Alternative tunings proliferate

May 5, 2016

More and more, every day I feel like I’m living in a dark satirical psychedelic science fiction universe. A Philip K. Dick novel, or something cyberpunk perhaps. Creeping dystopia shot through with stunning beauty! I hesitate to label anything evil or good in absolute terms. Things are changing too fast to allow labels to stick reliably. Authorities are slipping, their authorships sinking, their confident words coming unstuck and floating and swirling away from tightly cohering truth values. Lines of flight are everywhere! Exploding punditry rains down like fallout. The striated and the smooth puree together in a big bass-o-matically knifing whirlpool. Am I really supposed to drink that medicine?! I’m spinning wobbly in some demented T.S. Eliot poem. The center pulls apart like a paper napkin with our latest scribbled plans. Recalibration? Reference points are shifting! Alternative tunings proliferate. Improvisation beckons necessarily. I’ve heard that the music of the future cannot be planned.

Good point

May 3, 2016

“We are bringing literally millions of people into the political process,” Sanders said of his campaign. He argued that, by remaining in the race, he is energizing the Democratic Party in a way that will increase voter turnout in the general election. High turnout, he said, will be crucial for Democratic victory.

“I am going to do everything that I can to make sure that in November we have a very high voter turnout,” Sanders said.

Source: Sanders: Clinton ‘wrong’ to think it’s over – POLITICO

April 30, 2016


A coloring, a causality, and a velocity quite different

April 30, 2016

Beneath representation and signification, music and sound manifest this virtuality, which both Deleuze and Nietzsche term ‘Dionysian’ (Deleuze 1994[1968]: 214). ‘This primordial phenomenon of Dionysian art is difficult to grasp’, writes Nietzsche (1992a[1872]), ‘and there is only one direct way to make it intelligible and grasp it immediately: through the wonderful significance of musical dissonance’ (p. 141). Music makes audible the dynamic, differential, discordant flux of becoming that precedes and exceeds empirical individuals and the principium individuationis. Representing and symbolizing nothing, it presents a play of sonic forces and intensities. ‘This [Dionysian] world [of music] has a coloring, a causality, and a velocity quite different from those of the world of the plastic artist and the epic poet’, Nietzsche writes (p. 50). Yet it is also the condition of possibility for empirical individuals and the stable forms of the visual and textual arts. The relationship between the Dionysian and the Apollonian, music and the visual and textual arts is not one of opposition but of transcendental conditioning. For just as the virtual world of will to power or difference is manifested in actual entities, so too does the ‘inchoate’, ‘intangible’ world of music, for Nietzsche, ‘discharge itself in images’, ‘emit image sparks’, manifest itself ‘as a specific symbol or example’ (pp. 49, 50, 54).

Christoph Cox  “Beyond Representation and Signification: Toward a Sonic Materialism” Journal of Visual Culture, August 2011

I’d jump to a good on-demand Pandora in a drumbeat

April 27, 2016

To its credit, Pandora is trying to build more than just another Spotify copycat. For one thing, Clemens tells me, the company is not going to stick strictly with the all-you-can-stream-for-10-bucks model that dominates music subscription services today. “One of the things that the industry has done to its detriment over the years is create this $120 price cap irrespective of how much people love music,” says Clemens, referring to the yearly price tag affixed to all-you-can-stream services like Spotify. “If I look at the gaming industry for example, people are willing to spend thousands if they’re a superfan.” Pandora already has 3.9 million subscribers for its Pandora One tier, which eliminates advertisements from its online radio streams. The company won’t comment on how Pandora One will be affected by the new on-demand offerings. But whatever the pricing details may be, Clemens and Westergren clearly envision multiple price tiers that cater to fans of varying levels of intensity.

Source: Inside Pandora’s Plan To Reinvent Itself—And Beat Back Apple And Spotify | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Conscious Realism

April 27, 2016

Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine:

A mathematical model of consciousness.

That’s right. My intuition was, there are conscious experiences. I have pains, tastes, smells, all my sensory experiences, moods, emotions and so forth. So I’m just going to say: One part of this consciousness structure is a set of all possible experiences. When I’m having an experience, based on that experience I may want to change what I’m doing. So I need to have a collection of possible actions I can take and a decision strategy that, given my experiences, allows me to change how I’m acting. That’s the basic idea of the whole thing. I have a space X of experiences, a space G of actions, and an algorithm D that lets me choose a new action given my experiences. Then I posited a W for a world, which is also a probability space. Somehow the world affects my perceptions, so there’s a perception map P from the world to my experiences, and when I act, I change the world, so there’s a map A from the space of actions to the world. That’s the entire structure. Six elements. The claim is: This is the structure of consciousness. I put that out there so people have something to shoot at.

But if there’s a W, are you saying there is an external world?

Here’s the striking thing about that. I can pull the W out of the model and stick a conscious agent in its place and get a circuit of conscious agents. In fact, you can have whole networks of arbitrary complexity. And that’s the world.

Source: The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality | Quanta Magazine

Stand-alone gear

April 26, 2016

Blog slowdown, yep. Lots of blogging between November and March. Not so much by the time we got to April. I’ve slacked off from FB, too. Mainly my online activity of late has been on Amazon and music gear sites and Youtube gear reviews.

I’m looking for a Birthday Gadget. Last year I got an excellent little camera that continues to serve me very well. My Christmas Gadget last year was a cool little analog mono synth, which I’m still learning and bonding with. It’s fit in pretty well with my LaunchPad setup. But back to this year and my birthday. I’ve looked at several things, mostly in the music/audio realm. The leading contender is a stand-alone “grid-based groovebox” made by Novation called Circuit. It’s been getting a lot of great reviews, and I think it would be a worthy addition to my LP assemblage—although I’m not sure how to fit it. But that was a “problem” with my new synth, too, and I have managed to figure it out.

I gravitate toward stand-alone gear, electronic music-making equipment that doesn’t need a computer to do its thing. I’m quite reluctant to depend on a laptop for performing. Lots of people do fine performing music live with computers, but I’m averse. I’d rather have boxes that just need to be plugged into power, plugged into my mixer, turned on, and played. You CAN hook the Circuit up to a computer, but that’s for updating the firmware, switching out samples and synth sounds and such, not for playing it. I’m not attracted to Ableton Live or to software synths and sequencers. I suppose that could change someday, but I don’t really see it. I also prefer hardware recording gear to software tracking, although mixing and editing and mastering music on a computer certainly has its advantages, and I do that from time to time.

The major league baseball season is well underway, and I’m enjoying it. But I’ve gotten past my initial rush. The Giants started out fast and then slowed down, got some injuries, etc. But I’m totally with them for the long haul through the season; however,  I’m not hanging on every pitch. I cancelled my (monthly) MLB-TV subscription—it runs through next week—and am going back to just Gameday Audio. I’ll re-up the TV side later in the season for $10 or whatever it is in late September, so I can have it available in the offseason (for watching archived games when the baseball bug hits me in the middle of winter) and spring training next year.

I watched a cool film last night called 20,000 Days on Earth featuring Nick Cave. Excellent! Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to entertain me highly. And I’m looking forward to Captain America: Civil War, which comes out in theaters in a couple weeks.

And R.I.P. Prince, a top-notch inspired/inspiring weirdo if there ever was one.