This Week We Heard

Relevant and inspiring happenings tied into music and media

Google’s Chrome Music Lab: sparking musical curiosity in-browser.

Google has launched the Chrome Music Lab, a collection of interactive instruments that allows you to experiment with music in your browser. Don’t be fooled by the adorable infantile-like animations or the fact the platform was originally designed as part of Music In Our Schools, it’s a sophisticated blend of technology, art and science that manages to keeps things simple by offering 12 different sonic experiences: from basic musical concepts such as chords and rhythm, to more advanced usages like a spectogram, oscillators, and harmonics. It’s aim: “make learning music a bit more accessible to everyone, by using technology that’s open to everyone – the web”.

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Ikea didn’t make this amazing instrument; but they should have.

The wonderful ‘Marble Machine’ is an elaborate hand-cranked wooden machine that uses 2,000 marbles striking drum pads, a bass guitar, a vibraphone, and other elements to produce music. Created by Martin Molin of the band Wintergatan, the elaborate assembly required is easy to imagine as an Ikea-style instruction manual. Quoted as saying “the closer the machine gets to be finished the harder it gets to finish it”, Molin and his team have finally completed the project more than a year since it started. Nothing to do with Ikea I hear you bray. OK, check out this branded content piece that Ikea produced in conjunction with UK Hip Hop artist Harry Love, decking his studio out from top to bottom.

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The Taxonomy Of Artists: Next Big Sound

Their latest report aims to classify and track (amongst other things) an expected rate of growth for artists who fit into each of one of five stages indentified within (Undiscovered, Promising, Established, Mainstream and Epic) as well as their patterns of behaviour within those categories. So why have they done this? Well simply put it helps benchmark artists against each other, a “yardstick” as it were of potential growth off the back of which solid strategies can be built. Supplementing their report with their researched methodology, Next Big Sound have even made it interactive: simply type in an artist’s name to measure online aspects of their career, and hey presto, those insights can then be used to one’s advantage.

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Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II: focus on music photographer Kane Hibberd

Purveyor of iconic footwear Converse has teamed up with one of the country’s best-known and most widely respected music photographers Kane Hibbered (a.k.a. Kanye Lens) whose celebrated work was independently published in his book ‘Kanye Lens VS Soundwave’. Together with they’ve produced a Converse-sponsored mini-documentary about his work behind-the-scenes and what it takes to capture iconic moments, and the challenge of summing up the raw energy of festivals and concerts in a singular shot. Converse are no strangers to leveraging the power of music to create a deeper connection with their audiences; their philanthropic approach with Rubber Tracks last year went global.

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AC/DC launches bourbon & cola tinnies; asks fans to “show us your cans”.

Australian rock legends AC/DC have announced the launch of their very own limited-edition line of alcoholic beverages to coincide with their ‘Let There Be Rock Fund’ competition to help fledgling Australian music artists. A series of collectable cans will be released periodically throughout 2016 showcasing their album covers, working in tandem with a competition inviting up and coming Australian music talent to cover their favourite AC/DC song in any genre or style. Shazam-enabled cans and product packaging will help amplify the promotion, driven via social with the #showusurcans hashtag. Hmmmmm…

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Pretty Shady goes behind-the-scenes at Kid Kenobi’s sun-drenched studio.

In the fight against skin cancer, Safe & Sound teamed up Pretty Shady with legendary Australian DJ/producer Kid Kenobi to create a track for summer entitled ‘Sunshine’. As part of the campaign, Kid Kenobi worked alongside Pretty Shady to document the creative process, unveiling the writing process via his social channels, with regular updates to his fans and followers throughout each stage of the track’s production. Kid Kenobi’s fans were even privy to a behind-the-scenes photo shoot of him working on the track in his sun-drenched studio in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, NSW. There’s a competition running to remix the track – fancy your chances in the studio?

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