It’s one thing to record audio of a drummer and then digitally synthesize the reverberation to mimic various environments, but it’s another thing entirely to film a drummer actually playing in all of those environments and then stitch it together into a single track. That’s exactly what Audio Zero and Wikidrummers did with drummer Julien Audigier who played the same drum pattern in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations to show the effects of natural reverb, sometimes even blending multiple tracks into a single shot. Amazing. (via The Awesomer)
This short clip about artist and maker Zina Nicole Lahr may be as tragic as it is beautiful. Earlier this fall Lahr approached her friend Stormy Pyeatte and asked if they might shoot a quick video for her portfolio. The video was shot and edited in just two days and demonstrates Lahr’s insatiable desire to build, invent, and “bring life to something inanimate,” a process she called her “creative compulsive disorder.” Almost unthinkably, Lahr was killed in a hiking accident in Colorado on November 20th, a few weeks after this was shot.
I didn’t know Lahr, but if this brief glimpse into her life is any indicator it’s clear she possessed an extremely rare spirit that feels completely genuine and infectious. It seems she was involved in practically every genre of creativity we normally cover here on Colossal. Make the most out of every day, folks. Lahr certainly did.
Last week on November 29th the Grand Canyon experienced a rare temperature inversion where cool air began to rise from the bottom of the canyon and met warm air above creating low level clouds. Apparently this type of thing happens once or twice a year, but almost never with clear skies which provided an unprecedented once-in-a-decade view of the canyon filled to the rim with fog. Several photographers were on hand including Ben Mayberry who captured some amazing panoramic shots, and Paul Lettieri managed to shoot a timelapse of the event. (via My Modern Met)
This brief clip demonstrates what happens when you film an upright bass while synchronizing the vibration of the strings with the frame rate of the camera. The resulting video makes it appear as though the musician is playing in slow motion when the video is actually playing at normal speed, not unlike the effect of a strobe light. (via Devour)
Update: According to Create Digital Music this phenomenon might have more to do with how a digital cameras capture an image by scanning images quickly from top to bottom. (thnx, Clepsydrae)
When I first saw this giant rotating ice disk spotted in North Dakota this week, I assumed it had to be some kind of human-created object, perhaps a new piece by famed land artist Andy Goldsworthy. The video above was shot by retired engineer George Loegering while hiking along the Sheyenne River. He estimates the rotating disk was some 55 feet in diameter and must have been forming for some time. The St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke with National Weather Service hydrologist Allen Schlag:
The cold, dense air—the air pressure Saturday in nearby Fargo was a record high for the city for the month of November, according to Gust—turned the river water into ice, but since the water was relatively warm it didn’t happen all at once. Floating bits of ice got caught in the eddy and started to spin in a circle.
“It’s not a continuous sheet of ice,” Schlag said. “If you were to throw a grapefruit-size rock on it, it would go through. It’s not a solid piece of ice—it’s a collection of ice cubes.”
Although extremely rare, ice disks do indeed appear naturally from time to time when conditions are perfect. Above are a few examples of people who have been lucky enough to stumble onto one while holding a camera. Learn more over on St. Paul Pioneer Press. (thnx Ben + all)
Right before the imminent demolition of a massive warehouse in Brisbane, street artists Sofles (previously), Fintan Magee, Treas, and Quench had the opportunity to go wild. The four artists cover almost every inch of wall space with a seemingly unlimited amount of paint in this timelapse shot by Selina Miles. (via Neatorama, thnx Kat!)
Buried in the pages of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous 15th century notebooks, amongst the sketches of flying machines, parachutes, diving suits, and armored tanks, was a curious idea for a musical instrument that merged the harpsichord and cello. The Italian Renaissance polymath referred to it as the viola organista. The general idea for the instrument was to correlate keyboard fingerwork with the sustained sound of a stringed instrument, but among the dozens of ideas pursued by the gifted artist and inventor, this was one he never explored further. Nearly 100 years would pass before an organist in Nuremberg would build the first functional bowed keyboard instrument, and many others would try throughout history to realize Da Vinci’s vision with various levels of success.
Now, after an estimated 5,000 hours of work over three years and nearly $10,000 invested in the project, Polish concert pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki has unveiled his own version of the viola organista. Not only is the new instrument gorgeous, it’s fully functional and Zubrzycki demonstrated it in public for the first time at the 5th International Royal Krakow Piano Festival a few weeks ago. Above is a video of that performance where you can hear how beautiful the strange instrument sounds. Via the Hindustan Times:
The flat bed of its interior is lined with golden spruce. Sixty-one gleaming steel strings run across it, similar to the inside of a baby grand. Each one is connected to the keyboard complete with smaller black keys for sharp and flat notes. But unlike a piano, it has no hammered dulcimers.Instead, there are four spinning wheels wrapped in horse tail hair, like violin bows. To turn them, Zubrzycki pumps a peddle below the keyboard connected to a crankshaft.
As he tinkles the keys, they press the strings down onto the wheels emitting rich, sonorous tones reminiscent of a cello, an organ and even an accordion. The effect is a sound that da Vinci dreamt of, but never heard; there are no historical records suggesting he or anyone else of his time built the instrument he designed.
Here’s an additional interview with Zubrzycki, where you can see the instrument up close (click the “CC” icon for English captions):
You can learn more about Zubrzycki and the history of the viola organista over at the History Blog.
Photo by Gianluca Giannone courtesy Blinking City>
Photo by Gianluca Giannone courtesy Blinking City
When he was just 16 years old Luigi Prina entered and won a national aircraft modeling competition. When he went to collect the prize money the organizers asked the boy why his father couldn’t come and collect it himself. Nearly fifty years later the now successful architect met a painter and boat builder named Eugenio Tomiolo and while they were talking made a bet that perhaps Prina could take one of his small model ships and make it fly like an airplane. Tomolio accepted and it wasn’t long before a small flying boat was whirring in circles around his small studio that coincidentally had clouds painted on the ceiling. A new passion was born and Prina has since dedicated nearly 20 years of his later life to building flying model boats, bicycles and other unconventional aircraft.