Hitting the Links: Music's Technological History, Repetitive Pop Lyrics, and Peter Saville

Technology In Music: A Chronological Playlist Through History:

Let’s start from from the beginning, in 1937: a timeless feel – eerie and alienating at times, permeates ‘Oraison’ by French composer Olivier Messiaen. The song was originally written for an ensemble of early electronic musical keyboards called Ondes Martenot. The Ondes Martenot is a very expressive instrument, meeting Messiaen’s avant-garde composition techniques. If you’re expecting beat drops you may want to keep in mind the release date.


Peter Saville On His Album Cover Artwork:

{Saville on New Order’s Technique cover:} It was a garden ornament and we rented it for the shoot. It’s a very bacchanalian image, which fitted the moment just before the last financial crash and the new drug-fuelled hedonism involved in the music scene. It’s also my first ironic work: all the previous sleeves were in some way idealistic and utopian. I’d had this idea that art and design could make the world a better place. That even bus stops could be better.


Are Pop Lyrics Getting More Repetitive?:

In 1977, the great computer scientist Donald Knuth published a paper called The Complexity of Songs, which is basically one long joke about the repetitive lyrics of newfangled music (example quote: "the advent of modern drugs has led to demands for still less memory, and the ultimate improvement of Theorem 1 has consequently just been announced”). I'm going to try to test this hypothesis with data. I'll be analyzing the repetitiveness of a dataset of 15,000 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1958 and 2017.


Forgotten Tributes: 25 Monumental Relics of Yugoslavia:

If you were to travel today through the area that was once Yugoslavia, you would come across some incredible massive objects that allow an unexpected look directly into the area’s past. Before dissolving into several smaller countries in the 1990s, Yugoslavia became home to a number of large-scale futuristic monuments.


Gary Vaynerchuk on Impact Theory (Podcast):

I think that Steve Jobs came along {and} became an icon, but the sad part of that narrative was he did not treat his employees well. He became an icon and the narrative became he got the most out of people by being a jerk, and that became romanticized. And a lot of people in Silicon Valley today run companies where they're mean because they think that's the right thing to do because they put Steve Jobs on a pedestal. I want to become that big {but} what I want to come from that is that kids that aren't even born today think that they can build a five billion dollar company and {still} be a great guy or a great gal. I want to build the biggest building in town ever by just building the biggest building in town, while I think most people try to tear down everyone else's building.