BBC Engineering Monographs from 1950s and '60s: Once 5 Shillings, Now Free

The legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop closed down in 1998, after 40 years. 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2008, and a just-published book by academic Louis Niebur, titled Special Sound (Oxford), have helped to secure the Workshop's legacy of sonic experimentation, notably the efforts of such figures as Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram, and the creation of the theme song and sci-fi sound design for Doctor Who -- not to mention work on Quatermass serials and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Read the rest

Seaquence: "An experimental musical petri-dish"

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Why not take the idea of generative sound literally?

John Conway certainly set the standard during the early 1970s for taking the programming-as-organism metaphor at its word with his Rules of Life. Read the rest

Wax Cylinder: Occult Sonic Technology of a Bygone Age, Good as New

(Photo: Thomas Adank, courtesy Touch)

Move over, cassette-tape and 8-track reanimators. There's a far older—and arguably more beautiful—retro-tech sonic fetish object in town: the wax cylinder. Read the rest

If You Meet the Buddha Machine on the Road, Hack It

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for your most sonically adventurous friends or loved ones? Look no further.

The Buddha Machine, introduced in 2005 (and blogged here many many many many times before), is a portable little sound-loop device in a plastic box introduced five years ago by the China-based duo FM3 (aka Zhang Jian and Christiaan Virant). Read the rest

Netlabels: Release, Remix, Repeat

(Photograph contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by BB reader Josh Koonce)

If there's a more robust realm of music more closely simpatico with the Creative Commons philosophy than netlabels, please let me know what it is. Read the rest

Music Apps Killed the MP3 Star

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The Hollywood life cycle has become familiar: it starts as a movie, continues as a comic, and then proceeds to app stage. Read the rest

Susan Philipsz becomes first sound artist to win Turner Prize

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Student protests greeted the announcement of Susan Philipsz as this year's winner of the Turner Prize, the biggest annual award for an artist in Britain. Read the rest