the offer

Thank you for your book proposal entitled Coprolalia and Shibboleths: musical and textual interaction in the Breakcore room dated 2007-12-12.
After careful consideration, I can confirm that ___ would like to go ahead with this and take this project to the next stage. It fully satisfies what criteria we require the projects which we take on to fulfill and will, I believe, make a fine and desirable addition to ___'s lists.
In any case, I am prepared to offer you contracts for this work, so if you are happy to proceed with these, please let me have a mailing address where these can be sent.
The basics of the contract are as follows:
Royalties: 15% after the first 500
Complimentary copies: 4
Author discount: 40%
Copyright remains with you
Publishing and selling rights are handed to ___, but will be returned if ever the book goes out of print and it is shown that there is a demand for it.
Please do not hesitate to ask away if you have any questions.
I look forward to hearing from you and if we take it further, to working together on this exciting project.


Thank you for sending me your proposal. I have taken outside advice on it and received encouraging reports on the strength of which we shall be pleased to proceed with publication. I attach our publication offer for the book. Please consider the terms carefully and let me know as soon as possible if they are acceptable. They will then form the basis of a contract for signature.
In preparing the offer I have made a number of assumptions that I should spell out to you. First of all, I have assumed a text of about 120,000 words (including notes and bibliography) plus an index to be prepared by you. I have assumed 6 colour illustrations (and a number of text figures that do not need to be scanned). For the illustrations we shall expect you to provide us with good-quality prints or scans and to obtain any necessary copyright permissions and to cover any related reproduction fees. In addition we make a handling charge of £39 per image but do not charge extra for colour printing if you are happy to group the illustrations on consecutive pages. Finally I have assumed that you will be willing to make a contribution towards the production costs of the book. It is company policy always to ask for this; and you will appreciate that as a specialist academic publisher ___ operates on very tight margins. The sum is negotiable, but it would be extremely helpful if you could make such a contribution.
I look forward to hearing from you again soon. Thank you for offering your book to ___.

blaerg: dysphoric sonorities

it says here:

BLÆRG’s newest album, “Dysphoric Sonorities“, is filled with subtle, purposeful intelligence which begins with its philologically challenging titles and continues through the very last moments of track nine, “Titanium Cicada“.
With titles such as “Ebullient Leitmotif” and “Crepuscular Harlotry” you may feel that this album is an exercise in “Unmitigated Verbosity” (track 05), but, if you delve further, you’ll find that every choice made in this album is deliberate and selective, from the samples, beats and rhythms to the polysyllabic titles.
Dysphoric Sonorities” manages to transcend the typical low-accessibility of breakcore and provide the ear of even the main-stream listener with a unique and palatable experience. It’s glitchy and unconventional but with an overall methodic process that lures a listener in if she is willing to submit to the auditory exercise.

the new blaerg is right here already.


weird spider-doll thing in day watch, a movie which was not, to my mind, as good as its predecessor, night watch. it was also substantially longer.

tune recorded before edison

from the new york times:

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison

Published: March 27, 2008

For more than a century, since he captured the spoken words "Mary had a little lamb" on a sheet of tinfoil, Thomas Edison has been considered the father of recorded sound. But researchers say they have unearthed a recording of the human voice, made by a little-known Frenchman, that predates Edison's invention of the phonograph by nearly two decades.
The 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song "Au Clair de la Lune" was discovered earlier this month in an archive in Paris by a group of American audio historians. It was made, the researchers say, on April 9, 1860, on a phonautograph, a machine designed to record sounds visually, not to play them back. But the phonautograph recording, or phonautogram, was made playable -- converted from squiggles on paper to sound -- by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.
"This is a historic find, the earliest known recording of sound," said Samuel Brylawski, the former head of the recorded-sound division of the Library of Congress, who is not affiliated with the research group but who was familiar with its findings. The audio excavation could give a new primacy to the phonautograph, once considered a curio, and its inventor, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a Parisian typesetter and tinkerer who went to his grave convinced that credit for his breakthroughs had been improperly bestowed on Edison.
Scott's device had a barrel-shaped horn attached to a stylus, which etched sound waves onto sheets of paper blackened by smoke from an oil lamp. The recordings were not intended for listening; the idea of audio playback had not been conceived. Rather, Scott sought to create a paper record of human speech that could later be deciphered. But the Lawrence Berkeley scientists used optical imaging and a "virtual stylus" on high-resolution scans of the phonautogram, deploying modern technology to extract sound from patterns inscribed on the soot-blackened paper almost a century and a half ago. The scientists belong to an informal collaborative called First Sounds that also includes audio historians and sound engineers. David Giovannoni, an American audio historian who led the research effort, will present the findings and play the recording in public on Friday at the annual conference of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
Scott's 1860 phonautogram was made 17 years before Edison received a patent for the phonograph and 28 years before an Edison associate captured a snippet of a Handel oratorio on a wax cylinder, a recording that until now was widely regarded by experts as the oldest that could be played back.
Mr. Giovannoni's presentation on Friday will showcase additional Scott phonautograms discovered in Paris, including recordings made in 1853 and 1854. Those first experiments included attempts to capture the sounds of a human voice and a guitar, but Scott's machine was at that time imperfectly calibrated.
"We got the early phonautograms to squawk, that's about it," Mr. Giovannoni said.
But the April 1860 phonautogram is more than a squawk. On a digital copy of the recording provided to The New York Times, the anonymous vocalist, probably female, can be heard against a hissing, crackling background din. The voice, muffled but audible, sings, "Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit" in a lilting 11-note melody -- a ghostly tune, drifting out of the sonic murk.
The hunt for this audio holy grail was begun in the fall by Mr. Giovannoni and three associates: Patrick Feaster, an expert in the history of the phonograph who teaches at Indiana University, and Richard Martin and Meagan Hennessey, owners of Archeophone Records, a label specializing in early sound recordings. They had collaborated on the Archeophone album "Actionable Offenses," a collection of obscene 19th-century records that received two Grammy nominations. When Mr. Giovannoni raised the possibility of compiling an anthology of the world's oldest recorded sounds, Mr. Feaster suggested they go digging for Scott's phonautograms.
Historians have long been aware of Scott's work. But the American researchers believe they are the first to make a concerted search for Scott's phonautograms or attempt to play them back. In December Mr. Giovannoni and a research assistant traveled to a patent office in Paris, the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle. There he found recordings from 1857 and 1859 that were included by Scott in his phonautograph patent application. Mr. Giovannoni said that he worked with the archive staff there to make high-resolution, preservation-grade digital scans of these recordings. A trail of clues, including a cryptic reference in Scott's writings to phonautogram deposits made at "the Academy," led the researchers to another Paris institution, the French Academy of Sciences, where several more of Scott's recordings were stored. Mr. Giovannoni said that his eureka moment came when he laid eyes on the April 1860 phonautogram, an immaculately preserved sheet of rag paper 9 inches by 25 inches.
"It was pristine," Mr. Giovannoni said. "The sound waves were remarkably clear and clean."
His scans were sent to the Lawrence Berkeley lab, where they were converted into sound by the scientists Carl Haber and Earl Cornell. They used a technology developed several years ago in collaboration with the Library of Congress, in which high-resolution "maps" of grooved records are played on a computer using a digital stylus. The 1860 phonautogram was separated into 16 tracks, which Mr. Giovannoni, Mr. Feaster and Mr. Martin meticulously stitched back together, making adjustments for variations in the speed of Scott's hand-cranked recording.
Listeners are now left to ponder the oddity of hearing a recording made before the idea of audio playback was even imagined. "There is a yawning epistemic gap between us and Léon Scott, because he thought that the way one gets to the truth of sound is by looking at it," said Jonathan Sterne, a professor at McGill University in Montreal and the author of "The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction."
Scott is in many ways an unlikely hero of recorded sound. Born in Paris in 1817, he was a man of letters, not a scientist, who worked in the printing trade and as a librarian. He published a book on the history of shorthand, and evidently viewed sound recording as an extension of stenography. In a self-published memoir in 1878, he railed against Edison for "appropriating" his methods and misconstruing the purpose of recording technology. The goal, Scott argued, was not sound reproduction, but "writing speech, which is what the word phonograph means."
In fact, Edison arrived at his advances on his own. There is no evidence that Edison drew on knowledge of Scott's work to create his phonograph, and he retains the distinction of being the first to reproduce sound. "Edison is not diminished whatsoever by this discovery," Mr. Giovannoni said.
Paul Israel, director of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J., praised the discovery as a "tremendous achievement," but called Edison's phonograph a more significant technological feat.
"What made Edison different from Scott was that he was trying to reproduce sound and he succeeded," Mr. Israel said. But history is finally catching up with Scott.
Mr. Sterne, the McGill professor, said: "We are in a period that is more similar to the 1860s than the 1880s. With computers, there is an unprecedented visualization of sound."
The acclaim Scott sought may turn out to have been assured by the very sonic reproduction he disdained. And it took a group of American researchers to rescue Scott's work from the musty vaults of his home city. In his memoir, Scott scorned his American rival Edison and made brazen appeals to French nationalism. "What are the rights of the discoverer versus the improver?" he wrote less than a year before his death in 1879. "Come, Parisians, don't let them take our prize. "
the recording can be downloaded from first sounds at this link.


commercial break:
maniacs are loose


iaspm 2009 cfp

Popular Music Worlds, Popular Music Histories
University of Liverpool, UK
July 13-17, 2009

For its 15th biennial conference, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) invites papers which explore the various connections and disconnections between popular musical worlds and popular music histories. Given Liverpool’s important place in relation to both areas, it will provide an ideal setting for papers submitted to the following streams:

Studying Popular Music: A Reassessment
Convenor: Martha Tupinambá de Ulhôa
mulhoa1 at gmail.com

Since the first attempts in the late 1970s and 1980s much has been done in terms of adapting analytical tools from several disciplines to the study of popular music. This stream welcomes papers dealing with the analysis of specific aspects of popular music (timbre, texture, prosody, melody, rhythm, harmony, arranging, etc.) or case studies of particular songs or instrumental pieces from any theoretical perspective.

Popular Music and Technology in a Historical Context
Convenor: Carlo Nardi
josephbearboy at yahoo.com

Different intellectual technologies have contributed to the way people produce and listen to popular music, be it orality, printing, recording or even the Internet. This stream welcomes papers dealing with the technological impacts upon popular music practices, including questions from cultural, aesthetic, ideological, economic,
sociological, historical, legal or musicological perspectives.

Music, History and Cultural Memory
Convenor: Shane Homan
Shane.Homan at arts.monash.edu.au

This stream seeks contributions that investigate popular music histories and the methodological challenges in their researching and writing. What particular historical narratives and agendas emerge, and what are their effects? The stream includes work that examines the role of popular music history in wider national histories and their presence in both informal (e.g. fan club newsletters) and formal (e.g. museums) contexts. Papers are also welcome that explore the role of ‘unofficial’ / ‘shadow’ music histories that challenge or offer alternatives to grander narratives and industry mythologies, to comprehend a politics of cultural memory studies in terms of what is officially preserved from oblivion and what is socially excluded from remembrance.

Music, Mediation and Place
Convenor: Geoff Stahl
geoff.stahl at vuw.ac.nz

The intersection of place-making and music-making as a site of mediation is a complicated one. From the use of certain music scenes or moments which have been mobilized as heritage myths and tourist packages, to issues related to the use of micro and mass media to bind musicmakers together--locally, regionally, nationally, and globally--the intersection of time and place as a highly mediated process has proven a vexed and complex phenomenon. We welcome papers which explore the many issues relating to music histories, representations, discourses, spaces and places, as well as those that consider the various research methods which might be best be deployed to capture this phenomenon.

Musical Struggles
Convenor: Michael Drewett
M.Drewett at ru.ac.za

Being a musician inevitably involves struggle: Musicians starting out struggle to make it, musicians 'in the margins' struggle towards mainstream coverage, some musicians involve themselves in political struggle to do with identity issues and/or social issues, while in contexts of censorship, repression and control some musicians struggle to be heard. Even commercially successful musicians can become embroiled in corporate struggle over contractual obligations. This stream seeks contributions which document and conceptualise such struggles within a socio-political framework.

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words (one page) and should be
sent in the following format:

Keywords (five keywords that best describe your topic)

Abstracts should be sent to BOTH the conference address AND the convenor of your stream. The conference address is:


Please label your abstract with your last name (i.e. smith.rtf, or smith.doc), not the title.

The deadline for abstracts is July 1, 2008.

We will notify participants no later than November 1st, 2008.

More information on IASPM can be found here: http://www.iaspm.net

We look forward to seeing you.

The IASPM-International Executive

retro sabotage

retro sabotage: old school computer game jiggery-pokery.


zizek on children of men:


eff, nin

eff files amicus brief against riaa's 'attempted distribution' argument. the riaa is attempting to sue people simply for having shared files, regardless of whether or not anyone downloads them. this is called 'making available' or 'attempted distribution'.
trent reznor from nine inch nails thinks we should steal music, and has made the first part of his new four part album available on the pirate bay.
apparently nearly half of all teenagers bought no compact discs in 2007.




a phil cunliffe review at culture wars: putting the hippies on the payroll.
i also liked this article: the nasty history of supermarket-bashing.

diary of the dead competition

3 minute zombie shorts here. diary of the dead opens this friday.


cybersounds reviews

reviews of cybersounds at the resource center for cyberculture studies. this one is (if you're me) rather flattering. apparently it's rccs book of the month for march '08.


p2p stuff

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is facing the possibility of legal action from artists who claim to have received no money from the settlement of peer-to-peer cases.
The RIAA has negotiated settlements worth hundreds of millions of dollars from YouTube, Napster, Kazaa and others, but the artists whom the organisation has been so litigiously defending say that they have not seen a cent.
or check this:
Although legal music downloads are on the rise, they account for only 10 percent of the way music is acquired. And that figure is still dwarfed by the 19 percent of U.S. citizens acquiring music via peer-to-peer filesharing. Furthermore, 1 million customers simply dropped out of the CD buyer market, and 48 percent of all U.S. teens did not buy a single CD last year.
The oddest news to come out of NPD's report is the company's forecast for potential growth in legal downloads. NPD's entertainment industry analyst, Russ Crupnick, said in a prepared statement that a real growth area in digital sales will be in repackaging catalog titles. In other words, baby boomers, the music industry wants to sell you your fifth copy of Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon.”