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  and did the same when the show traveled to Tokyo, Japan on 29 June, 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
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
South African House Music is groovy like house music is meant to be, and, bonus, it’s African. This adds lots of spice and great singing to the mix. Hear for yourself.
Even more ingratiating and upbeat is this long medley of African gospel music videos. These strike me as wonderfully optimistic in the age of Trump, and a growing dark movement of ignorance in the USA.
Steve Roach is a central figure on my own music. Between the support of Projekt, his own web site, and Bandcamp, the innovative ambient composer, player, producer, is–somehow–able to create lots of new music every year. His Bandcamp releases may be previewed in full at Bandcamp.
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.
With respect to my own musical background, and so with regard for my own influences, Pauline Oliveros stood with Thelonious Monk as the second-to-none inspirations for my music. Although it is crucial to fold in the handful of other critical influences, the odd couple of Monk and Oliveros key the two driving principles, Oliveros’s deep listening, and, Monk’s absolute improv.
The first Deep listening Band record changed my musical life.
Deep Listening Institute (DLI) promotes the music and Deep Listening practice of pioneer composer Pauline Oliveros, providing a unique approach to music, literature, art, meditation, technology and healing. DLI fosters creative innovation across boundaries and across abilities, among artists and audience, musicians and non-musicians, healers and the physically or cognitively challenged, and children of all ages. This ever-growing community of musicians, artists, scientists and certified Deep Listening practitioners strives for a heightened consciousness of the world of sound and the sound of the world.
This post ressurects a Grooveshark embed from eight years ago. The set of slide guitar mastery reminds me that, although I still might casually sit down and noodle on one of my pedal steels, I have, actually, forged a chilly relationship with the herd of steel guitars. The testament to this is that I have not kept them all in tune all at once since early 2015.
I was registering voters and heard a sad story. A street busker told me somebody broke into his apartment and ripped him off of everything, including his main acoustic guitar. I had already noticed he was strumming the worst looking acoustic guitar I had ever gazed upon. It had five strings because one of the pegs was mixing, the bridge was floating in the worst way, and the nut was a notched piece of scrap. It sounded horrible too.
I decided I would go home and fetch my Yamaha acoustic and give it to him. I did so. He was blown away at this gift from, I’d like to think, the baby boomer generation.
The band sound is more Velvets than Burritos, yet country still. It’s as if they’ve reduced all of white Ohio to an articulated drone, unlocked a silo or warehouse of hummable tunes, and worked out the harmonies. – Robert Christgau
A new friend mentioned to me over the phone the other day, “Did I know Los Lobos, did I know they are coming to Cleveland?”
Besides being reminded once again about how much fun it is to discover with ‘somebody fresh’ shared musical affinities, I smiled on my end.
I told him, “Los Lobos is one of the greatest rock bands ever.”
Ha! My fondness for Los Lobos goes back to when Jamie Cohen excitedly told me over the phone that “there was this great new band on Slash,” and had I heard of ’em? This was in 1983. Slash had sent me the promo a few weeks before.
“Yes! Outrageously unadulterated rock and roll, right my man?”
I’ve seen them a couple of times. Loud. They are as good a live band as there has ever been.
Although, for me, Clarence White will always remain the greatest electric guitarist of rock and roll, in the august group in the next (non-slide guitar) spot, David Hilgado joins Clapton, Thompson, Robertson, Cippolina, Garcia and Cline. The other Los Lobos guitarist Cesar Rojas is also a barnburner and one of the greatest ensemble guitarists rock and roll has produced.
From Create Digital Music, and right up my alley; although nowadays I am more observer than participant. Right up yours too if you are concerned at all with future music, performance, experimentation, field recordings, and the integration of sound with other modes and domains.
Diane Birch is one of my favorite singers, oh, heck, she is my current favorite singer! Her new album Nous was released earlier this year, and is on Bandcamp. (I guess we’re sort of label mates in the new fangled version of not-really-a-label label mate.) Her youtube channel is worth spending an afternoon with. She is a terrific songwriter too.
Nous is a tour de force.
I discovered her on Daryl’s House.
Her admixture of the tamber of Carole King, Carly Simon, and Dusty Springfield results in one of pop’s most beguiling voices.