Archive for music

Listening 09-09-08

Posted in listening, music, personal with tags , , on September 9, 2008 by Lightborne

1. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Sunday at Devil Dirt

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2. Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
3. Akira Rabelais – Spellewauerynsherde
4. Ellen Allien & Apparat – Orchestra of Bubbles
5. Martin Denny – The Enchanted Sea

6. Nick cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!


Andrew Bird at IndigO2 – 26 April

Posted in live performance, music, video with tags , , , on April 29, 2008 by Lightborne

Denise and I were at an Andrew Bird gig in London this weekend, and it was really wonderful. We also saw him at Koko last November, where he played with his band (which includes electrical looping multinstrumentalist-but-mostly-drummer Martin Dosh, who is a great artist in his own right). This time he was playing solo, and by gosh it’s an impressive (and thrilling) sight and sound. I’d like to write something longer about exactly why its so thrilling, having seen his solo performance twice now, but I’m stuck in about seven other things at the moment, several of which have to be done by tomorrow. But enough whining…

I harbour a sort of zealous urge to introduce as many people as possible to the brilliance of Mr. Bird, so this is a little of what the gig was like:

Video taken from a balcony with a Flip flash camcorder. Bird plays ‘Why’
and ‘The Naming of Things’, and begins to play new song ‘Oh No’ from
the album he is currently recording in Nashville, but the camcorder
runs out because I wasted all the space recording my shadow on a train
station platform in Lewisham. Notice the shoes in the lower right of
the frame.

Listening 10-04-08

Posted in listening, music, personal with tags , on April 10, 2008 by Lightborne

I’m mired in essay marking and trying to finish my chapter on Tarkovsky and time pressure at the moment, so here’s a quick list of what I’ve been mostly listening to while working this week:

1. Paul Curreri and Devon Sproule (thank you James)
3. Arthur Russell – First Thought Best Thought
4. DJ Krush – Jaku
6. Ruckus Juice & Chitlins Vol.1: The Great Jug Bands
8. Blackalicious – The Craft
9. Sharkey & C-Rayz Walz – Monster Maker
10. Stan Getz – Cafe Montmartre
11. Les Primitifs du Futur – World Musette

(with the jug bands winning by a considerable length in terms of repeat listens)

Roving sample robot

Posted in cool stuff, music, video with tags , , , , on March 31, 2008 by Lightborne

This apparently took just two hours to make with some simple components that came in the post. The creator has a walkthrough of how to make it, but I know I’ll never get around to it. I’m always seeing things like this that I’d like to make, and while I do think this is exceptionally cool, my soldering skills are exceptionally bad.

The robot randomly moves around the place until it senses something right in front of it using its motion sensors. Then it whacks it with is special hitting arm and records the sound. Its got a thumpy tail as well (which you can just about see in the video) that provides the kick drum. I think it must have some in built patterns, but the sheer coolness of it randomly finding the sounds by itself, playing the newly recorded pattern and then playing along on top of it is enough for me. I guess it would be extra cool if it had a little program to come up with spontaneous algorithmic patterns based on the timbre/frequency/loudness of the sound.

Actually, after watching the video again I think I just realized that what I like above and beyond the technological coolness of the thing (there are innumerable more sophisticated things that don’t get me near as excited), is the way it behaves. It bumbles along until it finds something to hit, then plays a little rhythm, looks like its having a think, is satisfied and goes off to find another sound. There’s a beautiful pause just after the rhythm is finished and before it starts moving again. The designer must have programmed that in, as well as the way that it rocks back in the middle of its performance and its little microphone eyes dart about in a half dance half nervous glance. And I love the idea of a simple thing like this, the sole purpose of which is to rove about and find sounds and make rhythms, and treat it like its the most important thing in the world.

Work in Progress 2

Posted in music, work in progress with tags on March 5, 2008 by Lightborne

While at home in Ireland for a week my sister and I recorded this partly as a way of testing out her new piano (well, she had it well tried out already – I just wanted to try recording it). Jane plays piano and came up with the main piano riff.