Over the past year or so, to state the obvious, there’s been an explosion of artists and musicians wading into web3. NFTs—or non-fungible tokens; in basic terms, uncopyable digital signatures that provide an element of scarcity to virtual media—have become the main vehicle for this exploration. Even when an NFT work itself may be copied and distributed millions of times over, the owner of the NFT still has something that’s uniquely their own, as recorded via the blockchain. While the format lends itself somewhat naturally to the world of visual art, a realm long familiar with high-stakes speculation based on the scarcity of some singular piece, it’s becoming a more curious bedfellow to the micro-cents-per-stream scale of the streaming music world. With everyone from arena rockers to humble instrumentalists taking a crack at the NFT game, there’s been plenty of discussion about whether these tokens are just another tool for speculation or an actual alternative—in the same vein as Bandcamp’s more patronage-oriented streaming model—for musicians to retain greater profits from the sales of their work.
EVA DAO certainly falls into the latter of these two camps, and exists at the intersection of web3-influenced art and music. For context, DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization, a sort of cross between a fundraiser and a collective, where crypto is raised for a project; the contributors—in return, and in the absence of a centralized authority—receive tokens that give them a say in the decision-making process of the project. In this case of EVA DAO, it’s a platform for creating 3-D NFT artworks specifically to be featured alongside live electronic music concerts or as digital editions. EVA DAO’s co-founder, Matteo Milleri, of the Italian D.J. duo Tale of Us, began the effort with his creative partner, Alessio De Vecchi, when Milleri started performing with the moniker Anyma, under which he started to put on shows tied to an unfolding series of 12 connected NFT 3-D artworks that will eventually converge, with each NFT being sold at prices north of $100,000 to fund future installments.
Through EVA DAO, more artists and coders have been brought into the fold of what began as a project between Milleri and De Vecchi. It made its official debut this past May, in Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi, with “Let’s Get Digital,” an exhibition of audiovisual works co-curated by Museum of Contemporary Digital Art (MoCDA) founder Serena Tabacchi and Palazzo Strozzi general director Arturo Galansino. Notably, the exhibition made use of a development from crypto collective Kanon (a close collaborator of EVA DAO’s), allowing the NFT to be transferred between digital wallets while still maintaining a single owner. This meant that the NFT could be put up for auction and sold for 100 Ether (roughly $175,000 at this time of writing) and MoCDA could still borrow it afterwards, paying the collector a fee while putting it back on display at Palazzo Strozzi, but not compromising the ownership status of the piece.
Which exhibitions EVA DAO has in mind next, how much its NFTs will continue to fetch, and where the intended 12 installments will take the project all remain open questions. And only time will tell whether the NFT world, as with so much of web3, is here to stay, or if it will see the sort of staggering losses crypto has faced in its latest crash. For now, EVA DAO offers, more than anything, an interesting look at what mixed-media achieves in this new way of creating and the support it can provide for those that create with it.
Though nearly six years have gone by since Leonard Cohen’s passing, the long shadow cast by his legacy as one of the 20tSuzanne,” to the high drama of “Hallelujah,” to the chilling minimalist and gospel juxtaposition of his swansong “You Want it Darker,” Cohen managed to constantly reinvent himself, leaving behind the rare achievement of a musical body of work whose mos
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Music put out by artists from the Nordic region—an emerging hotbed for progressive musicians such as the prolific singer
Holger Schulze runs the Sound Studies Lab at the University of Copenhagen, where scholars and artists gather to explore
Call it “free jazz,” “avant-garde,” or “the new thing.” Just don’t call it predictable. Founded in Chicago in 1965 and sAssociation for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) has long been an emblem of experimental, improvised jazz. As author Paul Steinbeck describes in his new book, Sound Experiments: The Music of the AACM (University of Chicago Press), this collective came together to play and promote fearlessly original, spontaneous music
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Few musical genres capture the dizzying creative potential and sobering commercial realities of today’s moment quite likthe ever-bloating corpse of lo-fi beats playlists, or the number of times the word hyperpop entered a conversation in 2020), and federal disinterest in funding young musicians in any category beyond classical, o
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For Brian Sweeny, the line between performance and religious experience is ambiguous to say the least. Starting in 2016,Ambient Church, he began renting churches for musicians to perform their interpretations of meditative, devotional, and minimal music,Body Actualized Center—a storefront he and his friends transformed, using found and Craigslist-sourced materials, into a yoga studio that morphed into a venue for events including raves,Along with the acoustic benefits and aesthetic backdrops that churches provide, what do they bring to the performances ySome music is really delicate, especially when performed indoors, and needs complete quiet to be enjoyed—no clinking of What draws you to ambient music? I tend to think of ambient as more of an adjective, describing a sound or approach to musical creation rather than a genre. I love all music, and fourth world.” Acts like Salamanda from Seoul, YAI from Brooklyn, and Carmen Villain from Oslo come to mind. You call these performances “community experiences,” and never “concerts.” What makes you draw this distinction? The concert is a cultural construct that Ambient Church certainly overlaps with, in that we feature amplified and unimagEric Epstein, who has been blowing audiences away with his visual artistry since the beginning of the project. How has your approach to Ambient Church shifted over time? The vision has changed mostly in terms of its inclusivity. In the early stages, the audience I was trying to attract was
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How can we develop a deeper, more human and multifaceted understanding of the past? Economist Rob Johnson (who was the guest on Ep. 22 of our At a Distance podcast) knows all too well that studying data offers some answers—but that it doesn't represent the full picture. “Analysis ofInstitute for New Economic Thinking, an interdisciplinary collective of economists and thinkers who develop inventive methods to better serve communities aEconomics & Beyond, which draws on his extensive knowledge of everything from the climate crisis to the impact of music on public policy. a heartfelt playlist for us that represents what Detroit means to him. “Detroit has been the seedbed of creation for so many songs,” he saysListen to Johnson’s Detroit “In Our Hearts” playlist on Spotify.
By its name alone, the podcast Crypto Island stands to entice just as many people as it’s likely to turn off. Don’t be fooled, though. The series isn’t some well-tr
A disembodied rubber tongue juts from a brass contraption upon a wall that links it with motors, tubes, and metal. ArtifWeird Sensation Feels Good: The World of A.S.M.R.” (through October 16), a new exhibition at London’s Design Museum.
Live music performances, with their visceral, multisensorial energy, can be a form of sonic regeneration and discovery. Hiya Live Sessions, a multicity program of concerts and club nights, draws on this reality by focusing on experimental works by female art
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At the entrance of the Australian pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale, earplugs are handed out to visitors as a safeguaDesastres” (April 23–November 27), an immersive experimental sound project by artist Marco Fusinato that synchronizes stark sound
“We created rock and roll. We created swing,” says Terence Higgins, the veteran drummer of Louisiana’s legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band, in the new documentaTake Me to the River: New Orleans. (Beginning April 22, it will play at select theaters around the country.) Directed by Martin Shore, it captures accomplished musicians—all from within a 100-mile radius of the city—as they rTake Me to the River, created using a similar concept and centered on artists from Memphis, Tennessee; this time, the focus is on the Big Ea
What does healing look like, and in what ways does the American carceral system obstruct it? How can we care for each otThe Transformations Suite, a 2016 project that combined music, theater, and poetry to examine the history of resistance within communities of theBlack Spring, a 2020 collection of songs that took inspiration from ’60s protest music to address the current cultural and political
In his 1967 poem “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace,” the late author Richard Brautigan, a mascot of ’60s cou
“Quotations are signposts, a part of my sentimental education, part of the way I breathe in the world,” says Paul HoldenQuotomania, a project from Onassis Los Angeles (OLA)—at which Holdengräber serves as founding executive director—and the nonprofit radio station Dublab, Holdengräber
The English electronic musician and producer Jon Hopkins is widely known for his thumping dance music. His star began riSingularity in 2018. But on Hopkins’s sixth studio effort, Music For Psychedelic Therapy, released this past November, he changes direction. “It’s something very far away from a cosmic party or a set of festi
Throughout the 20th century, sculpture-making bubbled with experimentation, as practitioners explored various mediums, t
Poet, author, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib is a seasoned conductor of language. His writing—a blend of autobiography, social history, and pop-culture commentary—oObject of Sound, which unpacks how popular songs shape society; and runs the website 68to05, where he publishes essays and playlists of favorite albums recorded between 1968 and 2005. His 2019 book Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest explores the 30-year history of the hip-hop group and how its jazz-infused sounds and socially conscious lyrics influenA Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance (Random House), out next month in paperback, collects Abdurraqib’s thoughts on pivotal moments in pop culture—including
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In the womb, it is calm, quiet, and comfortable. We float about for our first nine months largely unbothered, with noiseSlowave, a New York–based ambient-music project that seeks to recreate the sonic landscape of our earliest days.
Oceans are among the most sound-rich environments on the planet—but because the water’s surface keeps most noises from pEp. 127 of our At a Distance podcast.)
Human-rights activist and Pakistan native Saadia Khan had been living in the United States for more than a decade when t
From 1996 to 2018, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı worked her way up the ranks of her family’s business, Turkey’s Hürriyet newspaper publishing group, one of the largest media companies in the country. During that time, she helped lead the fi
Last year, when the pandemic put much of Sydney, Australia–based coder and user-experience designer Adrian Ciaschetti’s
In 1938, Italian architect Franco Albini received a traditional wood-encased radio as a wedding gift—and proceeded to taRadio in Cristallo, was unveiled two years later at Wohnbedarf’s modern furniture competition in Zurich, but was never put into production
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Kevin Beasley’s First Live Outdoor Performance Examines the Everyday Cacophony of a New York City Intersection
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The arrival of autumn prompts many of us to layer up, and Japanese experimental musician Asuna follows suit—though with 100 Keyboards (September 30–October 2), an immersive audio presentation generated by overlapping tones, at the Brooklyn Academy of Mu
On the whole, a cover song rarely captures the sonic greatness of the original tune—but sometimes, such reinterpretationAmerikinda: 20 Years of Dualtone. It features Dualtone artists and alumni, who represent a who’s who of American heritage musicians, all covering one an
Podcasts are a powerful resource for those interested in learning about the singular, unimaginable tragedy of September Ep. 118 of our At a Distance podcast, out today, which features architect Daniel Libeskind, whose studio designed the original master plan of the new World
The façades of London’s historic buildings are often covered in decorative motifs. Among the most abundant is the cornuccornu copiae (“horn of plenty”), serves as a fitting emblem for “Sonic Bloom,” an outdoor installation by Japanese artist Yuri Suzuki that opened last week in Mayfair’s Brown Hart Gardens, near th
Hearing impairment can affect people at any age, especially musicians and fans who are regularly exposed to high-volume Crystal Guardian, aims to prevent.
“Kendrick Lamar is my favorite rapper of the modern era,” says veteran pop-culture critic and fiction writer Miles MarshDAMN., Lewis began talking about the songwriter and record producer with his agents and editor, and eventually set about unpaPromise That You Will Sing About Me: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar (St. Martin’s Press), out next month, eloquently considers and contextualizes Lamar’s work, life, and lyrics through the
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The greater our technological advances, the smaller our devices—or so it seems, at least, in the case of speakers. In thLumisonic, a wireless ceiling-mounted apparatus that combines superior audio with a dimmable LED light source for a singular atmo
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Spend a few hours with the Sounds of the Forest open-source library of woodland-area recordings, and you’ll be sure to see the forest for the trees. From the Alps to tEp. 114 of our At a Distance podcast), and one of our most spiritually beloved. Be they tropical or temperate, these dense ecosystems function as the world’
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Brooklyn-based model, artist, and activist Chella Man received his first hearing aids when he was 4 years old. Eight yeajewelry collection that Man released earlier this year in collaboration with the New York fashion label Private Policy. Together with desishort film that featured himself, alongside model Rayly Aquino and dancer Raven Sutton (who are both also deaf), wearing the jewel
In West Africa, legendary tales have been passed down for centuries by griots, storytellers who are also poets, historians, genealogists, and musicians. A deeply respected speaker, the griot is tasked with memorizing and retelling—sometimes with the addition of new details that relate to the lives of a modern
British musician Jack Stafford likens his Podsongs podcast to the end credits of a movie, when the title song plays and keeps audiences in their seats, embodying the spirplaylist. “When I listen to other podcasts now, and there’s no song at the end, there’s this huge letdown,” Stafford says. “This
Wizened cork oak trees carpet the gently swelling highlands of Portugal’s Alentejo region, where Cédric Etienne, co-founStudio Corkinho, is transforming a cork farm into an alternative healing retreat that will open in 2024 under the Slow hospitality bann
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Morning prayer. Children playing. Cooking dinner. Singing a lullaby. The quotidian sounds that form our everyday experiemahallas—tight-knit, multi-generational living quarters that feature shared amenities including kitchens and gardens—that are beMahalla: Urban Rural Living,” the pavilion of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, open today through November 21.
Late last year, park benches in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens—each with a clear view looking west—were stamped with smThe End of the Day, a meditative public audio experience created by artist April Soetarman. Her voice gently guides listeners through a 10
Every music fan knows the roster of iconic artists who died young, particularly those who passed around age 27, and gain
The fallout from the climate crisis gives us plenty to fear: habitat destruction, extreme weather, and—in case you slept through the last year—global pandemics. But clinical psychologist Margaret Klein Salamon, foundeEp. 51 of our At a Distance podcast), believes that fear and other intense emotions are some of our best tools for pursuing meaningful climate action. “PasClimate Emotions Conversations, a digital forum for people to express their emotions out loud.
Early American colonists mistook cicadas, compact insects with dark exoskeletons, glistening red eyes, and big wings, fo
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Numero Group is that rare music label with levels of passion, curiosity, and risk-taking equivalent to the artists it represents. Fr
Last week, the emerging Los Angeles folk duo Junaco released its latest single, “Weight of the World,” which they wrote after listening to Ep. 20 of our Time Sensitive podcast featuring fashion designer Jesse Kamm. (Pakistani singer Shahana Jaffer, who started the band three years ago with drumBlue Room, in June.
In colloquial Levantine Arabic, عفكرة roughly translates to “on second thought” or “come to think of it.” Pronounced afikra, the term is a fitting name for the grassroots movement social entrepreneur Mikey Muhanna founded in 2014, dedicated to cultivating curiosity about Arab history and culture. U
“Studies have shown that listening to the sound of beavers enthusiastically munching on white cabbage can temporarily retweeted last fall. (The account is maintained by the family of the late children’s book author, who wrote the story that inspired the criBabe). The post, accompanied by a video of a rodent enjoying a cabbage buffet, went viral and was clearly untrue—but nodded
The sounds of Legos poured out of a toybox, dropping to the floor, and clicking together are recognized all over the wor“White Noise” playlist. Made using only the sounds of Lego bricks and pieces, “White Noise” is a score of seven tracks made to produce calming
More than two decades in the making, the National Museum of African American Music opened last month in Nashville, Tennessee, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Through its seven galleries and the some 1,50
Dominated by companies such as Sony, Sennheiser, and Bose, which leverage technology to make ever-smaller components, thestimated $28.5 billion by the end of this year. On the flip side, there are proudly D.I.Y. audio designers like Devon Turnbull, who with his brand Ojas creates high-end sound systems from his basement and a studio near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. By hand-building speakers th
It’s been a tough year for musicians and DJs, as the pandemic continues to make traditional revenue streams for performiYoung Turks (which counts FKA twigs, Sampha, and The xx among the musicians on its roster), the absence of in-person performances ia playlist of uplifting songs for us that have “amplified the best parts of my year,” he says, “and distracted me from some of the worst.” There’s so
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Nestled in northwest Montana’s Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park comprises 1,583 square miles of scenic wilderness—
When Teenage Engineering released its OP-1 portable synthesizer, in 2011, the device received glowing reviews from an arOB-4, a Bluetooth speaker system that it’s billing as a “magic radio.” The term isn’t too far off: The mobile, four-speaker
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The middle of a pandemic may seem like an odd time to launch a podcast about road trips—but maybe it’s ideal, as unexpecGreetings from Somewhere, a show about how travel affects us; how we affect the places we visit; and, to date, how the pandemic changed everythi
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Elliott H. Powell Traces the History of Black Musicians Engaging with South Asian Culture and Sounds
By analyzing examples from the 1960s to today, Elliott H. Powell, a scholar of race, sexuality, and pop music, traces thSounds from the Other Side: Afro-South Asian Collaborations in Black Popular Music (University of Minnesota Press). “In the end,” Powell says, “the book is about illustrating what the political stakes a
Don’t be fooled by the no-frills appearance of this device—it’s actually something of a shape-shifter. Created by the ItCity Radio (available in the U.S. through Uncommon Goods) lets users pick from 18 international radio libraries with a few flicks of the finger: Simply download the gadget’s ap
Keith Abrahamsson is the founder of the independent record label Mexican Summer, which operates out of New York and London and counts the likes of Cate Le Bon, Ariel Pink, and Photay among the artistEp. 3 of our Time Sensitive podcast.) Launched in 2008, his venture has grown to include a reissue label, Anthology, and a book publishing arm, Anthology Editions. In an effort to soothe anxious, isolated souls, Abrahamsson put together a playlist of transporting tunes for us. “It’s culled from material both in and outside my orbit—songs I work with directly or have connected to as a co “Love Is A Jungle,” Peter Ivers “For Lise,” Matchess “Rectifiya,” keiyaA “Stay Sane,” Pink Siifu “Charlotte's Thong,” Connan Mockasin “Infinitamente Nu,” Sessa “Min
An international pandemic may seem like an unusual time to kick-start a podcast called The Art of Travel. But for Olivia Lopez, a Filipina fashion blogger whose pre-Covid life entailed constant globetrotting, being stuck at the first episode of the podcast, which she launched over the summer. Through the project, Lopez hopes to provide a “temporary escape for listeners, whiYOLO magazine founder Yolanda Edwards, who talks about an unforgettable trip to Greece; Life House Hotels founder Rami Zeidan, who discusses how to make travel more meaningful; and perfumer Frédéric Malle, who explains how to travel via the senses. The conversations have been a balm for Lopez, who, like all of us, has been missing the excitement of everyday life. “
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