Sunday, June 18, 2006

Plinth love

British artist David Hensel "chuckled" when he visited the installation of his work "One Day Closer to Paradise" in the Royal Academy in London.

Why? Well, the curators liked the base (plinth) more than the head on top and so separated the two and then put the base on display! Apparently the head may be reinstated, but an amusing story nonetheless.

via Rodcorp and The Guardian.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Multi-sensory shopping

While on the mandatory monthly shopping trip (i.e. sit in a chair while your sweetie tries on shoes and makeup), I walked by Hollister and Co.. There was an interesting smell near the store, and as I walked by I noted that a sales associate was spraying perfume into the air.

This was an interesting ploy to get potential shoppers to come into the store, and it got me thinking about the multi-sensory experience that shopping in a mall is today. Sight, sounds and especially smells abound. And what do we do when we go "window" shopping? We compulsively touch the clothes or nicknacks or whatever that we are looking at.

Of course, I was on my way to a department store makeup counter, and those are notoriously overwhelming in the different perfumes that linger in the air!

Monday, June 12, 2006

R.I.P. Gyorgy Ligeti

"There is a great living writer - I know him personally - Sandor Veres. One of the greatest poets, like your. . . but I don't know any great living English poets."

The man many considered the greatest living composer, Gyorgy Ligeti, died at age 83. I remember my first exposure to his music - like most, it was through Stanley Kubric's films (2001, The Shining, etc). In many ways, I've continued to be inspired by his example, in particular his adventurousness. His 1961 work "The Future of Music" is a great example of a young composer struggling with the problem of public performance, where the entire piece consists of the composer staring at the audience onstage. His work spawned a whole genre named after one of his pieces (atmospheric music), helped set the stage for minimalism, and generally resisted pidgeonholing.

I learned of Ligeti's death from Ben Levy, a great friend and colleague whose dissertation concerned Ligeti's three electronic works, important and excellent examples of work done at WDR in Cologne in the 50's. Ben - remind me to talk about the diss when it gets published online!!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Backup Musicians Hall of Fame

This can only be described as a sort of oxymoronic honor - Joe Chambers, a Nashville based singer and songwriter, has recently opened the Musician's Hall of Fame and Museum, where "legendary" backing musicians are honored.

But it won't honor folks like Pete Drake (steel guitar on "Lay Lady Lay"), drummer Chad Smith, or bassist Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance. Producers like Owen Bradley (Patsy Cline) also get displays. Chambers hasn't ACTUALLY inducted anyone into the Hall of Fame yet, but plans on honoring a few musicians every year. In the meantime, biographical and informative displays will be shown.

(via various news sources, like BBC and Wired)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Old" Masters?

The Guardian has an interesting story about what is considered the oldest cave paintings ever found - a painting of appears to be a face, 27,000 years old.

What do you think of when you see that pic? The face pops out at you quickly - a horizontal line connected to a vertical line and then a separate, thinner horizontal line below. That's an eye, nose and mouth, right? To me, that is classic Picasso. In fact, here's a link to Picasso's famous Demoiselles d'Avignon. In particular, the two faces in the middle of the painting are remarkably similar to the portrait by the ancient artist.

Now I'm suggesting by any stretch that Picasso is "primitive" (I loathe that description) or that the ancient artist was way ahead of their time. As the Guardian puts it - both artists utilize our ability to recognize faces from quite abstract drawings. It is even more interesting to me that there is such a striking difference between the way in which this human is represented and the way that animals were represented in later cave art. Of course one cannot draw conclusions from a single extant example, but I also can't deny that this discovery is breathtaking.

Germany jumps on New Media bandwagon

German Chancellor Andrea Merkel today begins broadcasting a weekly video-podcast (can this be considered a vlog?). Ultimately, this won't be much different than our own Presidential Radio Address. But it is a validation and interesting use of new and emerging media. I suppose I should mention that the Presidential Radio Address is also available via podcast and RSS.

Are there other governmental uses of new media that you know of?

via WMMNA.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Link-o-rama 6.06.06

Ooo - the EVIL day. Here are a bunch more links. I know that it's lazy, but I've been visiting folks in Washington DC (some links below are in reference to the trip).

Here we go:

Patent Goo - A description of self-replicating medicine and the consequences of this. Pretty scary stuff if you take it a step further.

Faidley's - The best crabcake in Maryland. I don't like crabcakes, but someone important to me loves them! (that's you, Rebekah Moore).

Gamelan Mitra Kusima - When I lived in the DC area, I participated in this Balinese style gamelan. I was fortunate to perform in two concerts in the three days I spent there. Thanks, Nyoman and Latifah!

Chi Cha Lounge - I've been there a number of times in the last two years, and it was my "last meal" yesterday. It certainly didn't disappoint!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Internet Excursion 6.02.06

I have only been blogging about items that I find both interesting and have something at least somewhat meaningful to say about. But I find all sorts of interesting things flitting about the Internet, and so I'm going to begin occasionally sharing these links with you. These are items for which I might find myself at a loss for words, or might not fit directly within the theme of Sonic Event.

Heady Metal: A NYT Magazine article about sunn0))), a drone metal group. A fun read!

Superformula 3D: an equation that attempts to model natural systems.

The Large Glass as a sliding sash window: a discussion of Marcel Duchamp's work with windows.

Architecture and interaction design: something I've been meaning to blog about - a (long) and really interesting take on what the author calls "interaction design."

soundaXis: a festival that attempts to take over Toronto.

David Byrne: yes, THAT David Byrne on Baltimore and cell phone ring tones.

Google Earth Sound?: City of Sound (once again) on a Google Earth hack that incorporates historical maps and city sounds. Good stuff!

City of Sound is simply too fine a blog to ignore - I've added it to my blogroll. Bookmark it!
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