Sakamoto and Alva Noto again create electronics, scoring masterpiece

I suspect many electronic music aficianados have the soundtrack for the film The Revenant on repeat who haven’t even seen the film. Any new Alva Noto/Ryuichi Sakamoto collaboration will get the attention of lovers of minimal electronic achievement, with good reason. And The Revenant might just be the perfect landscape for that collaboration. Its marathon portrait of bleakness and intense, lonely revenge make the film a platform for a perfect Alva Noto/Sakamoto score.


Jeff Mills on Audiences, Techno’s “Who Cares If You Listen”

Techno legend Jeff Mills has a beautiful quote making the rounds on social media, responding to the question of audience. He’s still making music for them, he says – but doesn’t want to get pulled into simply giving them what he knows will work. Watch from about 8:30 for the video above, in its original context (a 2010 tugobot piece). It resonates for me with the Milton Babbitt’s “Who Cares if You Listen?” (That’s a title Babbitt claimed he never used; this is a tale so familiar to contemporary music that it has its own Wikipedia entry, for those of …


Techno as Science: Nicolas Bougaïeff Explains Max for Live, Meta-Music, Steve Reich [Video, Theory]

Got a doctorate? Got a doctorate in techno? Got a techno track with a 12-tone row? Artist and researcher Nicolas Bougaïeff (also of developer Liine) shares his latest work with CDM. It’s about the track, yes, about the music video, about techno and dancefloors in some sense. But it’s also about process: Nicolas shares some of the way the machinery of his track was built, in its realization in software, in musical composition, and underlying research. And we also get a terrific music video that helps render some of this geometric theoretical thinking, courtesy Berlin-based motion graphics artist Vicetto. (See …


You’re Doing it Backwards: REV Builds Sound Library Around Reversing Stuff

Soundware remains a massive market. Products fall in the CDM inbox daily. There’s just not so much to talk about – even when the quality is exceptional. There are good products out there, and sampled libraries are especially essential for anyone working on tight deadlines – no matter the joy of recording material, anyone working for markets like TV or film likely needs some assistance satisfying clients in a hurry. It’s just that there’s so much out there, there isn’t always a story. Output is a new sound house out of Los Angeles that found a way to tell a …


Sibelius Core Team Now at Steinberg, Building New Notation Tool

Avid’s Sibelius score writer, seen here, no longer has the team that once led its development. But those veterans are now planning something new – and are now working for Steinberg. In the production of printed scores and traditional notation, two tools have loomed large for over a decade: Sibelius and Finale. So, for publishers, composers, arrangers, and teachers who use scoring software, it was a big deal when it became clear over the summer that a reorganization at Avid pushed the core development team of Sibelius out of the company. That raised some protests among users, and serious doubts …


Music in the Key of monome: From Samples, a Community Makes a Free Album

Keys open doors to creative music making in a community-led process. Photo (CC-BY) Cassie / Angelandspot. What an extraordinary thing an interface can be, a map to making music. A new community-generated album from users of the now-legendary monome grid instrument yields a variety of musical outcomes. The results are instrumental and lovely, breaking off on lots of different stylistic vectors, but glued together by the notion of key and pitch. Let’s let contributor Joshua Saddler explain this – and the holiday album – as well as share some of the music. If you celebrate Orthodox Christmas or more generally …


iPad Score Reading: Scorecerer Emphasizes Markup, Page Turn Control, PDFs

If Beethoven had an iPad, he’d want annotations. Lots of them. His iPad would be covered with fingerprints. Since today is Beethoven’s 241st birthday, it seems only appropriate to inject a little conventional notation into today’s coverage. And what better way to do that than with an iPad app that promises some musician-friendly reading features. We’ve already looked a couple of times at Avid’s Sibelius-powered Scorch iPad reader, which features nice output and score integration, and recently added PDF support. Scorecerer has some unique features – aside from, augh, a somewhat unpronounceable name. It goes further in page turn control, …


Meet the Music and Sound Oscar Nominees, and Learn from Hours of Info from Sonic Masters

Shared dreams, indeed: welcome to Hollywood. And in 2011, the music and soundscapes of blockbuster films suddenly seem very much like the future of our dreams, from ground-breaking surround sound to interactive music to scores combining low-fidelity and high – and one breaktakingly-terrific score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that stands on its own. The Internet, as the subject of one Oscar-nominated film, is full of short attention spans and flirts, social dysfunction and lust. But there’s another side of the Internet. Someone interested in finding expressive inspiration, in learning the craft of music and sound, can virtually apprentice …


Creating in 2011: A Composers’ View of Mobile Game Audio, From Trends to Slot Machine Sound Design

Pay attention to those Angry Birds. They could be a sign of upcoming gigs, composers and sound designers. Photo (CC-BY) Johan Larsson. Composer/sound designer Ben Long has a resume of work on dozens of games. Here on CDM, he shares the topic on which he recently addressed GDC China: mobile. If mobile game audio is going to rise to people’s expectations, it’ll have to get past rushed developers and hardware obstacles, including revisiting the whole mono/stereo debate. Ben lets us know his insider take on that landscape, and shares with us the process for designing sounds for virtual slots. Everyone, …


Composing for 1-bit Microchip: Tristan Perich

Tristan Perich releases music entirely as electronics, with his 1-bit Symphony, coming out next week. But before we get hung up on the novelty of the thing, take note: there’s some real musical, compositional goodness inside that jewel case frame, locked up in the circuits. To begin the conversation about that music, Primus Luta, aka David Dodson, talks to the artist for CDM. If you are familiar with Tristan Perich’s previous work 1-Bit Music, the packaging for 1-Bit Symphony will look familiar.  Housed in a standard jewel case, the CD is replaced by a series of circuits wired to a …