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Topics - ffcal

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1
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus
« on: October 31, 2013, 02:53:02 PM »
A favorite art book I have not seen for years is back in print--Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus.  Very hard to describe it.  I always thought of it as a reference book from another world.  I remember seeing a copy of it for the first time in the 80s and its weird images stuck with me for years afterward.  Very beautiful, odd scenes and figures that seem to well up from the subconscious:

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/codex_seraphinianus_a_new_edition_of_the_strangest_book_in_the_world

Forrest

2
Thought this editorial (and the responding comments) in the NY Times about "forced entrepreneurship" in the music business was fascinating.  As one who places promotional activities slightly above a trip to the dentist, I can especially relate to the author's distaste for having to engage in self-promotion.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/the-end-of-quiet-music/?hp&_r=0

Forrest

3
Other Ambient (and related) Music / 'Einstein On The Beach' revival
« on: October 12, 2012, 10:40:43 AM »
This may be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm very amped about the latest revival of Philip Glass/Robert Wilson's Einstein On The Beach, which was last performed about 20 years ago.  They will be coming to Berkeley towards the end of this month. Here is a link to an informal performance of several numbers from the production by Glass' ensemble (the 3rd piece at the around the 30 minutes mark is pretty amazing):

http://www.wqxr.org/#!/articles/q2-live-concerts/2012/aug/21/watch-philip-glass-hour-einstein/

Forrest

4
This sonification of the Higgs boson by Domenico Vicinanza using periodic data points reminds me of fractal music, a big interest of mine:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57469801-76/higgs-boson-gets-set-to-music/

Forrest


5
Everything and Nothing / Google's Moog doodle
« on: May 23, 2012, 06:25:13 PM »
It being Robert Moog's birthday today, Google has a cool virtual Moog doodle up there, though I can't say I was able to do much with it.  When it comes to playing keys with a mouse, I'm all thumbs.

One other thing is that it only seems to work under the Chrome browser.

Forrest 

6
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Novelty in Electronic Music
« on: December 16, 2011, 12:02:21 PM »
Tobias' (False Mirror) comments about Steve Roach's use of pads got me to thinking about how novelty/variety of sounds seems be applied more frequently to electronic music than to other genres.  Do I wish that Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett used more than a pure acoustic piano sound on most of their albums, or that Ralph Towner plugged in and used more processed guitar sounds?  In some respects, I think it is more of a challenge to say something different with a limited sound palette than to introduce new sounds on every new piece or project.

Forrest

7
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Forrest Fang news
« on: December 14, 2011, 10:06:55 PM »
Just thought I'd provide a brief update on my recent activities and releases.  I've just finished recording and mixing a new CD called "Animism."  It is sort of a hybrid of my more structured "Folklore" CD and the atmospheric layering in "Gongland," but with a prominence given to textures.  It may be out by June or July 2012, most likely on Projekt, but I'll update when I know more.

I also contributed a piece to Black Tape For A Blue Girl's 2nd CD for "The Rope 25" Projekt release--a cover version of "Hide In Yourself" featuring a bit of gamelan and palm harp.  Other ambient artists on the comp are Dirk Serries (Vidna Obmana, Fear Fall Burning) and Erik Wollo.  Here is a link to that release (which came out this month):  http://projekt.com/projekt/product.asp?sku=PRO00020

A demix/deconstruction I did for Barry Cleveland's King Crimsonesque "Hologamatron" album in 2010 is up at Bandcamp.  I think it can be streamed from there, for those who are curious.  I used mostly acoustic elements from different tracks in the piece, "Abandoned Mines," and mangled and stretched them a bit.  The really ominous sound you hear in that piece was originally a Michael Manring bassline.  The link to that piece is here:  http://barrycleveland.bandcamp.com/track/abandoned-mines-forrest-fang-remix

My last release, my second Sans Serif CD, "Unbound" has been out since this summer and is available from iTunes and from the Hypnos store.

Thanks for the continuing support and feedback,
Forrest

8
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Serious listening?
« on: November 08, 2011, 10:41:56 AM »
The other Forrest's comments (Sundummy) in the adjacent thread got me to thinking about how differently we seem to listen to music now.  Maybe this comes from the old days of listening to prog rock albums from beginning to end (who would think of skipping through 'Dark Side of the Moon' or 'Close To The Edge'), but I think that with the increasing convenience of listening has come a decline in serious, focused listening as an end in itself.  I find this somewhat depressing both a musician and as a listener.  I still prefer to listen to releases from beginning to end (though finding the time to do this is not that easy), and don't find the idea of shuffling or randomizing the trcaks I listen to very appealing.  Maybe this is just part of the overall tend toward multitasking and increased distraction that has accellerated with the computer and gadget age.  It's hard not to notice this when you see increasing numbers of people looking down at their devices as they almost walk into you.

Forrest

9
Everything and Nothing / Article:; "What is the point of a 6-hour song"
« on: October 17, 2011, 02:44:01 PM »
Interesting viewpoint on a new six-hour song by the Flaming Lips.  Though the author of the article mentions Andy Warhol's long films, he doesn't mention Robert's Rich Somnium, LaMonte Young's "Well-Tuned PIano," or even Philip Glass' "Music In Twelve Parts":

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/10/what-is-the-point-of-a-six-hour-song/246666/?google_editors_picks=true

I think I'd rather have six-hours of ambience than of experimental skronk.

Forrest

10
Computers, Internet and Technology / Projekt pulls its catalog from Spotify
« on: September 28, 2011, 02:05:00 PM »
This is probably more of interest to the artists here than the listeners, though listeners may want to know how little small labels and their artists would receive from streaming sites like Spotify:

http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/09/another-indie-label-pulls-from-spotify-and-all-you-can-eat-digital-services.html

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/092811spotifybail

Needless to say, I'm completely with Projekt on this one.

Forrest

11
I'm generally not a big fan of legalese, but this dramatic rendition by Richard Dreyfus of certain key parts the iTunes End User License Agreement is pretty unique (and very funny):

http://www.cnet.com/8301-30976_1-20068778-10348864.html

Forrest

12
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Sans Serif (Forrest Fang) update
« on: December 09, 2010, 01:13:59 PM »
Just a very brief update regarding my music:

I have completed a second Sans Serif project called "Unbound" that will be released on Projekt and has a tentative release date in May 2011.  I have been working with fellow forumite Mark Mushet on cover images, and will getting together with Robert Rich this weekend for the mastering.  It is a soundscape-oriented album ( 5 pieces) that I hope is a further refinement of the tonal environment approach of my first Sans Serif release ('Tones for La Monte') on Hypnos Secret Sounds.

I have also recorded a new track or two for my next album project under my own name, that will be more rhythm-based.

Forrest

13
Everything and Nothing / Fiction in the Age of E-Books
« on: April 22, 2010, 10:49:04 PM »
Riffing off our rexent iPad discussion, I thought this Paul Theroux piece about fiction and e-Books was an interesting take on electronic media replacing physical media:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/08/fiction-in-the-age-of-ebooks/8041

His description about living with a book as a physical object and talisman is similar to way I feel about physical media for music.

Forrest


14
Something I wasn't expecting this early--Just learned that my new CD on Projekt, "Phantoms," is now available digitally from iTunes or in the traditional CD format directly from Projekt.

iTunes link:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=316533678&s=143441

Link to Projekt page (for ordering CD and MP3 samples):

http://www.projekt.com/projekt/product.asp?sku=PRO00230

The actual street date for the album is July 28.  I'll be making an unreleased track from my sessions for the album, and a 9-minute ambient deconstruction of elements from the album, available for free download around that time.

Thanks,
Forrest

15
Everything and Nothing / Happy (and relieved) to be alive
« on: June 05, 2009, 12:41:41 PM »
Just though I let everyone know that I had a serious health-related scare this week, though I'm home now recovering and am gradually improving.  After experiencing some unfamiliar chest pain over the past week, I got a surprising result from my stress test Tuesday and was admitted to Alta Bates Hospital that same day.  Had a cath procedure done on a vessel to my heart the next day to remove plaque that very likely would have killed me if not treated.  After spending a day in ICU I am back at home, a little bruised from a fall I had a few hours before the operation, but am now feeling better and simply happy to be alive.

The timing of my hospitalization was really lousy (two weeks into a new job), but my new employer is very supportive and am grateful for that.

Forrest

16
Sam just posted these MP3s clips of my upcoming "Phantoms" CD to the Projekt website:

http://www.projekt.com/projekt/product.asp?sku=PRO00230

The CD will be available around mid-July.

Forrest

17
Everything and Nothing / Article on deluxe versions of releases
« on: March 27, 2009, 07:31:05 PM »
Thought was this kind of an interesting article on the "deluxe version" phenomenon, which seems to work best for bands with a large and rabid fan base:

http://www.portfolio.com/business-news/reuters/2009/03/27/devoted-music-fans-pay-top-dollar-for-deluxe-sets


Forrest

18
Everything and Nothing / Wordle
« on: January 25, 2009, 10:07:05 AM »
Discovered this fun web app from a link on Chris Herbert's MySpace page.  It takes takes text and reconfigures it an interesting visual manner.  Endless hours of fun...

http://www.wordle.net/

Forrest

19
Some of you may remember that I had problems several months ago in getting a CD I had ordered on eBay from Small Voices.  The CD finally arrived 2 months after I ordered it, but only after I filed a dispute with PayPal.

Unfortunately, it appears that history has repeated itself.  This time I ordered an extremely limited Fabio Orsi CD from an Italian seller on eBay who only identified itself/himself as "vuoi_la_musica_la_musica_ti_daremo!"  Only after I purchased the CD was the seller identified as being from A Silent Place.  Almost two months have passed and, once again, I have forced to file another dispute with PayPal.  Here is a link to this seller eBay feedback:

http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=vuoi_la_musica_la_musica_ti_daremo!&&ftab=FeedbackAsSeller&sspagename=VIP:feedback:2:us&iid=290243179992

It appears that most if not all of the negative comments came in the past month, and, not coincidentally, the seller's eBay store appears to have closed up shop.  I suspect that this seller has reopened another eBay store under a different name, so beware if you are purchasing ambient CDs from an unknown Italian seller.  This a unique form of fraud I have never seen before.

Forrest

20
Everything and Nothing / TED Conference video online
« on: February 20, 2008, 11:32:46 PM »
I recently started using the video feature of my video iPod and was pleased to discover that the TED conference has posted nearly 200 of its talks online for download.  The quality is wildly variable, but I've enjoyed most of what I've heard/seen so far.  Just finished listening to Barry Schwartz's talk about the "paradox of choice," which I thought was spot on.  Up next:  Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Pollan.  The link is here:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks

Forrest

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