Monday, September 26, 2016

IBMA's World of Bluegrass returns to Raleigh

(IBMA/YouTube)

Raleigh will host the largest urban bluegrass festival in the world this week.

The International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass is an annual homecoming for the bluegrass music community. Taking place September 27 through October 1, it consists of three separate events: the IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards, and Wide Open Bluegrass. This is its fourth year in the Capital City.

In addition to the three main events, bluegrass-related shows and attractions can be found scattered throughout Raleigh all week. A mix of free and ticketed events are available for bluegrass players and fans to expand professional networks, learn the latest about industry practices, and discover new music.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How One Man Unlocked The Sound Of The Desert

Hear the sounds of prehistoric times. Architect Ammar Khammash made an instrument entirely from foraged flint stones from the deserts of Jordan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Liquid-Filled Vinyl Records Make Trippy Art, Music | The Creators Project

Image courtesy of Curtis Godino
 
The hype over plain wax is over. Vinyl can be made out of chocolate, or filled with blood, leaves, glitter, oils, human ashes, and even decorated with wax and hair. Usually aimed at hardcore collectors, these distinct records are frequently produced in limited batches and, with the collaboration of artists, can be shaped into any design and tailored to hold a range of materials. Recently artists have mastered a sealing technique that involves trapping liquids inside vinyl, allowing them to flow and spin as the record is playing. Take Mondo’s Aliens record, for example, filled with fluorescent yellow ‘Xenomorph blood,’ an imaginative retake on James Horner’s classic 1986 score and limited to only 75 copies.


 Image courtesy of Lissette Emma

Sunday, September 18, 2016

NAMM's Museum of Making Music Debuts New Casio Display


Display celebrates company's rich history of innovations in electronic music products
From left: Sandra Jordan, Education Consultant; Stephen Schmidt, Vice President of Casio's Electronic Musical Instruments Division; and Carolyn Grant, Executive Director of MoMM, attend the debut of the Spotlight on Casio display at NAMM's Museum of Making Music (MoMM). (Photo Credit: Tim Whitehouse)
CARLSBAD, Calif., Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, September 10, NAMM's Museum of Making Music (MoMM) celebrated the debut of Spotlight on Casio, the latest addition to the museum's many exhibits and musical instrument collections. Open now through January 29, 2017, the new display chronicles Casio's 35 years of electronic music product innovations and features notable instruments including its first keyboard, the Casiotone CT-201; the AZ-1 classic "keytar"; the popular Privia digital piano (PX-560); a full 88-key Grand Hybrid action sample; and its newest digital piano, the CELVIANO Grand Hybrid. In addition to the display, visitors will be able to play a Casio Privia PX-160 in the interactive area of the museum. 

The hands on playing experience, along with the robust display of 14 Casio electronic musical instruments, serves to connect the company's many innovations directly with the public. It's a connection that underscores the mission of the museum. "At the museum, we showcase the vibrant legacy of musical instruments and seek to connect our visitors through a hands-on approach," shared Carolyn Grant, MoMM's Executive Director. "We are excited to highlight Casio's important contributions to our industry and to share its history with our many guests."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hitmaker Max Martin, ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus Form 'Music Rights Awareness' Organization


Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Honoree Max Martin arrives at the 2016 ASCAP Pop Awards at the Dolby Ballroom at Dolby Theatre on April 27, 2016 in Hollywood, Calif.

Along with pop songwriter Niclas Molinder, the three founders aim to educate with a grassroots approach.

The international debate over creators' rights will soon have a new player, run by songwriters who understand it from the inside.

Swedish hitmaker Max Martin, ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus and pop songwriter Niclas Molinder are forming Music Rights Awareness, an organization that will work to educate musicians about their rights. Each will serve on the board of directors. Music Rights Awareness will work internationally, and its first project, Music Rights In Africa, will aim to educate songwriters in Rwanda, Malawi and Tanzania.

“It’s so important to spread this knowledge about what rights creators have,” Ulvaeus tells Billboard. Although many organizations advocate for songwriters and publishers, Music Rights Awareness will focus more on education, with a grassroots approach. “It’s so important that this is creator to creator,” adds Molinder.

Friday, September 16, 2016

UK Music Industry in Plea to Protect its Status During Brexit Negotiations

After music exports rose in 2015, trade group says politicians must take notice of economic and cultural contribution.

UK Music says popular artists such as Sam Smith help raise Britain’s profile around the world. Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The music industry has issued a plea to politicians to protect the UK’s status as one of the world’s biggest exporters of new music during negotiations to leave the EU.

New figures show UK music enjoyed another strong year for exports in 2015, prompting the industry’s main trade group to warn that politicians must recognise both its contribution to the economy and its power to raise Britain’s profile around the world thanks to the popularity of artists such as Adele and Sam Smith.

There was a surge in foreign sales of British music and in ticket sales to overseas residents for events in Britain in 2015, according to the umbrella group UK Music, which represents the commercial music industry, including artists, songwriters and record labels.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Story of the Banjo, A Comeback For The Ages


Music is changing at a breakneck speed in today’s modern culture. Spurred by new technology and increased access via the internet, new genres are popping up nearly every day. EDM has influenced the popular music sphere, rap has gone mainstream, and thumping bass seems to be creeping its way into all sorts of music. If someone just a few decades ago flipped through today’s radio channels, they would be utterly confused by the futuristic qualities of the music. However, if a denizen of perhaps the 1940’s or 50’s flipped to a modern alternative channel, they would recognize something very familiar: the loud twang of a banjo.

To understand the banjo, we must first look at its history. It started as an African folk instrument fashioned out of a hollow gourd and sticks. Slaves brought the instrument over to the America’s where it slowly evolved. These slaves taught their masters to play the banjo and soon the instrument caught on in the popular culture of the South. In the mid-19th century, minstrels brought banjo music on the vaudeville circuit, exposing it to the nation. Many Dixieland Jazz bands featured the banjo in their arrangements at the turn of the 20th century, furthering its exposure as the Jazz became a wild hit nationwide.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A New Digital Art Museum In Paris - What The Heck Is That?


In a city dedicated to beauty, style, and magnificent art, the arrival of a new kind of museum is sure to attract people, even the ones who would never set foot inside a traditional museum - they will go and see this one.
The concept is not new in France, a majestic cave in Provence has had digital shows for years, and the sheer splendor of the location has much to do with the exhilarating novelty of the viewing - as the Carrières des Lumières is located inside an old limestone quarry in a tiny village of France.
The gigantic tall walls of white stone are covered with vibrant images of such artists’ works as Matisse, Chagall and others. The grandiose view of such masterful paintings makes is almost overwhelming to walk the caves.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Amazon and Pandora to Gauge Music’s Value in the Internet Age

Luke Hemmings of the band 5 Seconds of Summer at the Pandora Summer Crush concert last month in Los Angeles.
How much are people willing to spend for streaming music?

For years, thanks to rigid pricing structures at streaming services, the answer has been stuck at $10 a month or nothing. But that model may soon be challenged by two giants of online media: Amazon and Pandora Media.

Both companies are set to introduce new versions of their streaming services in coming weeks, charging as little as $5 a month, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process was ongoing. The plans will put pressure on incumbent players like Spotify and Apple Music and offer the music industry a major test regarding the value of streaming music — including the crucial question of whether discounts will be enough to entice people to pay anything when virtually every song is also available free.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Have a Look Inside the Harley-Davidson Factory of the Yesteryear


In 1901, 20-year-old William S. Harley drew up plans for a small engine with a displacement of 7.07 cubic inches (116 cc) and four-inch (102 mm) flywheels. The engine was designed for use in a regular pedal-bicycle frame. Over the next two years, Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson worked on their motor-bicycle using the northside Milwaukee machine shop at the home of their friend, Henry Melk. It was finished in 1903 with the help of Arthur’s brother, Walter Davidson. Upon testing their power-cycle, Harley, and the Davidson brothers found it unable to climb the hills around Milwaukee without pedal assistance. They quickly wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment.