one of my favourite musical discoveries of 2011 has been neo-classical composer and performer Ólafur Arnalds. i’ve probably listened to his music more than anyones during the past year, so despite the following documentary being from 2009 (filmed during a UK tour in October 2008) it’s new to me and i suspect plenty of others too. it runs for about 24 minutes
Tinariwen released their 5th album, Tassili, in June this year and from the first time i heard it i was hooked. it’s by far one of my favourite albums from 2011, and below you’ll find a superb little 15 minute film that will give newcomers a taste of what to expect from an album i can’t praise highly enough. for more info on the band check out their website tinariwen.com
Matt Black, one half of the legendary Coldcut as well as one of Ninja Tunes co-founders and still one of their head-honchos, is a major lover of audio/visual technology. Black is one of the inventors of the VJamm software used in the Coldcut live shows and has been an innovator of the whole av scene. here are a couple of things that caught my attention on Black’s YouTube channel allgoodmatt
this first video was made using Memos Amoeba QC patch, adapted for realtime midi control in VDMX with audio from Ableton. using midi to simultaneously control video and audio synths makes an explicit AV connection
next up is a midi controlled AV synth with AV echo/feedback effects using Quartz composer and vdmx , with Ableton doing sound
and lastly, Matt Black and Paul Smiles give a quick demo of their work in progress, an AudioVisual marimba built using Ableton, Processing, and an AkaiMPD24
ok, this is not strictly the sort of thing i’d ordinarily post on this blog, but the music and pictures work so well together that i felt compelled to include it as i’m sure it will be appreciated by many
what we have here is time-lapse sequences of photographs taken with a special low-light 4K-camera by the crew of expedition 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October, 2011 and a piece of music from Jan Jelinek
Martin Scorsese’s documentary about “the Beatle that changed the most”, George Harrison, is to be released on DVD/Blu-ray on October 10th. it’s set out in two halves; the first being from his birth in 1947 until the Beatles split in 1970, and then from the recording of All Things Must Pass, through the highs and lows of the ’70s and ’80s before settling in at the Friar Park estate and ending with his death in November 2001
it claims to have enough unseen footage, photos, audio outtakes and new interviews to satisfy even the most devoted Beatles fans, as well as many laughs from Harrison, capturing his scathing wit, a detailed account of that terrible stabbing in 1999 and plenty of revelations whilst capturing a spiritual journey from start to finish
here’s a trailer for George Harrison: Living In The Material World
and this is a live performance by Harrison of his song Here Comes The Sun, which appeared on The Beatles classic Abbey Road LP
the original, the best and incredible in the way it was recorded; the Doctor Who theme, written by Ron Granier and constructed in 1963 by Delia Derbyshire (under the guise of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop), kicks every other tv theme tune really hard in the minge. this is not because of the notes that were written, though obviously credit must go there, but in the way an odd, incredibly talented and largely unknown woman went about manufacturing electronic sounds from organic sources to painstakingly build something quite unique from a mass of loops made from tape. basically it was a very early form of sampling. she would record all sorts of things being struck, for example, and once transferred to tape, these sounds and homemade notes could be manipulated to fit as necessary. this way of making music still echoes today. just this year, another musical innovator, Amon Tobin, has done much the same thing for his superb album ISAM, albeit utilising modern technology. these people find what is available to them to fulfill their vision, and whether it’s generally realised or not, Delia Derbyshireis the grandmother of electronica. and so here it is, the greatest of TV theme tunes . . .
the documentary below, Sculptress of Sound, is an examination of who the legendary and massively influential Delia Derbyshire was, and the part she played as a pioneer of electronic music. in part 4 (of 7), the focus is on the process of creating the Doctor Who theme, though i recommend watching the whole thing
to read more about Derbyshire, the discovery of ‘lost’ tapes in her attic after her death in 2001, and to hear snippets from some of her other, sometimes surprisingly contemporary sounding recordings from the 1960′s, click here to go to a BBC News article from 2008
here’s something for the music nerds out there. it’s a sneak peek of how Amon Tobin uses spectral morph to create some of the unique sounds you’ll hear on his new release ISAM (released May 23rd). pre-orders at:www.amontobin.com/store
the photos were taken in Amon Tobin’s Purple Room Studio (as seen in the video below)
. . . and i call myself a fan. the shame of it! loudQUIETloud is a 2006 film about thePixiesand their reunion that i only discovered a few weeks ago, despite my friend Leo having told me about it (apparently). i guess i ignored him. anyway you can watch it below in its entirety. that’s a full 1 hour and 25 minutes all about that great rocking guitar monster that was the Pixies.
and for the die-hard fans there’s a book i’d recommend called The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies by Josh Frank and Caryn Ganz. there’s also a dvd available through their old label 4AD. simply titled Pixies, it brings together a 1988 gig at The Town and Country Club in London, all their videos and a couple of documentaries
now here’s an interesting little extra that i discovered searching through the miracle that is Soundcloud. it’s a shockingly good remix (that’s also free to download) of one of the Pixies most popular songs, the mighty, Monkey Gone To Heaven. it was done by someone called krusha and you can find more of his stuffhere
since arriving on the scene in 2002, Nostalgia 77 (known to some as Benedic Lamdin) has produced several albums that range from heavy funk, to hip-hop based beats mixed with dusty old jazz, obscuro funk and psych bits and pieces. his hard work and obvious talent earned him respect quickly and by 2006 he’d won the Jazz Album of the Year award at the Gilles Peterson BBC Worldwide Awards. that, and his cover version of The White Stripes mighty Seven Nation Army with Alice Russell has also helped bring his name and sound to a wider audience.
his latest album The Sleepwalking Society was released just earlier this month, and coinciding with that is the following film in which Nostalgia 77 and singer Josa Peit answer questions posed by fans
Seven Nation Army with Alice Russell
and from the new album The Sleepwalking Society, here’s Simmerdown featuring Josa Peit