Abstract animation and synthesized sound by Lou Cohen (loucohen AT jolc DOT net). Software used: Grain and Csound for sound, Motion for animation
First presented at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair with 425 speakers placed throughout the famous Philips pavilion, the placement of the speakers and design of the building gave the spectators a feeling of being housed within a concrete, silver seashell. A giant model of the atom hung from the ceiling and the sound & imagery premiered to standing room only crowds and I can only imagine was a complete mind-blower to all who witnessed the spectacle. Varese is considered to be the “father of electronic music”, Henry Miller described him as the “stratospheric colossus of sound.” When Philips (Philips electronic company) approached Le Corbusier to design a building for the fair, Le Corbusier said, “I will not make a pavilion for you (Philips) but an Electronic Poem and a vessel containing the poem; light, color, image, rhythm and sound joined together in an organic synthesis.”
I’ve enjoyed Poême électronique for years. Yet, I never knew this film existed until my friend Jean-Luc played it for me while visiting NYC this past week.
:the early gurus of electronic music
“Electronic music represents freedom from conventional music forms: it liberates the production of sound. I was very interested in electronic music from its philosophical point of view. It is music that takes chances: it’s adventurous, it doesn’t sit still. And that’s something that should be applied to culture at large.” – Iara Lee
Ohm: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music is a sensational sonic history, grounded in mold-breaking experimentation. With virtually no rules to follow, or previous works to emulate, these composers were given a new freedom unlike anything else before. Naysayers would call this compilation a lot of things, but not music. For the open minded, this three disc +dvd set is an opportunity for exploring a world of sound you may have not experienced before.
From what I’ve read, bending capacitors of this magnitude might blow your fingers off. Or at minimum, learn you real quick never do that again.
Love noise? Love toys? Perhaps circuit bending is for you./
To celebrate Thumbuki’s soft launch, we’re kicking off our our first original series: Get Bent
And by original series, I mean I’m personally going to be doing research on “circuit bending” over the next few weeks, and sharing my findings with you. I will post here the top relevant links, video, tutorials, historical accounts, etc, as I find them.
What is circuit bending? According to wikipedia:
“Circuit bending is the creative short-circuiting of low voltage, battery-powered electronic audio devices such as guitar effects, children’s toys and small synthesizers to create new musical instruments and sound generators. “
Also check out this video example of circuit bending by James Anderson.
As for me, I have zero hands-on experience with electronics. Though I do have some familiarity with everything from modular synthesizers to Csound. So I plan on getting very used to the idea of holding a soldering iron in the near future. I will be reporting back to you all of my successes and all of my failures as I turn children toys into little electronic frankensteins. For art’s sake.