Warp Records has announced a new EP, composed by Squarepusher and performed by three music robots (the Z-Machines) will be released on 7th April (8th in North America).
Here’s what Squarepusher has to say about the project:
The main question I’ve tried to answer is ‘can these robots play music that is emotionally engaging?’
I have long admired the player piano works of Conlon Nancarrow and Gyorgy Ligeti. Part of the appeal of that music has to do with hearing a familiar instrument being ‘played’ in an unfamiliar fashion. For me there has always been something fascinating about the encounter of the unfamiliar with the familiar. I have long been an advocate of taking fresh approaches to existing instrumentation as much as I am an advocate of trying to develop new instruments, and being able to rethink the way in which, for example, an electric guitar can be used is very exciting.
Each of the robotic devices involved in the performance of this music has its own specification which permits certain possibilities and excludes others – the robot guitar player for example can play much faster than a human ever could, but there is no amplitude control. In the same way that you do when you write music for a human performer, these attributes have to be borne in mind – and a particular range of musical possibilities corresponds to those attributes. Consequently, in this project familiar instruments are used in ways which till now have been impossible.
The latest episode of Aux.tv’s This Exists takes a look at Black MIDI – a genre that gets its name because the music is so densely sequenced with notes that, written out, it approaches solid black: Continue reading
In a new interview, electronic music pioneer and president of the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) Jean Michel Jarre shared his thoughts on the Internet, intellectual property and how they relate to the future of music.
“Our fight and our battle about intellectual property is not defending the rights of rich artists…sitting on their pot of gold. It’s something far beyond this,” argues Jarre. “It’s questioning the future of creation, the future of our identity, whoever we are…” Continue reading
Reader Geert Bevin – who’s known to many readers for his performances on the Eigenharp and his gestural music control application GECO – recently spoke at TEDxTartu in Estonia. In his TEDx talk, Bevin argues that we’re entering a new age for digital musicians, driven by several trends:
- Cheap and powerful computers
- New controllers with revolutionary sensors
- New synthesis engines with per-note expression
“This talk is essentially the summary of what I’ve been working on for the past four years at Eigenlabs,” explains Bevin, “with my GECO Leap Motion software and by collaborating with Roger Linn, Steinberg, Moog and Wolfgang Palm.” Continue reading
Composer and sound designer Edmund Eagan has posted an article today at Sonic State, lamenting that electronic instruments are getting cheaper and cheaper, rather than better and better, and that instruments are becoming distractions rather than inspirations.
First Eagen discusses how inspiring he found the Schmidt eight-voice polyphonic synth:
I attended the recent MusikMesse trade show… and….I had the chance to spend some quality time with the Schmidt eight voice polyphonic synthesizer.
In the very short time I explored the instrument, I do know that the Schmidt is an example of a synthesizer that I could dedicate time to, serious musically laden exploration time, and for me that dedication of time is the most valuable asset that I could invest.
But then he notes that the no one is making or buying synths like the Schmidt: Continue reading
This video, via Uniquesquared, wraps ups their tour of Moog Music.
Moog’s Jim Debardi takes a look at what goes on in the company’s new technology room and discusses a LEV-96, a new system that’s designed to process and control natural harmonic tones. Continue reading
PC maker Lenovo has introduced the IdeaCentre Horizon – a new Windows 8 computer that they put in a new category, ‘multitouch table PC‘.
The Horizon offers several features – like a giant multi-touch screen and support for tangible computing – that seemed futuristic just a few years ago, but are now coming to mainstream computers.
Here’s a video intro to the Horizon: Continue reading
DJ Shadow has released his set that was ‘too futuristic’ for Miami – the set that infamously got him kicked off the decks.