Tag Archives: Music

Custom Built Orchestra

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Musician and sound artist Diego Stocco is known for his unique multi-track music videos that combine sounds sampled from common objects and modified instruments. In his latest video Custom Built Orchestra Stocco endeavored to create nearly a dozen custom instruments, some completely from scratch and others from instruments he acquired with structural defects that he then altered to create new musical devices. The result is pretty amazing.

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See the full details of the project over on Behance.

Mooooo

xxx

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Guinness – Made Of More

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Under the artistic direction of David Wilson, directors Jake & Josh invites us to discover a video showing the making of the magnificent sculpture of Made for More for the Guinness brand. Music by Woodkid and produced by BlinkArt, this video shows the collaboration of artists and craftsmen from different worlds to bring a unique impressive creation.

Mooooo

xxx

iPhone Tips and Tricks: Music

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I’m going to share with you iPhone tips and tricks that will help you get the most of your iPhone.

Today’s Tips and Tricks is about:

MUSIC

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Listen to your Music

Mooooo

xxx

Music: Ways of Listening

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Music has a powerful grip on our emotional brain. It can breathe new life into seemingly lifeless minds. But if there is indeed no music instinct, music — not just its creation, but also its consumption — must be an acquired skill. How, then, do we “learn” music beyond merely understanding how it works? How do we “learn” to “listen” to music, something that seems so fundamental we take it for granted?

From the wonderful vintage book Music: Ways of Listening, originally published in 1982, comes this outline of the seven essential skills of perceptive listening, which author and composer Elliott Schwartz argues have been “dulled by our built-in twentieth-century habit of tuning out” and thus need to be actively developed. Perhaps most interestingly, you can substitute “reading” for “listening” and “writing” for “music,” and the list would be just as valuable and insightful, and just as needed an antidote to the dulling of our modern modes of information consumption.

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1- Develop your sensitivity to music. Try to respond esthetically to all sounds, from the hum of the refrigerator motor or the paddling of oars on a lake, to the tones of a cello or muted trumpet. When we really hear sounds, we may find them all quite expressive, magical and even ‘beautiful.’ On a more complex level, try to relate sounds to each other in patterns: the successive notes in a melody, or the interrelationships between an ice cream truck jingle and nearby children’s games.

2 – Time is a crucial component of the musical experience. Develop a sense of time as it passes: duration, motion, and the placement of events within a time frame. How long is thirty seconds, for example? A given duration of clock-time will feel very different if contexts of activity and motion are changed.

3 – Develop a musical memory. While listening to a piece, try to recall familiar patterns, relating new events to past ones and placing them all within a durational frame. This facility may take a while to grow, but it eventually will. And once you discover that you can use your memory in this way, just as people discover that they really can swim or ski or ride a bicycle, life will never be the same.

4 – If we want to read, write or talk about music, we must acquire a working vocabulary. Music is basically a nonverbal art, and its unique events and effects are often too elusive for everyday words; we need special words to describe them, however inadequately.

5 – Try to develop musical concentration, especially when listening to lengthy pieces. Composers and performers learn how to fill different time-frames in appropriate ways, using certain gestures and patterns for long works and others for brief ones. The listener must also learn to adjust to varying durations. It may be easy to concentrate on a selection lasting a few minutes, but virtually impossible to maintain attention when confronted with a half-hour Beethoven symphony or a three-hour Verdi opera.
Composers are well aware of this problem. They provide so many musical landmarks and guidelines during the course of a long piece that, even if listening ‘focus’ wanders, you an tell where you are.

[…]

6 – Try to listen objectively and dispassionately. Concentrate upon ‘what’s there,’ and not what you hope or wish would be there. At the early stages of directed listening, when a working vocabulary for music is being introduced, it is important that you respond using that vocabulary as often as possible. In this way you can relate and compare pieces that present different styles, cultures and centuries. Try to focus upon ‘what’s there,’ in an objective sense, and don’t be dismayed if a limited vocabulary restricts your earliest responses.
[…]

7 – Bring experience and knowledge to the listening situation. That includes not only your concentration and growing vocabulary, but information about the music itself: its composer, history and social context. Such knowledge makes the experience of listening that much more enjoyable.

There may appear to be a conflict between this suggestion and the previous one, in which listeners were urged to focus just on ‘what’s there.’ Ideally, it would be fascinating to hear a new piece of music with fresh expectations and truly innocent ears, as though we were Martians. But such objectivity doesn’t exist. All listeners approach a new piece with ears that have been ‘trained’ by prejudices, personal experiences and memories. Some of these may get in the way of listening to music. Try to replace these with other items that might help focus upon the work, rather than individual feelings. Of course, the ‘work’ is much more than the sounds heard at any one sitting in a concert hall; it also consists of previous performances, recorded performances, the written notes on manuscript paper, and all the memories, reviews and critiques of these written notes and performances, ad infinitum. In acquiring information about any of these factors, we are simply broadening our total awareness of the work itself.

Mooooo

xxx

Japanese TRON Dance

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Japanese dance ensemble Wrecking Crew Orchestra are featured in a video that’s currently making the rounds across the Internet, depicting the troupe wearing wireless electroluminescent outfits that blink on and off in time to the music. The result is a spectacular dance routine that would have been included in the Tron films if Daft Punk had directed them. But enough explication — press play on the video below, sit back and enjoy.

These Japanese dancers perform an awesome dance routine from TRON music. If only the movie was as cool as this is…

Mooooo

xxx

Geometry of Circles

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In 1979, the makers of Sesame Street commissioned Philip Glass to compose music for a series of four unnumbered animation pieces titled Geometry of Circles, designed as a primer for visual thinking — something at the core of both Sesame Street itself and Jim Henson’s original vision that predated his creation of The Muppets. The combination, beautiful and eloquent in a multisensory way, feeds into my obsession with synesthesia and various visualizations of music.

Geometry of Circles is available on the excellent 2009 DVD, Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days — a collection of nearly five hours of the best Sesame Street segments from all 40 seasons, including over 50 minutes of rare, never-before-seen backstage footage, interviews and vintage episodes not available online. There are really no words to describe what a treat and treasure this is.

Mooooo

xxx

We Love You Beatles

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We Love You Beatles — a stunning vintage illustrated children’s book from 1971 by Margaret Sutton, best-known for herJudy Bolton mysteries. It tells the story of The Beatles, from their humble Liverpool beginnings to meeting the Queen to the British invasion of America, blending the bold visual language of mid-century graphic design with the vibrant colors of pop art.

“The trees were rocking and the clouds were swaying and the flowers were swinging and the birds were dancing to the Beatles sound. ‘Let’s sing about love and people being happy.’ The Beatles sing songs you can sing in the sunshine. Sing them! Sing the Beatles’ songs!”

More than a charming way to explain who The Beatles were to a kid, We Love You Beatles is a wonderful and visually gripping piece of cultural ephemera from a turning point in the history of both popular music and popular art.

 

Mooooo

xxx

The Magic Numbers

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The Magic Numbers are an English pop rock band of two pairs of brothers and sisters from Greenford.

Romeo Stodart (lead guitar, vocals), his sister Michele (bass, vocals, keyboard), Angela Gannon (melodica, percussion, glockenspiel, vocals) and her brother Sean (drums).

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The Stodarts are the children of a Scottish father and a Portuguese mother and were born in Trinidad in the Caribbean, where their mother was an opera singer and had her own TV show. When the family fled an Islamic coup attempt there in 1990, they were raised in New York. In the mid-1990s, when Romeo was 16 and Michele was 10, they moved to London.

The Gannons are of Irish descent but lived in Hanwell, London where they became friends with their neighbours the Stodarts. Prior to forming The Magic Numbers, Romeo and Sean spent time trying to form a band together under various guises, and previously performed under the name ‘Guess’.

The group was formed in 2002, releasing their debut album titled The Magic Numbers on 13 June 2005.
Their follow-up album, Those the Brokes was released on 6 November 2006, and their most recent album “The Runaway” was released on June 6, 2010.

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Here are some pictures of the concerts that I have been.

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Now that you have learned a little about The Magic Numbers, relax and enjoy some of their best songs here.

I hope you have enjoyed!

Mooooo

xx