mooglab

MoogLab to Teach Science through Electronic Music, But Your Votes Needed

Want to see hundreds of pieces of music kit from keyboards to oscilloscopes, plus some 1500 mini-Theremin toys for students, coupled with US-wide education to help introduce young people to science? That’s the idea behind a grant proposal by the Moog Foundation. The Foundation’s MoogLab teaches science through sound – a worthy cause. Not only was Bob Moog’s life in electronic music ignited by discovering the Theremin, but many of today’s generation of scientists and thinkers were raised on electronic sound kits a few short decades ago. Without the same exposure to science and sound, young boys and girls may …

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Notes and Neurons: Bobby McFerrin Shows Everybody Gets Pentatonic

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo. At the World Science Festival in June here in New York, specialists – including musical specialist Bobby McFerrin – gathered to ask what in music we humans hear universally, versus what is culturally specific. Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? Join host John Schaefer, Jamshed Barucha, scientist Daniel Levitin, Professor Lawrence Parsons and musical artist Bobby McFerrin for live performances and cross cultural demonstrations to illustrate …

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Playing Bananas, Potted Plants, and a Workshop on Microorganism-made Music

NK Berlin is a planetary hub for wild experiments made with music, technology, and electronics. When you can’t be in Berlin soaking it up in person, you can explore the oddities assembled on their MySpace page. A recent workshop by Andrey Smirnov and Guy Van Belle on Theremins led to these unusual videos, playing a potted plant: …and a bunch of bananas (footage from the Theremin Center, Moscow). Via the Pd list, though, it seems that the next NK workshop will go somewhere else altogether: music with microorganisms. Really – you’ll need a USB microscope. It’s electronic music in a …

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Free Music Mixes from Amon Tobin, Deru in Celebration of Space

We had a blast (ahem) Saturday night at the Yuri’s Night party at NASA Ames Research Center; stay tuned for video and more, including the results of the Futuristic Musical Design Challenge. But that’s no reason the party has to end. If you’ve listened through all 55 songs on the 45 Tribute and want still more music, Amon Tobin and Deru have kindly donated music mixes for the yuricdm.com minisite. It’s good listening to pick up your week: Exclusive Free Mix: Amon Tobin, Back from Space Exclusive Free Mix: Deru And here are the direct links to listen / download: …

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Ground Control Broadcasting Now: Space-tacular Music + Motion on yuricdm.com

I’ll be live from the hangar, working to connect you virtually from around the globe. Photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid. Hello from Ground Control: this week, I’ll be coming to you live from CDM’s micro-blog for Yuri’s Night Bay Area, ground zero for the global space rave celebrating human exploration of the cosmos. CDM’s challenge: to bring all the goodness up close and personal to you, from California to wherever you are on Planet Earth. Watch the minisite now, during the event, and in the couple of weeks following at: http://yuricdm.com or subscribe to the yuricdm.com RSS feed. Yuri’s …

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The Real AI Jazz Factor: Think Different

For further study of the brain, I suggest making a lime JELL-O model. Yum. As an addendum to why trying to make computer models musically creative can be so disastrous, maybe the problem is we fail to understand what creativity is. Scientists funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that, when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly creative and spontaneous activity known as improvisation, a large region of the brain involved in monitoring one’s performance is shut down, while a small region involved in organizing self-initiated thoughts and behaviors is highly activated. …

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Hearing Like Humans Do: New Sonic Analysis Methods Clear Through Noise, Promise Better Music Software

Hearing over the din of noise is something that humans do a lot better than computers. A new mathematical technique promises to provide highly accurate models of sound, even with broadband noise in the picture. Why does this matter, aside from mathematical curiosity? For one, better sonic analysis could mean more realistic models of instruments and more flexible sound editing tools, inspiring a new generation of music software. From our friend kokorozashi: ‘In a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcelo Magnasco, professor and head of the Mathematical Physics Laboratory at Rockefeller University, has published …

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