richardselfportrait

Richard Lainhart, Prolific Composer and Artist, Dies at 58; Links to His Work

Richard plays Handmade Music in 2007; full video at bottom. I’m saddened to learn of the death of Richard Lainhart, the New York-based composer and artist who has been inseparable from the experimental electronic scene for many years. I knew Richard to be a gentle and imaginative soul, an inventive technologist, someone capable of dreaming up endless soundscapes and auditory worlds. He was also a great contributor to the CDM community, including playing one of the early installments of Handmade Music at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn. (Photo above; full video at bottom.) I think it’s fitting to illustrate Richard with …

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A DIY iPad Audio Dock, with Instructions, from Father of Circuit Bending Reed Ghazala

What are those alien, otherworldly sounds coming out of the iPad? That’s not GarageBand. It’s what happens when Reed Ghazala, the father of circuit bending some decades ago, meets the iPad. Not that it’s his first encounter with products from Apple – he’s been approaching that company’s hardware as he does everything else, prying unexpected life with modifications and experimentation. But just as “circuit bending” need not be seen as “breaking,” here, too, Ghazala’s modifications make the device more humane, more musical, and – for all the shouting about how the design is perfect – far, far more usable. A …

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chalkpattern

Flickr Find: Harmonic Patterns on a Playground

Photo (CC-BY) Jan Tik. We celebrate 3.14, PI day, with some selections of mathematics, music, and visualization… Sometimes the results resemble scores, sometimes toys, and sometimes – more rarely – real musical instruments. But part of why I love computing as a window into music is its ability to visualize music’s mathematical beauty. I happened across this image from Flickr. It’s a chalk pattern on pavement for a children’s game (I’m not actually sure what game). But the math-compelled photographer found in it musical, harmonic intervals. I’ll have to sketch a little Processing and Pd design that plays with this …

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SKTCH: Generative iPhone Drawings, Shared Among a Community of Artists

Used as a traditional painting device, the iPhone and iPod touch aren’t terribly impressive, reducing the interaction to a kind of simplistic finger painting. (Ditto any touch device, really.) But attach dynamic, generative brushes to your fingers, and the act of painting digitally is transformed. Behind the scenes, it’s not the software or the technology that makes digital mobile painting come alive: it’s the people. Just as traditional painting required extensive knowledge of the physical properties of paint, a community of digital artists is honing skills in making the generative language that can make this medium more expressive. And it’s …

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CDM and Creative Commons “Non-Commercial” Images

(CC) Giulio Zannol. Sampling and online reuse are enormously common in our culture today. But if you really believe in making some of that culture freely accessible, it follows you must also make free licenses explicit. Simply taking something because it’s there isn’t fair to the person who created the content, whose rights should come first, and it doesn’t help advance the cause of free content. If we want content to be more freely accessible, we need to give first priority to those materials explicitly licensed for free use. All of that is to say, we need to obey the …

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Motion Reels: Starcraft MSL Gaming from Korea

KILL THE FIGHTER! What would a slick motion opening look like for, um, classic Starcraft gaming televised? (Oh, yes – Korea really is that cool.) While we’re generally not that interested in motion reels, these videos are made of awesome, and seem to be a special case. It’s like Monday Night Football for us Americans. And then you wind up, you know, punching water. Yep, strategy gaming geeks can be badass. Credits Client : MBC GAME / On Air : MBC GAME Top video: Creative Director & Producer : Paul Choi Design & Animation : Taehwan Lee, Jaewon Jung Bottom …

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Images from OFFF: When Designers Make MacBook Graffiti, and Other Pictures from Portugal

The OFFF Festival, held last week in Lisbon, Portugal, has to be one of the most visually stimulating places I’ve ever been. Herds of bright-faced, young, handsome European artist boys and girls pack by the thousands into an old steel mill. In a cavernous, resonant concrete bunker, the echo of excited chatter never really stops. Instead, to be noticed, presenters have to create visual flash – visual demos here are everything. It almost seems like it shouldn’t work. I notice a few bloggers complained about sometimes-disorganized presentations, the difficulty in hearing (tough for me, and the presentations were in my …

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Animated Mascots Describe What Advertising Means to Them, in Animata

Product Placement from Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo. It’s like Creature Comforts for the ad industry. But look out, traditional animators – still images can come to live almost magically through the interactive powers of Animata, an open source animation tool. In a brilliant series of animated interviews, Product Placement populates its scenes with classic ad mascots, from Heinz’s Tom Tomato to anti-polluter PSA character Woodsy Owl. The audio comes from interviews with people connected to the ad industry being surprisingly frank and even cynical about the role of advertising in society. The audio for those interviews is an interesting project …

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Painting with ActionScript: Code Artwork by Patrick Gunderson

Artist Patrick Gunderson creates spectacular canvases of particle-generated paintings, a bit like code action paintings. (Action as in the likes of Jackson Pollack, not just ActionScript.) Above, an image from the Create Digital Motion Flickr pool. It’s worth having a closer look on Flickr – as with a physical painting, the closer you get, the more detail you see. This is a Actionscript 3 generated composition. Color samples are taken from a base image then drawn using a psudo-random line drawing algorithm in concert with a particle system. The technique itself is not exclusive to Mr. Gunderson, though I really …

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DIY Compact Music Workstations: Magnets, Eee, x0xb0x, Recycling

Very often, computers and music gear greedily consume whole corners of the room. Here’s a tidy alternative, modest in space consumption as well as in cost. So, what’s so wonderful about DIY creations by our friend Sasa Djuric (aka fibra)? It isn’t just that his stands are recycled from monitor stand parts. It’s not just because the free ReBirth for Windows and an Asus netbook make for a wonderfully affordable computer music station. It’s not even that his cases for the x0xb0x 303 clone and a MIDIbox project are beautifully executed, or that magnets on the stands more effectively support …

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