SB Tweet Digest #1 (february 2010)

march 01, 2010.

The SoundBlog twitter birdie twittie uttered 38 yelps since it hatched from its egg on tuesday february 16th, reporting on sound()art()music-y-things 'in the spirit of the SB', heard/seen/read on the web. The tweets replace what used to be the 'heard/seen/read online' list in the side-menu. That list, as a consequence, now is updated pretty much daily. Like Don van Vliet put it (on his late 1960's masterpiece Trout Mask Replica): it has become fast and bulbous ... and if you follow twitter.com/soundblog you may select on the go whether or not something is of interest to you and merits your click-through.

This - as Dutch viewers will acknowledge - we might call the Femke Halsema way.

The monthly SoundBlog Tweet Digest posts, on the other hand, are meant for those that prefer to (always, or just sometimes) go the Beatrix way. These digests are there for those who, like Her Majesty The Queen of the Netherlands, prefer to have me over for tea or dinner and get all the inspiring sound()art()music novelties, so to speak, straight from the horse's mouth. But as there are but so many possible tea- or dinner dates in one given month, it will be impossible to oblige both Her Majesty and the rest of you.
I know you'll understand.
These digests are meant for you.


[ 9180927682 ] One of the first SB tweets warped clickers over to the We Make Money Not Art blog: Acoustic Botany is about a genetically engineered sound garden by David Benqué, that was part of the Design Interactions 'work in progress' show at the Royal College of Art in London. Regine was there reporting.

[ 9193347517 ] Margaret Noble's Sound is Art blog is regularly updated with short and to the point entries. These always include one or more sound files that deserve that you lend them your ears. SB tweets last month linked through to a couple of field recordings by Michael Peters, and a sonar recording of the sound of a pipistrelle bat, by Ian Rawes.

[ 9404845765 ] A tweet on february 21st sent you to the uncut version (on the priceless Ubuweb) of Sun Ra's Space is the Place. In this mytho-musical sci-fi drama from 1974 the great Ra (on the left in the still below), empowered with a mystic knowledge that enables him to "convert his harmonic progressions to energy", confronts a pimp-overlord (The Overseer, to the right in the picture) in a card game that will settle the fate of the black race.

sun ra playing cards

The best part comes very early on in the movie (3 - 10 mins). Here Sun Ra is Sunny Ray, the piano player in a 1943 Chicago strip club, who - very literally as well as acted out and filmed in the finest of campy B-film traditions - brings down the house, playing a free style boogie.
The story then drags on, in the 1970's low budget experimental psychedelic-pop art/music film style also typical of, for example, Frank Zappa's 200 Motels - though it lacks the latter's grandeur and occasional touches of genius.

space is the place

A curiosity, of course. And of definite historical interest, though not even remotely close to a 'masterwork', in one sense or other. But if, like me, Sun Ra's music and his weird universe continue to intrigue you, UbuWeb here offers you another highly enjoyable way to spend 80 minutes on a late saturday (or other) night.

[ 9242247583 ] In the read and archive category, february's SB tweets pointed to the free pdf-version of Tom Johnson's "The Voice of New Music", a collection of articles originally published in the Village Voice, that follow the developments in 'new music' in New York, during the years 1972-1982.

[ 9351079144 ] In the same category, also available for download in pdf-format to satisfy your archiving hunger, there's the full collection of 46 issue's of the London based independent music/culture monthly"Plan B".

[ 9469336544 ] I discovered "The High Ponytail", an excellent music blog with well-written and thoughtful posts, most of which are accompanied by sound files that are generally taken from vinyl editions of the music that they talk about. A couple of february's SB tweets point to "High Ponytail" entries (Hans Erich Apostel's 1st String Quartet, Miles Davis's "On the Corner", Bruckner's symphonies). Not tweeted, but also among THP's february posts: an entry on the music of my favorite Dutch composer, Matthijs Vermeulen. Now that tag -'favorite' - may be somewhat surprising, given that it is the first time that I even mention the name, in the over 350 entries that today make up the SB. This will be more than 'corrected' in the near future. Fact is that I do consider Vermeulen among my major musical influences. Even though there is nothing (or hardly anything) I ever did that even remotely sounds like Vermeulen, the extreme contrapuntal thinking that characterizes especially his symphonic work and the asymmetry of free declamation were, for example, an important inspiration underlying the structural idea(l) that had me jump at the occasion to propose and start the Diktat quartet in 2006.

[ 9467438724 ] Ben Tausig had a great post on Noise Control in his Weird Vibrations blog. Noise Control was a bimonthly journal dedicated to noise abatement, published by the Acoustical Society of America from 1955 to 1963 (but in 1961 it changed its name to "Sound: its uses and control"). This collection of magazines is probably the most remarkable in february's read and archive category, and I am happy that Ben made it possible for me to look through all 54 issues. Not only because of the wealth of images, but definitely also for much of its written content (which though, at times, is highly technical). I do agree with Ben when he says that "Noise Control" should be made required reading for sound studies scholars. All together, though, it makes for a couple of thousand of pages. So, bear with me ... :-)

The picture below is part of an advert of the Maxim Silencer Company (manufacturers also of a famous line of silencers for firearms) for their new jet silencer, as it can be found on page 57 of the may 1957 issue of Noise Control.

maxim silencer

[ 9773603795 ] Two of february's tweets were about iPhone apps. I am especially enjoying v2.0 of WFMU's streaming audio application a lot. In this update background listening has been enabled and besides the 'regular' WFMU program stream, the app includes UbuWeb Radio (curated by ubu.com's Kenneth Goldsmith); a Do or DIY stream (collection of "sound collage, found audio and pop culture relics" curated by Vicki Bennett); and - last but not least - my some-of-the-time favorite: Ichiban Rock 'n' Soul, with a tantalizing selection of obscure rock and soul from the 1950s and 1960s...

How fortunate I learned, even though it were the hard way, how to pack three lives into one. For how could one ever listen to all of this, if one could not listen it all together?

OK. Lots more where this came from...: learn about cantometrics, listen to Terje Paulsen, read how long avant la lettre the Dead went 2.0 all the way, see the ookoi kill the codeorgan... et cetera. Dive it up, if you have the gusto, if you have the time.

Next SB Tweet Digest in april.

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tags: twitter, digest

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