Google Now On The Record With Anti-Indie Negotiating Tactics

As Beats, Spotify, and others earn praise from indies, Google is looking like music’s biggest new villain. According to independent labels, Google is ignoring their collective negotiating groups, offering poor terms in comparison to what they offer majors, and then threatening to block artists and labels from YouTube if they don’t accept those disadvantaged license deals on the company’s new service. And a Google executive today all but publicly confirmed the threats to the press. You might expect that Google would want to burnish its image in light of an upcoming paid streaming service (think Google clone of Spotify, possibly), …

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In Videos, a Battle of Controllers and Live Electronic Performance

In a competitive show of virtuosity, artists at an event in San Francisco over the summer battled to show that live electronic and laptop performance can be physical. It’s dance music that makes the artist sweat, and not just the audience. Hosted by the new Controllerism.com blog with San Francisco’s LoveTech and Slayer’s Club communities, the West Coast Championship Controller battle saw some fierce competition from some top names in live laptop music. The events itself was back on June 25, but this week, full video documentation has become available, so those of us who couldn’t be there can get …

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MO

What Makes a Truly New Instrument? Human Gestures Power Winners of Guthman Competition

Interlude Consortium’s competition-winning MO makes everyday objects interfaces and does some surprisingly-sophisticated analysis of gestures. Nearly as long as we’ve had electronics, musical inventors have tried to imagine new electronic instruments. In the crowded world of new instrument design, the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition has emerged as a key prize for the best work, with creations battling fiercely for attention. But in the oddball world of sound and music, how do you judge a winner? As a starting point, organizers this year asked the judges what they personally found important. With an expert panel including synth pioneer Tom Oberheim …

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mackie

Make an Album in February Or Bust: The RPM Challenge, and Deadlines are Good

Photo (CC-BY-ND) tianhua. Record an album in the month of February, and have it in the mail by March 1: that’s the RPM Challenge, and so far, some 6,000 acts have already delivered. Nathan Groth writes us with details (and apologies for late posting here, since that means you have… less time). Long time reader of CDM. I’m also a coordinator of this little thing called the RPM Challenge, which is now into year #6. I think you may find it interesting and we would love to get some coverage in the hopes it may entice more people to get …

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Tell Us Your Musical Technological Dreams, Get A Chance to See Them Realized

Ready for some blue-sky, 35,000-foot-altitude thinking? Photo (CC-BY-ND Andres Rueda. Want a flying car? Dream of the flying car. Build the flying car. A competition I’m hosting with Digitópia, the musical-technological community of Porto, Portugal, extends to readers worldwide a challenge to dream up the digital musical instrument/interface/creation you want. Got something practical you wish could be built? Got something impractical and bizarre? Either way, articulate it in the best way you can — images, words, videos, mock-ups, stop motion animation, beat poetry, whatever you think is best — and send it in. We’ll share the most interesting entries, and …

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Resolume Competition: Make VJ Loops for Kraak & Smaak

Kraak & Smaak – Squeeze Me from Kraak & Smaak on Vimeo. Kraak & Smaak are already on my good list. The Dutch duo/DJ team have contributed not only terrific music, but also wonderful videos like the flipbook-animated “Squeeze Me,” seen again above. (It’s one of those videos that can elicit that scream of “Argh, why didn’t I think to do that?” from your neighborhood visualist.) Now, Resolume is doing their first-ever VJ competition. The challenge: make three loops. If you win, get a EUR 500 contract to make 20 more clips. That seems reasonable enough: this tests the “bogus …

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DIY Community: Digitópia Seeks World’s Best Patchers, and More Open Source Competition

What if a competition didn’t just encourage entrants to try to make a better product? What if it encouraged friendly rivalry between makers to produce entries that were also shared across the community? That’s the idea behind Digitópia’s upcoming series of competitions, now entering its third year. Digitópia itself is based in Porto, Portugal, at the Casa da Musica. But even if Portugal isn’t exactly in your neighborhood, entrants and onlookers alike can benefit from shared, open sourced contributions. In fact, even the prizes itself are open projects. The simple, anthropomorphic-looking controller above is a free project. It’s dead-simple, a …

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Indie Game as Visualist Event: As the Deadline Nears, One Button Inspires

Games as culture, as event, as art with a lowercase ‘a’ – real, active, evolving, sometimes-commercial, sometimes-experimental art – are finally beginning to grab hold. There’s a real scene. It’s a scene that’s interconnected with the ‘visualist’ scene we describe here on CDMotion, somewhere at the nexus of club visuals, gaming, interactive art, and improvising with screens. And if you want to follow that scene, one particularly delicious event is the annual Gamma game competition. Embracing ideas like incorporating sound and 3D glasses, Gamma is a celebration of the craft of the independent game maker, with results that sit between …

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Push the Button: One-Button Game Design Challenge with Kokoromi's Gamma4

Photo: Steven Depolo. Game design may be trending toward neural inputs and cameras that sense your body in three dimensions and intelligent agents that respond to your every gesture and word. But interaction design – whether in gaming or music and visual performance – is often about doing more with less. Kokoromi have the ultimate in minimalist challenges for their annual Gamma independent game design competition. Think you can embody fun in just the contact of one fingertip? Then it’s on. Behold the one-button game. You have until January 31 to come up with something really brilliant and make it …

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