composing and teaching with it. In case you missed it Friday, I just spoke about some tips that can help with working in both education and composing: Five Sibelius …

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Propellerhead Hosts Producers Conferences in US, UK, Germany, Sweden Saturday

A quick note – this weekend, Propellerhead is running part of its ongoing series of Producers Conferences, educational events focusing on music making with their flagship tool. It’s really about production, not just about Reason per se; looks like the previous installments have been quite nice. There are some really terrific artists in the lineup, and significantly, our sources say some big news will be announced live at the event. If anyone plans to attend and wants to cover that, do let me know. Here’s the lineup: Los Angeles May 9, Musician’s Institute, Hollywood. Bon Harris, Kevin Teasley, Gerry Basserman, …

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Apple GarageBand Artist Lessons Still Limited, But Alternatives Abound

Well, those kids today love their Sarah McLachlan, right? There’s no question that GarageBand represents one of the better values in music software, especially since even Apple expect a lot of its users will simply acquire it with their Mac. It still ranks high on software you’d recommend to a beginner on a budget. Apple’s decision this year to add lessons, interactive lessons that introduce you to musical concepts, and to invite famous artists to play familiar songs, is a fantastic idea. The Artist Lessons themselves, however, have been relatively few in number. I expect more are coming, but so …

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