Nature, Through a Window: Moon, Fire, Water, in Light and Engravings, by Craig Dorety

Realizing the materiality of Earth and the Moon in new forms, artist Craig Dorety is rendering natural forms in light and engravings. For the Moon, he turns to carving techniques to mirror new data about the lunar surface – and, thanks to an SF Awesome Grant, he’s got some spare change to upgrade his CNC router. It’s a beautiful example of how art can make use of data, bringing together disciplines. (Okay, there isn’t any motion here to speak of, but the relevance of the 3D imaging technology here is clear and inspiring.) Lunar Topography Carvings http://craigdorety.com/lunar_topo.html Geeking out for …

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Pop-Up Video: Tesla, Synesthetic Hallucination, and Augmented Book Science

Nikola Tesla in Sound and Light from Marco Tempest on Vimeo. Digitally-enhanced magician Marco Tempest is back, here with a poignant message about the magic of science – the leaps of faith, and leaps of showmanship, required to turn scientific imagination into reality. Any opportunity to celebrate genius scientist Nikola Tesla, unjustly unsung relative to his extraordinary accomplishments in electricity and thinking, is a good one. Here, too, we find a behind-the-scenes look at how carefully-calibrated projection mapping brings a pop-up book to life. Some of those close-ups in the video at top are unforgiving (it’d work perfectly in a …

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digitalwaveform

Last Chance to Help Moog Foundation Teach Art of Sound Science in Schools; Why it Matters

Science and art, physics and music, come together and come alive in one place. You know where. Photo (CC-BY) Mikael Altemark. We’re here today not just because people like synths, or electronic music, or even music itself, but because the advancement of technology depends on kids learning about science and math. That was certainly the history of Bob Moog himself. What he got as a student opened up the doors to the knowledge and interests that gave the world Moog synthesizers. Dr. Moog himself long credited his education – as a youngster at Bronx High School of Science in New …

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astrocantus

Music of the Spheres, Player Roll Style: Astro Cantus iPhone App Plays the Universe

In the latest take on sonifying data in musical form, iPhone app Astro Cantus plots star data from the universe as musical notes. It turns the the sphere of heavens above the Earth into a massive piano roll. Co-founding developer Rocky Alvey, according to the creators, dismantled a music box as a kid, and that music box notion (yet again) is a big part of the concept here. What’s notable is that the app’s sonification does indeed represent not only the stars themselves but some of the data – spectra of the stars are translated into pitch. And there are …

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Meditative Short Films with Hypnotic Music, Made in the Realm of the Micro

Visualist Charlie Visnic is making beautiful, compact short films, mixing meticulously-constructed, delicate music with stunning imagery. The visual side always ventures into ephemeral realms, unseen worlds and micro-photography. For instance, behold Jared Smyth’s series Morning Music + Coffee Consumption, shot here by Charlie. That’s not just advice to the viewer: the series is shot in the mornings. (You have to have good friends – or at least good coffee – to get them going in the AM.) In the top film, the musical personnel: Jeff Numainville – Microkorg Michael Goggin – Guitar Charlie Visnic – Bass, Modular Synth Dantes Rosete …

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armhammer

Kitchen Contact Mic Chemistry: Make a Mic from Baking Soda, Cream of Tartar

Now, aside from making fake volcano simulations, you can actually get some recording done with this stuff. Science! Photo (CC-BY-ND) Rodrigo Huerta. Need a new mic to play with? Maybe you should raid your kitchen pantry. London-based musician Leafcutter John writes us to share a detailed tutorial on cooking up new mics from common household ingredients: Real Sound Cookery – Make a contact mic with baking soda and cream of tartar. [leafcutterjohn.com] That in turn is inspired by a terrific, detailed video by our friend Collin Cunningham for MAKE:Magazine (Collin’s also been a regular at our Handmade Music series in …

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Fun with Waves, As Videos Reveal Guitar String Movement – and iPhone Shutters

At bottom, a strobe and high-speed camera accurately represent the way in which a string is moving. At top, a video taken with an iPhone camera distorts your sense of how the string is moving by capturing instead images of standing waves, caused by the rolling shutter on the device. The video isn’t wrong – it’s just showing you beautiful visualizations of standing waves that make visible how the shutter works on the camera more than they do how the guitar works. Full disclosure: I love waves. Analog, digital, acoustic, we’re talking vibrations in sound (and other substances, as well …

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mooglab

MoogLab to Teach Science through Electronic Music, But Your Votes Needed

Want to see hundreds of pieces of music kit from keyboards to oscilloscopes, plus some 1500 mini-Theremin toys for students, coupled with US-wide education to help introduce young people to science? That’s the idea behind a grant proposal by the Moog Foundation. The Foundation’s MoogLab teaches science through sound – a worthy cause. Not only was Bob Moog’s life in electronic music ignited by discovering the Theremin, but many of today’s generation of scientists and thinkers were raised on electronic sound kits a few short decades ago. Without the same exposure to science and sound, young boys and girls may …

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Sol Installation Probes Solar Energy, Uses Rapid Processing Prototyping

Sol, an interactive “spatial” installation, examines the roots of solar energy. (Your sun: the greatest nuclear fusion power source within light years.) Visitors to the installation get to participate in “staging” the whole cycle, playing with particles that simulate nuclear fusion, then watching the response of DMX-controlled LED and fluorescent lighting, all set to an ambient soundscape. The project is the work of small design shop TheProduct*, commissioned by Humboldt University Berlin. We saw TheProduct*’s terrific musical multi-touch table way back in 2007 on Create Digital Music. The show was curated by Neues Universum e.V, partering with neo.studio neumann schneider …

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Notes and Neurons: Bobby McFerrin Shows Everybody Gets Pentatonic

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo. At the World Science Festival in June here in New York, specialists – including musical specialist Bobby McFerrin – gathered to ask what in music we humans hear universally, versus what is culturally specific. Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? Join host John Schaefer, Jamshed Barucha, scientist Daniel Levitin, Professor Lawrence Parsons and musical artist Bobby McFerrin for live performances and cross cultural demonstrations to illustrate …

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