urbanremixpath

Remixing Times Square, with Mobile Field Recordings

The armies of the earbuds are everywhere, as people – since the dawning of the Walkman – tune out their surroundings. What if, instead, your surroundings became soundtracks? That’s the question posed by a mobile app research project, partnering between New York’s Times Square and a creative team at the Georgia Institute of Technology. UrbanRemix invites users to capture geo-tagged sounds with a free iOS and Android app, then to string them together into sound compositions on the Web (as seen above): Download the app http://urbanremix.gatech.edu/ Map + remix interface There’s a great write-up in the local press here in …

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illucia

Patch Cords, Buttons, Pixels, Noise: Free Modular Code-bending Instruments as Playgrounds

illucia is a project at the intersection of lots of forms of goodness and imagination. The physical interface – what you see first in the image and video here – is a DIY modular controller, complete with Buchla-style patch cords and arcade buttons and pretty knobs. But while that might lead you to believe we’re in analog synthesis land, the physical controls are just a tangible cockpit for what the artist calls “code-bending.” Connect the USB controller to software, and it modifies audiovisual games in modular, interactive fashion. Since you probably don’t have this particular physical controller lying about your …

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Isle of Tune: City Simulation as Music Sequencing, Soon to Leap from Browser to Mobile

A music score is, in essence, a way of making space into time: traversing notation from left to right and top to bottom, you move through a series of events. So, why not make that spatial map an actual map, as in the familiar, isometric interactive cityscape popularized by Will Wright’s classic game Sim City? Isle of Tune does just that: lay out trees, houses, and city streets, and you sequence musical patterns as virtual islands. It’s available right now on the Web, powered by Flash – Chrome users can even get a one-click install via the Chrome Web Store. …

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Brazilian Rhythms Meet Wireless, Wearable Drums in an Artist-Engineer Collaboration

Music made by machines need not turn its back on traditional musical skill – least of all when you literally strap the machines on the back of a master musician. In a fusion of Brazilian tradition and modern wireless, wearable sensor technology, Kyle McDonald shares with us a project that makes drums into an interactive suit. Kyle has plenty to say, including all the details on how to do this in case it inspires a project of your own, so I’ll let him take it away: The project is a wireless drum suit that I built with Lucas Werthein for …

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shareddreams

Meet the Music and Sound Oscar Nominees, and Learn from Hours of Info from Sonic Masters

Shared dreams, indeed: welcome to Hollywood. And in 2011, the music and soundscapes of blockbuster films suddenly seem very much like the future of our dreams, from ground-breaking surround sound to interactive music to scores combining low-fidelity and high – and one breaktakingly-terrific score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that stands on its own. The Internet, as the subject of one Oscar-nominated film, is full of short attention spans and flirts, social dysfunction and lust. But there’s another side of the Internet. Someone interested in finding expressive inspiration, in learning the craft of music and sound, can virtually apprentice …

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L1003797

Music Made with NYC Subway Schedules; HTML5+Flash, Q+A with Artist-Developer

Alexander Chen transforms the steady pulse of the (actual) New York City subway system into gentle, generative string plucks in his new interactive piece “Conductor.” The visual effect as well as the musical one is mesmerizing, as the subway is viewed in the abstract, sparse geometries of designed Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram. New York subway nerds and long-time residents will note that the schedule itself is from 1972, hence the appearance of the K train and the elevated along Third Avenue (the 8), one I imagine we wish we still had. http://mta.me/ The work is also a glimpse of the …

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galapagoose

Grids, Chips, and Blips: Handmade Music NYC, Saturday 2/5 Lab + Party, Video Samples + Listening

Galapagoose plays a Brooklyn rooftop at the monome community tour in the fall. Now he’s back to celebrate the release of new software, and meets up with artists from across the digital music-making spectrum. Handmade Music is back on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with an epic lineup spanning digital synths to monomes to interactive installations to chip music. It’s a bit like stepping into the music tech world described on the Web. (For the vast majority of you outside NYC, hoping to have good documentation of recent events edited and available shortly.) We’re moving to Saturday night and …

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thicket1

On Toys, Music and Visuals, and Code: Thicket’s Creators Talk iOS Artmaking

What could audiovisual art made for tablets look like? Some dismiss the results as “toys.” The creators of Thicket embrace that very role. Thicket, the product of electronic A/V artists Morgan Packard and Joshue Ott, is intended as a kind of immersive distraction, filling the screen of an Apple handheld or iPad with clouds of abstract color and ambient sound. Free of controls or widgets, playing with Thicket is a bit like sticking your hand into a mist, more gently responsive than overtly interactive. It’s also lovely, and – for the moment – free. As an experiment, Josh and Morgan …

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LEGO Christmas Tree Plays Carols, Courtesy Max/MSP, Custom Electronics

Desmond Dodecahedron has the craziest way of celebrating the season I’ve seen this year: just build a giant Christmas tree from LEGOs, then use visual programming environment Max/MSP and some custom electronics to trigger tunes. Desmond writes: Once I discovered that the word “advent” was actually an abbreviation of “audio event” and the fact that we have had lots of snow in London – I decided to create this Christmas Carol note filtering tree. (in this case it is actually a midi event tree – but you get the general idea). Each pitch class of a Carol i.e. all the …

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Jamming with Cloud Samples: Tim Exile + SoundCloud Recording

Tim Exile, laptop virtuoso, vocalist, and Reaktor software creator, has apparently taken a liking to the recording features SoundCloud is touting. He’s got a novel idea: you record samples into SoundCloud, he takes your samples and incorporates them into his set. It takes someone like Tim to pull that off; it should be a good set. If you have a day job, this one will be a bit tricky – the interactive online show is at 7pm today, Thursday, GMT (aka CUT) time; that’s evening for all of Europe but 2pm New York and 11am in Los Angeles, etc. Do …

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