Sonic Pulp Fiction: The Unsound Festival, Respun as Imaginary Narrative

Silhouetted in a fog, Unsound in 2009. Photo (CC-BY-ND) andrej/asebest. “This sounds crazy. I want to see this. I think I may have to see this to understand what you mean. But I want to see this.” David Dodson, journalist, writer, and electronic musician (“Primus Luta” and, most recently at our Handmade Music series, Concrete Sound System), has just told me he wants to cover New York’s Unsound Festival, the Polish-based electronic and “advanced” music festival. Only he wants to cover it … fictionally. There’s a love story. There’s drama. There a bits of review, interwoven with a story. In …


Thought and Performance, Live Coding Music, Explained to Anyone – Really

Algorithms are Thoughts, Chainsaws are Tools from Stephen Ramsay on Vimeo. In an extended video that begins with Radio City’s Rockettes and kettle drum players, Stephen Ramsay explains a litany of technology’s most elusive topics, in terms anyone could understand — no, really. I dare you to ask anyone to watch a few clips of this video, regardless of whether they’re regular readers of this site. Secrets such as why the programming language Lisp inspires religious devotion, or how someone in their right mind would ever consider programming onstage as a form of musical performance, represent the sort of geekery …


Opinion: Life Beyond the Magazine How-To

Jim Aikin remains one of my heroes in music technology journalism. As a magazine writer, book author, and editor (including a long stint on staff at Keyboard), he’s contributed an immeasurable amount of the writing about evolving music tech over the past decades. I’ve also gotten to appreciate his craft and insight as a reader having had him as technical editor on my book. But the real reason I respect Jim is that he always speaks his mind, and he thinks beyond the regular stream of writing to the bigger picture — meaning actual music making. So I’m happy to …