Or did PBS just give conservatives the ultimate ammo for nuking the National Endowment For The Arts?
This video, via the PBS Idea Channel, makes the case that dubstep is the most recent member of the long-established Avant Garde community:
There is a long history of avant garde musicians and thinkers promoting the concept of noise and non-instrumental sounds as MUSIC, much to the horror of their audience. But over the past century, changes in technology and music genres have primed listeners, allowing mainstream audiences to enjoy the beautiful noise of Skrillex, Bassnectar & the whole Dubstep movement.
Matthijs Munnik’s Microscopic Opera is an abstract opera, performed by the micro-organism C. elegans – a tiny worm of less than a mm in length, and the workhorse for genomics research.
Here’s what Munnik has to say about the work:
The completely worms are monitored by scientist from their first cell division to their death and have gone trough thousands of generations of manmade mutations and alterations.
In this piece I give them a little influence in the macroscopic world outside their petridish.
Each petridish contains different strains of C.elegans, that each move in a different way. All petridishes are filmed with a usb microscope and shown live on one of the five screens. Special software translates the movements of the worms into sound in real time. (5 channel)
Sunday Synth Jam: Voltage Controlled Passacaglia, Pages 1 & 2, by Paul Hembree (Premiere)
Performed on the CRuNCh lab 1972 Moog Modular synthesizer, with video projection of an attached oscilloscope.
Executed from a score with parametric envelopes assigned to different performers. Rough synchronization is achieved with stop-watches, and four short sections in the piece (each about a minute long) allow for some controlled improvisation.
Paul Hembree, Chris Rippey, Steve Snowden, and Curtis Peel, performers. Continue reading →