Tuesday, July 31, 2012

See Me In Cork for ISSTC 2012

ISSTC 2012 is the second annual Irish Sound, Science and Technology Convocation (ISSTC). It's called a convocation because it's a lot more than just a conference, with workshops, sound installations, and multiple performances / concerts. If you have any interest in contemporary electroacoustic music you should be in Cork for the next couple of days, 1-2 August.

On Thursday at 3pm I will be delivering the paper "Becoming Noise: Unwanted Sounds From Helmholtz To Hegarty", in which I find a new role for noise outside the negative dialectical structure in which it is normally confined. Then at 8pm I have a première of a composition that draws on my field reco(r)ding work and illustrates (perhaps) some of the ideas I have talked about.
Monday, July 16, 2012

For Those Who Wonder What I Do

Nihilist Spasm Band

Here's a typical Sunday for yours truly.
Sunday, July 15, 2012

Innovative Sound In Games: Superbrothers - Sword & Sworcery EP

Where does one start with a game entitled Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP? Well, maybe with the name itself, which references old favourites (Super Mario Bros) and so pays homage to eight-bit games. "Sword & Sworcery" is a silly riff on the game genre, preparing us to wander an environment gathering clues and slaying beasties in full-on heroic mode. And the addition of "EP"? Well, it's a short game, not long enough to be an LP, and is entwined so brambly to its soundtrack as to confuse expectation almost entirely.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Innovative Sound In Games: Limbo

I have recently been wanting to check out recent developments in games, particularly those with innovative sonics. Propitiously, a friend gifted me with the Humble Bundle V -- thanks Martin! This Bundle includes no fewer than seven independent games and four of their soundtracks. The innovative marketing includes a pay-what-you-can price structure. Unfortunately this Bundle is no longer available, but the games can be found as individual products.

Now this will be old news and terribly obvious to all of you hardcore gamers out there, but I discovered a couple of truly great experiences amongst these. And I use the word "experiences" advisedly, because to speak of these only as "games" is to force them into a label that no longer seems to fit. In fact it is only the gaming elements that could possibly be improved here; everything else is so much fun. In this article I'll discuss Limbo and in the next I'll turn to Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (yes, that's what it is called).
Thursday, July 05, 2012

Architecture Of Ljubljana

building details
The centre of Ljubljana is full of quite lovely architecture, the oldest of which is commonly baroque in style. This is juxtaposed against the art nouveau look of the Vienna Secession. The immediate cause of this remodelling was the earthquake of 1895, which required the razing of some buildings and spurred the re-development of others. For example the open expanse which now houses the Ljubljana Central Market was previously a built up block. The period until 1910 saw the city shed its provincial past in a flurry of architectural development. And it's continued ever since.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Street Art Of Ljubljana

wolf / snaga

My trip to Slovenia proved to be a delight. Days I mostly walked around Ljubljana, getting a tan and building up repeated thirsts that were ably quenched by the local brew Laško. The locals deride it, likely out of familiarity, but it has a nice thirst-quenching bite and is not near as bland as possible alternatives (for example the other national beer, Union).

The city centre is beautiful, full of the most appealing architecture from several historical periods. So it surprised me that most every surface was covered with the most brutal of tagging, without a doubt the lowest form of graffiti. However, there is also occasional expertise in the street art, which is what this post is all about.