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Topics - mgriffin

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Gear for sale @ Hypnos HQ, 2008
« on: January 08, 2008, 02:20:38 PM »
A few items for sale here at Hypnos HQ.

Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) 828 firewire audio interface
Note that this is not the 828 mk II, but still includes 8 analog ins and outs, stereo monitor outs, spdif in/out, ADAT optical in/out, front panel level knobs and headphone jack, very light and portable but requires AC power.  Mac or Windows compatible (but I don't recommend this for people using Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5 at least until MOTU updates their drivers).
$200 plus shipping

Digidesign Mbox USB audio interface
Compact, portable, powered by USB cable.  Mac or Windows compatible.
$125 plus shipping

M-Audio Firewire Audiophile audio interface
Compact, portable, powered by firewire cable or AC power, 2 analog inputs, 4 analog outputs, spdif in/out, plus MIDI i/o so if you're looking for audio i/o and midi i/o this is a great deal. Mac or Windows compatible.
$125 plus shipping

Note: these are not actual photos but are "swiped" from E-Bay in the name of expediency.  Condition of all units is very good though there are a few scratches on the 828's case.  If you want to see an actual photo before purchasing, let me know.

Also, I have not done much price research and if these prices are too high, I will consider lowering them or taking slightly lower offers after a week or so.

Everything and Nothing / What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: January 08, 2008, 11:14:40 AM »
I remember that in the old Forum, someone posted an interested topic at the beginning of 2007 about "What are your plans?"

It was mostly geared toward the music-makers here on the Forum, so they could talk about their upcoming projects, but it was also an interesting discussion of people's general plans for the coming year.

Lots in store for Hypnos, which I'll fill in later, but I wanted to kick off this topic and ask:

What are you planning or hoping to do during 2008?

Everything and Nothing / High definition home video
« on: January 08, 2008, 10:36:01 AM »
JKN's "buying a new TV" topic got me thinking...

HD (high definition) home video has got to be one of the greatest technological advances of my lifetime.  I never even go to the theater any more, and don't miss it, and I'm someone who used to go to 1 or 2 movies per week.  So, I'm curious what people think of HD home video and what their experiences with it are?

Do you have an HD set of some kind at home? 

Have you watched high definition video of some kind?  HD cable?  BluRay disc or HD-DVD?

Given changes in the BluRay vs. HD-DVD battle this past week, I suspect a lot of people will be taking the plunge in the next six months, but I'm curious to hear what others think.

Everything and Nothing / Moving the rest of the web site
« on: January 07, 2008, 05:55:46 PM »
This may be old news to those of us here on the Forum who have already migrated to the new Hypnos server, but the migration of the rest of the Hypnos site (main pages, the Hypnos Online Store, email, etc.) is happening right now.

If you need me or Lena urgently, leave a Private Message here, but our email is working and we just need to test the new email servers to make sure everything's working OK. should now point to the new server for most of you already, and the rest of your DNS servers will update over the next 24 or so hours.

The new Hypnos Online Store address is -- again some of you may have lagging DNS servers that aren't updated yet, in which case you can still shop at the old store at -- we'll keep checking both stores for the next few weeks just in case.

Thanks for your patience.  This should be entirely settled very soon.

Everything and Nothing / What's HOT and what's NOT
« on: January 04, 2008, 12:38:31 PM »
You know those little mini-articles in Wired magazine, and I think Esquire and Details does them too somethings... hell, probably every magazine does them... where they talk about a few things that are HOT, or NOT?

I was just thinking about a few trends I've observed recently, starting right here in our little neighborhood of ambient music. 

HOT: ambient music with melody and structure
NOT: ambient drone music

Comments... I'm seeing a greater interest in ambient music made by people who come from a more traditional music background, or at least who include more traditional elements in their ambient work.

And one more:

HOT: ambient music with acoustic instruments, guitar, and voice
NOT: ambient music with synthesizers and samplers

Comments... Same thing, just a movement I'm seeing toward more people working with these more "organic" sound sources, and despite my own synths/samplers background, this is a trend I welcome.

Does anybody else have anything to add?  Any movements, shifts or trends that can be observed?  I suppose this should be opened up behind just music-related or ambient-music-related changes.

Everything and Nothing / Hypnos Forum move
« on: January 03, 2008, 12:02:22 PM »
Hypnos Forum move happening today (Thursday Jan 03, 2008)

The entire web site is in the process of being moved to a new server during the next few days.  The old server and new server will continue to operate simultaneously until next week, so there will be two Hypnos news pages, two Hypnos stores, two Hypnos CD releases pages, and so on.  We'll update both old and new in sync with each other during this transition, so it won't matter whether you visit one Hypnos store or the other -- in both cases, your order will be accepted and completed just fine.

One part of the Hypnos web site that cannot be run in tandem (two versions running at once until the transfer is complete) is this Forum.  Because there's a database that's updated every time someone posts a message or creates a new membership, or even updates their "signature" or their avatar, there is no way of keeping two Hypnos Forums in sync for several days without an unreasonable amount of non-stop work.  For that reason, later tonight, this Hypnos Forum, the one you're looking at right now, will be taken offline for maintenance, and the databases (including members, forum topics, posts, and everything) will be backed-up and moved over to the new Hypnos Forum which is already running in test mode, and has been checked-out by your trusty Forum Moderators, JKN and APK.

Soon after this Forum goes "down" into maintenence mode, that database backup & restore will be completed and the new Forum will be active and ready.  I will post an address on the Hypnos News page that points directly to the new Forum.  I will also post that link here, below, but please do not start visiting and posting to the NEW Forum before this Forum goes down into maintenence mode, otherwise any posts you make there will be wiped-out when this OLD Forum is backed-up and moved over.

The link to the new Hypnos Forum effective late 1/3/08 and onward will be

Eventually the internet domain will be converted over and you will be able to reach that Forum via the same address as this one, which is

Please use this space (in the NEW Forum, starting Friday 1/4/2008) to post troubleshooting requests, problems, or questions relating to the NEW Forum.

A reminder.... you may visit that link to the NEW Forum prior to this OLD Forum becoming unavailable if you're just curious, and feel free to poke around and look all you want... but don't make any changes or posts that you don't want to be wiped-out when I convert over!  Continue to post here until the move is complete.


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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