Tag Archives: Music

“Day/Night” by |M|O|O|N|

|M|O|O|N| launched another EP last Friday, this one being titled “Day/Night”. It’s exciting to hear how each release progresses, and I’m eager to hear what else this Boston producer comes up with.

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The Sound of Creation

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A while ago, Philips released an interactive music story called “The Sound of Creation”. This audio-visual project creates a very rich experience. The music for the website was produced in collaboration with chillmave musician Washed Out and director Gustav Johansson–the combination is stunning. Looped samples build and complement each other to create a very dreamy track, a sample of which can be heard on soundcloud. The website introduces each loop individually, and allows the user to interact with them, creating a custom composition each time.

So this is where it begins. The moment just before nothing becomes something.
Inspiration: It’s inside you, but it’s also outside you. Let it in.
The Idea: Find it. Grow it. The abstract takes shape.
Improvise: Make a detour. Make your own rules. Make it up as you go along.
Experiment: Let it go. When you explore the unknown, beautiful things can happen.
Improve: Move the finish line. Reach it. Move it again.
Test: It’s time for science to meet art. For the rational to meet the emotional.
Compete: Set yourself against the rest, but know that ultimately the battle is with yourself.
Perfect: From broad vision to fine details, this is quest for perfection.
Share: Yourself. Your ideas. Your creation.
And as one journey ends, a new one begins.

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3D Printed Records

Amanda Ghassaei has been experimenting with 3D printed records. The resolution is low in comparison to the quality of the original audio, but it’s exciting to think what can happen when printing capabilities progress! Because of the printing resolution, not as much audio can fit on a disc (note how quickly the stylus travels toward the center). Nonetheless, Ghassaei has printed a handful of demo discs with the following tracklist:

Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
New Order “Blue Monday”
Pixies “Debaser”
Daft Punk “Around The World”
Radiohead “Everything In Its Right Place”
Joy Division “Disorder”
Aphex Twin “Windowlicker”

A whirring noise a strongly prevalent as the stylus makes contact with the groove. The grooves are actually constructed of a series of adjacent triangles, rather than a smooth wavy groove, which may be the cause of the whirring. The file size to make a printed record with a minute of audio is in excess of 200 megabytes (4+ million triangles). She had to develop a special logarithm to convert an audio signal to these shapes. How mind boggling!

Grooves of a printed record.

She does a lot of other audio technology-related projects. The arpeggiator she made is pretty nifty too.

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Choralstep: An Emerging Music Genre

As a fan of choral music, I often follow the endeavors of modern composers. Eric Whitacre is my personal favorite, and I like to follow a lot of his recent endeavors. After our high school choir instructor offered us a listening session of Whitacre’s work, I was instantly hooked. Since, I have familiarized myself with a considerable portion of his compositions, and have participated in his Virtual Choir annually. On his blog I stumbled upon a remix which another musician of Whitacre’s track Sleep. Alan Keary fused together choral music with a dubstep beat, hence creating what we might call choralstep.

A few months later Keary released another Whitacre choralstep remix of “Water Night”, possibly one of my favorite songs. Sometimes the music-snob in me fears when one alters the original music, but that transformation is phenomenal! It still captures the mystery of the original track, yet gives it an almost cinematic depth. The middle of the remix contains a heart-throbbing sense of adventure, yet feels slow-motion, almost like an action movie of some kind. The voices fade and return with more power, and string instruments played by Alan Keary add another level of drama. In the end, the chimes combined with strings create a heavy nostalgic feeling, which swirls together with this unexpected mix of mystery and memory. I don’t know if my description could possibly make any sense, but definitely check out the track! It’s available for free download too.

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Mystery Skulls EP

The lastest EP released from Mystery Skulls is good album if you’re into electropop, or similar artists such as Daft Punk and Justice. I catch myself listening to this one at work a lot when I’m trying to keep the energy level alive!

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Stumbleine “Spiderwebbed”

Just ordered another album, and it arrived in the mail just before the weekend! I’ve been enjoying Stumbleine’s album Spiderwebbed constantly since then. This chillwave artist hails from the UK, and I really love the dreamy landscape he has created in his music. It’s emotional yet uplifting, possibly due to its very organic structure.


I’m a sucker for his opening track “Cherry Blossom,” and am drawn in by the nostalgic instrumental introduction followed by floating vocals and a strong pulse. “Honeycomb” is my second favorite track. Stumbleine has a breadth of albums available on Bandcamp, but this one was available through Monotreme Records. I got the CD, but digital downloads and LPs are available for sale too. Monotreme Records sent me a free compilation album of their artists with my order, so maybe you’ll luck out and get a copy too.

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Swing Delux “Triple Water EP”

Another ambient album to stimulate my creativity late into the night. Triple Water EP by Swing Delux is available for download at the price of your choosing, even for free.

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Everlone “Vertletzte EP”

I recently discovered the Free Music Archive (FMA), and they have a fantastic library free legal audio downloads. There is a huge assortment of genres for every taste, and each artist chooses the sharing rights for their intellectual property. You can even find audio for film use, which is great for me to keep in mind if I ever delve deeper into motion graphics.

I wanted to share today’s recent discovery of and artist called Everlone, and I might regularly curate selections of my favorite music discoveries. Everlone recently released an EP called Verletzte, and I appreciate the album for its combination of a dreamy atmosphere with energetic beats. It totally stimulates my imagination and creativity, something I could use a little more of these days! The FMA offers a free download of the album, or conversely you can buy the album from Bandcamp at the price of your choosing. It is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

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Virtual Choir 3.0 “Water Night”

Eric Whitacre released Virtual Choir 3.0 today, in which I sang Alto II for “Water Night”. Bottom row, ninth from the left! The sheer quantity of singers is amazing with each new release, and I’m eager to see how many join VC 4.0.

From a production standpoint, I think this video could have been better. Producing it was probably rushed, and perhaps I was hoping for something more organic in visual quality. But hey, given the time frame and the quantity of footage to handle, it’s still impressive.

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“With a Lily in Your Hand” Kinetic Type

This evening, I finished my first attempt at kinetic typography. For our core design class, we ended the semester creating videos with the objective of using moving type to convey emotion. This is my first time using After Effects, though I am certain it won’t be my last. Kinetic type is pretty addicting, although I like it in short doses. I don’t know if I could animate an entire song and spare my sanity at the same time.

We weren’t required to have sound in our video at all, but inside I was screaming, “No sound required?! But this is the perfect opportunity to set type to music!” This is where my background in music comes in–I sifted through my entire music library for hours, brainstorming songs I could animate. Disappointingly, there isn’t a lot of choral kinetic type out there, hence I wanted to try content that hasn’t been done.

Back in my senior year in high school, our choir director would give us listening sessions. We would sit back and relax in darkness, as to get the best listening experience, and this is where I was first introduced to the contemporary composer Eric Whitacre. I soon bought his album and have been hooked since. I selected his song “With a Lily in Your Hand” because it has a strong energy about it, yet is dynamic enough for experimentation. When I hear music, I imagine it visually as well as aurally. This was my chance to express how I imagine music. I hope I did the song justice–at least for an amateur.

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