SOUND OF THE YEAR AWARDS, led by the New BBC Radiophonic Workshop, prize Strange Pill's ephemeral Musicjelly Mashup iOS app

Improved beta version to be released on the 10th of December 2022


Strange Pill

The duo Strange Pill (aka Musicjelly), formed by musicians, producers, creative designers & audiovisual artists Zahara Muñoz-Vicens and Ben Hardy, have received the Sound of the Year Award (SOTYA) in Best Innovation in a Sound Tool or Technique. This prize goes to a non-linear music composition app that embodies years of work around the visual idea of “music as collage” and uses short videos as cutups, which play in perfect synchronisation in a 6-channel video launchpad.

This year's Sound of the Year Awards' category for Best Innovation in a Sound Tool or Technique is brought by the Museum of Sound, MusicTechFest and the New BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the latter being a continuation of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop who supported pioneers of sound experimentation Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire in the 1950s and 60s.

The jury, headed by Matthew Herbert, awarded Strange Pill's publication of this audiovisual music app which the duo describe as a post-digital instrument that works as an audiovisual launchpad and sampler. It contains an ever-evolving library of sounds captured on video and played in loop -videoloops of musicians, vocalists, beatboxers, poets, turntablists, dancers and other sound performance artists from all over the world. The loops can be mixed in perfect synchrony in up to 6 simultaneous channels, enabling the user to experiment by mashing them up and making full length compositions and songs.

The process is simple: create a song out of videoloops by very diverse artists, which can include yourself, and mix them up together. The application also enables the recording of the mixing process to create mashups.

Mashup culture

Strange Pill embrace the concept of mashup which defined the sampling culture of the 70s and 80s. From the duo's perspective, it's a method triggered by the surrealists in the 20s, lead by writer André Bretón who introduced the idea of random choice and remix of words to create new meanings, and then in the 60s this was popularised by William Borroughs who also inspired lyricists and musicians like David Bowie.

According to Strange Pill, “VIDEO IS THE NEW BREAKBEAT” and therefore build upon this mashup culture to create a new experience by “adding the original visual narratives of the creation of a sound, video improvisations that show moments in time that otherwise are left unknown or forgotten in an audio recording”.

Through their work, Strange Pill promote artists who contribute with their improvisations, invite the users to a different connection between artist and audience and blur boundaries between the two and, along the way, open the door to a journey of perception expansion: “a song is more than the sum of the parts, the parts are essential for the song to exist”.

This inclusive and participative app will see the light again as an improved beta version on the 10th of December 2022.

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Strange Pill (aka The Nyco Project and Musicjelly) are musicians, producers, creative designers & audiovisual artists Zahara Muñoz-Vicens and Ben Hardy. Together they combine knowledge in music technology, music, performance, philosophy and gestalt perception to merge music, collage, holograms, interactivity, psychedelia and video art, working with hundreds of artists from all genres and cultures, from street artists to organizations such as the New York Philharmonic.

They explore the idea of music as collage from a post-digital perspective and work with developers to create participative interactive installations (Audio Visual Music Machine, Astral Music Projections, Propagation, The New Machine) which have exhibited at places like Barbican Centre, Roundhouse (Imogen Heap's Reverb Festival), Cairo Palace of Arts (Cairotronica) and Athens Digital Arts Festival to name a few. They have given talks at universities such as the City University of London (Digital Punks panel) and Middlesex University, at festivals such as CultureTech and MusicTechFest, in Covent Garden (Lauren Baker pop-up gallery), at the Google Campus in London and at the 10th anniversary of Kinetica Museum amongst others and their work has been published in The Guardian's "App of the Week" (The New Machine by The Nyco Project, released with the support of Arts Council England) and in magazines such as MusicWeek, Kolaj Magazine and Electronic Sound, and Strange Pill are also part of the Aesthetica Magazine Anthology "Future Now: 100 contemporary artists".

Source Strange Pill

October 5, 2022 10:00am ET by Strange Pill  

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