Sculpting Sound with Maja Ratkje [Film]

The worlds of sound open to us as musicians seem limitless, endlessly unfolding in variety and possibility. So, even in a series of impressionistic moments from an upcoming film, it’s a delight to see composer Maja Ratkje play with sound. The Norwegian musician and vocalist, an improviser frequent collaborator with artists like Jaap Blonk, is seen making wild sounds with her voice, experimenting with found sounds from field recordings and music boxes, and playing, too, with electronics and technology. There’s perhaps not much more to say about this other than to let the experience of exploring sound in music wash …

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Feeling Sound, Physically: ‘Touch the Sound’ Documents Deaf Percussionist

What is sound? What does it mean, and why does it matter? It’s never too fundamental, too basic a question to ask ourselves again when we make music. So, I’ll leave this trailer otherwise largely without comment, except to say, it’s well worth watching (or re-watching). Touch the Sound, produced by German director Thomas Riedelsheimer in 2004, focuses on the work and world of nearly-deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie. See a trailer, below, and excerpt, above. Thanks to Morgan Hendry for the tip. IMDB link On this topic, and the inspiration for this link: For a Deaf Artist, The Process of …

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For a Deaf Artist, The Process of Sound Art, Transformed: Short Film

Revealing a deeper understanding of what sound means in our world, how it works as “currency” and “ghost,” Performance Artist Christine Sun Kim explores sonic media without the benefit of hearing. She finds how to make its presence more physical, to find greater dimensions of movement, and to make a personal connection beyond what most of us might find in the everyday sense. As she describes it to NOWNESS: There are social norms surrounding sound that form our speech development and our way of handling sound with care. They’re so deeply ingrained that, in a sense, our identities cannot be …

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A Look at the Enduring Berlin Scene, in Latest Lovely Resident Advisor Film; Hope

In August, the Resident Advisor film on Detroit gave us a chance to reflect on that city’s cultural response to economic catastrophe. To talk about a city that has seen sweeping change and challenge, it’s difficult to beat Berlin. Resident Advisor released the third installment of this series in September, but I missed it as I was traveling … somewhere … and it’s no less relevant today, least of all on a gorgeous, sunny day in the German capital on the eve of the coming winter. The creators describe it thusly:

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A New Documentary Examines the Electro Scene in the Age of the Internet

The Electro Wars Final Trailer from Stephen Alex Vasquez on Vimeo. The Electro Wars Final Trailer from Stephen Alex Vasquez on Vimeo. Can a documentary finally tell the story of the electronic music scene? Primus Luta has become a scholar of electronic sounds himself, and joins us in a guest post to examine a film that, like the music itself, is a work in progress. Electro Wars premieres in its current form in New York Friday, but you can get a first glimpse at the movie and the state of music in the Internet – whether wishful thinking might imagine …

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Tron, Redux Redux: Trailer with Daft Punk Music, New Reaktor-Reason-Live Score

In a Hollywood overrun with remakes, a new Tron has quite a daunting challenge. The original film may be a cult hit for its 80s arcade cool, but it also was a seminal moment in the evolution of computer animation, at the nexus of obsessive-compulsive optical effects that came before and digital effects that came after. (Google Perlin Noise, if you must.) But where the bits of the effects look uneven or dated alongside the brilliant, it’s nearly impossible to top the genius of Wendy Carlos’ score. Her deft blend of choirs, orchestras, organs, and rich electronics wasn’t just forward …

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Reformat the Planet, 8-bit Music Documentary, Free for a Week

The appeal of newer music apps for phones, current-generation mobile game systems, and PDAs is portability first. But for the Game Boy music scene, it’s as much about a distinctive sound, and acquiring Game Boys as a kind of unique synthesizer. Our friend and mobile game musician Peter Swimm points us to the new documentary Reformat the Planet. It’s available for a week free on pitchfork.tv, with screenings to follow. It’s a pretty nice survey of the New York corner of the scene, at least. I’m personally getting increasingly interested in tools like PSPSEQ, which have a distinctive sound all …

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Want to Encourage CD Sales? Add Crack, Guns

An RIAA/District Attorney training video warns about the dangers of CD spindles. But what could be inside? Photo: Hackintosh, apparently the Martha Stewart of hacker cuisine based on this innovation. Suffice to say, we at CDM discourage pirating music. I should hasten to add, though, that we’re also generally opposed to terrorism, illegal firearms, and narcotics — just in case there’s any doubt. According to a training film produced by the National District Attorneys Association and Recording Industry Association of America, and leaked on the Interwebs (doh!), these things typically go hand in hand. In the course of the film, …

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Star Wars, for Sound Designers and DJs: More Links for the 30th

For many of us, few movies can inspire sound design quite like Star Wars. From the clash of lightsabers to the screech of TIE Fighters to … well, seriously, the whole set of movies sounds damn fine, even if you skipped the whole film and put the sound effects on loop. On its 30th anniversary, I’d love to hear any stories you particularly appreciate about the sound of the films. In the meantime, a quick roundup: Lightsabers recreated with Wii remotes and granular synthesis … and reflections on the more organic, non-digital process that created the original. Why sound designer …

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