Relocating - please follow the link for new content
Monday, 19 December 2005
I have been really impressed with albums by Doves (‘Some Cities’ and ‘The Last Broadcast’), The Editors (‘The Back Room’), The Open (‘The Silent Hours’) and Kasabian (‘Kasabian’) and The Arcade Fire (‘Funeral’). There is nothing pretentious about this music – just great guitar band music. I saw The Editors recently playing support to Franz Ferdinand, and thought they were really good. This music restores faith in the direction of music again.
Looking back over the last few decades, music seems to go through cycles. Just as we are enjoying music like the current scene, it won’t be long before the focus shifts to dance-oriented and manufactured music again. So we might as well enjoy it whilst it is here.
Saturday, 17 December 2005
Apologies for the prolonged break in transmission. There is an immutable law in this process which says that the longer you leave it before posting, the harder it is to get back to. This is because the expectation I place on myself that the return post should be fantastic increases the pressure. So the gap grows and the expectation rises.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to just get on with it. So here I am. What have I been building? Well, I have been putting a lot of time and effort into the world of work, the world of music, and the world of Buddhism and Reiki. Although the last pair in that list would benefit from a lot more focus than I have given of late.
I have been writing up entries in the other journal I keep – the one with a rubber band round it, which I carry most places with me, and which I keep private thoughts in. This is where I play and test out ideas. Some of them find their way onto this blog. Some don’t.
Well, the posting resumes – I am a few days away from a break, and with it will come an increase in posts to the blog…
The title of this post – “What’s he building in there?” – follow the link for the song it comes from.
Sunday, 4 December 2005
- Iarla O’Lionaird – Invisible Fields
- Nine Horses – Snow Borne Sorrow
- Kate Bush – Aerial
- Jon Hassell – Maarifa Street
- Brian Eno – Another Day on Earth
- Afro Celt Sound System – Anatomic
- Jackson Browne – Solo Acoustic Vol. 1
- Nitin Sawhney – Prophesy
- Nitin Sawhney – Human
- Keith Jarrett – Radiance
- Charles Lloyd & Billy Higgins – Which way is East
- Charles Lloyd – Lift Every Voice
… and in most cases – the better for listening through headphones.
Monday, 14 November 2005
Well, I won't post a full review, because I read a brilliant review last night. The "but she's a girl" blog has a really good post about the album which says exactly what I would have wanted to say. So why repeat, when you can link!
Thursday, 3 November 2005
I am a regular reader of the 'nervenet' mailing list, which is a list for comment on Brian Eno's music and all things related.
Over the last couple of days there has been reference to the work of Adham Shaikh. I had never heard of him, so followed the link to the Sonic Turtle website. There are a handful of mp3 files to download there. His music is stunning - a mix of ambient, world beat and electronica. I am very impressed. Time to go hunting for albums by him I think.
Monday, 31 October 2005
Plans to go whale and dolphin watching were cancelled due to bad weather, but that didn't take away from the experience.
I'll post some photos over the coming days - if any of them were worth looking at.
Saturday, 22 October 2005
For an example of the monetisation concept, I look to the work being done by Adam Curry in the podcasting world – he is mindful of the free-at-source roots of podcasting but can see the opportunities too, and is looking to monetise this sector. I'm not critical of this. There are loads of podcasters producing content for reasons of passion and obsession rather than for commerical gain. But there are many people who want to generate income. Adam Curry is working ingeniously to deliver business models which make that possible.
Around the issue of Open Source I think the approaches of Tom Peters and Seth Godin are really interesting. Both of them have a growing store of freely downloadable material for people to read. I guess they figure that they make plenty of money and the issue is about getting readership.
Although they presumably also realise that giving away free electronic content does convert into sales in a world where people still prefer the real printed page to browse and stick on their shelf. And it is this translation of free to purchase that leads to something else.
There is actually a 3rd way in all of this – something at the interface between monetisation and open source. I guess in software terms it would be shareware. But that isn’t quite what I mean. I’m talking about the way in which it is possible to build market share (something Amazon did in the early stages of its business where it lost warehouses full of cash selling at ridiculously low prices to get customers), build readership (Godin & Peters) and develop a meme-like interest through the ‘give it away for free’ approach. I guess this idea needs more work, but I am sure that we are on the brink of some new business models, and exciting new ideas.
I have written before about the 'Creative Commons' idea - this weblog has a creative commons license. This is another aspect of this wider picture. The challenge which faces web publishers (bloggers?), podcasters and other net-entrepreneurs is to work out how to weave through all of this and get out of the net what we want to, whilst ensuring that we give the reader / surfer what they want too.
There is a lot of talk at the moment about Web 2.0 which will take us into the next era of the web, beyond the market place which it has become of late. Exciting times are ahead - more thought is needed about the collision of monetisation, open source and creative commons to create new ways of doing things.
Friday, 21 October 2005
Yesterday someone did a search on MSN Search looking for 'poems on earthquake' and found my weblog for the poetry press which I run. There is a book of poetry which I wrote a few years ago called 'Umbrian Images' which includes a poem about the earthquake in Assisi in 1997. The site visitor was in Pakistan and was therefore presumably looking for poetry about the Pakistan earthquake.
Well, as a response to this, I thought I should do two things. First, post the poem about Assisi - I think it brings into focus the difference between these two disasters. This year has been filled with disasters of immense scale and suffering. It is easy to become numb to it all. But I think we just need to keep responding, doing what we can. The world of global media is a two-edged sword which offers us information on an unprecedented scale and immediacy - but it does give an armageddon quality to all of this. Our reaction and support is vital. (There's a useful post about the impact of the internet on our view of disasters by Seth Godin here.) Which brings me to the second thing I can do as a response. Follow the link to the Disasters Emergency Committee to donate to the Appeal for the Asian Earthquake. Please help.
(some words taken from a Daily Telegraph article)
On the western edge of town
firemen fear the roof of the upper basilica
might not withstand
The magnificent campanile’s bells
which sound when St Francis’s birds flock
have been eerily silenced as if
their tolling might be enough
to bring the tower crashing down.
The restorer says
“I know the fresco which included this detail.
I’ve restored it twice before,
to see it like this makes my heart sink.”
One local says of the monks,
“I don’t see any of them
rolling up their sleeves
and getting to work with a spade.”
twenty five thousand people
have no homes.
we look at moments of time
without the context of history
and emphasis becomes distorted.
Thursday, 20 October 2005
My favourite so far is a mix called 'under the leaves' by Svarte Greiner (aka Deaf Center's Erik Skodvin) - music from Arvo Part, Arve Henriksen, Julie London, Aphex Twin, Max Richter (a beautiful highlight), Biosphere and Cliff Martinez combine to make an hour of stunning sound. Download it and enjoy!
Wednesday, 12 October 2005
I read 'The Road Less Travelled' in the early 90s and was hugely influenced by it. The beginning 'Life is difficult' must be one of those great one-liners that helps with the process of growing up. It sits alongside 'life isn't meant to be fair' as one of those things that moved me forward in life.
I read several of his other books too - 'The Different Drum' is a wonderful book about building communities. My favourite book is 'In Search of Stones: A Pilgrimage of Faith, Reason and Discovery' which describes a journey which he made through Britain looking at ancient sites with standing stones. It's a spiritual read, and an enjoyable one too.
I was sad to hear that Scott Peck had left this life.
For a more recent post on this subject please click here
Wednesday, 5 October 2005
Why do car park designers have no idea how to design them in ways that avoid gridlock. I was gridlocked getting into the car park - and then again trying to get out. Then there was the human equivalent of a traffic jam at Starbucks - too many people with not enough seats and tables. It was chaos. There was nowhere to sit and browse, which is the whole point of the ambience of these places.
The whole experience showed me that the success of a place can become its failing too. Very zen!
Tuesday, 4 October 2005
This makes it only too clear that publishing on the net doesn't necessarily mean that something is always out there. So many great sites have bitten the dust for one reason or another.
There are services set up to archive the internet - so I guess that archive pages of some of these sites will be sitting on some server somewhere - out in the deeper internet. But they are as good as lost to the casual browser.
All those billions of pages appearing and then disappearing - all that effort being wiped away in the blink of a computer screen.
Monday, 3 October 2005
It was written over 30 years ago, and yet its preoccupations with ecology, the distinction between consumables and resources that we can't replace (fossil fuels!), issues of scale in the workplace, and the impact of technology on people's work - are as relevant today as they were when he was writing.
Schumacher talks about Third World aid, stressing that simply giving money doesn't help. We need to work with bankrupt economies to ensure that they build in capacity - ensure that through the use 'Intermediate Technologies' we are bridging the widening gap between our economies and theirs.
The main thing that has changed since Schumacher was writing, is that the gap has widened, probably to a greater extent than he could have imagined. The use of Aid is still a cynical and exploitative process by Western governments. Live 8 has come and gone, and the media has moved on to the next issue. The euphoria around that event has been replaced with the realisation that this is a long haul, not an issue that can be resolved in a few weeks of media frenzy.
Schumacher's book is an interesting read, because it helps with understanding the origins of the ecological movement. It gives a key historical perspective to the changes that we are seeing in the world. It is unnerving to realise that the issue of global warming and the limit to the world's resources was being raised as an issue 30 years ago, and being largely ignored then.
I also found it really interesting to read Schumacher's views on nationalised industry and issues of ownership - views that are very much out of fashion at the moment. It is refreshing to read them and realise that the arguments are robust and could be argued into the political debate to give some freshness to a world where there always seems to be only one right way to look at things.
All-in-all it is a book well worth ploughing through to open your mind to some of the big issues that stretch beyond the latest fad of our media-driven society.
Sunday, 2 October 2005
Some weeks ago, someone posted a comment on this blog, in response to my comments about the overtone singing of Okna Tsahan Zam. The link above was posted by that person. It points to a US radio website with a link to a radio broadcast that you can hear with an interview with David Hykes who uses overtone singing. To quote from the site:
"Composer and educator David Hykes David and his ensemble The Harmonic Choir are celebrating their 30th year of creating enlightenment-dedicated music. Hykes has mastered overtone singing known as Harmonic Chant, the skill developed by Tibetan monk and Mongolian nomads that allows them to sing low and high notes simultaneously. Hykes and his Harmonic Choir explore the normally untapped resonances of the human voice."
It's worth a listen - the sound is more like the Hilliard Ensemble than throat singing to my ears. But I really like the ambience it creates. David Hykes actually demonstrates overtone singing to the interviewer which is fascinating to hear. David has his own website here.
Saturday, 1 October 2005
I haven't bought the new album by Sigur Ros yet. I plan to buy it in the next few days. In the meantime, there is a complete stream of it in Real Audio format, hosted by the BBC at the link above. Enjoy!
If you want to immerse yourself in a complete online experience before buying, go to the Sigur Ros site and look at lyrics, a documentary and a pile of other stuff. I really like the way that Sigur Ros have figured out that using the internet through downloading and streaming it is possible to build a fan-base. I first heard their music through the enormous stack of downloads on their website - that prompted me to go out and buy their albums.
Hearing the new album also helps me to decide to go and buy, in spite of the somewhat negative review in the latest issue of 'The Wire' magazine.
Friday, 30 September 2005
1. David Sylvian - The Good Son vs The Only Daughter
Remixes of the 'blemish' album - remarkably coherent, total retakes on some tracks, warmth brought to some of the more stark pieces from the original album.
2. Porcupine Tree - Stars Die
A 2-CD retrospective.
3. Harold Budd - Avalon Sutra
Double album - been on my playlist for a while now. Keeps haunting me.
4. Harold Budd - The Pavilion of Dreams
The first album I heard by Budd - still love it after all these years.
5. Brian Eno - Another Day on Earth
Eno does voices after so long - great depth that keeps coming through on each listen.
6. Fripp & Eno - The Equatorial Stars
Great for easing those tensions...
7. Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
I just love listening to someone push the boundaries, and those melodies, hooks, riffs!
8. Iarla O'Lionnaird - Invisible Fields
The singer from Afro Celts. Third solo album - a work of great late night beauty.
9. Jonny Greenwood - Bodysong
I love the jazz blasts on this - and the classical pieces - incredibly diverse.
10. Tom Waits - Alice: the complete demos
Great to hear this alongside the original album - the 'interlude' pieces are intriguing, and the singing is fantastic, often very funny.
Thursday, 29 September 2005
I can't remember whether I have mentioned Stasisfield before. John Kannenberg runs this web-based music and images site from Chicago. All mp3s on the site are available for free download. You can also buy mp3 CDs of the back-catalogue if downloading masses of music is difficult through your internet connection. The music is ambient, minimalist soundscapes. I really like the very distinctive sound and look that is created for Stasisfield. John is a sound and image artist who produces all the artwork for the label, which I really like.
The latest release, an EP by Fessenden, called 'Preview' came out recently. I gave it a quick listen last night and was really impressed. This is one that I'll be working with over the next few weeks.
A recent innovation from John's site is an RSS feed, so it is now possible to sign up and get new releases as they become available in podcast form. This is a great idea, and makes the whole process so much easier.
Wednesday, 28 September 2005
His work over the last 6 years, after a long break, has been really fascinating. From the uneven album 'Dead Bees on a Cake' in 1999 to the stunning experimental work of 'blemish' which featured Christian Fennesz and Derek Bailey - his work has charted new areas, and pulled in the broadest range of influences. The highlight of this album was the closing track 'Fire in the Forest' with Fennesz which is a truly beautiful piece of music, bringing an album about pain to a stunning resolution.
There's a new album due out on 17th October. It's a collaboration with his brother Steve Jansen and the electronic artist Burnt Friedman under the name Nine Horses. The album is called 'Snow Borne Sorrow' and the clips I have heard sound really intriguing. Can't wait to hear the whole thing when it comes out. On the Sylvian
Tuesday, 27 September 2005
It feels like the clearing of a heavy fog. As a result the state of stasis is easing. Writing has begun again, and the creative energies are flowing. You will see more here too.....
Sunday, 25 September 2005
there is nothing more
only the neatness brought about when we tidy as we go along
turning everything into some sort of song
then there is the won mind-set
no idea why!
then there was the loss of a consonant in a clever
smug sort of whatever
and finally we let it all go
pretend that nothing has happened
seal the secrets in a small envelope,
light a candle,
hold the secret over it
until it ignites, then let go and
watch the paper turn to blackened feather
light, and fragment, into the air
gone forever, burnt out of existence.
Saturday, 24 September 2005
Like something that slips down the page - not sure
And an image
that is all that poetry is
something that we can picture in our mind
like the arrival of god
at a party when he hasn't been invited
and the host is busy pouring drinks
nobody knows the way to speak
so the first person to open the door, says
"sorry, I know we must have met, at some point that is,
but I have no idea who you are, and you’re not coming in here!"
The door slammed shut…and then silence
nothing to say
the music dies away as the guests wonder whether
they have missed something really important
for it is all of consequences
within the chaos of complex adaptive systems
we all try to make some sense.
seek out a god
and then when we find one,
we shut the door, refuse to recognise
ignore the voice in our head
and strike him off the guest list
safe in the company of those we know.
Friday, 23 September 2005
Thursday, 22 September 2005
Blogger did a user survey recently – when are we going to get feedback, and what are they doing with the suggestions that were made in the survey?
Another thing that Blogger could provide, would be the facility to post a number of drafts and then have them automatically post to the site so that there is always a post from the backlog when there is nothing new. Other blogging tools can do this – why not Blogger? Is it just me, or do Google seem to be resting the whole development of Blogger since they bought it?
OK, whinge over!
I’m very blog-light at the moment as I rush about with the day job, and try to realign my life after a stack of changes. Things should pick up soon – promises, promises…
Wednesday, 14 September 2005
New intimations of creativity
Seen before spoken
Somewhere we have been before
Law taken over
Wondering whether there is more in the dust
Specks that have recovered
Speeches that have been replayed
Once the lines have opened
There is not much left to the sands of timeliness
Such as the scan of a mission best replayed
Tuesday, 13 September 2005
After a summer overhaul, there is now a lot of new material on the site. Follow the link to find three sound files of radio programmes created by Glenn Gould back in the 60s and 70s. I first heard these on UK's BBC Radio 3 which hosted a tribute evening to the pianist a few years ago, and broadcast the programmes which were originally heard on Canadian radio. They are bold adventures in radio, Gould literally using the studio as a composing instrument. Well worth a listen.
U B U W E B :: Glenn Gould
Thursday, 1 September 2005
Opening all out
Splitting a cloud like candy floss
Breaking air apart
But do not understand the flow
Through all connections
Not even one strong sense of innocence
Would be enough
To split sides
The words are spent
The spoken sounds are louder than the heard
The things I say
Are not the same
Wednesday, 31 August 2005
Whilst away I read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown. Yes, I know, I must be the last person to read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was in a completely different genre to the sort of things I would normally read, and that made the enjoyment even greater.
Poetry is about to step back into the foreground as I begin work on the second intense phase of creativity of this year.
Tuesday, 9 August 2005
But then all rules are set to be broken! And it is worth an apology for the low frequency of posts. It is unlikely to change until September now.
I am reading "In Search of the Miraculous" by P D Ouspensky and feeling bewildered by a lot of it. He puts across the theories of Gurdjieff really clearly - it is the theories themselves that are so baffling. The man-machine idea is fascinating. Does this have anything to do with where Kraftwerk got the name from? Man sleepwalking through life. More on this book in a later post...
Friday, 22 July 2005
I was pointed to this site from Dave Pollard's blog (How to save the world - see the list of sites to the right). Angeles Arrien has developed the Four-Fold Way. It sets out four ways - the way of the warrior, the way of the healer, the way of the teacher and the way of the visionary.
Well worth a visit!
Thursday, 21 July 2005
Thursday, 14 July 2005
I read 8 poems, including a number of poems included on this site recently. They were all taken from the "28 poems in 28 days" cycle which I wrote earlier this evening. I find that reading poetry to an audience changes my relationship to the poem. I hear it differently. In this reading I heard some lines as really strong, which I had not noticed before. I heard rhythms which worked, and some that didn't. Overall I was really pleased with the material - I was taken by its intensity. And I felt that I had rediscovered some of the playful side of using language again.
What did the audience make of the reading? It is always difficult to tell at a poetry reading. Unlike a live music concert, it does not conclude with booing or frantic cheering. Poetry readings are an altogether more polite affair - at least where I come from they are.
I felt an empathy from the audience. As I looked around whilst reading there was an attentiveness which is always helpful. And there was a good level of applause at the end too. The highlight for me was after the event, when one of the organisers came up to me and said "that was fascinating. Thank you."
The rest of the evening was excellent too - there was live music from a duo playing accordion and bagpipes, another poet reading, a poem of the month, and a talk about the poetry of Edward Thomas.
One good outcome from the evening was a resolve on my part to travel further afield and do poetry readings. Further reports here as they happen.
Monday, 11 July 2005
Tuesday, 5 July 2005
'Five tracks' was an EP released ahead of the 'Hobosapien' album - it contains the most beautiful music filled with contradictions. Each track has a menacing air to it, tinged with soft girl choruses. The lyrics meander around all sorts of things including September 11th New York, the reputation of Ezra Pound - one of the tracks ('Wilderness Approaching') is taken from a film. 'E is missing' has an eerie voice singing 'Nowhere .... was not here / nowhere's not there / nowhere is nowhere' to the tune of an almost Christmas carol. I love it!
Why did I put this CD on after a couple of years? I was watching 'Later with Jools Holland' at the end of last week. This is a fantastic music programme on the UK BBC. The series finished recently, and is now being supplemented with a few programmes taking best bits on different themes. It was 'loud music' last week. John Cale was on playing a version of the Velvet Underground track 'Venus in Furs' - it was an incredible performance, and has stayed with me over the last few days.
As a result, the EP has reached my play list. What now? Well I also have another album by Cale, which I haven't explored much - called 'The Academy of Peril' - a strange album with full orchestra.
I should have realised that John Cale takes time to understand. Years ago (about 30 years, I think!) I bought a second hand copy of 'Vintage Violence' on vinyl, listened to it and was bewildered. Over time it became one of my favourite records.
John Cale, a welsh viola playing genius, with one of those rock voices that waivers on the edge of tuning in an unnerving way.
Tuesday, 28 June 2005
I am the reaper, the big repeater
Spinning out the lines, the ones I’ve heard before
Echoing and etching everything I find
The craftsman at his task
Needing only to serve words to myself –
Or to anyone that will listen.
Having something meaningful to say
Screwing up pieces of paper, pieces of all
That I throw away, of the words that I hold on to
The turning wheel, the replay, and the play back
Finding my way to the something
That is new.
Inside the bones of my skull
A good tune, a few words that are useful
A speech, a list of things that I keep
Special delivery and a knock at the door
Searching the feelings just beyond reach
Opening out the corpse to examination.
Obsessive seeking, needing one more splice
A few moments in the recess of the day
A replay, then separate times that have not played before
Long tunnels under roads, scary times
Crazy instances of the books that I long to write,
The speckled memories of a few cheap rhymes.
Monday, 27 June 2005
This is well worth a visit. I have to confess to being a bit of a library geek. I love looking at books. When I was a student (many years ago!) I used to spend hours in the special collection in the University Library looking at rare and old books. I was particularly impressed with very old manuscripts of books by Aubrey Beardsley.
The link takes you to the British Library website where you can find digital images of the pages of various editions of Shakespeare's plays, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Gutenberg's Bible. The Quartos of Shakespeare's plays were published towards the end of his life - books that are 400 years old. The site enables you to compare different versions of the same play, which is great if you are into that sort of thing.
For me, the main attraction is the ability to actually browse through the pages of these incredibly rare manuscripts. Thank you, British Library!
Sunday, 26 June 2005
We went for a walk on the common near to where we live. In the middle is a cluster of rocks called Thor's Rock - it is a stunning piece of sandstone. Or at least it was until the local population felt the need to carve their names on every inch of it.
Saturday, 25 June 2005
1. Jon Hassell - Maarifa Street
I bought this a few weeks ago, and it has been on the player regularly since. It seeps into your consciousness. This is his best album in years - I love the reconstruction of live and studio sounds. Different things lurk up out of the mix each time I listen.
2. John Foxx / Harold Budd - Translucence / Drift Music
This one has been a regular play each time I sit down to work. The best ambient piano-based music I have heard in a long time. The second CD has fantastic blurred sound passages.
3. Brian Eno - Glitterbug
The album that was never released, because Eno sent the tapes to Jah Wobble who made 'Spinner'. I like both albums for different reasons. This one was a soundtrack to a Derek Jarman movie.
4. Jon Hassell - Live in Nice 1997
Taken from a radio broadcast - fantastic music. Hassell live is every bit as exciting as Hassell in the studio.
5. The Coral - The Invisible Invasion
A local band - got the album for Father's Day last weekend. A great mix of 60s beat, Teardrop Explodes and Echo & the Bunnymen. Really catchy hooks in each song, and a heap of unusual endings.
Friday, 24 June 2005
Do you know of any other artists who are influenced by the work of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Bennett?
Thursday, 23 June 2005
I was referred to this meme by Clare at Eclectic Artisan. It's a great idea - basically you draw up a list of 101 things that you want to complete in 1001 days. There are many sites out there with versions of this. This one has a great list, partly completed.It's interesting to see which ones he has done so far. The first ten are:
1 Learn enough French to watch Amelie without subtitles
2 Learn to juggle 4 balls
3 Visit Stewart Island
4 Stop eating meat for a week
5 Win at least $10 on an Instant Kiwi lottery ticket
6 Read 10 books on the Modern Library (Random House) top 100 list
7 Release a message in a bottle containing this web address
8 Publish this list on the web
9 To have seen all IMDB top 250 movies
10 To have seen all AFI top 100 movies
I like the idea of this - it's an alternative to New Year Pledges. The idea of 1001 days is that it is a more realistic time frame to work with than a year. I'm going to have a go with this. I already have a heap of goals which I could put into the list. I need to remember the following basics:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).
Wednesday, 22 June 2005
This is a site that I found for the first time today. It has a great post called "Ten Things You Can Do Today to Jump-start Success". It is well worth a visit to read the detail, but the headlines are:
1. Read or listen to something that motivates you every single day.
2. Keep a journal of your daily progress and carry it with you wherever you go.
3. Make goals and re-write them every day.
4. Keep track of every person you meet.
5. Begin investing a portion of your income today.
6. Begin looking for opportunities to build passive income (money that you don’t have to work for once you’ve done the initial work) and write down or begin working on your ideas.
7. Only sleep as much as you need to.
8. Look for opportunities to serve.
9. Keep track of every penny that you spend or save.
10. Stop being a victim. Focus on what YOU can DO.
You really need to read the extra detail on Marcus' website to apply these - I thought they were a great set of things to work on.
Tuesday, 21 June 2005
The core message of Gurdjieff's work - that we are all sleepwalking through life, and that we need to come into the moment and be totally alert to all that is going on around us - resonated with me. It had strong links to the buddhist notion of being in the moment.
I bought Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous" - a book which many describe as the best account of Gurdjieff's work by one of his pupils. It has sat on my bookshelf now for 3 years, waiting for the right moment. And that moment has just arrived - I am now beginning to read it. The time feels right - summer solstice 2005.
Other books being read:
Getting Things Done - David Allen
Full Catastrophe Living - John Kabat Zinn
Eight Steps to Happiness - Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Plus a stack of articles about the work of Gurdjieff by Jacob Needleman, J G Bennett (a big influence on Robert Fripp), George Baker and Walter Driscoll.
Monday, 20 June 2005
In the interests of exploration I have just ventured into a site which is new to me. It is at www.edge.org and is an amazing repository of articles, interviews and comment – it describes itself:
“Edge Foundation, Inc., was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of a group known as The Reality Club. Its informal membership includes of some of the most interesting minds in the world. The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.”
It’s full of amazing ideas and information from people like Stewart Brand (Clock of the Long Now), Dave Winer (podcasting) and scientists like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Stephen Pinker. There is also an interview with and set of commentary on Brian Eno, on the subject of Big Culture. The only down-side to a website like this is that it is one huge time-sink. One can get lost in there for hours at a time, and come out the other side trying desperately to remember what the reason was for going onto the net in the first place.
Sunday, 19 June 2005
In the meantime, as part of a cannibalising process, here is the text on the main page about music:
"I am a complete music obsessive. One of life's great journeys is the journey of musical discovery. There is a vast world out there of music that strikes to the soul, to the heart, the guts and sometimes the raging innards. Wherever it reaches us, music is something that has meant so much to me over the years.
From those early experiences back in the seventies when I listened to late night radio through headphones and first experienced the progress of music from the over-stretched progressive music to punk, new wave and new romantic.
Along the way I found roots, reggae and much besides. I have also developed a passion for jazz music, folk, world and classical music. Genre is not as important as the message - no area of music is immune from the ability to move the listener. "
Saturday, 18 June 2005
Hopes for legal music podcasts rise Tech News on ZDNet
Follow the link for an article about the potential for licensing of music for podcasts. The whole podcast world is going through enormous growth at the moment. Over the last 12 months it has moved through the tipping point into something of a phenomenon. Many podcasts are spoken word, and avoid using music. Some use music, but only use small clips and talk over it to avoid being sued for use of copyright material. A few seek permission for each item they use - but this can take too much time, and is often a nightmare - who owns the copyright on a particular piece of music? Who do you ask? And some use podcast-safe music - music where a license is granted. There is not a lot of this, and it tends to be mainly fringe, left-field music.
The legal issue focuses around the fact that podcasts are essentially downloadable mp3 files. A radio-type license is not appropriate for this type of medium.
The article argues that the recording industry needs to move faster to get this whole thing sorted. Of course, as ever, the industry seems to be only interested in the "fast buck" it can get from podcasting. There is scope for seeing the long view with the podcasting phenomenon. Doubtless it will change the face of broadcasting and narrowcasting. Things will look very different in a couple of years. The scope for podcasting to work as a marketing medium for an increasingly diverse and crowded music scene is immense. Asking amateur podcasters to pay huge license fees for something which they do as a hobby is a non-starter. There need to be licenses at different levels that reflect whether the podcast is amateur or professional, free or subscription, takes adverts or sponsorship or not, and perhaps also the quality of the mp3 file (in other words, can the music be extracted, or is it low grade for a one-time listen only.)
These issues need resolving urgently. If the industry doesn't work fast to resolve it, then the podcast revolution will surge ahead regardless. Industry will winge about the impact on its revenues, and the long-term effect will be as damaging as downloading has been for the industry. Message for the recording industry - embrace new ideas instead of burying the head in the sand and hoping they will go away. Look at ways in which you can facilitate and help the music fan, rather than litigating against them.
[There's an update to this article for March 2007 - follow the link]
Friday, 17 June 2005
I have been a member of David Gurteen's on-line Knowledge Community for about a year now. His website is a tremendous resource comprising web links, book details, people profiles and event summaries. It is well worth a look. I also subscribed to David's newsletter. There are a lot of sites offering regular newsletters, many of them are a bit feeble. David's newsletter is full of great information and links. As a rough guide, I usually spend anything up to an hour exploring the various links and sources of information which he cites in each issue. The link takes you to the archive of newsletters - why don't you sign up to the newsletter too? It goes to over 12,000 people in over 130 countries. David sees himself as a knowledge management specialist, but you don't have to be into KM to find his information useful.
On the subject of newsletters, I'm experimenting with the idea of a newsletter. I have put together a pilot issue for June. It would contain the blog entries for the previous month and any other internet stuff that I thought might be interesting. I'm aware that not everyone wants to check a blog regularly (although you can use useful services like Bloglines to make it easier - see subscribe button to the right). So I thought a newsletter might help. Comments welcome on this.
Thursday, 16 June 2005
I've spent some time over the last few days experimenting with a new piece of Open Source software called wikidPad. It's an amazing piece of software based on wiki technology. I think it might be really useful for managing to do lists in a more flexible way than mainstream software like Microsoft Outlook. There is also a really helpful discussion group to support the software. It has recently become open source so I guess there will be a lot of development from the group over coming months.
It also looks like a really good outliner, and space for keeping notes. I've copied the book manuscript over to it, so that I can try it out. It has the ability to create hyperlinks between pages 'on the fly'. You just type in a WikiWord, which is a word with capitals in the middle, like WikkiWord itself.
Another great thing which it can do, is to export the wiki as html, so it is possible to put together a series of linked pages and then export it as webpages, all without the need to know any html.
One to explore some more.
Wednesday, 15 June 2005
1. Jon Hassell - Maarifa Street (Miles Davis meets the 21st Century with 4th world sensbilities)
2. Coldplay - X&Y (played it twice, rationed to avoid overplay, think it is beautiful)
3. Keith Jarrett - Radiance (double CD of solo concert performances, completely improvised, a musician back in the zone)
4. Charles Lloyd / Billy Higgins - Which way is East (two musicians, a heap of instruments, inspiration flooding across another double CD)
5. Robert Fripp & Brian Eno - The Equatorial Stars (celestial music that eases the mind into a workful state)
6. Porcupine Tree - Deadwing (prog rock meets its contemporary match)
7. Van Morrison - Magic Time (makes you want to dance, sing and swing)
8. Thomas Dolby - Astronauts and Heretics (is it true the earth is flat?)
9. Brian Eno - Textures (rare album of early workings and ideas, serene and troubling by turns)
10. David Sylvian - Alchemy / An Index of Possibilities (instrumental bliss)
Has anyone heard Brian Eno's new album - the man is singing again! It is getting good reviews too.
Tuesday, 14 June 2005
I cover issues like:
o using a network map
o objective setting
o biography working
o archetypal casting (a concept I developed as part of my PhD thesis)
o energy mapping
o applying creativity
o channelling synchronicity
As the manuscript develops, I may post extracts here if there is sufficient interest. It will be useful to get feedback as the ideas fuse together.
Monday, 13 June 2005
Mahamudra Tantra: The supreme heart jewel nectar
An Introduction to Meditation on Tantra
This is a new book written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who is the Spiritual Leader of the New Tradition of Kadampa Buddhism. He is based at the Manjushri Buddhist Centre in Ulverston, Cumbria UK. I attended a weekend meditation course there a few years ago, which was amazing. The centre is located on the shores of Morecambe Bay, and has a beautiful Buddhist Temple built in its grounds. It is well worth a visit. The books I have read by Kelsang Gyatso are beautifully written, in a clear prose and take you through the principles of buddhism in a succinct way. This new book, which I haven't got hold of yet, looks at meditation on the tantra. From the website:
"This exciting book introduces a new world of meditation.
It explains how we can use our imagination as a powerful tool in our spiritual practice
Mahamudra is a Sanskrit word that means union of bliss and emptiness, the very essence of Buddhist Tantric meditation.
Mahamudra Tantra is a practical manual for gaining deep experience of meditation and discovering the peace and happiness that lies within."
Sunday, 12 June 2005
Ewloe Castle - Wales
Originally uploaded by Stuart Eglin.
I took the boys to Ewloe Castle in Wales this weekend. It's a crumbling remains within woods overlooking a river valley. I was moved to photograph this window, built in the 1200s, look at the stone work in this construction, and look at the harmony of the shape, the window on the universe beyond.
The castle was built by Llywelyn. There are enough remains to make out two circular towers, one of which it is possible to climb up and stand on the top of. There is a ditch which would have been a moat, and a low wall running around the two towers.
I last visited this castle a few years ago. I was impressed this time to find that the whole area of woodland has been turned into a nature reserve.
If you want to see more photos of the castle, and an excellent impression of what the castle would have looked like when it was intact, go to the following website
It's full of photos and details of history.
Friday, 10 June 2005
The link above takes you to Mike Snider's Formal Blog and Sonnetarium, a place I visit regularly to read his comments, poems etc. It seems that Mike has been doing a little late spring cleaning, and come across some poetry booklets which I sent him a while back. I still have a stack of his sonnets to read too - looking forward to doing this. I will post some comments when I have read them.
I can relate to the whole issue of spring cleaning as I look with dismay at the chaos around my desk, on my desk, under my desk and everywhere around the house. I am on the brink of a change of jobs, so need to get the paper chaos under control as soon as I can.
Thursday, 9 June 2005
I had read a couple of reviews of this book, which encouraged me to read it. It was rated as top book to read by Mojo magazine at the end of last year.
Well I agree with the comments that the style of prose is good. Dylan's style is unusual, reminds me a bit of the Beat writers. It takes a few pages to feel comfortable with it, and the narrative technique he uses is unusual too. Unlike many autobiographies by stars there is very little detail of dates, times, contexts etc. I'm not a huge fan of Dylan, so a lot of the subtle references were probably lost on me. As a result I often felt like the text jumped from one time to another without any clues to orientate the reader.
I did enjoy reading the book - it had a lot of interesting facts in it and some great anecdotes. I particularly liked the bit about Woody Guthrie, where Dylan visits him in the mental hospital for the last time, is offered some songs that Guthrie wrote if he goes to the family house. Dylan goes in search of the songs, but is unsuccessful. As an almost throwaway comment, he points out that these were the songs which would later be recorded by Billy Bragg and Wilco. What an amazing story!
But I wouldn't rate this book at the top of my list, because it was just too confusing. It felt like it needed a good editing job from someone with the nerve to say to Dylan 'this is great stuff, but it needs to be put into context so that the reader can follow where you are going'.
Ultimately the problems might be down to my lack of knowledge of the subject. I'd be really interested to hear what real Dylan fans made of the book. Feel free to post a comment and let me know.
I suppose the final test rests with the fact that I will still be keen to read the next volume when it comes out.
Wednesday, 8 June 2005
I've been reading some interesting articles on Steve Pavlina's weblog about self-discipline which are really inspiring. I'm going to try some of the techniques and see whether I can get the flow moving again here.
Watch this space...
Wednesday, 18 May 2005
Comments, observations, ideas and feedback are welcome.
Friday, 13 May 2005
I bought two great albums earlier this week - the new album by Jon Hassell "Maarifa Street: magic realism 2" and Harold Budd & John Foxx's "Translucence / Drift Music". First impressions - Jon Hassell's new album builds the ideas and theories of his work over the last few decades to produce an album which blends live and studio sounds, electronic and acoustic, west and east. The result is a beautiful work - one that melts over you, offers up new turns at each listen. I am very impressed. The album by Budd & Eno which was released in 2003 is a marvellous double album of ambience. Mesmerising. It is one of those albums to play when I need deep thought for some extended writing.
I have been struggling to write regularly here for a couple of weeks now, as I work away outside the world of the web, to ensure that I have meaningful employment to pay the bills. A resolution is nearly in sight.
Tuesday, 3 May 2005
I find this with physical exercise too. If I miss a couple of sessions of exercise, getting back to it gets harder and harder.
Once I break through the hiatus and get moving again - whether posting to the blog or running a few miles - it feels easier than I thought it would. And the flow begins again.
Helpful points to remember:
- the barrier is never as enormous as it feels
- it is OK to have a break and get back to it, the flow soon returns
So ... I'm back.
Wednesday, 13 April 2005
1. U2 - How to dismantle an atomic bomb
2. Talking Heads - The Best of
3. Porcupine Tree - Deadwing
4. Rufus Wainwright - Want Two
5. Gomez - Split the Difference
6. Can - Tago Mago
7. Bjork - Medulla
8. Brian Eno - Apollo
9. Led Zeppelin - Presence
10. Chrome - Half Machine Lip Moves
Comments on some of these to follow soon. And I'll be posting more book reviews too. Promises promises!
Tuesday, 12 April 2005
AdSense looks like a good scheme. Apparently readers who click adverts generate revenue for the blogger. An interesting idea. I'm intrigued to see how this develops.
Monday, 11 April 2005
Regular readers will know that I am really interested in the whole issue of copyright, and the importance of balancing the rights of the artist with those of the wider creative process and the public. I'm a big fan of Naxos records - they have reworked the world of the classical music labels. They have also re-worked the whole idea of a budget label, producing work of a high standard, and often producing world premieres. They also release difficult music, not just keeping to the safety of popular classics.
It is astounding that the US courts are undermining the fundamental principle that copyright has a time limit to it. This is really important if we are to see work coming into the public domain for wider dissemination, and for broader use by the creative community.
The article which I quote above, also points out that the early recordings for the pop and rock scene are approaching the 50 year threshhold for copyright - there are implications in this ruling for the work of The Beatles and others.
Let's not forget that court actions like this one were not taken to protect the work of an artist and their family. This is about large corporations protecting what they see as their property. It is important that the legal system sets a clear time-limit to this, so that the public domain can work as it should. For a great example of the public domain, and the power of the internet, take a look at the growing archive of early movies which are now out of copyright at the internet archive.
Sunday, 10 April 2005
Friday, 8 April 2005
Well, today Blogger announced that it has a "Recover post" feature to deal with this problem. It is supposed to save the post as you type it, to your computer, so that you can recover what you typed if the browser crashes. Sounds great. Just need to get Blogger to crash now so that I can try it out!
After feeling a bit fed up with Blogger for a while now, since there have been no new features in so long. And particularly because they don't seem to be addressing the problem of categories for blog posts. Who knows - maybe that will be the next fix! That would be excellent.
P.S. Guess what - I just tried to post this and the browser crashed. I tried the new feature, and it worked! That's weird. now Blogger need to reduce the number of crashes...
Thursday, 7 April 2005
More about the demise of Easytree. A great weblog, Largehearted Boy, suggests some alternatives. It's amazing that the legal community don't realise that as fast as they track and close down these sites, others open up to replace them. Better surely to think about ways to create authorised environments for sharing live music and concerts off FM radio. Some bands do this themselves through their websites. There are far more creative ways to tackle this, rather than suing people. This then is Largehearted Boy's comment...
"Easytree is officially gone. The successor (in my heart, at least) to Sharing The Groove now passes the baton to... who? I've been most impressed with The Traders' Den, which has a Sharing The Groove feel to it, as well as a varied selection of genres and generous helping of live DVD's.
Other bittorrent lossless live performance trackers I recommend (feel free to add more in the comments):
Via Chicago (Wilco and related)
UPDATE: I've posted about this again, on 10th April (link here). If you have come here looking for Easytree's successor. Follow this link to Dimeadozen.
"Alas Easytree.org is no more. Another casulty of the foolish multi-national media giants and their legions of lawyers.
Does anyone know of another site with similar offerings?"
"Yes, the Easytree site was closed yesterday at 16:00 UK time due to threats from lawyers. Given that this site took great lengths to ensure that it did not distribute officially available material, I think this is a great pity.
"There are still other torrent sites available of course. But in my view, Easytree was the best! In my view, the greed of the multi-national media industry, driven by profits and share prices, will hound customers away. Instead of attacking the internet and file sharing, they should be embracing it as a way to increase the number of ways to access a band's music. Real fans buy the official music, and then hunt out unofficial recordings to understand the whole creative process."
I'll post more about this to the weblog later...
Sunday, 3 April 2005
It is a collection of stories designed to engage, inspire and transform the listener and the reader. He looks at the whole idea of story-telling and pulls out the power of the story-teller when giving a story from memory rather than reading it out.
I found this great quote last night:
“When we begin to understand the patterns and structures of our thinking, we can start to liberate ourselves from enslavement to our limitations.”
It is one of those sentences that rattles around in your head if you let it. Give it a little time to set off sparks.
Saturday, 2 April 2005
Friday, 1 April 2005
It also has an FM radio in it, which you can record from as an mp3 file. And you can record through either an internal microphone or an external clip microphone. All of which means that I am getting closer to producing my first podcast. The storage capacity of this machine is breath-taking.
The official site is here. I have to say that the machine itself may be fantastic, but the manual and accompanying information is useless. The first 24 hours of trying to figure out how everything worked was incredibly frustrating. Nothing seemed to make any sense. This was only rescued by an amazing online forum where iRiver users post questions and answers. It is called misticriver. There are some incredibly informed users on this site. It was here that I learnt how to get video working on the machine. I also learnt some of the basic functions of the machine which the manual should have told me.
So, it is a fantastic machine, which makes the iPod look like a lame fashion icon. But the iRiver out of the box lacks user-friendliness. You need a willingness to become a bit of a geek to understand the real capacity of the iRiver. It's worth the learning curve though for the sheer range of things that this small gadget can deliver!
Thursday, 31 March 2005
1. What could be good about this?
2. What's not perfect, yet?
3. Who can help?
4. How can I have some fun with this?
5. What can be learnt from the whole thing?
This approach is really powerful. It draws on the learning to be found in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). I'm reading a fascinating book about this at the moment called "NLP Solutions" by Sue Knight.
I have tried it a couple of times. Taking each question in turn, and in order, I found that they create real actions that lift me out of the tendency to become negative.
Tuesday, 29 March 2005
One that I have really enjoyed listening to whilst working is a music one called Brainwashed. You can link to it here. Each episode is about an hour long, and comes out weekly. Music featured is on the fringes of music - one week they featured industrial music of the early 90s - Cabaret Voltaire, Thomas Leer etc. The latest issue features music from United Dairies - home of Nurse with Wound amongst others. If this sort of music is your thing, it's well worth a listen. Readers of The Wire magazine would really like it.
Monday, 28 March 2005
I thought I would return the compliment and post a poem to the Desmond Sword blog as a comment. I've copied it here too:
Yes is an s
flickers on down inside
the right-sided find
when the green blade
which rasps loudly
has passed downto beyond where
all that has clasped
and let go
yes is an s
the menace of a huge open space
repressed and defaced
will open and re-appear
put it down
don’t let it in
shed some light now
just for spite now
playful but bitter
couldn’t tell who hit her
or when the game is ended
the reaction hoped and
a piece of the action.
Sunday, 27 March 2005
Friday, 25 March 2005
Sometimes they are just a feeling of presence within the room - at other times they are a vivid person who I can actually see. Often they come to me with a message or suggestion.
I enjoy receiving these intuitions, and look forward to receiving more. I am contemplating moving forwards to reiki master some point soon. We shall see.
It is part of the inner working, trying to understand the meaning beneath everything. The biggest journey we take in our lives is the journey within...
Wednesday, 23 March 2005
from the viewpoint
you get a view of the estuary
for a penny in the slot of this telescope
light draws pencils in the landscape
and pokes the sun in the eye
it escapes into another moment of uncertainty
where lines of edges have scolded me
blue light reflects my eyes within a glance
a second's image focused then lost
edges cut through moist thickened air
watching coastline like a novel with no ending
it is a sense where trees in sand look like
something from another time another climate
and being part of changing elements is being
someone else's clothes turning inside out
but then land and sea never could agree
choosing erosion, not combination.
Tuesday, 22 March 2005
Stefan is one of a large number of people who have been looking at this weblog because they were searching for information about Freud and da Vinci. I seem to have come up high in the google search ratings on this one, thanks to the earlier post which I made when I read the book.
Friday, 18 March 2005
Re: Flickr magic email
Originally uploaded by Stuart Eglin.
Here is a photo I took a couple of months ago. It was taken in some wild terrain near where I live. It's a tree in mid-winter - and the bark just looks like an eye!
I'm experimenting with Flickr. If it's as easy as it seems to be, there'll be a lot more images on this weblog soon.
Thursday, 17 March 2005
Wednesday, 16 March 2005
From a period of pain, stasis and freezing.
Music accumulating, gathering for listening. Music for inspiration.
A choice for a working: for a certain mood or mode -
1) David Sylvian - Blemish
[a soundtrack from the beyond the realms of pain and falling apart. Still difficult to listen to after so many plays, but compulsive all the same.]
2) David Sylvian - The Good Son vs The Only Daughter
[remixes of the 'blemish' album. A heap of remixers take the basic materials and do something diverse and splendid with it. New stuff, new thoughts, new sounds and ideas.]
3) Sigur Ros - Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do
[an EP from this Icelandic band, the soundtrack to work by the choreographer Merce Cunningham. Three pieces with sounds from everywhere, even a music box. A journey of uncertainty.]
4) Terje Rypdal - Varder: Live at Molde Festival 2004
[avant jazz guitarist meets heavy metal. Rypdal makes yet another trip into classical music and comes back with something huge. Not heard this yet - looking forward to it.]
5) Robert Fripp String Quintet - Kan-non Power
[prog rock meets baroque! From soundscapes for the yearning of the soul, to the precision of Bach.]
6) John Paul Jones - Steel your thunder
[live album from former bass player with Led Zeppelin, taking in ambient and soundscape. Is the guitarist Fripp?]
7) Bjork - Medulla
[back to Iceland for new adventures in low fi and voice. Human Beatbox for the 21st century. Robert Wyatt brings sensibility and melody, Bjork finds her soul resonating. No-one anywhere near where she is.]
8) Matching Mole - Matching Mole
[early Robert Wyatt, post-Soft Machine. Out of work jazz musician does pop music. Is 'O Caroline' the most beautiful love song you ever heard?]
9) Can - Future Days
[kraut rock does funk music way ahead of its time. It took until 2005 for the world to catch up with these people...]
10) Brian Eno / Jah Wobble - Spinner
[been looking for this album for years. Deleting stuff is so infuriating. Heard a couple of tracks, love it. Wobble as the William Blake of our century. Restless traveller.]
11) Harold Budd - Avalon Sutra
[what do you mean, it's his last album? Retiring? What a way to go! The perfection of ambient, depth and beauty.]
...and we take the 11 discs (12 if you count Budd as 2xCDs) on a trip through the imaginary day, to a serene place...
Tuesday, 15 March 2005
This quote resonates with me, because I am just lifting out of the winter blues and trying to get the productivity levels up. Time for some ambitious goals.
Paul is a solicitor, so his comments about tackling bullying are really interesting. He reveals how he was bullied at school, and talks about that, and then offers clear advice to parents to support children who are being bullied. This is a serious issue, well worth the time he spends on it. He helps with the real issue of making something happen when parents can often feel powerless to help.
Monday, 14 March 2005
I was incredibly impressed. Now I need to think what the next move should be. I'm not convinced that I should join the drama group just yet - I have no experience. I think I need to find a workshop or something where I can gain some skills first. I also have been thinking for a while about getting some time with a voice coach to learn how to breathe properly and project my voice.
Comments are welcome - I'm going to do something - I just need to be clear about the next step.
Meanwhile - I haven't forgotten podcasting. I've just been overwhelmed with other things. I'm still listening to Richard Vobes and Paul Nicholls regularly and gleaning ideas from a host of others too. I'm a few days away from jumping in at the deep end and having a go...
Friday, 11 March 2005
Words drip down like stains
drip down like stains on the side of the soul
when the meaning that you sent was clear as hearts
and all that was spent
Don’t remember everything then – that’s all at sight
and I will regret from the moment my mouth opens
best left aside, underneath and always
that’s the best I can offer
A single rose, a symbol of the shows
the every expression that I ever gave to you
or made for you, then leapt over rushes and bushes
like some kleptomaniac crunch of a shower.
flow out like spit down the chin
the sin I’m in, the skin I’m in
Everything speaks to me like the
genuflections of reflections in the glass
of my mind, your kind should stop
being sharp to mine
Then the words, the often heard
in each moment that I offered
would be as clear as the hurting
now it’s all forgotten.
Thursday, 10 March 2005
... trying out ideas, mulling over different techniques, listening to others for inspiration (positive and negative). No point in repeating or copying what is already there. Need to do something different.
Using sounds, using words, effects, not just an audio blog.
... soon, yes, soon.
Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Over the last week I have been looking at a couple of sites that support this. Torrent Spy provides links to a wide range of material including music files, tv, movies, games, software etc. I hunted through a lot of this material. Most of the material on this site is copyrighted and available through official sources. I'm not sure that it should be made available for download.
Another site, Easytree, hosts the sharing of live concerts and officially unavailable material. This is a completely different concept. It's unlikely that one would download a concert and not bother with the studio albums. It's an environmnent to experiment with material before buying CDs, and it's a place for collectors to get material that is difficult to get hold of.
Over the last week, I have managed to get hold of a host of material by Brian Eno, recordings that are not commercially available. They include music from deleted games, and from art installations. I've heard some amazing music.
The other great find was 6 sets of music from Terje Rypdal. I was aware that he had produced quite a body of classical music (see this list), as well as the jazz which he is better known for. But getting hold of it is very difficult. ECM records have released a couple of albums, but most of it is not available. It's brilliant to find a way to hear this music - which is wonderful.
Thanks to the uploader for sharing this music.
The Easytree site claims that it tries to ensure that material is not shared where artists object. If this is achieved, I think that sites like this are a brilliant way to encourage broader listening, and to support the serious music fan.
One word of warning - Easytree has a maximum of 100,000 members. So you may have to keep visiting until membership is available. Inactive accounts do get cancelled, so it shouldn't take too long.
Monday, 7 March 2005
I really enjoyed reading this book. Douglas used a game to devise the input lines which give the inspiration to the poems in the first section. He chose a set of random lines (with the help of a die) from a book and then used these to start the poems which were written quickly over a month. The poetry in the collection is marvellously challenging. Douglas really tears apart the language and reconstructs it. One is taken one a journey through the roots, parts and segments of words -really getting inside the language which he uses.
This poetry is probably the closest I have seen to e e cummings without descending into pastiche. Douglas takes the experimental approaches of cummings and makes the interpretation totally his own.
One is left with the feeling that every part of the syllable, the word, the line and the spacing is so carefully thought through. This is a poet totally in command of the language he works with.
These are not just poems that play with language though - they also work hard with emotions, and depict events and narrative.
All in all, a read worth making!
The project '50 Books in 2005', is a little behind schedule. But not irretrievable.
Sunday, 6 March 2005
Do one or two things really well!!
That focuses right in on one of the things I have real challenge with. Even at the best of times, it is a real effort to sustain focus on one thing for very long. I always have a huge list of other things which I am really keen to do.
Dave admits that he too is not exactly brilliant at this. He sets it out as a "do what I say, not what I do" item. Well, I too can realise that the focus on one or two things really does make a huge difference. People who I know who are really obsessed about a small number of things achieve incredible things.
But then I do admire the polymaths in the world – those people who excel in a wide number of areas, who dabble in all sorts of things out of interest. Look at Leonardo da Vinci.
So, just maybe the world needs a mix of specialists and polymaths.
Thursday, 3 March 2005
Well the bad news is this. Peter says in his latest catalogue that he plans to close down the business later this year. That will leave a big hole in the poetry world in the UK. I will be very sad to see him go - and will miss browsing through his catalogues and picking a handful of books every couple of months.
I'm not ignoring the fact that running a business like his must take an enormous amount of time and effort.
But his efforts will be really missed.
I'd encourage any of you who read this blog to listen to Richard's show. I rate his and PodcastPaul as the best shows I have listened to so far.
Richard wants to hear my show to see what he thinks of it! I'll have to get on and record one then.
Wednesday, 2 March 2005
It's important at times like these to work on the basis that things happen for a reason, even if it is not clear at the time. So, although the decisions being made around me look like they are sliding away from what I am trying to make happen, just maybe it will all make sense in the long term.
I can but hope.
P.S. Sorry to speak in code. People get sacked for being too specific about their employers in blogs, you know!
Tuesday, 1 March 2005
Today I downloaded the new version of iPodder (2.0) which seems to have fixed some downloading problems which I was experiencing. I emailed Andrew Grumet from the Development Team of iPodder this morning, and was really impressed to receive a reply within a couple of hours. That's excellent customer service! Problems are fixed, and podcast downloads are happening again.
As I type this I am listening to the latest edition of the Brainwashed Podcast which is a weekly podcast of music associated with brainwashed. Last week's hour long programme comprised music from the UK Industrial Records label - Cabaret Voltaire, Robert Rental & Thomas Leer, Throbbing Gristle etc. Music from the early 80s with an alienated feel to it - in keeping with the times as i remember. This week's programme is based on the theme of 'time' and features a diverse mix of found sound, ambient, electronica and funk.
Well, earlier today I took the experiments a stage further and recorded Test Podcast One - ten seconds of voice and background music. So, I have got that far with this experiment. I'll keep you posted....
Monday, 28 February 2005
Yes, there are plenty of sites with guidance but they tend to very quickly drop into geek-speak, which leaves me completely baffled. A little determination and trial and error, and we will get there.