Thursday, April 28, 2011

a synth to sleep on/wear/put on your fridge

I have been super crafty as of late, inspired by my friend Jillian (may she rest in peace). Always one to combine the things I love, I was digging around on etsy today for electronic/synth inspired crafts, and I found enough decorative pieces to furnish my cave of gear with colorful felt for a lifetime. These people have a special place in my heart.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Big ups to Dave from Planet Rump for hipping me to this neat little product, which was the darling of NAMM 2010. OP-1 is a synthesizer/sampler/sequencer/multi-track tape recorder made by Teenage Engineering in Sweden. And it has an FM radio built into it à la Casio for endless sampling possibilities! I think I'm in love.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

pyramid frequencies

I went to see Alan Howarth (composer/sound designer for John Carpenter's films) at Le Poisson Rouge this past weekend, and it was a phenomenal concert full of synths and dream-like soundscapes. The opening act Harald Grosskopf was also quite good, and if you ever find his record Synthesist, it's a fantastic record, and you should snatch it.

Alan Howarth mentioned during his set about how he paid $8,000 to rent an Egyptian pyramid for 2 hours and that the music he is currently composing and performing is based on the frequencies and resonant qualities he discovered in the pyramids.

Thinking about pyramid frequencies led me to cymatics, which is the study of how sound waves interact with physical matter. Experiments include observing visual patterns created in sand on a membrane such as wood, metal plates, glass, etc. when specific sound vibrations move through the membrane. The acoustical engineer John Reid performed cymatics experiments in the Great Pyramid and found that the resonant qualities of the granite and the chambers themselves created hieroglyphic images in the sand on a membrane spread tautly over the sarcophagus in the King's Chamber. If you have any interest in cymatics, electronics, and egyptology, you should check out this interview with John Reid:

Please forgive the slight new age-y vibe of the interview. I find it fascinating.

Monday, April 4, 2011

blip festival

Blip Festival is going down this year on May 19-21 at Eyebeam. Put on by 8bitpeoples and The Tank (the people that brought you the Bent Festival), it's always a good time, and while I'm not a huge fan of chiptune, I go for the workshops and stay for the visuals. Amazing interactive visual artists like NO CARRIER, who created a multitude of open source software to make visuals with an NES and brought you the interactive mandala to aid in your meditative endeavors. Also known in Philly as the dude who turned the PECO building into this:

Check out the details and lineup for the Blip Festival here.

Don't forget your earplugs!