Arcade Fire Frontman’s Grandfather Helped Invent the Electric Guitar

What’s the diminutive of ‘mind-blowing’?  How does one indicate a spot on the continuum of emotions between ‘oh, that’s interesting’ and ‘holy sweet goddamn!’? Among my many areas of interest is that of instrument inventors.  I dabble myself, mostly in making electrical contacts that warp the frequency of a triggered sample, but still, there’s an aspirational admiration for those who have pushed through with their tinkering and made a mode of music that became a standard, that provided the very vocal cord of a whole means of expression.  And of that pantheon, there’s a special place for the tweakers of that universal weapon of the Western music canon, the electric guitar.  Credit due to Les Paul, with his electric log, and credit to George Beauchamp, for guiding this innovation.  Credit to the swamp-pop stylings of Willie Joe Duncan and his unitar. So I found it notable to discover that the […]

MK1 MIDI Controller at ITP NIME 2009

MK 1 MIDI Guitar at ITP NIME 2009 from Aaron Cael on Vimeo. Headed out to the NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) show this past Tuesday to do a little fitful start of the actual journalism thing. Shot a lot of blurry video so there’s more to come. Above’s a little number that got mentioned on the Make blog this week: the MK 1 MIDI controller. Ain’t that sweet looking? The blurb on the show flyer sez: The MK 1 is a programmable MIDI controller in a familiar form factor. Comprised of 32 LED pushbuttons and six touch-sensitive copper plates, the MK 1 allows the user to control music synthesizers by means other than a traditional keyboard. Finally an upgrade to enable the keytar player to actually get laid after the show. Excellent. We need those guys breeding. More on this later as I slice things up and ask […]