Link

http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:cms:video:colbertnation.com:410256

The Colbert Report
Click the above link to watch the video.

An appearance by Don Fleming, archivist of the Alan Lomax collection at the Association for Cultural Equity, plus Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello. It’s not often that sound archives, or archivists for that matter, get such high profile media attention. The ACE has just made 17,000+ recordings recordings by the Lomaxes available to stream from their Website. (Related materials from the ACE’s Global Jukebox were recently covered by the NYTimes here.)

Advertisements

Three Friday Musings

“It’s now taken for granted that the things we do online are reflections of who we are or announcements of who we wish to be.” Yet, “what we do online still feels somehow novel and ephemeral, although it really shouldn’t anymore” (writes Rob Walker in the NYTimes).

Yet, writes Sherry Turkle, “Just because we grew up with the Internet, we think the Internet is all grown up.” But it’s still developing. There’s also the evocative nature of computers and digital tech: we feel that they means more than the sum of their individual parts, in fact creating emotional connections (and not just addictions). (Listen to her interview on Here and Now.)

And while looking around the blog, imagine my surprise when I noticed that there’s more than just my blog listed on the wordpress tag page for idiophones (cue: Hornbostel-Sachs rejoicing). Most fun, though, are the Hang videos from Dante Bucci, like this “Fanfare”:

Fusion Instruments

I recently caught a profile of the duo Būke and Gāss on NPR. There are many wonderful new groups and recordings out there, but this one caught my ear because of the emphasis on handcrafted, fusion instruments that are the duo’s hallmark. Their name, in fact, is based on hybrid instrument names!

The toe-bourine

The toe-bourine. Photo by Abby Verbosky/NPR

Viz:

  • Būke: a six-string ukulele with a baritone range
  • Gāss: a guitar that includes bass strings (and it’s also made from body parts of an old Volvo!)

Hence the group’s name. They also include other homegrown originals, such as the “toe-bourine” (at right). The style is also a bit eclectic, described on WNYC’s Soundcheck as “ornate distorto-twang.” They hail from Brooklyn and, to hazard a guess, fit into the urban hillbilly mode (or perhaps what Eric Cook calls home mode production).

More Info and Listening!
The full NPR profile from 27 December 2010 is available here, and it includes the sound file from the interview. Listen to and watch a video of the duo in the NPR Tiny Desk Concert here. You can listen to the full Soundcheck piece here, or check out the WNYC Culture blog’s review of the duo’s debut album Riposte.

Reimagining the Accordion

Digital accordion virtuoso Cory Pesaturo was interviewed this afternoon by Robin Young on Here and Now. (To listen, click here.) It’s a wonderful interview that will change the way you listen to accordion. (Not just polka anymore…) All performers of lesser-known instruments might sympathize. Here’s a few youtube clips that show just a bit of variety, starting with Pesaturo.

The boy accordion virtuoso (featured on boingboing) playing Bach’s Passacaglia in C Minor.

And an interview, with sound samples, of South American Chango Spasiuk.

And thanks to Brian, for the Renegade accordion! in NYC:

New York on the Clock: Nathan Stodola, Renegade Accordion from Thirteen.org.

A classic, of course, would be Pauline Oliveros.

Pyrophones, eh?

I was at a musical instrument conference last weekend, and for the first time I heard the classification “pyrophone.” That is, instruments that create sounds from heat and/or fire. I suppose that I’m not much of an organologist if I haven’t heard about this, but at least I’ve got things to learn, eh?! Sorry to split hairs, but unless I grossly misunderstand this, which is entirely possible, isn’t the example below really an aerophone? Feel free to correct me. In any case, beautiful sounds and a fascinating instrument in development.