Musical Laptopism: Robotspeak Presents Live Music; Live Videos from May

Chachi Jones, in action. Did he look like he was checking his email? Yes, I’m fairly certain that’s what that egg whisk percussion instrument was for. As digital musicianship grows, it’s critical to have places like Robotspeak. This small, basement-level music shop on San Francisco’s lower Haight is a brilliant music tech boutique by day. On regular evenings, it becomes a venue, packing in fans of genre-bending electronica. Walk off the street, and you feel like you’re in someone’s basement — someone with lots of toys and a great affection for throwing great musical parties. I got to play Robotspeak …

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Maker Faire: Performance Animation with Brent Green Nervous Films

Animator and musician Brent Green creates truly unusual animated films and performs live musical soundtracks to them, as he did for fellow Makers at Maker Day during last week’s Maker Faire. Hand-drawn frame by frame, his work seems barely to contain its own movement, described as “cobbled together” yet strangely beautiful. Evocative, simple soundtracks accompany the work, and the result feels like a performance even when recorded. Beginning as a short fiction author, he selects some mysterious subjects, as with his first film, Susa’s red ears: A little girl with a firetruck in her head on the day the sun …

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Maker Faire: Hacked-up, Wearable Video with Archos PMA

Want to wear your video on your sleeve? Wearaware Design hacked the cradle for the Archos line of video devices in ways that make the device both more practical and more … wearable. How? By eliminating the cradle, an always-worthy goal: The cradle itself is not necessary for accessing any of the A/V i/o ports at all: the signals pass right on through. The cradle is bulky, wasted space; its octopus of fixed cabling is long, messy, and weighs more than the cradle itself. All the cradle really offers is IR and Serial protocols and a power tap for the …

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Maker Faire 2007 in Photos

Maker Faire this weekend had plenty to offer fans of DIY musical gear, from Theremin karaoke performances to wild, home-built instruments from independent DIYers and academics. I spent most of the weekend tied to my booth, making music by scanning barcodes, manipulating a simple infrared sensor and touch sensor, and running live interactive visuals in Jitter. (The last turned out to be a huge hit with babies and their parents. Seriously.) But I did get out a bit; my impressions are documented on Flickr: Maker Faire 2007 Flickr Photoset If you were there and have some images of your own, …

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Hello, Maker Faire Attendees

Hello, coming to you live from San Mateo and the Maker Faire hosted by Make Magazine. If you stopped by the CDM booth today, I hope you stick around a while. This site, for musicians, DJs, composers, and soundmakers, covers the audible side. Create Digital Motion covers VJing and live and interactive visuals (for an audience we like to call visualists). We cover store-bought hardware and software as well as DIY, and love having everyone from beginners to advanced readers around. Here are some links to more information on some of what I was showing: Sensors and MIDI: Working with …

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CDM @ Maker Faire: Events All Weekend, Reports Next Week

I’m in Meatspace largely at the moment, with a weekend packed with events at the Maker Faire. There are plenty of DIY music and motion projects here, and they’ll all be within spitting distance of my booth. Add to that performance events Friday and Saturday, and it’s looking like a great weekend. If you’re not in the Bay Area (which, yes, 99% of you aren’t), expect to see the virtual translation of all this meaty goodness soon. Some of these projects are also suggesting some how-to tutorials, so I’ll be working on that, as well. If you are here, note …

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CDMland Banner, Calling SF/Makers for Chips + Music + Fish Party, Music @ Robotspeak

MAKE:Magazine and Create Digital Music will co-host the Chips + Fish + Music Maker Faire Party next Saturday in San Francisco. But before we get to that, I have to share the latest design from CDM’s visual artist Nat Jeanneret (the reason CDM looks the way it does, and the blogger behind onetonnemusic): If you are in the Bay Area, or coming into town for the awesomeness that is the Maker Faire, we would love to invite you to the party. What: Chips + Fish + Music Party, the Maker Faire “after party” Brought to you by: MAKE:Magazine and CDM …

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Preview: DIY Musical Wonders as CDM Heads to the Maker Faire Next Week

Massive musical makers meet-up! Clockwise from top left: the all-in-one sound suitcase AudioPint, ultrasonic Thereping instruments, Steve Cooley links sound and 3D image, and one-upping Nike with a sensor-driven performance shoe. Next week, all week I’ll be in the Bay Area, California for Maker Faire, the Burning Man meets Science Fair meets World Expo meets Happening event hosted by our friends at Make Magazine. With so much going on, here’s a look at some of the digital music-specific events and workbenches featured this year (as I did last year). And yes, I’ll be on-hand personally showing alternative instruments, performing, and …

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Thimbletron: TradeMark’s MIDI Thimbles Make Illegal Music

Cassette-tape DJ battles are just one of TradeMark G.’s retro, regressive, subversive musical creations. He also likes to put on glasses, a white lab coat, and interactive sewing thimble gloves, in order to produce illegal, copyright-crushing musical performances. Many of the techno-gimmicks seen here on CDM are one-offs and prototypes. The Evolution Control Committee, by contrast, has been producing “illegal art”, often with the aid of technology, for some 20 years. They’ve been “culture jamming”, dropping Napster bombs (remember Napster?), infamously attracting the ire of CBS, and dressing up as giant pairs of trousers and cans of Parmesan cheese ever …

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