16 December 2006

More Algorithmic Music, Now With Spiffy Visuals

These things are just stunning. My favorite is variation 6, microtones.

I Love Me Some Low-Wattage Guitar Amps

Brian from Birthing of Millions recently heard an Atomic Space Tone amplifier in action. I love low-watt amps because you can turn them up and get some naturalistic, touch-sensitive overdrive without having to go up to 200 decibels. Low-power amps just plain sound better, and according to Brian, this one is a real winner. Here's one of the sound samples.

I'm Selling a Ton of Guitar Gear

10 December 2006

More Illegal Music

Some very cool music is illegal. The stories of some of these songs are rage-inspiring:

Yes, the song the entire Western world sings at birthday parties is actually owned by a large corporation, and every time someone sings it in public without permission, it is an infringement of copyright. The song’s tune was published by schoolteachers Mildred and Patty Hill in 1893 as "Good Morning to All" in their book Song Stories for the Kindergarten. Children began singing it at birthday parties but with words they came up with themselves, which is how folk music typically develops. Nevertheless, the song–lyrics and all–is now owned by AOL Time Warner, the largest entertainment company on earth, and the corporation aggressively defends its property.

As you might imagine, hip-hop and rap have it especially hard:

The Piklz are a special sort of band composed of a rotating lineup of hip-hop DJs, including Q-bert, Mixmaster Mike, and Shortcut. These highly skilled turntablists scratch out songs together live, each using a record and a record player as an instrument, each contributing, in real time, a different part (like drums, bass line, or horn stabs) to the music. This track comes from a 12-inch record pressed and circulated in 1996 with no information (a "white label"). Hip-hop and dance records often appear in this limited, underground manner and then vanish forever, never to be officially released due to copyright issues.

02 December 2006

Banned Music

Downhill Battle has a project called BannedMusic.org to make available music that has been "banned" due to alleged copyright infringement. There's more here than just Dangermouse's Grey Album, including Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds. Get your BitTorrent on...

Bannedmusic.org is a peer-to-peer collaboration that makes it impossible for the major record labels to ban or censor musical works. When record labels send legal threats to musicians, record stores, or websites, we will post the music here for download and publicize the censorship attempt. There is a clear fair use right to distribute this music, and for the public to decide whether current copyright law is serving musicians and the public, they need to be able to hear what's being suppressed.

29 November 2006

Algorithmic Music in Real Time

Using the Haskell programming language, Alex McLean has developed a new system for "livecoding", the practice of writing software programs to generate music live, in real time.

What I'm intending to try though is making a language built around the kind of music I want to make, able to cope with programming under tight time constraints, allowing vague specification of sound events but well specified enough to allow other bits of software to reason within the language as well as myself.

Julie Steinberg Plays John Cage in San Francisco

At the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, this coming Monday (4 Dec):

Fresh from her guest appearance at Tanglewood, pianist Julie Steinberg takes on John Cage's complete Sonatas and Interludes. In this masterpiece, Cage transformed the piano into a percussion orchestra by inserting carefully chosen objects between the strings. The concert provides a rare opportunity to hear Steinberg, a leading interpreter of Cage's music, performing one of his most engrossing pieces. In sonic contrast, Chaya Czernowin fashions, in her Winter Songs, an arresting, low-voiced plaint for winds, brass, strings and percussion. David Milnes, Music Director.

Test Your Pitch Perception and Musical Memory

This online test of pitch perception and musical memory is totally cool.

26 November 2006

Throwing Muses and 50FootWave in San Francisco on 16 Dec

Among other cool items from ThrowingMusic News:

Throwing Muses will be playing one more show this year. It's on December 16, 2006 at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA. Tickets are available at Virtuous <http://virtuous.com/events/v/181536628/2006-12-16.html>. 50FootWave will be opening the show and we're happy to have Kristin's newest favorite band, The Moore Brothers <http://www.themoorebros.com/> playing in the middle slot.

25 November 2006

The Most Wanted and Most Unwanted Songs

While ripping a bunch of CDs, I hit upon The People's Choice Music by Dave Soldier and Komar & Melamid. Komar & Melamid performed web surveys to determine what instruments, vocal styles, lyrical content and emotional content people want in music, and then had Dave Soldier compose songs that would maximally satisfy (and maximally dissatisfy!) the "average" listener. I actually bought it as part of my project to acquire Vernon Reid's complete discography (he plays the guitar solo in the most wanted song -- the sarcastic final note kills me every time).

According to the CD jacket, "fewer than 200 individuals of the world's total population will enjoy" the most unwanted song, while the most wanted song is "a musical work that will be unavoidably and uncontrollably 'liked' by 72 +/- 12% of listeners". Apparently people really like the super cheesy type of R&B.

You can grab MP3s of the songs on Dave Soldier's web site. Nice!

Currently listening to: "Floating Seeds" by Ozric Tentacles and "Mass Hypnosis" by Sepultura

20 November 2006

A Feast of Corpses

Metal Show: Special Report

Who: Necrophagist
When: ~6:30 pm, Wednesday, November 19
Where: Station 4, St. Paul, MN, USA

Like those Tasmanian Devils Psycroptic, German gore-noodlers Necrophagist are forced to tour with such wholy unworthy acts as Unmerciful and Cannibal Corpse. It was in this situation that I saw them at a dingy little metal club in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Station 4 is about as metal as a metal club can get, too. It's dark (the walls seemingly painted black), it smells of thousands of sweaty shows, and there are 10-inch diameter steel posts in the middle of the moshfloor, holding up the roof and just waiting to break faces. The building the club is in is nearly as bleak -- a nondescript 3-story warehouse with those windows made up of 12x12 panes, each blackened with years of grime. As I walked by one side of the building on my way to the end of the block-long line snaking out of the door, I heard blast beats and some gritty riffing coming out of the second story, probably from the practice space used by local legends Anal Blast. They're what I like to call sick-core (my term, though they're probably classified in some semi-official metal pseudo-genre I've just never heard of), playing nothing but songs about vomiting, defecation, menstruation, sex and small woodland creatures... sometimes songs involving all of the above, and other times songs about eating all of the above... 'nuff said.

Standing outside the club, the crowd seemed to be really pumped for the show.. but not for the headliners Cannibal Corpse. In fact, I didn't hear anyone yell, "CANNIBAL COOOORRRRPSE" in a bad attempt at a yelling growl. Instead, most people were there to see Necrophagist and the alright-but-not-my-favorite (though Chris P. has confessed to liking them) band Dying Fetus, while there were a few people pissed that we were still trying to get into the club when Unmerciful started their set. Honestly, I'm not sure what they were in such a hurry for.

By the time I got in the club, Unmerciful (so unmerciful were they that they made us suffer their noise) were three songs in to their six-song set. Compared to Necrophagist, Unmerciful were like 5-year olds beating on plastic buckets with sticks and blaring their Speak & Spells. When they announced they were playing their last song, some guys in front of me cheered that our misery would end.

Unmerciful (mercifully) hauled their junk off the stage and some house crew started moving around monitors, setting up a new drum set and running some cables. The guy sitting at the drum set started out the sound check and seemed to be a wizard in his own right, double-pedalling and blasting away. Then some other guy comes out to sound check a guitar... and immediately busts into Necrophagist's latest title track "Epitaph". Whoa! As it turns out, Necrophagist didn't really have any roadies and they were sound checking all their own instruments - not a common sight for a show of this caliber, even in a relative backwater like MN. So over the course of the next five minutes, we were treated to solos by everyone in the band, a really nice bonus!

Like a lot of European bands I've seen, these guys were relatively clean looking - they even had cut hair! No offense, America, but most of our death metal bands look like they live in the gutter. Necrophagist were really professional. Their playing so technical and so well-conducted, they didn't even have time to run around the stage jumping off of monitors like Angus Young. They were stony-faced and on a brutal mission to make us trip over our own feet while we feebly tried to keep time. At a few points during the show, some huge guy tried to get a mosh pit going, but then Necrophagist would shift gears and start spraying speghetti into the air while everyone in the pit lost the beat, or just stood in awe at the insane skills they were witnessing. Between the fifth and sixth songs, some guy turned to me and asked, "Who are these guys?!"

I don't remember the exact order of the set list, what with being in a complete fan-boy trance, but I believe they played the first seven songs from their latest release Epitaph, followed by a long-ish (6-8 minutes, so long for Necrophagist) song I'd never heard before. It's possible it was an unreleased song, or it possibly could have been something from their debut album that I just didn't recognize live (I'm not quite as familiar with that album).

During the last tune, I made my way over to the swag counter. Once there, I was informed that I couldn't buy a t-shirt yet because the band insists on selling all their own merchandise. After about 10 minutes, with a long line queued up behind me, Necrophagist's bass player finally makes it over to start selling stuff and I walk away with the first t-shirt of the night. In a bit of a divergence from the norm, their t-shirts don't have the name or cover of an album on them, but instead are adorned with some jagged, Giger-esque artwork and the name of a song. Mine was "Only Ash Remains". I was a bit disappointed at the lack of a tour t-shirt, as I consider those more valuable, but I was happy just to be able to see these guys play!

Just after picking up the t-shirt, Dying Fetus started to play. I hung around for one song, but my ears were shot, I was full from eating so much dead flesh, and I wanted to prolong my Necrophagist afterglow, so I head out to my car and fired up Epitaph for the drive home.

For those of you out in Blue-Skies-and-Puffy-Clouds country, there's still time to see Necrophagist. They'll be playing at 7 pm on Sunday, November 26 at Slim's in San Francisco.

Corpse meat + Jagged Noodles = Aphrodisiac

Next show
: Leaves' Eyes opening for Blind Guardian.

12 November 2006

Octochordal Electro-lutes

Speaking of double-quaternary catgut hypermandolins, last weekend I picked up the reissue version of Meshuggah's album Nothing. It's mostly the same as the original, except that the guitars were re-recorded with 8-string guitars instead of down-tuned 7-strings. The songs were written for the 8-string tuning (F B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭ G♭ B♭ E♭), but in order to finish the album in time for the Ozzfest tour, they recorded it with the 7-strings they had, because the custom 8-strings were not done yet.

Overall the album sounds much better with the improved clarity and responsiveness of the 8-string guitars. Because they have the longer scale lengths required for such low pitches (these are bass guitars with some bonus treble strings), they sound much more natural and clear. The difference makes a musical difference; for example, "Glints Collide" sounds much funkier and crisper since the strings aren't so flabby and unresponsive. Similarly, the annoying "flam-like" effect between the guitars, bass, and kick drum (most obvious in the original on "Rational Gaze") is gone. That's good, although you now sort of miss the audibility of the bass and kick drum.

The Nothing reissue comes as a set with the CD and a DVD of some videos (the "New Millennium Cyanide Christ" video is the same as the one on Rare Trax) and live clips. The live clips are good, but overall the DVD feels like an add-on thrown in to entice chumps like me into buying another copy of an album they already had.

Only rabid fans like me really need both versions; normal people only need the reissue. The reissue also has lyrics printed in the CD insert, for the people that care about that sort of thing...

(If the flat signs show up as question marks or squares and you are using Firefox on Windows, set the page character encoding to Windows Western. View -> Character Encoding -> Western (Windows-1252).)

Currently listening to: A discussion of how Richard Dawkins and the extropians are religious zealots

8-string Guitars

I hadn't heard of the Black Machine before. They look great. There are Black Machines in both the Charlie Hunter/Robert Novak style (different scale lengths for each string) and in the "normal" style. And check out the beautiful wood.

08 November 2006

Splice: Online Music Collaboration

I am at the 10th Creative Commons Salon, where Wendell Davis, the founder of Splice, just gave a little chat about his online collaborative music composition/editing application. Using a Flash-based web application, you can trade and tweak tracks and combine them into a new tune. Sweet!

06 November 2006

From YouTube... To Sirius

Chris's post about Voivod and their harmonically-gifted guitarist tickled a synapse. One of the most interesting bands to recently emerge from the French metal underground (yes, there is one!) is Gojira. I really like their guitar work, and their tunes are just all-around awesome. To quote my girlfriend after the first 10 seconds of Gojira she'd ever heard, "I like the way this guitarist thinks."

Their most recent album is called "From Mars to Sirius", and as far as I can tell, it's about the threats to Earth's ecosystems (a rather high-brow topic for a metal band). I like to think it's about Star Trek IV, due to the flying whale on the album cover and the whale song woven into some of the tracks, not to mention the first line of "Global Warming": Four-hundred thousand years ago/They came from outer space. Though, now that I think about it, they could be Scientologists.

Take a listensee for yourself, though. Full tracks are available on their site (Medias -> Audios) and here's a YouTube of a surprisingly-good video. Sadly, the song in the video is not nearly the best on the album. My favorites are "From The Sky", "Unicorn" (which seems to me to reveal a very heavy Morbid Angel influence) and "Global Warming" (sweet opening/closing guitar work - carpal-tunnel city!)

05 November 2006

The Devil Went Down to Tasmania

Once upon a time, in the economically successful and otherwise-peaceful 1990's, the Devil decided to "get away from it all." His vacation spot of choice? The former penal settlement of Tasmania. Although not home to penal 'colonists' for many decades, he felt Tasmania still had that "unspoiled penal vibe", and thus made a prime location for all manner of nerve-soothing debauchery.

While strolling through the Tasmanian country side, the Devil happened upon a group of young men, ripe specimens perfect for his latest experiment. Convincing them that they were filled with untapped potential, he put wicked steel in their hands, imbued them with the knowledge of strange time signatures and a taste for erratic music, injected them with psychotropic substances, and ordered them to their basements. To one of these new minions, he gifted the gift of scary, croaky spewing, reminiscent of a tasmanian devil eating a bullfrog. Into another, the Devil injected Essence of Blastbeat and Eye of Doppelbass.

During the following few months, these new demonically-infused virtuosos riffed their fingers to bloody stumps while weaving jagged, sonic scarves for their family and neighbors. To top it off, their wailer croaked up box after box of bloody cupcakes, enjoyed by children all over the remote island. The Devil, satisfied with his pupils, returned to the comforts of his hellish depths... but not before giving them a sufficiently evil, yet delightfully cryptic label:


Soon, Psycroptic yearned to spread their filthy, squeaky hypnotic sounds to their northern neighbors. On a misty evening they set out northward, thrashing, horking and blasting themselves a bridge to the Australian mainland. During the turns of many moons, Psycroptic shred a capricious path over Oz, touring with such unworthy acts as Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, and Incantation, while releasing three must-have albums.

What does the future hold? You. Yes, you... listening to Psycroptic until your eyes bleed out your nose... and perhaps even a North American tour, if we could be so hell-blessed.

Ahh, Cyberpunk

My fellow linguist and metalhead Sacha pointed me at these Youtubes of the late, great 80s thrash/prog/cybernoodle band Voivod. I actually hadn't ever heard their music before; I had only been assured that as a prog-rock and metal fan I would dig them. And indeed. Piggy is easily the most harmonically intriguing heavy-music guitarist this side of Vernon Reid and The Fripp. Some of this stuff is just plain out.

"Inner Combustion" + "Nothingface"

"Psychic Vacuum"

"Tribal Convictions"

02 November 2006

Yay, I Have a Co-editor Now; Vedic Metal

Thanks Gabe!

Actually, I probably don't agree that college-educated, white-collar peeps are a minority, or a majority, of metalheads. I haven't taken any polls or anything, but there are so many different types of metal, and so many different types of fan, that it's not easy to make any but the most broad generalizations. Who cares, anyway.

Case in point, found in a clicktrail started from the Wikipedia links in Dopp's previous post: Vedic metal! I had never heard of it until now, but in retrospect it should have been obvious. It's cool how adaptable metal is. Check out Singaporean Vedic metal band Rudra, and their sample MP3s.

01 November 2006

Headbangs from the Frozen North

Greasings, Hemioleans! In what could have only been a bout of noodle-induced insanity, Chris P. invited me over to give my internationally-struggling two cents on various noodle-slinging bands, tracks, people and events. I prefer my noodles a bit on the bloody side...

Like Chris, I'm part of the minority (but growing!) population of college-educated, white-collar metal heads (thank you, IT industry, for paying me to play with computers). We tend toward technical and melodic (wha?) metal, preferably that which defies categorization. The more noodles, wonky time signatures, and incomprehensible riffage, the better. However, as a fish-loving lefse eater, I also have a an ever-growing fondness for folk music, particularly that from Scandanavian climes. Come back for blatherings about metal, folk, and sometimes a frightening yet strangely tingly combination of the two!

My next segment: The Devil Went Down to Tasmania

Currently listening to: "There's Something Rotten" by Illdisposed (groovy, somewhat-noodly Corrosion of Conformity vs. Life of Agony vs. Gorefest cagematch-like stuff from Denmark) and "Tales Along This Road" by Korpiklaani (Sami-influenced Finnish oompa metal, complete with accordians, mandolins, bagpipes and yoiking)!

30 October 2006

Fandalism: YouTube for Musicians

Phil set up this new site for uploading and sharing your tunes, Fandalism. Cool! With luck, Google will buy it from him for $1.666 billion. Phil is mainly a drummer, but if you dig you can find tunes of him singing and playing guitar, too. It's true, his milkshake is better than yours. He could teach you, but he'd have to charge.

29 October 2006

Worse is Better; Getting it Out There

While Brian was in the throes of a compose-o-rama, I mentioned to him the concept of "Worse is Better". Here's a little musing on what the idea, borrowed from Software Town, might mean to the gentle peoples of Musicville.

I am a software hacker (in the original, unperverted sense) and a musician, and I find there are some similarities between the two disciplines. The most important similarity is the necessity of integrating taste and intuition with rigor in order to produce something beautiful -- and usable.

Usability, by normal people, is crucial. Milton Babbit's argument to the contrary is interesting and even tempting, but just plain wrong; for music and software are primarily means of communication and tools of culture.

Availability is the first necessary condition for usability (you can't use it if you can't get it!), and this belated realization is known in the software world as "worse is better" (also at hacker and music lover Jamie Zawinksi's site). Richard Gabriel described two schools of thought in software development:

  • "The Right Thing", which called for completeness and correctness; and

  • "Worse is Better", which called for simplicity above all, even at the cost of completeness and correctness.

It might seem that The Right Thing is obviously the right thing, but unfortunately -- and inevitably -- it entailed (a) extreme difficulty in implementation, (b) unusably poor performance, (c) inflexibility, and (d) great expense. By contrast, the Worse is Better school compromised on completeness and correctness, but produced fast, usable, tweakable, cheap software that ran well on cheap computers.

The core text of Lisp, the preferred programming language of the Right Thing crowd, is Common Lisp: The Language by Guy L. Steele Jr. It is 1029 pages, including all indices. The core text of C, the preferred language of the Worse is Better crew, is The C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie: 272 pages all told. The former is a comedy of committee design and obsessive-compulsive disorder, while the latter is a model of simplicity and concision both in English usage and software design.

Gabriel's article was part of a lament and a lesson on understanding why the Right Thing had failed commercially. Lisp Machines were beautiful in concept: the hardware was purpose-built for the Lisp programming language, and they ran all Lisp code, from the operating system to the applications and the user interface. They were expensive and slow, of necessity. Nobody wanted them; Unix machines (the product of the Worse is Better school) were cheap, fast, and flexible -- and ideologically supple, supporting a polyglot user who just wanted to get some work done. You could take any old piece of crap hardware, no matter its architecture, and get Unix working on it pretty quickly.

Like Babbitt, the Right Thing school produced some very beautiful work. One of the finest examples of this is a program called TeX, a text processing system by computing science giant Donald Knuth. Knuth invented TeX in a ten-year (!) side-project (!) while trying to figure out a good way to correctly and beautifully typeset all the mathematical formulae in his magnum opus, The Art of Computer Programming (which itself started as an interdepartmental memo but which grew to a five-volume set which Knuth will probably not finish before he dies). (Volume 4 is on the way! Yay!)

TeX is the beautiful product of a powerful mind. It goes to extreme efforts to typeset text with amazing precision and grace. It is also slow and difficult to use, which is why it is not the language of the Web, although it would have made a superior choice. Instead, the grossly substandard text-description language HTML is used because it is easier to learn and use, and because it can be processed relatively much more quickly. Even a very fast computer like an Intel Core Duo can handle a volume of HTML probably hundreds of times faster than it can an equal volume of TeX -- and the disparity was much worse when the Web was born, in the era of computers than ran at speeds of only tens of megahertz.

It's very sad that The Right Thing is impractical. But the song you can listen to and understand is better than the impenetrable and/or nonexistent song that is perfect. The idea is simply to get something out there. Once you've put something in front of the public, you may even find out that you were mistaken about what perfection is!

Of course, accepting that Worse is Better does not mean that we accept that Total Insanity is Totally Awesome. Knowing the difference requires taste, intuition, and rigor.

Currently listening to: "Terraplane Blues" by Robert Johnson, "Gut Pageant" by Kristin Hersh, and "Pharaoh's Dance" by Miles Davis.


What does "hemiola" really mean? Apparently it once referred to a perfect fifth interval in just intonation, as well as meaning a particular rhythmic pattern -- and not the one you might have thought it did. :)

In modern musical parlance, a hemiola is a metrical pattern in which two bars in triple time (3/2 or 3/4 for example) are articulated as if they were three bars in duple time (2/2 or 2/4).

The word hemiola derives from the Greek hemiolios, meaning "one and a half". (The term hemiola or "one and a half" was also used by the Greeks to refer to a galley powered by one and a half banks of oars). It was originally used in music to refer to the frequency ratio 3:2; that is, the interval of a justly tuned perfect fifth.

Later, from around the 15th century, the word came to mean the use of three breves in a bar when the prevailing metrical scheme had two dotted breves in each bar. This usage was later extended to its modern sense of two bars in triple time articulated or phrased as if they were three bars in duple time.

Currently listening to: "Bloodletting upon the Cloven Hoof" by Goatwhore (surely a contender for the most autofarcical song name EVAR)


Sweet, I just found another Dragonforce solo video, this one with Herman Li in the studio control room. When Phil and Al and I saw them live, he accidentally pulled the whammy bar right out of the bridge, shrugged, and kept wanking. It was rad.

Metal by Numbers

"Honey, you're an idiot; why don't you do it?" It's true, the only thing worse than emo is screamo. (Well, that and Blogger's WYSIWYG editing widget.) Is that Scott Ian on guitar? Plus check out the Dragonforce solo parody, with the close-ups on the guitarists' hands.

Look out for the white trash guy!

23 October 2006

Blevin Blectum and Blectum From Blechdom in Paris, Lisbon, and the San Francisco Bay Area

Blevin Blectum (she and the fine folks of Sagan also have a page on SkankySpace) will be playing all around the planet in October and December, but most importantly to me, in San Francisco and Oakland! Yay. She's at the Hemlock Tavern on Halloween and at the 21 Grand Art Space in Oakland on 10 December (for Women Take Back the Noise).

Many moons ago I interviewed Sagan for other magazine, and they were as nice as their music is exquisite.

"Trans-conceptual clownbeat"

Dig this random genre naming program! "Random biblestep" sounds really dubious though.

22 October 2006

I Am a Bad Person and Must Be Spanked

Instead of going to see Susana Baca tonight, I am going to practice with my band. And all because I didn't read Brian's email in time. That's the second time I've missed her in the space of like two months! What the frak is wrong with me? I think it's these damn pants.

Susana Baca's voice and especially her language are beautiful. I don't have EspĂ­ritu Vivo yet, but I have her first album and Eco de Sombras. Listen to them and you will be happy, but not without difficulty.

But that's normal.

Your CDs Sound Like Shittles

What is "the loudness war"? Record executive idiocy, probably. (Why are those guys still around?)

Ivo Papasov and His Wedding Band

I don't know what weddings (at first I typed "weedings") are like in Bulgaria, but yow. Brian, who first introduced me to Ivo (not to be confused with the Steve Vai guitar of the same name, although perhaps not surprisingly, Vai is a Papasov fan), also sent me this link to an Ivo Papasov video. Prepare to have your noodles amazed!

Gleefully note that the guitarist appears to be playing an Ibanez Roadstar, which was a fantastic yet weirdly affordable guitar. Real Guitars in San Francisco had three nice ones in stock when I was there last weekend. (Typically useless Harmony Central review; see also the Ibanez Register)

Remember Arcwelder? They played Roadstars sometimes. Pretty, grimy winter dirges. The snow gets filthy in Minneapolis, after one day of niceness.

21 October 2006

Hear the New Squarepusher Record!

Squarepusher, a.k.a. Tom Jenkinson, is a deeply confused young man:
The old preconceptions of machines (ie: drum machines, samplers, software) as inhibitive to "genuine" creativity/ "soulless" etc. are now quickly evaporating. The machine facilitates creativity, yes, but a specific kind of creativity that has undermined the idea of a composer
who is master of and indifferent to his tools - the machine has begun to participate. Any die-hard instumentalists that still struggle to retain their notion of human sovereignty are exemplifying a peculiarly (western) human stupidity - resistance to the inevitable. What is also clear, though certainly undesirable by any retaining an anthropocentric view of composition is that this process proceeds regardless of any ideal point of human-machine collaboration (ie one where the human retains any degree of importance.) One might say that music is imploding in preparation for a time when there is no longer any need for it.
Fortunately for us, his music is also wonderful! He's one of the most inventive and weird musicians around. And I say that even while listening to Ronald Shannon Jackson.

The new album is called Hello Everything, and you can hear it using the cyberweb.

Hello to All Music People

Greetings, sonorous Earthlings. This blog is my way to publicly keep notes about music stuff: performances, instruments, musicians, compositional and performance techniques, audio gear, and probably some assorted hooting. Stay tuned (literally) -- I've got some goodies tucked away for posting.