Attempt to Make A Music Award That Matters, But Winning Act Calls It ‘F***ing Insane’

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Amidst award shows like the Grammies, Canada’s Polaris Awards seemed to be something different. As Internet over-abundance has made some feel big media has grown yet more powerful, Polaris seemed oozing with indie cred. Metric, Purity Ring, and Metz played the award ceremonies. Tegan and Sara, Zaki Ibrahim, and A Tribe Called Red got shortlisted. There’s even a cute infographic explaining how the selection process works, and it seems legitimate. (One potentially-bad sign: cloned, hipster-like characters in the image, vintage eyewear present, people of color entirely absent. But designers will be designers.) Past …

READ MORE →

Turning 24 Touch Displays into a Multi-Player OS: Obscura’s Steve Mason [NXNE]

15,360 x 3240 resolution on 24 interconnected touch displays: this is no iPad. Toronto-based freelancer Amanda Connon-Unda headed to Toronto’s hottest interactive conference for CDM to catch Obscura’s Steve Mason, revealing what it’s like to design a massively-multiplayer “spatial” OS. It’s been a long journey as the SF firm went from thinking big with projection mapping to rethinking touch interaction. Here’s what Amanda learned. -PK Steve Mason is brimming with enthusiasm. The VP of innovation at San Francisco’s Obscura Digital is describing the new design of their spatial operating system, before a crowd gathered at the North by Northeast Interactive …

READ MORE →

Turning 24 Touch Displays into a Multi-Player OS: Obscura's Steve Mason [NXNE]

15,360 x 3240 resolution on 24 interconnected touch displays: this is no iPad. Toronto-based freelancer Amanda Connon-Unda headed to Toronto’s hottest interactive conference for CDM to catch Obscura’s Steve Mason, revealing what it’s like to design a massively-multiplayer “spatial” OS. It’s been a long journey as the SF firm went from thinking big with projection mapping to rethinking touch interaction. Here’s what Amanda learned. -PK Steve Mason is brimming with enthusiasm. The VP of innovation at San Francisco’s Obscura Digital is describing the new design of their spatial operating system, before a crowd gathered at the North by Northeast Interactive …

READ MORE →

A Grand Piano of Light, Illuminating Rachmaninoff [Arduino+LEDs]

Nail the finger fireworks of a particularly hard Rachmaninoff, and you may well feel like blasts of light are shooting out of the piano. But to give the audience the same sense, a DIY instrument made of cardboard and homebrewed responsive lighting translates that keyboard virtuosity to an optical show. Reader Aylwin Lo sends us this project out of Canada: Rachmaninoff’s √Čtude-Tableaux Op. 39 No. 6, as performed by YT//ST’s Brendan Swanson from Aylwin Lo on Vimeo. I’m with YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. We’re an art collective based in Toronto and Montreal that is most known for making music and …

READ MORE →
thoughtless77

Loss for Words: Noah Pred’s Stuttering Vocal Beats, in Video, Release of the Day

From a completely different musical pole, it’s nice to follow up Jelena Glazova’s thoughts about vocals, poetry, and Dada with a dance track, Noah Pred’s “Loss for Words.” Transplanted from Toronto to Berlin, Thoughtless Music’s Noah Pred has helmed one of the smarter dance labels out there, channeling energies to and from the German capital and Canadian scene (Noah himself is American-born). Now, he’s back with a solo release I’ve been eagerly anticipating, having taken a side trip to Get Physical for the False Image project with Tom Clark. Tim Xavier and Hrdvsion join, two other friends to watch, join. …

READ MORE →

Decoding Secret Imagery from Toronto’s CN Tower, Slit-Scan Style

Cities around the world are populated with grand television towers, but Toronto has one with a twist: the colored patterns of LEDs along its shaft are very often thin-sliced imagery. It’s a convergence of lighting and motion imagery that’s too get to pass up on this site. The Torontoist blog turns to visual effects designer / compositor Avi Salem to “decode” that imagery. He tells them in an email: Since [each image pans] across the elevator shaft revealing a sliver of itself, all I had to do was do the opposite. Using compositing software, I created a slit scan effect …

READ MORE →

Decoding Secret Imagery from Toronto's CN Tower, Slit-Scan Style

Cities around the world are populated with grand television towers, but Toronto has one with a twist: the colored patterns of LEDs along its shaft are very often thin-sliced imagery. It’s a convergence of lighting and motion imagery that’s too get to pass up on this site. The Torontoist blog turns to visual effects designer / compositor Avi Salem to “decode” that imagery. He tells them in an email: Since [each image pans] across the elevator shaft revealing a sliver of itself, all I had to do was do the opposite. Using compositing software, I created a slit scan effect …

READ MORE →

United Arab Emirates Architecture Brought to Life with Light; Behind-the-Scenes Details

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Projections from Obscura Digital on Vimeo. Illuminating the facades of United Arab Emirates mosque and historical architecture with extraordinary imagery, Obscura Digital transformed these structures with visuals both decorative and cultural. It’s a visually-rich celebration of Arabic and Emirati culture, and one of the developers – absurdly-prolific artist and geek virtuoso Barry Threw – walks us through some of the details of how it was produced, all using TouchDesigner software. The mosque, top: In celebration of UAE National Day 2011 Projection and design by Obscura Digital 44 projectors with a combined brightness of 840,000 lumens were …

READ MORE →
it-lives

Debut of MeeBlip micro Synth, Workshop, Handmade Music: Toronto on Friday

In Toronto this Friday, we’ll be connecting with InterAccess Gallery in a celebration of DIY, adventurous music making, and blipping synthesizers. It’ll also be the first public debut of the new MeeBlip micro, a pocket-sized version of our MeeBlip open source hardware synth. Part of why I’m excited to be hacking away with the fine folks of Toronto is that we’ll be able to document that new design and what you might make with it for everybody else. The MeeBlip micro and revised MeeBlip se will be coming very soon to everyone. What’s the MeeBlip micro? It’s the brains of …

READ MORE →
drasko_install

Jamming Live in 3D, a TEDx Toronto Installation, and Call for Your Work

Something crazy going on here. Install image from Drasko V. Drasko Vucevic, Toronto- and Santa Monica (California)-based sound designer and artist/composer, is apparently not only interested in playing alone. His upcoming interactive installation at Toronto’s Royal Music Conservatory will have an audience jamming along live via Twitter. And the artistry is crowd-sourced, too – with a range of artists already onboard, Drasko is calling on musical and visual artists (read: you) to be involved with sounds and visuals. Drasko has sent along extensive notes, so I’m going to let him speak for himself:

READ MORE →