Amoeblog

THE ORIGINAL RECORDED SONG, NEW CASSETTE TECHNIQUES

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2008 07:44am | Post a Comment

There is a really interesting article in the Arts section of this morning's (Thursday, March 27) New York Times about newly uncovered research that challenges the belief that Thomas Edison was the father of recorded sound. This new research claims that even before Edison had recorded his first sounds a French man named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville recorded a ten second sound bite of a female vocalist singing a French folk song (Au Clair de la Lune) back in 1860. However, it was not recorded onto a record but rather on a "phonautograph" or "phonautogram" (as seen in photo left) which was in turn recently made playable - by converting the written images on the paper into sound - by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Library.  If you click on the NYTimes story, not only can you read about this amazing discovery in detail, but they also have an MP3 sound file of this historic 10-second 1860 recording.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
When you stop and think about it, it is truly amazing how far we have come in the advancement of music recording and playback in the short time span (relatively in the history of mankind) since Thomas Edison (pictured right) first invented the phonograph in 1877 and unveiled it a year later to an amazed public.

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LAPTOP ORCHESTRAS PUSHING THE DIGITAL MUSIC ENVELOPE

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2008 09:12am | Post a Comment

Ever since laptops became ubiquitous on the club & concert scene as a live music source for artists, especially DJs, in recent years the question continually arises: are they actually creating live music up there on stage or merely checking their e-mails as a pre-programmed music mix plays?

In some cases the "artist" may be just checking his/her emails or updating their Facebook account, but most real artists are utilizing their laptops' numerous programs in creative musical ways.

And in increasingly common cases there are multiple laptop musicians in action at the same time. The Bay Area quartet Cat Five (featured on Independent Sounds: Amoeba Music Compilation Vol III), formed by Balanceman and Darkat almost a decade ago, is an example of a laptop group. With their preference being Apple computers, all four construct freeform live compositions.

And taking it to the next level is the Worldscape Laptop Orchestra (pictured left) -- a fifty person laptop musician collective who put on an orchestrated, fully rehearsed all laptop  performance a couple of months ago at Britain's University of York, led by composer Dr Ambrose Field who acted as the performance's conductor (just like in a traditional full orchestra). The group's goal, he said, is to help pave the way in music for "larger all-digital ensembles."

The Worldscape Laptop Orchestra's 50 performers each worked exclusively with Apple laptops (their sponsor) as their instrument with custom software that was produced to enable wireless communication with each computer sharing audio and control data. The full range of software functionality used in the performance included video detection where hand movements of performers were decoded by the MacBooks.

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