From the forthcoming album of instrumentals, “Come See The View” is a pulsating piece of melodic ambient music. The music animation is inspired by the great Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, and is, in a word, abstract. Stream it in 4K for full resolution, and mind bending effects.
The song is simple in form, but the production is layered with complex musical textures and treatments. The visuals are pulsating along with the music, and are in fact are being modulated by the music itself. Everything is centered around a relentless quarter note pulse which is driving both the music and animation.
The animation was created with ArtMatic, an inspiring graphics synthesizer created by the fine people at U&I Software. Here are a couple screenshots from the video:
I picked up an anthology of Twentieth-Century Music the other day, an inside was the short score to Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music”. I’ve been a fond of Reich’s music and recordings since my college days, and I first heard the piece on one of those ancient relics called a cd:
Clapping Music is a so called minimalist work for two percussionists centered upon one repeating 6/4 (or 12/8) rhythm. Performer one repeats the rhythm throughout and is the anchor of sorts. Performer two doubles the rhythm at first, and then at prescribed lengths, plays the repeating rhythm from a different starting point. In this case it’s displacing the rhythm by an 8th note for each variation.
It’s a fascinating study of how a simple rhythmic motif layered upon itself in different ways can produce a variety of different interlocking grooves. The interesting thing is that as a listener, you are not ‘forced’ into recognizing some abstract 20th century compositional process or intention. It actually sounds like music. This particular approach to composition is something Brian Eno called ‘systems’ and he himself was inspired by Steve Reich. One of Eno’s most famous works “Music For Airports” was created in a similar way but with looping sustained vocal and piano notes that overlapped each other. But that’s a story for another day.
In revisiting this piece, and having a drummer’s mind set, I thought about how one drummer could play both parts (left hand = player one, right hand = player two). It would be a good challenge, so I fired up google to see if anyone else had thought of this, and low and behold the lovely Evelyn Glennie had. She is so lovely and talented:
Soon I was reminded of a YouTube video I saw once where someone had created a version of clapping music with a repeated scene of Angie Dickinson slapping Lee Marvin. It really should be called Slapping Music. What’s interesting to note is that because the audio of the slapping version is looping layers of the same short audio recording, it becomes similar to Steve Reich’s famous tape loop recordings like “It’s Gonna Rain” and “Come Out”:
Two of my favorite things: Great rhythms and things that make you think.
In October 2014, Klaus Biesenbach Director & Chief Curator of NYC’s MoMA PS1 posted this on his @klausbiesenbach profile page on Ello:
“I neglected my ello profile for a while, but now I have a big announcement to make. This surely is a -ful moment. I decided to put together a show that only circulates around ello and only features artworks submitted to me via ello. Please post your work here @klausbiesenbach if you want to be considered for the show. For the first time ever, the submission process is entirely transparent. Since I have been repeatedly asked about this: Deadline is Tuesday 25th November2014. Enjoy!”
Being part of a new invite-only, ad-free, art-friendly, buzz-driven web site and then having an opportunity to have your art work considered by Klaus Biesenbach for an Ello exclusive exhibition… for many, this was social media bliss. Details of this ‘exhibition’ were nowhere to be found though, so I assumed they were in the making. Details to follow right? He’s a busy guy doing art stuff. My small amount of skepticism was extinguished by a quick google search on Klaus. He was indeed a MOMA man, and his twitter page sported the exact profile picture shown on Ello. Bingo!
This post inspired artists to engage, and soon all kinds of great creative images (photos, paintings, illustrations, mixed media pieces, etc…) were being displayed proudly with the @klausbiesenbach tag. I had discovered the inspiring work of abstract painter Jeff Kraus (@jeffkraus) via Ello and he too was tagging his posts. It was all a bit surreal.
At this point I had been on Ello for about three weeks, and had been posting some of my digital art. and was getting some inspiring feedback from the community. So I tagged Klaus in a few of my own images like this one:
I even tagged a zen-like visual/music sketch that I had recently done:
Klaus did in fact look my images. How did I know? Well, he commented on my posts with a “thx”, that’s how. The short reply is about all the engagement one could expect from a busy art guy right?. Imagine my delight (and all the others too) seeing this in the ol’ email inbox:
About a week into the Ello MOMA art hurricane, something curious happened. Klaus’s Ello page went blank, and all of his posts… deleted? Even his profile picture and description were removed. We were had. Even the Ello developers themselves. A quote from Justin Gitlin (@cacheflowe):
Update: We were duped. This user was an impostor and the account has been suspended. Huge apologies for this. We were fooled as well
So there you have it. The great Ello MOMA hoax. I’m sure some people have been asking questions like “What kind of person does this?” and “Who has the time to invest in such trickery?”. Funny thing is that no one got upset, no drama ensued, no lawsuits were filed (that I know of). People just went back to creating and posting their art. Without the @klausbiesenbach tag.
Found some 2006 footage of a NI Vokator ‘drums processed by vocoder’ experiment. Tonight re-assigned midi to Waves Morphoder and this was the result. Groove is 11/8 or 4/4 + 3/8. I wish they would bring back Vokator.
In layman’s terms, these are some pretty weird sounding drums.
An experimental slow moving visual/music piece. By accident the other night I came upon a way of creating a “liquid digital painting” for lack of a better term. I set a music theme that I’ve been working on to it, and was surprised by the results.
Here’s a short little music/video sketch. I’m toying with the idea of putting out an album of of dare I say ambient type music, built upon these ideas. In a way, putting these bits up actually motivates me to finish them, and not just have an ever expanding collection of unfinished works.
I also truly enjoy sketching/experimenting with video too.
Ello, the new social media web site is here. It’s currently in beta, and still taking shape, but it is a welcomed new face to the world of social media.
Take the @ usernames and quirky self descriptions of Twitter, the unlimited character length status updates of Facebook and Tumblr, add the art/design images of Instagram, and throw it all under the hood of a simplified user interface, and in a nutshell, you have Ello. No ads, no pokes, no game invites, and so far I haven’t seen any pictures of cats.
After a few hours on the inside, I found some friends, and plenty of interesting new ones. I love the simplicity of the layout. This is how the people you follow are displayed (divided into friends vs. noise sections):
The Ello news feed:
User profiles/status updates are displayed in the same fashion:
The community of Ello is inspired and engaged, and the developers are participating in conversations too. They welcome input, ideas, and opinions from users, and it’s interesting to see the site grow up in real time. Speaking of community, joining Ello is by invitation only, but when you get an invite code, go to ello.co/join . You can find me at https://ello.co/jonmattox
I’m liking getting away with Ello. Away from game invitations, political rants, drama, complainers, celebrities, eager sellers, corporations, advertisers, trolls, and retweeters.
While setting up for a drumming session, and a bit under the weather from allergies, this rhythm appeared. It felt odd (as in odd time) while playing it, but, it turns out it is a syncopated 2 bar pattern in 4/4 time.
The video starts on the ‘one’ and the snare beats land on “2”, “4+” (first measure), and “3” (of the second bar). Then the next day, I started hearing the snares on “1+”, “4”, and “2+”. However it is felt, it really is a 4/4 pattern. My composer friend Eric Goetz hears the fist snare on “1”. Perhaps you can decide where the “one” is.
This rhythm is currently under investigation, and I’ll post some final thoughts in the future. For some reason, I keep thinking that Jon Hassell, had some unconscious influence on this.
T-Rex Takes A Nap is a 52 second film that my son and I put together. T-Rex has had way too much bad behavior, has not been listening, and has not been following the rules. So It’s time for T-Rex to take a nap. When pinecone bombs dropped by Toothless fail, army men shooting sleep bullets are the only way to take him down.
From the mind of my 7 year old son.
Shot on an iPhone 5, processed with the 8mm app, and assembled in Screenflow. Scary intense music by yours truly.