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Archive for November 2013

This entry is reblogged from the BA Fine Art blog. Please click on the title to read the post.

r u b y t r i c h k o v a

I am sitting in a room(1969)

This piece is of Alvin Lucier’s and is several sentences of recorded speech that are simultaneously played back into a room and re-recorded many times.
Since all rooms have their own characteristics; special sensations and formant frequencies (all of which are different depending on size); the effect is that certain frequencies are highlighted as they reverberate around the room and respond to its own frequencies. Eventually, the words become ambiguous and are replaced by the pure harmonies and tones of the room itself.
The space acts as a filter; the speech is transformed into pure sound.
The speech is repeated 32 times. The effect is hypnotic, airy, and extremely intimate in the way Lucier interacts with his environment.

I was completely astounded by how clever yet how simple this piece was. Coming from a science background, I did not realise how four walls could…

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Eclipse(s)” video mapping by Rosebruit
Created & produced by Elvire Bastendorff & Franck Smith

More information:

The Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab is an organization dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media. Release early, often and with rap music. F.A.T. Lab is the unsolicited guerrilla marketing division for the open source revolution in art. The entire FAT network of artists, engineers, scientists, lawyers, musicians  are committed to supporting open values and the public domain through the use of emerging open licenses, support for open entrepreneurship and the admonishment of secrecy, copyright monopolies and patents.

FATLab distributes the FATLab Manual which according to FATLab is

the “Little Red Book” of those who think that information wants to be free, that everybody should have access to its tools, and that art is not a separate, self-referential world or a hoard of luxury objects gathering dust in private collections and museums, but a field of practice that is in constant dialogue and exchange with other fields, and a game that everybody can enjoy, and everybody can take part in. The F.A.T. Manual is not a catalogue, but a tool.

So here it is for you to download, read and …use: FATLab Manual .

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Found through the Binary Heap blog : a short 27-minute Vimeo video documentary about the British Electronic Music Studios (EMS), famous for their groundbreaking VCS3 and Synthi synthesizers.

VCS3 advert

VCS3 advert

This is the synopsis of the video: Post-war Britain rebuilt itself on a wave of scientific and industrial breakthroughs that culminated in the cultural revolution of the 1960’s. It was a period of sweeping change and experimentation where art and culture participated in and reflected the wider social changes. In this atmosphere was born the Electronic Music Studios (EMS), a radical group of avant-garde electronic musicians who utilized technology and experimentation to compose a futuristic electronic sound-scape for the New Britain. Comprising of pioneering electronic musicians Tristram Cary (famed for his work on the Dr Who series) and Peter Zinovieff, EMS’s studio was one of the most advanced computer-music facilities in the world. EMS’s great legacy is the VCS3, Britain’s first synthesizer and rival of the American Moog. The VCS3 was a uniquely British invention, which changed the sounds of some of the most popular artists of this period including Brian Eno, Hawkwind and Pink Floyd. Almost thirty years on the VCS3 is still used by modern electronic artists like Aphex Twin and Chicken Lips.

What The Future Sounded Like uncovers a group of British composers and innovators who harnessed technology and new ideas to re-imagine the boundaries of music and sound. The documentary places the emergence of EMS in the larger context of 60’s post-war Britain, with its focus on “space age” technology and the advent of the counter-culture. A must-see for everyone interested in the history of electronic music and electronic music devices! If you want to know more about EMS and their activities and products after viewing the documentary, check the 2 part article series of Sound-On-Sound on the history of EMS.

And EMS still exists! You can still buy a Synthi A or VCS3 online. Check the website of “The World’s Longest Established Synthesizer Manufacturer” for prices and ordering…

Today the GLOW 2013 light art festival starts in Eindhoven, NL. GLOW started in 2006 and has evolved into  the largest event in the Netherlands that specifically focuses on light art.

Glow_2129_g971_1_1

GREENPOWER LAGOON MONSTER

This year’s theme is “Urban Playground“. According to the city marketing blurb:

‘Urban Playground’ is the theme of the eighth edition of GLOW. During the week Eindhoven will be the playground of different light artists. By playing with light they’ll show that reality can be experienced in a totally different way.  The theme ‘Urban Playground’ is well chosen. In Eindhoven both creative innovators, smart scientists and ambitious sports men and women get plenty of space to explore new horizons. Here the TU/e, the High Tech Campus and the Design Academy are located and the city is also the home of football club PSV. This year the Philips Sports Club celebrates its 100th anniversary and certainly with the theme ‘Urban Playground’ that is a great excuse to take the art route through the football stadium. But also buildings, streets, warehouses, squares and alleyways in the public space are part of the four kilometers long route. Made out of stone, cement, asphalt and concrete these are the building blocks of the city. Just as dancers or musicians the artists of GLOW play with concepts such as shape, size, scale, color, movement, rhythm and sound. Using various light applications, they open new perspectives on the environment of the city.

Anyway: GLOW is definitely about “light and architecture in the city“. The nice thing about GLOW is that the (often very spectacular) art is embedded into the city. There is a GLOW route of 4 km which you can walk, preferrably at night, bringing you to the art locations. There are iPhone and Android apps available on the GLOW website to enable you to use your mobile phone to find your way around Eindhoven.

This year the festival also has a spinoff event called “GLOW Next” located at Eindhoven’s creative hotspot Strijp-S:

GLOW was such a success in the city centre that the organisation decided to expand the festival with a separate event at Strijp-S – GLOW NEXT. In the coming years, GLOW NEXT will unfold into an international meeting place and site for experimentation where innovative light experiments can be presented. GLOW NEXT focuses on interactive, playful light art and ground-breaking performances and installations that use light in the dynamic, compelling creation of new realities.

Visit GLOW and GLOW NEXT  if you are interested in spectacular interventions, installations, performances and events using artificial light.

Bryce Dessner, guitar player of  US rock band The National is currently the composer-in-residence of the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven.

As part of the Composer in Residence series of the Muziekgebouw, a concert will be given on Thursday 07/11 by New York all-star band Bang-on-a-Can, who will be joined by special guest Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth fame.  Bang-on-a-Can All Stars have included several contemporary composed guitar pieces in their repertoire, such as the Electric Counterpoint classic of Steve Reich:

The pieces played are made by contemporary composing rock guitarists, including Fred Frith, one of my all-time favorite guitar players:

  • Bryce Dessner (The National) – Gloucester 27
  • Bryce Dessner (The National) – Shut your Eyes against the Wind
  • Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) – Stroking Piece #1
  • Fred Frith – Snakes & Ladders
  • David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) – Instructional Video, Matt
  • Damon, Breakfast at J&M
  • Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) – How Deep are Rivers

With this program, this may be a very interesting first crossover concert of Bryce Dessner’s stay as a composer-in-residence IMHO.  So I will be there.

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