Newsletter – December 2007

banner2.jpgWelcome to the December issue of Networked Music Review Newsletter, a monthly review of some of the many events archived on Networked_Music_Review [to receive this via email, subscribe here].

I had promised myself not to write about sound this month, but find it impossible to resist mention of three works in which sonification of aspects of the environment plays a part: 1) D.J. Spooky’s excursion to Antarctica where he will shoot, edit and score the film Terra Nova: The Antarctica Suite in which every sound will be made from the sound of ice (environmental, geological, magnetic, atmospheric etc); 2) Jeff Talman’s White Sound Down, an installation in which the sound of snow falling is the sole sound source. The work is available to cross-country skiers in the Bavarian Forest, Germany until January 6th; and 3) Akousmaflore by Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt – a garden made with real musical and interactive plants or flowers in which each plant reacts to the touch of a spectator with a specific sound language.

December also included a number of references to events in which live coding plays a significant role. The first, Test_Lab: Live Coding, took place at the V2 lab in Rotterdam and online on December 13th and focused on the way live coding can be used to provide expressive control over software code during runtime, thus allowing for live (artistic) improvisation by programmers. Test_Lab included debates and presentations on Live Coding, a networked code jamming performance, live coded music, introductions and hands-on experiences in Live Coding programming languages for code improvisation, and a live coded Augmented Reality experience.

The organization, TOPLAP, also described in the December posts, exists to promote the writing and modifying of rules while they are being followed ( including the writing of software while it is being executed) and to allow programmers to improvise music and visuals live before an audience as well as conduct exploratory research with live source code. TOPLAP’s draft manifesto includes the following: “Live coding is not about tools. Algorithms are thoughts. Chainsaws are tools. That’s why algorithms are sometimes harder to notice than chainsaws.” And “The skillful extemporization of algorithm as an expressive / impressive display of mental dexterity.

A Conversation with Andrew Sorensen, an Australian musician and programmer, and author of the Impromptu live coding reported uses of Impromptu to draw in, and manipulate the code window, hooking the graphics into the musical algorithms. In this conversation (From Scratch – A Conversation with Andrew Sorensen by Mitchell Whitelaw) Sorensen also touches on the live coding scene, performance, craft and virtuosity, code as score, coding without computers and algorithm as thought.

One of the most interesting things to observe, both in the December postings and in the postings throughout the year, is the number of festivals, workshops and other events available to artists in Europe. A quick look at December postings shows:

Performance Time 08 Istanbul :: March 24-30, 2008. Galatala Perform, an artist-run interdisciplinary performance venue in Istanbul, is organizing this event, which will explore new fields and approaches in performance. The aim is to bring together local and foreign artists from a number of disciplines, such as, performance art, experimental theatre, dance, and music.

Club Transmediale.08 – Unpredictable
, a festival for adventurous music that will take place between 25 January and 2 February 2008 in Berlin. The festival will investigate artistic concepts that imply the surprising and unforeseeable, accidents, mistakes and coincidences as a means to alter the dynamics of creative processes and to discover new aesthetic forms.

The International Mobile Music Workshop to take place 13-15 May 2008 on Vienna, Austria. It is the 5th in a series of annual international gatherings that explore the creative, critical and commercial potential of mobile music. They are looking for new ideas and ground-breaking projects on sound in mobile contexts. There are more – in Nice, France and Holon, Israel – all supporting artists with interests in new and experimental work.

Finally, let me call your attention to the newly commissioned musical work on NMR – and particularly two works that make use of MySpace: Peter Traub’s Itspace, which features everyday objects from Peter’s house, all of which are friends. A 1-minute piece composed of samples of each object being struck, resonated, and so forth can be heard on the site. And My Space Sound by Sawako Kato, an audio pop-up book about the village called MySpace.

And to the interview with Adam Nash, who works in Second Life – which he calls a “post-convergent medium”, one in which no single media-element (sound, vision, sociality, network, time, etc) takes precedent; rather they all exist equally in a symbiotic relationship, without which none of them could exist.

Happy New Year to you all.

Jan 4, 2008
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One Response

  1. Robert Poss:

    Greetings from a fellow traveler. I’m continually amazed by the great websites I stumble upon.

    -Robert Poss

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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.


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