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.

Related: , ,

Weronika Izdebska, Polish photographer and filmmaker

Wednesday, 22 March, 2017

Photography by Weronika Izdebska

Weronika Izdebska is a photographer and filmmaker based in Lodz, Poland. Her photography has featured on album covers, and she also produces music videos. But aren’t these photos, this one above as a case in point, stunning?

Related: , ,

Chuck Berry, he could play the guitar just like a ringing a bell

Monday, 20 March, 2017

US musician and guitar legend, Chuck Berry died over the weekend, aged 90. Here is a live rendition of Johnny B. Goode, recorded in 1958. His signature tune?

And he is, in 1987, live again, singing Nadine. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is performing with him. You may have to look twice, but you’ll eventually recognise Richards.

Related: , ,

What is the most significant fad of all time? Or were there a few?

Friday, 17 March, 2017

What is the most significant fad, or craze, of all time? Or, more the point, fads, and crazes? The Atlantic invited a panel of those in the know to offer their ideas. Here are some suggestions:

  • Cigarettes
  • Rock and roll
  • The selfie
  • Demin
  • Miniskirts
  • Video games (of the 70s and 80s)

Some are still with us, decades after their arrival. Fad seems like a misnomer in that case.

Video games from the 70s may not be so popular today, though I’m sure a fair few people still partake of them, but they may have played a major part in the rise of computing, or at least getting more people interested in computers.

Related: , , , ,

Chris Högman, an artist working with digitally sampled paint

Friday, 17 March, 2017

Artwork by Chris Hogman

Stockholm based artist Chris Högman draws inspiration for his 3D printed artworks – that are created with “digitally sampled paint” – from the work of musicians during the 1960s, who started sampling sounds from other sources for use in their compositions.

Related: , ,

Chuck Gumpert, Seattle based abstract artist

Tuesday, 14 March, 2017

Artwork by Chuck Gumpert

Chuck Gumpert is a visual artist based in Seattle, on the west coast of the United States. His abstract works are frequently inspired by the music of acts such as Björk, Radiohead, R.E.M., and Depeche Mode, amongst others. It’s one reason he feels many of his works are in fact musical.

Related: , , ,

Jack Toohey, Sydney based photographer and filmmaker

Wednesday, 8 March, 2017

Photo by Jack Toohey

It’s been a while since I last looked in on the work of Sydney based photographer and filmmaker Jack Toohey. Well over six years, as it happens. These days he can also be found on Instagram, where the above photo comes from.

It was taken at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and features Australian musician Vera Blue. I linked to her single Settle about a year ago. Incredible how everything is all interlinked, isn’t it?

Related: , , , , ,

Symmetry, new music by Max Cooper, with a most symmetrical video

Friday, 3 March, 2017

Symmetry is new music by London based musician Max Cooper, and is one of the tracks from his latest album, Emergence. But Emergence is no collection of pop tunes, it is more akin to a narrative of the cosmos:

The story is told using a universe timeline, from pre-big bang to future, with each chapter a collaboration with a different visual artist, including some collaborations with mathematicians or scientists for those chapters using real data visualisation. As such, there is a huge range in visual styles, and for each different idea and piece of music I had in mind, it was a matter of finding the right visual artist and approach to try and tell that part of the story. My aim with this approach was to have plenty of variation to make what is an often abstract narrative, interesting, and also a hope that the over-arching story links the different visual styles together.

Kevin McGloughlin, an Irish filmmaker, made use of symmetrical forms to produce the mesmerising video clip that accompanies the track. If the production of the video interests you, McGloughlin recently discussed the creative process involved with Lost At E Minor.

Related: , ,

No synthesizers, no musicians, on recording the Doctor Who theme

Thursday, 2 March, 2017

Late Australian composer Ron Grainer wrote the music for many TV shows and films, between 1960 and 1980. Perhaps one of his best known scores was the theme music to the BBC’s long running sci-fi show, Doctor Who, which he wrote in 1963.

In this short documentary, Verity Lambert, Dick Mills, and Brian Hodgson, producers attached to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, discuss how they went about recording the theme, along with the late Delia Derbyshire, and the challenges posed by the available technologies of the time.

What we learn from them is fascinating, considering that compositions like this are now created in powerful computer systems with dozens of separate tracks and digital effects. The Doctor Who theme, on the other hand, recorded in 1963, was made even before basic analog synthesizers came into use. “There are no musicians,” says Mills, “there are no synthesizers, and in those days, we didn’t even have a 2-track or a stereo machine, it was always mono.”

Related: , , ,

Does listening to music boost workplace productivity? It depends…

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

Does listening to music while working, make a person more productive? It’s a good question. Sometimes I listen to music while working, sometimes I don’t. It all depends on my mood. And mood is what it’s about. Music makes people feel happier, thus making them more productive.

But there are caveats. While music can make repetitive tasks seem less tedious, and make noisy workplaces more tolerable, it can also be distracting. Particularly where the music includes lyrics, as a lot does, and also where the music is new, or unfamiliar. These things demand more focus.

Therefore listening to tunes you already like, preferably instrumental, and of an ambient nature, would make the best choices in a workplace situation. I’m thinking tracks such as Evening Star, by Australian down tempo ambient act, All India Radio, would be what you’re looking for then.

Related: , ,