Wood Spin

Artist Bartholomäus Traubeck has custom-built a record player that is able to “play” cross-sectional slices of tree trunks. The result is his artpiece “Years,” an audio recording of tree rings being read by a computer and turned into music, much like a record player’s needle reads the grooves on an LP.

The tree rings are actually being translated into the language of music, rather than sounding musical in and of themselves. According to Makezine, the custom record player takes in data using a PlayStation Eye Camera and a stepper motor attached to its control arm, and relays the data to a computer. A program called Ableton Live then uses it to generate an eerie piano track.

Though the record player “interprets” rather than actually “playing” the tree trunk, as Gizmodo notes, the song still varies with each new piece of wood placed on the turntable. via livescience.com

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Kamelmauz: Midavi

Latest add-on track to the endless album, Infinity.

Live two track ambient improv utilizes instances of Alchemy MP and Gestrument on iPad. Alchemy is used to key Alchemy on the laptop and Gestrument is used as a gestural sampler and plays a customized soundfont.

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Dr. Bill’s Bird Calls Favorite Jazz for 2013

david ake bridges

My muso colleague Dr. Bill weighed in at the end of January with his best of 2013 jazz choices. His list names a top ten. There is one point of overlap between our different estimations, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom date, No Morphine No Lillies.

Yet, I too enjoy almost everything I also heard that is on his larger list. Our tastes are very similar.

Local educator and jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, David Ake appears at the top of his list. Last year he became the head of the music department at Case Western Reserve University and put out a fine small ensemble date, Bridges. I like the record immensely.

Dr. Bill has been broadcasting on CWRU’s WRUW 91.1 for decades. Walking Dr. Bills’ Rhythm and Blues Survey starts at 10pm on Aunday, and his jazz hour, Bird Calls follows at 11pm. He is truly an expert, advocate, and reviewer and scholar.

For me, Bill was also, along with Harvey Pekar, one of my key musical mentors. I first met back when I worked in a Cleveland Heights record store, Budget Records and Tapes, in the winter of 1971. He insisted I check out Howlin’ Wolf–and I did so–and he then carried the blues flames to me. (Harvey covered the jazz fire.) We both became crazed jazz heads over the next many years and we both worked in music retail and were broadcasters, Bill here in Cleveland, and me in Middlebury, Vermont.

I was pleased as punch that we took up our friendship when I returned in 1992. We get together and have what we call sessions–something muso tend to do!

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David Murray – Live In Europe

David Murray

Hey, happy birthday David, 59 years young on February 19th. Discography

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Video: Deep Blue Signal (for Gestrument and eBow prepared Steel Guitar) by Kamelmauz

Deep Blue Signal from Stephen Calhoun on Vimeo.

demonstration of 2xGestrument performance workflow.

Gestrument is a gestural/generative sampler and synthesizer for iPad/IPhone.

Performed by Kamelmauz (kamelmauz.bandcamp.com)

Produced by Stephen Calhoun at noguts noglory studios, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Here’s the video posted two weeks ago at the new Gestrument web site. It provides a demonstration and some explanation about the live (in the studio) moment showcasing the superb gestural/generative sampler/synth I have been using the past year. Swedish composer Jesper Nordin issued the invite and I was first shocked to be sharing featured space with Jordan Rudess and Richard Devine and several others, and, then really pleased to be described as an “IOS Music Pioneer.”

As far as I know at this point, the two recordings issued on Duty Free Free Records in December, Apparently There’s More, and Apparently Suite remain the only primarily Gestrument-driven recordings. No doubt this will change. Gestrument is is totally congruent with my aesthetic as a composer, im proviser, sound designer, and ambient audionaut.

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Fela on Bandcamp


Fela Ransome Kuti on Bandcamp; 40+ recordings of the giant of African music; available in lossless and iPod friendly formats.

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Kamelmauz Rearranges the Shack

Kamelmauz Infinity

Kamelmauz-soundz at Bandcamp used to just be the net that captured sonics tossed over the rail. However, following from a brilliant idea by Dave Stafford, I’m now sticking the strays into a single recording that will continue to grow as long as I send some of my children its way.

The endless recording is titled: Infinity. $2. Forever. Kamelmauz-soundz

Unity, on the other hand, collects together the strays once scatters about kamelmauz-soundz. It also is the sixth Kamelmauz recording.

Then there’s a
Kamelmauz on Soundcloud, that puts there odds and ends taken from various recordings, and stuff always also available on Bandcamp, either at soundz or the main site. At Soundcloud the emphasis will be on recordings that use the iPad/IOS music-making paradigm.

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Kamelmauz Featured On New Gestrument Site

KAmelmauz at Gestrument

 At the end of last year one if the developers of the remarkable gestural synthesizer/controller/sampler Jesper Nordin invited me by email to be a featured artist on the new, redesigned Gestrument web site. I thought about it for half a nano-second and told Jesper, 


Last week I learned who the other featured artists were, enabling me to figure out roughly how out of their league I was; and it is a fairly large amount out of the league of Jordan Rudess of Dream Theatre and techno master Richard Devine I be! 

Today the web site was rolled out. 

The Kamelmauz page features a three track video I made featuring Gestrument as sampler, Gestrument as controller, and Kamelmauz as pedal steel guitar cosmonaut. On my page are samples from Soundcloud and patches (presets) I designed. And, to my amazement the patches are also included in the new update of Gestrument.

The essay on the Kamelmauz page explains much, but I’ll add that I’ve been working with Gestrument for over a year, yet I’ve just scratched the surface. It’s such a deep instrument that I’ve focused on but a subset of its capabilities. There are lots of video demos on the new web site that show what Gestrument can do. 

For the moment I’m the only sound artist using Gestrument with pedal steel guitar. Video.

Not at all incidentally, the two most recent Kamelmauz recordings solely feature Gestrument as a sound source.

is a mix of the short tracks from this:


The Kamelmauz Soundcloud account is all Gestrument at the moment.

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Nuru Kane – Exile

Nuru Kane, Senegal, soulman

NuruKane-Exile superb!

Nuru Kane, a Senegalese singer and guitarist, calls his band and musical style ‘Baye Fall Gnawa,’ or simply ‘BFG,’ referencing in one breath the religious group to which he belongs (a sub-group of the Islamic Sufi Mouride brotherhood) and a style of traditional trance music from Morocco. “Why is a Senegalese musician playing Moroccan music in France?” you might ask. via Afropop

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Hoon’s Muso Tunes – 2013 Top Ten Or So

John Tchicai – Tribal Ghost
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - Old Yellow Moon

Sylvia Versini Orchestra – With Mary Lou in My Heart
Ben Zabo – Ben Zabo
Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day
Lonnie Holley – Just Before Music
Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe
Lustmord – The Things That Were
Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady
The Band – Live at the Academy of Music
Abdullah Ibrahim – Mukashi Once Upon a Time

This changes daily, so: February 26th!

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