I’ve always thought that mashups are somewhat of an art-form, but I’ve never properly understood the intricacies of how they are created. Web Technologist, Cameron Adams, has bridged the gap between sound and vision in his project Anatomy of a Mashup: Definitive Daft Punk visualised.
The site is dedicated to a mashup of 23 songs from Daft Punk’s discography and visually explains the nuances that go into constructing a complex mashup from tiny pieces of songs. It shows the cutting, layering and levels, with a timeline down the bottom, showing where songs start and finish. The labelled rings in the centre visualise the music and correspond with the colours of the timeline. It’s composed using HTML5 and CSS3 technology so works best if you view it in Chrome or Safari.
Did I mention that it looks really cool?
Yours in visualisations,
A few weeks ago I came across a simple web application that explores a concept I’ve always been interested in – Generative Music. The basic idea behind generative music is that it is created by a system, constantly changes and is therefore, always different. The application is called Otomata, it’s built in Flash and it’s incredibly simple to use. So even those of you who think you don’t have a musical bone in your body are still expected to go and play around. It won’t take long to create something that might excite or inspire!
The concept behind the application is pretty simple, you are presented with a 9 by 9 grid. Click on the grid and place an ‘alive’ tile down. It will have a an arrow indicating its direction of travel across the grid. Each alive tile can move in four directions: up, down, left and right. When these tiles collide with a wall a sound who’s frequency is based off the location of the collision is played and the tile reverses direction. When a tile collides with another tile in its way it rotates itself clockwise and carries on going. Due to the nature of these tile’s behavior you will end up with a sequence of music that gradually changes and evolves.
If you’re happy with your creation, why not click the “Copy piece link” button and share it with your social network! Have a play around and before you know it, you will be creating generative music! If you’re curious, here’s one I prepared earlier (it only took a minute so I wont be surprised if you all come up with something more elaborate) and don’t be afraid to show us what you’ve come up with!
Click here to listen to my creation or,
Visit the Otomata website and have a go yourself
Yours in procedural generation,
If you’re like me then you absolutely dread Sunday afternoons when it’s time to do the weekly grocery shop. I don’t know what it is but my partner and I just loathe going to our local grocery store – be it Woolies or Coles. We hate it so much that we even tried buying our groceries online, but the forward planning that was required didn’t really suit us (thinking about what we might want to cook on a Thursday was way too far down the track). I’ve even whined to Darrell that grocery stores should adopt some of the shifty techniques used by retailers to entice you into their shops and linger as you’ll eventually purchase much more that what you came for: delicious aromas, soft music and lighting, warm temperatures. Yet my local Coles and Woolies make the temperature so unbearably cold and the music so incredibly crap – Shania Twain was blasting last time we were in – that I’m convinced they’re doing it deliberately to get you out of there as quickly as they can.
But recently I noticed something was different in my local Coles in Sunnybank. They’d started to adopt some rustic, market-style elements – wooden barrels, wicker baskets and thick timber displays on caster wheels – giving the “fresh food” section a slightly more appealing feel. Now I’m not saying it’s like going to an actual market and it doesn’t make the thought of grocery shopping much more appealing but it’s a step in the right direction. Somehow the food appears fresher and I did want to spend a little more time perusing the aisles.
You can check out what I mean at their Your New Coles microsite.
Has your local Coles gotten a makeover too?
Now if they could just turn the air con down a touch and put Shania CD back in the closet where she belongs I’d be stoked!
Yours in shopping,
I haven’t been to a music festival in a while. In fact, my ticket to Future Music is proudly stuck on my fridge, acknowledging my return to contemporary tunes (from my usual 80s playlist).
What I love about music, is how often it goes hand in hand with visual art. Brandon Boyd, the lead singer of Incubus, is one such artist exploring the many avenues of creativity. He is an artist in his own right, producing large and small scale paintings that explore the similar themes in music – love, loss, anger, fear… You can check out his website here.
Other worthy artists of note are Viggo Mortensen, Jane Seymour and Dennis Hopper. Dennis Hopper was actually an artist and photographer before he was an actor. You can see some of Dennis Hopper’s photography here.
Although some people seem to have multiple creative talents, I think I’ll still leave the windows of my car up when I’m singing my favourite tunes.
Yours in paint and lyric,
My favourite band of all time, U2, dropped into Brisbane last week, and I was lucky enough to see them – front row! It was an absolutely fantastic concert, with some songs from their new album, but also the classic hits “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Where The Streets Have No Name”. Although they are often accused of being too preachy, I find it quite refreshing that a band is so willing to use their fame for good, not just girls, fast cars and bragging rights. And considering I was entertained with 2 hours of my favourite tunes, I was more than happy to be reminded to look out for my fellow (wo)man, we are “one” after all.
They are continuing the tradition of some music greats, such as John Lennon, to change the world through music. Let’s continue the revolution and support bands that support each and every one of us. Wouldn’t you agree?
Yours in the name of love,
Everyone’s favourite New Zealand band, Shihad, might have been around since 1988, but they are keeping up to date with new media. They enlisted the help of NZ agency Oktobor to create a microsite for the music video of their new single ‘Sleepeater‘. The innovative site won Gold in the Small Scale Website category and the judges described it as “unlike anything seen before”. I love the visuals – very effective!
To check out more of New Zealand’s best graphic, interactive, product and spatial design click here.
Yours in Design,