Brian Eno, portrait by Ralf Schmerberg.

Watch Artists Talk The Meaning of Life, Musically Speaking, In Free Feature Film [RBMA]

Forget for a moment that Red Bull Music Academy has for a decade and a half assembled some of the world’s greatest-known artists to dish out inspiration. Forget that that’s Brian Eno’s mug staring back at you with cool, blue eyes. Forget that music “careers” can span from finding ranking in Forbes to scraping together extra tips at a bar to own a synth, with a gulf in between that can make people question the value of their work. If you’re reading this, it means that you probably have made music your life. You build music and maybe you build …

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Animating in Light, Hand-Carved Creations: The Stunning, Glowing Effects of Marilyn Myller

MARILYN MYLLER – Mini Making: Light Effects from Mikey Please on Vimeo. Mastering today’s digital media often means expertly melding optical and digital. One of the films that launched modern digital animation as we know it, ironically, developed its signature look primarily via optical effects. And resonances of that film, Tron, are certainly here. The six-minute short Marilyn Myller gets a bit of everything. It’s hand-carved physical forms, stop-animated. It’s light painting with optical effects, captured digitally. And it seems that optical/digital fusion holds a lot of promise for his medium, including live contexts. I’m certainly inspired watching. Description of …

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Your Soul is Glitching: Impulse, a Chilling Visual Poem on Self and Tech

Impulse from gold extra on Vimeo. Don’t wait for the cyborg future. It’s here – embedded more deeply in ourselves than any googles or prosthetic. The words are from 1949 – Max Bense, a Cassandra on technology, talking about “technical existence.” The visuals are part stop motion, part digital effect and glitching edit. And the human actor is glitching, too – their face twitching with electrodes, a la Daito Manabe. (Don’t miss the beautiful, perfect sound score by Juan A. Romero, too.) But the sum of all these components is something chillingly poetic, a visual etude that imagines something hopeful …

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The Music of 2071, As Imagined in 1964: Fischinger Lumigraph to Lumichord

Finishing research for a talk at Genève’s Mapping Festival, I came across this gem from comments on Create Digital Motion. It’s the innovative Lumigraph, an interactive light experiment by visionary film and animation pioneer Oskar Fischinger. The sci-fi film looked ahead to what the music of 2071 might be like, in 1964’s The Time Travelers. To their credit, goofy love lounge aside, the reuse of Fischinger’s abstract light project isn’t far off from music in 2013. (And, hey, whatever puts you in the mood.) Fischinger, for his part, almost certainly wasn’t thrilled with the use of his creation in this …

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Peoplemeter: Experimental Film, Score Imagine a World Populated by the Things We Left Behind

As umbrellas scurry about like spiders, inanimate metal objects scuttling through emptied streets, and electronics send clicks and crackles between robots, Peoplemeter produces a post-apocalyptic world without humans. Microscopes and endoscopes shoot these objects in revelatory ways, as the musical score amplifies their sounds. These objects are animated through various effects, ranging from stop motion to more abstract portraits as textures. Director Incredible Bob makes these intimate moments a kind of cinematic object theater. The sound, too, literally comes from inanimate ephemera, transformed into experimental instruments by musician WoO of the BelgradeNoise collective. The trailer is already compelling. More details …

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Rendered Toy Theater: 'Brave New World' Short, Set in Rotating Box

Brave New Old from Adam Wells on Vimeo. In electronic animation, there really are no limits to space or object. The challenge can become, then, grounding motion in the physical. Adam Wells sends CDM his short “Brave New World,” which has been making the festival circuit. It takes a novel approach, setting the action in minimalist, toy-like objects, and setting the entire stage for the work as a rotating box. For the artist, the work has been an experiment in storytelling, he says. It recalls for me physical toy theater, the puppet-based tradition of setting theatrical storytelling in miniature, self-contained …

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Rendered Toy Theater: ‘Brave New World’ Short, Set in Rotating Box

Brave New Old from Adam Wells on Vimeo. In electronic animation, there really are no limits to space or object. The challenge can become, then, grounding motion in the physical. Adam Wells sends CDM his short “Brave New World,” which has been making the festival circuit. It takes a novel approach, setting the action in minimalist, toy-like objects, and setting the entire stage for the work as a rotating box. For the artist, the work has been an experiment in storytelling, he says. It recalls for me physical toy theater, the puppet-based tradition of setting theatrical storytelling in miniature, self-contained …

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If Your Body Were a Moog: Experimental Voyager Sounds + Contemporary Dance Portraits

six short stories about… from Vlaicu Golcea on Vimeo. The ubiquity of the classic subtractive synthesizer could make you think that its sounds are limited to familiar sounds. But it simply ain’t so. Part of why I think these designs endure is that it remains possible to coax new musical gestures, to voyage through new timbres. And so, with a small dose of Reaktor, Romanian composer/musician Vlaicu Golcea coaxes beautiful and surprising sounds from the Moog Voyager. In a strangely synesthetic experience, these sounds match perfectly the choreography. I’m often a fan of creating musical spaces that don’t touch each …

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The Future’s Sonic History, And 14-Year-Old Dreams: In The Studio with Matthew Dear [Video]

A Studio Visit with Matthew Dear presented by AIAIAI and Ghostly International from Ghostly International on Vimeo. What does the future sound like? For musicians using technology, that question can resonate on two levels. It can be an attraction to imagined futuristic worlds, and the connection of synths and gadgets to that world. And, even each time we sit down to make music, it can be a dream of our own future self – if not the rockstar, that future self who has finished this track that right now is just an idea or a feeling. In a film that’s …

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The Intimacy of Gesture, in Videos for Sigur Ros, aka Let's All Run Through the City

Sigur Rós: Varúð from Sigur Rós Valtari Mystery Films on Vimeo. Perhaps there’s no science to transforming music into visual medium, any more than there is a single way to translate a poem from one language to another, or a single way to feel. But because music is a tongue that can speak in a mysterious syntax, it’s all the more fascinating when the image we see is one we can share. It’s like sharing a dream. So, as Sigur Rós shares their new album Valtari with a series of filmmakers, with no instructions or intervention on interpretation, you see …

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