Archive for May, 2009

Electronic Music from the Middle Eastern Avant-Garde (1959-2001)

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Just discovered this: Electronic Music from the Middle Eastern Avant-Garde (1959-2001).

I liked the Darius Dolat-Shahi one in particular; reminds me of BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Terry Riley, and Raymond Scott, with the eastern sound of the stringed instrument the setar, reminiscent of Greek rebetika.

On the other hand the spoken word (LAY-LA! A WOMAN! ) in the Halim El-Dabh bit are kind of hard to digest.

Sophie in ’93

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Recently developed Super 8 film of Backporch Revolution mascot Sophia, as a kitten, filmed by Alec on Super 8 with Dan R throwing the ball. This was taken on Tinkerbell Road, Chapel Hill, 1993. Sophie later learned to fetch sticks(!), but later refused to remember.

handy tools for audio geeks

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

This reference site has just about anything you can imagine you’d need, from note names and frequencies, to a chord finder, to a BPM calculator, and much more:

I found it when I was looking for the frequency range of a standard 88 note piano, and the MIDI notes that corresponded for a simple MAX patch I was working on. So far, it just plays random piano quarter notes in a minor scale, you pick the root key and the octave span and tempo. I was thinking I could make a robot that does a good Terry Riley impression a la Rainbow in Curved Air.

Radical Movement for Rebetiko Dechiotification and Bouzouki Detetrachordization

Friday, May 8th, 2009

at noizefest ’09 (no. 11)

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

This was not a “song”, at least insofar as I did not rehearse for it other than to check my equipment that morning. (This will very apparent to you after listening to any portion this.) But it was noizefest, so there ya go.

noizefest placard

Sign by Ray Bong, who through the miracle of the internet knew about my other life as an Apple developer and a certain pissy email that I got from the CEO-emeritus Steve Jobs. I don’t really think that makes me his “enemy”, but it was good stagecraft, and was probably the most interesting part of the set.

So here’s the recording of what turned out to be my first completely solo set ever, clocking in around 12 minutes, and titled thanks to Ray Bong. You can hear him shout out at the very end!

#11 “Enemy of Steve Jobs” (Noizefest NOLA 2009) (17.6MB mp3, 12:49)

Thanks to Phil of Slobodan for letting me use his amp (that’s his feet in the picture above). Setup was 6 string electric through overdrive, looper (Boomerang), then echo (Memory Man) into the amp. Most of the noise is the Memory Man delay loopback.

rickenbacker suicide

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Of course guitars can’t really do themselves in, but it looked like my late 80’s Rickenbacker 330 12-string had done just that when i opened the case on Friday to find this:

broken rickenbacker

After getting over the initial shock, i realized that it was the “R” tailpiece that had broken, presumably during a hurricane evacuation or just being in storage in hot weather. But this guitar had been halfway around the world with me since around 1991, and I had never had this happen before.

Rickenbacker will replace the “R” provided that I send them the old one and buy the replacement as well. It’s a pretty old guitar, so I suppose that’s reasonable, but the replacement part is $100 which is not cheap.

No real answers as to why it happened either, but looking on the Rickenbacker boards it seems that there was some problem with the models of this era and hopefully fixed now. The extra tension on the 12-strings (versus a 6-string) is obviously a factor, as it doesn’t happen on 6-strings. And when the person at Ric customer service asked me about what kind of strings I had on it — I had Pyramids — he seemed to believe that these strings had a higher tension rating which may have contributed to the crack.

I’ve had this guitar for nearly 20 years and only ever had one issue with it — when a piece of later-discovered cat fur was blocking the jack preventing me from playing “Fearless” at a Halloween show where we performed as 1972 Pink Floyd — and excepting some screws that went rusty, have not had any reason to question the quality of their manufacturing process. It’s been a great guitar, and hopefully will be again soon, but I am really going to have to consider using different strings, or storing it differently, or something. Hopefully the replacement tailpiece will be of stronger stuff!