Space Oddity, Made in Space, is Kind of Ridiculously Awesome

Canadian Col. Chris Hadfield, aboard the International Space Station, has done what you would probably want to do if aboard the high-flying orbital outpost: make a music video for David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” And he works “Soyuz” into the lyrics. (Thankfully, he refrains from making it “Colonel Chris.” The only complaint: a shame it can’t cut between the ISS and Mission Control.) Colonel Hadfield, if you can hear us and have a moment, we’d love to hear how you produced the recording. Not that zero-g means too much for sound production – though I imagine keeping the mic steady becomes …

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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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Fractals, Bots, Nodes, and Patternists: Onyx Ashanti’s Cyborg Music Meets the Ensemble [Guest Post]

Get ready: from one more-than-human musical cyborg, a robotic horde of beatjazz artists. Onyx Ashanti isn’t satisfied just augmenting his own body and musical expression with 3D-printed, sensor-laden prostheses. He’s extending that solo performance with bots that crawl around and gesture for feedback, then – inspired by the organic beauty of fractal geometry – is binding together performers with his system in a networked system of nodes. Just don’t call it a jam session. Call them patternists. If this sounds crazy, it is: crazy in just the way we like. But amidst this hyper-futuristic vision of performance, Onyx also writes …

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Fabric and Architectural Form Begin to Fuse [3D Printing]

Articulated Fabric from Francis Bitonti Studio on Vimeo. Architects regularly theorize about 3D printing and a move to architecture that’s more fluid and flexible. But just what would that look like? This report today gives us a glimpse. The designer: Michael Schmidt, NYC The architect/3D research studio: Francis Bitonti, Brooklyn For Dita Von Teese, burlesque star, who’s able to wear 3D-printed garments fabulously, more power to her / see below… The 3D printer: Shapeways Via Designboom Description:

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Stop Motion Animation, Without the Effort: Magical New Algorithm Lets You Just Use Your Hands

Stop-motion animation, made stunningly simple … through science! Our video-based interface enables easy creation of stop motion animations with direct manipulation by hands, which are semiautomatically removed through a novel two-phase keyframe-based capturing and processing workflow. Our tool is complementary to, and can be used together with traditional stop motion production (e.g., for the rotation of individual faces here). Translation: you can hold stuff with your hands, move it around normally, and then make it look as if you spent countless hours doing actual stop motion animation. Insane. The team in Hong Kong who worked this magic: Xiaoguang Han and …

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Guitar Innovation, Then And Now: Paul Vo Reinvents Fretless, Acoustic Guitars [Videos]

Imagine any acoustic instrument able to act as a synth, and you begin to appreciate the potential instrumental pioneer Paul Vo may be about to unlock. As we reported last month, music-technological innovation can absolutely involve guitars, not just synths with keyboards. So, it’s fitting that we tun now to a lover of keyboards and guitars alike, Chris Stack, for a look in video at the work of Paul Vo. Vo may not be a household name in sound tech, but he should be, as the inventor of the impressive Moog Guitar. Here, we get look back at what came …

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The Monster: DIY Project Looks, And Sounds, Like Alien Spacecraft Control Panel

Leave it to the DIYer. Alex Pleninger’s name isn’t just marketing. This is one monster of a synth creation, looking and sounding like it was ripped, circuits still humming, from a wrecked UFO. Retro trackball, keyboard? Check. In-built computer display? Check. Makes … a mind-boggling array of sounds? Oh, yes. It’s retro-future goodness, powered by the legendary SID, Robert “Bob” Yannes’ synth-on-a-chip that powered the Commodore 64. (In fact, get Bob and Wolfgang together, and you have a fair amount of digital synthesis history – with Ensoniq and PPG represented. See today’s other story.) Thanks to Marc Resibois for the …

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leap

Move Over, Kinect: Early Gestural Musical Demos for Leap Motion Look Terrific

Microsoft’s Kinect has proven a compelling proof of concept for gestural control of music. But it could be just the beginning of mass-market gestural sensing technologies. The Leap Motion, like Kinect, promises to be affordable gear. Unlike the Kinect, the hardware is even more unobtrusive, and gestural control is more precise and responsive. Given the latency limitations of Kinect, that’s a huge deal for music. And better expression could inspire new musical ideas. We’ve spoken many times before about the limitations of touchless control – Theremins are spectacular but not the easiest instruments to play, and waving your hands in …

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Automatically Projection Mapping a 3D, Moving Object: White Kanga Show Stunning Tech

Hide’n’Seek – Technology Demo from White Kanga on Vimeo. Automatically map an object with a projector. Keep the mapping working as the object moves. And, oh yeah, look damned fine while doing it. That’s the neat trick Poland-based White Kanga have pulled off, powered by TouchDesigner. We’ve been following their work before: Robotic Mapping Pulls a Model Building, Tron-Like, Into the Virtual Projection Mapping, with Robotics, Goes Further to Augmenting Reality: MPS Demo [TouchDesigner] Here, we get to really see it in action. It doesn’t hurt that you get cool graphics visualizing the calibration. It’s an internal tool, but it …

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The man who fell to Earth: Onyx Ashanti's open source hardware/software rig goes beyond computer and acoustic interfaces, alike, in a cyborg-style, enhanced human performance rig. Photo Zin Chiang, at CDM's recent Open Source Music showcase at Retune, Berlin.

Way Out From Behind The Laptop: Onyx Ashanti’s Beatjazz-Augmented Body Keeps Mutating

Onyx Ashanti can wail on a computer with no computer in sight, jamming on a virtual horn that has vanished into his cyborg-like live rig. Mouthpiece and head-mounted prosthesis replace what might have been a virtual reality helmet – or sax reed. Sensors in his hands provide more expression. But this isn’t just some flash and theater, while a laptop dutifully plays back loops. It’s really an interface to performance, both surfing samples and providing live solo lines improvised in real-time, in mid-air. For a sense of what I mean, check out the party hosted by Berlin’s Mindpirates, at an …

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