No, it’s not a contestant from the classic TV game show. It’s an IBM computer that uses algorithmic computation to identify a song’s musical period—Baroque, Classical or Romantic— in only three notes. And when applied to speech patterns, the same technology can be used as an early warning system for Parkinson’s disease and certain kinds of psychiatric disorders. Read on →
Mimi Valdés went from magazines to multimedia success.
Valdés is creative director for Pharrell’s i am OTHER, a multimedia company that works in music, apparel, philanthropy, film, video, and whatever else Pharrell wants to explore. Hers is a simple title for a complicated position where she is responsible for an astounding number of things. “Album covers, music videos, live concert performances, I’m in charge of executing all of that,” says Valdés, adding that she is not as directly involved with the fashion side of Pharrell’s growing empire. She is working on so many projects simultaneously that she has taken to listing each on its own index card. The stack is more than an inch thick.
Some of the biggest innovations of our time were created after hours. Here, the compelling case for trying out stupid things on the side.
“The only way a side project will work is if people give themselves permission to think simple, to change their minds, to fail—basically, to not take them too seriously,” says van Schneider. “When you treat something like it’s stupid, you have fun with it, you don’t put too much structure around it. You can enjoy different types of success.”
Part of the thrill of going to a rock show is getting to watch musicians nimbly interact with their instruments. But at electronic music shows, where performers stand behind barely visible laptops and other mysterious machines, it’s near impossible to get a good look at where, exactly, their symphonies of bleeps and beats are coming from.
Director Mathieu le Dude and French producer 20syl offer a hypnotic behind-the-scenes look at the creation of electronic track “Kodama,” off 20syl’s new EP, Motifs. Seemingly disembodied hands hit drum machines, tap synthesizers, and twist knobs, revealing the origin of each distinct sound in the track.
"Usually it was the Western music they wanted to copy," Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Joseph Stalin’s successor as the U.S.S.R.’s General Secretary explained to NPR. "Before the tape recorders they used the X-ray film of bones and recorded music on the bones, bone music."
It’s easy to imagine that some days Damon Albarn and Jack White wake up in the morning unsure of what band their in that day and what’s even happening anymore. Perhaps that’s because the former lead singers of Blur and The White Stripes are off-and-on engaged in at least four or five other bands between the two of them. (They also both have new solo records just out.) This kind of creative multitasking is not exclusive to these two dynamos of the rock worlds by any means. It would make your head spin to sort out all the different bands that certain musicians have been in over the years. Luckily, someone has already done it for you.