Have you ever wondered what it looks like when millions of sound waves are traveling through social networks? Stamen Design did before creating Beatquake - a visualization of dynamic characteristics for typical listening activity across facebook. More than 110 million songs, albums and radio stations have been played 40 billion times through apps integrated with Facebook’s Open Graph.
A bit lost for words on this one as it's actually pretty amazing. By passing sound waves through a metal plate, Brusspup uncovers geometric patterns that form and become increasingly intricate as the pitch of the tone increases. And so, the wow-factor is pretty much off the charts.
Supported by a horde of amazing producers and DJs like Kode9, Flying Lotus, Richie Hawtin and Bok Bok, SubPac is a new production tool that gives you bass in the right place. More specifically, it’s a tactile bass system that transfers low frequencies directly to your body effectively allowing you to experience the physicality of the music without doing damage to your precious ears.
- that Italian Futurist from the early 20th century whose 1913 Noise Machines (Intonarumori) and musical manifesto had an immense influence on generations of musicians looking to push the boundaries of sound. We’re hard pressed to think of a more fitting way to pay homage to the legendary sound Futurist than to have brilliant sound maverick (and collaborator on our Sound Taxi project) create a Russolo-inspired installation.
At a time when the world's major cities seem increasingly atomised and fragmented, Montreal’s Megaphone project aims to bring people together in public spaces by giving them a voice. More specifically, the engineers and designers at Montreal’s Moment Factory want to provide the city’s inhabitants with the opportunity to have their voice broadcasted to a large audience with the aid of multimedia and cutting-edge voice recognition technologies.
Artist Di Mainstone wants to transform New York's Brooklyn Bridge with the Human Harp, an instrumental sculpture that allows people to physically play the bridge. It’s ambitious, interesting and a little loopy in an arty, tech-infused, New York stylee.
Our friend and collaborator on the Make the City Sound Better Sound Taxi Project strikes again. And this time he’s bringing robots. Little white robots that turn marker squiggles into sound.
Honda teamed up with Funktion One for a video that recreates Ayrton Senna’s most memorable race through the world’s best sound system.
Björk’s awe-inspiring ‘Biophilia’ project gets a bit of extra mileage through a new Channel 4 documentary that explores the evolution of music around the world.
Beat Match is an ingenious, interactive, collaborative ping pong game that merges sound and image. It’s pretty simple: you control music and graphics through playing with your partner. Sound and image follow the tempo and rhythm of your game, which means that the music stops when you stop. The challenge, then, is to keep a steady beat for as long as possible to create a consistent track.
Is that rare thing: a simple yet resonant idea, beautifully executed. ‘1-Bit Symphony’ is also an electronic composition in five movements on a single microchip. Although the sound is housed in a CD case, this isn’t a recording in the traditional sense as ‘1-Bit Symphony’ literally ‘performs’ the music live when you turn it on. A complete electronic circuit (programmed by Perich Himself and assembled manually) plays the symphony through a headphone jack mounted into the case itself.
A couple of weeks ago we posted a video featuring a group of disabled people who were given the chance to create music with their brainwaves through a new technology called Emotiv EPOC. This week we give you a guy who knits himself a scarf using the same technology with some added modifications. It may not have the same life-altering, grandiose feel to it, but it certainly is very entertaining nonetheless.
Let’s just clarify: utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Smirnoff got some severely disabled people together and let them create music USING THEIR BRAINWAVES. This is actually jaw-droppingly incredible. We had no idea that this kind of technology had come so far. Prepare to be amazed.
And this is meant in the most literal sense. Have you ever tuned into a radioshow, which suddenly got polluted by the incessant, grinding voice of a person so utterly in love with themselves that you lack the appropriate tool to make it stop. To really ram it home that this infuriating wall of self-congratulatory inanity must cease and never be allowed to speak again? Well, it turns out you’re in luck. Norwegian company Skrekkøgle has invented a radio with an accompanying cork that let’s you whip out a can of STFU on that cretin of a radio host.
And does it in a rather thought-provoking way that asks profound questions about the fundamental nature of sound. Deaf artist Christine Sun Kim examines the physical aspects of our favorite medium to make it more inclusive to everyone – including people who can’t actually hear it.
- is one of the cleverest pieces of experimental sound design we’ve laid our ears on for quite some time. By performing the seemingly simple act of rubbing leaves against a turntable, composer and sound designer Diego Stocco creates overwhelmingly delectable ear candy that makes turntable wizkids like Kid Koala seem like musical conservatives in comparison.
More mindblowing stuff from the world of experimental sound design. j.viewz has made it his mission to play one of Massive Attack’s most enduring hits on an aubergine, some strawberries and a carrot. A mission that he succeeds in completing with flying, fruity colours.
- is not the title of ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist john Frusciante’s latest solo album. It’s actually a sound experiment that makes water flow in awe-inducing shapes and patterns. Click play on the video and prepare to be delighted.
Pieter-Jan Pieters formerly affilliated with our friends at Teenage Engineering and currently doing the rounds on Tedx just sent us his latest project, which aims to commercialize a series of devices (midi-controllers) that work on movement, drawing, heartbeat, and other analog gestures. It’s utterly arresting and right up our alley.
Yes, that’s a promise we’re prepared to make even though the documentary hasn’t even been released yet. How did we work up the nerve to posit such a bold claim in the face of potential ridiculing from the legions of nerds who will no doubt have irreconcilable opinions on this topic? Well, for starters because Ghostly International’s Jason Amm AKA Solvent produced and co-wrote the damn thing. And when the list of interviewees reads: John Foxx, Vince Clarke (Erasure), Daniel Miller (Mute), Carl Craig, James Holden, Trent Reznor, Dominic Butler (Factory Floor), Legowelt, Chris Carter, John Tejada, and Gary Numan, you know you’ve struck solid gold.
As it turns out, scientific inquiry into sound doesn’t only have an impact on our ears. It can also be extremely easy on the eye as these photos from the audio chambers at the Technical University of Denmark are a stunning testament to.
A funny, ingenious masterstroke that made me smile. This very nerdy and curious remix of The Animals' 'House Of The Rising Sun' is one of the most spectacular and coolest covers I’ve heard so far.
By plotting the volume of sound waves on a frequency time graph, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, turned sound into a physical, 3D chair. After creating and testing 719 different sounds and transforming them into shapes, Plummer-Fernandez achieved his final design. He says, “The aesthetic of sound waves becomes the aesthetic of the chair. The result is a product with dual existence as both a ‘sound’ and a ‘chair’.”
Here's a mesmerizing installation that invites visitors to draw on a disc with a felt tip pen, which is then translated into a musical sequence to rather startling effects.
If any and all objects could be used as a musical instrument what would you choose to rock the world with? A Ninja Turtles action figure? A slice of Roquefort cheese? That may sound a bit weird, but it’s actually a very real possibility as interaction designer Dennis P Paul has created this amazing contraption that scans surfaces of objects and transforms them into audible, rhythmic frequencies.
One of the coolest object I’ve seen in 2013 so far is this. Re: Sound Bottle is an automatic remixing object that can record all given sounds and then automatically remix them into a music beat. Just pull the cork off the bottle, make or find some sounds to record, and this magical little bottle turns it into music!