Violin virtuoso Adrian Anantawan was born without a right hand. At PopTech 2012, he shares how he is using technology to help the most disabled among us to create music.
Ever seen Makey Makey? We had the inventor, Jay Silver, at PopTech last fall. We found this vid on NPR. Watch J.Viewz use Makey Makey to play a cover of “Teardrop” using fruits and vegetables.
By Patrick Flanagan (PopTech 2010)
Interesting works, for all their cerebral trappings, are easily packaged and delivered in the marketplaces that matter for composers (I’m focusing on composers and academic music because it’s the world I know best.) A piece that performs data sonification by mapping train schedules to musical notes offers a nice “Aha” moment when you realize “Oh, there goes the F train. Neat.” These pieces fire the cognitive pleasure neurons like grasping the predictably counter-intuitive argument of a Malcolm Gladwell think piece. And because they can be grasped quickly, especially with a little prodding from a program note or verbal explanation, they are ideal for job talks and grant proposals. With just a little explanation and a short snippet of video, an audience can get the piece because the piece is reducible to its concept. Unlike some behemoth of absolute music devoted to its own formal development, interesting pieces make for great elevator pitches.
There are worse problems to suffer than an abundance of interesting works of music and art. Still, every time I hear an interesting data sonification piece or novel interdisciplinary collaboration, I’m reminded of the gap that separates them from the music that made the strongest impression on me when I was learning guitar and later composition. The sublimity of late Beethoven string quartets, the searing spirituality of A Love Supreme, the cortex-melting stupidity of AC/DC’s Back in Black (no seriously, more on that in the future)–you can’t describe any of these pieces as interesting. They have larger (and in the latter case dumber) ambitions. I wonder if any 16 year old has ever been motivated to take up an instrument or composing because he heard something that was so interesting he had just to learn how to make interesting music too. I doubt it. Let’s just please not let the dance music producers find out that their beats are supposed to be interesting.
OneBeatSM is an international cultural exchange that celebrates the transformative power of the arts through the creation of original, inventive music, and people-to-people diplomacy. In the fall of 2013, 25 musicians (ages 19-35) from around the world will come together in the U.S. for four weeks to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music, and develop ways that music can make a positive impact on our local and global communities
Cello Fortress is a unique combination of a game and a live music performance. A cellist defends a fortress by improvising on his cello.
“When we study hip-hop we are actually studying the history of piracy. If we go back and study all piracy, we see that most things that were created in the world are a remix of something else.”
Revered as “The Sound of New York,” Young Guru has mixed 10 of Jay-Z’s albums and officially became Jay-Z’s tour D.J. in 2010.
Muthoni the Drummer Queen’s Anglo-Swahili “Vile Inafaa”, is not yo’ Mama’s “Hakuna Matata.” With her saturnine sidekick, the rapper Octopizzo, the triple-crowned singer, rapper and drummer throws a dynamite dance party on an industrial rooftop in the video for her single.
Vivien Goldman fills us in on the frankly bad-ass Kenyan rapper.
Re: Sound Bottle is a music creation device like no other. Designed by a student at Japan’s Tama Art University, it’s a bottle-shaped device that captures and plays back sounds. Operation seems startlingly simple: to record a sound, you simply uncork the bottle and, so long as noise is detected, it’ll record and store the sounds as a sample.