Video as Message: Seeing NYC’s Chaotic “Three-Way” Streets

In a great example of video’s power to tell a story and send a message – particularly when embellished visually – design student Ron “RonConCocaCola” (School of Visual Arts) presents documentation of just how chaotic a single New York City intersection can be. There are some especially bad moves by cyclists, though motorists try their best to be a******s, too. Ron describes his video: By summer 2010, the expansion of bike lanes in NYC exposed a clash of long-standing bad habits — such as pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists running red lights, and motorists plowing through crosswalks. By focusing on one intersection …

READ MORE →
Bring-Back-Before-Album-Cover

An Eclectic Mix of Sounds for Joplin, MO Recovery, as Charity Compilations Gain Momentum

CDM regular Zaxx Davros sends word of a new, sprawling compilation to benefit Joplin, Missouri in the aftermath of that town’s devastating tornado. Charity compilations seem to be growing in number, but perhaps that in itself is worth mentioning. As social networks and (ahem) blogs spread, increasingly crowd-stimulated micro-donations drive charity. One-click giving is no substitute for getting involved in communities as a volunteer and getting out on the ground, but as a way of keeping charitable organizations funded and engaged, it shows promise. Some readers have pointed to criticism of some of those organizations, like the various entities of …

READ MORE →
WeLoveDjKoolHerc2

We Love DJ Kool Herc: Free Compilation for the Father of Hip-Hop

Saturn Never Sleeps, the band and label, released a new free compilation late last night to send love and thanks to DJ Kool Herc, the pioneering Jamaican-born DJ who gave birth to the hip-hop age in the West Bronx, New York City. I’m honored to have been part of the compilation along with a broad range of artists: DaM-Funk, Damon Bennett, Dego, King Britt Presents Sylk 130, Ursula Rucker, Lushlife, ZIN, Hezekiah, Soul Litchfield, Illvibe Collective, Rucyl, Shigeto, Galapagoose (recently seen here on CDM sporting the monome software he co-created), Ras_G, Chuck Treece, Suzi Analogue, and Stef Eye King Britt, …

READ MORE →
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 …

READ MORE →

Sol Installation Probes Solar Energy, Uses Rapid Processing Prototyping

Sol, an interactive “spatial” installation, examines the roots of solar energy. (Your sun: the greatest nuclear fusion power source within light years.) Visitors to the installation get to participate in “staging” the whole cycle, playing with particles that simulate nuclear fusion, then watching the response of DMX-controlled LED and fluorescent lighting, all set to an ambient soundscape. The project is the work of small design shop TheProduct*, commissioned by Humboldt University Berlin. We saw TheProduct*’s terrific musical multi-touch table way back in 2007 on Create Digital Music. The show was curated by Neues Universum e.V, partering with neo.studio neumann schneider …

READ MORE →

Make a Wish Come True: Help Don Create Digital Music

Photo (CC-BY-ND) Atomic Sprinkles. A man named Don Waugh, friend of a CDM reader, is facing some serious challenges. He’s just lost his wife, and faces severe, possibly life-threatening health problems. There’s a campaign underway to get him a liver transplant. But Don doesn’t only want to fight for his health: he wants to make music, too. While significantly hearing impaired (or even arguably mostly deaf), he wants to make some of the industrial music he loves. Chris G aka Metrosonus, Don’s friend, tells CDM he’s working on getting a gear drive together. What’s going unused in your closet could …

READ MORE →

Sonification: Thermonuclear Testing, Made into Music, 1945-1998

Visualization often wins out over sonification when it comes to making data clear. But sound has one key advantage: it can make time and scale apparent, by tapping directly into our perception of forward time. Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto, born well into the Nuclear Age in 1959, uses that property to chilling effect. The sounds in “1945-1998” are made still more unsettling in their rendering as tranquil, musical sounds rather than explosions. Quietly, World War III is waged not in wartime, but in the 2053 nuclear explosions that erupt mainly in thermonuclear tests (led, ironically, by the United States). This …

READ MORE →

ASCAP Attacks Creative Commons, Advocacy Groups as Anti-Copyright, Anti-Artist

Vintage image (CC-BY-SA) Ioan Sameli, as licensed by us pinko commies at CDM. An ASCAP legislative fundraising letter revealed last week that the American performing rights organization is invoking fears of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Creative Commons in order to raise money. ASCAP appears to be repeating, now in the more heated language of fundraising, arguments it has had with the Creative Commons license in the past. For its part, Creative Commons insists most of its licenses don’t preclude performing rights bodies like ASCAP from collecting funds. In the letter, sent on behalf of ASCAP’s Political Action …

READ MORE →

Worldwide Busking Event Turns Street Music into School-Building Power for Zambia

Could busking – street music performance – be a tool for social change? It’s an idea I’ve heard artists mull before. Here’s one opportunity to do just that next month, in April, in support of building badly-needed school facilities in southern Zambia. And yes, digital musicians can participate, thanks to terrific, affordable, battery-powered amplification. I do hope this could launch a discussion, though, on how to organize this kind of action, and how to make busking work for good. Ben Matthews, founder of the charity, writes: LearnAsOne,a UK-based charity dedicated to funding schools in Africa, announces the launch of its …

READ MORE →

Pirating a Fundraising Album for an Italian Quake – Really?

Ligabue, one of the contributing artists, live in Berlin. Photo (CC) Matthias Muehlbradt. Sure, many issues around intellectual property are gray. But contributor Jo Ardalan has a disturbing story: what happens when a fundraising album gets pirated? Did illegal file sharing users know what they were doing — is there a need for a donation mechanism for these services — or is it really this bad? Apologies if this is old news – catching up during travel – but a question well worth considering. -Ed. We all know piracy forces labels, artists and developers to incur a huge cost. Recently, …

READ MORE →