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


CDM Mixes: Voyage into sound like a mystic space cat, with akkamiau

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Events,Scene | Mon 8 Jan 2018 3:09 pm

Start your week right with some underground technoes. akkamiau is the multi-faceted Prague-born Akkamiau Kočičí, and she kicks off a special January for us.

Here in Berlin on Saturday, we’re hosting a special night of live performances with akkamiau joining us for a DJ set rounding out the night:
https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1053318

They’re all released on or forthcoming on our label Establishment, and all of them have robust projects of their own, from live coding work in the Algorave scene with Miri Kat, to their own up-and-coming label projects (Gradient from Jamaica Suk, Denkfabrik from Nicolas Bougaïeff, and a new project emerging from Stanislav Glazov aka Procedural). They’re also teaching – Stas is a modular and Touch Designer guru traveling the world with those projects; both Nick and Jamaica teach privately, and Nick teaches modulars and coaches composition as Dr. Techno – because he’s a real doctor. Oliver Torr on behalf of Prague’s XYZ project is preparing an interactive light installation that will evolve over the course of the night, as well.

Stratofyzika, intermedia group.

I wanted to invite Lenka to send some vibrations to our readers all over the world. Lenka’s own projects are myriad: she’s a founding member of female:pressure, the network and advocacy organization that has worked for years to break apart the gendering of electronic music, she releases and performs and DJs as akkamiau and hiT͟Hərˈto͞o, and adds live sound and music to the choreography- and audiovisual-driven intermedia project Stratofyzika.

She’s also recently hosted quadraphonic sound workshops, working in Ableton Live, plus the wildly popular jam room at Ableton Loop.

And while the trend these days seems to be on narrowly-defined DJs, I believe all those broad influences come across in her DJ mixes as well as her music. Lenka has shared an exclusive mix with us, recorded straight from the mixer in the grimy confines of Berlin’s club Suicide Circus aka Suicide Club. It was the opening of the respected RITUALS series, which takes commanding, dark techno into Berlin’s Thursday night / Friday morning (well, because this is Berlin, and Thursdays are a big night).

Just don’t expect monotonous pounding. Lenka’s mixing is effortlessly fluid and organic, unfolding across the duration, putting beautiful, strange otherworldly textures atop heavy, dirty pulse. And that seems to have as always Lenka’s quirky cosmic feline character there. That doesn’t mean it’s soft in any way: these space cats have big rockets.

Dark but not drab … industrial with groove … powerful but dreamy … sounds like good new years’ resolutions for techno to me.

Track listing (yep that Ancient Methods and Perc are each two favorites of mine, for starters):

Moerbeck & Subjected – 006SB1
Mamiffer – Enantiodromia
Adam X – It’s All Relative
Alexey Volkov – Corner
H880 – weird signs
Drasko V & Kero – Exponent (Drumcell Remix)
Tensal – Levia
Regis – Keep Planning (Original Mix)
Discord – Backyard Trapp
MTd – Basement (Moerbeck Remix)
P.E.A.R.L. – Station1
Tsorn – Strange Theory
FJAAK – The Tube
Ancient Methods – Knights & Bishops
Perc – Look What Your Love Has Done To Me
H880 – KEPLER
Niki Istrefi – Red Armor

Join us in Berlin if you can, and regardless, stay tuned for more of akkamiau, these other artists, and Establishment. Frohes Neues!

Follow akkamiau on SoundCloud, MixCloud, and Facebook

For more listening, check out akkamiau’s work on Colaboradio 88.4FM Berlin. There’s a special episode devoted to the voice:

— and one highlighting those Ableton Link-ed jam sessions at the company’s Loop conference from November:

Saturday’s event, featuring akkamiau:

Establishment: XL & live [Discount advance tickets exclusively on Resident Advisor]
RSVP on Facebook

The post CDM Mixes: Voyage into sound like a mystic space cat, with akkamiau appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Everybody Has a Voice: Audrey Chen

Delivered... Luise Wolf | Scene | Fri 22 Dec 2017 1:16 pm

Music is more than just melodies and rhythm. It has a guttural level, and contains sound that is free from symbolic meanings. The singer Audrey Chen is obsessed with these acoustic materialities and creates a sonic language with her voice.

Audrey Chen live at Savvy Contemporary, Berlin (photo credit © Raisa Galofre, 2017)

The composer Dieter Schnebel posited: if music contains musical sound and musical sense, it should be freed from this sense and its dependence scoring a meaning, it should be dissolved from the sound of words and find its «material structure». This thought is also firmly installed in today’s academic and artistic discourse Sonic Turn – exploring the sonic materiality and embodiment of sound. This inspired the event series Untraining The Ear: Listening Sessions at Savvy Contemporary, that covered the performance of the Chinese-American composer and musician Audrey Chen.

At her performance, Chen shows that there are a million more sounds a human voice can create than the ideal of a clear tone. She is breathing, humming, clicking with her tongue, hissing, snorting, screaming and cackling, ardently and seemingly easily gliding from throat to overtone singing and making up a myriad of sounds in between. Her work is neither a slapstick comedy nor a straight classical experiment. Her vocal and instrumental performance merges contemporary music with electronica. It creates a unique feeling of intimacy and ecstasy at the same time.

Fooling Around With the Voice

Chen separated the sounds a human mouth can create from the semantic meaning of the words and experiments with them. The material structure Dieter Schnebel mentions shows up as a complex anatomy in her performance. She seems to develop a language through vocal sounds and builds dramatic, even concrete or sensitive moments accompanied by minimal cello or drum machine textures. The voice is used as an instrument, as an autonomous sound machine, freed from the symbolic implement of language. Chen explored these sounds mainly while fooling around with her son when he was little. In the talk after the show, she reminds the listeners: «The voice is everybody’s first instrument». This personal approach might give her the freedom to develop something unique and allow her voice to experiment in every direction. Her outburst and ecstasy of vocal expression, sounding like a highly trained classical voice in one moment and raw and unfiltered in the other, is strictly composed on moment and then improvised another. «Through sound I can get it all out and not getting it wrong», she says.

Chen’s vocal pieces are a cathartic relief, neither a concept nor an idea. Listeners can feel this catharsis, too. Listening to a human voice allows us to resonate with it and feel it within our own bodies, as everyone has a «muscle memory» of it. If the voice is the most intimate instrument, then this is certainly true for Audrey Chen’s performance. In times of political and social defragmentation, it is a pleasure to listen to a voice that synthesizes musical influences into one story that is not to there to be deciphered, but to offer a personal relief.

The Listening Session Series «Untraining the Ear» is presented by Savvy Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, CTM Festival & Norient.

Read More on Norient

> Lucia Farinati: «Beyond Voice»
> Eric Mandel: «Untrain Your Ear – Tara Transitory»
> Lendl Barcelos: «Digressing with Laurel Halo»

CDM Mixes: Sofia Kourtesis takes us dreaming in wintry skies

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 20 Dec 2017 5:18 pm

Year-end lists, while valuable, can blur into vague hype, dizzying lists of artists and tracks. Let’s start by spending some time listening.

Long-time friend of the site Sofia Kourtesis, the producer/DJ with German-Peruvian-Greek connections now based in Berlin, fired over a new mix and her latest production this week. I make no claim of weighing what’s important in grander schemes, but I was moved by the fact that it touched so much of the music I resonated with personally this year, in headphones and in clubs both. There’s Octo Octa and Benjamin Damage – each mastering live performance – and Avalon Emerson and Etapp Kyle and DVS1, who dazzled me as DJs and with productions. And then onward from there.

Sofia calls this “pieces of winter sky”:

1 Olof Dreijer-Echoes from Mamori
2 Adam Marshall – Hose Shipping, Jammed Mix
3 Avalon Emerson – One More Fluorescent Rush
4 Etapp Kyle – Essay [KW20]
5 DVS1 – In The Middle [KW20]
6 Octo Octa – Adrift (Official Video)
7 Benjamin Damage – Montreal
8 Helena Hauff- Do you really think like that, als MP3 im Anhang
9 Sofia Kourtesis Iquitos
10 Aphex Twin – Alberto Balsam

Sofia is busy. In addition to handling bookings at Chalet (the former tollhouse right next to the Berlin headquarters of Native Instruments), she’s playing a festival in Peru organizing around the issue of child trafficking on May 17, has a full schedule of some of the most respected venues in Germany, NYC, and Latin America (see below), and will be curating a concert series at Berlin’s storied Funkhaus (ex-DDR radio facility and host recently to Ableton Loop). She also has a new EP in the works for spring.

Here’s what she says about this mix:

This mix is somehow playful, but also really dynamic, with sounds of mellow, Amazonian, and moody techno and electronica.

I took Olaf Dreijer to begin with, because it always makes me go out of myself on a dreamy journey, thinking about home, or about what home is. I really like his Amazonian elements — and this bass kills me, it’s just beautiful. It keeps me motivated throughout the day.

I also selected some of my favorite female artists at the moment, not just for them being women, but mainly because they’re talented producers using a lot of analog gear. Helena Hauff always brings it to the point, and without needing to try, she simply sounds really organic. I really love her new EP on Ninja Tune. I also like Avalon’s new track that she released on Whities, one of my favorite labels at the moment, alongside Studio Barnus.

The production, the video and her artwork are always really special. I wonder why she didn’t write music for computer games. She could totally do it – what a dream; I would be the first one to buy it. Ed.: We may have to round up some video game music at some point, on that note – see for instance SØS Gunver Ryberg’s wonderful work.

I just found out about Octo Octa this year. She’s a wonderful artist; I really like playing “Adrift” in the middle of a set; it takes me on a journey. Also really good for dancing is Benjamin Damage’s “Montreal” — what a tune… wish I had made it!

I also dared myself to include one of my own new tracks called “Guerrero.” It’s about a close friend of mind who is fighting against FIFA’s corruption.

All the best things at the end — I will never forget to include Aphex Twin in anything I do; he’s always been my hero.

By the way, from Sofia or anyone else, I will rabidly defend left-turn mixing and surprises; I think mixing and DJing could use more risks, not less. Seems a good resolution for 2018.

We’ll have more audio content from CDM coming on 2018, so consider this one end-of-year teaser as we squeeze in some holidays. If you have ideas for how you’d like that to go, I’d love to hear from you. But I believe there should always be more room for listening.

In person is even better, so here are Sofia’s coming dates:

19.01.2018 Chalet Club Berlin
16.2.2018 Institut für Zukunft Leipzig
22.02.2018 Bossa Nova Civic New York
24.02.2018 New York [TBC]
17.05.2018 Proyecto Play Me Lima-Peru
25.05.2018 Mexico City [TBC]

https://www.facebook.com/sofia.kourtesis/

https://soundcloud.com/sofia-kourtesis

The post CDM Mixes: Sofia Kourtesis takes us dreaming in wintry skies appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

KOMA’s pedals are discontinued, but leave a mighty 7-year legacy

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 13 Dec 2017 5:53 pm

KOMA Elektronik are discontinuing their BD101 and FT201 pedals after a final limited run. 7 years ago, these products launched an upstart boutique brand.

The BD101 analog gate/delay and FT201 state-variable filter/10-step sequencer were released as two pedals in the now-distinctive KOMA white, way back in 2011. They launched that name in Berlin as the company’s first two products. Now, KOMA says they’ll use up their last parts in one final production run, not expected to last too far into January.

And seven years is a pretty decent lifespan for any product. But these particular pedals accomplished a lot – not only heralding the arrival of KOMA, but part of a generation of gear that marked a new age in boutique, independent devices, often emphasizing analog and underground sounds. Now much of that has been swept up in the Eurorack phenomenon, but it has surely included desktop gear, too.

KOMA for their part have gone on to a range of influential gear, a massive artist following, and even a music label, event series, and community space in their native Neukölln, Berlin. As recounted in the press release:

Over the course of their seven-year existence, the BD101 and FT201 have gone through four production runs, including a 50 unit special black edition and a special edition for Scottish post rock band Mogwai. Their sonic signature can be heard on a ton of records, and its signature white enclosures can be found in top notch recording studios as well as on stage with amongst others electronic musicians Alessandro Cortini, Pole, Addison Groove, Henning Baer, RAC, Jimmy Edgar and more rock oriented musicians like Lee Ranaldo, Vessels, Chvrches and a bunch of noise music legends!

Now, KOMA can take that know-how and make room for new machines. (The press release teases some new things to come. It’d be great to see more pedals, of course!)

CDM has managed to be there for some of this history, like the Musikmesse video I shot (really badly) in the back of a van, since KOMA couldn’t afford a booth at the time. That video makes it into the press release:

Jimmy Edgar walks through those pedals in his studio:

And we’ve had some fun Kodak moments with these things over the years:

Find the pedals back at KOMA – or go pay them a visit at their new community space for music electronics, Common Ground:

www.koma-elektronik.com

The post KOMA’s pedals are discontinued, but leave a mighty 7-year legacy appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

MusicMakers Hacklab Berlin to take on artificial minds as theme

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 1 Dec 2017 6:42 pm

AI is the buzzword on everyone’s lips these days. But how might musicians respond to themes of machine intelligence? That’s our topic in Berlin, 2018.

We’re calling this year’s theme “The Hacked Mind.” Inspired by AI and machine learning, we’re inviting artists to respond in the latest edition of our MusicMakers Hacklab hosted with CTM Festival in Berlin. In that collaborative environment, participants will have a chance to answer these questions however they like. They might harness machine learning to transform sound or create new instruments – or even answer ideas around machines and algorithms in other ways, through performance and composition ideas.

As always, the essential challenge isn’t just hacking code or circuits or art: it’s collaboration. By bringing together teams from diverse backgrounds and skill sets, we hope to exchange ideas and knowledge and build something new, together, on the spot.

The end result: a live performance at HAU2, capping off a dense week-plus festival of adventurous electronic music, art, and new ideas.

Hacklab application deadline: 05.12.2017
Hacklab runs: 29.1 – 4.2.2018 in Berlin (Friday opening, Monday – Saturday lab participation, Sunday presentation)

Apply online:
MusicMakers Hacklab – The Hacked Mind – Call for works

We’re not just looking for coders or hackers. We want artists from a range of backgrounds. We want people to wrestle with machine learning tools – absolutely, and some are specifically designed to train to recognize sounds and gestures and work with musical instruments. But we also hope for unorthodox artistic reactions to the topic and larger social implications.

To spur you on, we’ll have a packed lineup of guests, including Gene Kogan, who runs the amazing resource ml4a – machine learning for artists – and has done AV works like these:

And there’s Wesley Goatley, whose work delves into the hidden methods and biases behind machine learning techniques and what their implications might be.

Of course, machine learning and training on big data sets opens up new possibilities for musicians, too. Accusonus recently explained that to us in terms of new audio processing techniques. And tools like Wekinator now use training machines as ways of more intelligently recognizing gestures, so you can transform electronic instruments and how they’re played by humans.

Dog training. No, not like that – training your computer on dogs. From ml4a.

Meet Ioann Maria

We have as always a special guest facilitator joining me. This time, it’s Ioann Maria, whose AV / visual background will be familiar to CDM readers, but who has since entered a realm of specialization that fits perfectly with this year’s theme.

Ioann wrote a personal statement about her involvement, so you can get to know where she’s come from:

My trip into the digital started with real-time audiovisual performance. From there, I went on to study Computer Science and AI, and quickly got into fundamentals of Robotics. The main interest and focus of my studies was all that concerns human-machine interaction.

While I was learning about CS and AI, I was co-directing LPM [Live Performers Meeting], the world’s largest annual meeting dedicated to live video performance and new creative technologies. In that time I started attending Dorkbot Alba meet-ups – “people doing strange things with electricity.” From our regular gatherings arose an idea of opening the first Scottish hackerspace, Edinburgh Hacklab (in 2010 – still prospering today).

I grew up in the spirit of the open source.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been working at the Sussex Humanities Lab at the University of Sussex, England, as a Research Technician, Programmer, and Technologist in Digital Humanities. SHL is dedicated to developing and expanding research into how digital technologies are shaping our culture and society.

I provide technical expertise to researchers at the Lab and University.

At the SHL, I do software and hardware development for content-specific events and projects. I’ve been working on long-term jobs involving big data analysis and visualization, where my main focus for example was to develop data visualization tools looking for speech patterns and analyzing anomalies in criminal proceedings in the UK over the centuries.

I also touched on the technical possibilities and limitations of today’s conversational interfaces, learning more about natural language processing, speech recognition and machine learning.

There’s a lot going on in our Digital Humanities Lab at Sussex and I’m feeling lucky to have a chance to work with super brains I got to meet there.

In the past years, I dedicated my time speaking about the issues of digital privacy, computer security and promoting hacktivism. That too found its way to exist within the academic environment – in 2016 we started the Sussex Surveillance Group, a cross-university network that explores critical approaches to understanding the role and impact of surveillance techniques, their legislative oversight and systems of accountability in the countries that make up what are known as the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance.

With my background in new media arts and performance and some knowledge, in computing I’m awfully curious about what will happen during the MusicMakers Hacklab 2018.

What fascinating and sorrowful times we happen to live in. How will AI manifest and substantiate our potential, and how will we translate this whole weight and meaning into music, into performing art? It going to be us for, or against the machine? I can’t wait to meet our to-be-chosen Hacklab participants, link our brains and forces into a creative-tech-new – entirely IRL!

MusicMakers Hacklab – The Hacked Mind – Call for works

In collaboration with CTM Festival, CDM, and the SHAPE Platform.
With support from Native Instruments.

The post MusicMakers Hacklab Berlin to take on artificial minds as theme appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

What you can learn from Belief Defect’s modular-PC live rig

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 22 Nov 2017 5:42 pm

Belief Defect’s dark, grungy, distorted sounds come from hardware modulars in tandem with Reaktor and Maschine. Here’s how the Raster artists make it work.

Belief Defect is a duo from two known techno artists, minus their usual identities, with a full-length out on Raster (the label formerly known as Raster-Noton). It digresses from techno into aggressively crunchy left-field sonic tableau and gothic song constructions. There are some video excerpts from their stunning live debut at Berlin’s Atonal Festival, featuring visuals by OKTAform:

See also: STREAM BELIEF DEFECT’S DECADENT YET DEPRAVED ALBUM AND READ THE STORIES BEHIND THEIR CREEPY SAMPLES

They’ve got analog modulars in the studio and onstage, but a whole lot of the live set’s sounds emanate from computers – and the computer pulls the live show together. That’s no less expressive or performative – on the contrary, the combination with Maschine hardware means easy access to playing percussion live and controlling parameters.

Native Instruments asked me to do an in-depth interview for the new NI Blog, to get to talk about their music. The full interview:

Belief Defect on their Maschine and Reaktor modular rig [blog.native-instruments.com]

They’ve got a diverse setup: modular gear across two studios, Bitwig Studio running some stems (and useful in the studio for interfacing with modulars), a Nord Drum connected via MIDI, and then one laptop running Maschine and Reaktor that ties it all together.

Here are some tips picked up from that interview and reviewing the Reaktor patch at the heart of their album and live rig:

1. Embrace your Dr. Frankenstein.

Patching together something from existing stuff to get what you want can give you a tool that gets used and reused. In this case, Belief Defect used some familiar Reaktor ensemble bits to produce their versatile drum kit and effects combo.

2. Saturator love.

Don’t overlook the simple. A lot of the sound of Belief Defect is clever, economical use of the distinctive sound of delay, reverb, filter, and distortion. The distortion, for instance, is the sound of Reaktor’s built-in Saturator 2 module, which is routed after the filter. I suspect that’s not accidental – by not overcomplicating layers of effects, it frees up the artists to use their ears, focus on their source material, and dial in just the sound they want.

And remember if you’re playing with the excellent Reaktor Blocks, you can always modify a module using these tried-and-true bits and pieces from the Reaktor library.

For more saturation, check out the free download they recommend, which you can drop into your Blocks modular rig, too:

ThatOneKnob Compressor [Reaktor User Library]

3. Check out Molekular for vocals.

Also included with Reaktor 6, Molekular is its own modular multi-effects environment. Belief Defect used it on vocals via the harmonic quantizer. And it’s “free” once you have Reaktor – waiting to be used, or even picked apart.

“Using the harmonic quantizer, and then going crazy and have everything not drift into gibberish was just amazing.”

Maschine clips in the upper left trigger snapshots in Reaktor – simple, effective,

4. Maschine can act as a controller and snapshot recall for Reaktor.

One challenge I suspect for some Reaktor users is, whereas your patching and sound design process is initially all about the mouse and computer, when you play you want to get tangible. Here, Belief Defect have used Reaktor inside Maschine. Then the Maschine pads trigger drum sounds, and the encoders control parameters.

Group A on Maschine houses the Reaktor ensemble. Macro controls are mapped consistently, so that turning the third encoder always has the same result. Then Reaktor snapshots are triggered from clips, so that each track can have presets ready to go.

This is so significant, in fact, that I’ll be looking at this in some future tutorials. (Reaktor also pairs nicely with Ableton Push in the same way; I’ve done that live with Reaktor Blocks rigs. Since what you lose going virtual is hands-on control, this gets it back – and handles that preset recall that analog modulars, cough, don’t exactly do.)

5. Maschine can also act as a bridge to hardware.

On a separate group, Belief Defect control their Nord Drum – this time using MIDI CC messages mapped to encoders. That group is color-coded Nord red (cute).

Belief Defect, the duo, in disguise. (You… might recognize them in the video, if you know them.)

6. Build a committed relationship.

Well, with an instrument, that is. By practicing with that one Reaktor ensemble, they built a coherent sound, tied the album together, and then had room to play – live and in the studio – by really making it an instrument and an extension of themselves. The drum sounds they point out lasted ten years. On the hardware side, there’s a parallel – like talking about taking their Buchla Music Easel out to work on.

Check out the full interview:

Belief Defect on their Maschine and Reaktor modular rig [blog.native-instruments.com]

Whoa.

Follow Belief Defect on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Belief_Defect

and Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/belief_defect/

Reaktor 6

Reaktor User Library

Photo credits: Giovanni Dominice.

The post What you can learn from Belief Defect’s modular-PC live rig appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Untrain Your Ear – Tara Transitory

Delivered... Eric Mandel | Scene | Mon 30 Oct 2017 7:00 am

What remains of music when one looks beyond its usual contexts of geography or identity? In their new series Untraining the Ear, co-presented by Norient, the Berlin based gallery, Savvy Contemporary, invited the musician Tara Transitory to demand the listener let go of the obligation to put every sound in a context.

Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation live at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin, 2017 (Photo © by Eric Mandel)

Reigning the Technique

Context has become the key in music reception, whether in science or in everyday consumption. On the most basic level, music is separated as intentional from (random) sound, and from there on the diversion goes on: Music on the radio will always be and expected to be «radio friendly», while in a club, we will be sure to hear club music, just as so-called classical music has its place in subsidised concert halls. Exchange between these contexts only emphasizes the importance of context for our understanding and judging of music in terms of function, distinction and market value. At the same time, artists from the periphery of the market, often find themselves caged in unwanted contexts when entering the international touring circuit. If it doesn’t sound identifiably «ethnic» enough for the Western or Euro-US-American ear, artists and DJs have a more difficult time to get recognition than bands catering to the world music market. For any artist setting out to challenge hierarchical postcolonial boundaries, context has become a burden, and ultimately, something worth questioning.

The first guest of the «listening sessions» was Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation. Her work includes sound, as well as video and spatial concepts and experiments in gender, noise and ritual, as well as criticism of capitalist culture. For her, it´s a challenge to put things into context such as her own Western education as a reoccurring factor in her involvement in queer subculture in South East Asia. When booked in commercial events as club nights or electronic music festivals, the technical framework of the production put severe limits on her performance. At the Savvy gallery, she said, she was instead «allowed free reign over the space and the technical means».

Sound Shocks

The main room of the basement was occupied by a multi screen video installation. The depicted multiple frames show the artist topless, without makeup or dress. After everyone had gathered, Tara Transitory began with hissing and droning layers as well as shuffling feet and camera shutters. The soundscape was building up slowly. Transitory, in makeup, dress, bangs, and hip trainers, kept deadpan and focused. Then, suddenly breaking pose, with an unreadable look on her face, she left the center of attention and briefly disappeared to switch off the light. Moments later, the darkness and the now medium loud drone everyone had time to get comfortable with, disrupted with an infernal bang – a merger of a hard kick drum and a gunshot.

The sound physically pierced the room and hit heavy on the eardrums … and, when the shock was still fresh, again, repeatedly but not synched to the flashes of the stroboscopic light that now barely lit the crammed scene. As the loud shots started to lose their violent novelty and found themselves embedded as an element of structure within an otherwise still swelling, non-rhythmical soundscape, disruption turned into a groove. Still stunned, people started to move away from another, partly in order to let their own bodies move and resonate with the frequencies.

Everyone is Different

In the following conversation it turned out that people had very different subjective memories about the actual duration of the performance, ranging between estimations of 15 and 45 minutes. Everyone agreed that the «Bang» was the turning point. But it should be admitted that performer and curators found a striking solution to the oxymoronic task of creating a non-contextual context. The session dealt with basic principles of sound and performance.

Harsh light and transparency transformed to an almost mind-altering play of darkness and strobe vision, floating sound made way to structure and groove, while the audience response shifted between spectatorship and immersion, individual and collective body experience, thus covering the whole spectrum of the artist’s own experiences between art galleries and techno temples. All that in the environment of a mere backstage tunnel, which was never intended to host a performance. Smart.

The Listening Session Series «Untraining the Ear» is presented by Savvy Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, CTM Festival & Norient .

Read More on Norient

> Julian Bonequi: «Syrphe: Noise Music in Africa & Asia»

> Podcast: «Underground Noise from Pakistan»

Untrain Your Ear – Tara Transitory

Delivered... Eric Mandel | Scene | Mon 30 Oct 2017 7:00 am

What remains of music when one looks beyond its usual contexts of geography or identity? In their new series Untraining the Ear, co-presented by Norient, the Berlin based gallery, Savvy Contemporary, invited the musician Tara Transitory to demand the listener let go of the obligation to put every sound in a context.

Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation live at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin, 2017 (Photo © by Eric Mandel)

Reigning the Technique

Context has become the key in music reception, whether in science or in everyday consumption. On the most basic level, music is separated as intentional from (random) sound, and from there on the diversion goes on: Music on the radio will always be and expected to be «radio friendly», while in a club, we will be sure to hear club music, just as so-called classical music has its place in subsidised concert halls. Exchange between these contexts only emphasizes the importance of context for our understanding and judging of music in terms of function, distinction and market value. At the same time, artists from the periphery of the market, often find themselves caged in unwanted contexts when entering the international touring circuit. If it doesn’t sound identifiably «ethnic» enough for the Western or Euro-US-American ear, artists and DJs have a more difficult time to get recognition than bands catering to the world music market. For any artist setting out to challenge hierarchical postcolonial boundaries, context has become a burden, and ultimately, something worth questioning.

The first guest of the «listening sessions» was Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation. Her work includes sound, as well as video and spatial concepts and experiments in gender, noise and ritual, as well as criticism of capitalist culture. For her, it´s a challenge to put things into context such as her own Western education as a reoccurring factor in her involvement in queer subculture in South East Asia. When booked in commercial events as club nights or electronic music festivals, the technical framework of the production put severe limits on her performance. At the Savvy gallery, she said, she was instead «allowed free reign over the space and the technical means».

Sound Shocks

The main room of the basement was occupied by a multi screen video installation. The depicted multiple frames show the artist topless, without makeup or dress. After everyone had gathered, Tara Transitory began with hissing and droning layers as well as shuffling feet and camera shutters. The soundscape was building up slowly. Transitory, in makeup, dress, bangs, and hip trainers, kept deadpan and focused. Then, suddenly breaking pose, with an unreadable look on her face, she left the center of attention and briefly disappeared to switch off the light. Moments later, the darkness and the now medium loud drone everyone had time to get comfortable with, disrupted with an infernal bang – a merger of a hard kick drum and a gunshot.

The sound physically pierced the room and hit heavy on the eardrums … and, when the shock was still fresh, again, repeatedly but not synched to the flashes of the stroboscopic light that now barely lit the crammed scene. As the loud shots started to lose their violent novelty and found themselves embedded as an element of structure within an otherwise still swelling, non-rhythmical soundscape, disruption turned into a groove. Still stunned, people started to move away from another, partly in order to let their own bodies move and resonate with the frequencies.

Everyone is Different

In the following conversation it turned out that people had very different subjective memories about the actual duration of the performance, ranging between estimations of 15 and 45 minutes. Everyone agreed that the «Bang» was the turning point. But it should be admitted that performer and curators found a striking solution to the oxymoronic task of creating a non-contextual context. The session dealt with basic principles of sound and performance.

Harsh light and transparency transformed to an almost mind-altering play of darkness and strobe vision, floating sound made way to structure and groove, while the audience response shifted between spectatorship and immersion, individual and collective body experience, thus covering the whole spectrum of the artist’s own experiences between art galleries and techno temples. All that in the environment of a mere backstage tunnel, which was never intended to host a performance. Smart.

The Listening Session Series «Untraining the Ear» is presented by Savvy Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, CTM Festival & Norient .

Read More on Norient

> Julian Bonequi: «Syrphe: Noise Music in Africa & Asia»

> Podcast: «Underground Noise from Pakistan»

Untrain Your Ear – Tara Transitory

Delivered... Eric Mandel | Scene | Mon 30 Oct 2017 7:00 am

What remains of music when one looks beyond its usual contexts of geography or identity? In their new series Untraining the Ear, co-presented by Norient, the Berlin based gallery, Savvy Contemporary, invited the musician Tara Transitory to demand the listener let go of the obligation to put every sound in a context.

Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation live at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin, 2017 (Photo © by Eric Mandel)

Reigning the Technique

Context has become the key in music reception, whether in science or in everyday consumption. On the most basic level, music is separated as intentional from (random) sound, and from there on the diversion goes on: Music on the radio will always be and expected to be «radio friendly», while in a club, we will be sure to hear club music, just as so-called classical music has its place in subsidised concert halls. Exchange between these contexts only emphasizes the importance of context for our understanding and judging of music in terms of function, distinction and market value. At the same time, artists from the periphery of the market, often find themselves caged in unwanted contexts when entering the international touring circuit. If it doesn’t sound identifiably «ethnic» enough for the Western or Euro-US-American ear, artists and DJs have a more difficult time to get recognition than bands catering to the world music market. For any artist setting out to challenge hierarchical postcolonial boundaries, context has become a burden, and ultimately, something worth questioning.

The first guest of the «listening sessions» was Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation. Her work includes sound, as well as video and spatial concepts and experiments in gender, noise and ritual, as well as criticism of capitalist culture. For her, it´s a challenge to put things into context such as her own Western education as a reoccurring factor in her involvement in queer subculture in South East Asia. When booked in commercial events as club nights or electronic music festivals, the technical framework of the production put severe limits on her performance. At the Savvy gallery, she said, she was instead «allowed free reign over the space and the technical means».

Sound Shocks

The main room of the basement was occupied by a multi screen video installation. The depicted multiple frames show the artist topless, without makeup or dress. After everyone had gathered, Tara Transitory began with hissing and droning layers as well as shuffling feet and camera shutters. The soundscape was building up slowly. Transitory, in makeup, dress, bangs, and hip trainers, kept deadpan and focused. Then, suddenly breaking pose, with an unreadable look on her face, she left the center of attention and briefly disappeared to switch off the light. Moments later, the darkness and the now medium loud drone everyone had time to get comfortable with, disrupted with an infernal bang – a merger of a hard kick drum and a gunshot.

The sound physically pierced the room and hit heavy on the eardrums … and, when the shock was still fresh, again, repeatedly but not synched to the flashes of the stroboscopic light that now barely lit the crammed scene. As the loud shots started to lose their violent novelty and found themselves embedded as an element of structure within an otherwise still swelling, non-rhythmical soundscape, disruption turned into a groove. Still stunned, people started to move away from another, partly in order to let their own bodies move and resonate with the frequencies.

Everyone is Different

In the following conversation it turned out that people had very different subjective memories about the actual duration of the performance, ranging between estimations of 15 and 45 minutes. Everyone agreed that the «Bang» was the turning point. But it should be admitted that performer and curators found a striking solution to the oxymoronic task of creating a non-contextual context. The session dealt with basic principles of sound and performance.

Harsh light and transparency transformed to an almost mind-altering play of darkness and strobe vision, floating sound made way to structure and groove, while the audience response shifted between spectatorship and immersion, individual and collective body experience, thus covering the whole spectrum of the artist’s own experiences between art galleries and techno temples. All that in the environment of a mere backstage tunnel, which was never intended to host a performance. Smart.

The Listening Session Series «Untraining the Ear» is presented by Savvy Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, CTM Festival & Norient .

Read More on Norient

> Julian Bonequi: «Syrphe: Noise Music in Africa & Asia»

> Podcast: «Underground Noise from Pakistan»

Untrain Your Ear – Tara Transitory

Delivered... Eric Mandel | Scene | Mon 30 Oct 2017 7:00 am

What remains of music when one looks beyond its usual contexts of geography or identity? In their new series Untraining the Ear, co-presented by Norient, the Berlin based gallery, Savvy Contemporary, invited the musician Tara Transitory to demand the listener let go of the obligation to put every sound in a context.

Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation live at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin, 2017 (Photo © by Eric Mandel)

Reigning the Technique

Context has become the key in music reception, whether in science or in everyday consumption. On the most basic level, music is separated as intentional from (random) sound, and from there on the diversion goes on: Music on the radio will always be and expected to be «radio friendly», while in a club, we will be sure to hear club music, just as so-called classical music has its place in subsidised concert halls. Exchange between these contexts only emphasizes the importance of context for our understanding and judging of music in terms of function, distinction and market value. At the same time, artists from the periphery of the market, often find themselves caged in unwanted contexts when entering the international touring circuit. If it doesn’t sound identifiably «ethnic» enough for the Western or Euro-US-American ear, artists and DJs have a more difficult time to get recognition than bands catering to the world music market. For any artist setting out to challenge hierarchical postcolonial boundaries, context has become a burden, and ultimately, something worth questioning.

The first guest of the «listening sessions» was Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation. Her work includes sound, as well as video and spatial concepts and experiments in gender, noise and ritual, as well as criticism of capitalist culture. For her, it´s a challenge to put things into context such as her own Western education as a reoccurring factor in her involvement in queer subculture in South East Asia. When booked in commercial events as club nights or electronic music festivals, the technical framework of the production put severe limits on her performance. At the Savvy gallery, she said, she was instead «allowed free reign over the space and the technical means».

Sound Shocks

The main room of the basement was occupied by a multi screen video installation. The depicted multiple frames show the artist topless, without makeup or dress. After everyone had gathered, Tara Transitory began with hissing and droning layers as well as shuffling feet and camera shutters. The soundscape was building up slowly. Transitory, in makeup, dress, bangs, and hip trainers, kept deadpan and focused. Then, suddenly breaking pose, with an unreadable look on her face, she left the center of attention and briefly disappeared to switch off the light. Moments later, the darkness and the now medium loud drone everyone had time to get comfortable with, disrupted with an infernal bang – a merger of a hard kick drum and a gunshot.

The sound physically pierced the room and hit heavy on the eardrums … and, when the shock was still fresh, again, repeatedly but not synched to the flashes of the stroboscopic light that now barely lit the crammed scene. As the loud shots started to lose their violent novelty and found themselves embedded as an element of structure within an otherwise still swelling, non-rhythmical soundscape, disruption turned into a groove. Still stunned, people started to move away from another, partly in order to let their own bodies move and resonate with the frequencies.

Everyone is Different

In the following conversation it turned out that people had very different subjective memories about the actual duration of the performance, ranging between estimations of 15 and 45 minutes. Everyone agreed that the «Bang» was the turning point. But it should be admitted that performer and curators found a striking solution to the oxymoronic task of creating a non-contextual context. The session dealt with basic principles of sound and performance.

Harsh light and transparency transformed to an almost mind-altering play of darkness and strobe vision, floating sound made way to structure and groove, while the audience response shifted between spectatorship and immersion, individual and collective body experience, thus covering the whole spectrum of the artist’s own experiences between art galleries and techno temples. All that in the environment of a mere backstage tunnel, which was never intended to host a performance. Smart.

The Listening Session Series «Untraining the Ear» is presented by Savvy Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, CTM Festival & Norient .

Read More on Norient

> Julian Bonequi: «Syrphe: Noise Music in Africa & Asia»

> Podcast: «Underground Noise from Pakistan»

Untrain Your Ear – Tara Transitory

Delivered... Eric Mandel | Scene | Mon 30 Oct 2017 7:00 am

What remains of music when one looks beyond its usual contexts of geography or identity? In their new series Untraining the Ear, co-presented by Norient, the Berlin based gallery, Savvy Contemporary, invited the musician Tara Transitory to demand the listener let go of the obligation to put every sound in a context.

Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation live at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin, 2017 (Photo © by Eric Mandel)

Reigning the Technique

Context has become the key in music reception, whether in science or in everyday consumption. On the most basic level, music is separated as intentional from (random) sound, and from there on the diversion goes on: Music on the radio will always be and expected to be «radio friendly», while in a club, we will be sure to hear club music, just as so-called classical music has its place in subsidised concert halls. Exchange between these contexts only emphasizes the importance of context for our understanding and judging of music in terms of function, distinction and market value. At the same time, artists from the periphery of the market, often find themselves caged in unwanted contexts when entering the international touring circuit. If it doesn’t sound identifiably «ethnic» enough for the Western or Euro-US-American ear, artists and DJs have a more difficult time to get recognition than bands catering to the world music market. For any artist setting out to challenge hierarchical postcolonial boundaries, context has become a burden, and ultimately, something worth questioning.

The first guest of the «listening sessions» was Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation. Her work includes sound, as well as video and spatial concepts and experiments in gender, noise and ritual, as well as criticism of capitalist culture. For her, it´s a challenge to put things into context such as her own Western education as a reoccurring factor in her involvement in queer subculture in South East Asia. When booked in commercial events as club nights or electronic music festivals, the technical framework of the production put severe limits on her performance. At the Savvy gallery, she said, she was instead «allowed free reign over the space and the technical means».

Sound Shocks

The main room of the basement was occupied by a multi screen video installation. The depicted multiple frames show the artist topless, without makeup or dress. After everyone had gathered, Tara Transitory began with hissing and droning layers as well as shuffling feet and camera shutters. The soundscape was building up slowly. Transitory, in makeup, dress, bangs, and hip trainers, kept deadpan and focused. Then, suddenly breaking pose, with an unreadable look on her face, she left the center of attention and briefly disappeared to switch off the light. Moments later, the darkness and the now medium loud drone everyone had time to get comfortable with, disrupted with an infernal bang – a merger of a hard kick drum and a gunshot.

The sound physically pierced the room and hit heavy on the eardrums … and, when the shock was still fresh, again, repeatedly but not synched to the flashes of the stroboscopic light that now barely lit the crammed scene. As the loud shots started to lose their violent novelty and found themselves embedded as an element of structure within an otherwise still swelling, non-rhythmical soundscape, disruption turned into a groove. Still stunned, people started to move away from another, partly in order to let their own bodies move and resonate with the frequencies.

Everyone is Different

In the following conversation it turned out that people had very different subjective memories about the actual duration of the performance, ranging between estimations of 15 and 45 minutes. Everyone agreed that the «Bang» was the turning point. But it should be admitted that performer and curators found a striking solution to the oxymoronic task of creating a non-contextual context. The session dealt with basic principles of sound and performance.

Harsh light and transparency transformed to an almost mind-altering play of darkness and strobe vision, floating sound made way to structure and groove, while the audience response shifted between spectatorship and immersion, individual and collective body experience, thus covering the whole spectrum of the artist’s own experiences between art galleries and techno temples. All that in the environment of a mere backstage tunnel, which was never intended to host a performance. Smart.

The Listening Session Series «Untraining the Ear» is presented by Savvy Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, CTM Festival & Norient .

Read More on Norient

> Julian Bonequi: «Syrphe: Noise Music in Africa & Asia»

> Podcast: «Underground Noise from Pakistan»

Untrain Your Ear – Tara Transitory

Delivered... Eric Mandel | Scene | Mon 30 Oct 2017 7:00 am

What remains of music when one looks beyond its usual contexts of geography or identity? In their new series Untraining the Ear, co-presented by Norient, the Berlin based gallery, Savvy Contemporary, invited the musician Tara Transitory to demand the listener let go of the obligation to put every sound in a context.

Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation live at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin, 2017 (Photo © by Eric Mandel)

Reigning the Technique

Context has become the key in music reception, whether in science or in everyday consumption. On the most basic level, music is separated as intentional from (random) sound, and from there on the diversion goes on: Music on the radio will always be and expected to be «radio friendly», while in a club, we will be sure to hear club music, just as so-called classical music has its place in subsidised concert halls. Exchange between these contexts only emphasizes the importance of context for our understanding and judging of music in terms of function, distinction and market value. At the same time, artists from the periphery of the market, often find themselves caged in unwanted contexts when entering the international touring circuit. If it doesn’t sound identifiably «ethnic» enough for the Western or Euro-US-American ear, artists and DJs have a more difficult time to get recognition than bands catering to the world music market. For any artist setting out to challenge hierarchical postcolonial boundaries, context has become a burden, and ultimately, something worth questioning.

The first guest of the «listening sessions» was Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation. Her work includes sound, as well as video and spatial concepts and experiments in gender, noise and ritual, as well as criticism of capitalist culture. For her, it´s a challenge to put things into context such as her own Western education as a reoccurring factor in her involvement in queer subculture in South East Asia. When booked in commercial events as club nights or electronic music festivals, the technical framework of the production put severe limits on her performance. At the Savvy gallery, she said, she was instead «allowed free reign over the space and the technical means».

Sound Shocks

The main room of the basement was occupied by a multi screen video installation. The depicted multiple frames show the artist topless, without makeup or dress. After everyone had gathered, Tara Transitory began with hissing and droning layers as well as shuffling feet and camera shutters. The soundscape was building up slowly. Transitory, in makeup, dress, bangs, and hip trainers, kept deadpan and focused. Then, suddenly breaking pose, with an unreadable look on her face, she left the center of attention and briefly disappeared to switch off the light. Moments later, the darkness and the now medium loud drone everyone had time to get comfortable with, disrupted with an infernal bang – a merger of a hard kick drum and a gunshot.

The sound physically pierced the room and hit heavy on the eardrums … and, when the shock was still fresh, again, repeatedly but not synched to the flashes of the stroboscopic light that now barely lit the crammed scene. As the loud shots started to lose their violent novelty and found themselves embedded as an element of structure within an otherwise still swelling, non-rhythmical soundscape, disruption turned into a groove. Still stunned, people started to move away from another, partly in order to let their own bodies move and resonate with the frequencies.

Everyone is Different

In the following conversation it turned out that people had very different subjective memories about the actual duration of the performance, ranging between estimations of 15 and 45 minutes. Everyone agreed that the «Bang» was the turning point. But it should be admitted that performer and curators found a striking solution to the oxymoronic task of creating a non-contextual context. The session dealt with basic principles of sound and performance.

Harsh light and transparency transformed to an almost mind-altering play of darkness and strobe vision, floating sound made way to structure and groove, while the audience response shifted between spectatorship and immersion, individual and collective body experience, thus covering the whole spectrum of the artist’s own experiences between art galleries and techno temples. All that in the environment of a mere backstage tunnel, which was never intended to host a performance. Smart.

The Listening Session Series «Untraining the Ear» is presented by Savvy Contemporary, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, CTM Festival & Norient .

Read More on Norient

> Julian Bonequi: «Syrphe: Noise Music in Africa & Asia»

> Podcast: «Underground Noise from Pakistan»

Native Instruments got a huge chunk of investment to grow

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 26 Oct 2017 6:22 pm

Big industry news last week: Native Instruments, purveyors of Traktor, Maschine, Reaktor, and Komplete, got 50 million Euros. Let’s make sense of that.

NI apparently wanted a reveal here. With Amsterdam Dance Event looking more like Pioneer turf these days – that company is dominant with CDJs and mixers and now even turntables, and had its own sampler on hand – NI got the attention of DJs at the keynote.

But what does it mean that the Berlin-based company got 50 million Euros? Well, some points to consider:

50 million is a lot. This is a lot for a company in the musical instruments sector of the business. Our quiet little corner of stuff for electronic musicians has begun to see some action, it’s true. For instance, Focusrite PLC (parent of Novation) made an initial public offering in 2014, and ROLI saw an unprecedented $27 million Series B funding back in 2016.

But 50 million euros opens up the possibility of significant investment. (Despite all that cash, NI retains its private ownership.)

The money is coming from a firm linked to music and pop stars. Billboard wrote the best piece I’ve seen on this yet:

Native Instruments Raises $59 Million From EMH Partners

So who are EMH? Well, they’re led by a bunch of white German guys in matching blue suits, who look like the people at the front of the queue for first class on your Lufthansa flight or an a Capella vocal quartet, or both.

But, apart from that, EMH are fairly interesting. You won’t gather much from their Website. (Example: they say they have “a special focus on consumer, retail, software, technology, financial services, business services, and health care.” That… doesn’t narrow it down much.)

Blue [Suit] Man Group. Why are these men smiling? Well, apparently their funds help digital services to grow – now including whatever NI are planning next.

I can translate, though. They help companies offering digital services grow. And they’ve got money to do it. The clients may shift – one of their previous big investments was in a tire e-service company (those round rubber things on cars), called Tirendo. And there was a search engine for vacation rentals. Plus a company with really futuristic lights.

NI were ahead of the curve on figuring out software would help musicians. They started simple – with things like a Hammond organ emulation and guitar effects. So now, it seems the gamble is what services would extend to larger groups of musicians.

NI will probably hire people. The one concrete piece of information: expect NI to hire new people to support new growth. So this is really about human investment.

NI already are established and successful. It’s also worth saying, NI aren’t a startup. They have not one, but multiple successful product lines. They’re established around the globe, in both software in hardware. They’re not getting investment because they’re burning cash and need to keep the lights on (cough, SoundCloud). This is money that can go directly into growth – without threatening the existing business.

So, about that growth —

What are they going to spend this on? This part is unclear, but you can bet on “services” for musicians, with musicians defined more broadly than the audience NI reaches now. This most important parts of the press release NI sent last week deal with that – and mention “breaking down the barriers to music creation.”

Over the past 12 months the company has made key hires in Berlin and Los Angeles, including the former CEO of Beatport, Matthew Adell. These specialized teams have commenced development of new digital services designed to redefine the landscape of music creation and the surrounding industry over the next year.

Here was my commentary on Adell at the time:

What does it mean that NI bought a startup that monetizes remixes?

Service – for what? Here’s the mystery: what will these services actually do?

It seems that the means of “breaking down barriers” – and playing on relationships with the likes of “Alicia Keys, Skrillex and Carl Cox” (mentioned in the press release) – is all about letting people remix music.

Of course, this makes yesterday’s news from ROLI seem a little desperate, as their initial remix offering just covers that earworm you finally got out of your head about a year ago, Parrell Williams’ “Happy.” NI have a significant headstart.

But it should also raise some red flags: that is, NI have the contacts, the brains, and the money, but what problem will they solve for music lovers, exactly? Dreams of growth do often hit up against simple realities of what consumers actually do turn out to want and what they want to pay for.

There’s not much in the Magic Eight Ball here now, though, so – let’s see what the actual plan is. (It could also be that this has nothing to do with remixes at all, and the value of Adell is unrelated to his previous gig in remix monetization.)

NI aren’t alone in services, either. Apart from Roland’s somewhat strange Cloud offering (which is mainly a subscription plug-in offering with some twists), Cakewalk now have something called Momentum – a subscription-based service and mobile/desktop combination that promises to take ideas captured on your phone and easily load them into your DAW.

What are these NI executives actually saying with these words?

Daniel Haver, CEO, isn’t helping here – he says the new target is “increasingly diverse market segments.”

Or, to translate, “like, a bunch more different people.” (Fair. There is demand from a bunch more of y’all people folks – and I’m not even kidding.)

Mate Gallic, the CTO/founder – and someone whose past life as an experimental electronic artist will be familiar to CDM readers – also has learned to speak corporate.

“We believe music creation products and services should be integrated in a more appealing, intuitive and cohesive way,” Mate Galic, CTO and President of Native Instruments, said in a statement. “We foresee an easily accessible music creation ecosystem that connects user centric design, with powerful technology and data, to further enable the music creators of today, and welcome the new creators of tomorrow.”

(Don’t worry, Mate and Daniel do talk like normal human beings outside of company press releases!)

Translation: they want to make stuff that works together, and it’ll use data. Also fair, though some concerns, Mate: part of what makes music technology beautiful is that the “ecosystem” doesn’t come from just one vendor, and some of it is intentionally left unintuitive and non-cohesive because people who make music find its anarchy appealing. You could also take the words above and wind up with a remix app that uploads to the cloud, a combination of Facebook and a DAW, or… well, almost anything.

So, they’ll be spending 50 million on a service that does something for people. Music people. Guess we have to wait and see. (Probably the one thing you can say is, “service” implies “subscription.” Everything is Netflix and Amazon Prime now, huh?)

The big challenge for the whole industry right now is: how do we reach more people without screwing up what we’ve already got? With new and emerging audiences, how do you work out what people want? How do you bridge what beginners want and need with what an existing (somewhat weird) specialized audience wants and needs?

For NI, of course, I’m sure all of us will watch to make sure that this supports, rather than distracts from, the tools we use regularly. (It’d certainly be nice to finally see a TRAKTOR overhaul, and I don’t know if there’s any connection of its fate to what we’re seeing here – very possibly not.)

I’ll be sure to share if I learn more, when the time is right. I am this company’s literal next-door neighbor.

The post Native Instruments got a huge chunk of investment to grow appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

There’s a synth symphony for 100 cars coming, based on tuning

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 3 Oct 2017 4:43 pm

100 cars, 100 sound systems, 100 different versions of the pitch A: Ryoji Ikeda has one heck of a polyphonic automobile synthesizer coming.

The project is also the first new hardware from Tatsuya Takahashi after the engineer/designer stepped down from his role heading up the analog gear division at KORG. And so from the man who saw the release of products like the KORG volca series and Minilogue during his tenure, we get something really rather different: a bunch of oscillators connected to cars to produce sound art.

Tats teams up for this project with Maximilian Rest, the man behind boutique maker E-RM, who has proven his obsessive-compulsive engineering chops on their Multiclock.

And wow, that industrial design. From big factories to small run (100 units), Tats has come a long way – and this is the most beautiful design I’ve seen yet from Max and E-RM. It’s a drool-worthy design fetish object recalling Dieter Rams and Braun.

I spoke briefly to Tatsuya to get some background on the project, though the details will be revealed in the performance in Los Angeles and by Red Bull Music Academy.

The original hardware is simple. In almost a throwback to the earliest days of electronic music, the boxes themselves are just tone generators. Those controls you see on the panel determine octave and volume. Before the performance, details on the execution are a bit guarded, but this sounds like just the sort of simple box that would perfectly match Max’s insanely perfectionist approach.

What makes this tone generator special is, there are a hundred of them, each hooked up to one of one hundred cars.

Yeah, you heard right: we’re talking massively polyphonic, art-y ghetto blasting. The organizers say the cars were selected for their unique audio systems. (Now, that’s my way of being a car fan.) Car owners even contributed special cars to the symphony, making this an auto show cum sound happening, evidently both in an installation and performance.

One hundred cars tuned to the same frequency would sound like … well, phase cancellation. So each oscillator is tuned to a different frequency, in a kind of museum of what the note “A” has been over the years. The reality is, we’re probably hearing a whole lot of classical music in the “wrong” key, because the tuning of A was only in standardized in the past century. (Even today, A=440Hz and A=442Hz compete in symphonies, with A=440Hz is the most common in general use, and near-universal in electronic music.)

That huge range is part of why any discussions of the “mathematically pure” or “healing” 432 Hz is, well, nonsense. (I can deal with that some time if you really want, but let’s for now file it under “weird things you can read on the Internet,” alongside the flat Earth.)

Once you get away from the modern blandness of everything being 440 Hz, or the pseudo-science weirdness of the 432 Hz cult, you can discover all sorts of interesting variety. For instance, one of the oscillators in the performance is tuned to this:

A = 376.3Hz
*1700 : Pitch taken by Delezenne from an old dilapidated organ of l’Hospice Comtesse, Lille, France

Hey, who’s to say that particular organ isn’t the one “tuned to the natural frequency of the universe”?

You’ll get all those frequencies in some huge, wondrous cacophony if you’re lucky enough to be in LA for the performance.

It’s presented as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Music Festival, October 15. (I have no idea how you’d evaluate the claim that this is the largest-ever symphony orchestra, though with one hundred cars, it’s probably the heaviest! If anyone has historical ideas on that, I’m all ears.)

And of course, it’s in the perfect place for a piece about cars: Los Angeles. Wish I were there; let us know how it is!

https://la.redbullmusicacademy.com/event/ryoji-ikeda-a-for-100-cars

Photo credit: Carys Huws for RBMA.

The post There’s a synth symphony for 100 cars coming, based on tuning appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

KOMA are about to get deep into Eurorack – starting with power

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 15 Sep 2017 6:25 pm

Okay, first, a power product sounds like about the most boring music tech news ever. But the kids at KOMA have found a way to make modular power exciting.

And of course, because anything involving electricity sounds cooler in German than in English, meet STROM.

First, the video – which turns what seems a dull, technical topic into exciting launch video. Seriously, more fun to watch than that iPhone X announcement (uh, for me, anyway). Let’s let KOMA’s Wouter explain – in a lab coat!

KOMA are embarking on a deep dive into the world of modular Eurorack – which I hear the young folks really love at the moment. First, there was a case system. Now, there’s a power system. And both are nicely affordable.

And since power is what gives you noise, power matters.

I asked KOMA’s Wouter what makes this product different. Answer: “The Strom is cleaner than any of the competition for a way lower price with very low ripple, great safety features with the fusing and the short circuit protection!”

We’ll get some of our modular boffins on this to check.

The other important detail here is not what this is, but who it comes from – KOMA’s engineer Robert has been the lead on all digital products, and did the programming work on the epic, legendary Komplex Sequencer.

Looks like KOMA are on their way to another big market hit. Hope to visit them soon – and their growing Common Ground community space.

http://koma-elektronik.com/

The post KOMA are about to get deep into Eurorack – starting with power appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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