Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jane Meet Portland SoundCloud Hero: Zefora Alderman

After profiling our first five SoundCloud Heroes, we continue our profiles of our newest SoundCloud Heroes who joined us at our SoundCloud Community Heroes Summit in San Francisco last weekend on April 6-8. Read our recap here.

Zefora Alderman is both a classically trained musician and neuroscientist who says SoundCloud has carved the path for her music goals and friendships with other community members. She will be organizing the Global Meetup Day in Portland on May 17 so get in touch!

What do you do? How do you use SoundCloud in your life?

I use SoundCloud for making and sharing music. I also like to use my SoundCloud Android app to record random things in daily life that I find interesting. I’m a classically trained musician and studied Commercial Music, Recording Engineering, and Music Business in college, but I got sucked into this 10 year stint of doing nothing with it. I had total writer’s block, so I went back to school and became a Biologist. I work in Neuroscience now. When a friend got me back into music a little over a year ago, I joined SoundCloud and soon discovered the amazing diversity of music and other sounds on the Cloud just by listening to whatever showed up on my dashboard. It was really inspiring.

Before long, I’d discovered the constant requests for female vocalists by (primarily) electronic artists. I’d never considered myself a “singer” before because I’d majored in guitar in college and even though I grew up doing a lot of singing in choirs and did eventually double major in guitar and voice, I’d just always identified with “instrumentalist.” But in trying to find my ‘place’ in the SoundCloud community, it soon became apparent to me that I might have something to offer that could fill that hole a little and get me working with others, so I started singing and that’s mostly what I do, now. I share a lot of Non-Commercial Creative Commons vocal stems to the community as a resource. I have a whole set of them on my profile that anyone can download and use for free. People have done some really creative and surprising things with them. It always makes me super happy to hear what people create. I love it. I’ve done a lot of collaborations writing and recording vocals for all kinds of music. It’s led to some very interesting things, including a part in a soundtrack for an upcoming movie. I’m so excited!!

What are your aspirations for the SoundCloud community in your city?

I’d love to see a close knit community that comes together regularly to inspire each other and make new art. I know that a lot of SoundCloud users are shy, like me but I’ve already seen some really enthusiastic Portlanders getting proactive about the Global Meetup Day, and that’s really exciting. It’s great to see people take ownership and take charge of sharing what they’re passionate about.

It’s my hope that I can act as support and catalyst for whatever the community members want to do. I definitely see us doing regular monthly meetings to hang out somewhere and chat and get to know each other and learn about new local goings on, but I’d also love to see collaborations and projects pop up, maybe some live shows or open mics or poetry readings. I’m very interested in trying to host workshops and lectures on subjects that might interest people, like production, mastering, performance, or any topic people might want to learn more about. I know that a vast majority of SoundCloud is focused on music, but I want our community to go beyond that to bring in podcasters, people who record nature or found sounds, or just any people who do anything with sound, really, because meeting someone who has a totally new perspective on sound can lead to new inspiration for your own work and new inventive projects and collaborations. You don’t have to BE something or someone to show up. All you have to be is a person who likes sound. That’s it. Everyone is welcome, shy or not. I’m really excited about what this community can become and I’m super excited to hear people’s ideas on where they’d like to take this. I am here as a bridge to support your visions. I want you to tell me what you want to do, and we will make it happen!

What is your favorite place in the city and why?
I love Pioneer Courthouse Square. It’s like this hub of activity in the city. All 4 MAX lines stop there and it’s a fun spot to have lunch. There are all kinds of interesting sights and sounds, and you never know what you’ll encounter when you walk by. The first time I took my son there on a picnic to watch the trains, we were sitting on the steps and suddenly he says “What’s that sound?” So we got up to investigate and find it. There was a guy on the corner across the street playing a drum set made entirely out of plastic buckets. He handed my son a pair of sticks and let him play along, then let him take over the entire set while he took a cigarette break. My son loved it! It was the most memorable event of his entire week.

What is your favorite sound and why?
I love basslines in Dubstep, Future Garage, and Drum & Bass because I have synesthesia and I can taste it. The grittier and grimier the bass, the better. It radiates this texture on my tongue that’s kind of chocolatey and I feel like I’m eating something or drinking a thick chocolate shake. It’s extremely intense and I get a total high from it. I’ve actually proposed marriage to some guys on SoundCloud just because their bass gives me such a high. Haha sorry about that, guys…

Where else can we find you on the web?
Facebook
Twitter

Interested in being part of this growing network of SoundCloud Heroes?
Read the program details here and apply at the link at the bottom of the post.

David Sound+: Effects

In this new guest blogging series “Sound +”, Laura Haapio-Kirk will discuss why sound is important and what it means to different professionals in various “sound-focused” industries. Today Laura explores the effects of sound on key aspects of human experience. Whether you are totally immersed in the heavy beats of a club or are experiencing traffic noise at a subconscious level, sound is affecting you every moment of every day.

How sound affects us is something that fascinates many people, from cognitive music researchers to musicians themselves who develop techniques to harness its emotional power. They all agree that the affective nature of sound is not to be taken for granted!

You may remember our ‘Why Sound?’ video from last year (selected as an official Webby Award Honoree!), when we caught up with sound experts Imogen Heap, Moby, Julian Treasure and others on the importance of sound. Well, here is another video treat on how sound affects our experiences of the environment, of ourselves and of each other as social beings. Enjoy!

Five women who know all about the unique power of the human voice are the Boxettes – a female a cappella group featuring world champion beatboxer Bellatrix (listen to the awesome ‘Free’ for a taste of their stuff). In the following track, Kate and Yvette talk about how the human voice is a connective tool and how certain sounds can soothe whilst others gross them out!

Finally, for a scientific take on the matter, here is professor Tuomas Eerola of the Music Cognition Team at Jyväskylä University, Finland. In this clip he discusses his research into how timbre affects the emotional quality of sound. His results indicate that if you want to make your audience feel tense use instruments like a reedy saxophone, and if you want to relax them do it with a harp!

We’re interested to hear what sounds have a particular effect on you!

Thank you to all the sound experts featured for their fantastic input, to filmmaker Erika Brouwer, and to Sebastian Nováky for the wonderful sounds accompanying the Boxettes clip!

Find Laura on SoundCloud, Tumblr and Twitter

Jane Meet Boston SoundCloud Hero: Tea Leigh

After profiling our first five SoundCloud Heroes, we will continue to profile the next set of five who joined us at our SoundCloud Community Heroes Summit in San Francisco this past weekend on April 6-8. Read our recap here.

Tea Leigh is a musician and writes music reviews for an art collective called Acres. As the SoundCloud Hero for Boston, she is interested in interacting with all kinds of Boston SoundClouders to discover, share and create new sounds together. She will be organizing the Global Meetup Day in Boston on May 17 so get in touch!

What do you do? How do you use SoundCloud in your life?
I am a musician and I use sound as a tool to reach other people and connect with other sound makers. I use SoundCloud to share music but to also find people to relate to and strike up conversation with. I prefer to use it as a way to connect to people rather than just promote my work. I also use it to find musicians to review for the blog I write for.

What are your aspirations for the SoundCloud community in your city?
To really form some sense of community on the ground here. To get people to come to monthly meet ups, form shows and events around showcasing these people, and to get peoples story out about why sound is important to them.

What is your favorite place in the city and why?
It’s hard to pick just one place because there are so many good places. One of my favourites is the T, even though it’s horribly loud, the conversations you hear from there are the best. I would also have to say the roofs of the buildings here, from up there it’s so easy to be objective about sound.

What is your favorite sound and why?
My favourite sound is the sound cars make when they drive on wet streets. It’s just this calming sound to me. It reminds me of early fall or late spring, the kind of that moment when things start to change.

Where else can we find you on the web?
You can find me on the web on Twitter: @100teas
On Facebook if you just type in Tea Leigh and obviously on SoundCloud
and also in Google. Type me in! (:

Interested in being part of this growing network of SoundCloud Heroes?
Read the program details here and apply at the link at the bottom of the post.