Michel Chion’s “Guide to Sound Objects: Pierre Schaeffer and Musical Research” (PDF)


“Our ambition, with this Guide to Sound Objects, has always been to give researchers, musicians, music-lovers and all who are directly or indirectly interested in the sound-universe an unbiased, clear and dependable tool (if this can be done) for a better knowledge and understanding of Pierre Schaeffer’s considerable contribution to this field, by means of an inventory of the ideas and concepts developed in his most important work, the Traité des Objets Musicaux.”

Download PDF : Guide To Sound Objects

Making Music with Cosmic Rays: Kosmophone is a gamma-ray spectrometer controlling a MIDI synth

This octave of the electromagnetic spectrum, about a million times higher frequency than the octave our eyes respond to, contains very little energy that originates in our solar system. Almost all of the energy in this band is a result of unbelievably energetic radiation coming from the far reaches of the universe, ‘Cosmic Rays’. Fortunately, they tend not to make it all the way through the approximately 100 miles of air over our heads. As they smash their way through the atmosphere the collisions produce energetic emissions and it is these secondary emissions the Kosmophone responds to. The energy level of each detected event is measured and that information is sent to the MIDI control port of a music synthesizer. The ‘cosmic data’ is not altered or supplemented in any way and would be presumed to be completely random.

The measured distribution of energy values is indeed very uniform and the rate does not vary from local day to night. Apparently the normal output of our sun contains no significant gamma rays (which is a very good thing for us!) but they are produced in bursts during solar flares.





The original site is down, here is a link to Scientific American for similar information :

Cosmic Rays Make Beautiful Music in Kirke’s “Cloud Chamber” 

Magical Sound Machine: Exhibition Tells the Story of the Tone Generator, Tone Memory and Sound Transmission.

An exhibition of IMA Institute of Media Archaeology in the culture Hainburg in cooperation with the Technical Museum in Vienna.

Press here to enter the site: Magical Sound Machine

Neo-Bechstein-Flügel Sprechmaschine Mellotron Terpsiton Popov-Tisch Webster Wire Recorder Hönig Synthesizer Telharmonium II (Dynamophon) Sprechendes Papier Tragbares Schorinophon Rhythmikon Superpiano Nußbaumer–System Hammond E Akaphon Ultraphon Magnetophon AEG K4 Mixturtrautonium Subharchord II Theremin Ondes Martenot Magneton Welte-Mignon-Vorsetzer

Programming Arvo Pärt



Aesthetic Complexity

Tintinnabuli Mathematica is an experiment in programming Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli method of composition. The process has two stages. Firstly, a melodic part (or M-voice) is created by generating a string of notes and timings. Then harmonic tintinnabuli parts (T-voices) are generated by applying transformation rules to the melody.

To generate a melody, a program was written to select notes from a scale, which in this case is A natural minor, i.e. all the white notes on a piano starting from A. Two types of generative method are used: random selection and series based on integer sequences (e.g. the Fibonacci sequence or the series of prime numbers). The random methods include equal-weighted choice of pitch and duration which generates notes scattered all over the scale, and a random walk method which produces wandering melodies of close pitches, varying in closeness depending on the maximum size of interval. In the random walk method…

View original post 770 more words

SYN-Phon; Sound Performance Based on Graphical Notation by Candaş Şişman


Budapest Art Factory (BAF) is pleased to present to you SYN-Phon; sound performance based on graphical notation by Candaş Şişman featuring Barabás Lőrinc & Ölveti Mátyás. Candaş Şişman resided at BAF for the month of June as part of its cross-cultural fertilization residency program. SYN-Phon will be exhibited to act, as a visual linguistic delivery through a cogitation segment followed by the sound performance on June 29th.

Graphical notation and composition by Candas Sisman
Barabás Lőrinc: Trumpet
Ölveti Mátyás: Cello
Candas Sisman: Electronics and Objects





This is a great overview of Harold Bode’s electronic musical instruments from: the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC)

In one of his notebooks ca. 1937, Harald Bode wrote, “Wie ist der Klang?” The following article gives an overview on his instruments from 1937 until 1981. “How is the sound?” is an expanded version of a text the author prepared for the Harald Bode exhibition “A Lifetime for Sound” at the Estey Museum (Brattleboro VT) in 2010.


Harald and the Audio System Synthesizer, a modular synthesizer and sound processor.


Early version of the Bode Vocoder model 7702.


Apparatewerk Bayern [Bavarian Machine Factory] advertisement for the Polychord III with tone cabinet.


The Polychord.


The Melochord in the Studio für elektronische Musik, Cologne, Germany.


Photograph of the Melodium from a period magazine article.


Photograph of Warbo Formant Organ from a period magazine article. All images and recordings in this article © Harald Bode Archive.

“Tones from out of Nowhere”: Rudolph Pfenninger and the Archaeology of Synthetic Sound (PDF)

In this essay from New Media, Old Media [2006], (originally published in Grey Room) Levin proposes an alternative history that takes into account underexamined developments in synthetic sound reproduction. While contemporary accounts of new media make it sound like threats to “real” or indexical sound only come with digitization, Levin explores well-documented events in the history of sythentic or “hand-written” sound by analog means.

Press Here To Download The PDF: Tones From Nowhere


2013-02-23_0909 2013-02-23_0908 2013-02-23_0907-1 2013-02-23_0906-1 2013-02-23_0906

Baku: Symphony of Sirens: Sound Experiments in The Russian Avant-Garde

Original Documents and Reconstructions of 72 Key Works of Music, Poetry and Agitprop from the Russian Avantgardes (1908-1942)

Great Historical Site

Press Here To Enter The Site: Symphony of Sirens:

“A comprehensive overview of the complexity and breadth of the many early 20th-century Russian avantgarde movements, followed by detailed notes and contexts for the individual recordings – including summary biographies of the main actors; additional work notes about the process of the extraordinary Baku reconstruction; a bibliography, rare photographs, web research links, artwork, facsimiles of contemporary documents, a comparative timeline of European and Russian Avantgardes and the first English translation of an article by Avraamov about the symphony. This is a definitive library collection, some seven years in the making and possibly our most important release of recent years.”

Synapse Magazine: Archive of Twelve Issues Of This 1970’s Electronic Music Magazine

Synapse was published  from March 1976 to June 1979 and was a source of great electronic music information at a time before the internet.  I still have my collection in the basement but the magazine can be read here without dusting anything off.

Synapse Magazine