(mailing list archive) Spring update

Things are happening!

* My robot toy piano has a couple of gigs coming up:

This coming Wednesday, June 6, at Roulette in Brooklyn:
Satie and Satie-inspired music from John Cage, Federico Mompou, Toby Twining and Milos Raickovich
Margaret Leng Tan, piano and toy piano
Roberto Rossi, narrator
Ranjit Bhatnagar, sound artist

And then on Thursday, August 9, at the Museum of Modern Art’s John Cage Day:
Celebrate the centenary of legendary artist, composer, philosopher, and writer John Cage with a series of readings, performances, musical compositions, and personal reflections by poets, writers, musicians, and scholars. Participants include writer and editor Richard Kostelantez; Joan Retallack, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Humanities, Bard College; pianist and toy-piano virtuoso Margaret Leng Tan; and poet, editor, and curator Roger van Voorhees.

* The Music Box, the sound sculpture shantytown I worked on in New Orleans last year, is open to visitors again this summer, and the final performances there are happening soon. If you’re going to be in New Orleans, check it out: http://www.dithyrambalina.com

* My wind-powered sound sculpture, “Trumpet Marine”, will be hanging out in Williamsburg’s East River Park this summer as part of BWAC’s Outdoor Sculpture Show, probably starting in July. More on that soon! Meanwhile, here’s a video of the thing at the Figment Festival last year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ranjit/5840234686/

* I made a little algorithm that uses Twitter’s Streaming API to read millions of tweets per day (about 500 per second!) in search of the tiny fraction that happen to be in iambic pentameter. Out of those, it selects rhymed couplets and retweets them in an endless crowdsourced sonnet. You can follow it at http://twitter.com/pentametron and http://pentametron.com
Pentametron got some nice coverage from the Poetry Foundation –
And this interview in Gawker explains how it works: http://gawker.com/pentametron/
It even got a tweet from the Globe Theater! https://twitter.com/The_Globe/status/202377080820871168

* In September I’ll have an installation in the Asian American Arts Alliance’s “Locating the Sacred” Festival, and I’ll be doing a residency at Albuquerque Open Space as part of the ISEA electronic arts festival.

* …and I discovered that Electric Violin Lutherie has created a real violin inspired by my amateur 8-bit violin. That’s the kind of thing that makes me love open source design. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:23103

music box shantytown in NY Times

Here’s a nice New York Times article about the big crazy sound sculpture shantytown I helped out with in New Orleans:

A Symphony of Floorboards, Pipes and Stairs
(My nightingale floors made it into the title! Whoo!)

“You’re going to have a house, and the house makes music. When you get here, you’ll figure it out.”

That is more or less accurate, as far as it goes, though it clearly falls short as a practical description. “The Music Box,” the project of which this tower is a part, is one of those things that requires a hyphen or a compound word to describe; Delaney Martin, its curator, calls it “a shantytown-sound laboratory.”

In more literal terms, it is a collection of tumbledown wooden and metal structures built on the site, and almost entirely from the remains of a late-18th-century Creole cottage that collapsed a couple of years ago here in the historic, bohemian Bywater neighborhood.

Each structure houses an instrument, or two or three. In some cases the structures are musical instruments themselves. There is the thatched-roof hut that is home to an elaborate arrangement of Balinese vibraphones, the shack with amplified floorboards, the rusty spiral staircase that is also a foot-operated pipe organ and the little glass house containing what looks like a giant, bell-lined hoop skirt. They are all clustered together on the narrow lot, like the stage set of a fairy tale that takes place in a junkyard.

Be sure to check out the slide show.

There’s also a brief video about the first performance. (You can hear my floorboards starting at 1:22 or so)

greenmarket show reviewed at edible manhattan

We owe that awesome headline to Brooklyn artist Ranjit Bhatnagar, who sometimes uses the term for his flatbed scanner images of Greenmarket produce, a project he’s been working on since 2000. His carrots graced the cover of Edible Brooklyn’s Spring 2007 issue, and selections from his scans–lovely little sprays of garlic chives, slices of okra that look like stars, and of course, bacon–are being shown through the month of December at the Baby Grand (world’s smallest) karaoke bar in a show called Greenmarket Scanography. For those who’ve been to this tiny Soho spot on Lafayette St., you know the key component of that name is Baby: This is but a sliver of a space, and thus Bhatnagar’s work, like others previewed at the bar, is being shown in slide format. Literally–the slides, shown below, are displayed on the wall, lit from behind, and viewed using the provided magnifying glass. Oh yeah, should you miss the show, you can see some of his recent work on Flickr, too.