Archive for November, 2011

2011 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

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The 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), the premier international competition for students taking a full course load while running a revenue-generating business, today announced the top 20 colleges and universities with the most student nominations to the competition. More than 1600 student business owners from 42 countries were nominated for the 2011 competition, a program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). (Read on)


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Posted: November 16th, 2011
at 10:39pm by mnp

Categories: competitions,education,entrepreneurship

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Lucas Werthein’s SuperPong Remake

Up to eight participants can play by walking up to the table and taking control of custom knobs that move the players. The game is simple, elegant, and minimalist and demonstrates that high resolution graphics and complex shapes are not necessary to make people laugh, cheer, high-five or hug total strangers after a match. (Source)

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Posted: November 16th, 2011
at 9:44pm by mnp

Categories: games,open source

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Property of the Day

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Posted: November 16th, 2011
at 6:41pm by mnp

Categories: real estate

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Mind Crunch : Business is Like a Decathlon

Bruce Jenner (winner of the 1976 Olympic Decathlon and pictured on the Wheaties box) averaged the equivalent of a little better than 3rd place in each race — and he still won the decathlon by a substantial margin. :Continue reading:

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Posted: November 16th, 2011
at 1:10pm by mnp

Categories: business,fo' real?,entrepreneurship,lists,mind crunch

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Roth, "Entrepreneurship really is about being comfortable with being uncomfortable." Somewhere, new hardware is being built, but will it be a hit? #sinkorswim

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Posted: November 16th, 2011
at 12:05am by mnp

Categories: the column

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Art Market Startups

From to Paddle8 there are great art market start-ups that are some to watch.

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Posted: November 15th, 2011
at 7:22pm by mnp

Categories: art,web,business,contemporary,entrepreneurship

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Syntectics : Marconi Union

Continuing with the MNP feature, Syntectics, where we will include multi-perspective interviews from cooperatives around the globe, this week its great to introduce a musical group from the UK, Marconi Union. Marconi Union brings a mix of ambient electronica and organic instrumentation and have released 5 albums since debuting in 2003. The group is made up of Richard Talbot, who brings the textures, ambience and electronics- Duncan Meadows, who plays the piano and keyboards- and Jamie Crossley, on the guitar, keyboards and the programming. Having been to the Manchester City Arts Gallery and Palac Akropilis, they have played some of the most interesting venues in the UK and Europe. This is a great time to get to know Marconi Union, as I’m sure you will hear more from them real soon. Check some of their tracks below…And on to the interview:


Glassworks Blue

A Temporary Life

We Travel

Blue Collar Parade

Temperature Drop

For our audience that is not familiar with your music, could you please introduce yourself and the music that you create?

RT: We have been making music for about 10 years but in 2003 Under Wires and Searchlights was our first official release, we’ve released another 4 albums since then and are due to release a new one next year, which will be our first album as a 3 piece. Over this period we have progressively developed our sound but usually it is a combination of electronic and organic sounds, our music has been used in various TV, film and arts based projects.

What’s a story that you can tell that helps describe the evolution of Marconi Union as a group?

RT: We started out by accident, Jamie and I were working together in a record shop and Jamie heard an ambient piece I had done, he borrowed a CD of it and started overdubbing guitars, piano, drums etc. it sounded really good so we tried it again with another track. Even then, there were no plans it was almost by default that the first album was made and Marconi Union were born.

JC: We were introduced to Duncan a few years ago and he started to accompany us live playing piano, even though we had been working as a duo for almost 10 years it felt really natural to us to be working with him.

DM: We’ve been careful to try and maintain the original dynamic of the group, so when I was asked to join as a permanent member it was only after I had spent time playing and us getting to know each other, it gave us all time to assess how it would work as a trio.

Marconi Union is known for creating really deep soundscapes, how do you organise your thoughts and then play these ideas to music?

DM: Writing music could be seen as a way of organising thought. Sometimes we start with a slightly confused musical idea which we gradually refine until it becomes understandable to us all.

RT: Yes it’s like a jigsaw puzzle but without even having the finished picture on the box as a guide, as it comes together with everybody’s contributions it starts to reveal itself and then there is a point where we know exactly what it is going to sound like.

Your liner notes, especially in an album like Tokyo, seem to align with the structure of the piece really well, what is the process like when coming up with the artwork that will represent your album?

JC: We have worked with various different people over the years to create our sleeve designs, sometimes it might be a photo or in the case of Beautifully Falling Apart a painting that we feel looks like the music sounds. The Tokyo image was a photograph taken by a friend of ours and we just felt that it represented the sound and concept of the album, however, I think first and foremost we have to like the aesthetics of the images or design before we can develop the process.

RT: We work really hard to create a complete package, visuals are very important to us and we regard them as being of equal importance to the music.

What has been your most favourite album that you’ve worked on and the most the most difficult to realise?

JC: In some ways they have all been exciting and interesting to work on, the new album we have just finished is the first one we’ve done with Duncan so that’s been a new experience. From a personal point of view A Lost Connection was the most difficult one to realise, too much self doubt and comparing to the previous album Distance made it a struggle.

RT: Exile On Main Street, but we got there in the end.

If you had to choose one genre to classify your music, what would it be and why or are you in your own genre?

RT: There are so many genres, sub-genres, micro genres, we just grab a handful that sound like they might cover aspects of what we do…  so this week we might be ambient and bass, next week post electronica. We’ll have to leave it up to someone else to come up with a genre that fits.

DM: We are usually described as being an ambient electronica band, however there are many elements to our music. Like most musicians we try not to think in terms of genre as it can restrict your creativity.

JC: I think you’ve said it in the question, we’re in our own genre.

How amazing was it to start your own independent record label, MU Transmissions, and how did this effect your creativity output?

JC: It was very exciting when we made the decision to set up our own website, in some ways we were forced into it due to the predicament of our record company at the time, unfortunately as much as they liked A Lost Connection they were unable to release it, so we created MU-Transmissions as part of the website and released it digitally. It gave us complete autonomy to upload our music as soon as we had finished it and to use tracks that we didn’t even consider to necessarily be MU tracks, it also aloud us to communicate directly with the people that were fans our music.

If there was any venue in the world that you could play tomorrow night, where would you find it?

RT: Not sure about specific venues but we’ve definitely got a fixation with cities, so it might be Berlin, Tokyo, Oslo or countless others.

DM: Personally the amphitheatre in Nimes, France.

What stimulates you to make new music?

RT: It usually comes out of nowhere, you might see or hear something and somehow that just makes you think of a sound or a texture, you get that down and then you play it to the others if it sparks something with them then it might take flight and eventually evolve into a track.

DM: We are stimulated by wanting to experience the excitement of the moment when an idea begins to transform into a complete track. We’re always eager to be working on new music. Sometimes it can be something as simple as using a new piece of equipment or software. Other times just the act of playing can lead to a new idea.

JC: I also think that having a break from music for periods of time can be very stimulating when you eventually get back in the saddle

In 5-10 years, what types of new musical boundaries do you think you will be exploring?

RT: No idea! and that’s a good thing, it would be so boring if we had stuff mapped out that far ahead.

DM: We’ve been talking about involving additional musicians in our live concerts. 

Do you think there will be a swing back to "live" music as opposed to inhibited pop music?

RT: There’s a lot of pressure on bands to perform live as it’s one of the few ways they can still make money, I’m don’t know how this will be affected by the recession, with venues closing or audiences less able to pay ticket prices (which are often extortionate). From our point of view, we’re not interested in trying to put on a traditional rock show, we’re definitely not a rock band (there are already far too many of them, with too few ideas) and we don’t have that performance ethic,  we want to do something different that presents our music better and provides a musical experience supported by visual elements. It’s easy to dismiss "inhibited pop music"  but it’s inspired  some masterpieces, records like, Good Vibrations, Strawberry Fields  or Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden which was a great inspiration for us, and of course Kraftwerk and a whole school of electronic music. What most of those records had in common is that they were purely studio constructions which couldn’t have existed outside of that environment. This was a total contrast to the idea of a band turning up at the studio plugging in, and playing their live set direct to tape and somehow seemed so much more exotic and exciting.

JC: If you mean by "Live" going to watch a group or artist then I don’t think it’s ever been away, music has never stopped being performed whether it’s playing traditional instruments, using technology or miming. I think the kudos that surrounded real players is less important these days, especially with a younger generation growing up with all the new technologies that allow music to be conveyed in so many different ways. I think that the DJ culture was the first big step in changing the concept of what going to watch a live act means.

For aspiring musicians out there, besides going indie, are there any other words of advice that you would offer for nurturing some form of long term music career?

RT: Don’t think of it as a career.

JC: Listen to and be involved in as many musical styles as you can, when you eventually find your feet and settle down with what’s right for you stick to your guns and develop it, if you create music that "you" are proud of then it can only be a bonus if other people like it too

:: All images and music courtesy of MU Transmissions and Marconi Union ::

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Posted: November 15th, 2011
at 6:59pm by mnp

Categories: syntectics

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Alasdair Lindsay

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Posted: November 15th, 2011
at 4:33pm by mnp

Categories: contemporary

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The High and the Mighty Trailer

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Posted: November 15th, 2011
at 4:22pm by mnp

Categories: film

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