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Messages - ffcal

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821
Everything and Nothing / Re: TED Conference video online
« on: February 24, 2008, 01:00:47 PM »
I wish I could attend a TED conference, too.  I first heard Paul Simon speak about it on Charlie Rose, and then one of the conference's founders was on the other night and mentioned the online videos.  Unfortunately, I think that those conferences are by invitation only.  I also think that one point they were charging several thousand dollars just to attend.

Forrest

822
Everything and Nothing / Re: What should a small record label do?
« on: February 24, 2008, 12:51:48 PM »
I have a somewhat pessimistic view of all of this.  I think you will see fewer manufactured CDs by indies over the next few years, and more download only or CDR micro releases because of continuing declining CD sales.  Having entire CDs available for download certainly won't help.  I still buy CDRs, but would be surprised if many them would still play 5-10 years from now.

Forrest

823
Forrest Fang's "Migration"   8)

Hey Brian, that and a buck will get you a cup of coffee, maybe.  You might be better off collecting baseball cards!;)

One of my best friends in college kept all of his vinyl in plastic bags.  It seemed kind of silly at the time, but over the years, it's turned out to be a pretty good idea.  I still have my Meet the Residents album on vinyl, as well as the Zoviet France chipboard LP double (Monomische) and the original 2 LP version of Richard Tinti/Ariel Kalma's "Osmose."  I also have a Church interview LP on Ryko from the late 80s that's sort of nice to have, even though I haven't played it that much.

Forrest

824
Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite toys from when we were kids
« on: February 21, 2008, 11:14:43 PM »

Forrest I use to enjoy playing all those games as well, did you ever play Risk? I use to play a version of it I called Pacifist Risk.  :o


Yeah, I remember Risk.  Wasn't too great at it, though I remember going after Katchatka and Irkutsk just because they had cool names.  Anyone want a piece of Siberia?;)  Anyone remember the game Concentration?  I think that was a TV show, too.  Another weird board game that popped out my memory was Careers, which I thought was more fun than Life (both of which were more fun than the real thing, unfortunately).

Forrest

825
Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite toys from when we were kids
« on: February 21, 2008, 11:07:47 PM »
Well, if you're like me, you moved out & your mom sold them in a yard sale for ten cents each...

Can't blame my mom for that one, though I wasn't too happy that she tossed my baseball card collection when I went to college.  Of course, whose mom didn't do that?

Forrest

826
Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite toys from when we were kids
« on: February 20, 2008, 11:38:09 PM »
Hey, I remember Lie Detector!  I tended to like the "low-tech" games, like Battleship, Life and Stratego.  I also had collection of Hot Wheels--too bad I don't know what happened to them.

Pong was fun, too.  When I bought a used Atari to use for music in the mid-90s, it came with a Pong disk, so I had to play it again, of course.

Forrest

827
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

828
Very nice.  I like the detuned sound of the piano.  It has a very nostagic feel.

Forrest

829
Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl
« on: February 16, 2008, 12:26:47 PM »

No vinyl, but if you love the sound of analog, this Music for Insomniacs series was originally released on cassettes, I believe 7 of them, which included material beyond the 2 CD set on Enigma (which are among the most treasured CDs I own).

Was it a series? I only have one but that was enough for me, dreadful stuff. Personally I thought it should have been called Irritating Music that Will Make You An Insomniac;D .

Ouch!  I kind of like that album, though at times the pieces almost sound like MIDI files.

Hard to imagine Dark Side of the Moon without the stickers and poster that came with the LP.  I just found a copy of Mirror's "Front Row Centre" LP, which has some more great Andrew Chalk artwork that would probably not translate as well as a small CD cover.

Forrest

830
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 13, 2008, 09:50:33 PM »
A mixture of things, all of which I'm enjoying quite a bit--

Peter Wright - Red Lion (yes, him again)
Boxhead Ensemble - Quartets (sort of postrock meets chamber ambient, very enjoyable)
Valerio Cosi - The Spiritual Committee
Meursault - Sleeping Debris

Forrest

831
Now Playing / Re: "Classical" Music or Contemporary Composition Listeners?
« on: February 13, 2008, 09:46:56 PM »
I had a pretty heavy dose of the classics when I was growing up.  Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and a smattering of the contemporary stuff that would creep in when our family would see the LA Philharmonic.  I remember very clearly seeing/hearing a John Cage premiere that was to commemorate the nation's bicentennial.  The piece had about three or four different sections going on at once at different parts of auditorium, and I remember a very old lady near us rolling up her problem and booing loudly.  I also remember putting my hand over the end of her program because I wanted to hear more of the music!  (I had a lot of cheek as a teenager.)  As a teenager, I was also exposed to Bartok (his concerto for orchestra is still one of my favorite works) and Copland (though Appalachian Spring was great, but couldn't get into his serial works), and was also familiar with the progification of some these works through progrock groups like Emerson, Lake & Palmer.  I also remember being introduced to Rachmamninoff's Symphonic Dances from a classmate who now teaches composition at UCLA.

I stuidied a bit of formal classical composition when I went to college and belonged to a collegium, but didn't think I had the discipline or the chops to make a go at a career in classical music.  Probably the most lasting influence from the classical area on my own music came from the minimalists like Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley.  Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" was particularly a revelation to me.  These days, I actually lean more towards stuff that I didn't listen that much when I was younger--baroque music (particularly concernto grossi), Debussy solo piano music and Mozart piano concertos.

Forrest

832
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 07, 2008, 01:51:46 AM »
Several recent Peter Wright albums.  His recent live one, "Pretty Mushroom Clouds" on Archive is really stunning.  Some really powerful guitar drone with fine sense of flow.

Also pulled out Chris Short's Duende, which is a really nice guitar-based album, too, though more in the ambient guitar sense.

Forrest

833
Everything and Nothing / Re: Your first Recording ever?
« on: February 07, 2008, 01:47:26 AM »
My first recordings were slightly out-of-tune violin + percussion improvs, using ping-pong delays and loops on a two-track open reel recorder I had access to in high school.  A lot o' fun, but not terribly listenable.  I did recently stumble across an old 4-track piece I put together in college that I contributed to a cassette compilation series called "Winnie & Friends" in the early 80s.  Someone has started to upload the comps in mp3 format, and my "Downstream" piece (from 1981!) can be found here, via Last.fm:

http://www.last.fm/music/Forrest+Fang/_/Downstream+%28Forrest+Fang%29


Probably could tell that I was into Eno around then.

Forrest

834
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Favorite ECM releases
« on: January 23, 2008, 08:46:04 PM »
Some of my oldie ECM favorites off the top of my head--

Eberhard Weber - Little Movements
Steve Tibbetts - Big Map Idea
Gary Burton/Chick Corea - Crystal Silence
Ralph Towner - Solstice
Terje Rypdal - Whenever I Seems To Be Far Away (love the unusual combo of french horn and mellotron)
Codona 2
Pat Metheny Group - First Circle
Steve Kuhn - Trance

Forrest

835
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 19, 2008, 09:59:32 AM »
Ballustrade Ensemble - Capsules (really nice instrumental release that falls somewhere bewteen His Name Is Alive and the Album Leaf.  Would be right at home on 4AD.  Scott Solter is involved with this one.)
Mike Tamburo - Language of the Birds and Other Fantasies (beautiful multi-CD with DVD box and elaborate art package with interesting guitar pieces, some more straightforward in a John Fahey style, others more overtly experimental with processed guitar and other sound sources)

Forrest

836
Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl
« on: January 19, 2008, 09:52:31 AM »
Most of the recent vinyl I've bought has been limited to releases that are were vinyl only releases, which can be really annoying if the pressings are subpar.  I agree, vinyl may not be an ideal medium for very quiet music such as ambient.  I first owned Aphex Twin's SAW II on vinyl, but switched to CD because the LPs were too noisy and at least one of them was pressed off center.  In terms of pure sonics, though, the LP still sounds better to me, at least if you have a decent turntable.  The LP pressings of the 70s were not that great because of the oil shortages of the time (LPs are made out of PVC) and tendencies of the big records companiess to recycle their vinyl (Capitol records was particularly suspect).  Ironically, when CDs started to crowd out vinyl in the late 80s, LP pressing quality improved significantly with more releases being "direct metal" masters.  ECM has also generally had good LP pressings, except for the brief period at the beginning in the early 70s when they were distribiuted in the US by Polydor.  I have had a B&O turntable since the mid-90s and have ab'd several LP and CD releases of the same album from the 80s and have to still give the nod to LPs for sound quality.

Today, there was an interesting article about LPs and Rick Ballard's record store specializing in jazz LP's.  I agree that LP's were an art form in a way that the CD is only its pale cousin.  The article can be found here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/19/DDLNUFRL6.DTL

Forrest

837
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 06, 2008, 10:58:21 PM »
Kind of a motley bag for listening this past week--

Bach  Keyboard Concertos Vol 2 (Angela Hewitt, piano)--very nicely done.  I think even prefer her Bach to Glenn Gould's.
VA - Frannce (very wierd monster 3-CDR comp of avant folk on Ruralfaune.  For the very adventurous only.)
Gianluca Becuzzi/Fabio Orsi - Please Don't Count the Clouds (interesting 3-3" CDR release with some ambient, some found sound, and little ambient grit--a disc each for them separately, and one disc together.  On the interesting microlabel Foxglove)
Opium - Algorithms (a little noiser than I expected.  I think I like the Sympathetic Flying Objects disc more, but I'll keep listening.)

Forrest

838
Hey guys, thanks.  I appreciate the feedback.  It's a ritual for me to record almost immediately after I get a new piece of gear to try out the new sounds.  Wasn't sure anyone would be interested in the improv.  Was going to take it down, but now I'll keep it up there, at least for a while.

Forrest

839
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 29, 2007, 01:21:46 AM »
Great to hear about the new Telomere album, Bill.  I enjoyed the first two very much, though they are very similar sounding.  Kind of what I imagined Michael Stearns would be doing if he hadn't gone into soundtrack work.

I've been enjoying a piano trio double album this week from Alan Pasqua called "Live At Rocco" that features the very nimble Peter Erskine on drums.

Forrest

840
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: December 29, 2007, 01:16:06 AM »
The Gizmotron was the creation of Lol Creme and Kevin Godley from the 70s art band, 10cc.  After they split from 10cc, they did a pretty wild 3 LP project called "Consequences," that was supposed to spotlight the Gizmo, but ended up blowing a huge budget in the process.  It's an entertaining album if you don't mind dialogue (Peter Cook does the voices), and even has Sarah Vaughn guesting on one track, "Lost Weekend."

I think the Gizmo is a little different from the ebow, in that there is more physical contact with the strings, but I never got to try one out.

Forrest

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