clapping

Free Clapping Music App Teaches You Steve Reich – And Rhythm

Before there was Rock Band and Guitar Hero, there was Steve Reich’s 1972 Clapping Music. And like all etudes, it’s a game. Now an iPhone app makes it an actual game.

READ MORE →
hanno_leichtmann-112

Beauty in Repetition: Listen to Hanno Leichtmann’s Minimal Studies

Hypnotic repetitive gestures are perhaps the signature of our generation in music, the legacy of Reich and Glass and Monk and Riley and Young … and tape decks and computers and drum machines. But then, repetition is the very stuff of our bodies, of heartbeats and footsteps and brain waves. Mastering repetition is essential, then, to any compositional practice. It should be, literally, as natural as breathing in and breathing out. And it should have the potential to take on its own voice. That’s the sense I get of this work. Listening to Hanno Leichtmann’s music, you may drift off …

READ MORE →
keezyiphone

Simple Isn’t Easy: Keezy Drummer is Easy, Free, and – Maybe Too Minimal [iPhone]

Introducing Keezy Drummer from Elepath, Inc. on Vimeo. Here is a plot line we’ve heard before: Musical interfaces are complicated. That makes them unfriendly to beginners. They give you options you don’t need. (So far, no argument.) The solution, of course, is some new product. Each time we hear this plot line, someone talks about it like they’ve discovered it for the first time. This time, it’s Keezy Drummer, a new, simple drum machine app. You can hear them talking to The Verge about why this will change music technology, and why apparently in several decades of drum machines, they’re …

READ MORE →
reichpattern

See the Phasing, in a Visualization of Steve Reich’s Piano Phase

Pianophase.com from Alexander Chen on Vimeo. You can already hear it. And now, in a hypnotic, rotating visualization, you can see Steve Reich’s melodies shift out of phase. It’s latest work from Alexander Chen, the Google-employed artist who we’ve seen working with wine glasses and Google Glass, visualizing Bach, and sonifying subway schedules. This time, a radial visualization elucidates the subtle but beautiful play of piano lines in the seminal minimalist work. Live in your browser: http://www.pianophase.com/ More:

READ MORE →

Music from Code: In Simple Text, Live Coding Steve Reich-ian Rhythms with Free Overtone

Writing code for music may still seem a remote notion to the vast majority of even geekier digital musicians, but as exemplified by the language Overtone, it looks very different than coding once did. Whereas sound code was once a type-and-render affair, new coding environments focus on live coding. They use elegant, lightweight modern languages that take up less space. And they can be surprisingly musical, coming remarkably close to just typing “play a c major chord.” Not to say that you won’t look plenty geeky doing it — but, hey, if you can’t impress slash frighten your friends a …

READ MORE →

Eigenharp Covers Glass, and Software for Futuristic Instrument Goes Open and GPL

Speaking of futuristic instrumental design, the Eigenharp – an instrument that looks like the bassoon was redesigned by Vulcans – brings two big developments with its appearance this week in the Bay Area of California. First off, if you’ve doubted its utility in musical practice and you’re a fan of American minimalism, we’re treated to it covering the music of Philip Glass’ landmark Koyaanisqatsi. Geert Bevin, Eigenlabs’ Senior Software Developer, explains how he did it: I’m using SonicCouture’s Glass/Works Kontakt instrument in a four-part multi-timbral setup in Native Instruments Kontakt. Each key individually controls pitch, velocity and the resonance of …

READ MORE →

Into the Woods: Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS, an Audiovisual Black Forest at MUTEK

All this week, I’ll be talking about the artists and events at Montreal’s MUTEK audiovisual festival. There’s nowhere better to begin than at the launch evening of their a/visions series. Natural landscapes are recurrent themes in electronic music and the metaphors we use to describe them – glaciers and jetstreams. But the Black Forest of Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS, the audiovisual “experience” from the Cologne electronic legend, is an unusually potent descriptor. It’s not so much the real Black Forest’s twigs or leaves or babbling brooks that defines GAS; it’s its density. From its elaborate twirling visual forestry to the saturated …

READ MORE →

Embracing Simplicity: Bjork Hangs with Legendary Minimalists, Timbaland

Every time Bjork drifts in a musical direction you don’t love, just wait. Her latest collaboration, Earth Intruders, with Timbaland producing, sounds utterly fantastic. Listen closely, and it’s also deeply disturbing, a bit like the violent lyrics of the early-century Italian Futurists (check them out if you don’t know them), but set in a terrifying, real now. Timbaland aside (and the crisp combinations of synths and drums might redeem him if you’re still mad about that chiptune thing), Bjork’s vocal performance is center-stage. All of this bodes well for the new album coming this summer. More press coverage and links …

READ MORE →