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cheyenne_h on 08/13/2018 at 10:37AM

Foo Fest 2018 Is Coming!

FOO FEST is AS220's annual summer block party all-ages fundraiser in downtown Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday, August 18th, 2018!

From 1 PM to 1 AM, outside on Empire Street and inside AS220, people of all ages will delight in 12 incredible hours of music, art, performance, kid and family-friendly activities, hands-on interactive art experiences from local artists, makers, and like-minded arts and cultural organizations, delectable food and drink, and much more, all highlighting arts, culture, and creativity in Providence and the Ocean State!

We've included some of the tracks from their preview mix below, but you can listen to the full sampler here! You can also listen to previous years' samplers at the AS220 FMA page.

For tickets visit here.

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cheyenne_h on 08/07/2018 at 01:27PM

Battery Operated Orchestra's delighful, minimalist synth-pop

image via Facebook.

Their formula is simple, but the results are wonderful. Just because something is labeled 'minimalist' doesn't mean it can't be layered and interesting. A group that demonstrates this principle beautifully are Battery Operated Orchestra: the duo of Chris Black and Brigitte Rose from Brighton, UK. Their "Wish List" EP has only four tracks, but it packs a lot of enjoyment into those fifteen minutes. See if you agree and have a listen below! 

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cheyenne_h on 08/01/2018 at 09:53AM

FMA Q&A: Yan Terrien

A laser harp, created by Yan Terrien, played by Jean-Michel Jarre. photo via Facebook.

Yan Terrien is a French musician who experiences inspiration for his music all over his life: from mathematical experiments and outer space, to time spent in hospitals, his music is an expression of his mind, body and soul. We find his music compelling, as well as the stories behind his songs. Give our interview a read below: 

 

FMA: Tell us a little about yourself. 

Yan Terrien: My name is Yan Terrien. I am French and live near Marseilles. I was born in 1951 and worked all my life as a show technician. I am self-taught and have learned computers as artists have asked me to create systems for them. I made laser harps, show-control software, giant image projectors, fireworks sequencers, and so on. [Note: the photo above is of a laser harp made by Yan, played by Jean-Michel Jarre.]

FMA: How would you describe the music you make?

Yan Terrien: I make algorithmic music, but, not having the level nor the basics in mathematics, my approach has been empirical from the beginning. The path that I took consists of writing computer code to create sequences of MIDI commands. The method that I used in the albums "Music For Corridors" and "Streaks" was to write JavaScript code in "Max For Live" modules. I wrote scripts that send commands to the MIDI tracks of the Ableton software, and then reworked the recorded tracks to make them sound according to the emotions I wanted to express. When I used this method, I was under morphine treatment for lung cancer, which explains the atmosphere of the album "Music For Corridors." I used the same technique in the album "Streaks" but with less audio effects to maintain a raw piano sound. For example, the song "Bond Band" repeats random arpeggios and the algorithm varies the velocity of each note to obtain a different resonance at each repetition. I also used my scripts to generate random solos in music with a different genre, as in the song "Secret Latch" of the album "Music For Me" (is it Pop ?). 

FMA: How did you start making music?

Yan Terrien: I learned piano when I was young. As a teenager, I was playing bass guitar in a rock band that became "The Rockets" afterwards, a space rock band! 

But I stopped music when I became a father at 22. I started to create computer music in 1984 on a MSX, but the first music software that I wrote on PC, Synthia, was an interface that controlled oscillators. I used it recently to create the sounds of the Thiasyn song. In the 90s I wrote Katorzer, where you had to enter some fancy parameters that created note and velocity loops. It was my first attempt with the method that I use now. At this time, composer Forrest Fang used it in some of his compositions. 

FMA: How did you find the Free Music Archive, and why did you want to put your music on our platform?

Yan Terrien: I was looking for a platform where I could put music with a CC license and where people could download it to use it for their own creations. I was not happy with Soundcloud because, apparently, only musicians go on Soundcloud, it's a closed world. On FMA, people come because they know they can find good music without being sued because they use it.

I like the fact that people can download my music to use it for their own creations. At the moment it's mostly for videos but I dream that my music can be used in a contemporary ballet, I would be overjoyed to see artists dance on my music.

FMA: Tell me about some of the places your music has ended up.

I have created a YouTube playlist with all the videos using my music since I put it on FMA (57 videos since June). 

FMA: Do you have any artistic influences? What or who are they?

Yan Terrien: My influence are multiple. I like all music genres, from hermetic electronics to syrupy classic. But my favorite artist is Ryuichi Sakamoto, for his sensitivity, his eclecticism, his sense of beauty, his aura. He is a master.

FMA: What project are you working on right now (musical or not) that you're excited about?

Yan Terrien: Today my lung cancer has woken up, although it has been quiet for a year now, so I will focus on the treatments. But at the same time I'm looking for a new way to use my computer skills to create music. I try new programs, I explore, something will eventually end up ...

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cheyenne_h on 07/30/2018 at 02:02AM

Let The Polish Ambassador take you on a "Twilight Safari"

Over the course of more than 190 tracks spanning 15 releases, The Polish Ambassador has generously shared more music than most at the Free Music Archive through Jumpsuit Records. We are delighted to recommend his new album, "Twilight Safari," from its beautiful cover art to the killer tracks themselves. If you need some hip-hop-infused electronic/dance music to groove to, this is a prime cut. Packed with collaborators, there's a lot of diversity, lending their own flavors (and words) to what would otherwise be a primarily instrumental electronic album. 

The selection we're offering below is limited - there are fourteen tracks on this album - so if you like what you hear, pick it up on FMA or Bandcamp to give a full listen.

The instrumental/sample-vocal tracks definitely stand on their own, of course - "The Little Lifeform That Could" and "Escape Jupiter" have especially addictive beats. Ending on "Darker Shades of Wizardry," the Ambassador leaves you wanting more. So we'll keep you posted when his next album drops. 

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cheyenne_h on 07/26/2018 at 02:50PM

Juniore's French Pop, courtesy of WFMU

French indie-pop band Juniore visited WFMU to perform on Sophisticated Boom Boom with Sheila B on Friday, July 13 2018. Their session was added to the archive this week, and we wanted to shine a spotlight on these wonderful tracks. There are elements of Françoise Hardy and other slinky French pop stars that came before, but there are also clear through-lines to early rock and roll, from overblown organ interludes to bluesy bass walks, and a touch of surf here and there. 

Thanks to WFMU and Sophisticated Boom Boom for bringing live music to the Free Music Archive! 

Listen to the full performance below, or if you want to hear an interview with the band in addition to the full archived WFMU episode, click here

 

Juniore - "En Cavale" (06:06)
Juniore - "En Cavale" (06:06)
Juniore - "Difficile" (03:33)
Juniore - "Difficile" (03:33)
Juniore - "Panique" (04:10)
Juniore - "Panique" (04:10)
Juniore - "Soudain" (03:42)
Juniore - "Soudain" (03:42)
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cheyenne_h on 07/25/2018 at 11:46AM

Timecrawler 82 Brings Retrowave To FMA

via bandcamp.

Retrowave is a term used to describe music that hearkens back to early synth sounds used in pop. In this case, think of early Japanese animation. Fast cars, chunky moto jackets, night marketplaces, dance clubs and asymmetrical hair. It might also be called Citypop - a term that is a jazzy, cosmopolitan sound that was all the rage in 1980s Japan. This album, Osaka Lights, brings the more synth-driven sound to the fore.

Opening with "Driving In The Rain" (complete with field recordings from a rainstorm), the tone is set: this is an album for cruising around a neon-lit city at night, sparkling and refracted in a million raindrops on a windshield. "Mount Fuji" gets a little darker and blustery, whereas "Palms and Seagulls" has a distinct summery, beachy cruise vibe. Listen below. 

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cheyenne_h on 07/23/2018 at 11:08AM

Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal's "Enchanted Forest" Is Beautiful, Haunting, and Complex

The "Enchanted Forest" of Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal is a many-splendored listen. Each track has its own texture and unique flow. The opening, title track introduces the album in a calming, meditative way, but the rest of the album veers from that path often, to introduce new sonic landscapes. "Know Your Birds" helps you learn to identify birdcalls.  "Tryptic Dance" trots along with arpeggiating synths, drum machines, and live-looped marimba to encourage trancelike listening, and then hits you with a synth solo that is as unexpected as it is appropriate, it flits around the track with the random calculations of a moth circling a flame. "Orange Sunshine" brings the album full circle, ending in a place that is similar to where it began. 

This Baltimore duo is making something in the tradition of many other new age artists working around the world, bringing this gentle, progressive music form back into the limelight. If you enjoy music that is progressive, layered electronic, or vaguely educational, you may want to give this one a listen. 

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cheyenne_h on 07/18/2018 at 02:09PM

Fonogramas América Afroindígena

A new curator has joined us in the last few months bringing music from Central and South America, Fonogramas América Afroindígena! If you enjoy the sounds of Latin American folk, blended with sounds of African diaspora, you'll enjoy the music that this unique netlabel has to offer. While their current offerings are somewhat small, they are wildly diverse, rich collections. You'll hear influences from Mexican folk traditions, including mariachi and banda music, as well as indigenous sounds, instruments, and some tracks that are wonderful representations of the cultural diversity that permeates Central and South America. 

Have a listen below, or go explore their full collection here!

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cheyenne_h on 07/18/2018 at 02:00PM

The Sacred Sounds of Youssoupha Sidibe

Profoundly peaceful and inspiring, Senegalese musician Youssoupha Sidibe's harping skills will likely leave you in a state of relaxed awe. The album shared with us, "Sacred Sound," is a tender and beautiful performance of the Kora, an African harp that can be plucked, strummed, or otherwise brought to life. You can listen to selections from the release below, or visit the full album and experience it for yourself. 

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youssoupha sidibe
cheyenne_h on 07/18/2018 at 09:08AM

Experimental Jazz with Sam Newsome

New York-based musician Sam Newsome specializes in pushing the medium of solo saxophone. He was invited to WFMU to perform live on the radio for Kurt Gottschalk's program, Miniature Minotaurs, on July 13th. The recordings are edgy, raw, and innovative. His techniques range from traditional vibrato and percussive methods to unusual additions to his instrument to create extra sounds, textures, and depth to his work. 

"My music," says Newsome, "is a type of improvisatory art music in which jazz functions more as a resource than a musical genre to be interpreted with stylistic specificity." 

His first improvisation session is more experimental than the second, with chimes hanging from the instrument, percussive key-tapping, and an exploration of low-range sounds that issued from his instrument. The second improvisation is laced with arpeggios and bears a resemblance to compositions by Philip Glass.

Want to hear it already? Click on a track below: 

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