Thursday, May 21, 2009

Microsoft Songsmith


This goes back a while, but I want to make sure it spreads as far and wide as possible. This is, I kid you not, an actual advertisement for an actual Microsoft product-- evidently an attempt to one-up Apple's Garage Band. Believe me, you owe it to yourself to watch this video.

There also appears to be a deleted scene that's been made into a separate video, wherein the barritsa from the longer ad sings about her dream of stardom, and how Songsmith can help her achieve it.

Naturally, some folks out there have put Songsmith to work using a capella tracks from the hits: I recommend We Will Rock You, WhiteWedding, Tom Sawyer, and The Ace of Spades.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recent listening

Calexico: Carried to Dust
Arthur Russell: First Thought Best Thought
School of Seven Bells: Alpinism
XTC: Nonsuch

Hawking


Catch-up entry #1 of 50,000: Recently I was invited to participate in a workshop of a new play called Hawking by Lonnie Carter at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. The piece imagines Stephen Hawking in conversation with various historical and mythological personages. Director Hayley Finn wanted to integrate some live sound into the production, and I wound up scoring the entire piece with a fusion of Foley effects and percussive accompaniment. The approach was a hybrid of underscoring and punctuation. Big fun! Further development of the show may follow... perhaps a play, perhaps a multimedia piece of some sort? Stay tuned...