Audio, Music Gems from the Upcoming Game Developer Conference

Music for mashing buttons to. Photo (CC) Jon Jordan, Pocket Gamer. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times that, as far as the conference calendar for 2009 goes, some of the most interesting discussions about audio, composition, and technology are happening at a game developer conference. The terrific GameSetWatch “alt.video game” blog has a nice overview of the goodies at GDC in March for audio lovers: Previewing GDC 2009: Inside The Audio Track [GameSetWatch] But even that doesn’t cover all the goodness. Check out the full Audio Track schedule: Audio Track, GDC @cmpevents.com I imagine for someone looking to get …

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Pioneering Composer Paul Lansky Quits Electronic Music

Paul Lansky, a titanic name in classical computer music, Princeton professor, and real-time algorithmic pioneer, has gone acoustic. He’s also known in more popular circles for having been musically quoted on Radiohead’s Kid A. The New York Times reports: After 35 years immersed in the world of computer music, the composer Paul Lansky talks with wonder about the enormous capacities of primitive objects carved from trees or stamped from metal sheets: violins, cellos, trumpets, pianos. "To create the sound of a violin – wow!" he said in a recent interview. "I can’t do that on a computer." Paul Lansky: An …

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Ligeti’s Artikulation: What Might Future Digital Notation Look Like? (Plus Twitter Finds)

Ligeti – Artikulation by tonicadominante What does music look like? With new sounds and new technologies, the question is more apt than ever. Tom of Music thing points, via his Twitter feed, to this interesting post regarding Ligeti’s Artikulation: Visualizing Artikulation [Bad Assembly] Music notation takes on a different meaning in the age of computers. After all, the essential divide in notation – between sound representation and realization – is blurred in the digital domain, in which we move between visual and sonic information seamlessly and a sound can be reproduced exactly. But, perhaps in that fluid context and without …

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Archivist Responds: Yes, Virginia, Delia Derbyshire Really Was That Awesome

A sadly out-of-print album of Delia Derbyshire’s music, with Brian Hodgson, Don Harper. It came as no surprise to me that Delia Derbyshire, composer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop maestra, would have created incredibly forward-thinking music in the 60s. But when one track seemed to predict IDM and modern electronica, the story of Derbyshire’s vintage “dance” track spread over the Interwebs, and even aroused suspicion of fakery. Delia Derbyshire Recordings Found, Including Ahead-of-its-Time Dance Track David Butler of the University of Manchester was one of two archivists who started undertaking the work of assembling a library of Derbyshire’s ground-breaking work. He …

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Delia Derbyshire Recordings Found, Including Ahead-of-its-Time Dance Track

Here’s some very good news from the UK: pioneering electronic music composer, sound designer, BBC Radiophonic  virtuosa and Doctor Who theme creator Delia Derbyshire left us more recordings than previously thought. Some 267 tracks of music and documentation were found in her attic. The Radiophonic Workshop’s Mark Ayres – who has been single-handedly leading the charge to make sure the Workshop’s place in history is safe – had been preserving them. But now this archive will be a “living archive,” meaning, at last, we should get to hear them and new music will be commissioned for the archive from musicians …

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Audiovisual Inspiration: Agriculture Gone Electronica, in TRACTOR

TRACTOR from tsaworks_martin Böttger on Vimeo. Composer/electronic musician Bruno Dias sends us his latest collaboration, with visualist Martin Bottger. It was a distance collaboration – so just the kind of thing you could be working on with musicians and visualists you know. Bruno writes: We never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and this work was carried along the last couples months with Martin working on the visual side in Maya and then After Effects in Berlin and me developing the sound narrative that would then drive the visuals one here in London. I worked on sound using as main …

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Weekend Inspiration: Party with Experimental Sound Like It’s Montreal 1967

Simon James writes with still more free sound — and free, indeed, as Montreal Expo in 1967 (the World’s Fair) brought together some of electronic sound’s most radical musicians, the type of gang who could freak out a crowd today as much as forty years ago. Thanks again for the mention of Tone Generation. I just thought I’d draw your attention to another related piece I produced with Ian Helliwell last year. It was called ‘Expo 67 – A Radiophonic collage’ and was a snapshot in sound of the Montreal worlds fair in 1967. Tristram Cary composed music for the …

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Music Tech History Day: “What The Future Sounded Like”, Tristram Cary, and a Forgotten Chapter of History

While Moog is a household name, the UK’s Electronic Music Studio is a kind of "forgotten chapter" of electronic music history, as the documentary above suggests. EMS is significant not just for technological innovation, but musical experimentation — not to mention their cheeky British sense of humor and topless nude women crawling toward synths in their ads. (That and the best synth slogan of all time, "Every Nun Needs a Synthi.") For whatever reason, there’s likewise very little online documentation regarding the late Tristram Cary — even though the likes of Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, and King Crimson made …

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Tristram Cary, Tape Music Pioneer, VCS3 Designer, Composer, Dies

It’s been a rough week for electronic music — having lost Bebe Barron, we’ve now lost one of the other great early pioneers of electronic music, South Australian Tristram Cary. Tristram is credited by some as the father of tape music, originating tape music techniques in World War II. He’s notorious to the general public and sci fi fans as the composer of the music for the Daleks in Doctor Who (along with other music) — like an evil counterpart to Delia Derbyshire, who built the studio Cary would later use. But he was also a pivotal composer of music …

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Obituary: Bebe Barron, Pioneering Electronic Composer

There are pioneers and artists — and then there are people whose impact is great enough that they become inseparable with the history of a medium. Bebe Barron, along with husband Louis Barron, was far enough ahead of her time that her ideas remain futuristic today. The Barrons didn’t just produce the first full-length electronic film score with Forbidden Planet; they created an ambient sonic world between music and special effects, and tied it to cybernetic theories. That score stands in contrast to films still dominated by Alfred Newman-style, post-Wagnerian theatrics. Today, artists are only just re-discovering the possibilities of …

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