Forests: A Parallax View in Music

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By Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky

“To speak truly, few adult persons can see Nature.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

It’s been said that wilderness holds answers to questions we have not yet learned to ask. Here’s a question: How would you make a composition out of a forest? Would you have instruments made from wood? Well, that’s already been done for hundreds of years—every single instrument that influences our modern sensibility comes from wood or metal. But what about the information that forests generate? That’s what I thought about when I began work on a symphony about forests.

It’s been decades since Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer coined the term “soundscape” but for me, a 21st century update is the term “acoustic environment.” It’s an idea that informs my work, and that give me inspiration for a project that, at core,is as much about the collision between code and culture, as it is about the massive disruption of the ecosystem.

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DJ Spooky’s Heart of a Forest Tour

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PROJECT INFO HERE
EVENT INFO HERE

November 6, 4 p.m. – Enterprise, hosted by Fishtrap
November 9, 7 p.m. – Portland, hosted by World Forestry Center
Win tickets to the Portland event HERE
November 10, 7 p.m. – Newport, hosted by Newport Performing Arts Center
November 11, 6 p.m. – Bend, hosted by The High Desert Museum

DJ Spooky will mix live, recorded and electronic music with aerial video of Oregon forests, along with an on-stage conversation with a forest ecologist. The multimedia show is inspired by symphonic music Miller composed during four seasonal artist residencies at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascades. The score, which was debuted and recorded with the Oregon State University Wind Ensemble earlier this year, metaphorically explores spring, summer, fall and winter through sound and imagery.

For the Heart of a Forest project, Miller wanted to understand “how to remix some of the ways we think about traditional forms of music versus digital interpretation of nature. Is the landscape a portrait? Is a composition a portrait? I think we need music to catalyze how we can rethink our relationship to nature.” Miller says that the piece is inspired by Thoreau and the collision of data, sound and new ways to think about the absence of origins.

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DJ Spooky announced as Artist in Residence at Stanford University

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Every year, Brown seek new ways to connect research with leading media innovators, and we are happy to announce that we named DJ Spooky, aka That Subliminal Kid, Paul D. Miller, as the Brown Distinguished Media Innovator for 2017. DJ Spooky’s work ranges from creating the first DJ app to producing an impactful DVD anthology about the “Pioneers of African American Cinema”. According to a New York Times review, “there has never been a more significant video release than Pioneers of African-American Cinema.

The prolific innovator and artist also created 13 music albums and is about to release a fourteenth. Called “Phantom Dancehall”, it is an intense mix of hip hop, Jamaican ska and dancehall culture. Paul D. Miller will engage in Brown-related collaborations all year, and his residency will culminate in a week-long series of lectures, workshops and performances at Stanford University starting April 10, 2017.

DJ Spooky’s lectures are part of the new Brown Institute Lecture series at Stanford, which we launch with Internet pioneer and founder of archive.org Brewster Kahle on October 11, 2016.

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PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA

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Landmarks of early African-American film, remastered in HD from archive elements, digitally restored, loaded with bonus content. Created by Kino Lorber.

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“This very special collection illuminates one of the most fascinating and unjustly neglected corners of American movie history.” Martin Scorsese on Pioneers of African American cinema.

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THE REBEL JOURNEY

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“Rebels are alive. In past centuries, rebels fought against everything and everyone – today, more than everything and everyone, rebels shine. Yes, rebels shine: reaching for infinity, striving to surpass all limits, to outdo themselves and their own art, character and wit. To shine into infinity is not a small matter: it is the substance of rebels.”

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Sponsored by Hogan Rebel & Directed by Giorgio Arcelli Fontana.
DJ Spooky performs with his DJ Mixer iPad App.