Open Culture
19 days
The 1979 film’s success sent “The Four Seasons” to the top of the charts.) These pleasant associations no doubt account for some of our fondness, but Professor Schwarm posits that the stories contained in the melodies are what really reel us in. Basically, we’re in the thrall of a musical weather report, reveling in the way Vivaldi manages to bring to life both the birdiessunny spring song and the sudden thunderstorm that disrupts it. Summer rolls out the meteorological big guns with a hailstorm. Autumn’s cooler nighttime temperatures keep the wine-flushed peasants from turning their harvest celebrations into a full-on bacchanal. Winter? Well perhaps you’re tucked up contentedly in front of the fireplace right now, gratified to be hearing your own comfort echoed in the largo section. Inspired by the landscape paintings of artist, Marco Ricci, Vivaldi penned four poems that drive the movements of his most famous work.
BoingBoing
3 months
Back in the early 1900s, the German biologist Jakob Johann Baron von Uexküll couldnt shake the implication that the inner lives of animals like jellyfish and sea urchins must be radically different from those of humans. Uexküll was fascinated by how meaty, squishy nervous systems gave rise to perception. Noting that the sense organs of sea creatures and arachnids could perceive things that ours could not, he realized that giant portions of reality must therefore be missing from their subjective experiences, which suggested that the same was true of us. In other words, most ticks can’t enjoy an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical because, among other reasons, they dont have eyes. On the other hand, unlike ticks, most humans can’t smell butyric acid wafting on the breeze, and so no matter where you sit in the audience, smell isnt an essential (or intended) element of a Broadway performance of Cats .
Techradar
4 months
It's no wonder the user base is so large either, what with there being millions of tracks at your fingertips. For free you can listen to any artist, album or playlist on your phone, but only on shuffle mode and with advert interruptions. Stump up for a premium subscription though and there are no restrictions, just non-stop musical bliss, including an offline mode, so you don't even need an internet connection to play your favourites. Free Strava is a seriously compelling tool for runners and cyclists, letting you create, find and follow routes and track your speed, distance, pace and elevation. But for many of us running and cycling is at its best when it's gently competitive, whether that's trying to top your own records or someone elses and Strave excels there too, with leaderboards, personal records and comparisons to friends and other app users.
Open Culture
4 months
How much more so, then, the language of the ancient Greeks, whether in translation or no? Although we’ve also been taught to think of the Homeric epics as containers of universal truth and beauty, the world of Homer was, in many ways, an alien one—and the literature of ancient Greece was far closer to song than even Shakespeare’s musical speeches. http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/sh/demodokos.mp3 In fact, “before writing was generally known among the Greeks,” the University of Cincinnati notes , “poets recited and sang stories for audiences at the courts of city leaders and at festivals. A poet could actually improvise a tale in the six-beat rhythm of Greek verse if he knew the plot of his story.” We do not know whether Homer was one enterprising scribe or “a group of poets whose works on the theme of Troy were collected” under one name. But in either case, that poet or poets heard the tales of Hector and Achilles, Odysseus and Penelope, and all those meddling gods sung before they wrote them down.
Hackaday
5 months
Open Culture
a year
Abstract art, spurred into being by the emergence of photography, had by 1912 begun to face an even more technically adroit competitor for the public’s eye: film. Marcel Duchamp responded by superimposing all of the discrete moments that make up a film reel into one astonishing image that is both static and always in motion. Over one hundred years after its composition, Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (below) still amazes viewers with its absolute novelty. He was asked to withdraw the painting from a cubist exhibition when the committee pronounced it “ridiculous.” Five years later, feeling with his fellow Dadaists that the avant-garde had grown too cozy with the establishment, and too precious in its approach and reception, Duchamp submitted a signed urinal for an exhibition , the first of many replicas to occupy galleries for the past one-hundred years—and a provocation once voted the most influential modern art work ever .
BoingBoing
a year
Meara O'Reilly is a sound artist and educator, most recently in residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. She is co-creator of the Rhythm Necklace app , a musical sequencer that uses two-dimensional geometry to create rhythms. Her collaboration with Snibbe Interactive on sound-based cymatic concert visuals for Björk's Biophilia album was included in the world tour. Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page Show Notes: OP-1 Portable Synthesizer ($849) "I have to say that the OP-1 is one of the best new instruments that's out there. I found it to be simultaneously complex and accessible. ... Essentially, it doesn't sacrifice complexity but it has great design constraints that allow you to make something right away. ... It's not a full octave and the keys are not full size.
Open Culture
a year
Abstract art, spurred into being by the emergence of photography, had by 1912 begun to face an even more technically adroit competitor for the public’s eye: film. Marcel Duchamp responded by superimposing all of the discrete moments that make up a film reel into one astonishing image that is both static and always in motion. Over one hundred years after its composition, Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (below) still amazes viewers with its absolute novelty. He was asked to withdraw the painting from a cubist exhibition when the committee pronounced it “ridiculous.” Five years later, feeling with his fellow Dadaists that the avant-garde had grown too cozy with the establishment, and too precious in its approach and reception, Duchamp submitted a signed urinal for an exhibition , the first of many replicas to occupy galleries for the past one-hundred years—and a provocation once voted the most influential modern art work ever .
Open Culture
a year
Abstract art, spurred into being by the emergence of photography, had by 1912 begun to face an even more technically adroit competitor for the public’s eye: film. Marcel Duchamp responded by superimposing all of the discrete moments that make up a film reel into one astonishing image that is both static and always in motion. Over one hundred years after its composition, Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (below) still amazes viewers with its absolute novelty. He was asked to withdraw the painting from a cubist exhibition when the committee pronounced it “ridiculous.” Five years later, feeling with his fellow Dadaists that the avant-garde had grown too cozy with the establishment, and too precious in its approach and reception, Duchamp submitted a signed urinal for an exhibition , the first of many replicas to occupy galleries for the past one-hundred years—and a provocation once voted the most influential modern art work ever .
BoingBoing
a year
Presented in gorgeous gatefold sleeve with full-size eight-page color booklet of text and photographs. [caption id="attachment_451190" align="alignnone" width="2559"] Carl Hamm [L] and Adnan Othman [R]. Photo: Carl Hamm.[/caption] For my brother Carl Hamm and I, being a super passionate fan of great (sometimes obscure!) art is in our blood, our DNA, our brains, and our family history. Our mom and dad were artists, and came from families in which intense curiosity for art and exploration thrived. Illustrators. Amateur astronomers. Housewives who dreamed of being physicists. Our dad was an extreme Star Trek fan: he recorded every single episode of the original series on the exciting new home taping technology called the cassette player. My brother and I grew up in a home where love for exotic vinyl and cherishing far-out musical experiences was a thing.
BoingBoing
a year
Open Culture
a year
In my little corner of the world, we’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of Moogfest this May, just moved down the mountains from Asheville—where it has convened since 2004—to the scrappy town of Durham, NC. Like SXSW for electronic music, the four-day event features dozens of performances, workshops, talks, films, and art installations. Why North Carolina? Because that’s where New York City-born engineer Robert Moog (rhymes with “vogue”)—inventor of one of the first, and certainly the most famous, analog synthesizermoved in 1978 and set up shop for his handmade line of modular synths, “Minimoog”s, and other unique creations. “One doesnt hear much talk of synthesizers here in western North Carolina,” Moog said at the time, “From this vantage point, it’s easy to get a good perspective on the electronic musical instrument scene.” The perspective characterizes Moog’s influence on modern music since the late-sixties—as a non-musician outsider whose musical technology stands miles above the competition, its unmistakable sound sought after by nearly everyone in popular music since it debuted on a number of commercial recordings in 1967 .
Open Culture
a year
Scientific American - Evolution
a year
A tiny primate, the marmoset, appears to process pitch perception the same way we do, implying that the ability evolved in a common ancestor at least 40 million years ago. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
Futurity
a year
A bird that lives in the forests of northeastern India and sings a very melodic tune is a whole new species, scientists report. Listen to it sing: The discovery process began in 2009 when researchers realized that what was considered a single species, the plain-backed thrush Zoothera mollissima , was in fact two different species in northeastern India, says Pamela Rasmussen of the integrative biology department at Michigan State University. The new bird, described in the current issue of the journal Avian Research , is named Himalayan forest thrush Zoothera salimalii . The scientific name honors the Indian ornithologistlim Ali. What first caught scientists' attention was the plain-backed thrush in the coniferous and mixed forest had a rather musical song, but birds found in the same area—but on bare rocky ground above the treeline—had a much harsher, scratchier, unmusical song.
MobileNations
a year
Open Culture
a year
In the third, he thinks back to his work Roaratorio, an Irish circus on Finnegans Wake , which converted Joyce’s novel into music, and imagines a way forward that would involve turning into music not one book at a time but several. In the fifth, he references Marcel Duchamp’s “The Creative Act,” which brought home for him the notion of how audiencesfinish the work by listening,” which led to his creating works of “musical sculpture,” including one particularly memorable example involving “between 150 and 200Yugoslavian high school students, all playing their instruments in different places. http://howtogetstarted.org/media/cage/JohnCage_HTGS_Part3.mp3 Cage’s other stories of creative epiphany in How to Get Started involve a trip to an anechoic chamber; finding out what made one dance performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts so “tawdry, shabby, miserable”; discovering the artist’s “inner clock” in Leningrad; and how he works around what no less a musical mind than Arnold Schoenberg diagnosed as his absent sense of harmony.
Scientific American - Mind & Brain
a year
The human brain's neurons fire in sync to music, and trained musicians are better at it than are amateurs. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
Open Culture
a year
The Huffington Post
a year
Educating the next generation of children in such a way that they care about each other, love each other, and treat each other with kindness will create a hard connected world. If we have that, we will have we will be able to deal with most of the challenges of our time. On behalf of Operation Respect, Peter has performed from Hong Kong and Vietnam to Croatia, South Africa, Egypt, and Argentina. The program has been presented to more than ten million children. In some form, the project has reached nearly one third of all elementary and middle schools in America--at least 20,000 schools in all. Peter with an adoring fan who told me, "I have never been treated like that anywhere ever, in my life. He is a genuine, loving soul." Credit: J. Luce Foundation/Bill Bauer. Peter's music and songs resonate with a history that he and his musical partners Mary and Paul not only helped to write - but one that has changed and inspired millions to continue to 'keep on keepin' on,' hold firm to principle, and not be deterred in the face of adversity.
Open Culture
a year
Last month, we featured poet, professor, and WFMU radio host Kenneth Goldsmith singing the theory of Theodor Adorno, Sigmund Freud, and Ludwig Wittgensteinheavy reading, to be sure, but therein lay the appeal. How differently do we approach these formidable theoretical texts, Goldsmith’s project implicitly asks, if we receive them not just aurally rather than textually, but also in a light — not to say goofymusical arrangement? But if it should drain you to think about questions like that, even as you absorb the thought of the likes of Adorno, Freud, and Wittgenstein, might we suggest Kenneth Goldsmith singing Harry Potter ? Perhaps the best-known modern exemplar of “light reading” we have, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books present themselves as ripe for adaptation, most notably in the form of those eight big-budget films released between 2001 and 2011.
TIME - Top Stories
2 years
Open Culture
2 years
Open Culture
2 years
Just above, we have have Goldsmith singing Benjamin’s “Unpacking my Library” to music by experimental violinist Eyvind Kang [ MP3 ]. “Just as Benjamin lists copies of other books and the associations they bring,” writes Jacob Edmond at Jacket2 , “so Goldsmith copies Benjamin, creating an idiosyncratic audio book version. “ Wittgenstein Part 1 Wittgenstein Part 2 “In his performance of the text, Goldsmith fuses precisely delineated musical sections, or movements, with the chaotic, shifting pitch and tone of his voice, paralleling Benjamin’s observation in the essay that ‘if there is a counterpart to the confusion of a library, it is the order of its catalogue.'” Can you find similar parallels between Goldsmith’s manner of singing and the theory he delivers with it when he performs Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations to Igor Stravinsky [ MP3 part one, MP3 part two]? Or below, where he sings Sigmund Freud’s The Psychopathology of Everyday Life , starting on the passage of the “slips of the tongue” which have popularly come to bear Freud’s name, to The Who [ MP3 ]? After all, style doesnt count for much, as such a strikingly dressed character as Goldsmith knows full well, unless it aligns with substance.