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Running Time:
01:28:01
John Cage was one of the most influential composers in modern American music. He raised fundamental questions about the nature of music, and invigorated, provoked, and perplexed audiences throughout his long career. In this lecture from 1987, excerpts of his work are played and discussed. Afterwards, Cage takes questions and shares his thoughts on subjects ranging from the origins of his impulse to make music-"Many composers hear music before they write it, but I write music in order to hear it"-to using chance to create without ego or intention. He asks why we should listen to music instead of just listening to the sounds around us, and answers: "There's no reason."

Project: Speaking of Music Rewind | Browse All

Date: May 20, 2010
Format: Interview
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): Art
Running Time:
01:34:04
Composer and performer Pauline Oliveros has been a pioneering figure in American music for over four decades. In this intimate talk recorded at the Exploratorium on February 21, 1985, Oliveros discusses her decision to quit teaching and flee to Italy with her accordion, her appreciation of the Grateful Dead's concert sound system, and the perils of the squeezebox. She also takes audience questions and performs "Rattlesnake Mountain" live.

Project: Speaking of Music Rewind | Browse All

Date: April 16, 2010
Format: Lecture
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): Art
Running Time:
00:01:49
A highlight of this After Dark evening was Thee Oh Sees, one of the Bay Area’s best underground bands, who created a playful aural disorientation while playing in front of “visual music” by the late experimental filmmaker and musicologist Harry Smith.

Project: After Dark | Browse All

Date: March 4, 2010
Format: Event
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): Art
Running Time:
01:23:00
In this gem from 1990, we get a brief peek into the flourishing mind of German-born composer/sculptor Trimpin, a MacArthur "genius" award winner and the subject of a recent feature documentary. He chronicles his unique adventures through sound and music making, takes audience questions, and stages modified versions of his musical installations in front of the live audience.

Project: Speaking of Music Rewind | Browse All

Date: February 19, 2010
Format: Interview
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): Art
Running Time:
00:03:57
For three days in February 2010, the Exploratorium showcased the innovations and outlaw aesthetics of custom computer culture. An outgrowth of the hacker community, personal computer modding was born from the need for speed and personal style.

Project: Miscellaneous | Browse All

Date: February 18, 2010
Format: Event
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): art
Running Time:
00:03:19
Catch a glimpse of the floor as viewed from atop the concrete pendulum on the Exploratorium's Mezzanine.

Project: Miscellaneous | Browse All

Date: January 27, 2010
Format: Exhibit
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): art, Physics
Running Time:
00:01:54
This After Dark event featured a special installation of the Cubatron by Bay Area artist and engineer Mark Lottor. A visually stunning favorite of music and art festival audiences, the Cubatron is a 3–D light sculpture made from 8–x–8-foot modular cubes, each containing 1,000 individually programmable RGB LEDs. Viewed from any direction—even underneath—the Cubatron’s thousands of programmed pixels paint exquisite arrays of color that cascade in spectacularly dynamic patterns.

Project: After Dark | Browse All

Date: January 20, 2010
Format: Event
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): Art, General Science
Running Time:
010000
On January 15th we will release a gem of a vintage interview with revolutionary musician/composer Astor Piazolla! In this inspired 1989 chat, Argentinean nuevo tango composer and bandoneon (concertina) player Astor Piazzolla dazzles the audience with a surprising story about the tango's origin in Argentina. He traces his musical beginnings and the "very beautiful way of feeling crazy" that resulted in his best compositions. Piazzolla also plays the bandoneon, and answers audience questions.

Project: Speaking of Music Rewind | Browse All

Date: January 15, 2010
Format: Interview
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): art
Running Time:
00:04:23
Ken Murphy, creator of A History of the Sky— a time-lapse visualization that will span an entire year—talks about his project during the After Dark event, Resolution.

Project: After Dark | Browse All

Date: January 7, 2010
Format: Interview
Category: Popular Culture
Subject(s): Art, Astronomy/Space Science
Running Time:
00:03:50
A mouse's eye view of the main floor of the Exploratorium. Filmed at the Palace of Fine Arts location in January 2010.

Project: Miscellaneous | Browse All

Date: January 5, 2010
Format: Event
Category: Everyday Science
Subject(s): general science, art