Music for a Place, as Central Park Becomes a Score, and Location Meets Recording

There was a time when the ability to record and playback music didn’t exist – such things were magical fiction no one had seen. So, the idea of playing one channel of recorded sound, then two channels, had to be invented. Artists hadn’t created something called an “album” until there were devices that played back that monophonic and stereophonic sound; even the idea that such a strange art counted as “music” had to be constructed. It’s obvious now, but it’s easy to forget that these musical forms were produced to cater to the capabilities of what was once a new …


Curating Sound: Exploring Performance and Embodiment, in Live Excerpts and Analysis from BodyControlled

Continuing our insight into this view into electronic music performance and art through the lens of BodyControlled in Berlin, we’re joined by guest writer Kristin Trethewey. Kristin, a Canadian-born video artist and curator, takes another look at LEAP and BodyControlled, on the eve of its second installment. She gets straight at the question of what “BodyControlled” means, and what it can mean for sonic performance and creation. And I wanted to make sure to subtract myself from this write-up, seeing as I was playing – but see the excellent timelapse of the evening, above. -Ed. LEAP is one of these …


Sonic Pulp Fiction: The Unsound Festival, Respun as Imaginary Narrative

Silhouetted in a fog, Unsound in 2009. Photo (CC-BY-ND) andrej/asebest. “This sounds crazy. I want to see this. I think I may have to see this to understand what you mean. But I want to see this.” David Dodson, journalist, writer, and electronic musician (“Primus Luta” and, most recently at our Handmade Music series, Concrete Sound System), has just told me he wants to cover New York’s Unsound Festival, the Polish-based electronic and “advanced” music festival. Only he wants to cover it … fictionally. There’s a love story. There’s drama. There a bits of review, interwoven with a story. In …


Remembering Nam Jun Paik, TVs, and Some Serious Cybernetics; NYC Chelsea Gallery Show

Photo (CC) Becky Stern, also of MAKE / Craft. Calling Nam Jun Paik a video art pioneer would be too narrow to describe his impact. In exploding the idea of what television and television processing could be in his art, he helped create a conceptual revolution that cleared the path for today’s ubiquitous and always-dynamic screens. But to really understand that work, you might want to delve into the theory of cybernetics, for the same reasons that can help understand early, radical electronic music and the path we’re on today. Rhizome has a lovely essay by Carolyn Kane, framed by …