All posts in music

The Pioneer Spirit of Early Synthesizers

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Wonderful piece by Rhodri Marsden at The Long & Short about the beauty and intrigue of early synthesizers.

Listen to Wikipedia

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Wow. Mahmoud Hashemi and Stephen LaPorte created Listen to Wikipedia, an incredible audio experience on the web that converts the edits people make to Wikipedia pages into beautiful sounds. As people join, edit, save, etc. you hear a collection of bells, strings, and more that end up coming together as though intentionally organized. It’s just beautiful – I’ll put this in my headphones and listen while I work today.

It’s Better To Do Something Simple Which is Real…

… But never be so cautious you’re never experimenting.

Lots of wisdom in this Bill Evans interview about creative problem-solving with music that can be applied to almost anything we do.

“I don’t consider myself as talented as many people but in some ways that was an advantage because I didn’t have a great facility immediately so I had to be more analytical and in a way — that forced me to build something.

Most people just don’t realize the immensity of the problem and, either because they can’t conquer it immediately, think that they haven’t got the ability, or they’re so impatient to conquer it that they never do see it through. If you do understand the problem then you can enjoy your whole trip through.

People tend to approximate the product rather than attacking it in a realistic, true way at any elementary level — regardless of how elementary — but it must be entirely true and entirely real and entirely accurate. They would rather approximate the entire problem than to take a small part of it and be real and true about it. To approximate the whole thing in a vague way gives you a feeling that you’ve more or less touched the thing, but in this way you just lead yourself toward confusion and ultimately you’re going to get so confused that you’ll never find your way out.”

Thank you BrainPickings for the morning inspiration.

Important Photo of the Day: Fleetwood Mac, 1977

photo by sam emerson

Running Up That Hill Documentary

Thanks to Stereogum for the heads up.

David Grubbs, Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording

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“What does it mean to describe a recording as being of a moment in which it did not circulate? Conversely, what does it mean to describe previously inaccessible music as participating in a later moment in which it resonates more powerfully?” Sign up to get notified when the book is ready to order. From the Duke Press about the book:

John Cage’s disdain for records was legendary. He repeatedly spoke of the ways in which recorded music was antithetical to his work. In Records Ruin the Landscape, David Grubbs argues that, following Cage, new genres in experimental and avant-garde music in the 1960s were particularly ill suited to be represented in the form of a recording. These activities include indeterminate music, long-duration minimalism, text scores, happenings, live electronic music, free jazz, and free improvisation. How could these proudly evanescent performance practices have been adequately represented on an LP?

In their day, few of these works circulated in recorded form. By contrast, contemporary listeners can encounter this music not only through a flood of LP and CD releases of archival recordings but also in even greater volume through Internet file sharing and online resources. Present-day listeners are coming to know that era’s experimental music through the recorded artifacts of composers and musicians who largely disavowed recordings. In Records Ruin the Landscape, Grubbs surveys a musical landscape marked by altered listening practices.

Read more at The Wire.

Regional Listening Trends

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Read the article that accompanies this amazing glimpse into how listening habits and preferences vary regionally – fascinating work!

Nico Muhly’s Loving Review of Beyonce

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“In the strange video, Beyoncé walks out of her apartment past some Dickensian children who turn out to be paparazzi. There is a straight couple (of which the man is actually a gay I know from my gym) making out in what I presume to be TriBeCa. Then I can’t figure it out — it looks like she goes to meet a man in a hoodie on the Upper East Side, which can’t be true, because nobody would ever wear a hoodie on the Upper East Side. I love this song.”

Read the whole thing, please.

Kronos on Sesame Street

It sometimes works that way.

And Now, Pandora’s Algorithms

“It’s becoming quite apparent to us that the world of playing the perfect music to people and the world of playing perfect advertising to them are strikingly similar,” says Eric Bieschke, Pandora’s chief scientist.

“Listen to Pandora, and It Listens Back”

Capo 3: Reverse Engineering Rock ‘n Roll

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Capo 3 is a fun looking iOS application that takes a ‘song to note’ approach towards learning to play the music in your iTunes library. Pull in almost any kind of audio file, and let the app show you note by note how to play. You can even slow it down without sacrificing pitch. Looks fun!

ISO50: Orange Catalog

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ISO50 dug up some cool photos of vintage Orange catalogs. So gorgeous!

Arca’s “&&&&”

Thanks to The Fox is Black for tipping me off to “&&&&”, a wonderful mixtape by Arca, the artist behind some of my favorite tracks on Yeezus. You must listen.

Video: Neil Young Finds Bootleg in 1971

Neil Young finds a gem record shopping in 1971 and talks to clerk who has no clue who he is. Thanks, YouTube!

“Neil finds a bootleg recording of a live CSNY show and confronts the store employee who has no idea who he is. At first, Neil is looking for the new Bob Dylan album “Greatest Hits Vol. 2″ but finds a bootleg Dylan album instead. He then discovers a Crosby & Nash and a CSNY bootleg as well.”

Boards of Canada “Reach for the Dead”

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