I am happy to report that one of my web apps has finally gotten some legs. "Generative Soundscape Radio" is now doing a regular daily traffic, which is a first for my many applications.
I think the main reason may be that lots of strange and interesting sounds have been added, until the station has become a bit like radio for and by mad scientists. There are over 30 sessions right now, with their own sets of sounds, and several independent artists have offered their sound design to the project.
Listening to generative music like this makes me think about music in general, and the difference(s) between things recorded and things perpetually being made. Because I can't predict what I am going to hear, I am able to listen to GSR for many hours a day without getting bored.
Sound implausible? Why not have a listen yourself-- and if you like it, tell a friend:
For some time I have been running a free internet radio application called the "Thomas Park Audio Explorer":
The intention of the station is to help introduce people to cc-licensed music that they might not have otherwise heard.
On the station, I play a number of playlists-- say 10-15 of them. The station code randomly selects from these lists all day and all night.
Wouldn't it be cool to collect an .m3u of Electronic Cottage related tracks? I could make a playlist and drop it into the station bin.
Something EC-related would show up, then, periodically on the broadcast.
What I would need would be:
A text file with the file location of each .mp3. They would have to be hosted at the Internet Archive. Something looking like this:
I could easily, then, add the mp3s to a playlist.
Thanks either way!
Who is radio for? Usually, I imagine it's for some beer company, maybe, a football team-- behind them, some hazy corporate conglomerate.
I think radio should be for YOU.
My recent radio websites have an innovative approach, in that they allow you to decide when to change tracks, and they let you remix while you listen, if you so choose.
My newest station-- "Endless Dub Radio"-- contains these functionalities. I have always enjoyed listening to dub music, and EDR creates a continual stream of original, generative dub. Any of a set of beat and bass tracks are chosen at random, and sets of sounds from different sessions are looped on top of the beats.
When you listen to EDR, no two moments are identical. It's lots of fun. If you get tired of a particular sound, you can use the embedded player to dub it out. Or, simply wait until the current beat track fades out, and a new set of sounds will load.
Sound too cool to be true? Don't take my word-- stop on by:
And, if you like it, tell a friend! Thanks.
I will ask you, "What should radio be?" We know that radio can be used to share music, to broadcast sounds and speech. We generally use it either to share recordings or live performances.
I have always dreamt of creating a radio station that, itself, made music. A station where, no matter when you tuned in, things would always sound unique. Where no moment would appear twice.
And folks, the time for this new kind of radio is now-- with "Generative Soundscape Radio", fresh combinations of sounds are loaded at variable intervals, and there are enough sounds such that you are quite likely not going to hear the same combination twice-- nor the same iteration.
A step further-- you can change the radio broadcast yourselves. The player controls are interactive, so you can bring sounds up or down, in or out. And, you can load in a a new set of random sounds whenever you like.
So, this is Generative Radio-- it's live, it is always changing, and you can change it, as well.
And, unlike apps by the big boys, it is totally free-- even, public domain.
Are you curious as to how this is? Why not give it a try:
Not long ago, I discussed radio as a means to portray modern experience. Modernity is known for its abrupt changes in atmosphere and tone-- one minute, you might find yourself completely relaxed, enjoying life, and the next, you might be in a panic. Our rate of communication is one cause for the nature of things, and our rate of transportation another. There are other causes.
An idea I had was that, by creating a radio stream that changes quite a bit with every track, I would more accurately portray our lives, than if tracks in the stream blended in with one another.
With radio, we can easily play with medium and message.
Thanks to this simple yet important innovation, the “Thomas Park Audio Explorer” now resembles much more closely the kind of “radio as art” notion I had-- but, don’t just accept what I am saying-- tune in yourself!:
Rafael González sent Thomas Park some very nice self-portrait paintings. Thomas processed them, combining them with pictures of round objects, and making them into a slideshow. The slideshow features original live music by Thomas, created by mixing sliced drumbeats in real time.
The project is called-- "Selves In Circles".
We hope that you enjoy it.
So, maybe you're enjoying the EC community, and digging the people and their new sounds.
Would it be fun to create your own database of related cc-licensed music, that you could use to find new material and make your own playlists?
I worked my tail off over the weekend, and added database functionality to my Internet Archive Playlist Generator.
The app is free, and now each user gets to store up to 3000 track links in the database.
Basically, you can search for cool stuff via the search page, then add it to your database. Then, you can reference the tracks using keyword and listen to them, download them, remove them from the database or download a playlist.
Does this sound confusing? It's actually really fun and not too hard. Why not stop by and see what the app can do for you?
It's all gratis/public domain and done for the love of music.
I was worried it might feel different-- indeed challenging-- and it did. But, after last night's show, I was glad I tried playing in front of a larger group, and glad also that I diversified my live set to make it more active.
I am not one who is a natural performer. It took some extra support and gumption to pull this off.
I was pleased by the results. How about you?
Thanks to Hunter Dragon, Osvaldo Cibils and Amanda Wells for featuring some sounds, and to Joe Schwartz and the SLPL for facilitating.
We have highs in life, and we have lows. My life has had lots of lows. Rather than going into too much detail, let's just say that some of my main creative periods have been when I was extremely poor and/or out of work.
Now that things are better for me, personally-- I have a wife and a career, and have even become upwardly-mobile-- what to do about all the years of sadness?
I listened to a friend of mine cover an old blues song. I was impressed by how the song was performed to help people feel better who were down.
Many of my friends are going through hardship, and I remembered some songs I wrote back around 2005-2008. I was using various parts of my apartment as sources of sound -- like my microwave oven, refrigerator, and silverware.
Some of those songs were surprisingly soulful, very healing.
I wanted to put them together, for folks who are going through hardship.
The release is called "Songs From The Corner"
It is customary of prophets that they will tell you that the "end is nigh". People have been evil, and God, or some entity or another, is going to cleanse the world.
That may or may not be the case, and folks should believe what they do.
I am aware that the end has been forecast for thousands of years-- that since the beginning of time, in accordance with scripture, people have been thinking about the ending-- and thinking it is about to happen.
I wrote the generative piece "Countdown" in part to show how an ominous set of sounds can make it seem like something is about to happen, even if it doesn't. An artist can raise a person's expectations without satisfying them.
The piece itself may be of some interest, as it appears on a "Live Mixing Console". The work has 8 sounds, and a user is able to manipulate the sounds themselves. You can control the loops, fading particular sounds out and in. If you have an onboard recording program, you can even record your own version of "Countdown".
is a prolific electronic artist,