Bjork Brings It

Björk ‘Notget’ VR Teaser from Analog on Vimeo.

On 3 June 2016 Björk debuted Björk Digital, a virtual reality exhibit showcasing all the VR videos completed for Vulnicura thus far, including the world premiere of “Notget”, directed by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, at Carriageworks for Vivid Sydney 2016 in Sydney, Australia. She DJ’d the opening night party [98] and did the same when the show traveled to Tokyo, Japan on 29 June,[99] showing at Miraikan. During the Miraikan residency, Björk made history by featuring in the world’s first ever virtual reality live stream broadcast on YouTube. She gave a live performance of Vulnicura’s final song “Quicksand”, and the footage will be incorporated into the “Quicksand” VR experience to be released at a later date. Björk Digital is expected to tour the globe for 18 months with its next stop in Montreal. source: Wikipedia

via VOX:
You know you’re in for a good rant when the person delivering said rant opens with “dear little miss media.”

And when the ranter is Björk, well, buckle up.

On December 16, during a highly anticipated appearance at Houston’s second annual Day for Night music festival, the Nordic singer revealed Björk Digital, a five-room installation where attendees could walk through an art exhibit, immerse themselves in a virtual reality version of “intense footage captured from inside [Bjork’s] mouth,” and listen to a music set programmed and deejayed by the artist herself.

The scene, which saw Björk wearing a mask and deejaying from behind a screen of foliage, drew a mix of responses, ranging from positive to negative to “WTF?” from both audiences and music critics (“The crowd remained rapt and respectful but didn’t always seem to know what to do,” hedged Joey Guerra at the Houston Chronicle). And many of the negative responses also seemed baffled: Why was Bjork obscured behind so many ferns? Why didn’t she perform her own music? Was that even her behind the mask?

Björk had a few things to say in response. In a Facebook post on December 21 (as well as a shorter post on Instagram), the singer used her most recent reviews as a jumping-off point to speak out against gender biases in the music industry (as she’s occasionally done in the past). Björk dismissed critics’ flummoxed response to her DJ set, arguing that they’d held her to a different standard than male artists performing similarly experimental work

Classic from 2011:

björk – crystalline from Björk on Vimeo.

Bjork web | Bjork’s superb youtube channel

Guardian interview provides good context

MIDI Couture

Ensemble Topogràfic (Anna Hierro and Carlos Martorell) make use of an armband controller. Her arm positions are sent via Bluetooth LE to an iPad controlling granular synths. Aleatoric elements, along with improvisation, mean the piece won’t be the same twice.

h/t Synthtopia

Lesley Flanagan – my music all comes from the same process of throwing down a palette of sounds and then intuitively organizing them

Lesley Flanagan, singer, composer, instrument builder, sound conceptualizer, deep listener

4. How could we make sound improve our lives?

I think it’s about listening. I feel that when we take time to truly listen — to actively engage in listening to another person, to music, to sounds in nature and in cities, to all the many sounds in world around us — we give ourselves time to be present in our lives. That’s very meaningful to me.

Five Sound Questions to Lesley Flanagan – via everydaylistening.com

Interview at Disquiet

The Speaker Is Present – A Conversation With Lesley Flanagan (2016)

Lesley Flanagan Recordings at Bandcamp

Alchemy Resurrects

Back last year when Camel Audio shuttered, their flagship sampling synthesizer was rumored to have been sucked into the maw of Apple. Across the audio music makers’ internet, the haters rose.

At the time I thought it might reappear as an iPad app, but now it turns out it is part of the $199 Logic Pro X 10.2.

With Native Instruments Absynth, Alchemy has been my go-to soft synth for many years.

Welcome back.

Goodbye Alchemy, Hello Alchemy

FIGURA2

Relative to actual human problems and the delicate equilibrium of the mortal coil, waking up one morning and learning that the software synthesizer you’ve made the biggest investment in over the years is no longer available, no longer being developed, and has come to be a casualty of its developer’s own unknown game plan, doesn’t count as a problem. Ben Gillett shuttered CamelAudio without notice last week.

He and his team developed plug-ins, and, CamelAudio released in the fall 2011 an IOS version of their flagship desktop synthesizer Alchemy. The IOS app was a boon to my own direction. Two and half years would lapse before I started using the iPad to control the desktop Alchemy. This provided another wave of inspiration. Alchemy is a unique combination of a sample-based resynthesizer connected to a very array of deep modulation concepts.

CamelAudio disappears, so my immediate problem-solving has to do with how to secure Alchemy remaining a central music-making tool on the laptop, and, on the iPad. The unknown future prospect is that the legacy installs will become broken by future updates. Luckily, both my four year old MacBookPro and three year old iPad 3rd Gen. can be dedicated to their legacy set-ups. This enables me to protect Alchemy and use it far into the future.

As for Camel Audio and Ben Gillett, I hope the sudden closing reflects the transfer of their intellectual property into hands that will honor CA’s innovative software by using it as the basis for amazing new capabilities and software. Amidst all the hand ringing and passive aggression which flavored the music making community’s response to the news, I dropped my own best wish: that Apple turns out to have been the purchaser, and uses Alchemy to burnish Logic X’s capabilities, and, deploys something like Alchemy as a flagship audio app fit to the large screen real estate anticipated to be the main point of the upcoming iPad Pro. It is even within the realm of possibility that Logic X will come to the iPad were ARM CPU’s to come to Apple laptops.

Hold onto to your Intel MacBooks!

(Kamelmauz)

Gear Lust 2

roger-linn

Interview.

linnstrument

Roger Linn Design

Linnstrument

The promise of synthesis was to produce any instrument sound you can imagine. However, if you’ve ever tried to play a convincing guitar, sax, violin, clarinet or cello solo on a MIDI keyboard, you’ve found it to sound static and lifeless because keyboards can’t do much more than turn sounds on and off at different volumes. LinnStrument takes a new approach, capturing each finger’s subtle movements in three dimensions for simultaneous fine control of note expression, pitch and timbre. With this level of expressive control, the promise of synthesis is finally a reality.

Youtube Videos of Linnstrument – very high WOW! factor

Gear Lust 1

prophet-12

The Prophet-12 used to be at the top of the list titled, wish-to-have.

Pro-2

The Prophet-12 has now been replaced by the Pro-2.

Dave Smith Instruments Pro-2 Monophonic/Paraphonic Synthesizer Keyboard
The Pro 2 was designed primarily as a super-powerful monosynth, but it’s also a true, four-voice paraphonic synth that allows you to control each of its four oscillators individually with their own envelope. This makes playing four-note chords not only possible, but very expressive. Package all of this power in a three-and-a-half octave, semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch, add two backlit pitch and mod wheels and two location and pressure sensitive touch sliders, and you’ve got one of the most feature-rich, awe-inspiring synthesizers ever created.

Paraphonic mode is implemented by allowing each of the four oscillators to play a different note on the keyboard. So you can play four note chords going through one or both of the filters. That’s cool, but what’s really brilliant (and my favourite trick on the Pro 2) is that you can still independently set the oscillator’s waveform, pitch, modulation etc. So each note of your chord can be using a totally different waveform and pitch offset. Each “voice” also gets its own amp envelope, which helps to make it feel even more like a fully polyphonic synth. Throw the arpeggiator into the mix and you get these amazing, evolving, timbrally complex, melodically shifting sequences that sound like they’ve taken hours of painful editing to achieve. It’s a very cool thing and definitely not something you will find in many synths. Review at Rozzer

Terrific and wide-ranging interview with iconic Mr. Smith