Peter Cusack, recording sounds at Chernobyl in 2007. All photos courtesy the artist.

“You learn a lot about the city by asking about its sound”: Peter Cusack Interview, Sounds

He calls it “sonic journalism.” From the Chernobyl site to inside London, Peter Cusack has been turning his ear to the world’s most interesting places. A leading practitioner of sound art at the intersection of ecology and music, Peter Cusack is a uniquely inspiring voice in music making. So we’re keen to welcome Czech-born writer Zuzana Friday Prikrylova to bring her conversation with the artist, for the first time in English here on CDM. We bring with that exclusive sounds for you to hear from the artist. -Ed. Peter Cusack is a musician and a sound artist with a long …

READ MORE →

Music Made with Bees, Free Sample Set, and Why You Should Care

I’m late in posting this, but it’s too good to pass up – our friend Troels Folmann sends us his latest sound design experiment, this time with bees. Better audio: Bees by Tonehammer Specs: 200-230 wing flaps per second (hence the tone) Top speed: 15 mph. Compound eyes with thousands of tiny lenses plus simple eyes. A life form with 20,000 known species, on which human life depends Availability: with our protection, a long, long time. Without, we’re toast. There’s also a free bee sample set for use with Kontakt or (via WAV) any other tool. [Download link, .rar ] …

READ MORE →

Take a Solar-Powered Tuner Wherever You Go, Says Tascam … But Environmental?

Sure, we spend a lot of time looking at far-out gear and high technology, but you have to tip your hat to practicality. Tascam’s TC-1S is a compact, portable tuner that you can take anywhere. Solar and USB power mean you never have to worry about powering it, either. Features: 12-tone equal-tempered chromatic tuner. Input via 1/4″ jack or mic Note/sharp-flat/bargraph pitch indication readout on the LCD. Display via “bar,” “fine,” “strobe animation,” or “needle.” Protective silicone case included 51 grams. Shipping this month, street price “under US$40.” It’s a cute little design, and with the economic squeeze continuing, I …

READ MORE →

A Gramophone that Plays the Earth Instead of Vinyl, and a Sonic iPhone Epidemic

Images courtesy Olle CornĂ©er. Used by permission. If you think culture has become too disconnected from the Earth, “Harvest” and the Terrafon instrument surely count as a shock to the system. A traditional ensemble picks up an enormous tone arm and transducer and, through back-breaking labor, drag it across arable fields. It’s part sound art and performance, part agriculture. But it certainly counts as a gramophone – it’s just a really big one that reads the grooves of the earth. Beat juggling with two of these I’m guessing is largely out of the question. One half of the artistic creative …

READ MORE →

NPR Piece: Global Warming Makes the Ocean Louder

A really striking piece in NPR today, via Gina Blaber’s Twitter (thanks, Tim O’Reilly): Humans Turning Up Volume In Oceans [NPR “Science Out of the Box”] A new report shows the way in which sound travels through the ocean has been impacted by global warming. A growing community of artists are working in media like sound to address environmental challenges. But it seems the planet is making some “sound art” of its own. Curious to hear what people think of the report.

READ MORE →