You may have heard a lot about the InterWeb, a new network that magically connects people around the world through their Compute-trons. You might have heard about its powers to promote music, perhaps by an ill-researched story yesterday where I stupidly pointed to a UK artist who will go unmentioned here. (As it turns out, which I would have known had I bothered to, um, read, all of the following did indeed happen: “girl produces webcast from basement,” “girl gets fan following,” “girl makes it big,” “girl signs record deal,” “girl hires publicist.” Just in the reverse order. It doesn’t …
Tim’s back with another tip. Baltimore bender Peter Blasser has created oddities like the much-blogged worm-powered synth (using worms as connections for a circuit-bend patch bay; via Music thing) and bent wooden synth kits (also via MT). But that’s not all. Blasser, aka Ciato-Lonbarseee, has plenty of other strange creations: Many odd synths, many odd names: Blasser catalog I love the eerie sounds of the percussive analog jacket. There’s another whole page of wooden and electronic oddities, like the “bass in a picnic basket.” Some things can be explained. Some cannot, like these pages of instruments. Go explore and enjoy.
The crew at Remix Magazine got a chance to (literally) remix a Disney Chicken Little toy; they’ve posted the process and results. So what gear does DJ Chicken Little use? Pioneer CDJ-1000 Allen & Heath Xone mixer Virus Indigo keyboard PowerBook G4 running Ableton Live Hmm, absurdly cute, gets all the “young hens,” and has a dream rig — I have to say I’m a bit jealous. This is about the most fun toy I’ve seen since the Moog action figure. So, Keyboard Magazine, do we have a response toy?
Here’s a twist on interactive aquatic music: how about letting the fish be the music-makers? BBC News reports that digital artist Julie Freeman has created an installation out of a fish tank, installed in a silo at the Tingrith Fishery in Bedfordshire, southern England. Surgically-implanted radio tags track the movement of the fish, which generates music and animation. (via Gino Robair at Electronic Musician) I think this is even better than the MIDI hamsters.
This week's understatement of note: "Sometimes I am self-driven to do some weird stuff. I have no idea why." Indeed, Troy Errthum. Like turning an old upright piano into a 20-gallon pianoquarium, complete with live fish. (via hackaday) The piano itself is no longer playable (guess that's what happens when you replace the soundboard with fish), but there's room for an electric piano. CDM challenges its readers to start building fish storage into digital instruments. Maybe there's a market here.
Tired of the lead vocalist in your hardcore thrash death metal band? Why not replace him or her with a parrot? Yes, it's Hatebeak, the band with a parrot (literally) singing — make that "savaging you with feathers of razored steel." (I've heard a few folk singer-songwriters who also fit that description, but I digress.) Where else could you find tunes like "Bird Bites, Dog Cries," "Beak of Putrefaction," or "Bird Seeds of Vengeance." The sound is best described as, um, just go listen to the MP3. Reptilian Records is also lucky enough to have signed Caninus, which features two …
Oh, sure. You're jaded. You're not even impressed by the sheer bizarreness of a MIDI sequencer run entirely by hamsters. But look closer: to make the music sound as musical as this, Cornell student Levy Lorenzo designed a sophisticated set of algorithms governing rhythmic durations and note choice, so this is really a generative algorithmic composition with hamster manipulation. Hamsters are divided by task: one does notes, one rhythm. Wait, back up — the hamsters are playing music!! Look at those hamsters go! (Sorry, couldn't contain myself.) Via Tom at musicthing. (Yup, Tom is back!)