24 July 2008

Black Sweater, White Cat finds cool music

I have to admit, that I'm not entirely immune to flattery. So when a rather tongue-in-cheek remix of mine was featured on a blog external to ccMixter, I just had to find out who was crazy enough to do that. It turns out, that I'm now deeply humbled by what I found:

Black Sweater, White Cat by Biotic is "the home of the One-a-Day Project. BSWC puts a focus on Creative Commons or copyleft music from around the internet and the world. Playlists, podcast feed, links, topical posts, random thoughts."

There's a great playlist, which you can also easily incorporate into your own blog and it includes wonderful little blurbs about the various included pieces. While a good portion of the recent music (as of this writing) is from the general electronica neighborhood, it's by no means the only genre represented in the collection. A great place to go hunting for interesting (and imho very good) contemporary music off the beaten RIAA path.

The blog originally started as a companion to a radio program of the same name, and there are quite a number of archived episodes to give you a flavor of what some lucky listeners in the right areas of Massachusetts and Alaska got to experience on those special Saturdays.

While posting this, I've been listening to the program recorded on the 7th of April 2007. If more on air radio was like this, I'd still be listening all the time!

17 July 2008

The Perfect Sound

Today I realized, that my blog has not had any entries with a tag of "humor" in over a year of blog entries. Shame on me, and the frighteningly brilliant Randall Munroe, the creator of the amazing and creative commons licensed "webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language" xkcd to the rescue:

Oh, what a pity, can't you understand . . .
p.s. For those not entirely familiar with 1982 popular culture, this may help to explain it.

13 July 2008

Creative Commons License Compatibility

I just happened to be exposed to the question of creative commons license compatibility in a couple of different contexts. It isn't entirely trivial, but anyone who has done meaningful research into licensing will know, that overall copyright law and resulting licensing requirements are complex, tedious and mostly still highly jurisdictional (country by country differences), to say the least.

The Creative Commons licensing approach has been of immeasurable help to give non-lawyers a fighting chance to share and license some of their works without having to give up all ownership control over those works. Another huge benefit of standardizing some licenses, is the possibility to create derivative works, remixes and mashups, which would be otherwise entirely impractical, because every derived work author would have to contact and strike individual deals with every individual owner (or license management organization) of a previous generation work, which has been used to create the new work.

However the Creative Commons licensing approach deals (at least so far) only with non commercial licensing. This is still a very big deal, because it allows sharing, dissemination, remixing in non-commercial contexts.

But still, not all creative commons licenses are compatible - simply speaking that is, because the owners of the works using the licenses have different objectives in mind. Wishing that away is in my opinion a bit naive or a bit too militant, so I'm not one to advocate total uniformity in licensing. That would be as bad as total uniformity in languages, dress, operating systems, search engines or blogs :-)

So for those who are remixing, deriving and mashing up like I do, generally with creative commons licensed materials, here is a key page you will want to bookmark: A creativecommons.org blog entry pointing to two CC license compatibility charts. One is an interactive tool from the CC in Taiwan, the other is a text link to a chart in the creative commons FAQ.

11 July 2008

David Byrne is Playing The Building

David Byrne - Playing the BuildingNew Yorkers have a real treat in their city this summer:

Playing the Building: An Installation by David Byrne

"Playing the building, a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations are of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument."

That sure puts my synthesizers to shame! :-) Thanks to essesq for finding this!

02 July 2008

International Music Score Library Project back on the air

Some wonderful news in the open music world: The International Music Score Library Project, which had been forced shut down under legal threats in October of 2007, has just re-opened.

IMSLP attempts to create a virtual library containing all public domain musical scores, as well as scores from composers who are willing to share their music with the world without charge.