functionofmusic

Watch a beautiful meditation on the function of music

As co-host of the American public radio show Radiolab, Jad Nicholas Abumrad is usually in the business of giving you sounds on their own. You provide the mental images. But in a stimulating new film from director Mac Premo, thoughts become images as well as sounds. It’s a fitting conversation. Abumrad (a Lebanese-American, as I am) comes from a background in music composition. Premo, apart from being a filmmaker and commercial director, is an artist. Both live in New York. So what we get is a counterpoint of two imaginations running at once: sonic and visual, musical and optical. And …

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Hours and hours and hours of Autechre

Is IDM cool again? Like even calling things IDM? We think so. Now, there’s probably lots we could say about Autechre, but that’d take precious time away from you listening to all the Autechre-y Autechre that just Autechred into your Autechre. So, let’s just cover the facts, ma’am, in quick order – and they’re all pretty awesome. Of course, spoiler, all your fellow music nerd friends have been talking about nothing else on their Facebook feed today, but at least we can put this all in one convenient location:

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Listen to how pop hits have evolved over the years

There’s a simple antidote to the endless circular “pop music was better in the old days” debate: actually listen to the songs. A new interactive tool lets you do just that. But warning: it may not be as pleasurable to turn back time as you think.

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platform

Listen to Holly Herndon’s ‘Platform’ and the Emotional Content of the Laptop

I’m remiss in not posting this last week when it debuted, and I suspect many CDM readers have heard already, but if not – drop everything, and have a listen (in full) to ‘Platform,’ the new LP from composer/producer Holly Herndon. The full LP is now on Spotify, etc., or NPR First Listen. There’s a lot to discuss here. “Platform,” as the name implies, is intended as a first step toward other interactions. There’s the process and technique behind the music itself. A fearless champion of the laptop’s instrumental and compositional potential, Holly has made the album itself and the …

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Music That’s All Human Body and Objects, No Instruments: Biotronica with Ain TheMachine [Interview]

Music is all around us, yadda, yadda – we hear these aphorisms all the time, but to most, making music is still about the classical idea of instruments. Not so for this Madrid-based artist, who has transformed his body and all the objects around him into an instrument. The results are mad and magical – and CDM’s Matt Earp talked to the artist to find out just how he put this all together, and what it has to do with music like flamenco. There’s a noisy, lively spot for co-working in Neukölln, Berlin called Agora – a space full of …

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Bugs Make Music, Lured by Light, in Music and Art Project

That’s not a bug; it’s a feature. Wayward insects become the source of eerie, ambient music in a new work by British-born, Baix Penedes (Spain)-based artist Dickon Stone. Each insect lured by the glow of his light-up sculpture in turn triggers musical elements. Over the course of five years, he’s shaped that process into a strangely-lovely, otherworldly soundscape and formed a two-track EP, which you can preview here. (Five years, huh? Well, that’s proof that even with swarms of insects helping you shape the music, you can wind up obsessing over finishing. But the results are worth it!) Dickon sends …

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Inside the Intense Audiovisual Collaboration of Drøp and FAX [unrender, Video + Interview]

Drøp feat. Fax @ UNRENDER / LEHRTER SIEBZEHN / BERLIN from CDM on Vimeo. Crackling and vibrating, Drøp featuring Fax is an intense bath of sound and light, webs of lines materializing and dissolving in Fax’s visuals like microscopic alien thunderstorms. The duo played live at our first unrender session, and captivated our crowd with improvised abstract etudes. But while it may look generative, this is all done with clever manipulation of video clips – mixing disguised as algorithmic geometries. The collaboration was so tightly-knit that I was keen to hear more about how it came together. Fax presented not …

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A Music Video Made from Sound of Clothes, Micro-Edited into a Song

Sounds and images need not be synthesized from fancy gear. The snap of a bra strap or the rustling sound of silk can become musical materials. That’s exactly what happens in Faces of N., an EP and series of music videos made from the sounds of clothing, micro-edited into visual/sonic sequences. The project is the work of Gabriel Shalom, an interdisciplinary artist whose work often treads across media, and who has fused visual and sonic content before, treating each as a single material to be manipulated. The first video is out this week, with five more to follow – one …

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Wander a Garden of Light, Shape, and Sound, with ANTIVJ's THE ARK

We see audiovisuals routinely in darkened, air-conditioned room. The Ark invites viewers to wander a botanical setting, plant life bathed in hard-contrast light and shadowjo, architectural forms animated through the vegetation. Set in Mexico’s Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, multiple works from visual label ANTIVJ create an open-ended environment of image and sound. Concept & Visual design by Romain Tardy Music composed by Squeaky Lobster (we’ve heard his fine music before in Mapping Festival trailers, among other places) Project Management by Nicolas Boritch THE ARK from ANTIVJ is a visual label on Vimeo. Presented in April, ANTIVJ has just released their …

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Wander a Garden of Light, Shape, and Sound, with ANTIVJ’s THE ARK

We see audiovisuals routinely in darkened, air-conditioned room. The Ark invites viewers to wander a botanical setting, plant life bathed in hard-contrast light and shadowjo, architectural forms animated through the vegetation. Set in Mexico’s Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, multiple works from visual label ANTIVJ create an open-ended environment of image and sound. Concept & Visual design by Romain Tardy Music composed by Squeaky Lobster (we’ve heard his fine music before in Mapping Festival trailers, among other places) Project Management by Nicolas Boritch THE ARK from ANTIVJ is a visual label on Vimeo. Presented in April, ANTIVJ has just released their …

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