Author Archive

Live Stage: Dan Deacon at the Middle East [Cambridge, MA]

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

From the Wham City artist collective in Baltimore, “absurdist electronic music composer/performer” Dan Deacon is currently touring the US. Perhaps best known on the internet for his awkward appearance on a local NBC morning show in Savannah, Deacon has several video collaborations scattered around the net. He’ll be stopping by Cambridge on July 12, but you can catch him elsewhere in the US on these dates: (more…)

More in hand held music

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Ubisoft announced that it will bring a popular Japanese guitar game for Nintendo DS to the US. Their version will be called Jam Session and allows players to strum the touch pad of the gameboy like a set of guitar strings. Players use their other hand to control chord progressions mapped to the directional pad of the hand held.

There are plenty of programs and hacks attempting to turn your DS/PSP/iPod into a hand held music maker with a little technical know how. But Jam Session presents an extremely simple and tactile method of music making anyone who buys the game can enjoy. Is this a step in the direction of game companies supporting creative software for hand held devices? Currently a cult hit in Japan, the US counterpart is set to release sometime in September.

Video via Create Digital Music.


Friday, May 18th, 2007

Tonar combines music from Japanese pop star Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada) and visuals from Takagi Masakatsu. Piano, synths, and printer samples blend beautifully with printer and ink style animations. You can check both artists out at their respective websites or delve into youtube for some hidden gems and live footage.

Cornelius on the web
Cornelius on YouTube
Takagi Masakatsu on the web
Takagi Masakatsu on YouTube

Can iPods make music?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

The video above shows an iPod running PdPod, a version of Pure Data ported to iPodLinux. The potential for running PD patches could make iPods a powerful mobile music tool.

iPodLinux itself also opens the door for audio manipulation. The handheld jogwheeling device lends itself well to “scratching” music as if on a turntable. A program called iScratch, by Shosei Oishi picked up some buzz last year but seems to have disappeared since. With versions of iPodLinux and iPL software catching up to newer iPod generations, perhaps we can hope it’s in a holding spot being worked on for a future build!

(authors note: Currently running iPL on my 5.5 generations 30gb iPod video. Sadly pdPod is nowhere near supported for this recent model but it might be worth a try. Wish me luck!)

Jesse Kriss shows us a scratch.

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Jesse Kriss bridges live visualizations in Processing and the vinyl control software Ms. Pinky (as displayed by DJ Axel Foley in picture). From the Ms. Pinky website:

Jesse Kriss is a designer, programmer, and musician living in Cambridge, MA. He works on projects at the intersection of art and technology, including a visualization of the history of sampling, and MaxLink, a free software package for connecting Max/MSP and Processing. His latest project, “Visual Scratch“, uses Ms. Pinky along with Processing, Max/MSP, and MaxLink to create a realtime visualization of scratch DJ performance.

Click here to see a movie about the original incarnation of the “Visual Scratch” project, then click here to see the exciting new form it’s taking. And be sure to check out Jesse’s website.

Also be sure to check out other pets and friends of Ms. Pinky!


Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

MC and DJ battles have become proponents of their art form, forcing performers behind the mic and turntables to tighten their game into a format that can blow the competition and audiences away in only a few minutes. With music production software available in smaller and smaller packages, laptop musicians have found their own battle ground in the form of laptop battles (aka “death matches”). Under the umbrella of, laptop battles are taking on a national and international scale from the city that claims to have started it all Seattle, WA.

April 27th kicks off episode one of their own version of American Idol, the Teen Idol Laptop Battle Survivor series. Four televised episodes will put contestants head to head chopping up provided samples to devastate opponents and wow crowds with their production and live manipulation skills. For more info on laptop battling check out “the originators” at Be sure to visit the video archive to see what it’s all about in battles from around the world!