Threat Detection – Episode 23 – A.I. in Games (Part 2)

ellie in last of us

What’s Threat Detection?

Threat Detection is a lively, smart, frequently funny and always irreverent videogame chat show on Radiomade.ie. Each week, hosts Gareth Stack & James Van De Waal take an hour or two to tear apart a videogame topic, like character, horror, or sex.

Threat Detection Video Game Show - Episode 23 - 08/07/14 - Artificial Intelligence in Games (Part 2) by Radiomade on Mixcloud

Download: Threat Detection – Episode 23

In the second part of our A.I. in games double bill, we focus on the companion character of ‘Ellie’ in ‘The Last Of Us’, perhaps the greatest accomplishment in videogame A.I.

Culture File – ‘The Mentalist’

I can’t quite believe it, they let me do it again! Recently the producers of Lyric FM’s daily culture programme ‘Culture File‘ took an interest in my documentary series Mad Scientists of Music, asking me to adapt a report on brilliant Northern Irish chiptune musician Chipzel for their show.

Last week they commissioned me to meet Irish mentalist Shane Gillen. Shane’s new show, which brilliantly combines stagecraft and magic is currently on in Smock Alley. Rather unbelievably, they allowed me to make this bonkers report about Shane and his journey into ‘mentalism’. I’m seriously amazed this went out on RTE radio. I actually got a call from a close friend right after it broadcast to tell me I’m crazy. Victory!

Shane’s show ‘Lapse‘ is running until July 12th, tickets here. I’d heartily recommend it.

The music used in this piece is all stolen / adapted from Simon Kenny’s brilliant Bitwise Operator release ‘Translation’. You can download the whole EP for free from bandcamp. Simon is also the creator of the incredible sound synthesiser ‘Oscar‘ , coming soon to iPad / Android, featured in the final episode of Mad Scientists.

Mad Scientists of Music – Episode 6 – Postcards from the Edge

Download:
Episode 6 – ‘Postcards from the Edge

Mad Scientists of Music – Episode 6 – Postcards from the Edge

The final episode of the series looks at the future of Irish experimental music. We find out how techniques like ‘Live Coding’ (where computer programming during a concert, creates the music and visuals in real time), ‘Geocached Music’ (intrepid explorers following clues to discover hidden caches of music in the real world), and new interfaces like ‘Leap motion’ (which tracks users hands as they move through space) will change how audiences can interact with the music. This episode ties together the threads of the series, and offers a glimpse into the future of music, technology and creative collaboration.

Part 1 – Geocaching with Ewan Hennelly

Irish electronic musician Ewan Hennelly, formerly HERV, now known as ZPG, has combined his love of hiking and electronic music in an unexpected way. Climbing the hills and valleys of the South Downs, Ewan takes part in geocaching. Tracking down geocaches (tiny boxes for marked on an online map) with his GPS, Ewan leaves tapes of his experimental music for curious travellers to encounter.

Part 2 – Simon Kenny’s Inventions

Simon Kenny (Bitwise Operator) is a musician and inventor. He takes us on a whirlwind tour of his software experiments, working with a variety of groups like Galway Autism Project. Simon also shows off his cutting edge software synthesiser ‘Oscar‘.

Part 3 – Andrew Edgar’s Weather Machine

Andrew Edgar of Gamepak Collective has a dream. He wants to build a new kind of instrument, a ‘terrarium’ that can be teased into sonic life by musicians ‘like Gods of yore’.

Part 4 – Ed Devane’s Binaural Recordings

Electroacoustic musician Ed Devane has been experimenting with binaural recordings: Sending these hypnotic microphones out to vocalists all over the world. The results are beautiful and dreamlike.

Part 5 – Sebastian Heinz of Patchblocks

Patchblocks are a new invention, successfully kickstarted by Belfast based, German born Sebastian Heinz. Part synth, part midi instrument, they can be used alone or as a programmable effects pedal; with a huge library of community effects to download.

Epilogue – Success in music

Niamh De Barra and Roger Gregg talk about succeeding as an artist in the twenty first century.

About the Series

BAI logo mark colourMad Scientists of Music is a six part, BAI funded documentary series on Near FM. The show explores the world of Circuit Bending, Chip Tune, and Electroacoustic music in Ireland. Low cost technology, recycled instruments and a new attitude to tinkering embodied by the ‘maker movement’ are helping to reinvent music. A new generation of Irish musicians raised around computers, the internet and video gaming, see noise as something to be hacked, taken apart, and reconstructed. These artists build their own instruments, whether by recycling toy keyboards, modifying video game consoles, or attaching electronics to traditional stringed instruments. They often share their music online for free, and in doing so challenge our ideas about copyright and ownership. Their playful attitude to technology finds new uses for obsolete devices and brings the collaboration of musicianship to engineering and the arts.

Tracks Used

ZPG – Conjunx Endura
ZPG – Slow Cell
HERV – It’s OK I’m a collage
Oscar, Leap Motion Demo, Graphic Score Cam – Sounds and music courtesy of Simon Kenny / Surface Tension
Patchblocks – Sounds and music courtesy of Patchblocks. Including patch blocks demo track by Box Cutter
Weather machine – Includes the following creative commons sounds:

  • S: FishTank Bubbles.wav by skeetdawg | License: Sampling+
  • S: fish.tank_trickle.mp3 by dobroide | License: Attribution
  • S: wind3.wav by eliasheuninck | License: Creative Commons 0
  • S: spray_bottle.wav by stephendemaria | License: Attribution
  • S: Rain_06.wav by Q.K. | License: Creative Commons 0
  • S: Dolphin screaming underwater in Caribbean Sea (Mexico) by felix.blume | License: Creative Commons 0
  • S: kilauea-lava-01.wav by e__ | License: Attribution
  • S: Atari-Volcano-Erupting.mp3 by rambut | License: Attribution
  • S: Monks of Punakha Dzong.wav by RTB45 | License: Attribution
  • S: hair dryer.wav by Tomlija | License: Attribution
  • S: Storm200408.mp3 by csengeri | License: Attribution
  • This recording is released under a non-commercial, no-derivatives Creative Commons Licence.

    Threat Detection – Episode 22 – Gaming A.I. (Part 1)

    lucy grand

    What’s Threat Detection?

    Threat Detection is a lively, smart, frequently funny and always irreverent videogame chat show on Radiomade.ie. Each week, hosts Gareth Stack & James Van De Waal take an hour or two to tear apart a videogame topic, like character, horror, or sex.

    Threat Detection Video Game Show - Episode 22 - 01/07/14 by Radiomade on Mixcloud

    Download: Threat Detection – Episode 22

    Continue reading

    Culture File Report on Chiptune

    Chuffed to be able to present my first piece for RTE Lyric FM’s ‘Culture File‘ programme. It’s a short on Chipzel, the Chiptune artist profiled in Episode 2 of Mad Scientists of Music. The piece features much of the same material from that report, but presented in a more straightforward way, which was an interesting challenge. I grew up religiously listening to the incredible BBC Radio 4 arts programme Kaleidoscope, and Luke Clancy’s Culture File is a sort of modern day descendent of that show.

    The Wager – Chapter 2 – ‘Two Visits, Two Mistakes’

    small grand


    Download: Chapter 2

    I was almost honoured to be approached by Skellig Historical Society after reading the first chapter of great grandfather’s once notorious, now sadly novel. As you are perhaps aware, great grandfather was one of Skellig’s most generous benefactors, having been fascinated all his life by the history and unique culture of islands.

    Leman Bodley, former chair of the society, told me a great anecdote about great granddads’s lewd performance at the bicentennial of the sinking of Hollands Melvaart, which of course I can’t share for legal reasons. Buy me a dozen quarts of the black stuff and perhaps you’ll wet it out of me.

    In any case, the surviving members of the society are all interred together in a retirement community near Clara Lara, and seemed to greatly enjoy the last excerpt, as far as their carers could discern. It seemed only right to give them another slice of history, as they have room enough remaining for only one or two before joining it themselves.

    Music Concerto in E flat major Op.30; G minor Op.12, by Antonio Vivaldi, recorded from Grandfather’s phonograph.

    Image: Photograph of great grandfather having a grand old time, from the family archives. Courtesy Skellig Historical Society, circa 1911

    Mad Scientists of Music – Episode 5 – The Instrument of the Law

    Download:
    Episode 5 – ‘The Instrument of the Law

    Episode 5 – The Instrument of the Law

    This episode looks at how innovative new ways of making and distributing music are coming into conflict with our legal system. Some argue that copyright and patent laws, created to encourage innovation, are no longer in touch with how artists remix and reinterpret our cultural landscape.

    Part 1 – Piracy

    We learn about copyright law, the ‘copy left’ movement and new licensing schemes like Creative Commons. Eoin O’Dell corrects some common copyright misapprehensions, Ed Devane and Simon Kenny discuss their experiences having their music pirated. Niamh Houston (Chipzel) discusses how small Chiptune artists are challenged by ubiquitous piracy and major label plagiarism alike.

    Part 2 – Sampling

    Ewan Hennelly and Meljoann talk about the culture of sharing. MarQu and Meljoann describe about how ready access to the internet enabled them to learn techniques and exposed them to niche scenes that would have been unavailable historically; and how our always on, connected society is reshaping music. MarQu VR discusses the endemic and transformative use of samples in VJing and parody.

    Part 3 – Illegal Art

    Karakara (Kieran Dold) and Siam Collective (John Leech) discuss the idea of remixing as a crime and illegal art as a wilfully provocative act.

    Featured Interviewees:

    Eoin O’Dell, Colm Olwill (DJ PCP), Seb & Emma of Deathness Injection, Niamh De Barra, Simon Kenny (aka Bitwise Operator), Ed Devane, Meljoann, Ewan Hennelly (also known as HERV / ZPG), MarQu VR, Andrew Edgar, Kieran Dold (Karakara), Niamh Houston (Chipzel), John Leech (Siam Collective).

    About the Series

    BAI logo mark colourMad Scientists of Music is a six part, BAI funded documentary series on Near FM. The show explores the world of Circuit Bending, Chip Tune, and Electroacoustic music in Ireland. Low cost technology, recycled instruments and a new attitude to tinkering embodied by the ‘maker movement’ are helping to reinvent music. A new generation of Irish musicians raised around computers, the internet and video gaming, see noise as something to be hacked, taken apart, and reconstructed. These artists build their own instruments, whether by recycling toy keyboards, modifying video game consoles, or attaching electronics to traditional stringed instruments. They often share their music online for free, and in doing so challenge our ideas about copyright and ownership. Their playful attitude to technology finds new uses for obsolete devices and brings the collaboration of musicianship to engineering and the arts.

    Tracks used

    Chipzel – Only Human Foilverb Remix (RoughSketch)
    Karakara – Illeagle – Thesis Song
    Karakara – Illeagle – You called it that
    Karakara – Illeagle – God only knows
    Karakara – Illeagle – Really
    Karakara – Illeagle – In Light of your misleading

    Lobat – my little droid needs a hand
    Covox – Sunday – handheld electropop

    Siam Collective – Melatronic Mission (unreleased rough mix)
    Siam Collective – Meatloaf Madness (unreleased rough mix)
    Siam Collective – Simpson Chemical (unreleased rough mix)