Building An Artificial Soundscape With Robotic Insects

Cicadas is a sound art project, created by Berlin-based musician/sound artist Bob Meanza, that explores the idea of creating artificial ambient soundscapes with robotic insects.

The project is based on small, battery-powered ‘insects’, which are built using programmed AVR microcontrollers and sound emitting components (relays, piezos, buzzers…).  Continue reading

New Instrument Uses Tattoos As A Score

tattoo-instrument

Reader Dmitry Morozov – a Moscow-based media-artist, musician and ‘engineer of strange-sounding mechanisms’ – has created a new instrument that uses a tattoo for a score.

Morozov creates experimental electronic music and advocates for circuit bending and DIY electronics in Russia, under the moniker ::vtol::.

Here’s what Morozov has to say about his instrument, ‘Reading My Body’:

this is a special instrument that combines human body and robotic system into a single entity, that is designed to automate creative process in an attempt to represent the artist and his instrument as a creative hybrid.

The device consists of a railing with comfortable hand holders and two parallel, but offset from each other black lines’ sensors that move along the arm using a stepper motor. It is equipped with a 3-dimensional Wii remote controller that uses the OSC protocol in order to give a possibility of additional expression achieved by moving hand in space.

Morozov use of tattoos is part of a trend that we anticipated in our 10 Predictions For Electronic Music Making In The Next Decade in 2010 – musical body modifications.  Continue reading

Music of the Forest (Literally): Wooden Tree-Ring LPs

In case you missed it: Live Science recently had a story about artist Bartholomäus Traubeck, who has created a “record player” of sorts that plays slices of tree trunks. That’s right: tree ring LPs.

Instead of a phonograph needle reading grooves on an album, Traubeck’s artpice “Years” is an audio recording of tree rings being read by a computer, using a PlayStation Eye Camera, and turned into music via Ableton Live. Each track is named for, and created from, wood from a different type of Austrian tree (spruce, ash, oak, alder, etc).

Traubeck describes his work: Continue reading

Way-back Wednesday: Shoreditch Experimental Music School, 1969

Worth watching: This vintage (1969) BBC program looks at “experimental music education,” of the time. We’re not sure if it’s the most awesome thing ever – or the most disturbing. Either way, it’s a fascinating look at how some of the avant garde musical approaches of the day – including electronics and system music -  were brought into the classroom. Continue reading

Keith McMillen Instruments Announces StrongArm Six-String Sustainer

KMI_strongarm_bridgeAt the 2014 NAMM Show: Keith McMillen Instruments is introducing their latest invention: the StrongArm Six-string Sustainer.  

The StrongArm Sustainer picks up and drives all six strings by systems embedded within the actual saddle piece. The sensor saddle of the StrongArm pickup sees minute changes in position of the strings’ termination at the bridge. The result is a pickup that is full and even sounding with a broad range of response. A simple blend control adjusts the mix from your regular magnetic pickups with the StrongArm Sustainer sound.

Here’s McMillen’s intro video for the StrongArm: Continue reading