Amazon Echo: Super Cool or Super Creepy? You Make The Call!

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Amazon has introduced a new type of ‘smart device’ – the Echo – that’s a reimagining of the home stereo as a always-connected, voice activated speaker.

It’s got some impressive features – combining Siri-style voice recognition, with search, music and news service. You can tell it to play some music by Boards of Canada, tell it to wake you up at 7am or ask what the weather is going to be like, and Echo will handle it.

It’s not much of a stretch to imagine an App Store for a device like this, where you could download new types of music applications for it. Brian Eno has already done this on iOS, turning his classic Music For Airports album into a generative music application. An audio ‘smart device’ could be a perfect platform for generative music making.

But, while the Amazon Echo has some super cool aspects, it’s also a little creepy – because it’s always on and listening to you. Even in your bedroom.

And, as Amazon says – it’s ‘Connected to the cloud, so it’s always getting smarter.”  Continue reading

Music In The Age of Democratization, With Ableton’s Gerhard Behles & Coldcut’s Matt Black

As part of Berlin’s recent Social Media Week, Peter Kirn, editor of createdigitalmusic.com hosted this conversation with Matt Black (Ninjatune founder and member of A/V group Coldcut), and Gerhard Behles, (CEO of Ableton and former member of Monolake).

Behles and Black are both technologists and musicans, and the hour+ discussion delves into the intended and unintended consequences of today’s music technologies.  Continue reading

Adrian Belew’s Flux ‘An Evolution In The Way We Experience Music’

Multi-instrumentalist Adrian Belew is running a Kickstarter project to help develop Flux, a new application and format for music that promises to never play a song the same way twice.

According to Belew, it’s a format for music that reflects changes in the way we live our lives and even think: Continue reading

Goldie’s Timeless, Live With An Orchestra

Goldie (Clifford Joseph Price) shared this video, which captures the first orchestral performance of his 1995 classic, Timeless.

The performance features The Heritage Orchestra, conducted by Jules Buckley. It was recorded live, in front of a sold out audience at the Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of James Lavelle’s Meltdown Festival. Continue reading

New Instrument Uses Tattoos As A Score

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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