Category Archives: Music

10 Quotes from the big world of music – Music Thinking Quotes Vol. 1

For quite some time I am collecting quotes that have a connection with what I call Music Thinking (more about Music Thinking click here). At the same time I am working on a more systematic way to collect and combine music thinking principles. I am working now with 6 principles of music thinking: agility, empathy, personality, jammin’, score and remix. More about that in a later post.

Here are 10 quotes of more or less famous people with a music thinking connection. Hope you like it.

Dance first. Think later.  It's the natural order. One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz. If you aren't making a mistake, it's a mistake. I HAVEN’T UNDERSTOOD A BAR OF MUSIC IN MY LIFE, BUT I HAVE FELT IT. THE WORDS ARE THE IMPORTANT THING. DON’T WORRY ABOUT TUNES. TAKE A TUNE, SING HIGH WHEN THEY SING LOW, SING FAST WHEN THEY SING SLOW, AND YOU’VE GOT A NEW TUNE. ONE GOOD THING ABOUT MUSIC, WHEN IT HITS YOU, YOU FEEL NO PAIN. Songs are pretty easy. They are small, they are modular, they are about as big as a bagel. I prepare myself for rehearsals like I would for marriage. The best guide, in launching a new design project, is sometimes just to choose the right partner, clear the dancefloor, and trust our intuition. There is joy in repetition.

 

 

You can also find the presentation on SlideShare (download enabled).

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Wishing you many Epiphanies in 2013

Last year I had the pleasure to work on a lot of very interesting projects with nice people. Today 6th of january is epiphany day – the 12th and last day of christmas. The holiday is over and we can focus on the coming year. A good moment to say ‘thank you’ and wish you all the best for 2013 and hope that you will have many epiphanies!

Ephiphany_2013_CREATIVE_COMPANION

Projects worked on, initiated, realized, done; clients and friends worked with and had fun with: Relaunching www.vlisco.com begin of the year, personas workshops Launching Vlisco Stories the social platform for Africa, Storytelling and Vlisco Fabrics Development of our new ceramic product: Pfitz together with my partner Ine, design and launch of www.pfitz.me, registered the trademark and design at European Patent and Trademark Register Finally launch of the www.nibesvv.nl Development of the iPad app for The Executive Academy (will be launched very soon) Design identity, online strategy and creative consulting for the iPhone App and website of 1PLACE.ME musicthinking.com Music Thinking Weekly Raum-Musik für Saxophone at World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews Scotland and John Cage MusiCircus, Heidelberg Won a place at New Job Circus during C’n’B Convention

More info on Epiphany, see last year’s post

More than 10.000 views on SlideShare

Just got a mail from slideshare that my presentations & documents have been viewed more than 10.000 times,  wow that’s cool –  a moment to celebrate!

Here are the Top three:

and there are some more: http://www.slideshare.net/creacomp

 

All snapshots from 2011 – Music Thinking Weekly

This is the snapshot archive from every week of 2011 of ‘Music Thinking Weekly’.
It’s easy to browse all the weeks including all the articles posted with the hashtag #musicthinking via @MusicThinking
More info on Music Thinking: www.musicthinking.com

Five examples from the soundtrack of my life

From the soundtrack of my life I picked out 5 records, all of them absolutely no easy listening. If you don’t take your time to listen carefully this music will be annoying. On the other hand this is music with a lot of emotion and music thinking. I get a lot of inspirations by only reading about it, by listening to an alternate version by another artist or just by looking at the album covers – that definitively gives me a ‘musical cue’.

Naked City by John Zorn and Naked City
Great players, great songs, great power and a great life performance.
Video (not original band, but a good start)
Listen to it!

 

 

Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata by Rhasaan Roland Kirk
this is a duo record of one saxophone player and one drummer, just listen.
Video about this virtuoso and great inspiration for a lot of musicians.
Listen to it!

 

Ascension by John Coltrane
End of the 70s I read a lot about John Coltrane and his innovative and game changing record Ascension. In that time there was no internet, so you really had to be lucky to find a record store that would sell it. It happened when I was on holiday with a friend in France, that we popped into a record store and by accident I found a copy of Ascension. I was so excited to hear this record that I decided to not listen to it in the store, but to buy it, wrap it into a plastic bag and fix it with tape on a plane wooden surface in our camper to assure that the record won’t bend or got destroyed on the sweaty summer in France. After 3 weeks of holiday I put the record on my record player and listened to it very carefully – and … I really didn’t get it. I thought this is one of the most overrated records ever. But I didn’t give up and listened to it two more times in a row. After the third time I began to understand and after that I listened to the record many times: as a background while learning or even on a long drive with my car.
Read more!
Listen to it!

 

Hymnen by Karlheinz Stockhausen
This is maybe the record I have spent the most time in my life in many different variations plus the original material that was used to make this concrete and electronic music. I worked in a two year research project at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, together with Prof. Frisius, we also made a copy of the original 1′ tapes on DAT in the WDR studio, which means that the original material IS the tape and not the score (that was done afterwards with the purpose to read while listening to the recording for a better understanding!).
Read more!
Listen to it!

 

Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman
a collective improvisation by Double Quartet (saxophone, trumpet, bass and drum ) with a picture of a Jackson Pollock painting
Read more!
Listen to it!

No time to listen to all this? Here is a time saver:


Free Jazz Ascension Mash-Up by Dick Whyte: Supercomposer: Free Jazz Ascension – Listen to it!

 

 

 

 

 

Co-creation, inspiration and the Global Jukebox

Can folk music be a model for setting up a co-creation culture?

In his book We-think: The power of mass creativity the author Charles Leadbeater is talking about a relation of co-creation and the habit of folk music that people borrow musical structures from a shared tradition and taking ideas from a shared pool of multipliers without concern for ownership. A climate of sharing and giving leads to mass innovation often with an individual touch and not mass production.

With this in mind it is interesting to watch the development of the new Global Jukebox project, a tremendous collection of field recordings, of Alan Lomax. The folklorist’s archive of 17.000 field recordings will begin to stream for free very soon, including music from Britain, Ireland, the US, the Caribbean and the former USSR.

Global Jukebox - Alan Lomax

Although Lomax’s name is not as well known as some of the musicians he helped discover, e.g. Woody Guthrie, his work continues to have an enormous influence. For example the soundtrack of the film O Brother, where art thou? is using samples from Lomax. He introduced Pete Seeger to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, recorded Vera Hall’s Trouble So Hard (made famous by Moby), and his recordings will even be featured on Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming album, Wrecking Ball.

Besides the popularity to use this material for other musical inspiration it is also interesting to get more information on the system and categorization of the material. Lomax is talking about ‘cantometrics’, the term refers to a system for the measurement of singing style, like blue notes and sounds of animals.  The system was also applicable for pop music and he also developed ‘choreometrics’ for dancing and ‘parlametrics’ for speech.
The principles of ‘cantometrics’ are used in the Music Genome Project of Pandora.com a new automated music recommendation service comparable to last.fm and spotify.com

More info:
YouTube Channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/AlanLomaxArchive/
Research:  http://research.culturalequity.org/


Selected TED Talks on Music Thinking

Here is a selection of different TED talks. All of them use Music and Music Thinking in one or the other way. From psychology, to emotion, to technique – get inspired by this amount of musical presentations.

Schizophrenic violin lesson

Robert Gupta, violinist with the LA Philharmonic, talks about a violin lesson he once gave to a brilliant, schizophrenic musician — and what he learned.

Making Mistakes and Prototyping

What is a mistake? By talking through examples with his improvisational Jazz quartet, Stefon Harris walks us to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don’t react to them appropriately.

Imagination, Emotion and New Experiences

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. With a great exercise on Imagination and Emotion with Chopin.

Music Psychology and Soundscapes


Playing sound effects both pleasant and awful, Julian Treasure shows how sound affects us in four significant ways. Listen carefully for a shocking fact about noisy open-plan offices.

Research on the Brain and Music

Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.

Trust and Examples from the World

Conductor Charles Hazlewood talks about the role of trust in musical leadership — then shows how it works, as he conducts the Scottish Ensemble onstage. He also shares clips from two musical projects: the opera “U-Carmen eKhayelitsha” and the ParaOrchestra.

Music and emotion through time

The composer Michael Tilson Thomas  traces the development of classical music through the score, the record, and the remix.

Live Looping, Improvisation, ‘gestural” Sound Design

Musician and inventor Onyx Ashanti demonstrates “beatjazz” — his music created with two handheld controllers, an iPhone and a mouthpiece, and played with the entire body. At TED’s Full Spectrum Auditions, after locking in his beats and loops, he plays a 3-minute song that shares his vision for the future of music.

The is another one I can’t embed: José Bowen: Beethoven the businessman. José Bowen outlines how new printing technology and an improved piano gave rise to the first music industry and influenced a generation of composers. Note: you should also read the comments.

On the TED website you can find more examples when you search for the Tag music (there is no music thinking tag yet!).

Wishing you many Epiphanies in 2012

6th of january is epiphany day – the 12th and last day of christmas. The holiday is over and we can focus on the coming year. A good moment to wish you all the best for 2012 and hope that you will have many epiphanies!

Wishing you many Epiphanies in 2012

What exactly is epiphany, here is a collection:

  • EPIPHANY is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.
  • PHILOSOPHICAL meaning: having  found the last piece of the puzzle and suddenly seeing the whole picture.
  • ARCHIMEDES Eureka! I found it!
  • EINSTEIN was struck as a young child by being given a compass, and realizing that some unseen force in space was making it move.
  • DARWIN An example of a flash of holistic understanding in a prepared mind was Charles Darwin’s “hunch” (about natural selection) during The Voyage of the Beagle.
  • JAMES JOYCE Referring to those times in his life when something became manifest, a deep realization, he would then attempt to write this epiphanic realization in a fragment. Joyce also used epiphany as a literary device within each short story of his collection Dubliners (1914) as his protagonists came to sudden recognitions that changed their view of themselves or their social condition and often sparking a reversal or change of heart.
  • In RELIGION it is used when a person realizes their faith or when they are convinced that a event or happening was really caused by a deity or being of their faith.
  • WESTERN CHRISTIAN Religion:  The adoration of the magi, represented as kings, having found Jesus by following a star 12 days after christmas.
  • HINDUISM epiphany might refer to the realization of Arjuna that Krishna (a God serving as his charioteer in the “Bhagavad Gita”) is indeed representing the universe.
  • In ZEN kensho describes the moment, referring to the feeling attendant on realizing the answer to a koan.
  • BUDDHISM Buddha finally realizing the nature of the universe, and thus attaining nirvana.
  • WILLIAM BURROUGHS is talking about a drug-influenced state, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of the fork (naked lunch).
  • EPIPHANIES is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series.
  • EPIPHANY is a web browser for the GNOME graphical computing desktop.
  • HIERONYMUS BOSCH painted the adoration of the magi around 1495.
  • HOMER SIMPSON has an epiphany, after visiting a strange Inuit shaman, and realizes he has to save the town from Russ Cargill’s plans to destroy Springfield.
  • The last page of THE WIRE magazine with surprising sonic stories about music is called EPIPHANIES.
  • Interesting: if you search for Epiphanies or Epiphany on TWITTER many people talk about that they (just) had an epiphany, but don’t exactly say what it was.

More info:
read the article on Wikipedia or just try the Twitter search for realtime results on Epiphany.

CREATIVE COMPANION on Twitter: @christofzuern