Thursday, December 08, 2005

Make Magazine Vol 4 Now on Newstands

I took quite a bit longer than I expected to finally get my copy of MAKE magazine VOL 4, but I bought it at Tower Bookstore earlier this week. It has some very interesting projects including an introduction to circuit bending and an indepth article on building cigar box guitars. Now, you can find a lot of this information already on the web, but the guys at MAKE do a great job of outlining a simple projects with great graphics and pictures.
I hope that I have some time over the holidays to attempt my own cigar box guitar. I'll post pictures from the project when I do.
By way, the newstand price for one issue is half the price of a years subscription, you can guess where my money is going...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Virtual Percussion for Frame drums

I learned about this site from the Framedrummer listserv at Yahoo. Pascal Fricke created these virtual drums (made with shockwave), that play the various tones of the drum as you move your mouse around. A virtual tonbak, a virtual Darabukka, Tar, Bendir, a virtual Ghatam, Riq, Marocan Derbouka and Turkish Darabukka. It's really cool, especially to demo a drums sound to someone when you don't have your drums available.
Also, while you're there check out Pascal's Music.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Great Article on Ken Goldberg

Here's a great article on Ken Goldberg. I met Ken 10 years ago when he was working on his Telegarden project. I was an applications engineer at that time and Adept Technology was the manufacturer of the robot that Ken used for the telegarden projects. Ken has been involved with many web-based telepresence projects over the years, and he's also an interesting artist.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Great little "Jam movie" on Atom Films

You've got to check out this awesome little film (about six minutes) on Atom Films. Works best on high speed:

Friday, October 21, 2005

MAKE Magazine Vol 4: DIY Musical Instrument Projects!

MAKE: Magazine V0l 4 is onsale now. It includes 9 "Do it yourself" Musical Instrument projects inluding:
  • Cigar Box Guitar
  • Circuit Bending
  • Air Scratch
  • "The art of Digital Music"
  • Mint tin amp

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

League of Eletronic Musical Urban Robots

I stumbled into the coolest website tonight. You have to check out the LEMUR website. These guys have created robot musical instruments that are controlled by computer. They have combined my passion for making music out of found objects with my formal training in robotics. WOW, if only I had thought of that. This also reminds me of a physical version of Animusic. (the second Animusic DVD is due out at the end of the month.) If nothing else, check out the GuitarBot video.
In fact, you can now create your own robot with the MidiTron Electronic Interface (I'm ordering my first unit).
Another cool resource is Artbots (but it's not really musical)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Play the Virtual Gametone Instruments

Want to spend a few moments being creative online? Check out the Gametone Instruments online. You can also see a collection of their instruments. MonkeyC also has an online instrument collection.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

New Drumming Search Engine

Check out the the new drumming and percussion search engine: They have indexed all of the leading drumming resources on the web to provide a comprehensive and quick search tool.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

RANT: Six Monthes in Jail for Posting Lyrics Online!?

I'll tell ya, I am not the biggest fan of the corporate recording industry, especially when they can't get their heads out of a hole long enough to see the future. Now it seems that they've taking to sentencing a French lyrics website operator to 6 months in jail for posting "copyrighted" lyrics. As a musician, I clearly understand the copyrights owned by both the publisher and the songwriter, but to press the legal rights for this seems insane in my book. I remember the days of sitting down with a piece of paper and 'reverse engineering' a song to learn the chords, notes and lyrics (in the days of 8 track tape players and vinyl, no less). Should we make today generation go through the same pain? (learning the skill of listening and writing, not using 8 track tape - may it rest in piece). It's my belief that there is little harm in posting the "correct" lyrics, if anything it's one more viral marketing opportunity. I would say that the sheet music for a song is different entity, but lyrics? Come on. It's the naughties baby, and the world is evolving around us (well everything but the huge record companies it seems).

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Freenotes - a great pentatonic instrument

One of my favorite instruments for non-musicians is the Freenote by Richard Cooke. I own the wing in the key of A, and I frequently bring this to flute circles where folks can easily jam on the wing while someone else plays the Native American Flute or another rhythm instrument. This is a great instumement for kids, as you don't need any music theory too make music on them.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

2005 Northern California Experimental Music Festival - Sept 30-Oct 2

Looking for something totally different? Check this out:

"The 2005 NORCAL NOISE FEST marks the 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of this festival happening in the Sacramento area. Back in 1995 when the few proud noise artists from the EMRL CREW started the concept of NOISEFEST at the now legendary Guild Theater, they never realized that this festival would continue on to see its 10th birthday, and claim the title of the LONGEST RUNNING NOISE FESTIVAL type happening in the Country and possibly THE WORLD..(we have yet to find another .. ) ."

For more info: 2005 Northern California Experimental Music Festival
Iner Souster and the Experimental Instruments He Lives With

Iner's blog is a unique, ecletic collection of homemade instruments. You have to check this out!! This guy makes very cool instruments out of recycled materials. I would love the opportunity to hear these live.
Back in the Saddle

Alright, already... so what if it's been almost two years since the last post. I've been busy...
But I have recommited to publishing new and interesting tidbits as I discover them.
Since my last post, I have started drumming. It started in earnest a year ago when I purchased my first large Djembe and took it to the Northern California Flute Circle camping trip. Over the last year, I have regularlly attended several drum circles in the San Francisco bay area: Peninsula Pulse & Rhythms of the Earth.

I have also been entranced by the sound of the Egytian Riqq and the Tar, which I've begun playing over the last year. You'll hear more about resources for these drums.