Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 56 (11.16.2012)

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 56 (11.16.2012)

Technology and the Arts – Episode 56 (11.16.2012) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangouts On AIr that Brian Kelley and John LeMasney conducted October 8, 2012. In this installment, we discuss NFC tags and their many potential uses, a Brian Eno-created music creation app for the iPad called Scape and a “lost” Steve Jobs speech from 1983 design conference held in Aspen, Colorado…and a whole lot more. File size: 13.5 MB. Time: 55 min., 20 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 55 (11.09.2012)

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 55 (11.09.2012)

Technology and the Arts – Episode 55 (11.09.2012) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangouts On AIr that John LeMasney and I conducted October 1, 2012. In this installment, John discusses Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads exhibit currently installed at Princeton University, as well a documentary about the artist-activist called “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.” Meanwhile, Brian talks about the interactive Open Air installation in Philadelphia that transformed recorded messages into searchlight formations over the Ben Franklin Parkway from Sept. 20 through Oct. 14. Plus, Brian shares some thoughts on the Doctor Who season 7 fall finale…and a whole lot more. File size: 8 MB. Time: 32 min., 58 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 54 (11.02.2012)

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 54 (11.02.2012)

Technology and the Arts – Episode 54 (11.02.2012) features a statement on post-tropical cyclone Sandy and its devastating impacts on the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions of the United States, followed by lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangouts On AIr that John LeMasney and I conducted on September 24, 2012. In this installment, John shares his experience of a night of stargazing at Princeton University’s Peyton Observatory, while Brian shares his thoughts on seeing Peter Gabriel in concert in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of his classic album, So. John and Brian then discuss the Apple Maps app debacle…and a whole lot more. File size: 13.1 MB. Time: 51 min., 53 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 53 (10.26.2012)

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 53 (10.26.2012)

Technology and the Arts – Episode 53 (10.26.2012) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangouts On Air session conducted by hosts Brian Kelley and John LeMasney on Sept. 17, 2012. Highlights include Brian’s discussion about the reunited Ben Folds Five and their video for “Do It Anyway” with the Fraggles from “Fraggle Rock”, and John’s talk about Molly Ringwald’s recent visit to Princeton Public Library in central New Jersey and a local ArtsTechNJ initiative affiliated with Artworks Trenton. Also, John provides a mini tutorial on Inkscape. File size: 13.4 MB. Time: 54 min., 40 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 52 (10.19.2012)

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 52 (10.19.2012)

Technology and the Arts – Episode 52 features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangouts On Air session conducted by hosts Brian Kelley and John LeMasney on Sept. 4, 2012. Highlights include John’s poor customer experience at TWO local Best Buys in search of a replacement for his lost FitBit, thoughts on the Apple-Samsung lawsuit, a conversation about a crazy Sony patent allowing TV viewers to skip commercials at the cost of their pride and dignity, and a lot more. File size: 14.1 MB. Time: 1 hr., 1 min., 23 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

In perspective: “Time Takes Over”

Note: John and I are going to try to post one of our creative works along with a brief commentary on the story behind the piece and how technology played a role in its creation, production or inspiration. We will then discuss the posts more in depth during a segment on the next webcast.

“Time Takes Over” by Brian Kelley

I consider this the first complete song I ever wrote. For a long time, I thought this was written in October 1988 based on a date written on a cassette tape that included a rough recording of it. However, I’ve recently determined it was more likely written in October 1989.

I worked at a restaurant at the time and one of my co-workers, who was kind of a simpleton, had been involved with a girl who worked with us the previous summer (this girl was also a sister of one of my high school classmates). But one slow night at the restaurant, my co-worker talked at length about how he went to visit the girl at college and was disappointed to find that she wanted the summer fling to evolve into just a friendship. Again, this guy wasn’t exactly the emotional type, but he seemed genuinely hurt by this.

The next day, I started writing the lyrics to “Time Takes Over” based on the conversation.

This version of the song was recorded with GarageBand on my MacBook in 2012, and I’ll probably revisit from time to time for the rest of my life. I honestly feel like it’s a pretty good song, especially considering it was written by an 18-year old with minimal musical ability.

Below, you can watch a live version of “Time Takes Over” performed with TMC+The New Generation at the long-gone Green Parrot Rock Club in Neptune, N.J., back around 1989/90. And, yes, I had a really bad cold on this particular night and was struggling with my vocals—even more than usual. Also, at around the 3:44/3:45 mark, you can see me pointing my head away from the microphone to sneeze.

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 51 (10.12.2012)

Technology and the Arts Podcast – Episode 51 (10.12.2012)

[audio https://ia601506.us.archive.org/30/items/techarts_ep51/techarts2012_ep51.mp3]

The Technology and the Arts podcast, which originally ran from December 2006 to December 2008, was revived as a series of weekly live webcasts by hosts Brian Kelley and John LeMasney in August 2012. Edited versions of the audio portions of these webcasts will be made available in more convenient podcast form. This episode (No. 51) features a conversation between Brian and John that originally took place Aug. 27, 2012. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney. File size: 10.6 MB. Time: 44 min., 10 sec.

In perspective: “Form of Life”

Note: Each week, John and I are going to try to post one of our creative works along with a brief commentary on the story behind the piece and how technology played a role in its creation, production or inspiration. We will then discuss the posts more in depth during a segment on the next webcast.

“Form of Life” by Brian Kelley

This song dates back to probably around 1988 or ’89, when I bought my Ensoniq Mirage sampling keyboard. Back then, I used to buy all my gear at The Music Place in Sea Girt, N.J., which was run (and maybe still is?) by multi-instrumentalist Gary Cuccurullo, cousin of Warren Cuccurullo of Frank Zappa, Missing Persons and Duran Duran fame. Gary allowed me to to copy a few sample disks as a throw-in with the Mirage purchase. One of these disks included this great stadium rock drums sample, which unfortunately went missing a couple of years later.

Anyway, I started out with the drum pattern using that sample and used a very simple bass part consisting of long, sustained notes played with a deep synth bass sound. I then added the lead synth using a Moog-like sound and eventually came up with a verse and chorus. It kind of had this techno-progressive rock vibe that I was kind of digging.

But that’s where it stopped. I did have some ideas in mind for lyrics, but I never added them to the original rough recording. I never even added a bridge.

So when GarageBand became available for the iPhone a couple of years ago, I did some experimenting with it and decided to put a “full” song together using nothing but the iPhone. I went back to this song because of its simplicity and I thought it would be relatively easy to recreate on GarageBand for iPhone (it was, but a bit trickier than I first thought). I then quickly wrote some lyrics based on my original concept from the late 1980s and recorded those with the iPhone microphone and some added vocal effects.

This was the result…and there’s still no bridge.

Update: Here is the original version, just to compare…

In perspective: “Chill as F—“

Note: This is the first in a series of weekly posts in which John and I will each publish one of our creative works along with a brief commentary on the story behind the piece and how technology played a role in its creation, production or inspiration. We will then discuss the posts more in depth during a segment on the next webcast. For now, I’m using an old podcast segment name—In Perspective. But that will likely change.

“Chill as F—” by Brian Kelley

Brian, with prop glasses and terrible hair, at his keyboard rig circa 1990.

The opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games featured the electronic music works of Underworld, High Contrast and others. It reawakened an interest I had in the genre many years ago. In fact, at one point during my junior and senior years of high school in the late 1980s, a friend and I—we each owned a number of synthesizers, samplers and drum machines—began writing “new age” songs together before we hooked up with an Asbury Park, N.J.-based rapper that led to a whole other thing.

Anyway, after listening to the soundtrack to the Olympics opening ceremony for nearly two weeks straight, I really felt an urge to write and record some new electronic music via GarageBand on my MacBook. However, I have a newborn son who needs looking after and it was difficult to get to my keyboard rig in the basement. So I bought an Alesis 25-key MIDI controller that I could bring with me throughout the house and get in some songwriting time in between diaper changes and feedings.

During the discussion I had with John in the first episode of Technology and the Arts 2.0, we started talking about dubstep. John is obviously a huge fan…I am not. I am a fan of so-called chillwave music, though, and that’s what primarily drove the direction of this track. However, when it came time to write a bridge, I thought back to that conversation and decided to give a little nod to dubstep with a build-up followed by a sudden drop.

After posting the song to my Soundcloud account as “Untitled 8-28-2012”, someone left this comment: “This is chill as f**k man, I like it.”

Hence, the title.