The Hive synth. Photo: Q.Smith, Yes Dear Ltd.

Of Bees and Oscillators: Bioni Samp’s EP Full of Eco-Influences, Homebrewed Gear [Listen, Gallery]

If electronic music sometimes seems to contain the secret dance language of insects, mysterious coded rhythms and swarms of sound, an EP released this summer by an English producer makes the connection explicit. Bioni Samp sends us his strange and wonderful sonic journey into the colony. In tunes alternately atmospheric and danceable, at least of the sort to which you might wiggle your thorax in a deep, dark hive, The Island uses every possible sonic resource. Artist Bioni Samp is a producer and video artist from Leeds, Yorkshire now living in London. He points CDM not only to these wonderful …

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Traversing a Score in 3D Space: Free IanniX Explores Strange, New Worlds

IanniX — From UPIC to IanniX from IanniX on Vimeo. In the beginning, there was the bar. Actually, wait – that came later. In the beginning, there were sketched outlines of notes. And the notes became fixed in pitch space, and then, increasingly, in time, in divided measures from left to right. And so, what we know today as Western music notation came to be. But then, in the 20th Century, composers began to undo the rigid boxes that score produced. First with pen and paper, later armed with the computer, composers connecting graphic and sound started to violate those …

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Across the Universe: Mind-Blowing AV Performance Makes Music a Spacey Trip

Turning music and sound into three-dimensional worlds often yields something that fields like a trip through space. But this feels like a real trip. Through pulsing, glowing starfields, “Versum”‘s audiovisual movements are brain-bendingly transformative. Artist Tarik Barri has created an integrated world of sound and image that makes the interface and the compositional realms seamless. It seems as though this really is a musical universe, through whose harmonies of the spheres you can fly like. Boldly going, indeed. Ingredients: Max/MSP/Jitter, Processing, Java, SuperCollider, GLSL [the 3D shading language], and … some serious skill and time, I imagine. The work has …

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Music from Code: In Simple Text, Live Coding Steve Reich-ian Rhythms with Free Overtone

Writing code for music may still seem a remote notion to the vast majority of even geekier digital musicians, but as exemplified by the language Overtone, it looks very different than coding once did. Whereas sound code was once a type-and-render affair, new coding environments focus on live coding. They use elegant, lightweight modern languages that take up less space. And they can be surprisingly musical, coming remarkably close to just typing “play a c major chord.” Not to say that you won’t look plenty geeky doing it — but, hey, if you can’t impress slash frighten your friends a …

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Live from Beijing: Audiovisual Broadcast Today, and a Platform for Conversations and Education

Artist gogo (Sheng Jie ) in Tokyo. Presenting artists from around Earth to viewers around Earth, a center in Beijing has found a way to do live performance for a sleepless world without waking the neighbors. Let me start out by saying this: if you read CDM from China, say hello. We’re in the wrong language, we have no translation, and I seriously doubt our Texas data center is delivering this site with any speed (until we upgrade to an international CDN), but the only reason I still run CDM is in order to reach people, and to hear from …

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Les Paul Google Doodle, Animated – and Scripted with SuperCollider

Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul is one of the all-time greats in music instrument invention, so the guy clearly deserves an animated Google Doodle of his creation that you can play. Strum chords, pluck with the mouse, and even record phrases on Google’s homepage. (See video, above.) Since Google Doodles are archived – and since you can look at the code by choosing a View Source feature in your browser – these little novelties also have a life beyond their one day of glory. (Note, you may need to visit the US site if you’re in a part of the …

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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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Hear Free Generative Music, in Archaic Twitter Haiku, made with SuperCollider

How much can you do with a single line of musical code? Scoring music using archaic-looking (but relatively fundamental) audio techniques, a group of composers has produced a free album. Each track, produced in the open source, multi-platform audio tool SuperCollider, is produced via only 140 characters of code. The work ranges from electronic grooves to droning ambiences to hypnotic melodic patterns… and yes, a few strange sounds. You can listen to the output as a conventional album, or if you install a copy of SuperCollider, you can run the code yourself – some of the tracks will sound different …

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The Amazing Musical Grid and Electronic Performance Made Modular

7up 2.0 – Introduction from makingthenoise on Vimeo. What if the world of musical performance suddenly started moving a whole lot faster? That’s certainly the case among a handful of monome- and grid-wielding electronic artists. In an evolutionary breakthrough, what previously had appeared in a period of months is showing up in a period of days, as long-simmering ideas come to the fore. Spurred by the blank-slate, minimal grid of the monome (and its design as mirrored in similar controllers from Livid, Novation, and Akai), musicians are re-imagining the step sequencer in new permutations. Many of these creations in recent …

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Chipsounds Reviews, Videos, and More Places to Get Your Vintage Chip Fix

Want to make a splash among the aficionados of digital sound? Releasing a software instrument emulating a broad collection of vintage digital synthesis chips from game and computer systems seems to do the trick. See my look at that software, and just as importantly, the chips that inspired it. Within days of the release of Plogue’s Chipsounds, we have a couple of fair reviews of the new tool. Already got Chipsounds? Plogue’s David Viens has released screencasts showing you how to use it. Curious about other ways to explore vintage 8-bit sound? We’ve got that, too, in samples, hardware, and …

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