Category Archives: Music

Playing pop music via paper posters with conductive ink

Paper posters that play music via printed circuits made with conductive ink have been unveiled. The prototype “Listening Post” poster is a guide to bands performing locally. The interactive poster plays a short clip of a band’s music when a thumbnail image is pressed. Tickets can also be booked via the poster.The low cost of… Read More »

Spider silk spun into violin strings

A Japanese researcher has used thousands of strands of spider silk to spin a set of violin strings. The strings are said to have a “soft and profound timbre” relative to traditional gut or steel strings. That may arise from the way the strings are twisted, resulting in a “packing structure” that leaves practically no… Read More »

Explore the world, make art

There are so many great amateur photos out there. Try the “instagram” app for the iPhone, for example, and you can see photos other people have posted which become popular. Why take even more photos? Why write new songs, new books, and so on, when there are already so many? For the fun of creation!… Read More »

Choral work seeks record-breaking bass singer

A record company has begun a worldwide search for the singer who can sing a note so low that it is thought never to have been sung before. Written by Military Wives composer Paul Mealor, the choral work De Profundis includes a low E, which lies more than two octaves below middle C. It is… Read More »

Etta James: Soul legend dies in California

US soul singer Etta James, best known for the tracks At Last and for I’d Rather Go Blind, has died aged 73. It was announced last year that the singer had been diagnosed with leukaemia and was undergoing treatment. The star began singing in a group aged 14, before she embarked upon a solo career… Read More »

Jackson doctor Conrad Murray sentenced to four years

Conrad Murray, the US doctor convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of pop superstar Michael Jackson, has been sentenced to four years in county jail. Murray was found guilty earlier this month after a six-week trial. Judge Michael Pastor told the court that while Murray was legally eligible for probation, he did not think his actions… Read More »

Google To Unveil Online Music Store

Google Inc is expected to unveil on Wednesday an online music download store featuring songs from three major music companies, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Sony Corp’s Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group and EMI Music are expected to have deals with Google in place in time… Read More »

Spontaneous conduction: The music man with no written plan

  Imagine conducting an orchestra without following any sheet music. It’s an art that Lawrence “Butch” Morris has been working on for 26 years – called conduction. Morris improvises using a series of signs and gestures to communicate with the musicians. They don’t follow any particular music. There are also no songs, just sets. Morris… Read More »

Removal of restrictions can decrease music piracy

Contrary to the traditional views of the music industry, removal of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions can actually decrease piracy, according to new research from Rice University and Duke University. Marketing professors Dinah Vernik of Rice and Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke used analytical modeling to examine how piracy is influenced by the… Read More »

Derek Paravicini, Blind Musical Savant

Derek Paravicini is a 32-year-old blind, autistic man with a stunning talent: he is a musical prodigy who can replay songs and instrumental pieces on piano after hearing them just once, and then also improvise and play them in different styles. This recent BBC News report gives a quick insight into his talents, but for… Read More »

Rock legends REM announce split

Members of legendary US rock band REM have announced they are splitting up after 31 years. “We have decided to call it a day as a band,” the band said. “To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” The group found fame with a string of albums, notably 90s… Read More »

Doris Day makes UK chart history

Doris Day has become the oldest artist to score a UK Top 10 with an album featuring new material, according to the Official Charts Company. Day’s My Heart has gone in at number nine, 62 years after the 87-year-old’s debut album was released in the US. My Heart is a selection of recordings produced by… Read More »

Greatest Guitar Solo Ever?

The YouTube title of the above song is “Greatest Guitar Solo Ever”. I don’t agree, but Prince is great and I especially enjoyed Jeff Lynn (ELO) and Tom Petty singing this George Harrison song. Greatest Guitar Solo Ever – YouTube. My vote for greatest guitar solo ever: Edward Van Halen performing Eruption.

27 String Guitar: Keith Medley “Hall of the Mountain King”

Keith Medley makes beautiful music on his own creation; the one-of-a-kind 27-string guitar. In this new video Keith has re-arranged the classic piece “Hall Of The Mountain King” composed by Edvard Grieg for Peer Gynt in 1875. It is most recently know as an arrangement by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the David… Read More »

America (the Band) tonight

I just found out that America is performing tonight in Redding, CA. I was headed up to Mt Shasta anyway so I called the Cascade theatre and got one of the last tickets. America’s biggest hit was the song “Horse with no name”, but my favorite is “Sister Golden Hair.” It won’t be exactly the… Read More »

Seeing Jason Mraz at M.U.S.E., Shoreline

Just got my ticket.  Good cause. I’m looking forward to seeing Mraz again, plus I’ve never seen CSN or any of the others listed live before. M.U.S.E Benefit: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt Sun, Aug 7, 2011 03:00 PM Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA CROSBY, STILLS & NASH, JACKSON BROWNE, BONNIE RAITT,… Read More »

Dan Peek, co-founder of rock band America, dies at 60

Dan Peek, a co-founder and musician for the folk rock band America, famous for the No. 1 hit “A Horse with No Name,” has died. He was 60. Peek, who died on Sunday, founded the band in the late 1960s with bandmates Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell while they attended high school together in London,… Read More »

‘Celebrity’ Ferrari fetches £66,500 at auction

A yellow Ferrari previously owned by British rock guitarist Eric Clapton and radio presenter Chris Evans has fetched £66,500 at auction. The rare 2003 Ferrari 575 Maranello, which has 10,000 miles on the clock, was snapped up by a private buyer at a sale in Silverstone on Saturday. Auction manager Guy Loveridge said the vehicle… Read More »

The perfect connection between guitar and computer

Guitar virtuosos have to master all kinds of playing techniques. But how can the intricate process of playing the instrument be captured digitally? A special thin film on the tailpiece has the answer. Functioning as a sensor, it converts the tension on the string into digital control signals. Rapidly, but expressively and with amazing ease,… Read More »

Acoustic ‘cloaking device’ shields objects from sound

Scientists have shown off a “cloaking device” that makes objects invisible – to sound waves.Such acoustic cloaking was proposed theoretically in 2008 but has only this year been put into practice.Described in Physical Review Letters, the approach borrows many ideas from attempts to “cloak” objects from light.It uses simple plastic sheets with arrays of holes,… Read More »

What are Apple Scruffs?

The Apple scruffs were a loosely-knit group of hardcore Beatles fans who were known for congregating outside the Apple Corps building and at the gates of Abbey Road Studios in London during the waning days of Beatlemania in hopes of seeing or interacting with the band members. In February 1968 during the recording of “Across… Read More »

A better way to remember

Scientists and educators alike have long known that cramming is not an effective way to remember things. With their latest findings, researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan, studying eye movement response in trained mice, have elucidated the neurological mechanism explaining why this is so. Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, their results… Read More »

‘The Book of Mormon’ wins big at Tony Awards

“The Book of Mormon” inscribed its own chapter of Broadway history Sunday night, winning the Tony Award for best musical as well as eight others — a formidable harvest for the irreverent songfest by “South Park’s” Matt Stone and Trey Parker and “Avenue Q’s” Robert Lopez. “Mormon’s” bounty of nine trophies made it the top… Read More »

Songwriters: Song in progress? Get feedback here!

SONG WRITING FEEDBACK “WORKSHOP” I haven’t found a high quality helpful songwriter exchange that is quick and simple, so I’m creating one here: Xeno’s Free On Line 24/7 Songwriter Feedback Workshop Step 1: Email your song to me at Include any notes about what type of feedback you seek. You might say, “help I’m… Read More »

How To Play Guitar On The Les Paul Google Doodle LESSONS

Google introduced arguably its greatest doodle ever this morning, an interactive electric guitar to honor the 96th birthday of legendary musician and guitar innovator Les Paul. The doodle is definitely a whole lot of fun, but can also be incredibly addicting. For anyone who hasn’t spent the better part of their working day trying to… Read More »

Creating Cumbria’s musical hill

Five hundred musical instruments, powered only by the wind, have been installed in Cumbria to create what is billed as an “interactive musical landscape”. The sound made by the instruments, some conventional and some purpose-built, varies according to the wind strength and direction. French composer Pierre Sauvageot, along with French group Lieux Publics, is behind… Read More »

Help Xeno finish a song

I need your help. I started writing a song called “Mysterious Boom”, but got stuck. Please listen  (click Mysterious Boom in the widget on the left), download if you like, and leave a comment. What do you like? What would you change? Every view about a piece of art is interesting and equally valid… Read More »

How the Beatles got their name

I found this little video while listening to a lot of different music tonight on Youtube. Do you know about the site called which creates MP3’s for you from YouTube videos? I found out about it because I was reading about LimeWire paying RIAA $105 million dollars for allowing people to share music illegally.… Read More »

Paul McCartney Engaged To Nancy Shevell

Paul McCartney is ready to tie the knot with girlfriend Nancy Shevell. The couple, who have been dating for four years, are now engaged, a rep for McCartney told CNN. According to People, McCartney, 68, first began romancing Shevell, 51, during a summer in the Hamptons in 2007. A source tells the magazine that the… Read More »

Rosie Vela

Today I got curious about the female singer who is singing with Jeff Lynne in ELO. It turned out to be quite  a story. Roseanne “Rosie” Vela, born in the coastal city of Galveston, Texas,  stayed with her boyfriend Jimmy Roberts, and married him in the hospital before he died of cancer. He sang her… Read More »

Hello? … it’s Alan calling, Alan from Earth….

Yeah, Hello? Uh, if you’re there pick up, okay listen it’s Alan calling, Alan from Earth. You probably don’t remember, it’s over in the western spiral of the Milky Way although obviously you might have named it after a completely different brand of chocolate. Basically just find the Oort Cloud and ask for directions from… Read More »

How to rob me of $10 right now!

I just discovered that you can download my entire CD — Xenophilia, Cafe of Love, from 2001 — free on your iPhone. Go to the App store and get the free app called “MOG“. Use the free 7 day trial then search for “Xenophilia” and tap the arrows to download all my songs to your… Read More »

Johannes Heesters, world’s oldest active performing singer at 107

Johan Marius Nicolaas “Johannes” Heesters (born 5 December 1903) is a Dutch actor, singer and entertainer with a 90-year career, almost exclusively in the German-speaking world. In Germany and Austria, Heesters is mainly known for his acting career. As of 2011, aged 107, Heesters is the oldest performer worldwide who is still active, both on… Read More »

Universal property of music discovered

Researchers at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) of the University of Amsterdam have discovered a universal property of musical scales. Until now it was assumed that the only thing scales throughout the world have in common is the octave. The many hundreds of scales, however, seem to possess a deeper commonality: if… Read More »

Mustaine: Black magic haunts me

Megadeth rocker Dave Mustaine refuses to play heavy rock anthem The Conjuring live – because the track is laden with black magic imagery and occult spells. The singer became fascinated in witchcraft as a teen and he’s convinced spells he cast have come back to haunt him. Now a strict Christian, he’s keen to distance… Read More »

Musical sweet spot for 3D sound

“It’s as if you are in the room with the musicians” An enhanced way of creating 3D sound using computer software is attracting interest from the TV industry and Hollywood. I am standing in a foam-clad chamber with my eyes closed, listening to the sound of scissors dancing around my head. All that is missing… Read More »