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
Mad 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.
ZPG – Conjunx Endura
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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:
This recording is released under a non-commercial, no-derivatives Creative Commons Licence.