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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » July


What do you play? Berklee adds electronic digital instrument program

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 31 Jul 2018 11:14 pm

Musicians have majored in trumpets and voice, conducting and reeds. Now, they can choose the “electronic digital instrument” at Berklee College of Music, as music education works to redefine itself in the post-digital age.

The underlying idea here itself isn’t new – turntables and computers have been singled out before as instrumental or educational categories – but making a complete program in this way is novel. And maybe the most interesting thing about Berklee’s approach is bringing a range of different subcategories into one theme, the “electronic digital instrument,” or EDI. (Uh… okay, the search for a great name here continues. Maybe we can give away an Ableton Push as a naming contest?)

In Berklee’s formulation, this is computing device + software + controller.

I wonder if the “controller” formulation will stand the test of time, as computation and sound modeling is brought increasingly into the same box as whatever has controls on it. (You don’t think of the knobs on a synthesizer as a distinct “controller,” even though the functional relationship is the same.)

But most encouraging is the cast of characters and the program Berklee is assembling here. I’m very interested to hear more about their curriculum and how it’s taught – plus apparently know quite a few people involved – so let’s definitely follow up soon with an interview. Here’s their launch video:

The curricular objectives:

Upon completion of the performance core program with an electronic digital instrument, you will be able to:

design and configure a versatile, responsive, and musically expressive electronic performance system;
synthesize and integrate knowledge of musical styles to develop effective electronic performance strategies;
play in a variety of electronic performance modes using a variety of controllers;
use common types of synthesizers;
produce audio assets from a variety of sources, and use them in a live performance;
demonstrate proficiency in effect processing in a live performance; and
perform in solo and ensemble settings, taking on melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and textural roles as well as arranging, mixing, remixing, and real-time compositional musical roles using all parts of one’s performance system.

And the required coursework is interesting, as well. The program includes improvisation, and a bunch of ensemble work – with turntables, techno/rave and “DJ sampling,” hip-hop, and synth technique for live ensembles. That builds in turn on the development of laptop ensembles and more experimental improvisational work in programs in some other schools. Berklee students in the program will work with turntables (which some schools have offered in the past, if sporadically), but also studies in “performance” and “grid” controllers. (Dear Brian Crabtree, Toshio Iwai, and Roger Linn – did you imagine you would all help turn “grids” into an instrumental study?)

This is all over a four semester study.

The program announcement:

Principal Instruments: Electronic Digital Instrument

https://www.berklee.edu/

The post What do you play? Berklee adds electronic digital instrument program appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

EAS Updates – Nationwide Test, Filing Deadline for Revised Form 1, and New Rules for Use of EAS Tones and Reporting of False Alerts

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Tue 31 Jul 2018 5:21 pm

The last month has been one where there has been lots of activity dealing with EAS. The FCC announced that it will be conducting a Nationwide EAS Test on September 20, 2018. The FCC has been conducting these Nationwide tests routinely over the last few years (see, for instance, our articles here and here on past tests). This test will include wireless carriers as well as broadcasters. To be prepared for this test, the FCC reminded EAS participants to file their updated ETRS Form One by August 27 (see our article here), and to be prepared to file the post-test Forms Two (filed on the day of the test) and Three (due by November 5) to report on the results of the test at their stations.

At its July meeting (as we briefly noted here), the FCC adopted an Order making some changes to the EAS rules, as well as asking further questions in an included Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The changes included:

  • New rules allowing “live code testing” – using actual EAS alert tones in practice alerts, but only after providing lots of publicity that the tones are being used only as part of a test
  • Allowing the use of the EAS attention signal in PSAs and other informational announcements from FEMA and other public interest organizations – but only where simulated tones developed by FEMA are used, as these simulated tones will not trigger other station’s EAS alerts, and only where the tones used are specifically identified as not being a real notice of an emergency.

Use of the alert tones like this have been approved in the past by the FCC, but only by use of a waiver process. The FCC actions allow for more testing and more public information without having to request FCC approval for each such use.

The FCC also adopted a requirement for stations to notify the FCC when they broadcast a false EAS alert – requiring that notification be provided within 24 hours of becoming aware of such a broadcast. Right now, only a simple email to the FCC Ops Center will be required, but the Further Notice asks whether a more detailed reporting system should be created, allowing for the reporting of false alerts not just by the EAS participants, but also by the public and other interested organizations.

The order also adopted certain technical validation requirements for EAS systems, requiring new codes in the EAS test messages limiting the period in which those messages are valid, to avoid having outdated emergency messages popping up on stations after the emergency is over. Other technical changes dealing with the authentication of EAS alerts are postponed while the industry works out appropriate protocols for that authentication.

Watch for the effective dates of the requirements to notify the FCC of false EAS tests, and look for updates to your EAS receivers to include the new validation limiter (to become effective within a year). And be sure to file the required ETRS Form One by the August 27 deadline, and be ready for this year’s national test of the EAS system.

Creative software can now configure itself for control, with OSC

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 31 Jul 2018 5:10 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of manually assigning every knob and parameter, software was smart enough to configure itself? Now, visual software and OSC are making that possible.

Creative tech has been moving forward lately thanks to a new attitude among developers: want something cool? Do it. Open source and/or publish it. Get other people to do it, too. We’ve seen seen that as Ableton Link transformed sync wirelessly across iOS and desktop. And we saw it again as software and hardware makers embraced more expression data with MIDI Polyphonic Expression. It’s a way around “chicken and egg” worries – make your own chickens.

Open Sound Control (OSC) has for years been a way of getting descriptive, high-resolution data around. It’s mostly been used in visual apps and DIY audiovisual creations, with some exceptions – Native Instruments’ Reaktor has a nice implementation on the audio side. But what it was missing was a way to query those descriptive messages.

What would that mean? Well, basically, the idea would be for you to connect a new visual app or audio tool or hardware instrument and interactively navigate and assign parameters and controls.

That can make tools smarter and auto-configuring. Or to put it another way – no more typing in the names of parameters you want to control. (MIDI is moving in a similar direction, if via a very different structure and implementation, with something called MIDI-CI or “Capability Inquiry.” It doesn’t really work the same way, but the basic goal – and, with some work, the end user experience – is more or less the same.)

OSC Queries are something I’ve heard people talk about for almost a decade now. But now we have something real you can use right away. Not only is there a detailed proposal for how to make the idea work, but visual tools VDMX, Mad Mapper, and Mitti all have support now, and there’s an open source implementation for others to follow.

Vidvox (makers of VDMX) have led the way, as they have with a number of open source ideas lately. (See also: a video codec called Hap, and an interoperable shader standard for hardware-accelerated graphics.)

Their implementation is already in a new build of VDMX, their live visuals / audiovisual media software:

https://docs.vidvox.net/vdmx_b8700.html

You can check out the proposal on their site:

https://github.com/vidvox/oscqueryproposal

Plus there’s a whole dump of open source code. Developers on the Mac get a Cocoa framework that’s ready to use, but you’ll find some code examples that could be very easily ported to a platform / language of your choice:

https://github.com/Vidvox/VVOSCQueryProtocol

There’s even an implementation that provides compatibility in apps that support MIDI but don’t support OSC (which is to say, a whole mess of apps). That could also be a choice for hardware and not just software.

They’ve even done this in-progress implementation in a browser (though they say they will make it prettier):

Here’s how it works in practice:

Let’s say you’ve got one application you want to control (like some software running generative visuals for a live show), and then another tool – or a computer with a browser open – connected on the same network. You want the controller tool to map to the visual tool.

Now, the moment you open the right address and port, all the parameters you want in the visual tool just show up automatically, complete with widgets to control them.

And it’s (optionally) bi-directional. If you change your visual patch, the controls update.

In VDMX, for instance, you can browse parameters you want to control in a tool elsewhere (whether that’s someone else’s VDMX rig or MadMapper or something altogether different):

And then you can take the parameters you’ve selected and control them via a client module:

All of this is stored as structured data – JSON files, if you’re curious. But this means you could also save and assign mappings from OSC to MIDI, for instance.

Another example: you could have an Ableton Live file with a bunch of MIDI mappings. Then you could, via experimental code in the archive above, read that ALS file, and have a utility assign all those arbitrary MIDI CC numbers to automatically-queried OSC controls.

Think about that for a second: then your animation software could automatically be assigned to trigger controls in your Live set, or your live music controls could automatically be assigned to generative visuals, or an iPad control surface could automatically map to the music set when you don’t have your hardware controller handy, or… well, a lot of things become possible.

We’ll be watching OSCquery. But this may be of enough interest to developers to facilitate some discussion here on CDM to move things forward.

Follow Vidvox:

https://vdmx.vidvox.net/blog

And previously, watching MIDI get smarter (smarter is better, we think):

MIDI evolves, adding more expressiveness and easier configuration

MIDI Polyphonic Expression is now a thing, with new gear and software

Plus an example of cool things done with VDMX, by artist Lucy Benson:

The post Creative software can now configure itself for control, with OSC appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The month’s best mixes: Gigsta, Susumu Yokota and 25 years of Dutch dynamo Clone

Delivered... Lauren Martin | Scene | Tue 31 Jul 2018 11:30 am

The latest instalment in this series on the best DJ mixes and radio shows features a Japanese pioneer and sets from some of the world’s top parties


After Tayyab Amin’s selection of South American electronica, grime and Welsh seabirds last month, here are July’s mix highlights, spanning high-octane club music, a Japanese experimental pioneer, and sets offering a taste of the world’s best parties and record labels.

Related: Hungama: the UK club night taking queer culture to Bollywood

Continue reading...

Between art tech and techno, past and future, a view from Russia

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 30 Jul 2018 6:19 pm

Gamma, the oversized electronic music and contemporary art event, has just wrapped in St. Petersburg, RU. We talk to Moscow-based curator Natalia Fuchs about transformations both historical and future in the realm of intermedia art and technology culture.

The world scene is starting to catch on that Gamma, held in impossibly sci-fi post-industrial setting, is a cultural firestarter. This year’s edition was both Gamma Festival and the Gamma_PRO conference. Gamma Festival is a massive packed weekend treading lines between club and experimental culture, digital art and techno, sometimes all at once, with diverse headliners like DVS1, Codex Empire, Cio D’or, Robert Lippok [Raster], ORPHX, Mike Parker, and then a rich lineup of artists from Russia’s own m_ivision and Arma17 collectives. Gamma_PRO had its own lineup of live acts – Hauschka, Deadbeat, Loscil, and others – but simultaneously gathered professional festival and curation programming including a first-time Russian collaboration with audiovisual festival giant MUTEK.

Here’s a taste of what it was like from the aftermovie:

Here, we get to talk to Gamma_PRO’s Natalia Fuchs, not only about Gamma, but about how Russia fits into the larger scene, and how its own audiovisual community is maturing and making connections outside the country. That in turn I think reveals a lot about how the global tribe of digital artists relate to one another and ever changing technological and societal change – particularly looking at this moment as we reach a generation’s distance from the fall of the USSR.

And if you only follow the geopolitical headlines, you might well miss cultural movements underway internationally, including how Russian artists can fit into that global scene. And in turn, it’s equally relevant to understand how Soviet-era artists communicated and shared ideas across the so-called Iron Curtain in decades past. Better understanding that work can also mean deeper, more technologically sophisticated, more advanced and relevant work now. (Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to make crappy uninformed media art, in other words, to warp the popular cliche.)

We’ve previously covered my own interest in that area, which I owe to an ongoing collaboration with Natalia:

Enter the trippy, fanciful world of Soviet light art studio Prometheus

So, what does this mean as an international curator based in Moscow (and working on projects far afield with partners like the Barbican in London or MUTEK in Montreal? And what has techno got to do with any of this? Let’s go deep into all those questions.

Peter: First, can you give us a little bit of your trajectory as a curator? What was your path to Gamma Festival, and what are your current projects?

Natalia: I work in the intersection of art and technology in Russia since 2002, since I graduated from my university and became a communications specialist in the field of culture for several international commercial brands. I was doing integrations in culture marketing for companies like IBM, Microsoft, Daimler Chrysler, Pioneer DJ, Fujitsu, and many others. Of course, that all was related to understanding what kind of upscale innovation you integrate with, and at some point I realized I am deep into art and technology in a way that requires an art degree and a complete change of professional approach. I felt that I could contribute a lot to the local artistic communities in Russia bringing together innovation, culture, and international connections; that’s why I moved for some years to Austria, where I got my degree in Media Art Histories, and was back to Moscow to circulate as new media researcher and international curator.

During my last five years in Russia, I was the founder and curator of the interdisciplinary program Polytech.Science.Art and international exhibitions including Ars Electronica co-productions at the Polytechnic Museum; then curator and deputy director at the National Center for Contemporary Arts, where I launched a platform for innovative art and technology. Since 2018, I’ve develop my own art practice – ARTYPICAL – being part of many international projects (such as with ZKM in Germany or Barbican in the UK) with my expertise in art and technology, and also emphasizing Post-Soviet states. Gamma Festival is one of the largest projects to which I contribute in Russia at the moment. It’s operated by m_division agency with absolutely fantastic production team.

How are you working with m_division to make this project come together? How did this particular program come together for this summer in St. Petersburg, combining all those different actors, international curators, musicians and artists?

We are partners with m_division to develop Gamma Festival in Saint Petersburg, and my art-practice is actually providing international focus to the Gamma_pro forum, special professional program launched this year. It was very successful from the very beginning. We got an amazing location for that – the legendary old Soviet film pavilion of Lenfilm studio – and we managed to have [Montreal-based] MUTEK as a featured festival for the AV showcase in the frame of Gamma_pro. We had speakers from Today’s Art, CTM Festival, V&A Museum, MOTA Museum, and many others. That was hard work and a great start, and I had never seen such a level of synergy of institutional, festival, artistic, commercial and non-commercial, independent entities in Russia before — that’s very honestly from my side. We have some plans for the future, especially in regards to an art program extension, and it all looks exciting. I personally would love to create a sustainable infrastructure for art communities behind Gamma Festival, and I’m happy to know that producers of the project are willing to support it with all the resources available.

St. Petersburg, setting for GAMMA.

St. Petersburg.

There’s of course a massive number of different artists, institutions, covering science and art, culture… how would you describe this larger picture? Is part of the idea to make this a bit blurry, to put everyone together and see what happens, both across the Russian and international scene? What do you hope they leave with?

I think Russia has a wrong image in terms of cultural policies: we are seen as very much a rigid and framed world. With Gamma Festival and basically with all the activities I run in Russia, I always try to make it clear that we’re part of the global community. And art and technology is that exactly intersection that gives us an opportunity to be connected despite global politics and issues. This is the way it actually existed even in the time of Iron Curtain – scientific advantages were spread in the professional communities, and we all were mentally attached to each other and kept a complex, in-depth exchange going. Now, researchers see that when digging deep into media archeologies, for instance. So I would love people to leave Russia and our festival with the feeling that we stay connected; and we are very much alike. I am in a way doing independent cultural policy for world peace using art and technology as a tool now.

There’s this notion of a creative class fueling Gamma, as with other international hubs – how would you relate that creative community in Russia to this sort of international tribe of artists? Do they retain their own culture? And, for that matter, is this a class that can expand, that other people can enter? (I suppose our own personal experience may be about bringing others into that tribe, via education and networking?)

Well, for some safety reasons, and in order to ensure sustainability and growth, we had to stay in the 1990s and early 2000s away from all official connections and wide contacts to the traditional art world in Russia. The research we did expanding the relationship to the international tribe of artists required full independence for a long time. I actually didn’t make any step to governmental relations before I was 100% aligned and rooted in the international community first. Therefore, I traveled, studied, and worked abroad; I was very much West-oriented all my life. But I’ve seen all the young people here who are desperate to even average contemporaneity, and I felt myself obliged to develop cultural relationships back in Russia at some point.

I still feel weird sometimes, when I reestablish myself as a core of the current Russian art and technology movement – and Gamma is one of the boiling points at the moment, but not any other project initiated by the local authorities. At the same time, I see that this is something you can easily cut and have preserved just as a historical notion. Education and networking are important for making international connections; but I have to underline that in Russia, in that tribe you point out, we are still suspicious of anything that comes out of the government. So as everywhere in the world, you have to start with building trust; and if you don’t have proper mediator for those connections, you can’t develop it. So I keep myself always diversified, even when I had important institutional roles in my country. And I give this advice to every young artist, musician, and curator in Russia.

Moscow and St. Petersburg have both I know been scenes of real change culturally – friends I know who grew up there even say they’re surprised by differences even from just a few years ago. For people who perhaps don’t know these cities so well, how would you characterize those changes? Are there things you can feel personally in the work you’ve touched in your various roles? What about the rest of the country – Kazan [Tatarstan] I got to see was really growing, too; is there a way for other parts of the country to have the access to that culture, as well?

I think that we live at the moment when all the efforts of my generation (mid 30s) finally came to fruitful results in Russia. You maybe don’t see it from the global politics strategies, but you see it when you come to the country and visit two capitals of Russia – Moscow as business capital and St Petersburg as cultural capital. I can’t imagine any progress if you are not related to the both scenes – it’s very natural for the creative class to work and essentially live in two cities at once. Just a few years ago, we were in the state when we were still young and couldn’t deliver our messages in a mature style. Now that has changed dramatically; when you come to Gamma in St. Petersburg and enjoy the afterhours, you hardly feel a difference from Atonal in Berlin. Maybe the lack of an international crowd is still there, but we work on making our world open despite all the political issues. We speak the same language of art and music here; and people who are in charge of all the changes here in cultural life are internationally experienced. And if to speak about the other cities in Russia, surely our culture is expanding – only this year I am having talks, lectures, and exhibitions on the future of art in Vyksa (close to Nizhny Novgorod); Krasnodar (south of Russia, Black Sea); Vladivostok (Far East); and Kazan that you mentioned is developing a Light and Sound Museum project involving again many experts of the global media art community. So it’s definitely growing and changing in a positive way.

Is there something unique about Russian history that it seems there is this interest in cross-media work so early?

Of course, this all comes back to the early XXs century when Russian futurist artists have chosen cross-media language in performative practice, particularly as the visual language of a new generation — not to mirror Western European traditions, but to develop our own avant-garde traditions. Russia also has machines and social capacities to stand on the same platform with the European offshoot of futurism. Russian futurists that developed Marinetti’s ideas locally were the forerunners of modern artistic strategies – that is, the skills not only to create talented works, but also to find the most successful ways to attract the attention of the public, collectors, and patrons.

And despite the seeming closeness of Russian and European futurists, history, traditions, and mentality gave each of the national movements its own characteristics. One of the signs of Russian Futurism was the perception of all kinds of styles and trends in art as one, so that was the rise of interdisciplinarity that was so important as an approach for cross-media art. “Vsechestvo” (the art of take it all) became one of the most important futuristic artistic principles in Russia as early as in the 1920s, and we are still following it in the contemporary new media art practices. [Vsechestvo or as some art historians translate it “everythingness” was coined by Georgian-born artist and Russian futurist – and Dadaist – Ilia Zdanevich.]

You’ve worked both as an historian and a curator. And we’ve gotten to work on this connection between history and the future. A lot of the digital media scene globally is called upon to show work that gives the impression of being new, flashy, of course – but how might the past as understood through media archaeology and history inform new work?

Oh yes, that’s my favorite question! When you are an art historian, you hardly see anything new – that’s the problem. I make many artists disappointed, not only happily showing them their place in the world art history. 🙂 But at the same time, I think that’s great that media art history currently is developing as a science, so media art historians can follow scientific and technological progress as well and make innovation in the arts visible. I see the media-archaeological approach actually as the only possible way now if you want to make a real progress in the arts. And this approach could build the relation to art and technology communities in the past where so much is undiscovered yet. We both know Prometheus’s story about innovative art that was related to the global art and technology communities in the 1960s in the Soviet Union, as well – such examples are very important to present to the world, to give an understanding of our long-lasting existing connection to deep levels of creative research.

Gamma 2018 at full tilt.

You of course have an extensive resume in curation, and people can find that. What they may not know about you is that you’ve also got this strong connection to techno and this electronic music party culture. Where was that first experience for you, when you were younger?

Techno music was something I was always involved in. In the early 1990s, rave and contemporary art coming from abroad was the only thing you dreamed of if you wanted a breath of fresh air. I was involved in party organization and club activities since I was in high school in Russia, and when I staged the first performance, I was only 16 years old. I was given at that time the role of curator in our club promo-team together with my friend. I mean that was quite naive in 1996 and so on, but that was an experience you could go with further at that time – I was quickly integrated to many international club culture communities (in the Czech Republic, in the Netherlands, in Germany), and electronic music party culture was always a red line I had in my life doing everything from booking and developing yoing artists (I was a booker or maintained art relations for Vakula, SCSI-9, and Dasha Rush in different periods of my life), organizing parties, from streaming techno-radios to participating in festival organization.

I see electronic music and techno music as something that formed me as a curator, as well. I even couldn’t stop myself from organizing the first techno parties in Moscow’s museums and making it a trend – you performed at the Polytechnic Museum in 2015; Gunnar Haslam played at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art the same year by my invitation. When you just love techno, it definitely gives you a touch not many people can easily have, shaping you as cutting-edge at all times and especially at a time of innovation and the rise of technological culture.

Any medium I think can be accused of repetition, but it does seem digital media as can sometimes be in danger of becoming frozen in the past in terms of aesthetics and concept. Is there a need for media artists or reinvent these media; is that fair? Alternatively, what work would you say does feel genuinely contemporary — in aesthetics, in concept, and/or in relation to the latest technology?

I keep those thoughts a bit for myself only at the moment – it’s a bit scary to share what I really think of the new aesthetics. But I’d say everything has a potential for transformation. Immersion is the term that was taking over the digital art world in the last centuries; now I believe in the age of artificial intelligence. Now art and technology experiences will extend human perception; they will create space for human transformation. Bioart, prosthetics, and so on may allow you to gain new experience, to perhaps change your physical presence and even personality.

So contemporaneity for me is in active transformation at the moment; physical, psychological, emotional, bone-deep experience. One of the last artworks I experienced this way was amazing post-digital piece by the Chinese artist Lu Yang “Delusional Crime and Punishment.” [See an article on that work, as well as a reference from NYU Shanghai.]

AI and machine learning are a big buzz-worthy topic; we started this year at CTM with this thread in our hacklab program and it’s something I know many artists are pondering or responding to directly. What can you tell us about your advisory role with the Barbican; how are you working with them, or anything you can share from that program?

For me, this project is not just an exhibition, but again a way to participate in the development of cultural policies (and technological culture in particular). The main idea behind the project of the Artificial Intelligence exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London where I work as Advisor now is to smooth the attitudes existing in the society towards artificial intelligence and give to the audience a deeper understanding of the history of cybernetics and AI research. The project will tell the story not of only one part of the world, but will create global vision on the topic. It will be ready by next summer and will travel worldwide. So I am very much excited about that. I think that’s the big step to changing perception – destroying AI myths in pop-culture – and artists could contribute here best of all.

Right now in Berlin, there are “what is culture for?” posters hanging everywhere. What role do you think cultural ambassadorship can have? Is there a way to make it more relevant to the rest of our societies?

Culture is here to shape the meanings. Without it, we hardly could exist and evolve, I guess. And cultural ambassadors are first of all very attentive and brave people – that’s hard work to observe, get the essentials and communicate the meaning to the rest of the world. You have to expect to be criticized and misunderstood, but have to stay stable and persistent. To the rest of our societies, that basically means that culture has still to be mediated. Especially synthetic practices as what we are into – music, art, electronics, science, atypical connections between the contraries. When we make understanding of complexities easier to the people that don’t have resources (could be just mental) to dedicate their life to art and culture production, we make a step forward, I guess.

I feel my relation with the rest of the societies as the periods of comfortable coexistence, replaceable with stealthiness for each other. And this invisibility for me means a research stage – when I am deep into the creative process and thinking what important meaning to represent next to the society around me. That’s a significant concentration of time and internal forces, actually, so we will make cultural ambassadorship relevant when we will start clearly communicate what our life actually is.

GAMMA Festival / Gamma_PRO

ARTYPICAL

The post Between art tech and techno, past and future, a view from Russia appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Filings, Comments on FM Translator Interference and Class C4 Proposal, EAS Form One and More

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Mon 30 Jul 2018 5:15 pm

It may be time for summer vacations, but the FCC seemingly never rests, so there are a number of important dates of which broadcasters need to take note. By August 1, EEO Annual Public File Reports are due to added to the public files of Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations and AM and FM Radio Stations in California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, if those stations are part of an Employment Unit with five or more full-time employees. TV stations in California have the added requirement that they submit an EEO Mid-Term Report with the FCC by that same date. While the FCC last year simplified EEO recruiting, it still enforces the EEO rules, as evidenced by an admonition that was issued to a TV station at the end of last week, and the fines imposed on radio stations late last year. So don’t forget these obligations (especially as the enforcement of these rules will soon be handled by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, rather than the Media Bureau, suggesting that there will be more enforcement of those rules – see our article here).

On other matters, there are numerous open FCC proceedings in which broadcasters may want to participate. Comments are due on August 6 on the FCC’s rulemaking proposal to adopt simplified rules for processing complaints of interference by FM translators to full power stations. See our articles here and here for details on that proposal.

Comments are due by August 13 on the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry about the proposal to add a new class of FM stations – the Class C4. See our article here for more about that inquiry. In addition, that same Notice asks whether the FCC should potentially allow more FM short-spaced stations under Section 73.215 of the rules, by allowing stations taking advantage of that rule by, instead of protecting a station to which they plan to be short-spaced to the maximum possible contours for a station of their class, to instead protect the other station only to its actual contours as currently licensed.

The FCC’s August 2 open meeting will be considering two matters of importance to broadcasters. First, the Commission will likely adopt an order to implement an incubator program to assist new entrants into broadcast ownership by giving existing broadcasters an incentive to provide financial assistance or management training to the new broadcaster. The Commission will also be considering the adoption of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to establish rules for reimbursing LPTV stations and TV translators that are displaced by the incentive auction for the costs of changing channels, and FM broadcasters for costs to move to temporary or permanent facilities to accommodate TV tower work caused by the incentive auction repacking.

Another August deadline is for the filing of EAS Form One, which is due from all EAS participants – radio and TV – to update their information currently on file at the FCC describing their EAS operations. These revised forms are due by August 27 (see our article here), in anticipation of a nationwide EAS test scheduled for September 20.

We will also be looking for announcements on the dates for regulatory fees – which should be announced later in the month. Comment dates will also be set for comments on the FCC Study on the State of the Audio Marketplace (see our article here). And, looking a bit further into the future, comments on possible reform of TV station’s obligations to provide educational and informational programming to children are due on September 24 (see our article here on the issues raised in this proceeding). And all broadcasters who use C Band receive-only Earth Stations should be planning on registering those stations, if they have not already been registered, by October 17 to ensure some protection or other consideration should this be opened to other users pursuant to an FCC proposal that is now pending.

Hardly any time to enjoy those summer beach reads when you have all these FCC proceedings to watch. As always, these are just some of the issues that are on tap for this month – check with your advisors to make sure that your station does not miss anything important that affects your station.

Mystery images at tube station hint at new Aphex Twin album

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Mon 30 Jul 2018 12:01 pm

Logos appear on the walls of Elephant and Castle station near where British producer was rumoured to have lived in the 1990s

The logo associated with Aphex Twin has appeared on the walls of Elephant and Castle tube station in south London.

The appearance of the imagery has led to speculation that Aphex, AKA Richard D James, is preparing to release his seventh album as Aphex Twin. The pioneering British producer’s record label, Warp, confirmed to the Guardian that the campaign is official. The album would would follow the release of Syro in 2014, the Cornish producer’s first full-length release in 13 years. In 2017 he released a standalone single, 3 Gerald Remix /24 TSIM 2, and launched a bespoke listening platform containing unreleased material.

Aphex Twin is up to something. A cryptic 3D logo has cropped up in Elephant & Castle underground tube station. @NicoDeCeglia pic.twitter.com/xfUaeMo4uK

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The History Of Propaganda: How A Small House Club Brought Techno To Moscow

Delivered... By Oli Warwick | Scene | Mon 30 Jul 2018 10:40 am

The post The History Of Propaganda: How A Small House Club Brought Techno To Moscow appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

RL Grime: Nova review – jackhammer EDM/rap bangers for US festivals

Delivered... Lauren Martin | Scene | Fri 27 Jul 2018 10:30 am

(WeDidIt)

Los Angeles native RL Grime came up in US rave circles with the late noughties lo-fi rap deconstructionist crew WeDidIt. Alongside producers and DJs Shlomo and Ryan Hemsworth, he distilled the glittering bombast of the then-burgeoning EDM sound, drawing from creepy percussive trap atmospherics and from Grime’s own love for emo songs and pre-teen horror TV shows. With his 2014 debut album Void, Grime took his edit techniques and crossed over into trap-inspired EDM production, collaborating with vocalists. On his new album, Nova, these collaborations are more high-profile, with melodic rap and R&B refrains from Chief Keef, Jeremih, Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign and Miguel. Meanwhile, the beats are decidedly less concerned with trap, more suited for the US festival circuit than the rap club – rolling drum’n’bass builds with jackhammer drops, Auto-Tuned vocal samples as algorithmic bursts.

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Underworld & Iggy Pop: Teatime Dub Encounters review – enormo beats taking the world to task

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 27 Jul 2018 10:00 am

(Caroline International)

When Rick Smith from 90s Born Slippy techno giants Underworld first met up with the 71-year-old Iggy Pop for tea at the Savoy, he realised he had “one chance to convince this gentleman that we should work together”. Thus, Smith turned up with what the former Stooge called “a whole bloody studio set up in a hotel room” – an offer Pop couldn’t refuse. Thus, 22 years after they both appeared on the Trainspotting film soundtrack, this unlikely four-track collaboration finds Smith’s daughter Esme providing sublime backing vocals and channels Pop’s formidable wordsmith talents into spontaneous, narrative freestyles.

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Take a tour of the dreamy ACL modular synthesizer system

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 26 Jul 2018 8:27 pm

Part of the appeal of modular systems is there in the name – modularity. But as the modular market grows, there’s increasing demand for modulars that are again designed as coherent systems. The ACL System 1 is ready to serve as a synth on its own, or the centerpiece of a larger modular rig.

The ACL System 1 launched this week, available here in Berlin from Schneidersladen (and shipping elsewhere). And here’s a look at how all those pieces come together:

The Audiophile Circuits League do their assembly in Berlin – joining a growing number of boutique makers, including Koma, MFB, Jomox, and Verbos, just to name a few. With a direct-order price of 3930 EUR, it’s not exactly a budget synth. But figure that even pretty recently, digital workstation polysynths were going for near this … and a whole modular rig is a lot more fun. (The price of modular synths as a category, meanwhile, have absolutely dropped – this high-end model is far less than the historical instruments that inspired it, calculating for inflation, to say nothing of prices that drop down to literally zero if you go to software).

Okay, so what’s in there?

6U 84HP Eurorack configuration in their EVZ-1 case
Two Variable Sync VCOs, linear and exponential FM
Dual State Variable VCF
Gate Mix for summing up to four sources
VC Panning Amplifier
M/S Matrix (for mid/side processing)
Three ADSR envelopes (Envelope X3)
Dual Delay
QLFO with phase-shifted sine waves

Basically, you get a synth that’s very inspired by Roland’s System 100M. (Roland, for their part, have also been resurrecting the Japanese modular lineage – something I hope we’ll look into soon.)

So you can make freaky synth sounds, lots of effects, and (of course) precise, thumping kicks. And the whole thing feels really nice, including some really luxurious knobs (they’re “Vernier dials” for anyone interested).

But… if you don’t know what the above means, then this probably isn’t for you.

There’s also an audio interface module and nice touches like a low impedance headphone jack – all the sorts of things that sometimes get overlooked by odd DIY modules.

Also, in a nod to the fact that this is a modular, they did leave a little (tiny) space for expansion, though those 4HP aren’t going to accomplish a whole lot! Most of the people I’ve seen buy these kinds of systems, though, already own a smattering of modules and are upgrading to an integrated instrument that sits at the center of it. (Yes, for those people warning of “Eurocrack” addiction, it’d look like that.)

I’m not personally in the market for something like this, but I always find them interesting to play around with and as a demonstration of how designers approach building a modular system. Nice stuff:

www.audiophilecircuitsleague.com

These folks being in Berlin, they’re neighbors to CDM, so if there’s anything you’d like to know or see, tell us and we’ll find out!

The post Take a tour of the dreamy ACL modular synthesizer system appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Forget vinyl: here’s a DJ rig with two Amiga 1200 PCs

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 26 Jul 2018 5:09 pm

Computers will never die. Now they’re even old enough to be retro. So watch a DJ rig that combines two Commodore Amigas for MOD DJing, thanks to recent software.

The beauty of this approach is, those Amigas play MOD files – tracker-based music sequences with elaborate, hyperactive sounds from the golden age of video game composition and chip music. And just as you really want to hear certain things on tape or digital or vinyl, some music really lends itself to that format.

And yes, there really is (fairly) new software for this – new Amiga software, no joke. It’s called PT-1210, and it transforms vintage Amigas (or Atari ST) into a kind of CDJ for MOD files. It debuted – where else, at a demoscene/hacker conference – at Revision 2014 in Saarbrücken, Germany. Here’s how the developers describe it:

PT-1210 Mk1 is a Protracker Digital Turntable, that is, a computer program that will let you play your Amiga Protracker module files (.MOD) as if you were playing with CDJ turntables, inspired by gwEm’s STJ. Think of it as Traktor for the Protracker generation.

Hilarious banner:

That software is the work of Akira (concept/UI), h0ffman (concept/code), and tecon (testing). It’s even written in Assembler code for maximum performance on vintage hardware. Grab it here:

http://pt1210.abime.net/

Atari ST fans, this Amiga creation was in turn inspired by Atari ST software with the same aim, by gwEM, cleverly dubbed STJ:

http://www.preromanbritain.com/stj/

The rig in the video at top:

Small monitors (for analog video output)
Mono-to-stereo adapters (since the Amigas have mono output)
DJ mixer
SD cards (in place of floppy disks, which means massive supplies of MOD files)

They found their MOD files at ModLand

Oh yeah, there are even instant doubles – you can load up the same track on both machines.)

Beat matching is still a thing here, so you get human sync by your ear rather than something electronically locked in. (That’s also beautiful, frankly!)

To show off all this goodness, the RetroManCave YouTube channel goes to these folks:

Retro Ravi – https://www.youtube.com/user/the4mula
8bitmixshow – http://8bitmix.com/

Okay, so that’s the tech stuff. But now the important bit – can you make a compelling DJ set with this rig? Here’s one answer, from Ravi:

Thanks to Noncompliant for the link! Can I request my favorite MOD at Berghain this Saturday, Lisa?

https://www.noncompliantmusic.com/#!

Don’t just want to DJ, but produce, too? Check this out:

The 90s are alive, with a free, modern clone of FastTracker II

The post Forget vinyl: here’s a DJ rig with two Amiga 1200 PCs appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Comments Dates Set on FCC Rulemaking to Explore Reform of Children’s TV Rules – What Is Being Asked?

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 26 Jul 2018 4:52 pm

The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Children’s Television has been published in the Federal Register, setting the dates for comments on the questions that the FCC asks about changing the rules – particularly those rules dealing with educational and informational programming directed to children. Comments are due September 24, with replies due October 23. See the FCC Public Notice on these comment dates for more information. With the dates now set, it is worth reviewing the questions that the FCC asks about whether changes in the video marketplace require that the rules for educational and informational programming be changed.

The rules currently require that a television station broadcast an average of three hours per week of “core” educational and informational programming directed to children 16 and under to avoid special scrutiny by the FCC at license renewal time. Core programming must run between 7 AM and 10 PM, and must be aired at regularly scheduled times in blocks of at least half an hour. For stations that multicast, each multicast stream has an independent 3 hour per week obligation, though the required children’s programming for one multicast channel can run instead on another multicast channel (or on the station’s main channel) as long as it reaches a comparable MVPD audience. What changes are being considered?

The FCC asks questions in a number of areas. It asks many questions as to whether television viewing habits of children have changed in the more than 12 years since the last major revision in these rules to justify new changes. General questions are posed about whether children’s services from cable and satellite programming, online programming and even public television programming have changed the needs of children for educational and informational programming by commercial broadcasters. Also, has the method of consumption of video programming – on more of an on-demand rather than “appointment” basis – minimized the need for rigid schedules of children’s educational programming? And has the proliferation of short online programs changed attention spans so that half-hour blocks of programming are no longer the best way to convey information to children?

Based on these broader themes, the FCC asks questions including:

  • Does core programming still need to be in blocks of 30 minutes, or can shorter amounts of programming be used to meet the required amount of children’s programming? If shorter amounts of programming can be used, should it be counted on a minute-by-minute basis toward meeting the current 3 hour requirement, or can some other compliance metric be used?
  • Given the changes in “appointment” television expectations, does core programming still need to be at regular times and during the hours from 7 AM to 10 PM?
  • Does core programming still need to have the “E/I” logo on screen? Do stations still need to provide specific information about core programs to TV Guide and other program guides, or can broadcasters be counted on to promote their programs so that viewers can find it?
  • Are there ways to streamline the reporting requirements? Should, for instance, the Quarterly Children’s television reports be filed only once a year? Should promises about future programming be eliminated, so the reports only report on what was actually broadcast?
  • How should the FCC’s renewal processing guidelines be changed? Should stations still need to air three hours per week, averaged on a 6 month basis, or can the average be on a yearly basis? Should minimums still be required each week? The FCC has always allowed a station to meet its obligations by other means that demonstrate its service to children, but stations have not used that alternative as no one knows what would be an acceptable alternative to the three hour per week average. Should some specific alternatives be provided, and if so, what are they?
  • Is a mandatory 3 hours per week of educational and informational programming still necessary? Even if necessary on the station’s main channel, is that same obligation necessary on each subchannel?
  • Should non-broadcast efforts be a substitute for the broadcast of educational and informational programming by broadcasters? Could funding such programming on a noncommercial station in a broadcaster’s market, or even on another commercial station, be a substitute?

These and other questions are being asked by the Commission to determine how broadcasters will need to meet the needs of children in the future. If you have comments on these controversial issues, make them known by the filing deadlines announced yesterday.

What culture, ritual will be like in the age of AI, as imagined by a Hacklab

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 26 Jul 2018 4:34 pm

Machine learning is presented variously as nightmare and panacea, gold rush and dystopia. But a group of artists hacking away at CTM Festival earlier this year did something else with it: they humanized it.

The MusicMakers Hacklab continues our collaboration with CTM Festival, and this winter I co-facilitated the week-long program in Berlin with media artist and researcher Ioann Maria (born in Poland, now in the UK). Ioann has long brought critical speculative imagination to her work (meaning, she gets weird and scary when she has to), as well as being able to wrangle large groups of artists and the chaos the creative process produces. Artists are a mess – as they need to be, sometimes – and Ioann can keep them comfortable with that and moving forward. No one could have been more ideal, in other words.

And our group delved boldly into the possibilities of machine learning. Most compellingly, I thought, these ritualistic performances captured a moment of transformation for our own sense of being human, as if folding this technological moment in against itself to reach some new witchcraft, to synthesize a new tribe. If we were suddenly transported to a cave with flickering electronic light, my feeling was that this didn’t necessarily represent a retreat from tech. It was a way of connecting some long human spirituality to the shock of the new.

This wasn’t just about speculating about what AI would do to people, though. Machine learning applications were turned into interfaces, making gestures and machines interact more clearly. The free, artist-friendly Wekinator was a popular choice. That stands in contrast to corporate-funded AI and how that’s marketed – which is largely as a weird, consumer convenience. (Get me food reservations tonight without me actually talking to anyone, and then tell me what music to listen to and who to date.)

Here, instead, artists took machine learning algorithms and made it another raw material for creating instruments. This was AI getting the machines to better enable performance traditions. And this is partly our hope in who we bring to these performance hacklabs: we want people with experience in code and electronics, but also performance media, musicology, and culture, in various combinations.

(Also spot some kinetic percussion in the first piece, courtesy dadamachines.)

Check out the short video excerpt or scan through our whole performance documentation. All documentation courtesy CTM Festival – thanks. (Photos: Stefanie Kulisch.)

Big thanks to the folks who give us support. The CTM 2018 MusicMakers Hacklab was presented with Native Instruments and SHAPE, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.

Full audio (which makes for nice sort of radio play, somehow, thanks to all these beautiful sounds):

Full video:

2018 participants – all amazing artists, and ones to watch:

Adrien Bitton
Alex Alexopoulos (Wild Anima)
Andreas Dzialocha
Anna Kamecka
Aziz Ege Gonul
Camille Lacadee
Carlo Cattano
Carlotta Aoun
Claire Aoi
Damian T. Dziwis
Daniel Kokko
Elias Najarro
Gašper Torkar
Islam Shabana
Jason Geistweidt
Joshua Peschke
Julia del Río
Karolina Karnacewicz
Marylou Petot
Moisés Horta Valenzuela AKA ℌEXOℜℭℑSMOS
Nontokozo F. Sihwa / Venus Ex Machina
Sarah Martinus
Thomas Haferlach

https://www.ctm-festival.de/archive/festival-editions/ctm-2018-turmoil/transfer/musicmakers-hacklab/

http://ioannmaria.com/

For some of the conceptual and research background on these topics, check out the Input sessions we hosted. (These also clearly inspired, frightened, and fired up our participants.)

A look at AI’s strange and dystopian future for art, music, and society

Minds, machines, and centralization: AI and music

The post What culture, ritual will be like in the age of AI, as imagined by a Hacklab appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Pet Shop Boys review – bring on the dancing balloon people

Delivered... Michael Cragg | Scene | Thu 26 Jul 2018 4:21 pm

Royal Opera House, London
Ingenious design helps create an electric atmosphere as the duo celebrate poptimisation at Covent Garden

There’s something of a victory lap atmosphere inside London’s Royal Opera House, for this reprise of the Pet Shop Boys’ Inner Sanctum shows. Just as they did two years ago, the duo – now approaching their fourth decade of applying high-art concepts to pure pop exuberance – have taken up residence for four nights, possibly to facilitate a future DVD release (the final two shows will be filmed by regular collaborator David Barnard). While those 2016 shows marked the start of the Super tour, in support of the high-NRG, house-inflected album of the same name, there’s a feeling of familiarity about tonight.

There’s also sweat, buckets of it. As the deep red curtain, gilded in gold, ascends to reveal the first layer of designer Es Devlin’s eye-popping, multi-faceted set, the heatwave creeps in, temperature raised by dancing bodies, from the moment Chris Lowe triggers opener Inner Sanctum’s buoyant synth riff. “I thought this building was air conditioned!” Neil Tennant huffs later from inside a very unseasonal cropped bomber jacket after a suitably tropical Se A Vida É (That’s The Way Life Is).

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