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Good Listening, Good Taste: Selection of Ghostly Sonic Output, Inspiration for Getting Things Made

More than just a label, Ghostly is establishing itself as a hub of design, as in the new poster series by Swiss artist Sonnenzimmer, available from their online store. With artists likewise drawing heavily from visual inspiration, the connection between sight, sound, and taste is an evocative one. Photo courtesy Ghostly International. You can expect to see ongoing appearances by Ghostly International, the 12-year-old label with roots in Detroit that has since established firm outposts in California and New York, in these pages. (Pixels?) The reason is simple: Ghostly is a grand experiment in how to retain relevance as a …

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Workshop in LA: Make Your Own Musical Tools, Free, with Processing and Pd

Music visualization in Processing by yours truly. If you’re in the LA area, I’m teaching a reasonably beginner-friendly workshop in making musical tools with visual interfaces, using entirely free software (Processing and Pd, on Mac, Windows, Linux, and if you like, Android). It’s this coming Thursday night, September 8 – the perfect way to get back to school! (For me, too…) I’ll also be sharing some resources as I put them together for that workshop, so wherever you are, keep an eye on CDM soon. The workshop is US$60, but you’ll leave with the skills you need to make your …

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Free Patching Circles: In SoCal, A Community Gathers Around Multimedia Creation with Pd

Handmade software distribution: homebrewed USB keys store free software. Photo courtesy Theron Trowbridge. Imagine Pd everywhere. Pure Data, a free tool for constructing music and media by creating graphical code, is spotted this week hacked to run on a lowly Nook tablet and interfacing with the powerful Kinect camera system. A community in Los Angeles and Southern California is growing around the idea of the “patching circle,” in which users of various tools (Processing, Max for Live welcome, too) gather to share the process of making, like knitting circles of yore. (Yeah, okay, I made up the term, so you …

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Tupperware Music, Guitar Robots, Polyphonic Makerbot – Handmade Music LA Tonight

dromama from Altitude Sickness on Vimeo. Wherever you are in the world, here’s some geeky inspiration to kick off this summer weekend. And if you’re in the Los Angeles area, you should absolutely, positively be on Venice Boulevard tonight at 8pm at hacker venue CRASH Space for Handmade Music, gone LA. In the lineup: circuit bent toys, robotic guitars, MakerBots, monomes, and microcontroller synths, with Altitude Sickness, Ian Hattwick, The Sweaty Caps, Theron Trowbridge, and Vince Wong. It’s free at 8 pm, but if you can donate the recommended $10, you can help CRASH Space become a not-for-profit. Full details …

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Beyond NAMM: LA Friday Night Party, Music Tech Panel – It’s Gonna Be The Future Soon

Photo courtesy Droid Behavior from a previous year. In Anaheim this week, the music manufacturer trade gather to show their wares. But 8pm – 4am Friday night, we party. “Wham Bam Thank You NAMM” has become an annual tradition, an unofficial afterparty of sorts for the first two days of the trade show. This year’s lineup: John Tejada, Richard Devine, Flashbulb, Deru, Laura Escude, Scott Pagano, CPU, DJ Kero, Acid Circus, Derek Michael, Baseck, Eezir, Trifonic, DJ G Ov, Moldover, Henry Strange, and myself, among others. Escaping from the Anaheim Convention Center doldrums, the event is held in the lovely, …

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Got a Product at NAMM? Get in Our Guide, Request Meetings; Correspondents Wanted

Yes, folks, NAMM is big. Photo (CC) bigdrumthump.com If you’re introducing or demonstrating new products at NAMM, and you’d like to be considered for CDM’s curated NAMM products guide, let us know. Incidentally, since I don’t represent the NAMM organization, that can mean anyone in LA around NAMM or otherwise timing announcements that week, whether or not you’re an exhibitor. One- and two-person shops are as welcome as big manufacturers, as always. There is no charge to be in the CDM guide, excepting the need to have something cool. We can’t cover everything and want to avoid information overload, but …

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Artists we Love: Deru, in the Studio, Videos

Deru – Peanut Butter & Patience from Mush Records on Vimeo. 2010 is looking to be a terrific year for handmade computer music from Los Angeles. For one example of why, look to Deru, the composer and live electronic musician. His work continually grows more lush and more organic, drawing from musical strains as diverse as hip-hop and classical. And his upcoming album, “Say Goodbye to Useless,” takes all of that in. (Previously on Ghostly, Deru will release this disc on Mush.) I think it’s going to be a big year for warm, rich-sounding music. Deru also has what looks …

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LA, Live, Lasers: Ableton Sessions, and a CDM Party Sunday Night in Hollywood

Daedelus joins me for a discussion on performance controllers, as part of an artist lineup ranging from dub pioneer Scientist to beatbox legend Kid Beyond and… a lot of other folks, too. Photo (CC) musiclikedirt. It’s music production. It’s … lasers. If you’re in the LA area, you’ll want to be there. If not, let us know in comments what you most want to see covered / interviewed / videoed for CDM. DubSpot’s Live 8 Sessions Tour heads to Los Angeles this weekend, for a set of workshops, performances, and demos on Hollywood Boulevard. I’ll be out with the crew, …

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If You’re in LA, Clear Your Weekend Schedule

There are always more events than we can post for a site with global readership. We’re working on an interactive CDM event calendar – suggestions welcome. But in the meantime, here are a couple of events that I hope some CDMers can attend and document for the site, because I wish I could be there. Saturday night, there’s a huge convergence of wonderful people in Los Angeles. The lineup looks terrific (music: Speakers, Sahy-Uhns feat. Bucc Rogerz, Eli Walks, Owen Vallis, Counters, D-Funk), and there will be a new iteration of the Brick multi-touch table which we’ll be seeing here …

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DIY Circuits of the Bent Festival Kick Off in LA, Then NYC, Minneapolis

Shining, happy people bending toys. Photo by Beatrix*Jar — see our interview. Despite the name, the Bent Festival this year promises to be about not only circuit bending, but DIY sound in general. (Circuit shaping? Circuit straightening? General circuitration?) Our friend and CDM regular Mike Una has put together fantastic art installations for Minneapolis. Workshops in NYC and LA dig into the mysteries of sensors and tubes, the potential of video bending, and giant, battery-powered noise to drown out the rest of the world. And there are gobs and gobs of performers. Like the North American air currents, Bent begins …

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