Home for the Curious Musician

Off Notes: Unexpected Sounds

Happy Friday!

Can you 3D print music? What does a Wikipedia update sound like? What does Bowie’s “Life on Mars” look like? This week we found answers to all these questions and more. Hearing music in the distinctly non-musical is a fascinating source of inspiration and has led to some stunning creations. Also, we have David Hasselhoff’s latest hit single and the GREATEST JINGLE OF ALL TIME. Read on and enjoy your weekend!

The best of the musical internet this week

  • An artist with synesthesia is painting what songs look like when he listens to them. Radiohead and Hendrix are unsurprisingly beautiful, but he’s also got me thinking I need to revisit some John Mayer and Soulive! [imgur]
  • I don’t typically look at lengths of plumbing pipe and think of their musical application. Clearly, I am wrong:
  • Chrome Experiments is a treasure trove of unexpected digital music projects that live inside your browser. Plink lets you play music with up to three other friends simply by clicking on a screen that looks like that 90s helicopter computer game. InstaMusicBox creates a 3D model from any MIDI input that you can download and put into a 3D printer to make your own music box. And the ABSOLUTE BEST one of them all: The Rick Astley Remixer. [Chrome Experiments]
  • 75 musicians shared their favorite things about playing music and The Musician’s Guide put it all into one very feel-good infographic. [Music Clout]
  • Speaking of surprising musical projects: this mash-up of Explosions in the Sky and Miley Cyrus is so much better than it has any right to be. [Mortimerh on SoundCloud]
  • This guy hooked up a drum machine to Guitar Hero 2 on Xbox and then KILLED IT:
  • Ready to find out what editing Wikipedia sounds like? This site allows you to see and hear updates to Wikipedia pages from all over the world in real time. Pitch is determined by the size of the edit and bells and strings are used to demonstrate additions and deletions. [Listen to Wikipedia]
  • Some afternoon snarkiness: Tonedeaf compiled their favorite contributions to Reddit’s thread on the worst ever concert experiences. [Tonedeaf]
  • Check out this short film Red Bull Music Academy made about Lubomyr Melnyk, one of the world’s fastest piano players, on his relationship with the instrument and how he’s improving with age. [Red Bull Music Academy]
  • My husband overheard me watching this video and said “I don’t know what you’re listening to, but I hate it.” I took that as a very strong endorsement:
  • Geneticist and artist, Peter Crnokrak took brain scans of a 5-year-old listening to music and turned the data into a music visualizer he describes as “engineered synesthesia.” It’s so cool. [The Creators Project]
  • Next month BAM is putting on a 13.5-hour Beethoven marathon, featuring all 32 of the composer’s sonatas. [BAM]
  • Feeling burned out on your favorite playlists? Asongaday may have the solution. You tell them a few of the artists you like, and love, and they’ll send you a new song everyday personally curated to your tastes. [asongaday]
  • I truly feel there are not enough words in the world to explain what is happening here, but I shall endeavor to impart to you the extent of my knowledge… Last year a group of Swedish fans of 80s martial arts and police movies put together a Kickstarter campaign to fund a short film wherein a “Miami-Dade Police Department detective and martial artist Kung Fury time travels from the 1980s to World War II to kill Adolf Hitler, a.k.a. ‘Kung Führer’, and avenge his friend’s death at the hands of the Nazi leader. An error in the time machine sends him further back to the Viking Age. With the help of a female Viking and the Norse God Thor, Kung Fury continues his time travels in order to put an end to the Third Reich once and for all.” The group set out to raise $200,000 but ultimately pulled in over $600,000. What do you do when you wind up with $400,000 extra to spend on your short film? The obvious answer is to hire David Hasselhoff to perform your theme song. The music video, which debuted just yesterday, shows the Hoff doing the splits, firing weapons from a flying Lamborghini, and riding a t-rex. It is a thing of splendor. [Wikipedia]

And coming to a close, let’s get back to our theme for the day — unexpected sources of musical inspiration. The last place I’d expect to find the most epic musical experience of all time and my new favorite song would have to be in a commercial for the Sizzler. But yet again, we live in a beautiful, bizarre world. Here is a piece of certifiable magic you’ll be singing all weekend long:

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Zoë Young

Zoë is an internet enthusiast and writer who wants to empower everyone to find the knowledge they need to pursue their dreams through the magic of the internet. When not working on web tools and articles to support the Soundfly community, Zoë cooks up a storm and plots ways to recapture her former glory as a third grade recorder soloist. Follow her @parsnipsbk.