Sagbohan Danialou is one of the most well-known musicians from Benin. Nicolas Moncadas's documentary, L'Homme Orchestre: Sagbohan Danialou, won best fine arts film/video in the 2007 Black International Cinema Film Awards.
Check out Moncadas on youtube for more on Danialou and Western African music and culture.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
The death of Daihachi Oguchi reminded me of a day I spent in Japan last year. My friend and I visited Naritasan Shinshoji Temple near Tokyo's Narita airport.
The temple grounds were beautiful. We walked by a turtle pond up to the Great Main Hall where we observed the Goma "Sacred Fire" rite. Then we walked down through Naritasan Park. It was a world away from the high-speed action of Tokyo.
We followed a shade-covered path through the woods to a waterfall and stream. It was calm and relaxing.
The path opened up to the sight of the Great Pagoda of Peace towering above a staircase and fountain.
Once we reached the top, we entered the magnificent building. There was a place for us to leave our shoes. We walked in our socks up the plush carpeted staircase to the second floor. A faint smell of incense began to fill the air. We heard the sound of chanting as we approached the altar from the rear. Grand statues and art depicting deities and saints were all around.
From the front of the main sanctuary, the view of the altar was epic. A man and woman were on their knees, taking in the Japanese Esoteric Buddhist service. We knelt down near them. A priest chanted and played a variety of instruments: gong, bells and a large taiko drum. It was incredible. The drum sounded amazing, and the passion he played with was phenomenal.
The whole experience was awe-inspiring.
Daihachi Oguchi, the master Japanese drummer known for popularizing taiko drumming, died Friday at the age of 84. He was hit by a car while walking across the street in Tokyo on Thursday.
Oguchi led the movement which took taiko drumming from shrines and traditional festivals in Asia to stages and concert halls around the world. He created the kumi-daiko style in 1951, incorporated taiko in modern music and was involved in the formation of nearly 200 taiko performance groups worldwide. He led the closing ceremony taiko drum performance at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
Oguchi is survived by his wife Saeko and two daughters, both taiko drummers, Chinami Ushioda and Kasumi Oguchi.
[ny times + youtube: jennylml]
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
For a glimpse into the world of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, check out The Alchemists of Sound 2003 BBC documentary [via maldoror42 in 6 parts on youtube].
Visit Sonic State for info on the upcoming releases of the John Baker Tapes on Trunk Records.
Update: There's another cool documentary, Electric Music Machine, and info on Daphne Oram on analogsuicide.
congrats to the winner of my "one hand" box who is now officially my #1 fan!
it's so great to have 2 hands again. my right hand is still weak, but it's getting stronger all the time. i've got about 70% of the flexibility back in my wrist. every day i can do something with it i couldn't do the day before.
thanks to those who helped with the creation of the box and everyone who reads my califaudio blog. i really appreciate it!
Monday, June 23, 2008
today is the day.
i'm very excited to be releasing my first solo album through this ebay auction that ends in just a few hours. this is the first time i've ever sold my music. i've been asked about my reasons for putting it out there this way. why am i only offering my music to one person? why not let everyone hear it and download it over the next five years? what's up with the skin?
#1: i'm a fan.
a fan of music. i know what it's like to be so into the music that you want to hear every song, demo and bootleg, buy every limited edition rare recording and travel anywhere in the world to see a live concert.
a fan of art. i am fascinated by the ways people express themselves through their art. it's hard to imagine living without creating.
i recorded my one-handed musical experiments while my right arm was healing and documented the audio on my califaudio blog. at some point during the process, i thought it would be cool to release the music as a collection. but how?
what would i put together for the ultimate ultra-limited edition album from my favorite artist?
high quality audio, videos, lyrics, exclusive tracks, remix files, demos, an autographed photo, a personalized message, an art box, a puzzle/game/treasure hunt, a key to unlock something in the future, a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, a subscription to future unreleased music, a private concert for me and my friends...
i included all that plus some personal mementos and weirdness. the person who buys my "one hand" box might be even crazier than i am. yeah, it's over the top, but why not?
#2: i want a fan.
we could be rock stars... just for one day...
i'm not looking to get rich and famous, quit my job or even make money on my first album. i don't want 1,000 fans. i just want one. 1 true fan. someone i can share my music with who might appreciate it. that's all.
i'm curious to know who my #1 fan will be. it probably sounds pretentious from a guy like me who has never even sold a single record, but i think it would be cool to have a fan for a day. not the traditional one-way artist/fan relationship. i would like to collaborate with the first person who buys my music. the private concert could be really amazing...
#3: this is part of something bigger.
the main reason i'm not putting the album out as a wide release now is because it is part of a larger work of art. there is much more music in this series that i want to release first. this is not the beginning. this is a record of the recent past and a preview of things to come.
click here to read more.
click here to listen to the demos while they're still available today.
click here to view the auction. good luck!
Pitchfork.tv has posted the first of three exclusive Nine Inch Nails rehearsal videos: 1,000,000.
Update 6/24/08: Letting You is up now.
Update 6/25/08: Echoplex with JazzMutant Lemur action.
Update 7/21/08: The NIN rehearsal show at the Forum was awesome. Here's the story about how we found tickets...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Synthtopia's cool roundup of 13 Bizarre Circuit Bent Children’s Toys reminded me that I haven't yet posted about a couple of the circuit bent toys I've used over the past few months. This circuit bent Furby is featured on the DVD of my debut album box set with seven minutes of audio. It was bent by Luke Reddington in Wisconsin. It's funny to see a Furby without its fur.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Soundsieve is a music visualizer created by Anita Lillie at the MIT Media Lab. The music browser plays mp3 files along with a visual representation of each song's pitch, time and timbre. Watch a video of it in action here.
Below is a Soundsieve visualization by Anita Lillie of one of my noisy Thingamagoop synth tracks, "I Will." The audio quality is poor in this compressed low-res mono version on youtube. It's interesting to see how the software tracks the atonal noise. The song + video are available here.
tj milian : i will [soundsieve mono] for iphone [22 MB]
The precursor to Soundsieve, Visualizing Music, was written in python using pygame.
Time is mapped to the horizontal axis, just as you'd expect. The piece has been broken up into a series of irregularly-sized segments (that are usually about 0.1 to 0.3 seconds long), and those are the vertical slices that you see scrolling past.Soundsieve can output video and still images of the music visualizations. The software is not available at this time, and there has been no announcement of a future release yet.
Each one of those vertical slices is chopped up into twelve pitches along the vertical axis; these correspond to the twelve semitones in an octave (the chromatic scale). Along the left side of the screen, you can see that each of these chunks is labelled with the corresponding note on a scale. Note that all pitches are compressed into one octave, so notes that are an octave apart appear as the same pitch on the vertical axis. Another result of this is that, series of notes that "run off" the top of the visual space loop back around to the bottom of the space, and vice versa.
Each vertical slice is colored with an RGB value corresponding to the timbre of the sound in that segment. Timbre is what makes, say, a saxophone sound different than a trumpet. The hope here is that the color will capture enough of the variability so that this statement is true: The sounds that sound similar will appear similar in color.
Larger image here.