October 28, 2005

Geeky Dan & The History of Electronic Music: Video Goodness From GetLoFi

Dan.jpgI feel somehow culturally deprived in that I’ve only just found out about GetLofi, a blog devoted to circuit-bending which set up shop back in July last year. (I’m a big fan of circuit-bending but have never quite mastered the art. I once tried the relatively simple task of putting an output jack in a barnyard animal soundboard and killed it; much to the chagrin of Daz, who had started writing compositions for it. She even came up with her own “musical notation” for the toy. If she ever unearths one of the old "manuscripts", I must convince her to do a scan…)

In the midst of its wonderful assortment of postings on DIY synth/pedal projects, glitched-up Teletubbies and the like, GetLofi has recently put up links to a couple of memorable videos. First up is Pathways to Music, a two part history of electronic music that was made in 1971. (The first part was posted back in August, the second [MP4] went up a week ago.) The videos – which take us from the time of Pythagoras through to the era of Moog, Buchla, Stockhausen and Subotnick (sadly no Raymond Scott, though) – are actually pretty informative. They include sound samples from the works/instruments that are featured, and have that dry style of narration that seems to have been mandatory for every educational film produced between 1945 and 1975.

Once you’ve digested them, though, you may feel like something a bit lighter. If so, check out this TV appearance by uber-geckoid Dan Deacon which aired on the morning show of a Savannah-based NBC affiliate. Dan, who looks like he should have had a walk-on in Napoleon Dynamite, is interviewed by the avuncular local version of Willard Scott, then proceeds to warble and bob like a crazy thing behind a desk filled with hot-wired synth detritus… If only Australian brekkie telly were graced by weirdos like this rather than Alex Lloyd and Shannon Noll

(FOOTNOTE: If you feel that the preceding video isn’t quite OTT enough for you, you might want to check out this guitarist or this violinist [QT]. Two fine exponents of extreme instrumental wankery that appeared on Music Thing. The latter was posted in the comments sections for the former.)

Posted by Warren at October 28, 2005 09:51 PM | Videos