Note from the Editor: Music for Dance, Music and Movement

“Dance music” is a term that has lately become maligned all over again. And the press is often fond of deriding the music of machines, as if drum machines and computers are sentient alien technology that climbed out of the smoldering remains of a wrecked UFO rather than the handiwork of someone’s imagination. For me, though, these two materials – movement and machines – are the reason I do what I care about this field, exploring new sounds in a way that is human and gestural, whether the music is in an experimental concert at 8p or a party in …

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Augmented Dance, in New Daito Manabe Music Video for Nosaj Thing

Dancers become canvases for animated geometries, spawning abstract flurries of shapes and particles above them, in the computer vision-driven choreography in Nosaj Thing’s new video “Eclipse/Blue.” The dance seems perfectly calibrated to Nosaj Thing’s dreamy, polished production and the delicate vocals of Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead). This is not Kinect – it just isn’t fast enough. Daito Manabe uses the Point Grey cameras, which operate at higher speeds. To me, oddly, some of the most beautiful moments come toward the end as the dancers become darkened silhouettes. To their credit, Daito Manabe and creators directly acknowledge the work that inspired …

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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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