Ever think about what music “looks” like? Many songwriters talk about visualizing the shape of their songs. Frank Zappa used to “draw” his music when he composed, visually represent it through arcs and blobs and stretching blips. Martin Wattenberg, as he states on his site “created a visualization method called an arc diagram that highlighted repeated sections of music–or of any sequence–with translucent arcs.” COOL.
The above diagram represents Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Autumn. You can listen to it here.
Of course, as someone who is discovering music (theory, performance, composition and really why I like the shit I like) all over again as an adult, this, I imagine, is how an eleven year old boy feels like when he opens a certain drawer in his father’s dresser while home alone for the first time. It also may be helpful to express my musical ecstasy by providing you with a visual of the guy who introduced me to Wattenberg’s work. My piano teacher, Mike Effenberger:
I mean, look at the dude. He’s obviously a mad genius. (Photo by Enna Grazier at a PMAC fundraising event – p.s. PMAC is AMESOME).
He also happens to be the perfect fit for me as a teacher. Proof being that he knew how much of a visual person I am and that, to make the connection between the seeing and hearing world would be a huge turning point for me as a student, artist and not to get too dramatic here (but it is So. True.) a better fucking human being. If you like smart experimentation rooted in supreme knowledge and curiosity, you should check out one of the 80 projects Mike is a part of. It’ll change how you see and hear the world.
So, I found this post on Booooooom last week and I couldn’t stop thinking about it or singing it in my head. I took a look at the comments and a lot of people remarked that this whole vocal loop thing is old, old news – which is true. I’ve even experimented with a loop and drum machine once. It was in college. Whatever.
In case this isn’t old news to you, here are a bunch of really great contenders mainly from the Roland Loop Station festival (which is a big deal in most places outside of the US. Just like soccer. Or football). However, the artists below may be proud prize winners but I still think they pale in comparison to Kawehi’s brilliance in song choice and straight sweetly vocaled finesse. See, she made the song even better than the original.
I love finding good designers working on products you never imagine will get a facelift. Beyond the vintage ones (Shout out to my Russian Big Muff pedal), guitar pedals generally either look boring or like an Ed Hardy t-shirt exploded. Eric van den Boom jazzed up (see what I did there?) these pedals by DrNo Effects and the results are awesome. I mean, why the hell should pedals be boring?