Anna-Maija Nyman, bank worker by day, pole dancer thereafter

Friday, 28 April, 2017

Bank worker by day, pole dancer the rest of the time, that’s the life of Stockholm resident Anna-Maija Nyman. Her dancing is the subject of a short film, Spin Dreams, by Francesco Calabrese. Leave any preconceptions about pole dancers at the door.

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The source of some of Daft Punk’s samples

Wednesday, 22 March, 2017

I don’t know how much trouble I’ll get into for saying this, but French electronic music act Daft Punk are masters of the sample. If you’re a fan, chances are you will enjoy this clip, a selection of sources, songs and music, from where they have drawn samples for their compositions.

And here’s the video clip to Lose Yourself To Dance. What do you think? It likes like they may have sampled some video as well, for the production of this track.

Update: well that was quick. The original video has been removed, so try this one instead.

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On the other hand, talent may be overrated, dance instead

Wednesday, 22 June, 2016

Maybe talent is overrated after all.

Just ask Ian Eastwood, a choreographer, who says “I would rather be horrible at something than mediocre. To me, being ok at something is like my biggest nightmare.”

I don’t know that I’d call his work horrible, or even lacking in talent, but I guess it shows what is possible, if you might think you aren’t gifted in any way.

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After eighteen years the Chemical Brothers are still go

Wednesday, 13 May, 2015

Could it really be eighteen years since the Chemical Brothers released Block Rockin’ Beats? Back then I was bringing forth the earliest versions of, as it was then, with the Chemicals blasting through my headphones late into the night.

While it’s 11:30 in the evening as I type this right now, the late nights are mostly gone, but the Chemical Brothers are still going, here’s their new single, GO. It’s from their soon to drop, on 17 July, album “Born In The Echoes”.

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Miss-mixing, the hallmark of the discerning DJ

Tuesday, 16 September, 2014

Whose to know if the dance mix you’re listening to is the product of a bot, or a real, live, human DJ? A technique known as miss-mixing, and one that is increasingly being employed by DJs, will help listeners make the distinction. In short, miss-mixing is the practice of deliberately making a mistake while re-mixing music.

Michael Briscoe, aka DJ Whopper, explains how it works:

“I like to drop in on the second or third beat, leave it play for a couple of bars and then quickly correct myself,” explained Mr. Briscoe. “It’s subtle yet affective, I call it The Perplexer. People who don’t know what they’re listening to won’t even notice it while other DJs will be thinking ‘that’s a great mistake, who is this DJ Whopper lad anyway?’ d’ya know what I mean?”

Get it, DJ Whopper? I suppose the… practice is a little like a writer purposely adding errors to their text, and seeing how many times the work is republished by people claiming they wrote the piece themselves, before the fault is noticed.

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Slowing down the dance moves of the Washington Ballet

Friday, 6 June, 2014

On the off chance you thought ballet moves were a matter of learning a few steps… dancers from the Washington Ballet, whose routines are greatly slowed down, talk about their work.

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There’s a rhythm and reason why the beat goes on

Friday, 25 April, 2014

What’s the recipe, I wanted to avoid using the word formula, for writing a catchy song that’ll get people on their feet dancing? Rhythms and beats of course, but that has to be the right mix, just the right mix, of regular rhythms and unexpected beats.

So now you know.

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To become a polymath dance as though no one is watching you

Monday, 9 December, 2013

A person who is described as a polymath could be considered to be a master of all, or many, trades. Leonardo da Vinci, and Benjamin Franklin, are but two example of such people.

The ability to excel in a number of fields isn’t restricted to a select few though, and just about all of us have polymathic potential, it’s just a matter of drawing it out of ourselves. How to make this so, then? Well, you could try dabbling in the performing arts, as the likes of dancing and acting boost learning capacity:

An intriguing study funded by the Dana foundation and summarised by Dr Michael Gazzaniga of the University of California, Santa Barbara, suggests that studying the performing arts – dance, music and acting – actually improves one’s ability to learn anything else. Collating several studies, the researchers found that performing arts generated much higher levels of motivation than other subjects. These enhanced levels of motivation made students aware of their own ability to focus and concentrate on improvement. Later, even if they gave up the arts, they could apply their new-found talent for concentration to learning anything new.

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The dance of the unnamed soundsculpture

Thursday, 10 May, 2012

Captivating viewing, a moving sculpture based on the recorded movements of a dancer.

The basic idea of the project is built upon the consideration of creating a moving sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person. For our work we asked a dancer to visualize a musical piece (Kreukeltape by Machinenfabriek) as closely as possible by movements of her body. She was recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud), so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process. The three-dimensional image allowed us a completely free handling of the digital camera, without limitations of the perspective. The camera also reacts to the sound and supports the physical imitation of the musical piece by the performer. She moves to a noise field, where a simple modification of the random seed can consistently create new versions of the video, each offering a different composition of the recorded performance. The multi-dimensionality of the sound sculpture is already contained in every movement of the dancer, as the camera footage allows any imaginable perspective.

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Turn your BMX bike into a music making machine

Friday, 13 April, 2012

The Turntable Rider converts a BMX bike into a DJ’s turntable, and depending on your track bike riding skills, can mix up some pretty respectable tunes.

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