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Topics - mgriffin

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Everything and Nothing / Who would you rather be?
« on: September 05, 2008, 09:39:38 AM »
Who would you rather be, between two roughly equivalent individuals famous for similar things... assuming that the question of gender was taken out of it?  Yes, I know that in some cases you'd rather not be either one of the pair, but you still have to decide.

1. Would you rather be Tiger Woods, or Lance Armstrong?

2. Would you rather be Anne Rice, or Stephen King?

3. Would you rather be Ben Affleck, or Jennifer Garner?

4. Would you rather be Amy Winehouse, or Britney Spears?

5. Would you rather be George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton?

6. Would you rather be Wolfgang Puck, or Anthony Bourdain?

7. Would you rather be Stephen Spielberg, or James Cameron?

8. Would you rather be Giorgio Armani, or Ralph Lauren?

9. Would you rather be Ernest Hemingway, or William Faulkner?

10. Would you rather be Fred Flintstone or Barney Rubble?

Discuss, and give reasons.

As for me...


OK, I hate "blind" links, so what this is... at a Britney Spears live performance, someone isolated her vocal mic feed, without all the effects and backing vocals and music, and it's very revealing.

We need to clear out some shelf space, due to all the new CDs we've been bringing in, so we have some new price decreases
and closeouts we'll be making available, gradually, in the Closeouts  section of the Hypnos store, which is here:
Available so far, with more coming in the next few days:
Aube - Howling Obsession -  price $4.99

Audela - Audela -   price $9.99

Maurizio Bianchi and Maor Applebaum - Electrostatic Deflection -  price $11.99

Controlled Bleeding - Between Tides  - price $4.99

Crawl Unit- vs Silence - price $7.99

Deutsch Nepal - Comprendido...Time Stop! - price $2.99

Usually price reductions like this see people snapping everything up pretty quickly, so if any of the
above links returns an error, or a blank product page (no item description or cover or price) that
means the item in question is sold out.  Like it says above, we'll be adding to this list frequently
until we create some room on the shelves.

Everything and Nothing / Organizers and task managers
« on: August 19, 2008, 03:21:00 PM »
I seem to be on a never-ending quest to try new organizers, task managers, outliners, and so on, whether we're talking about PC software, portable device applications (like PalmPilot), or "paper and pen" printed forms.

I dream of a system that will let me keep a bunch of task lists, and access them wherever I go... this last requirement  has always been the reason installed software tools have failed, and why I sooner or later have trouble with a paper organizer or day planner.

I've tried using a TikiWiki on a USB thumb drive, a Dayrunner, Outlook plugins, web-based tools like Remember The Milk and, and who knows how many others.

The best solution I've found yet is which is a hosted TiddlyWiki installation that you can access from anywhere you have web access.  It's really cool and worth checking out, and the closest thing I've found to organizational nirvana (actually, not the best organizational system but the best one that's accessible anywhere you have net access).  It's free and I'd highly recommend it if you're into this sort of thing -- and no, I won't tell you the password for or any of my other top-secret wikis.

I've noticed that the iPhone and iPod Touch have some new applications that will let you interface a web-based version of your organizer, for tools like Things or OmniFocus (if I remember right) -- that would seem to be the ultimate, letting me work on a portable device when I'm away from a computer and access my real, live to-do lists and reference.

I wonder, does anyone else have any suggestions for great accessible-anywhere organizational tools like this?   

Everything and Nothing / Latest ultra-realistic character animation
« on: August 19, 2008, 03:06:00 PM »
We're approaching that threshold where computer animation will be able to replace real actors.

Never mind the computer game industry... Imagine what this will mean for the porn industry!

Hypnos Label Releases / CD release: Matt Borghi - December Impressions
« on: August 18, 2008, 04:17:46 PM »
Artist: Matt Borghi
Title: December Impressions
Label: Hypnos Secret Sounds (Ltd CDR)


2008. We here at Hypnos have long enjoyed Matt Borghi's subtle atmospheric ambient music, and believed it
deserved more attention. Many of Matt's CDs are out of print, and  we've agreed to re-issue a series of our
favorite recordings on the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint. Simple, restrained, and artful, these recordings
deserve to remain in print, and we hope these reissues will  help introduce more of today's ambient music
listeners to the work of this important artist.Following our release of Huronic Minor a few months back,
here we announce the second part of our Borghi reissue series, December Impressions

December Impressions was conceived, and recorded during the spring of 2001. This is a dark, cold, and steely recording that borders
more on tone poem than full LP release. The tracks are named as sequences, representing parts of the same whole, and a cohesive linear
listen rather than a variety of separate tracks of the same mood. With this release there was an attempt to represent the cold Michigan
winters, or at least the sound of the Michigan landscape during the dark winter m onths. While this recording is truly ambient, and
contemplative in nature it's also quite gritty and cold. This doesn't have the warm, lush synth pad chordings that many ambient recordings
are known for. Comparisons for this recording are difficult becuase there's not a whole lot out there that sounds like it, but comparisons
to Robert Rich, VidnaObmana, Alio Die, and Zoviet France might be appropriate.
*Additional Composer's Note - December Impressions came to be in a weird compositional period. This recording used, as it's source, a
handful of pieces composed a few months earlier when I was working on Elegy for Time. Once I developed these guitar pieces I then
dabbled with composing for frequencies alone. I focused on using low-end frequencies between 100 and 500hz, and I focused on
high-end frequencies from 1Khz - 12Khz. This recording truly embodied the conceptual process of painting with frequencies. I organized
the frequencies wholly on how they worked with regard to creating a steely, icy mood of a Michigan December landscape, even though,
this work was actually being composed in the early spring. December Impressions eventually turned into a stark, and cold kind of ambient
soundtrack. I like the direction that this recording took, but after it's completion I had satisfied my experiments with 'frequency painting'.

Track listing (with MP3 sample clips):
1. Part I  - MP3:
2. Part II
3. Part III 
4. Part IV
5. Part V   - MP3:   
6. Part VI 
7. Part VII
8. Part VIII
9. Part IX
10. Part X
11. Part XI   - MP3:


"Somber-but-sweet tonal washes are smeared across the vast, cold soundscenery of December
Impressions. With one near-silent exception, Matt Borghi's "sequences" hover in a surreal state
of shapeless beauty against slate-colored skies."
--Reviewed by the AmbiEntrance

Hypnos Online Store listing -- price is $11.99

Everything and Nothing / 2008 Olympics
« on: August 15, 2008, 04:10:05 PM »
Anybody here interested in the Olympics?

I'm usually all over the Olympics from start to finish, but I've had a slow start getting into them this time.  Now that we've seen the beginning of track and field, my favorite sport, I'm starting to feel it.  The women's 10,000 meters result has me kind of excited.  American distance running seems to have entered a strong period.

So, anybody watching?  Any thoughts, or favorite moments?

We're all aware of what's happened with gas prices, and I've seen a lot of changes around here such as fewer big SUVs on the road, more of them parked by the road with "for sale" signs in the window, more scooters and bikes and motorcycle on the roads.

I'm getting ready to choose my next car and I've been weighing some choices that might get me even better gas mileage (even though my current car gets about 30mpg which is pretty good).

I don't really drive much less, because I haven't done a lot of casual or unnecessary driving in recent years.

My commute is too long, but I haven't done anything about it yet... that's tough to change on short notice, but maybe in the next few years or less I'll be able to do something about that.

So, my question is, are you doing anything different due to the gas price situation, or are you planning to do so?  Switching vehicles, taking the bus, carpooling, bicycling, walking, no more pleasure driving, or what?

CD release announcement from Hypnos Recordings
Various artists
Title: Message From a Subatomic World
Hypnos Recordings (hyp2854)

2008.  Having not released any various-artists compilations in the past decade, Hypnos released in 2007 a new compilation ounds of a Universe Overheard featuring a diverse array of ambient soundscape artists from around the world.  We are proud to follow last year's release with its "mirror image" compilation, which we believe meets or exceeds that high standard.
Here are another 10 exclusive tracks by 10 artists who have not appeared on Hypnos compilations before, though some of these artists will certainly be familiar to followers of our label.  Message From a Subatomic World in comparison to its predecessor is perhaps a bit more abstract and deep-space, more mysterious and strange,  whereas Sounds of a Universe Overheard is a bit more musical and structured overall.
Austere - This elusive duo has released two albums with Hypnos in the past year, Solyaris on Hypnos and Pulse on Hypnos Secret Sounds.  They've also ranged over a wide sonic territory with previous  self-released projects during the past decade.
Evan Bartholomew   - Perhaps best known for the rhythmic electronica he records as Bluetech, Evan has just recently  started releasing ambient work under his own name, and recently launched his own Somnia label.
Relapxych.0  - is Anders Peterson from Sweden, experimenting  with combining field recordings with musical instruments
  and approaches, creating musical ambience rather than ambient music. Visit
Numina   - Certainly familiar to Hypnos listeners, Numina has released 3 great CDs on our label, and he has been one of the great new names in the ambient music world this past 5 years.
Jason Sloan  - A partner in the Slo.Bor label with Matt Borghi, Jason creates uncompromising sound art using tools as diverse as electric guitars, synthesizers, and self-designed software algorithms.
Phaenon   - Real name Szymon Tankiewicz, his debut album was released on the Malignant label, and he has relocated from his native Poland to Maryland, USA.
Stephen Philips   - Also familiar to Hypnos listeners, Stephen runs the Dark Duck Records label on which he has many releases under several identities, in addition to his two releases on our label.
True Color of Blood   - Alter ego of Eric Kesner, who uses treated and layered electric guitars to craft unique and challenging ambient drone works, which he has released on labels like Gears of Sand, Eibon and Afe.
Svartsinn  - This Norwegian dark ambient artist has several prior releases, mostly on the Cyclic Law label, and is a  frequent live performer around the world.
Oophoi  - No other name has gone from obscurity to such high regard among ambient listeners in such a short time, and  this Italian master of the atmospheric drone has been greatly prolific, counting among his releases two projects on Hypnos,  Athlit as a solo artist, and Distance to Zero with Paul Vnuk Jr. of Ma Ja Le.

THE TRACKS, with mp3 samples:
Austere - Crystil  - MP3:
Evan Bartholomew - Sacrosanct  - MP3:
Relapxych.0 - Distant Radiance  - MP3:
Numina - Nadir Ever Spirals  - MP3:
Jason Sloan - faded.forgotten [trace]  - MP3:
Phaenon - Quantum Silence  - MP3:
Stephen Philips - Down Deep  - MP3:
True Color of Blood - Choosing to Remain Blind - MP3:
Svartsinn - Cold But Strong  - MP3:
Oophoi - Icelight  - MP3:
Purchase Message From a Subatomic World directly from Hypnos for $12.99

Everything and Nothing / Do you still want to learn?
« on: July 15, 2008, 07:18:08 PM »
I think one of the important things many people lose in adulthood is the desire, or even willingness, to learn new things.  I don't mean little things like learning a new route to the grocery store, or learning about a new band or a new restaurant, but taking on a new subject and trying to master it.

I've tried to remain open to learning about new things (for example, starting to make electronic music in my late twenties) but I've found that the last several years it's harder to open up enough free time to take on new subjects of any complexity.  Since college, I've missed the regular challenge of taking on a new subject and delving deeply into it, learning from an expert and gradually gaining enough knowledge to be considered an expert myself.  This year I've resolved to take on two significant new self-guided learning projects, even if I have to sacrifice time spent on other things in order to make it happen.

First, I'm going to go from a novice to an expert in PHP and MySQL.

Second, I'm finally going to learn Flash, something I've been planning to learn, and dabbling in just a little, for nearly as long as Flash has been around.  I want to go beyond just making a few little tutorial-guided projects, or an animated Hypnos logo, and get into creating complex and unusual web applications, such as unusual media players.  Like I said with PHP/MySQL I want to get to an advanced level, whatever that means. 

It seems that everybody who reads this forum could be considered an "adult" and many have jobs and families and obligations... so I'm curious if others view it as a priority to continue taking on significant new learning challenges.  I'd also like to hear any examples people have of new projects or discoveries taken on well into adulthood.  I always thought it was so cool when I was in college, to see some older man or woman in one of my literature or art classes, and to imagine what it would be like to live much of one's life in a certain direction before taking off in a new direction like that.

Everything and Nothing / American Cancer Society - Relay For Life
« on: July 15, 2008, 08:50:55 AM »
The last 5 or so years, once per summer I've gotten involved in this American Cancer Society "Relay For Life" fundraiser (for cancer, obviously), even tried being chairman of a team for a year before deciding I'd better scale back and just be a fundraiser again.  It's a walking/running event in which teams circle a track (for our event, we'll be at Wilson High School track in Portland) for 24 hours on a team relay basis.

I'm sure most or all of us have lost someone, friend or family or associate, to cancer at some point.  If you're interested in making a contribution, you can do so using the link below -- 100% of it will go to American Cancer Society and it's tax deductible.  My 'team' will get credit for it, in a sort of friendly competition between fundraising teams.


You can donate any amount you like, despite the ACS's rather crafty attempt to make it look like $100, $75 and $50 are the "usual" amounts.  I'd encourage donations of any size, even a few dollars... you'll get the karmic benefits no matter the amount!  And if you can't donate anything, please look into participating in a Relay For Life event in your area.

Thanks for reading.

Hypnos Label Releases / CD release: Sans Serif - Tones for LaMonte
« on: July 11, 2008, 10:40:34 AM »
Artist: Sans Serif
Title: Tones for LaMonte
Label: Hypnos Secret Sounds (Ltd CDR)

2008. Sans Serif is an alter ego of Forrest Fang, the talented multi-instrumentalist and composer whose most recent solo album Gongland was released on Projekt in 2000. He has also collaborated with Carl Weingarten on the album Invisibility released on The Foundry, as well as contributing instrumentally to the works of other artists such as Robert Rich.

Unlike the more traditionally structured and "musical" work Fang releases under his own name, the Sans Serif project is focused on minimalism. This project in particular is a tribute to the influential minimalist composer LaMonte Young, whose work was known for the use of long, sustained tones and alternate tunings.

Tones for LaMonte bridges the two, related worlds of avant-garde classical influence, and modern ambient drone.

Track listing, with mp3 sample clips:
1. Alpha --
2. Omega --
3. Gamma --
4. Delta --
5. Theta --
6. (infinity) --
 Purchase for $11.99 on Hypnos Online Store:

The last Viridian Sun live performance was almost 10 years ago, but a new performance is scheduled for this coming Thursday evening, at Someday Lounge:

The Someday Lounge blurb says all you need to know:

The July installment of Hexasion will feature veteran ambient composers VIRIDIAN SUN
7pm, FREE!

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Robert Rich interview
« on: June 25, 2008, 10:13:48 AM »
A new interview with Hypnos artist Robert Rich was recently posted here:

The interview covers Robert's recent works, particularly his latest collaboration with Ian Boddy, as well as some of his sound design and sample library work. I think it's worth reading if you have any interest in Robert or his work.

Hypnos Label Releases / CD release: Steve Brand - Bridge to Nowhere
« on: June 12, 2008, 09:07:51 AM »
Artist: Steve Brand
Title: Bridge to Nowhere
Label: Hypnos Secret Sounds (Ltd CDR)

2008. Steve Brand has just recently started releasing music under his own name, after more than 20 releases in the experimental realm under the name "Augur." Now Brand has a number of recordings scheduled for release on Hypnos, and also on the AtmoWorks label, and the first of these is Bridge to Nowhere.

Brand's work has always had a ritualistic element, and sound sources include: medicine drum, udu, rattles, various flutes, bells, conch shell, thumb piano, cora, Indian fiddle, found, natural and handmade objects, voice, field recordings and keyboards. Bridge to Nowhere is a spacious, slow-breathing exploration of a meditative state, and nowhere in Brand's work is the ritualistic element more present than in this case.

Ambient music in general is often considered to be "spacy" or conducive to altered states of consciousness in general, but this music specifically seems exploratory, meditative, and even a bit "druggy" and strange. As fans of this music ourselves, we particularly love it when an artist seems genuinely to have tapped into a reality outside our own -- to have slowed down the world or distorted it, or viewed things through a prism or kaleidoscope. The work of Steve Brand functions in this way, and we're pleased to be able to deliver this incredible, no-side-effects sound trip, to Hypnos listeners!

Track listing, with mp3 sample clips:
1. Bridge to Nowhere 1 - (14:43) - mp3 clip
2. Breathing Light - (20:40) - mp3 clip
3. Bridge to Nowhere 2 - (20:00) - mp3 clip
4. Through the Lens of Love - (20:00) - mp3 clip

Purchase for $11.99 on Hypnos Online Store:

I don't know if there has been any official announcement from Gianluigi aka Oophoi, who runs the exellent Umbra label and its "sister" label Penumbra, in addition to his own activities as a recording artist... but Umbra & Penumbra are letting all their releases go out of print, and no longer making new copies.

These have been some of the hottest-selling and most eagerly sought items we've carried on the Hypnos store this past several years, and we're sorry to hear of the end of Umbra as it has been.  My understanding is that there will be a new imprint to replace Umbra (possibly even still called Umbra) to allow the release of future projects.  But that is still not official, and already-released Umbra & Penumbra discs will all lapse out of print immediately.

Hypnos has purchased the remaining stock of Umbra & Penumbra discs and we've just added them to our Hypnos Online Store.  We haven't done anything crazy  to take advantage of the fact that these discs are all instant collectors items (such as jacking the prices up), but we did want to give a heads-up to our most loyal "friends of Hypnos" and give them first shot at these items... because when they're gone, they're gone.  The newest additions to the store, mostly exist in only 1-3 copies each, and are listed & linked below.  Please note:

* these will go fast, and the links will be deactivated when the items sell out, so if you get a "dead" link below, that means someone beat you to it

* we aren't bothering to scan the covers, or write descriptions, because we know people will buy them just to fill out their collections, but if one or more of these don't sell out right away, and you're interested in seeing a cover scan, send Lena a PM or an email and she'll scan it so you can see what it looks like

* all copies are new, never opened or played

* Penumbra discs, for those who don't know, are shorter in duration, like 30 minutes or so, while Umbra discs are "full length" -- both are 5" CDRs

Sostrah Tinnitis - Nebra
Code: umbra066
Price: $15.99

Tau Ceti - Four Short Pieces
Code: umbra067
Price: $15.99

Various Artisits - The Threshold of Silence
Code: umbra068
Price: $15.99

Seren Ffordd - A Melancholy Light
Code: penumbra057
Price: $11.99

Netherworld - Fiorenza Gherardi de Candei
Code: penumbra058
Price: $11.99

Oophoi - Awakening the Nagas
Code: penumbra059
Price: $11.99

Seren Ffordd - Aurora
Code: penumbra060
Price: $11.99

Oophoi - Khumba Mela
Code: penumbra061
Price: $11.99

L.E.M. - Strata
Code: penumbra062
Price: $11.99

Oophoi & Tau Ceti - Le Torri del Silenzio
Code: penumbra063
Price: $11.99

Oophoi & Netherworld - Postcards from the Void
Code: penumbra064
Price: $11.99

Oophoi & Tau Ceti - Lifting the Veil
Code: penumbra065
Price: $11.99

Klaus Wiese & Oophoi - A Call, an Echo
Code: penumbra066
Price: $11.99

Oophoi - Vertigo
Code: penumbra067
Price: $11.99

Tau Ceti - The Windy Shores of Awua
Code: penumbra068
Price: $11.99

Tau Ceti - Pulsar
Code: penumbra069
Price: $11.99

Hypnos Label Releases / CD release: M. Griffin - Fabrications
« on: May 28, 2008, 11:10:24 AM »
Artist: M. Griffin
Title: Fabrications
Label: Hypnos Recordings


2008. Originally announced in 1997 as the follow-up by Hypnos founder Mike Griffin to his debut
Sudden Dark, Fabrications has been reworked, abandoned, restarted from scratch, back-burnered,
reimagined, and left frozen in carbonite. Among those who have followed Hypnos from the
beginning, Fabrications achieved a certain notoriety as the album always promised for release in
the coming year, which never quite arrived. 2008 is finally the year in which Fabrications is revealed,
perhaps appropriate for the 10-year anniversary of its original planned release date, 1998.

Generally known as an ambient minimalist, utilizing synthesizers for most of his work, this time
M. Griffin took advantage of "real world" sounds, captured with binaural microphones using a
portable digital audio recorder. For this release, Griffin built up collages of numerous location
recording elements, including cars driving on freeways, people walking in long echoing hallways,
the ocean waves in Kona at night, a metalworking factory with heavy machinery crunching away,
distant trains, and clothes driers. These elements were manipulated, combined, worked-on and
re-worked, and overlaid with looped spoken elements later created by Griffin in the studio. The
end result comes out something like the Zoviet France soundtrack to a David Lynch film, that
is, a dark and dream-like collage of loops, spoken fragments, disembodied whispers, and the
echo of far-off machinery.
While ambient music recordings generally only include a few "layers,"  Fabrications has been
painstakingly built-up over the years so that all tracks are now comprised of dozens of layers,
in some cases upward of 100.  The result is incredibly complex, with ghostly remnants of real,
concrete sounds filtered one against another.  Aural signatures of many real places combine to
form sonic impressions of a series of locations that do not really exist.  These imagined,
artificial locales are in effect, fabrications.
Track listing, with MP3 sample clips:
Water is Silver ---
Gravity ---
Behind ---
Air Sense Space --- 
Devise --- 
Sky is Glass Lit ---

Hypnos Online Store listing (purchase price is $12.99):


Hypnos Label Releases / CD release: Saul Stokes - Villa Galaxia
« on: May 20, 2008, 04:41:04 PM »
Always one of the most popular artists on the Hypnos and Binary labels through the years, Saul Stokes is also one we've been very proud to "launch" into the ambient/electronica world.

His latest album, Villa Galaxia, will be released cooperatively by Binary and Saul's own imprint Stokesmusic, in mid 2008.

We'll have more information, including a track listing, fairly soon.

Everything and Nothing / Darth Vader feels blue
« on: May 14, 2008, 09:01:11 AM »
Darth Vader feels blue


I don't type as fast as I thought I did.  92 WPM.

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