My first thought was, ‘Wow, that’s what the Internet sounds like!’ When you open your computer and everyone’s talking at you suddenly. But I was really wanting to hear the sound of jumbled talking, where you can’t understand what’s going on — and then, suddenly, one beautiful, simple chord.

Violinist and vocalist Caroline Shaw on Partita for 8 Voices, the a cappella vocal piece that just won her the Pulitzer Prize for music. At 30, she is the youngest-ever recipient of the music Pulitzer. 

Hear Partita for 8 Voices now.

(via nprmusic)



Richard Reed Parry – Music for Heart and Breath, Live at All Tomorrow’s Parties – December 9, 2012.

Performed by Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, Nadia Sirota, Owen Pallett, Gaspar Claus, Dave Nelson, Kyle Resnick, and Nico Muhly


Out this week.


Directed by Akihiko Taniguchi.

Produced by Mat Dryhurst

Thanks to Matt Werth, Bill Kouligas, and everyone else who helped make this happen.

Holly Herndon:

So much of Chorus was constructed by spying on my own online habits. It felt fitting to invite Akihiko, who I had been spying on online for a long time before my approach, to contribute the visual treatment of the piece.

Akihiko Taniguchi:

I was interested in exploring the textures of daily necessities and the embodiment / physicality of the computer and Internet. One of the most striking contemporary images is that of the desktop capture, which is seen commonly on YouTube as part of software tutorials. I like the shots of desktops that are poorly organized and ‘lived-in’.

Referencing one of my earlier pieces ‘study of real-time 3D Internet’, I considered how it corresponds to the personal environment outside of the screen and how particular it is to my identity and my friend’s identities. I asked several friends to photograph their desktop environments and then rendered these images with custom 3D software, shooting video by moving throughout this virtual space. This video is a collection of records of life of friends and their Internet environments.


I love the idea of depicting the mundane and quotidian in high definition, and how evocative and individual each of these spaces are. Thinking about intimacy and the laptop is familiar territory for me. I’ve also been thinking a lot about privacy, particularly in light of the ongoing revelations regarding the NSA, which add a more sinister sub-narrative to Akihiko’s piece.

The most crucial conversations happening in technology at the moment focus squarely on our work space, our email, our iSight and our smart phone, and how much we can honestly claim those spaces to be ours at all in an era of indiscriminate and imperceptible surveillance.


“The thing that pushed me to get better and care more was starting to work with composers who were people and create music that existed for the first time—that is the most exciting thing.” 

– Nadia Sirota

We peeked in on Nadia and Nico Muhly during a writing session in Nico’s Chinatown apartment. The two are collaborating on a concerto for viola and orchestra. 

Check out the film here



The New York-based mini-orchestra yMusic champions music by young composers whose work combines the complexity of classical music and the tuneful, rhythmic energy of pop.

This session at WNYC included music by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, St. Vincent and Son Lux. Hear the entire set.