John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Sound?? (1966)

An amazing video combining the talents of Rahsaan Roland Kirk and John Cage. The video questions the definition of sound…

Snowball the Cockatoo Dance

Snowball the Cockatoo loves to get down!

The Bird Lovers Only Rescue says that no one taught him how to dance, ‘he just heard this song and suddenly felt like dancing. When he’s really in the mood, he dances and sings.’

Does this mean that Humans are not alone in enjoying listening to music, or is this just a learned habit?

Mesak – Popkumm

Taken from the Museum Of Future Sound compilation, a collection of Skweee tracks on the Flogsta Danshall label. Buy it here or here. Find more Skweee artists and links at the nationofskweee website

John Cage Performance On TV Game Show

Found via the excellent wfmu blog, John Cage performs ‘Water Walks’ on a panel game show called I’ve Got a Secret in January 1960.

I’ll Be Your Dog

I watched a night in with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on TV last night where they showed the Kia-Ora advert.

I hadn’t realised the song came after the advert! In fact I never realised the song exsisted until years after the advert. Thought I would dig out my copy and share. It was released by Caramba called Fedora (I’ll Be Your Dog)

Radiophonic Workshop

Some goodies from the Radiophonic Workshop, firstly the link to Alchemists of Sound documentary posted in the forums back in Novemeber 2005.

A documentary called Electric Music Machine I found on youtube. I found some information on it a while ago (when I first started this post) but I can’t find the source anymore…

This fly-on-the-wall documentary about five days in the life of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop has a slightly odd history. It was conceived not as a broadcast programme, but as a straight-to-video release, and was originally titled “Opus 10259″ (because the Workshop had worked on 10,259 projects by that point).

Filming took place in early 1985, but then the idea of releasing it as a sell-through video was dropped. Everything went quiet for three years, and then, after some extra filming in late 1987 (the Richard Attree segments), the programme finally saw the light of day on BBC-2 at 3.05pm on Tuesday 29th March 1988 to celebrate the Workshop’s 30th anniversary. To date, that is its one and only transmission.

It’s a nice little narration-free doco that does an excellent job of presenting a snapshot of the work that was going on in the Workshop at a time when the “traditional” methods of manipulating sounds using reels of tape were beginning to be supplanted by new technologies like MIDI.

Just so that the Who fans aren’t unduly disappointed, I should point out that this documentary about the Workshop is possibly unique in that it doesn’t make any mention of Doctor Who whatsoever, although the piece that Peter Howell is seen to be working on – for a Newsnight special called “D-Day To Berlin” – sounds an awful lot like mid-80s Doctor Who incidental music, at least in its early stages.

It’s been split into five parts on youtube:


[Part 2]
[Part 3]
[Part 4]
[Part 5]

Finally a radio documentary from 1979 called Wee Have Also Sound Horses, the title a reference to Francis Bacon’s 1626 novel ‘The New Atlantis’

Sotavento – Internet Forest of Sounding Trees

Sotavento tracks the movement of trees using two dual-axis accelerometers, fixed at the end of a branch. Sound is generated depending on the amount of movement that is detected.

On the Edge: Improvisation in Music

[edit: looks like they have been removed from dailymotion]

A four part series from 1992 produced and directed by Jeremy Marre and presented by Derek Bailey. It looks at musical improvisation from around the world and across all genres. There is some information about the series at European Free Improvisation pages which I’ve quoted before each clip:

  • 1 – Passing it on
    Douglas Ewart at Haynes School in Chinatown, Chicago; improvisation in Mozart with Robert Levin, piano and the Acadamy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood; John Zorn and Cobra; improvisation in religious and devotional music and communities with: Naji Hakim – organ improvisations in Paris; Gaelic psalm singing on the Scottish Isles of Harris and Lewis; and Indian singing with Pundit Hanuman Misra.
  • 2 – Movements in time
    Tracing the effects of migration on improvising links across continents and the production of new styles from the combinations: qawwali from the Sufis in New Delhi, Northern India; Hindu music of Rajistan with Ram Narayan; early medieval music performed in Andalucia by Symphony (Stevie Wishart, Mark Loopuy, Jim Denley); improvisation in dance with: Mario Maya, flamenco; Indian kathak mime and movement; and Egyptian gypsy music; the mixture of Cuban music and jazz with Eddie Palmieri.
  • 3 – A liberating thing
    Broadcast 16 February 1992, concentrating on jazz based and free improvisation. With Max Roach at the Harlam School of the Arts; Butch Morris conducting (with, among others, Shelley Hirsch); Sang-Won Park and Korean music; Max Eastley’s sound sculptures; Derek Bailey (solo and fleetingly with Phil Wachsmann, Steve Noble and Alex Ward); Steve Noble and Alex Ward duo; Nashville musicians including Buddy Emmons; Eugene Chadbourne.
  • 4 – Nothin premeditated
    Broadcast 23 February 1992, with Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead; Buddy Guy; George Lewis and computers (and in quartet with Douglas Ewart and sound and video generation); mbira music from Zimbabwe; music of the Tonga people; concluding with a house party on the Lower East side.
  • Metaphorazine Live

    FILM2 performing Jeff Noon‘s Metaphorazine short story taken from his book Pixel Juice.

    Here’s the extract from Pixel Juice:

    Johnny takes Metaphorazine. Every clockwork day. Says it burns his house down, with a haircut made of wings. You could say he eats a problem. You could say he stokes his thrill. Every clingfilm evening, climb inside a little pill. Intoxicate the feelings. Play those skull-piano blues. Johnny takes Metaphorazine.

    He’s a dog.

    Lucy takes Simileum. That’s not half as bad. She’s only like a moon gone slithering, upside-down the sky. Like a tidal wave of perfume, like a spillage in the heart. With eyes stuck tight like envelopes, and posted like a teardrop. Like a syringe, of teardrops. Like a dripfeed aphrodisiac, swallowed like a Cadillac, Lucy takes Simileum.

    She’s like a dog.

    Graham takes Litotezol. Brain the size of particles, that cloud inside of parasites, that live inside the paradise of a pair of lice. He’s a surge of melted ice cream, when he makes love like a ghost. Sparkles like a graveyard, but never gets the urge, and then sings Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! like a turgid flatfoot dirge. Graham takes Litotezol.

    He’s a small dog.

    Josie takes Hyperbolehyde. Ten thousand every second. See her face go touch the sky, when she climbs that rollercoaster high. That mouth! Such bliss! All the planets and the satellites make their home inside her lips. It’s a four minute warning! Atomic tounge! Nitrokisserene! Josie takes Hyperbolehyde.

    She’s a big dog.

    Alanis takes Alliterene. It drags a deeper ditch. And all her dirty dealings display a debonair disdain. Her dynamo is dangerous, ditto her dusky dreams. Dummies devise diverse deluxe débâcles down dingy darkened detox driveways. Alanis takes Alliterene.

    She’s a dead dog, ya dig?

    Desmond takes Onomatopiates.

    He’s a woof woof.

    Sylvia takes Oxymorox. She’s got the teenage menopause. Gets her winter-sugar somersaults from sniffing non-stick glue. She wear’s the v-necked trousers, in the blind-eye looking glass. Does the amputated Tango, and then finds herself quite lost, in the new old English style! Sylvia takes Oxymorox.

    She’s a cat dog.

    But Johnny takes Metaphorazine. Look at those busted street lamp eyes, that midnight clockface of a smile. That corrugated tinflesh roof of a brow. The knife, fork and spoon of his fingers, the sheer umbrella of the man’s hairdo! The coldwater bedsit of his brain. He’s a fanfare of atoms, I tell you! And you know that last, exquisite mathematical formula rubbed off the blackboard before the long summer holidays begin? Well, that’s him. Speeding language through the veins, Johnny takes Metaphorazine.

    He’s a real dog.

    Loudness War

    Are distortion and compression used too much in modern music when competing for radio play?

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