Detritus 27


> The NAMM 2010 oddities are online now


>Interesting theory about how the golden age of viral videos is over


> Will the youth/Gen X ever grow up & listen to classical music?
aka the “downward trend in generational participation in classical music”


noise toy

> Top 5 DIY audio kits


>Sound art that throws white noise back at you!



> How to build physical sound effects generators


> How to create creativity


> Beautiful long exposure photos


> Sand in motion? Singing Sand Dunes and a recording of the actual drone
via Paul Prudence aka data is nature


> I’d love one of these full scale replica blasters from District 9


D9 gun


> Deconstructing creativity: Four roles you need to play


> The new Eluvium album is a little bit like what I imagine David Byrne would sound like on opiates! So beautiful…


> Apparently “it’s been discovered you can boost creativity with side-to-side eye movement. People who watched a target moving side-to-side for 30 seconds have been tested as producing significantly more ideas when immediately given a creative task. This technique is, thought to increase the cross-talk between the hemispheres.” – give it a try:



> Very interesting interview with Todd Machover; composer & inventor at MIT Media Lab


> Wahooo! Apparently ProTools 8.0.3 lets you unmount drives in the Finder ie without having to do it via the workspace browser! (thanks to Dave Farmer for the tip!)


> The sound of silence is music to the heart: “They found that breathing frequency was increased by musical inputs, and that this increase was proportional to the tempo of the music. They describe 1:4 entrainment of breathing to the underlying musical rhythm at slow tempos, and 1:8 entrainment at faster tempos, and while they suggest that at intermediate tempos an integer ratio is not observed, this does not preclude more complex coupling relationships from being present….
Perhaps the most interesting observation in the study by Bernardi and colleagues is not their description of the effects of music on respiratory and cardiovascular function, but rather the consequences of turning the music off…”


> I love these drawings/scores by Macro Fusinato via

viz score


> At last someone explains & validates my theory re contact mics ie that the preamp you use is CRUCIAL with respect to matching impedances – read this


> A great Anne Krober & Sound Mountain profile at USO




> Further to the studio aesthetics rant, here is a showcase of minimalist workstation setups



> And even more minimalist (more less?) Kanye Wests new apartment via minimalissimo



> Photos of people sleeping in the library


The Mirror

No, not the Tarkovsky film but a compilation of the use of reflections as a fright device in horror films… And what I found even more interesting than the variations on the use of mirrors etc is the variations on the theme of the audio horror sting – check out how similar all these stings are!

As far as horror films go I would always trade a more gentle pyschological freakout a la The Shining for these quick fire frights… If a fright does then escalate then so be it but fake frights really annoy me….


Piano Lessons

My teacher lies on the floor with a bad back
off to the side of the piano.
I sit up straight on the stool.
He begins by telling me that every key
is like a different room
and I am a blind man who must learn
to walk through all twelve of them
without hitting the furniture.
I feel myself reach for the first doorknob.

He tells me that every scale has a shape
and I have to learn how to hold
each one in my hands.
At home I practice with my eyes closed.
C is an open book.
D is a vase with two handles.
G flat is a black boot.
E has the legs of a bird.

He says the scale is the mother of the chords.
I can see her pacing the bedroom floor
waiting for her children to come home.
They are out at nightclubs shading and lighting
all the songs while couples dance slowly
or stare at one another across tables.
This is the way it must be. After all,
just the right chord can bring you to tears
but no one listens to the scales,
no one listens to their mother.

I am doing scales,
the familiar anthems of childhood.
My fingers climb the ladder of notes
and come back down without turning around.
Anyone walking under this open window
would picture a girl of about ten
sitting at the keyboard with perfect posture,
not me slumped over in my bathrobe, disheveled,
like a white Horace Silver.

I am learning to play
‘It Might As Well Be Spring’
but my left hand would rather be jingling
the change in the darkness of my pocket
or taking a nap on an armrest.
I have to drag him into music
like a difficult and neglected child.
This is the revenge of the one who never gets
to hold the pen or wave good-bye,
and now, who never gets to play the melody.

Even when I am not playing, I think about the piano.
It is the largest, heaviest
and most beautiful object in this house.
I pause in the doorway just to take it all in.
And late at night I picture it downstairs,
this hallucination standing on three legs,
this curious beast with its enormous moonlit smile.

From The Art of Drowning by Billy Collins

Bearing Glockenspiel

The 2010 Japan Media Arts Festival has just started but I like the look & sound of this project: “Bearing Glockenspiel II” by composer Kosuke Kawase and bearing manufacturer NSK – have a look here for more info & other youtube videos which aren’t embeddable…

It reminds me a little of those rendered music machines, except these don’t suffer from that flat 3D rendering & MIDI sounds…