Game Music Inspiration: Amon Tobin and Sony on Infamous

Wired has a great mini-documentary on the score for the videogame Infamous. It’s chock full of sound design ear candy, not only served by the chops of composer Amon Tobin but the team at Sony Music and Sony’s entertainment division, as well. Curiously, Jonathan Mayer, Music Manager at SCEA, says explicitly that he doesn’t want composers writing interactive music. He’d prefer to have them write a conventional score and then adapt it to the interactive engine. Now, of course, around these parts we like the idea of composers finding ways to write genuinely generative and interactive scores. But in this …

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Inspiration: John Whitney’s 1972 Matrix III, Elegant Early Visuals

As visualists, the sad truth is we have a poorer sense of the history of our medium than musicians. Part of this is simply a lack of access. YouTube is a weak substitute, but it’s a start. In that spirit, Karl (Format K) sends us the minimal geometric machinations of pioneering electronic graphics artist and animator John Whitney. We’ve previous mentioned the role of Whitney and Larry Cuba in helping the modern computer graphics industry to be born – with a little help from a movie called Star Wars. Here, you get a real sense of an artist working within …

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Inspiration: John Whitney’s 1972 Matrix III, Elegant Early Visuals

As visualists, the sad truth is we have a poorer sense of the history of our medium than musicians. Part of this is simply a lack of access. YouTube is a weak substitute, but it’s a start. In that spirit, Karl (Format K) sends us the minimal geometric machinations of pioneering electronic graphics artist and animator John Whitney. We’ve previous mentioned the role of Whitney and Larry Cuba in helping the modern computer graphics industry to be born – with a little help from a movie called Star Wars. Here, you get a real sense of an artist working within …

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Scores, the New MP3s? Sheet Music Sales Online for Artists

Could the old tree-based technology and the new silicon-based technology actually coexist – or even help each other flourish? Photo (CC) Steve Wampler. While talk of notation is in the air, it’s worth noting that sheet music has a chance to make a comeback in the digital age. After all, passive musical consumption seems to have already peaked some time in the now-past 20th Century. The desire for fans to be able to play the music they love is strong as ever, evidenced by the popularity of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero phenomenon. If you really wanted to be …

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Subprime: The American Housing, Financial Crisis, Animated

Putting complex political issues into the form of art sometimes falls on its face. But art’s unique power to personalize and make big issues specific can be a powerful asset. We were already big fans of the animation work of Beeple, but the latest, hand-animated digital creation is especially poetic. It’s an essay on consumption, and it doesn’t focus – as the news has – on the crisis itself. Instead, in watching the idea of shelter blown to absurd proportions, in simple graphics reminiscent of The Sims, it gets at a notion of consumer excess that goes well beyond just …

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Audiovisual Remix as Politics, and Psychedelic America with David Last and Brian Kane

We hear a lot about remix culture, but what does it actually mean – and does it mean anything? The founders of RemixAmerica.com hope to promote video mash-up as political discourse, by feeding Web denizens clips historical and new and remix, videocasting, and discussion tools. They’re lucky enough to have Sanford and Son and People for the American Way pioneer Norman Lear at their helm, too. We’ve got the story over on Create Digital Motion: A New Online Community Focuses on Political Video Mashing; Here’s America Gone Psychedelic I do want to point specifically to the video from Emergency Broadcast …

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Obituary: Bebe Barron, Pioneering Electronic Composer

There are pioneers and artists — and then there are people whose impact is great enough that they become inseparable with the history of a medium. Bebe Barron, along with husband Louis Barron, was far enough ahead of her time that her ideas remain futuristic today. The Barrons didn’t just produce the first full-length electronic film score with Forbidden Planet; they created an ambient sonic world between music and special effects, and tied it to cybernetic theories. That score stands in contrast to films still dominated by Alfred Newman-style, post-Wagnerian theatrics. Today, artists are only just re-discovering the possibilities of …

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