FRACT, a Game Played Inside A Synthesizer World, Explains Itself [New Video, Mogi Grumbles]

FRACT, a 3D world-puzzle game based on synthesis, is after a long development beginning to become clear. And the voiceover from the latest trailer sounds a little like what happens when you get a teaching post in a university somewhere or a friend’s studio and discover the state of the analog gear in their dusty equipment storeroom: You arrive in a strange, forgotten world. A world that was once built on sound. You’re not really sure what happened here, or why, and you’re not even sure why you’re here. Part of the journey is figuring out where to go and …

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‘Edge of Nostalgia’ is a Calming Ambient iPhone Album Transformed by Mic

Edge of Nostalgia from Michael McDermott on Vimeo. Ambient, and — actually, literally ambient. Mikronesia’s “Edge of Nostalgia” is a chilled-out 7-track record of gentle grooves and crystalline melodies, delivered as an app. That’s nice enough. But with the aid of your iPhone’s microphone, you and the environment around you become part of the soundscape. Ambient sounds are fed through great washes of reverb and chattering chains of delays. Recently updated for iOS 7, the result is an album that is different each time you listen. As the creator notes, plenty of records include stock sounds of field recordings. Here, …

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Music and Performance, Made On The Spot: Hacklab, Open Call in Berlin

Inventing technological hacks in short time is one thing. At CTM Festival in Berlin, we want to push collaborative participants to go further. First, invent the technology for performance. Then, invent the performance – and be ready to perform publicly – and it do it all in just one week. It’s time again to join a MusicMakers Hacklab. Last year was the first week-long event hosted with CDM, and the first at CTM Festival. CTM makes a perfect venue, a brilliant and packed showcase for adventurous sound (and in parallel with another digital media fest, Transmediale, in the same city …

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Simon Pyke’s Melodic Imagination, Dancing and Doodling in a Science Museum [Warp Records]

Move over, Music for Airports. Now there’s Music for Museums. At Media Space at the Science Museum, London, UK-based creative studio Universal Everything recently explored the ability of visitors to make their bodies and hands shape the space. In 1000 Hands, guests take on God-like, Darwinian powers of illustration, inventing new, fanciful life forms by sketching their work, then unleashing these creations in the museum exhibit. It’s the long-missing opportunity to scrawl on the walls of the museum. There’s an iOS and Android app, too, if you can’t make it to England: http://1000hands.universaleverything.com/ In the companion installation, Presence, the studio …

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If I Could Save Sounds in a Bottle… Interactive Experiment Does Just That

Re:Sound Bottle -second mix- from Jun Fujiwara on Vimeo. Sampling might feel sometimes like bottling up sounds. But in a project from Japanese designer Jun Fujiwara, the experience is delightfully literal – much to the surprise of people who try it out. As seen in videos, Re:Sound Bottle records sound snippets when uncorked, then remixes them into rhythmic music. Have a look. It looks like great stuff. Dear Jun, if you’re out there and read CDM, we’d love to hear from you! Description and original video below:

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Stepping Through Music, Interactively: Drum Kits and Monomes Navigate Notes

Left to right, beginning to end, the same in a loop — there’s no reason music has to work this way once you’ve got a computer. But if you associate generative or algorithmic music with some sort of magical black box machine you switch on, an automaton spitting out notes while you sip tea and stroke your beard, think again. Here are two examples that use interactive structures as a way to make music more live, not less. One is the latest creation from the ingenious mind of monome creator Brian Crabtree (who, perhaps unexpectedly, seems to have redirected the …

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What Does it Mean to Be an Electronic Instrument?

The electronic music analog to visual media’s question “is it art?” is clear. “Is it really a musical instrument?” Ableton will this week officially launch its Push hardware with Live 9; we’ll have an online exclusive review alongside that release. I know that the company is fond of calling it an “instrument.” For a profile by the German-language magazine De:Bug, Ableton CEO Gerhard Behles even posed with a double bass, the Push set up alongside. The message was clear: Ableton wants you to think of Push as an instrument. We’ll revisit that question regarding Push, but this isn’t only important …

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Cut From a Different Cloth: Threads and Circuits at MusicMakers Hacklab CTM [Video, Gallery, Pt. 2]

So much is possible when we just open up the materials of musical invention to a range of people – and those materials can be cloth, circuits, acoustic, electronic, light, sound. I was reminded of that yet again last week, thanks to an amazing group of artists, developers, facilitators, and organizers. I’m still recovering – in a good way – from five days last week filled with people sewing and soldering, wearable interfaces and constructed projection-mapped kinetic sculptures and new digital instruments. Native Instruments and Ableton took us inside their development process – and provided hardware, pretzels, pastries, and Club-Mate. …

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The Terror of Watermelons and Your Niece Screaming: Interactive Sonic Fear in Dead Space 3

Wilhelm wasn’t going to cut it for A-list game release Dead Space 3. Meet the young Amelia, instead, screaming. And behold the sheer horror that only a squishy watermelon can produce. I always knew fruit and toddlers were up to no good. Kill Screen, the indie game mag, collaborates with The Creators’ Project to go behind the scenes at developer Visceral Games to talk about the audio design and interactive sound system in Dead Space. Producer and editor Jamin Warren tells CDM it was his favorite of the series yet. In addition to examining sound design and field recording, the …

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The Listening Tree: A Holiday Tree Whose Colored Lights Respond to Sound

Wintertree from Limbic Media on Vimeo. Winter: it’s dark. So, it’s no coincidence that holiday traditions from Christian to Jewish to Pagan to … uh, New Year’s … celebrate light. And it’s fun watching in this video the delight as colored lights respond to sound – not in the endlessly-playing annoying-Christmas-tune way, but in the “you can sing to a tree and it’ll light up” way. Limbic Media writes CDM with this project they did in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) commissioned Limbic Media to design an audio reactive tree for the holiday season using …

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