Filed under: misc

The Ballad of Led Zeppelin IV

March 13th, 2013

zep4Recently, my friend Chip posed a question on Facebook, asking what one album every serious music fan should own. My head exploded as I tried to figure that one out, and indeed judging by the responses, hardly anyone was able to name just one album.

Try it yourself [and be sure to follow the link at the end of this post to find out which album I eventually decided upon].

After long deliberation (and assuming that we’re limiting this to just the Rock Era), I’ve decided that one answer I’d throw in the ring would be Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, not because it’s the best or most influential album, but simply because of its ubiquity in record collections far and wide – everyone seemed to own a copy. And mostly because it reminded me of this story:  (more…)

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good-bye 2011

December 31st, 2011

It’s the end of 2011 already, and I have nothing much to say. It’s been a good year; not too great, not too terrible. Although, we did say good-bye to our wonderful Cosmo cat on December 15th and that’s left a mighty huge emptiness around here. But that may be the subject of another, eventual post.

For now, thanks to everyone who’s stopped by here, listened, and/or offered their support! I really appreciate it and hope this new year will offer all of us the goodness we desire.

For what it’s worth, I started a project on January 1, 2011 where I planned to post once a day, usually a photo, but whatever might strike my fancy, as a way of helping me keep my eyes open throughout the year. There were a few days where I forgot to post (I see there are 354 posts so far – I haven’t posted yet today), so it’s not a complete daily diary but it’s pretty close. I’ll continue on with this project this year. If you’re interested, take a little visit to The Daily Knight and browse through my year!

See you in the future….

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midnight saltines with

July 26th, 2011

Midnight saltines with
Peanut butter on top
My grandfather’s breath

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the iphone as songwriting companion

January 20th, 2011

Share Your Sound

As a songwriter that always used a portable cassette recorder (and sometimes a micro-cassette recorder) along with pen & paper for writing down lyric and chord ideas, I found that trying to organize all these snippets into some coherent system for later use and reference was laborious and incomplete. Even today there are song ideas that I know I captured somewhere at some point, but I don’t know where they are, and my mind is of course too feeble to remember how the songs went after an often surprisingly brief passage of time.

The iPhone has streamlined this process for me, in both the capturing of ideas and in their organization. It’s great to have one handheld device that’s always with me and that can serve an increasingly useful purpose. Below I outline my basic process in hopes that it might give you some idea of the capabilities, and perhaps inspire you to begin streamlining your own creative process. (more…)

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adventures in sound #1

June 9th, 2010

…the [musical] score, the requiring that many parts be played in a particular togetherness, is not an accurate representation of how things are. These [composers] now compose parts but not scores, and the parts may be combined in any unthought ways. This means that each performance of such a piece of music is unique….The parallel in art is the sculpture with moving parts, the mobile. ~ John Cage

There’s an experiment I’ve been wanting to try for some time, but have only just now found a means for presenting. It may not be the most original idea in the book, but it was fun creating and then playing with.

The basic idea is to have several small pieces of audio, of varying lengths and sounds, play randomly and loop indefinitely to see what types of atmospheres evolve as the pieces interact with each other over time, producing not only something unintended and spontaneous, but hopefully something interesting and engaging as well. The listener becomes active in the musical arrangement by their choice of sounds to include (hopefully all of them), and when they choose to start them…and if they choose to turn some of them off (though here again, the interesting things happen as all the sounds evolve and writhe together over time). (more…)

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