Out the door

I had a very strong experience listening to music and letting my mind drift yesterday. I was listening to an Earth, Wind & Fire track called Fantasy. Halfway way through the track there’s this amazing change. A little motif gets transposed around and that makes all of these amazing modulations possible. I started to daydream about playing that same song in an Earth Wind & Fire tribute band with all of the composition teachers I’ve ever had in all of my life. We had the full kit complete with the amazing clothes and we were really nailing it, together. Our voices rang as one. We were all right there together in the dream making it come true. What an amazingly lush and groovy music. I was really in it. All the way through in the daydream. First it made me laugh, and then it made me cry, because I haven’t always been entirely in agreement with every aspect of how all of the teachers I’ve ever had. How they have gone about trying to teach me to compose has sometimes created tensions between us. It felt amazing to be doing something together, all of us getting along, and really grooving out as one. I am supposed to be at the top of the ladder now. I dunno tho, I feel like I just got started, right at the edge of an infinite plain. I think my tripping out on that Earth, Wind & Fire fueled daydream so intensely might have something to do with my handing in what is supposed to be my final revision of my master thesis, and for that to now be reviewed for my final grade yesterday. Might could be.

Polytempic piano flags etude

I was at the school feeling lost the other day so I sat down for a bit in an empty rehearsal room that had an old Steinway in it. The tuning was ok for the strings I used. Nothing spectacular though. I sat for a bit and spun up an idea. I recorded the stems I needed for a rough mockup. It’s that whole polytempic, rhythm as texture kind of thing again.

Ruins in the distance port

Thanks to David Granström’s enormous patience and tremendous skill, I am now able to move my longest running composition project to my very own site. It feels great to this rolling finally. I’ve been dreaming about creating my own archive for this and other projects since the beginning. Especially with Ruins in the distance my work has been about iterative design. I regard each track as it’s own composition in earnest while at the same time relating to the larger arc which is formed by all of the pieces taken together as a whole. They reflect my interests at a given time. They document my place in an ongoing exploration of a framework. My site is now the place to go for anyone wanting to keep tabs on further development of this particular project and other endeavours. This is part of an ongoing effort to steer away from dependence on commercial platforms and to begin to dismantle my presence on the commercial internet.

TFW you academia

I may not be utilizing my current situation to the fullest extent. There is an opportunity here. I could come out of this one of an infinite number of ways. There are tools at my disposal. However brief I have some moments of clarity. I may be on the verge of finding my voice. This has, of course, always been true. I’m in a constant flux between faking it and feeling it, always. Never arriving. Kept at an unknowable distance from my destination. The task is not important really. The only thing that truly matters is cultivating drive. Purpose is scarce in life. For me to even sense it, however faint of a glimmering, I’m grateful for the opportunity. I want to go along with the hunch that something is calling, right at the edge of what can be dreamt. A chance to fool myself into surviving. That’s the thing. Why everything is the way it is with me. My position on the quality of my work wavers a lot. Doubt is a big part of my wiring. I try things out, see how they go. My thinking about strategies for not getting stuck are mostly based on cautionary tales. They are for sure misunderstandings about how stuff works. How people are, and what they felt, I have no idea about. I have the tiniest little window through which I can catch maybe a glimpse. That glimpse then gets thrown around, inside my experiences and matched up roughly to something I think I can relate to. Then my own narrative takes over. It’s just me in here. I’m alone with my thoughts. Just like everyone else.

What we wish were true

• Portability
• Transparency
• Simplicity
• Affordability

I am afforded some discretionary time. I would like to spend it making music. Computers fascinate me. They allow me a degree of control while engaged in the task of organizing sound. I would like to have more control so I am always configuring my computer. Even though a lot has changed about the way I’ve made music over the years I find it easy to recognize myself in what I hear still.

.wav files

I make files. For the longest time, I’ve been making .wav files. Ever since the beginning. I would like for that to change now. I am constantly being redrawn into the dream of creating a new kind of file. A new file format, with entirely new capabilities, enabling new modes of expression for a new kind of artist working with code to interface with sound.

.tau files

A terminal session and an audio stream in sample accurate sync would really be something useful for a lot of folks I’d argue. To quickly get a feel for what I’m on about here check out this site that Sam Keating-Fry made for Renick Bell’s Empty Lake release on UIQ. Ideally I’d like for there to be a CLI application running in a terminal on a computer playing the .tau file. As we’ve seen on the site that Sam made; A terminal is not constrained to running locally on your machine. It can also live in the browser. Everyone has a browser right? This extends portability tremendously.

Let’s skip ahead to where some kid is watching and listening to a .tau file being played in a terminal held within a browser. Vis has no idea what it is or how it works. Just stumbled on it haphazardly somehow wading through the wreckage of The Public Internet. The file can be paused like a video file. When paused the text in the player can be copied. This is a fundamental difference. The viewer is immediately invited to copy and to build upon the material being presented. This leads expectations away from code being presented for cosmetic purposes towards transparency.

I am now looking at termtosvg and the possibility of putting audio inside a .svg file.