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Messages - Seren

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« on: January 28, 2010, 01:25:45 AM »
I liked Children of Men, and even Kill Bill in a way.....

I hated, hated, hated the 'revisioning' of Planet of the Apes......some films suck - this was like a merciless black hole that destroyed all the tension, exploration and observation of human nature that the original managed to create - the comments Taylor makes before going into hibernation are really a lead into the 'twist' of the ending but it was still one of the classic moments of cinematic history.

I liked Clive Owen in Inside Man and enjoyed the film (Shoot em up was more intriguing - I don't usually go for gun fest but will have to watch again at some point)

IMO anyway.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Mystified Thread
« on: January 28, 2010, 01:15:44 AM »
Congratulations on the release 8)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Joke Thread
« on: January 26, 2010, 10:12:08 AM »
A plane load of special forces soldiers crashes in the desert, 10 survive.

They start walking in the direction they hope will get them to other people.

after a day they see a camel drinking at an oasis. Grabbing it they all climb on and it sets off at a really fast pace.

The camel keeps going and going and going.

On the third day it starts to slow down, on the fourth it's head hangs slightly lower and the speed lessens again, on the fifth it's head almost touches the sand, it dribbles and is not much faster than a man walking.

Suddenly it collapses...the soldiers all stand around, looking at it and one says "This camel's f**ked", to which another replies "I'm sorry allright! It was the only way I could hold on!".......

I remember my playing with the family radio gramaphone....mainly things like singles by the Beatles - I'd sing along and pretend to play the guitar....and Danny Kaye soundtrack 'Hans Christian Anderson'....

other odd memories surfacing - the 7" disc 'Roll out the Barrel'........Gene Pitney, '24 hours from Tulsa......

but I always, always used to make wierd noises (much to the annoyance of my father) and stare for ages at the stars....when I heard Hawkwind and then Klaus Schulze etc realised I had at last found home

Computers can be a nightmare.....

I recently bought an E-MU 1212 soundcard - looked great and had the optical S/PDIF ins and outs I wanted.

Installed it and found that one channel was popping, even with nothing plugged in. Contacted tech support and after receiving all sorts of advice including 'check if it is hyperthreading and turn it off', 'change ports and IRQ's' and 'reconfigure background services' the company that sold it to me (who I'd been cc'ing in the emails) told me to send it back to them....I had asked E-MU to tell me how to do these things but Thommann didn't want to wait for the answer (and me possibly srewing up my computer!!).

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: January 24, 2010, 06:54:57 AM »
Meeting numerous people with memory loss and/or dementia in work I thought it would be interesting to read 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat' by Oliver Sacks....illuminating and disturbing after just two chapters.

First a music teacher who taught in college, yet was not able to recognise a glove and thought his foot was his shoe. He could manage all his tasks as long as he sung himself through them, but if suddenly distracted or presented with a 'what is this?' type question was completely at a loss. The writer said he had no body image but had a music image.

Secondly a submariner whose memory stopped working in the 1970's and could remember nothing beyond 1945. Perfectly functioning in everyway but completely cut adrift or isolated from time. He could still type and work out equations etc (as long as the task was not too long, but quickly became bored and restless as the tasks were just mechanical). However he lived in constant involvement in aesthetics and act that gave his life expressive content that memory could not.

athird person mentioned in passing had a stroke that took away his sight and all memory and concept of sight - he did not know that he had been able to see before, was unable to describe anything visually and became bewildered at the concept of light. - also mentions people who no longer dream visually.......

as I said, illuminating and strangely disturbing.

Here's another fave of ours:

Take a track, and try to find the major freq. ranges that it covers. Use notch filters to break up the single track into 5-8 tracks, each covering part of the 20-22Khz spectrum. Mix them back together, but offset them with a very tiny delay, and play with how much you delay each freq. range.  You can get some very cool, sometimes trippy, effects this way. Can be a lot of work, but when it works out, it can make an ambient piece sound huge.

....people can decide if they want to bother and if this kind of thing is to their taste - because it takes a lot of time to get right.

And dependent on the sounds you are cutting up this way sometimes comparatively large differences of time shifting can create some very interesting soundscapes - totally transforming it into something else.

Something that is good for experimenting is having at least some of your equipment set up for quick and easy use. That way if you've got a few minutes you can just noodle around with ideas and sounds - sometimes the end result (ie track or album) can be affected immensely by what you are doing before even switching on......

I think for me it is like drumming  - If I just focus on the beat or phrase I am currently playing I lose the whole picture  - what I am mixing at the end of my creative process is often part of what I am thinking about as I start (whilst allowing and encouraging chaos, experimentation and changes of direction).

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ009: Your desert island instrument.
« on: January 21, 2010, 09:38:05 AM »
I'd make pan pipes or flutes from plant materials.
I'd make bone whistles from the birds I catch for food.
I'd make drumsticks and percussion instruments - including drum.
I'd try and make a stringed instrument - sinews and fashion out from logs....

Practically I'd like to take the recording equipment, would that count?

For having the time to learn an instrument - a cello.

For electronic fun, the biggest modular synth possible......and headphones if no sound system available.

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ008: How old are you?
« on: January 20, 2010, 12:12:06 PM »
A little older than my teeth.... ;D

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Uniform volume
« on: January 19, 2010, 04:05:15 PM »
I think I tend to plan towards the end whilst making my music or perhaps more accurately be aware of the end while working in the middle.

Sometimes I want dynamics, movement of levels both within and between the tracks, dependent upon what I am trying to achieve.

Sometimes I want a coherent level all the way though.

I know that somethings sound very loud when dropped into a mix, whilst others dissapear from clear hearing and leave a subtle nuance on the overall sound. sometimes these vagaries mean I have to juggle levels around trying to get the sound I think I want - sometimes they bring in a certain level of unpredictability that I love, in effect creating some of the soundscape themselves as I have to develop the mix around their character.

I tend to mix so there is no clipping, leaving enough headroom for any loud transients and then carefully listen repeatedly towards the end making any adjustments I feel important.

Everything and Nothing / Re: evilBay
« on: January 19, 2010, 05:37:57 AM »
21 days - what do they do with the money in that time?

Invest it?

Hawkwind 1977 Hammersmith Odeon - only show I've ever seen people just sit through with open mouths until the encore.

Hawklords 1978, various dates - was like one long concert as they did some different songs in each gig, different play orders in each gig and different lighting etc.

Inner City Unit - can't remember when or where but will never forget the daffodils.

Bob Calvert in a small club in London

Nik Turner's Sphynx, Tim Blake - Glastonury 1979. + a small jazz band in a side tent, music was OK but drummer was soooo stooooooooned, he held the rhythm easily but a small smile would start that got bigger and bigger and bigger until he realised and pulled himself back together and then started it all over again.

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ006: How do *you* define ambient music?
« on: January 15, 2010, 01:29:53 AM »
Again, we can compare our definitions, perhaps agree or disagree with them and if all else fails argue and ban or be banned...... ;D

It is interesting to see how each of us think.

I recognise my definition is based purely on my own subjective preferences, taste and experience. As I said Irrlicht and Zeit....the record shop I got them from was a small independent that had all sorts of wonderful stuff - they described the two albums as ambient, anything with rhythms in was described as electronic. It just stuck like that for me.......

And like any genre there are enough albums out there that blur the 'boundaries' enough that discussions, comparisms, arguments and flame wars begin.......

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ006: How do *you* define ambient music?
« on: January 14, 2010, 12:41:12 PM »
Just to raise some issues as we go along.
I think beatless and instrumental would add, among other things, too much classical music to the ambient pool.
I suppose it comes down to personal definitions - hence the original question. I know my definition cuts out a lot of music others consider ambient and would include a lot of other things, like some classical music and listening to the wind on a mountain top thart others would not.

It is interesting to see what people say, hopefully help me look at my own definition and listen to other music with perhaps different ears.

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ006: How do *you* define ambient music?
« on: January 14, 2010, 08:01:44 AM »
hmmm too.

But to jump in with both feet - I still define 'ambient' by my first experiences of such  music - Irrlicht and Zeit. Any music without rhythm or beat.....

Development of genre's and sub genres since then have passed me by..... ::)

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ005: Were you a band geek in school?
« on: January 13, 2010, 12:59:30 PM »
no, not a band geek - more a sit at home on my own and listen to music geek..... :o

hmm, not sure much has changed :o :o :o :o


I've bumped into Lemmy, Simon King and Throbbing Gristle - but I don't think any of my musical heroes, including ambientmeisters, would be my choice.

I bumped into Kate Bush in a record shop in London - she was filling a shopping trolley with records at the time. I know she is highly regarded but she's never been my type - there are most probably a number of ladies of ill repute via disreputable websites I'd rather spend a whole day with.....if I thought I'd come out alive... :o

I'd like to have spent time with Max Planck or some other deeply creative physicist (perhaps gallieo or Da Vinci - perhaps Marie Curie or Maria Mayer) - just being in the room when they were in the zone and feeling the movement of the universe whether in atomic or galactic size just through thought - for someone to work out that the universe is expanding before it was even known there were more than one galaxy is just a level of creativity/ understanding/ intuition that is just mind boggling.

Very nice pictures, and, like some music, not obvious in use of techniques......

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ003: What influences you the most?
« on: January 12, 2010, 03:54:48 PM »
I'd agree with the general thumbs up for nature 8). Though mine tends to be above the tree line, or in the 'desloate' places or up beyond the atmosphere of Earth, I've always been fascinated by stars, galaxies and the deep dark spaces between.....

nice to see the photos and pics that inspire people......

But anything can set me off, just has to catch me at the right time - might be sounds, art, books, photographs, textures (especially close up or out of context - not an icicle but the flash of light through a particular curve of ice), films, conversation, thoughts, esoteric traditions...though I've yet to be inspired by politics or mainstream religion.... ???

Oophoi, Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana, Klaus Schulze.

in the past would have been Hawkwind and Throbbing Gristle

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