Cool December winds are blowing and I am warmed by the beautiful music flowing all over. So what do we have for this week? A lot actually. There is a jumble of ideas and sounds but I will just pick a few to make it coherent. I just had a terrific time listening to Danny Coleman’s Rock on Radio with the gang tuning in. We had a great time chatting. I will post a picture here to give you an example -even my typos which I am NOT ashamed of hahahaha.
So let’s start the ball rolling.
Benny Pedersen a.k.a. B3nny
Always so pleased to be updated with the works of Benny Pedersen who recorded this performance as a front act for Mike Sheridan. Benny is in the process of further improving the musical project he is doing.
Scottish musician Dave Martin created this amazing dance track. He also plays the bodhran, drums and other instruments for The Big Fat Eclectic Ceilidh. Now Dave stands alone on this one showing his prowess for great melodies and big beats.
Been following the music career of New York based actress/singer/songwriter Tiger Darrow. Normally she plays the cello and piano but this one she stands all by herself with her Aimee Mann inspired vocals.
Canadian artist Sacha Talens is going to release his debut LP this January. He is busy recording additional tracks for a possible b-sides and also doing production work and mixing for other artists. This one is a song about sex and feet-only when taken literally 😉
And this video merits an attention:
French rapper based in Reading England has released an EP called RED IS NOT DEAD. What to expect? Awesome beats, eccentric instrumental arrangement and French vocals. Don’t worry if you don’t understand French. His performance is hypnotic that will get you into the mood. He also contributes his talent to Celtic Punk/Ska band Will Tun and the Wasters which is a regular in my Celtic music blog. MC is emerging as an artist giving something new to the hip hop scene!
Also in this edition: Picture of the day and Aphex Twin
Danish electronic composer merges visuals and music, with dada poetry.
A great middle of the week wish for you dear readers! I am in the middle of chronicling the musical lives of interesting artists that you are now starting to hear when you go to this site. It is important to me to be in depth when I write something about a musician because it can be a meditative work and also an engaging one. They put many hours on the task to bring out an interesting kind of music. This isn’t something you hear every day.
It’s been a few weeks since I posted something about Danish electronic composer B3nny. These days it’s hard to catch up with him because he is very preoccupied with the project he is doing. But he left a lot of musical materials for me to explore.
One of the compositions he just made is this audio version of the dada poem called “Ursonate” by Kurt Schwitters. The poem doesn’t make sense..well it is not supposed to make sense anyway! It’s Dada. What he did was this: he recorded a few readings of the Ursonate and then edited it into an audiomovie. He stated: “The development goes from chaotic to relatively structured and back again …sort of like the development of sounds and noises surrounding humans since the beginning”. Here is the link to that composition: http://remix.emix.dk/files/bennybomstaerk/721
He is also in the middle of working on an Open GL project. This is one of the graphics/music he mastering in the course of a few years. This is also a part of his artistic development. Other artists would just be contented doing music. This man has a LOT of things in his mind and he has new ideas coming up. I saw a sound animation he made where the cubes explode. I think it is fascinating to create something like a computer game only that it is Art. It is still in its early stages and B3nny feels that it is too soon to upload it anywhere on the net:
“ Well opengl means open Graphics Library and its made to draw those boxes or cubes in the video. This file I sent you is graphics and music because the cubes react to music…because I made them do that. Those percussive sounds make the cubes “explode.”And accentuation in the mid-range changes the camera position, and acceleration in the treble range changes the lens angle. I still think it’s pretty basic but I am just getting into it. Hopefully I will be able to make a cool display for the music.”
To give you an idea of something he already did, here is the link to a visual/music project he created using java script. You need to wait a bit to let the browser complete the loading process. There is a ‘start’ icon that you need to click and you will see it:
In this edition: Erotic Market ,Whodoes album review, B3nny(past recordings) and Sacha Talens.
Write about what you know. More writers fail because they try to write about things they don’t know than for any other reason.
—William S. Burroughs, “A Review of the Reviewers”
Album Review: Dolphins in the Sky by Whodoes
Dolphins in the Sky is an ambient album composed of 11 instrumental tracks that soar (and swim). The project is composed/performed and recorded by Greek musician Vasilis Chountas (under the moniker Whodoes) who spent ample time mastering the craft of expanding the sound of the guitar using multi-effects pedals, and convert it into other musical instruments.
The album is divided into two parts. It is space music sans the percussion in the first half. The tracks have this maritime feel hence the theme of the album. It is more like urban meets nature kind of concept. I usually play the album and let the time pass by watching the ceiling oblivious to the comings and goings of the world outside. This is the recording you’d want if you are avoiding the intrusion of songs with lyrics. He doesn’t make ‘sweet’ tunes. These are the kind that you hear being played in TV shows when cars or trains depart under the rain. They maintain that balance between sci-fi and the realistic. More like Blade Runner by Vangelis with faint traces of Pink Floyd.
5PM is probably one of the standout tracks in the first half of the album with its gradual change of chords and build up of instrumentation. The cello-like sound you hear all over is due to the use of a violin bow over guitar strings. The tracks gradually build up into pulsing beats with occasional striking guitar wails. There are times you hear sounds of the ocean like in track 5 called “Waves.” Vasilis did this sparingly as rhythmic beats and gossamer layers of instruments are given more emphasis. “Why” Has an ethnic feel to it. This is one of his compositions that is very Greek emphasizing on ancient scales.
There are surprises here. It starts with track 9 called “Looking Around” with its radio friendly beats and melodies. Track ten has a near industrial rock feel but still wrapped in the atmosphere that is all over the album. Whodoes will appeal to collectors of instrumental music for its Greek spirit and also for the ecological sounds in the recording. Dolphins in the Sky is an album that has the digital spirit of the future encoded into the protoplasm of ancient music that sloshes, pulses and breath new life into new ears. The album is produced by Kostantinos Yiotas. He also did exclusive mixing for the tracks Looking Around, Drop in the Ocean and Intro.
I am chronicling the work of Danish artist b3nny who goes by a lot of monikers including Benny Bomstærk. His real name is actually Benny Bondesgaard Pedersen. He is still wired after The Festival of Good Music this September 28. Since I am given access to his chest of compositions dating back to as early as 2004, I am taking the liberty of introducing them to you. He has other projects in soundcloud: datamatician, my potential of Hydrogen and faux pas pire.
He mentioned that maybe he should do a new soundcloud page for those… He has 3 generations (both in the generator sense, and in the evolutionary sense), and maybe it would be nice with some sort of audible history of how it evolves. A few days ago he stumbled upon a collection of lyrics he’d written as well as drawings he scribbled. I am curious about the next direction for his work.
B3nny’s work is influenced by composers like John Cage and Morton Feldman or the so-called proponents of Indeterminacy. He mixes them with sketches taken from Math rock, prog rock and space music. What you get is a crazy salad of musical ideas.
He has been drumming since the age of 7. This one has actual drumming.
Thule Nebula is something he is really proud of. I think it is amazing as well!
I am reminded of Aphex Twin. This is one of his cooler chillout tracks.
Erotic Market – Rumblin (Official Video)
Talk about a stylish video geared towards those with 60s fetish. The erratic percussion and unique melodies can be quite erotic at times. Check them out and decide of you think they make erotic music or not.
I just receive the news that the album by Sacha Talens might not be released on its scheduled date which is the middle of October. He said “Actually BMG are trying to push the release date and change the album title so it MIGHT not be released on October 15th, or be called Zazaza bummer! but, business is business.”
I have the feeling that this is probably for the best. After all the songs have potential to appeal to a wide array of listeners. So careful planning and promotion are still needed.
By the way…
I think I capitalize on emotions because people like me can’t write when we aren’t emotional about certain issues. There is however the danger that too much emotional exploration can lead you somewhere dark and scary. Especially when you are the type who locks himself in his bedroom for hours every day while wrestling with personal demons. Others could not hear your struggle since you turn the volume of your music up.
I am starting to go out these days. I apologize to my readers if my blogs have gotten a bit personal and has taken the light away from the topics I am posting about. But do know that everything is connected. Like I said I can only write when I feel passionate about certain issues. In this case, music since that is what I am passionate about. But I also advocate things that I consider important. I might not be too vocal about them in this blog but people in my networks especially in facebook know all about them.
In my previous article ‘Looking for the light of the world” I mentioned about the state where someone took the plug out. That is such an awful feeling. I am sure you will agree especially if you have just come out of a really destructive romantic relationship. Or the betrayal of friends whom you want to mark for life and wish they undergo a horrible disease and suffer excruciating pain before they die. Sweet 😀 People like us usually take what we can. And let things happen when they come along. Beggars can’t be choosers.
This edition is both about looking back and at the same time looking forward to the future. We have no choice when fate takes people we love away from us. All we can say in the end is: I guess that’s how it should end. But this isn’t the end. There will be days of overwhelming anger and pain. There will be days of confusion. I don’t have advice for that. But I think we just have to take what we can.
Introducing: MY.COSMO feat. Paula, Benny Bomstærk and so much more!
I am drawn to the Sciences. I dig people who are well-informed about Astronomy, Computers and Physics. Math is the language of music. Everything in the universe follows a pattern…
Sometimes when I really get inspired when I talk with someone for hours. It is also a part when talking about ideas with someone gives me good vibrations and it makes me really want to write about wild things. These days I have been a little reclusive but I have emails from interesting people and music to keep me company. I am open to anything worth talking about even things that might be considered taboo. I don’t moralize. I don’t think I am morally upright or the correct representation of humanity but I am human more or less 😀 And now for nice tracks:
Sacha and Paula worked on this track which was featured here before. It is great to see it uploaded in youtube. Youtube is one medium that makes music easy to share.
If you stay for just a day in Benny’s apartment I am sure you would be spending most of your time listening to sounds that could have been from outer space. I had a treat today. We hooked up using skype and he let me listened to the Arp Project he is developing. His concept is to translate sounds of people in chat rooms into something that approaches indeterminate music. To explain clearly, think about wind chimes that make music when the wind blows through them. Well, his project is similar to that only this time the ‘wind’ is created by human activity in cyberspace. You hear beeps and pads with ambient lacing brought about by the programmed representations of each event: kicks, quits, someone going online and a lot more.
My workspace now sounds like it has been visited by other worldly beings because of the sound coming from skype transmitting the sound of his work station. It is a fascinating sound that teeters between relaxing and unsettling. The project is at its first stage but it has a big future. He is still doing tweaks and pondering on additional things he could do. This is the sound of nature in cyberspace-people communicating-the sound of humanity.
Benny’s favorite composers:
Morton Feldman (January 12, 1926 – September 3, 1987)
One day I decided to listen to his favorite composers and picked a track. I started with Rothko Chapel. We started talking and it was surprise he was also listening to the same track. What a coincidence. Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music along with John Cage and other composers of the 20th century. The music is described as : rhythms that seem to be free and floating; pitch shadings that seem softly unfocused; a generally quiet and slowly evolving music; recurring asymmetric patterns.
John Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992)
I think the concept of John Cage about listening to other sounds is fascinating. This piece shows one that there are so many things one can hear when he really listens.
Upon Recommendation by Thomas Halstay
Thomas is into Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. He introduced me to the idea of Fractals like the beauty of the triangle and carpet of Wacław Sierpiński . I think the idea of achieving harmony through mathematical equations is such a fascinating idea that governs everything in the universe including the snow flakes. The two videos he sent me proved his point.
Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong
This video gave me goosebumps. People forget that the human voice is a fine instrument.
Most of the pictures are from Koyaanisqatsi (directed by Godfrey Reggio). The others are from Powaqqatsi (d.:Godfrey Reggio); Travel through galaxies from Contact (d.:Robert Zemeckis); Astro movies, time lapses:Stéphane Guisard; Nature time lapses:MockMoon; Pelican Nebula big zoom:Filipe Alves; Hubble Space Telescope Images; tornadoes from Space Rip Tv; volcanos from:John Seach; lightning from UltraSlo; One shot from Baraka (d.:Ron Fricke); Blus Storm Center.
In case I missed someone please write me.
A big thanks to all of Them! We really appreciate their work!-Andreas ‘benKa’ Benkoczi
Featuring: B3nny, Lee Tobin, Oxx and Dead Can Dance
New composition from B3nny and something about the upcoming “The Festival of Good Music.”
Arpeggio:The notes of a chord played in rapid succession, either ascending or descending. Origin: Italian, from arpeggiare ‘play the harp’, from arpa ‘harp’ Taken from Oxford Dictionaries Online.
B3nny(Benny Bomstærk) listened to a lot of Jean Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk while growing up. With an adequate dose of Liszt, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Morton Feldman and John Cage, what do you get? A kind of sophisticated style interspersed with his own self taught techniques which are hard to pigeonhole. Up the north in the Scandinavian nations where musicians tend to mix the interesting musical landscapes with the burgeoning new wave of electronic musicians, his sound sticks out like an array of northern lights is spastic movements.
“Regular irregularities” is the title of his new composition. His other works will be showcased in the upcoming music event called “The Festival of Good Music”. It will be held in the campus of the Southern Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Esbjerg Denmark. His group’s performance is under the subheading of Nordborg. The time will be 5:45 in the afternoon. Description: Electronic music, visuals, sound bites in the tension between crisp synth basses and magnificent events. Venue: The cafe and the concert hall of the conservatory. This concept was kind of blurry to me so I asked him to explain.
Here is a little Q & A :
B3nny: I guess you could call it electronic improvisation. So we have a rough idea of what we’re going to do, but to call it a composition would probably be a stretch. It’s more like a scaffold. Sphere Music: Hmmmm. So things happen as you go along.. is that it? B3nny: Well that, and we have some certain “modes” for lack of a better term; mood. Sphere Music: Ok B3nny: Like differing levels of tension, different expressions. Sphere Music: Is it like bringing a canvas with a rough sketch and then applying the colors later? B3nny: Right. And we paint the rough pic live. Sphere Music: I see … and that live thing becomes a group composition? B3nny: I guess you could say that. It becomes the composition when it’s played. Sphere Music: I see. So it is spontaneous. B3nny: To a degree. We have prepared some stuff obviously. So the preparation isn’t spontaneous.
Don’t miss it if you happen to be nearby. Here is the link site to the music event. The site has an English version. Please refer to the upper right portion that shows the British flag.
Café ØrstedChurch Street 61 Esbjerg
These days he is making more Arp music-he is doing a sequence programming with an arpeggiator. He calls it a generative sequencer, the thing he built. He has wild ideas like making music out of chat dialogues. Totally wild stuff in which he will expound in days to come. What he does gets totally self-indulging. He commented today that he was supposed to get groceries (he likes to bake bread as a hobby by the way) but didn’t realize the time until it’s almost four in the afternoon. His flat is a few blocks away from where he studies. Below are examples of his work in progress. The one on soundcloud is his recent composition. This is further supported by the two youtube videos below.
Improvised electronic music with most notes and beats triggered by max/live
There will be more from this musician so stay tuned!
Lee Tobin: Polyrhythms
If you can’t get enough or electronic music or chiptune related music then you better check out the notelable Ubiktune. This is where I discovered the music of Lee Tobin who is now part of the Undjentlemanly blog collective. Lee is pushing for the new mobile app he created called Polyrhythms. Here is the what he wrote the unDjentlemanly website:
What are they and why should you care? According to the New Harvard Dictionary of Music:
“Polyrhythm is the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms, that are not readily perceived as deriving from one another, or as simple manifestations of the same meter.”
The polyrhythm is visualised using the beat circle shown at the centre of the screen. This circle contains two types of beats. The beats are represented by coloured shapes placed along the circle’s circumference, and are colour coded green or blue. When the green beat is heard you tap the screen on the word “Green”, and likewise when the blue beat is heard, tap the word “Blue”. When you are happy you understand the polyrhythm you just stop tapping and the application will tell you how well you did.
Here is one video where Lee plays the guitar with Irish Jazz band Fuzzy Logic Ensemble.
Fuzzy Logic Ensemble is probably the most ambitious jazz group currently based in Ireland. With 10 of the finest young Jazz and Classical artists from Ireland and England coming together to perform the music of composer Dylan Rynhart. Since it was formed in 2002, this hard working group that has developed a style of their own, setting them apart from most Jazz bands with the flexibility and sonority of their unique instrumentation, and the orchestral harmony and rhythmic Balkan influence obvious in their music.
Sue Brady voice
Bill Blackmore trumpet
Cathal Roche soprano sax
Nick Roth alto sax
Brian Wynne tenor sax
Kate Ellis cello
Derek Whyte bass
Dylan Rynhart hammond organ
Lee Tobin guitar
Phil MacMullan drums
Oxx is an Experimental Thrash/Metal/Mathcored Power Trio based in Aerhouse which is the second largest city in Denmark(Copenhagen being the first). What I find exceptional about the band personally is the use of a baritone saxophone which sometimes acts as a bass. You couldn’t really tell it at first unless you listen again and if someone who knows the band tells you about it. B3nny whom I wrote about up
Oxx At Musikhuset Aarhus.
there is a friend of the saxophonist. He’s the one who sent me a link to the band’s bandcamp site. Things like this changes your perception about music. I jokingly told him that instruments do get typecast issues the way actors do. I mean there are instruments that are expected to play just certain kinds of music. Saxophone is associated with Jazz while bagpipes with Celtic music. These days the line has been skewed and you get more and more musicians doing unconventional things. Oxx is one of these new wave of Danish bands creating fresh approach to music. Have a listen and spread the word around.
Dead Can Dance-Opium
Here is a video taken from their American tour:
Return of the She-King is actually the second to the last song of their new album Anastasis. If I am not mistaken this song is in reference to the life of Grace O’Malley the Irish pirate Queen. Ok I just checked and yes it is true. Here is a link to the Brendan Perry forum where it is discussed: http://forum.brendan-perry.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1048&page=1
I am one of those who signed up for a Dead Can Dance newsletter so I also get freebies once in a while. This time I got a radio edit of their new single Opium plus an accompanying video. I recognize this as taken from the venue of their previous concert.