I’m 100% convinced that working demo-to-demo is the secret formula to making successful creative products.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2022
Saturday, May 23rd, 2020
Monitoring a radio station in New York City, the composer William Basinski hears the melody, records it. He intends to use a fragment as a loop in an avant-garde music project. The tape goes into a box. It is the 1980s.
It is decades later: the summer of 2001. Digitizing a room full of forgotten material, Basinski finds this loop again. But the tape is old; as it moves through the player, it starts to come apart, the magnetic medium peeling off its plastic backing, more and more with each repetition. Enthralled, Basinski keeps recording as the melody disintegrates before his eyes, his ears.
Standing on his rooftop in Brooklyn, Basinski watches the World Trade Center collapse. It is September 11, 2001. Suddenly, the summer’s recordings have a meaning, a purpose. He titles them The Disintegration Loops and offers them as an elegy for the dead.
I hadn’t heard this before. Listening to it, I found it incredibly moving, haunting, and strangely cathartic.
Robin included a clip in his blog post of an ensemble of computer-generated sequences made from Basinki’s source material. He called it an integration loop, pt. 1.
He also published the sheet music for the looping musical phrase:
Anyone reading the blog post was encouraged to record that phrase on any instrument (or voice) and send it to Robin. I recorded the phrase on mandolin. Jessica recorded it on a muted fiddle.
Robin then assembled all the submissions into a seven minute piece called an integration loop, pt. 2. You can hear Jessica at 3:33. I’m at 4:33.
I very much relate to Robin’s interpration of this creation:
In my imagination, each contribution is a rung in a ladder out of the pit of confusion and loss, all of us both (a) carrying the melody forward and (b) being carried by it, up towards something new, something whole.
Thursday, November 7th, 2019
Craig compares and contrasts books to “attention monsters”:
That is, any app / service / publication whose business is predicated on keeping a consumer engaged and re-engaged for the benefit of the organization (often to the detriment of the mental and physical health of the user), dozens if not hundreds or thousands of times a day.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Friday, October 27th, 2017
I am responsible for the code that goes into the machine, I do not want to shirk the responsibility of what comes out. Blind faith in tools to fix our problems is a risky choice. Maybe “risky” is the wrong word, but it certainly seems that we move the cost of our compromises to the client and we, speaking from personal experience, rarely inspect the results.
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
A massively in-depth study of boundary-breaking music, recreated through the web audio API.
- Steve Reich - It’s Gonna Rain (1965)
- Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports, 2/1 (1978)
- Brian Eno - Discreet Music (1975)
You don’t have to be a musician or an expert in music theory to follow this guide. I’m neither of those things. I’m figuring things out as I go and it’s perfectly fine if you do too. I believe that this kind of stuff is well within reach for anyone who knows a bit of programming, and you can have a lot of fun with it even if you aren’t a musician.
One thing that definitely won’t hurt though is an interest in experimental music! This will get weird at times.
Saturday, March 24th, 2012
Press play on each video, sit back, and relax.
Saturday, September 24th, 2005
Spot the anachronism from the forthcoming movie, Good Night And Good Luck.