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Category: ubiquitous

Reblogged Sound Pressure

1443878026_0b81c57aef_o.jpg[Image: Luigi Russolo and his noise machines… something otherwise irrelevant to this post] Wired just published a conversation between neurologist Oliver Sacks and journalist Steve Silberman … about music, memory, the neurological benefits and pressures of sound, blindness, and the (possible) dangers of urban noise pollution. An excerpt:

Wired: When you were growing up, hearing music often required going to see it performed. But iPods make music ubiquitous, like mental air-conditioning. What have we gained or lost by that?

Sacks: At first it would seem to be a wonderful gain. Darwin might have had to go to London to see a concert. But I can’t help wondering if the incidence of earworms and musical hallucinations is higher now, with background music in every public place. You can’t go to a restaurant without music, and they get offended if you ask them to turn it off. They feel it’s part of their creativity – they’re doing it for you. Continue reading


Sep 27, 2007
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smSage

smsage_diagram.jpgsmSage, by Tim Redfern + Ralph Borland, is a device to plant a murmur in the city. Mimicking a piece of faceless urban infrastructure, it murmurs to itself and to passersby, and seems to come from nowhere, a blank spot on an ordinary wall… Or which ubiquitous urban object is producing the sound? Which alarm-box, conduit, or… security camera?

smSage receives SMS text messages, which are converted to audible speech, using a text-to-speech engine with a synthesized voice. It speaks these messages coherently at first, but which each repetition, starts to mix them with previous messages it has received, producing a concrete poem. The voice becomes quieter … A new message wakes it up again, for brief lucidity, before sense begins to dissolve again. Continue reading


Sep 6, 2007
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Net_Music_Weekly: Todd Machover, Hyperinstruments and Music for All

todsmiling.jpgMusic Making for All – Todd Machover’s work on easy to use instruments and software for composing – is helping musicians, people with disabilities, and children.

Todd Machover (b.1953) is renowned for his work with computer music, having pioneered at IRCAM and now, at MIT’s Media Lab, a series of works using hyperinstruments that extend traditional performance practice with interaction, real-time digital processing. These pieces are uniformly entertaining and often very funny. You can squeeze squishy embroidered balls, play soundless violins or bang on glowing bugs with antennae.

These hyperinstruments were developed by Machover in an attempt to break free of conventional musical instrument design. Building on technologies developed for Machover’s groundbreaking Brain Opera, the Music Shapers enable children to engage in sophisticated listening, performing and composing activities normally accessible only after years of study. Continue reading


Jul 10, 2007
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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