Posts tagged music

How to Morph Forrest Gump into Daft Punk

When ad agency Grey London and design studio Us (Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor) came together, they created this stunning ad for The Sunday Times. In total, there are six iconic scenes from art, music, and film, fit into one single steadicam shot.  

From the creators:

This is all about those iconic cultural images that we pin to our walls and stick in our minds. We all have our favourites. Heisenberg, Kraftwerk, and Banksy’s kissing coppers all featured in early scripts, but we wanted to take a snapshot of what’s making the headlines in 2014. Daft Punk winning big at the Grammy’s, The final series of Mad Men, and Tarantino are all over the media right now. These people and their work have left an indelible mark and we’ll probably still be talking about them in ten, twenty maybe even a hundred years years time. The TV spot is a respectful nod to it all.

If you’ve ever seen a steadicam in action, you know how difficult getting everything perfect in one take truly is. If not, see the making of Icons here

Beethoven, Original Punk
Via The Atlantic:

The popular image of [Beethoven] is one of heroism, severity, and backs aching for the lash as musical commandments are delivered from on high. Few works in the history of art are as bracingly intense as a goodly chunk of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, for instance, to say nothing of the late-period string quartets, music that, frankly, the 19th century wasn’t ready for. The opening four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony might as well be a stand-in for the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, such is their uncompromising primacy. Beethoven’s work, as people tend to think of it, is music that just keeps coming at you, an ever-advancing sea that no coast can withstand.
Most of the time, that is. But there was also the occasion when Beethoven, in the midst of a personal—and odd—life crisis, opted to create a work to please madcaps, jesters, and wiseasses alike.
I’m talking about the Eighth Symphony. It’s arguably Beethoven’s most overlooked, coming as it does before the world-beating Ninth, and clocking in at a rapid 26 minutes. It was the last symphony from Beethoven’s middle period, receiving its premiere 200 years ago on February 24, 1814, in Vienna. And it is absolutely bonkers, mad, brave, cheekily pugnacious, punchy, and akin to what Lear’s Fool, Samuel Beckett, and a young Mozart might have come up with if those three ever got together to have a musical bash.

Beethoven’s 8th, 200 years old today.
Read on about his infatuation with a newly created technology called the metronome, deafness and his frustration with his brother’s love affair.

Beethoven, Original Punk

Via The Atlantic:

The popular image of [Beethoven] is one of heroism, severity, and backs aching for the lash as musical commandments are delivered from on high. Few works in the history of art are as bracingly intense as a goodly chunk of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, for instance, to say nothing of the late-period string quartets, music that, frankly, the 19th century wasn’t ready for. The opening four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony might as well be a stand-in for the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, such is their uncompromising primacy. Beethoven’s work, as people tend to think of it, is music that just keeps coming at you, an ever-advancing sea that no coast can withstand.

Most of the time, that is. But there was also the occasion when Beethoven, in the midst of a personal—and odd—life crisis, opted to create a work to please madcaps, jesters, and wiseasses alike.

I’m talking about the Eighth Symphony. It’s arguably Beethoven’s most overlooked, coming as it does before the world-beating Ninth, and clocking in at a rapid 26 minutes. It was the last symphony from Beethoven’s middle period, receiving its premiere 200 years ago on February 24, 1814, in Vienna. And it is absolutely bonkers, mad, brave, cheekily pugnacious, punchy, and akin to what Lear’s Fool, Samuel Beckett, and a young Mozart might have come up with if those three ever got together to have a musical bash.

Beethoven’s 8th, 200 years old today.

Read on about his infatuation with a newly created technology called the metronome, deafness and his frustration with his brother’s love affair.

Princely Hair, 1978 - 2013
By Gary Card via Slate. Select to embiggen.

Princely Hair, 1978 - 2013

By Gary Card via Slate. Select to embiggen.

When Doves Cry

Prince is suing 22 people for $1 million each for linking to bootlegs of his live shows.

Via Spin:

His Purpleness has filed a copyright lawsuit against 22 different users of Facebook and Google’s Blogger platform…

…According to the 21-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco (via Antiquiet), the defendants “engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince’s material.” The lawsuit targets Dan Chodera, Karina Jindrova, and 20 anonymous defendants. Chodera and Jindrova allegedly operated a no-longer-online Facebook account that posted a bunch of bootleg Prince videos. The other defendants — “Does” 1 through 20 — are accused of similar infractions, such as pointing to a 1983 Chicago set from WorldofBootleg.blogspot.com.

According to the complaint:

The Defendants rely on either Google’s Blogger platform or Facebook, or both, to accomplish their unlawful activity… Defendants, rather than publishing lawful content to their blogs, typically publish posts that list all the songs performed at a certain Prince live show and then provide a link to a file sharing service where unauthorized copied of the performance can be downloaded. Defendants use their Facebook account to post similar unlawful content directly to their Facebook accounts or to direct users to their blogs, or both.

So, the Blogger and Facebook users aren’t accused of making, uploading or hosting the actual recordings. Instead, the alleged copyright infringement comes from linking to them.

When doves cry, indeed.

Your Low Cost, No Cost & Creative Commons Guide to Licensing Music
Andreas Silenzi, Managing Director of the Free Music Archive, has a very handy Google spreadsheet that lists sound sources you can explore for your next media project.
These range from those with Creative Commons licenses to ones that are simply free to use to others that have rather nominal charges but are generally royalty free.
Check it: Free Music Archive Guide to Online Audio Resources.

Your Low Cost, No Cost & Creative Commons Guide to Licensing Music

Andreas Silenzi, Managing Director of the Free Music Archive, has a very handy Google spreadsheet that lists sound sources you can explore for your next media project.

These range from those with Creative Commons licenses to ones that are simply free to use to others that have rather nominal charges but are generally royalty free.

Check it: Free Music Archive Guide to Online Audio Resources.

Jay Z’s Most Name-Dropped Products, By Album
Via Vanity Fair. Select to embiggen.

Jay Z’s Most Name-Dropped Products, By Album

Via Vanity Fair. Select to embiggen.

Delia Derbyshire & BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop
Utne Reader:

One of the biggest challenges to appreciating avant-garde culture is accessibility. Often, the art, music, film, or literature is so different from the accepted mainstream that when it stands on its own, most people find it impossible to understand and pointless to try.
But in the 1960s, some avant-garde artists started to find ways to attach innovative and progressive art to the mainstream. One such example was the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, which used electronic sounds to create the futuristic soundscapes and themes that punctuated and complemented BBC radio broadcasts of the era. As Frances Morgan points out in the September 2013 issue of Sight & Sound, this helped experimental musicians bypass the critics and directly introduce their forward-thinking music to millions of British radio listeners. As part of the shared cultural experience of listening to the radio, music that was at first considered radical became familiar and eventually even nostalgic for those who grew up with it. 
One of the most notable of the BBC technicians was Delia Derbyshire, who worked in the Workshop from 1960 to 1973. While she compiled more than 260 reel-to-reel tapes of electronic sound compositions over that time.

Derbyshire is well-known for the Doctor Who original theme song. Utne Reader points to a BBC documentary about her called the Sculptress of Sound, which, if you’re interested in the history of the workshop, and in the woman who was a pioneer of (the then male-dominated) electronic music world, you should watch.
Image: Dick Mills and Mark Ayres, two veterans of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop use surviving equipment to revive sounds from the past. (via Paul Townsend)

Delia Derbyshire & BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop

Utne Reader:

One of the biggest challenges to appreciating avant-garde culture is accessibility. Often, the art, music, film, or literature is so different from the accepted mainstream that when it stands on its own, most people find it impossible to understand and pointless to try.

But in the 1960s, some avant-garde artists started to find ways to attach innovative and progressive art to the mainstream. One such example was the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, which used electronic sounds to create the futuristic soundscapes and themes that punctuated and complemented BBC radio broadcasts of the era. As Frances Morgan points out in the September 2013 issue of Sight & Sound, this helped experimental musicians bypass the critics and directly introduce their forward-thinking music to millions of British radio listeners. As part of the shared cultural experience of listening to the radio, music that was at first considered radical became familiar and eventually even nostalgic for those who grew up with it. 

One of the most notable of the BBC technicians was Delia Derbyshire, who worked in the Workshop from 1960 to 1973. While she compiled more than 260 reel-to-reel tapes of electronic sound compositions over that time.

Derbyshire is well-known for the Doctor Who original theme song. Utne Reader points to a BBC documentary about her called the Sculptress of Sound, which, if you’re interested in the history of the workshop, and in the woman who was a pioneer of (the then male-dominated) electronic music world, you should watch.

Image: Dick Mills and Mark Ayres, two veterans of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop use surviving equipment to revive sounds from the past. (via Paul Townsend)

Got Rhythm? You Prolly Speak Good

Via the BBC:

Moving in time to a steady beat is closely linked to better language skills, a study suggests.

People who performed better on rhythmic tests also showed enhanced neural responses to speech sounds.

The researchers suggest that practising music could improve other skills, particularly reading.

In the Journal of Neuroscience, the authors argue that rhythm is an integral part of language.

"We know that moving to a steady beat is a fundamental skill not only for music performance but one that has been linked to language skills," said Nina Kraus, of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University in Illinois.

Key point from Nina Kraus: “In both speech and music, rhythm provides a temporal map with signposts to the most likely locations of meaningful input.”

Video: A fabulous six-year-old bundle of awesome. Run Time ~ 3:15.

nypl:

Sometimes we just feel compelled to share something awesome. A video combining the Beastie Boys and Librarians = Awesome. 

sophiebiblio:

Beastie Boys + Librarians. Yes.

FJP: Librarians just won the Internet. 

What are the Top 100 Grossing Feature Docs of All Time all about?
Stats show that the top 100 documentaries are pretty even when it comes to content and genre. It’s no surprise that biography is slightly in the lead (29/100). These numbers are very significant however, because it shows that there’s no “golden formula” for what documentaries will become box office hits. What matters is the quality of the story you tell and the audience you’re telling it to.—Gabbi 

What are the Top 100 Grossing Feature Docs of All Time all about?

Stats show that the top 100 documentaries are pretty even when it comes to content and genre. It’s no surprise that biography is slightly in the lead (29/100). These numbers are very significant however, because it shows that there’s no “golden formula” for what documentaries will become box office hits. What matters is the quality of the story you tell and the audience you’re telling it to.—Gabbi 

We knew what the people wanted: the same thing the Doors wanted. Freedom.

Ray Manzarek, legendary Doors co-founder and keyboardist, who passed away yesterday. RIP.

Rolling Stone:

Doors co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek died today in Rosenheim, Germany, after a long battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. 

I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement.  “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.” 

Manzarek grew up in Chicago, then moved to Los Angeles in 1962 to study film at UCLA. It was there he first met Doors singer Jim Morrison, though they didn’t talk about forming a band until they bumped into each other on a beach in Venice, California, in the summer of 1965 and Morrison told Manzarek that he had been working on some music. “And there it was!” Manzarek wrote in his 1998 biography, Light My Fire. “It dropped quite simply, quite innocently from his lips, but it changed our collective destinies.”

Read on.

Twitter Introduces #Music Discovery App
Twitter #music is a music discovery app where Twitter uses its own analytics of tweets and overall engagement to categorize and promote artists. The app divides music into four categories: music that is #nowplaying and tweeted by those you follow, #popular music trending on Twitter, #suggested music based on your tastes, and #emerging artists (“hidden talent” found in tweets). Every artist you follow shows up on your profile in the app, and you can tweet about what you’re listening to from the app as well.
The music on Twitter #music comes from Spotify, Rdio, and iTunes. To listen to full songs, you need to sign up with a basic Rdio account or a premium Spotify account through the app. If you refuse to sign up for either of those, you’ll only hear 30 second song previews from iTunes. Also, you can only hear the hit song of the artist. If you like what you hear, you have to go elsewhere. The app isn’t available for Android yet.
The customer complaints on iTunes seem to be trending toward: “Why would I want to see the tweets of every artist I listen to?” and “Why create a music app where you have to sign up for another music source to hear the whole song?”
FJP: Twitter is for following friends, but it’s also for following your interests. Twitter #music allows you to see what you favorite magazine or nonprofit organization deems worthy of its playlist — which could be interesting.
The app has proved useful because I’ve already discovered a few new artists I enjoy. However, I don’t like how the web version of Twitter #music warps my cover picture and icon. Also, the app seems to have issues updating with the web version. For instance, when viewing #popular artists, Bruno Mars was labeled #20 on the Twitter chartsin the app, but was listed at #5 on the web. Also, the #nowplaying tag updates quickly on the web, but lags in the app. These discrepancies are probably just early bugs though. They’ll be snatched up in the beak of the Twitter bird soon enough. — Krissy
Image: MoneyCNN

Twitter Introduces #Music Discovery App

Twitter #music is a music discovery app where Twitter uses its own analytics of tweets and overall engagement to categorize and promote artists. The app divides music into four categories: music that is #nowplaying and tweeted by those you follow, #popular music trending on Twitter, #suggested music based on your tastes, and #emerging artists (“hidden talent” found in tweets). Every artist you follow shows up on your profile in the app, and you can tweet about what you’re listening to from the app as well.

The music on Twitter #music comes from SpotifyRdio, and iTunes. To listen to full songs, you need to sign up with a basic Rdio account or a premium Spotify account through the app. If you refuse to sign up for either of those, you’ll only hear 30 second song previews from iTunes. Also, you can only hear the hit song of the artist. If you like what you hear, you have to go elsewhere. The app isn’t available for Android yet.

The customer complaints on iTunes seem to be trending toward: “Why would I want to see the tweets of every artist I listen to?” and “Why create a music app where you have to sign up for another music source to hear the whole song?”

FJP: Twitter is for following friends, but it’s also for following your interests. Twitter #music allows you to see what you favorite magazine or nonprofit organization deems worthy of its playlist — which could be interesting.

The app has proved useful because I’ve already discovered a few new artists I enjoy. However, I don’t like how the web version of Twitter #music warps my cover picture and icon. Also, the app seems to have issues updating with the web version. For instance, when viewing #popular artists, Bruno Mars was labeled #20 on the Twitter chartsin the app, but was listed at #5 on the web. Also, the #nowplaying tag updates quickly on the web, but lags in the app. These discrepancies are probably just early bugs though. They’ll be snatched up in the beak of the Twitter bird soon enough. — Krissy

Image: MoneyCNN

Twitter #music
Twitter appears set to launch a music service although what it is is still under wraps. Yes, you can go to music.twitter.com (pictured above) but when you get there and try to sign in, nothing happens.
Via the BBC:

Reports suggest the new service will offer personalised recommendations on music through its own dedicated app.
US celebrity host Ryan Seacrest confirmed the existence of Twitter’s new app on Thursday via a tweet: “playing with @twitter’s new music app (yes it’s real!)… there’s a serious dance party happening at idol right now”

AllThingsD reports that the service will launch this weekend to coincide with the Coachella music festival.

Twitter #music

Twitter appears set to launch a music service although what it is is still under wraps. Yes, you can go to music.twitter.com (pictured above) but when you get there and try to sign in, nothing happens.

Via the BBC:

Reports suggest the new service will offer personalised recommendations on music through its own dedicated app.

US celebrity host Ryan Seacrest confirmed the existence of Twitter’s new app on Thursday via a tweet: “playing with @twitter’s new music app (yes it’s real!)… there’s a serious dance party happening at idol right now”

AllThingsD reports that the service will launch this weekend to coincide with the Coachella music festival.

Judge Rules it’s Illegal to Resell Digital Music
Back in the days when I was a teenager, friends would share music with each other, trade tapes or vinyl or cd’s, and even head down to the local music store to buy and sell used music.
Today, copyright — and rulings about copyright — makes our musical life much more difficult.
Over the weekend a federal judge in New York ruled that it’s illegal to sell our mp3’s (PDF). The case involved a Boston startup called ReDigi, which bills itself as a marketplace for “pre-owned” digital products” and Capitol Records, one of the major American record labels.
Via Ars Technica:

For years, many a music fan has wondered what we first posited back in 2008: “Can I resell my MP3s?”
After all, as we’ve pointed out in the past, nearly all digital good sales are really licenses rather than sales as conventionally understood. The question here is, can such a license be bought and sold to other users?
On Saturday, a federal court in New York ruled in summary judgment within the case of Capitol Records v. ReDigi. The court decided that no, users do not have the right to resell digital music files, as doing so violates existing copyright law. ReDigi, the judge found, is also liable for secondary copyright infringement and likely will have to pay damages.

As Slate notes, the judge’s decision is “is clearly influenced by” a 2001 US Copyright Office report to Congress that argued against digital reselling because digital objects don’t degrade over time like analog objects do:

But isn’t the ability to create copies of works that don’t degrade over time, on balance, a positive development as opposed to something to be feared? Don’t the upsides of technologies that can allow information to be moved instantaneously and at negligible cost outweigh the downsides?
The Copyright Office’s 2001 opposition to a digital first-sale doctrine was grounded in part on the legitimate concern that people might resell copies of digital works while also retaining them. The technology to ensure that the seller’s copy was deleted was deemed “not viable at this time.” However, that is no longer true. As indicated by ReDigi’s service—and by a digital resale patent from Amazon and a patent application from Apple—there are solutions that can help ensure that a single digital sale by a retailer doesn’t turn into multiple digital copies in the secondary market. Are these solutions perfect? Of course not. But do they represent good-faith efforts to harness technology in a way that respects the rights of owners of legitimately purchased content as well as those of copyright holders? Yes, they do.

So, if you’re tired of those Justin Bieber mp3’s you once so enthusiastically bought and thought you could sell them for a few pennies a pop, you’re out of luck. I also don’t see how or why this ruling wouldn’t affect any digital “purchase” we make from books, to movies to software. And by purchase, check the terms and conditions, because what we really mean is license. We no longer own what we buy. — Michael

Judge Rules it’s Illegal to Resell Digital Music

Back in the days when I was a teenager, friends would share music with each other, trade tapes or vinyl or cd’s, and even head down to the local music store to buy and sell used music.

Today, copyright — and rulings about copyright — makes our musical life much more difficult.

Over the weekend a federal judge in New York ruled that it’s illegal to sell our mp3’s (PDF). The case involved a Boston startup called ReDigi, which bills itself as a marketplace for “pre-owned” digital products” and Capitol Records, one of the major American record labels.

Via Ars Technica:

For years, many a music fan has wondered what we first posited back in 2008: “Can I resell my MP3s?”

After all, as we’ve pointed out in the past, nearly all digital good sales are really licenses rather than sales as conventionally understood. The question here is, can such a license be bought and sold to other users?

On Saturday, a federal court in New York ruled in summary judgment within the case of Capitol Records v. ReDigi. The court decided that no, users do not have the right to resell digital music files, as doing so violates existing copyright law. ReDigi, the judge found, is also liable for secondary copyright infringement and likely will have to pay damages.

As Slate notes, the judge’s decision is “is clearly influenced by” a 2001 US Copyright Office report to Congress that argued against digital reselling because digital objects don’t degrade over time like analog objects do:

But isn’t the ability to create copies of works that don’t degrade over time, on balance, a positive development as opposed to something to be feared? Don’t the upsides of technologies that can allow information to be moved instantaneously and at negligible cost outweigh the downsides?

The Copyright Office’s 2001 opposition to a digital first-sale doctrine was grounded in part on the legitimate concern that people might resell copies of digital works while also retaining them. The technology to ensure that the seller’s copy was deleted was deemed “not viable at this time.” However, that is no longer true. As indicated by ReDigi’s service—and by a digital resale patent from Amazon and a patent application from Apple—there are solutions that can help ensure that a single digital sale by a retailer doesn’t turn into multiple digital copies in the secondary market. Are these solutions perfect? Of course not. But do they represent good-faith efforts to harness technology in a way that respects the rights of owners of legitimately purchased content as well as those of copyright holders? Yes, they do.

So, if you’re tired of those Justin Bieber mp3’s you once so enthusiastically bought and thought you could sell them for a few pennies a pop, you’re out of luck. I also don’t see how or why this ruling wouldn’t affect any digital “purchase” we make from books, to movies to software. And by purchase, check the terms and conditions, because what we really mean is license. We no longer own what we buy. — Michael