Music

Hacker Musician Turns E-Waste Into an Awesome Instrument

Read the full story in Wired.

We tend to think of musical instruments in fixed terms: that’s a guitar, this is a saxophone, that’s a synthesizer. Colten Jackson, however, plays an instrument that’s hard to classify. The Illinois musician hacked together what he calls the Hard Rock Guitar out of e-waste: six obsolete hard drives, and an old keyboard number pad, powered by an Arduino board. At Jackson’s command, it emits a range of synthy, ambient tones. If he wants to change the notes or scales, he need only tinker with the software. “Instruments are this free-form art; they just have to make sound,” he says. “Whatever you start with, whether it’s garbage or e-waste, it lends itself to something.”

Call for Papers: Ecomusicologies 2014: Dialogues

Call for Papers
 
 
4-5 October 2014
University of North Carolina at Asheville (USA)
 
Deadline for proposals: 14 May 2014
Ecomusicologies 2014: Dialogues will bring together artists and scholars to stimulate discussion on music, culture, and the environment. The conference is part of the multi-day event series, “Ecomusics” (3-7 October 2014), which will include concerts, soundwalks, workshops, and outings (e.g., field trips to the Moog Factory, Black Mountain College, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park). Not only do the fall colors of October in the Appalachian Mountains make Asheville, North Carolina, an ideal place to be, but its history also makes it an ideal gathering spot for a conference on ecomusicology: it is where Bartok composed his Piano Concerto No. 3, where John Cage conducted happenings, and where Buckminster Fuller created his geodesic dome. If you would like to participate in the conference but would prefer not to travel for environmental or other reasons, you will have the option to participate as presenter or audience member via the Internet.
The conference theme, “Dialogues”, aims to foster common ground, where participants representing diverse backgrounds (academic, artistic, industry, non-profit, et al.) can learn about and exchange ideas on ecomusics. In addition to general ecomusicology topics, the conference committee encourages submissions that respond, but are not limited, to the following topic fields:
  • Musical collaboration (in, for, or with the environment)
  • Improvisation (human and non-human)
  • The music industry
  • The sound of “green”
  • Acoustic ecology
  • Ecopoetics and sound
  • Race, class, gender
  • Sustainability
  • Musician/academic-as-activist
Scholars from any academic field are invited to submit proposals to present in a variety of formats, including:
  • Panels (3 to 5 participants, 30-90 minutes),
  • Papers (20 or 30 minutes),
  • Posters (electronic or paper format), and
  • Alternative formats (performance, film, installation, lecture demonstration, etc.).
An author may submit up to two proposals (on related or separate topics).

More info is available at: http://www.ecomusicologies.org/

 

A Song of Our Warming Planet

Read the full post and watch the video at Ensia.

When faced with the challenge of sharing the latest climate change discoveries, scientists often rely on data graphics and technical illustrations. University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford came up with a completely different approach. He’s using his cello to communicate the latest climate science through music.

Music gives attention to environment issues

Read the full story at Fourth Estate.

UW-Green Bay students and faculty joined in efforts to enforce daily environmentally friendly practices. Compartmentalized garbage bins, hydration stations and a charge for plastic bags at the Corner Store are just a couple of things being done to promote a green campus.

At the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts March 1, the UWGB Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble showed their support for the environmentally conscious curriculum. UWGB Director of Bands, Kevin Collins, conducted a performance that not only displayed musical talent, but it embodied the concept of keeping the environment unpolluted.

The creative theme for the concert was “Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.” It made connections with the university’s environmental viewpoints and recycled old music to new.

Sustainability: The Journal of Record Call for Papers on the Creative Arts in Sustainability Programs

Manuscript Deadline: March 22, 2013

“Art is the principal way in which the human mind has tried to remake the world in a way that makes sense.” —J.G. Ballard

Sustainability: The Journal of Record is looking for research-based manuscripts, case studies, and commentaries on how creative arts are being used in sustainability programs within academia and the private sector.

In order to achieve the goals of the sustainability framework—while sparking activism and cultural change—many programs are turning to the creative arts. Sustainability: The Journal of Record, the premier journal and central forum on sustainability issues, is seeking submissions on this important topic.

We welcome submissions from professors, administrators, faculty, and students; from advocates, partners, and policymakers at the local, state, and national level; and from private sector partners working in a creative art medium to support sustainability programs and goals.

Items to consider:

  • Research/survey-based articles for peer review
  • Case studies and program profiles on creative arts-focused initiatives within the sustainability framework
  • Commentaries on the topic
  • High-resolution photographs are welcome

For more information on manuscript submission, see our Author’s page and to view a free sample issue, visit our website and click on Sample Content.

For questions, thoughts, or for further information, contact us via e-mail at sustainability@liebertpub.com

We look forward to receiving your manuscripts and to your active participation in the Journal.

Advantages of submitting to Sustainability: The Journal of Record
Rapid peer review • Fast track article publication • Open access options • Readership in over 140 countries • Outstanding editorial board and reputation of journal • In Collaboration with AASHE • Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBiology; Scopus; Geobase; CAB Abstracts; Sustainability Science Abstracts; GreenFILE

Minnesota folk rocker/scholar studies environmental music, plays it too

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Folk rocker and scholar Mark Pedelty plays music to better understand how it influences environmental attitudes. The front man for the Minneapolis-based Hypoxic Punks, Pedelty explains the potential music has to inspire and motivate.

Energy efficiency personified

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

Every now and then I go off-piste here on SmartPlanet’s energy blog and bring you something slightly different – but still somehow energy related.

Today is Monday, the tulips and daffodils are in bloom, and for the last week couple of weeks I’ve been winding our heads around nuclear reactions, global tensions and rare earth minerals.

So this morning seems like the perfect occasion to take a little breather on the metaphorical side. Feast your eyes and ears on young Norwegian classical musician Tine Thing Helseth (pronounced tin-eh ting hel-set) as she cooly and flawlessly delivers Hummel’s high energy 1804 trumpet concerto in the video below.

Effortlessness personified. Effective wind power, I suppose. It’s the sort of energy-in and energy-out equation we need in modern electricity generation and in locomotion.

Apologies to anyone who thinks we’ve just, er, wasted our energy and used our time inefficiently with this slight diversion. We’ll be back to splitting atoms and that sort of thing by tomorrow.

Circuit of life: New Illinois law aims to boost electronic waste recycling

Read the full story at Medill Reports. The reporter interviewed a Chicago musician who uses e-waste to build homemade instruments.

Local electronic recycling businesses have been processing ever-larger numbers of computers, cell phones and other devices in recent years and a new state law that went into effect Jan. 1 will further propel their growth. The industry’s corporate clients will now be required to recycle a wider variety of products and will face harsher fines for noncompliance.

Rapidly growing sales of consumer electronics in the U.S. have produced equally swollen amounts of electronic waste. Americans purchased 440 million electronic devices, including computer hard drives, monitors and printers, in 2010, more than 500 times the number bought in 1990.