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Archive for the ‘Gear’ Category

This time a video in this series with more conventional visuals than usual: “Leyohmi“by  German theremin player Carolina Eyck and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble.

I have added it because I like the beautiful nature scenes of the video, the thin theremin sounds of Carolina Eyck and the general atmosphere of the video. They seem to fit a Sunday morning:

 

Carolina Eyck is a contemporary master of the theremin, together with Dorit Chrysler and Lydia Kavina. I do have a Moog theremin(i) myself, but it is just one of the many synthesizers in my studio. So I am not as proficient in playing it as those theremin maestros, but know how hard it is to play the thing.  If you like the sounds of this video, I advise you to check them out on YouTube or elsewhere on the web:

More info:

Soft Revolvers is an audiovisual performance by Canadian artist Myriam Bleau. She explores the limits between musical performance and digital arts, creating audiovisual systems that go beyond the screen and integrate hip hop, techno and pop elements.

For Soft Revolver she makes use of 4 spinning tops built with clear acrylic by the artist. Each top is associated with an ‘instrument’ in an electronic music composition and the motion data collected by sensors – placed inside the tops – informs musical algorithms:


With their large circular spinning bodies and their role as music playing devices, the interfaces evoke turntables and DJ culture, hip hop and dance music. LEDs placed inside the tops illuminate the body of the objects in a precise counterpoint to the music, creating stunning spinning halos:

Soft Revolvers was performed during the LEV Festival in Gijon in April and can also be seen at the upcoming Sonar festival in Barcelona at the end of this week.

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Nowadays lots of media artists, musicians and music software and hardware products are dedicated to translating visuals into sounds and vice versa. One of the pioneers in this area of “visual sound” was a British electronic composer called Daphne Oram. She was one of the founders of the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1958. But after hearing Poème électronique of Edgar Varese at the Brussels World’s Fair, she decided to leave the BBC and start her own electronic music studio a year later, the Oramics Studios for Electronic Composition. In this studio, she made one of the first synthesizers and quite likely the first audiovisual synthesizer in the beginning of the 1960s: the Oramics Machine.

With this (of course) analogue and largely mechanical machine, she drew shapes and waveforms onto a synchronised set of ten 35mm film strips which overlayed a series of photo-electric cells. These cells in turn generated electrical charges to control amplitude, timbre, frequency and duration of sounds generated by oscillators. This audiovisual way of music composition was called “Oramics” by Daphne Oram:

Daphne Oram died in 2003 at the age of 77 and oramics and the Oramic Machine were forgotten. But in 2011 the Oramics Machine has been salvaged and now is part of the collection of the Science Museum in London. The videos below document the rescue of this pioneering synthesizer by the Science Museum and explain some of the groundbreaking audiovisual concepts behind it:

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Ran into these guys yesterday in the Glaspaviljoen at the Bizarre Sound Creatures exhibition during the magnificent Dutch Design Week 2015 in Eindhoven:

Geluidsdrug, a collective organizing biweekly electronic jam sessions in Artspace Flipside, at walking distance from my home:

Everybody can join their jam sessions in Flipside, so I am going to pay them a visit soon..

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Found on Vimeo: a documentary on the making of the Chalice Symphony by Andy Cavatorta and his team for Belgium beer company Stella Artois. A “chalice‘ is a goblet for drinking wine or (in this case) beer.

The symphony contains four beautifully crafted instruments using the chalice as  a source of sound: On the website of Andy Cavatorta you can download  sound files of these four instruments in .exs (Logic) or .nki (NI Kontakt) format

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