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Topics - mgriffin

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Hypnos Label Releases / CD release: Nverxion - A Look Within
« on: December 21, 2007, 03:22:53 PM »
Artist: Nverxion
Title: A Look Within

Label: Hypnos Secret Sounds
hss14, limited cdr edition of 300

2007.   Nverxion (pronounced like "Inversion")  is the name under which David Brancato records his
ambient & experimental electronic works.  Brancato, based in Orlando, Florida, is also an artist and
photographer, and is relatively new to electronic music.  Reference points for Nverxion's sound
would be Numina, Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Jonn Serrie and Jeff Pearce (all of whom the artist
acknowledges as influences).
Of his debut CD, Nverxion says, "A Look Within   began about two years ago as a series of experimental
improvisations. In the beginning I was just  concerned with learning my way through the process of
creating and recording the sound... As I progressed, the foundations of more advanced compositions
began to form, and soon I noticed a common feeling running through each of the pieces. Building on
this concept, I developed what is now a complete body of work."
We at Hypnos particularly enjoy discovering young, emerging artists who need help getting exposed.
If the endorsement of Hypnos isn't enough on its own, these audio clips below should help convince
even skeptical ambient music listeners that Nverxion is doing something distinctive and fresh. So
many new ambient artists rely too much on slow, flat drones, and it's great to hear material that
evolves, with sharp sound design, and an engaging progression to the album as a whole.  It's true,
we said the same thing just a few months ago when we introduced Hypnos listeners to Justin
Vanderberg, but we'll say it again: this is a composer and recording artist many people will be talking
about after he has a few albums to his credit, and he has started out strong.
TRACK LISTING(with mp3 sample clips):
Emergence (05:17)
In This Place I Wander (18:59)
From Where I Stand (06:49)
Fortune of the Sky (18:32)
In This Place I Rest (24:20)
This limited CDR release, on the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint, is available for purchase for $11.99:

Everything and Nothing / The Hobbit and Peter Jackson
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:57:54 AM »
This makes me happy and it should make you happy too, unless you are a terrible person who didn't love the Lord of the Rings films. 

It looked like it wasn't going to happen...

Peter Jackson to produce `The Hobbit'

Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema have reached agreement to make J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," a planned prequel to the blockbuster trilogy "The Lord of the Rings."

Jackson, who directed the "Rings" trilogy, will serve as executive producer for "The Hobbit." A director for the prequel films has yet to be named.

Relations between Jackson and New Line had soured after "Rings," despite a collective worldwide box office gross of nearly $3 billion an enormous success. The two sides nevertheless were able to reconcile, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) splitting "The Hobbit" 50/50, spokemen for both studios said Tuesday.

"I'm very pleased that we've been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line," Jackson said in a statement. "We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth."

Two "Hobbit" films are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, similar to how the three "Lord of the Rings" films were made. Production is set to begin in 2009 with a released planned for 2010, with the sequel scheduled for a 2011 release.

New Line Cinema is owned by Time Warner. Sony and Comcast are among the owners of MGM.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Twin Peaks fans should have a look
« on: December 11, 2007, 11:42:59 AM »
Richard Beymer, the actor who played Benjamin Horne (Audrey's dad, the guy who owned the Great Northern Hotel), posted a photo gallery of some pictures he took behind the scenes while shooting Twin Peaks.  To some degree this is meant as a tie-in to a recent book he wrote, but I think it's an amazing and strange glimpse behind the scenes of one of my favorite pop-culture-slash-art exercises ever.


Everything and Nothing / Karlheinz Stockhausen has died
« on: December 08, 2007, 10:55:53 AM »
News reports say that Karlheinz Stockhausen died a couple of days ago.

Though I have a few Stockhausen CDs, I'll admit he was one of those difficult artists I always felt I should make a better effort to grasp, but never quite got around to loving or truly appreciating his work.  I remember him being name-dropped in some strange novel I read in college, and reading his name mentioned frequently in The Wire as an influence to various and sundry artists, and figuring this was somebody I needed to investigate.

Any thoughts on Stockhausen?  Did anybody get around to gaining some better appreciation of his work than I was able to do?

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Now reading
« on: December 07, 2007, 10:39:14 AM »
In my teens and early twenties, I was a big sci-fi and fantasy reader.  I sort of got away from that stuff in college, and got into the "I'm a serious lit major and I don't read that stuff" mindset for a while... but now (triggered by the Lord of the Rings films, I think) I've been enjoying getting back into some of the books I loved when I was younger.

One set of books I bought in the late 70s but never got around to reading, is Ursula LeGuin's "Earthsea" series, starting with "A Wizard of Earthsea."  This last week I've been listening to an unabridged audiobook of "A Wizard of Earthsea" and aside from the annoying presence of Harlan Ellison as the "voice" of this audiobook, I really enjoyed the story and it made me want to explore the rest of the series.

These slim, simple books have more in common with the minimal and poetic fable-like quality of "The Little Prince" than with more epic fantasy series like "The Lord of the Rings." The story is basically about a young boy who discovers he has basic magical powers, and he is befriended by a sort of magical mentor who sees to it that he's enrolled in a school for magicians.  Apparently, J.K. Rowling had read this book... but there is no real similarity to the "Harry Potter" series.  This is more quiet and moody, somber and earthy.  In this book, words have great importance, in particular names.  Knowing the name of an object, its "true" name and not just the name that everyone calls it, has great significance.

This is the first time I've listened to an audiobook and been moved to immediately get out the printed book and actually read it.  Harlan Ellison so overdid it with the overdramatic and silly voices for various characters, that I found myself cringing at times.  Sometimes, an audiobook can be just as enjoyable as reading, but not this time.

Everything and Nothing / Now watching
« on: December 06, 2007, 06:03:47 PM »
Here's a kick-start of one of my favorite topics on the Hypnos Forum in recent months.

Lena's been out of town, and she doesn't really like war movies (though otherwise our tastes are very much in sync) so I thought I'd watch a couple of long ones while she's away.

A Bridge Too Far -- As part one of my two part "classic WWII war movie" two-fer, I found this one a bit disappointing.  I mean, the whole Operation Market Garden thing is depressing enough to start with, but I guess I've never really liked the whole "let's cram every movie star we can find into this movie and that will make it great" idea.  Even knowing a bit of the real story, I was a bit confused at times as to who some of the characters were.  On the other hand, it was well-made and grand in scope.  I'd give it maybe a B- grade.

The Longest Day -- Much better, having a lot in common with Saving Private Ryan (the whole idea of rolling into Normandy in open boats and charging out to try to get across the sand while guys are dropping dead all around you), but I found it an interesting and clear telling of the events.  Some actors who bug the crap out of me at times, like John Wayne, actually were pretty good.  I'd give this one a B+ or A-.

Both of these were 3+ hours long, and I'd say that's enough of the war movies for a while.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / British dronemeisters
« on: December 06, 2007, 05:55:29 PM »
Another popular recent topic that was still going strong.

Hey, let's talk about BradleyChalkTateColeclough...and so on.

Undershadow, what say you?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Steve Roach discussion
« on: December 06, 2007, 05:53:55 PM »
The Steve Roach discussion was definitely one of the "hot" areas of the Hypnos Forum this past few weeks -- well, actually longer than that -- so I thought I'd plant the seed here.

Actually I'm of a mind to spin Quiet Music tonight.

CD release announcement from Hypnos Recordings
Title: Sounds of a Universe Overheard (various artists compilation)
Hypnos Recordings (hyp2752)

2007. This is the first compilation project on Hypnos since 1999's  Weightless, Effortless.

Track listing (mp3 sample clips coming soon):
Jonathan Block "The Language of Rocks"
M. Peck "Somna"
Freq. Magnet "Nitrous"
Kirk Watson "Scarecrow"
dreamSTATE "Ghost Nebula"
Seren Ffordd " Strange Attractor"
Dwight Ashley " Behold the Trampled Wheat"
Justin Vanderberg "Infection"
Igneous Flame "Pandora"
Tau Ceti "Float"

Hypnos Online Store listing (sale price $12.99)

Now Playing / Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 06, 2007, 03:02:28 PM »
I'm sure we all remember the very popular and never-ending posts about what people are currently listening to.

I find those posts a great way to learn about new things that I might enjoy... though I find them less useful when someone just posts the artist & title, without any kind of comment or description.   I mean, if you write even a 10-word description, it helps me determine whether it's interesting or not. 

On the other hand, I'm not going to ban anybody or delete any posts if you just post:

"Radiohead - OK Computer"

So, here's a headstart on the new "Currently Listening" thread.  Thanks to new moderator APK for the idea of keeping these separate from the "Everything and Nothing" section, since they really ARE about music and should be in the "Music, Specifically" part of the Forum.

Everything and Nothing / This new SMF forum
« on: December 06, 2007, 10:56:01 AM »
Here's a test topic for the new Simple Machines Forum.


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