Tag Archives: featured

The Sweet Sound of History:

Of the masterpieces submitted to Libraryhack, most were created from the extensive collections of photos, maps and newspapers made available by participating libraries.

But where do you start when you want to hack sound?

This was the problem faced by Andrei Maberley, Sound Catalyst at The Edge, when he came across a collection of old copyright free scores housed at The State Library of Queensland. These scores had been captured as images, and while they held the promise of sounds to come, were as yet, unusable for musicians and remixers.

So Andrei went to work and it was, by no means, a quick or easy task.

The original files were medium to low resolution images and Andrei’s ultimate goal was to convert these to MIDI files, sound files that could be used in sound editing software. Many programs were put to the test, Sebelius, Sharpeye and an open source musical optical character recognition program, to no result before Andrei realised that the resolution of the images was causing the problem.

With the help of State Library staff, Andrei got hold of some higher resolution TIFF files. After enlisting The Edge’s designer, Brett, he proceeded to convert the high resolution TIFF files into black and white image files. Any embedded images and lyrics then had to be removed in preparation for the files to be transferred to MIDI.

In the end Andrei created 420 files, ready to re-scan, turn into MIDI files, and re-name from a random number (402054.jpg) into a score title (Mafeking Walz.MIDI).

Thanks to Andrei’s persistence, passion and technical expertise we now have a select number of digitised scores in MIDI. Sharpeye came through in the end, but Andrei still had to hand correct notes that were lost in transition. These files have made the ‘hip hop hack’ workshops possible and Andrei also developed his own ‘Hack to the Future’ music remixing workshops using Ableton Live.

We would like to officially thank Andrei for his all his masterful work and the outstanding contribution that he has made to The State Library of Queensland and the Libraryhack project.

Here is an example of some of the new musical works created from the MIDI files.
Andrei Maberley: Edge Elegy
River Petein: Soldiers of the willow meets the 16th Battalion

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Ho ho!

This latest update brings with it a touch of festivity. If you haven’t already been smothered by Christmas cheer I’m here to remind you that the silly season is well and truly upon us. If, like me, you’re already a little overwhelmed (i.e. fed up…) with the constant commercial onslaught of buy! buy! buy! and useless crap that changes hands during this time of year.. there is a ray of hope. You can have a happy Christmas without STUFF! Check out a little group called Life Squared’s free guide called How to Have a Better Xmas. Reduce your environmental hoofprint with a guaranteed better Christmas!

Now on to my my recent Catalyst shenanigans..

Moss Code

While I was in San Francisco earlier in the year I picked up a fantastic little book called The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith. One of the neat little activities in this book is to create Moss Graffiti. We were talking amongst ourselves here at the Edge and Mick told me about an idea he had to design t-shirts with a QR (quick response) code on them that linked to a webpage containing a generic t-shirt design (like the good old Che Guevera face). So.. we thought, why not create Moss Code? That is.. a QR code made of moss that takes users to a webpage explaining the project!

So as a trial, I went out into the jungle and gathered some moss, brought it back to the Edge, cleaned it up, combined it with buttermilk and sugar in the blender and voila; moss paint! With Brett’s help we generated our own QR code and then armed with the horrible smelling moss goo, a ladder and a projector I painted our QR code onto the outside wall of the Edge building. After about 3 hours of painstaking brushwork and countless passerby enquiries the piece was complete. I whipped out my iPhone and to my great delight my QR scanner picked up the code and took me straight to the webpage we had created for the project! Check out all of the photos here.

Sadly, this is where the story ends. In true guerilla style we didn’t exactly go through the right avenues to gain permission to paint onto the side of the building (woops). So Moss Code (Beta) disappeared quicker than you can say ‘quick response’. But the experiment worked and with some proper planning and collaboration between the other Catalysts, we aim to have something bigger and better adorning the walls of our building in the early new year. Stay tuned!

Seed Bomb Workshop Next Saturday 18 December!

Here it is! My first public workshop as a Catalyst!  Ever notice those ugly pockets of your neighbourhood that need some love? This is your chance to paint the town green one seed bomb at a time. With the help of Greening Australia’s Seed Bank we have access to a collection of local native wattle and tea tree seeds to create our own self-propagating plant in a ball. In this one hour workshop you’ll be given all of the ingredients to make your very own seed bombs and you will be asked to drop them into abandoned pockets of your neighbourhood, photograph them and add their location to our shared interactive map. Our plan is to create a greener city and watch these local natives grow both online and in our neighbourhoods. Be a part of the action and book your spot by emailing book.it@edgeqld.org.au. Places are limited. Just bring yourself and be prepared to get your hands dirty!

Cool stuff

So before I go here’s three things that have entertained me in the last couple of  weeks:

A car that’s grown from seeds (the ultimate seed bomb)

Something something…wikileaks… something…wikileaks…something…Julian Assange…

In celebration of Back to the Future’s 25th anniversary here’s some vintage Crispin Glover (aka. George McFly)..clowny clown clown. Don’t play this to your kids before they go to bed.

Oh and if you want more regular ball by ball action (uggh don’t mention the cricket) of my catalyst and other adventures follow me on twitter.

Over and out.