The Fractal Harp Is Part Harp, Part MIDI Controller, Part Bass, All Frankeninstrument & Awesomely Mind-Blowing

This video captures a performance by Jay Wasco on his amazing Frankeninstrument, the Fractal Harp.

The Fractal Harp combines a 28-string slide harp, a 5-string bass, a USB keyboard MIDI controller with oak keys & the ‘Herb-Alpertron’ pitch-to-MIDI convertor.

In the video, Wasco performs Elegant City. Here’s what he has to say about the performance: Continue reading

Dr. Sunshine’s ‘A Rainbow Kitten Christmas’

From the land of WTF comes the holiday cheer of Dr. Sunshine’s A Rainbow Kitten Christmas.

The album offers Dr. Sunshine’s unique take on Christmas songs, featuring 8-bit chiptune sounds, lo fi vocoder goodness and a heaping helping of weirdness.  Continue reading

Blonde SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain (NSFW & WTF)

From the land of WTF comes this music (?) video, by Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Blonde SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain.

It stars Moby and Miley Cyrus, and is basically about what happens when Moby asks a blonde superfreak to steal Miley Cyrus’s brain – which isn’t even hers to begin with.

Here’s what Coyne has to say about this bizarro psychedelic freakout: 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

New Whole Tone Fixed-width Keyboard ‘A Game Changer’

W-Audio WTF Keyboard

W-Audio today introduced a new MIDI keyboard controller that they describe as ‘a game changer’.

The Whole Tone Fixed-width keyboard MIDI controller features a unique keyboard layout that maintains a consistent relationship between black and white keys across the full range of the keyboard. By standardizing the key relationships, the whole tone fixed-width layout makes playing intervals and chords consistent, no matter what key you play in.

“Many musicians don’t realize that the standard musical keyboard was originally designed to slow down players,” notes designer Ellen Qwerty. “Early organs and harpsichords had mechanical limitations not found in modern electronic instruments. If you played notes on two adjacent keys in short succession, the mechanisms would become entangled.”

“The whole tone fixed-width design is derived from the Dvorák Standardized Keyboard, created by composer Antonín Dvorák in the late 19th century,” explains Qwerty. “While this keyboard was impractical in Dvorák’s day, today’s technology makes it not only possible, but desirable.”

Practicing Scales Now ‘A Thing Of The Past’

The new keyboard simplifies learning to play by eliminating the need to learn fingerings and practice scales, according to the designer.

Continue reading

WTF Is This Thing And Why Is It So Awesome? (The Crystal Method DJ Keytar?!)

The Crystal Method Keytar

Looks like Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland of The Crystal Method have some new gear!

Part bass, part dj controller, part keyboard – and all WTF!

What is this thing and why is it so awesome?