I’ll be heading out for another string of concerts with Gaetan Roussel starting this fall. Last time around in 2010/2011 was great fun, and I’m looking forward to doing it again. The new album is coming out in the fall, I got to do some keyboard work on it, and it’s an exciting new record that we’re all looking forward to playing live. Here’s the video for the first single, Éolienne.
Interesting article in the New York Times here about the experience of listening to music from a neuroscientific standpoint. It turns out that if listening to music can sometimes feel like a drug, it’s because it stimulates the same dopamine producing reward centers of the brain that most drugs do. The article also talks about how the stimulation occurs not only during the climactic moments in music pieces, but often in the moments of tension and anticipation that precede them. There are some interesting passages about how the auditory cortex allows us to “hear” music by simply imagining it, and allows us to expect certain harmonies, melodies, scales etc. while listening to music, depending on the conventions of the musical culture that we have been exposed to. And it also predictably turns out we’re more likely to click buy on iTunes if a piece of music is stimulating the auditory cortex or if listening causes dopamine to be released. The research is coming out of a lab in Montreal, and the BBC also did this piece on the work they are doing there.
I just finished a fun week in the studio with the talented Julie Bessa for her upcoming debut album, produced by Julien Delfaud. I brought along a lot of keyboards and equipment, and most of it made its way into the arrangements of Julie’s songs with good results. But in the end it was a 2€89 iPhone app that stole the show. The Yellofier app that I discovered recently, and mentioned in a previous post, turned out to be incredibly efficient for quickly sampling, manipulating and sequencing sounds. You record anything with your iPhone, the app chops up the audio automatically, you make a sequence of the pieces and add a few of the internal effects to them, and you have a cool loop, arpeggio, drum pattern etc. in a matter of minutes. Running the loops through an external analog filter added some additional variation. By the end of the week, the drummer, Rémi Sanna, was also using the app to make loops, that worked beautifully within the songs. I think this app will be a staple of any musician’s iPhone in a matter of months.