Monday, February 01, 2010

Two Open Ears on Central Station

For the month of February, Two Open Ears will be writing a blog for the design community Central Station as part of their 'Month of Sound'.

Our first post starts the debate here's a link

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Open Ear November Music Updates

November Music Update

Little Dragon - Machine Dreams (Peacefrog)

Gothenburg's Little Dragan are back after two years with their sensually essential second album. A beautiful concoction of digi-funk, down-temp rhythms and twitchy electronica, this has been a regular on the office CD player.


Machine Dreams

Marco Di Marco - Quartet in New York (Arision)

Classically trained Italian pianist Di Marco is the master of exquisite, complex, intense and touching jazz and this release demostrates that just perfectly.



Leisure Society - A Product of the Ego Drain (Full Time Hobby)

Beautiful pastoral Beach Boy-isms from the Burton-on-Trent seven piece, who's members used to include Shane Meadows and Paddy Considine. This will delight fans of the Beta Band, Leonard Cohen and the Fence label.

The Sleeper & A Product Of The Ego Drain

Sufjan Stevens - The BQE (Asthmatic Kitty)

Inspired by New York's Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Sufjan Stevens' latest opus is a cinematic, idiosyncratic romaticized choreography of movement and gridlock. Built in thirteen parts and borrowing phrases from Wagner, it's unlikely anybody will ever pay such tribute to the M8.


The B.Q.E.

Fink - See it all (Ninja Tune)

Ninja Tune's Fink returns from his REM support slot at New York's Carnegie hall with added piano, lo-fi beats and vocal breaks. This tune paints a perfect picture of the NY skyline, and seems more than appropriate for these dark nights.


See It All

Micah P. Hinson- All Dressed Up and Smelling of Strangers (Full Time Hobby)

Another record perfect for the time of year! Cosy fire-side vibes aplenty on this double album of cover versions- Hinson takes us through a country-tinged selection including his versions of tracks by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Leadbelly and Roy Orbison.


All Dressed Up And Smelling Of Strangers

Shafiq - En' A-Free Ka EP (Plug Research)

We love this! Shafiq Husayn of Sa-Ra here, on a limited edition Plug Research/HHV.DE release. Composed with an armoury of outboard gear, effects, synthesizers, electric guitars, strings, horns, a lot of modulation and a lot of weird stuff. Listen out for the Flying Lotus and J-Rocc remixes!


En' A-Free Ka EP

George Demure - Boomtown Medallion (Musiqware)

Moody, cool, leftfield electro-indie from the uprooted Scotsman who clearly has an obsessive love of music. Drawing inspiration from a massive amount of genres, it is clear why Demure has been such a hit at Glastonbury and Sonar.


Boomtown Medallion

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Music - Open Ear on Ten Tracks

For this months Ten Tracks Open Ear have teamed up with ace Berlin label powerhouse Morr Music to put together this bundle of new and yet-to-be-released music from a selection of our associated labels such as Type, City Centre Offices, Monika Industries, Pony Recs, Italic, Karaoke Kalk and Morr themselves.

Check it out here -

Track list

Sin Fang Bous - Catch The Light
Gudrun Gut - Monika In Polen
Ritornell - Golden Solitude Part 1
Masha Qrella - I´m A Stranger Here Myself
The Seasons - Out There
Ursula Bogner - Begleitung für Tuba
Antonelli - Acid Oscillations
Miwon - Round And Round
Sylvain Chauveau - Et Peu À Peu Les Flots Respiraient Comme On Pleur
Dakota Suite - One Day Without Harming You

we're really happy with this selection. hope you like it too!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Animals now need a music license!!

I was sent this article in today's Telegraph newspaper about how a woman who runs a stables in England was told that she must pay for a license to be able to continue her practice of playing ClassicFm to sooth her horses which she has been doing for over 20 years! The PRS (performing rights society) have deemed this a public performance meaning she qualifies for a mandatory annual music license costing £99!!

This is further evidence of the current PRS crackdown on unlicensed premises playing music. Unfortunately, as they have no way of properly accounting with the specific performers played, it is more than likely that if this woman does end up paying, the money will filter down to pop performers such as Girls Aloud or Take That rather than the artists who's music she actually plays. And they say the banking crisis is a scandal!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From China - Music for Museums

Music for Museums' creates a soundtrack for museums using the history of the muzak corporation in the tradition of composer Erik Satie's proposal in 1917 that music fit specific rooms and architecture in the way that furniture is designed. Featuring Beijing-based musicians 718, Yan Jun and Zafka as well as UK-based musician Isambard Khroustaliov and duo ISAN, each track was developed for a specific functional area within gallery and museum spaces. Addressing the existing cultural and commercial typologies of the museum, 'Music for Museums' reconsiders these spaces of 'neutrality' to stimulate a critical engagement as places of production.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Limiters in Clubs - NO!

At Open Ear we hate noise where they shouldn't be noise but like noise where there should be. Clubs and live music venues should be allowed to play music at a volume where the music has maximum impact - it should be a physical experience as well as aural.

So, the governments move to ban music in clubs comes a big disappointment and distress to us.. please sign the above petition to the prime minister so the ban is not implemented!
now a ban of music too loud in shops, bars, and other public spaces is fine by us!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Music for airports Report by Martha Hawley

This month, we've invited Dutch based writer Martha Hawley to contribute a special report on Music used in Airports (inspired, no doubt, by Brian Eno). In a new feature on the blog, you can now listen and purchase the music mentioned in this article on using Amazon Mp3. Enjoy..

An early morning train ride between Barcelona and its airport (so early that I can’t remember whether I was arriving or departing) offered a tender tableau: male passengers, who were possibly factory workers (the dress was not corporate), leaning against the wall of the train or onto a nearby shoulder, fast asleep. No conversation accented the setting, no metallic traces of sound seeped out of earbuds - there was only a soft blanket of classical music floating out of the loudspeakers. The train chugged along past concrete blocks stacked in supply yards, rubble in bleak empty lots and junk heaps. Inside, we dozed on in dignity.

Across the ocean, another scene with sleeping passengers, but now: in a transit lounge at a Colombian regional airport. The waiting area was spacious and clean, but how anyone managed to sleep in the rows of hard plastic chairs has me stymied to this day. Not because of the chairs, but because raw meringues blasted in video clips from the many overhead TV monitors. My first thought was: how hyped up can these people be, if over-amplified rapid-fire Caribbean dance music works as a lullaby? Either that or the stuff of dreams. When a sweeter ballad, Estrellitas y Duendes by Juan Luis Guerra, took over the air waves, a few people stirred and began to yawn. Go figure.

Speaking of airports: Brian Eno’s album Music for Airports (helping travellers to ‘check their emotional baggage,’ see Chris Richards in the Washington Post) may have inspired more musicians than airport sound system planners when it was released nearly thirty years ago. Have airports reciprocated with support for musicians? It does happen.

The concept of “audio enrichment” is changing ideas about ambient sound at Bristol Airport in the UK, where local musicians are being hired for live performances inside the terminals, to promote development of local arts and to advertise regional diversity! Concerts are held at the Wellington, New Zealand Airport, where the slogan is ‘Wild at heart.’ Wellington even released a compilation CD featuring artists who had performed there. At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas, in the USA, before post-9/11 security measures set in, non-passengers would go to the airport and elbow past security to hear the live performances at a stage inside the terminal.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport sporadically schedules special live music programs to promote an opening at a major Dutch museum, for example, but other than that, live music is heard twice a week only for one hour in the morning, when a pianist plays light classics for an audience of strollers in transit. The pianist picked up where a Friday jazz ensemble left off, at some point in the past. That’s it. Wat niet is kan nog komen, which means: it’s not happening, but it could. Let’s do it.

Other airports highlight heritage and name the whole operation after revered national figures. Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, better known as Tom, who gave the world The Girl from Ipanema, was posthumously honored by Brazil when the name of Rio de Janeiro’s airport was doubled in size to “International Airport Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim.”

Liverpool has its “John Lennon Airport”, and Hurricane Katrina did not break Louisiana’s “Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.” In 2001, Warsaw renamed its airport in honor of Frederic Chopin, arguably Poland’s most famous musician on a worldwide scale. Some Poles compare his stature within European cultural history to Poland’s recent entrance into the European Union. For others, the symbolism is less important than the fact that Chopin’s name is easy for non-Poles to pronounce. Definitely something to keep in mind when Dutch transport hubs decide to hone their musical potential.