Beautiful Music Performed by Mexican Jumping Beans (Really)

jumping beans & .tape. from la bisogno on Vimeo. What might a jar full of Mexican jumping beans sound like if composing their own ambient music? Scott Worley points us to a musical experiment by his labelmate Daniel Romero aka .tape, on netlabel yo.yo.pang!. .tape programmed a sound environment in the free multimedia patching environment Pd (Pure Data). Contact microphones listen for the beans to jump, then use Pd’s onset detection (an analysis for transients) to trigger the sounds. Daniel reports the technique is “easy, but wholly effective.” I’ll say – the music winds up being quite lovely, and rather …

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Mobile Projection with a Chihuahua

No, you’re not misreading that headline – it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a dog with a mini projector (and in some cases, a camera, apparently) strapped to his back. I’m not exactly sure this is something I would choose to do with a dog, but video artist Fernando Llanos says the animal is earning access to globe-trotting through gourmet food: t I didn’t care, he’s my dog and he has to work, it’s like in a circus, there’s a price the animal has to pay, in order to eat foagra in France and jamón in Barcelona. Mmmmm, jamón. …

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Art of Sound: Fascinating DIY Music Creations; Enter and Win Custom Speakers

Make stuff, win stuff: Create your own sound project, like the Simple Sequencer, and you can win an appropriately handmade project like the custom speakers at bottom. The art of music is as expressive an art as you can find, so why shouldn’t the objects we use to make music be equally personal and creative? That’s the question we ask regularly on CDM, so we’re pleased to be sponsoring a contest with our friends at Instructables, along with the good people of Bleep Labs and custom speaker maker Zalytron. Instructables, of course, are a site that let you share step-by-step …

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April is For Music: Bent, Tank, and a Moog Announcement at Ethermusicfest

There’s a simply insane amount of electrified music happening here in the US this week: Bent Festival NY: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights are concerts at the Bent Festival in NY, not only of circuit bending but other DIY sound, as well. Stop by Saturday during the day for a day full of workshops. (also on Facebook) Thursday, Bent NY sponsor The Tank will be hosting Warper Vs. Splice, a 2-floor audiovisual collision in downtown NYC; I’ll be on music + eyethings in the middle of the evening. (See Facebook) Saturday, The Tank hosts the 8-bit crowd, also concurrent with …

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Beamz Laser Harp Makes Faux Music, Demeans Girl in Penguin Sweater

You’re not cool now? You will be, as your hands dance to the rhythm through the magical lasers. A few moments of your playing, and nothing could possibly convince me that you didn’t grow up on the streets of Jamaica, banging oil drums you salvaged and hammered into shape. Whoops, sorry — had to snap out of that for a second. So, okay — it seems the beamz laser harp we saw last week comes with special algorithmic software that makes music play basically regardless of what you do. The problem with laser harps in general is they tend to …

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Kitten Does Electro 101; Where are the Synth Pooches?

Pictures of cats and blogging are a cliche — but that cliche happens to be true. And it extends down the long tail (ahem, so to speak) to our little niches. Yes, there really is a blog dedicated to pictures of cats and synths. Not weirded out yet? Via Matrixsynth earlier this month (and evidently not an April Fool’s joke), someone has made a tatoo. Very … uh, meta. Good grief; the cats have already started making tutorials: Assembling electronic beats, starring Convoy — a slide show So, my question is, where are the synth and computer music dogs? Dachshunds …

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Evening Bits: Music-Playing Cats and Conceptual Designs, Bathroom Distribution

Cat power. First of today’s evening diversions: Analog Industries discovers Nora the piano-playing cat. We don’t want to put Nora up on the main site, though, lest she scare the infinitely more talented Hatebeak the parrot. Conceptual albums. The folks at BornRich.org have a beautiful music tablet PC design up. (Thanks, Gizmodo.) Only problem: it’s basically a Windows tablet PC with a prettier body; the real magic in portable music tablets would come from smarter software. See also their computer in a drum case, which might allow drummers to sneak Ableton Live onstage. The Long Tail and the Toilet. Lastly, …

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Open-Source ActionScript: Adobe and Mozilla Team Up

Open-source ActionScript meets Mozilla: it’s either a geek wet dream or an odd title for a Japanese monster flickr. Emmy Huang, Product Manager for Flash Player at Adobe, reports on her blog: New open source project with code contributed from Adobe ActionScript Virtual Machine See also Tamarin Project page at mozilla.org Now, before you get too excited, what this doesn’t mean is that Adobe is open sourcing Flash Player (too bad!). It’s the scripting language engine in Flash Player, the virtual machine that performs the magic of turning your source code into something that actually runs, being built into a …

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Music of Snakes on a Plane: Trevor Rabin, Former Yes-Man Now a Mac-Using Composer

It’s impossible to continue just to make music and ignore the serious threats to our security and the safety of passenger aviation. Tightened security has focused primarily on threats from the past, and reactive measures that can only prevent existing, known dangers. You know where I’m going with this: we need to evaluate screening methods and other security provisions to respond to the significant issue of snakes on a plane. I just can’t believe no one is doing anything about these motherf****** snakes. Cult-hit-before-it-was-even-released movie Snakes on a Plane has none other than Trevor Rabin composing the musical score, as …

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Adorable Animals with Synthesizers

I love controversy. But after a week in which US politicians were talking about World War III (or was that IV) and somehow CDM’s great comment threads wound up on the topics of whether hardware or software was better (discussion = not allowed on this site), and whether starving children would be able to eat affordably-priced laptops, I decided it was time for an experiment. Could I write an entry with total appeal and zero controversy? I present, as mind candy for the weekend: adorable animals with synthesizers.

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