Real Skate Rock: Musique Concrete

 Musique Concrete

Musique Concrete: Transforming Space, Sound, and the City Through Skateboarding. Hmm. Sounds better than my original post title – Techno Skate Nerd. I’m getting bombarded with emails about Musique Concrete. It’s almost as if some people make a point of reading this site! The emails range from the positive to nominations for Annoying Kid of the Month. Quotes like “My wheels make the sound of a harp!” should be more than enough to get the motion seconded. Here’s the deal: Simon Morris has outfitted a skateboard with sensors that measure the tilting trucks and spinning wheels. Computers automagically turn that information into light and sound. This must be the worlds first midi skateboard. Tip of the hat to Joesf for being the original tipster.

The wheels handle percussion and the trucks are more tonal. I actually think it’s a cool idea. Skate nerds have traditionally been a part of our culture. Actually kiddies, there used to be a time when merely riding a skateboard made you a kook. So yes, let’s expand our horizons, but no street skating! (Ha! I kid!) A plus for seeing an idea through to fruition. However in most of the videos it seems pretty clear that he needs to change the instruments. The sound the rolling wheels generate tend to drown out the information generated by the the truck sensors. Maybe the wheels should moderate the tempo and the truck should moderate pitch. Of course it’s easy for me to sit in a chair and criticize when I’ve been the weak link in most every band I’ve ever been in. Check out the videos of the setup, which are generally more interesting than the actual performance videos. My favorite is the one titled “Turning.”

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