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Messages - Seren

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:33:17 AM »
I think it is also important not to just wait/search for the perfect piece of equipment before you start Immersion. I bought some mics in a second hand shop, sennheiser, and they seem pretty good. Get some mics that don't break your bank and start playing with recording, finding what field sounds interest you, what sounds you could use as a source for playing around with the reverbs and effects to create something you like. You at least then have an idea of what works and does not before you think about spending big amounts on them.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 13, 2008, 02:44:56 AM »
For me it is about playing and finding the sounds that inspire me and going with those, exploring, pushing, transforming them.

Along with a healthy dose of everynow and then trying something different and see where that takes me.

Not sure how it is biting here, I don't want to spend money, but have to just to keep things going. Odd expenses like car repair bills hitting harder than before. We took out a loan just before the credit crunch, mailnly to consolidate credit card bills arisen out of 3 years of living on one wage and to some extent my music equipment (though almost everything is second hand) - would hate to try and get one now - and the 900 pounds a month mortgage someone offered us about two years ago would have killed us at that level, let alone now they are bouncing up quickly. Lenders want even 30% deposit !!!!!

I work in a hospital as a social worker - trying to ensure people are safe to go home and don't clog up the beds by staying too long - two other people joined since I started so not too worried about last in first out - but even with a couple of people less as experienced recently with illness makes the job very hard work, so would not enjoy any lay offs here.

Lots of service and manufacturing industries suffering, though in entertainment it seems to be hit or miss - cinemas still going strong. We are seeing an increase of 1 shops - selling I suspect, stock from bankrupt businesses.

Wood burning stoves are doing well, as are the logs for them as the increase in gas and electric bills scare people.

I saw recently on the BBC website a list of businesses doing badly or well in the new environment - made for interesting reading.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 12, 2008, 03:49:47 PM »
I was about to type the same thing Loren just did. 

If you guy all the same gear as Roach that doesn't mean you're going to sound like he does, and you shouldn't be striving to sound like him anyway.  Plenty of people have the same gear and they don't all sound the same.  You've got to learn to program the gear you buy, whether it's synths or effects or whatever, in a way that's distinctive and interesting.  It's more important how you work with your gear, than what gear you have in the first place.

And to find your own sounds within the gear you use......

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 10, 2008, 08:06:46 AM »
The use of effects and sound manipulation is an art in itself, and to paraphrase JKN it can create an amazing and interesting pallette or a washed out brown of sound.

As to what the album would be like without the effects i can only say if its anything like some of mine you'd be listening to all sorts of things including wine glasses, CDs being broken, my own singing, pipes being blown, card being ripped etc etc with some gaps between later filled with reverb and in I use these things,not Steve.....

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help needed on copyright alternatives
« on: November 09, 2008, 07:43:26 AM »
Perhaps I am wrong, but if I have a CDR or hard drive with a piece of music on it that has a fiie created date with it - that shows when it was created by me, everyone elses date will be after mine, therefore it is mine?

I had also heard of the post it to yourself route, but had not realised about the symbol being effective on covers - will read and learn...

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: November 01, 2008, 12:21:59 PM »
The Algebraist is indeed a good one.
Banks is great at just jumping you into expansive worlds, and doesn't
usually waste time with offering quasi-scientific explanations for everything.

Just finished the book and really enjoyed it. He was very, very good at the twists and turns - even using the expectation of them I think to keep the twists coming unexpectedly - just when I was looking in one direction, something would shear out of the sidefields and surprise me. The ending was not too bad either, always difficult to tie lots of ideas into a coherent ending, but the flow back to the last character was a greart idea.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Who you will vote ?
« on: October 31, 2008, 11:37:31 AM »
Hmmm - I started off writing a short snappy post but it sort of developed, sorry.....

I recently worked with an African guy and we ended up having a discussion around politics. For me it was an attempt to understand why people in Africa seem so willing to kill each other over the subject.

In the UK it is impossible to imagine riots and killing sprees if any of the political parties got voted into government. I know we can get very heated here and in some areas ostracise people who vote differently, but there is a general sense that fighting over politics is not worth it.

However, it came down to me developing my understanding that our politics are no longer (in general) direct matters of life and death. His personal and family experiences of brutality, torture and killings are genuinely horrifying and all tied into clan/tribe/power issues. We have a freedom that is not experienced by everyone which is both a blessing, and in some ways a curse - people are generally 'free' to discuss anything they want and get as outraged and reactive as they like without fear of recrimination.

Although Freedom is important, I do not think it is worth tearing communities, even cyber ones apart over hostile and partisan interactions. I take my hat off to Mike (and other moderators) as it is a very difficult position to take - you are complained about whatever you do - In the same way that I suspect many of us do not discuss everything about our lives with every set of people we interact with, I think we should not expect to be able to discuss everything in one forum.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: October 30, 2008, 05:41:34 AM »
Iain M Banks - The Algebraist. Just picked it up on spec in the library.

Big book - in size and concept. Reminds in many wyays of the SF I read in my teenage years - galactic civilisations of 'Foundations' by Asimov and the Lensman series by E.E. Doc Smith.

I have to say I am very impressed, perhaps even humbled by the width and depth of imagination in the book - I assume he has built on the stuff written since my teenage years - but I have still found it an enjoyable and intriuging read - not sure where it's going to go next.....

what did you think of this one APK?

Everything and Nothing / Re: If you could recommend one book
« on: October 30, 2008, 03:51:01 AM »
One Book!
Thats even harder I think than one album!! (but I could be wrong).

Christ my mind fluctuates between quite a few - but I'll give two.

'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' by Dee Brown - shocked the hell out of me when I first read it - intensely depressing.

followed by:-

'Song of Heyoehkah' by Hyemeyohsts Storm. This one then lifts the spirit and the heart, please read one after the other.

(similarly i always advise people to watch 'Dances with Wolves' and 'Black Robe' together).

and I'll add a third - 'The Keys to Avalon' by Steve Blake - it's an academic book that uses the original Welsh texts (that later became the Arthurian legends via france and Geoffrey of Momouth) to trace and locate the story in it's original landscape - Wales. It has, for many British readers in particular, an 'oh' point when you realise that the history and mythology held in your unconscious was politically, financially and academically created to verify a succession of invading kings legitimacy to rule........

It presents a paraox where the widely held stories of Avalon and Arthur etc are seen as a creation that inadvertently enabled the deeper and truer aspects of the stories to survive without being trounced into oblivion by following power structures because they were just 'ignorant myths'.....

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 28, 2008, 11:35:47 AM »
Steve Hug - Organics.

Steve Roach - mystic chords & sacred spaces

Everything and Nothing / Re: Great moments in ambient fandom.
« on: October 28, 2008, 11:33:43 AM »
My wife was so proud when I had my first CD released that when her mum, 4of her sisters, both her daughters and both her grandaughters visited she told them and put it on.

  :-[ moment - one of them after about 30 seconds asked Is this music?

 :) moment - about a minute later every single one of them was spaced out....

Other Ambient (and related) Music / EMPortal forum CD
« on: October 28, 2008, 05:47:59 AM »
Hi everyone,

The EMPortal forum has been putting together a compilation of music by members. It's a 2 CD and should be available soon.

go to to have a look at the artists and tracks list etc (scroll down a little). There is a wide range of artists on the set so the music should be just as varied.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Rigel Orionis discussion
« on: October 23, 2008, 05:27:45 AM »
Good Luck Jim, will keep fingers crossed....

Everything and Nothing / Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« on: October 20, 2008, 01:14:15 PM »

After training I went a couple of times into a forest on my own, it took me a while to realise why I was unusually scared - if i fell no one was going to come pass and find me.

That's funny, Seren; that's exactly why I love the wilderness!  I'm on my own.

I love the wilderness too, lived for 5 years in rural north wales, and worked in a 700 acre ancient and semi natural woodland for another 5. My fear was realising that if I had an accident, not only would no one be likely to pass for a few days, but would anyone who happened to be walking that way think of looking up 60 to 100 feet to see if there was an injured and dangling human up there in the leaves and branches? Seeing the odd mild accident and the one major one had made me realise that it was dangerous, plus having my own mild accident when I got blase added to the realisation.

I love being in the wild and on my own, but nowadays prefer to act reasonably safe when in it.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 20, 2008, 09:22:17 AM »

seems mine, called the Orion, no longer is being made - but they have 3 versions called Sirius, Proteus and Procyon....

The Procyon seems to have a software that enables the creation of music that creates your own light programmes.....

PS the sirius is $99, the Proteus is $159. The website is a bit new agey (never looked at it before just bought the box after a trial at a festival)

Obviously, using flashing lights you need to be aware of the risk re epileptic seizures etc.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 20, 2008, 01:21:01 AM »
If you want some psychedelia more self contained (ie when away from home) you can buy small gadgets that produce a variety of flashing light patterns in leds on 'sunglasses'. The make I have is called Orion. The range of patterns include steady pulses and you choose the frequency. They also have set programmes that start of at normal 'waking' brain frequency and thenh gently slow down into the more deep sleep brainwave frequencies for a time before bringing you back up to waking again.....

This plus headphones makes for a great and dreamy time.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« on: October 19, 2008, 01:30:25 PM »
spent time swinging up to and above 100 feet in the air on park/churchyard/forest trees with live chainsaws...

You're nuts.   ;D 

I can handle crawling across a sliver of rock on a high mountain ridge, with thousands of feet of certain death on both sides, just to get to a sweet ski slope; I can then enjoy 2000 feet of "you fall you die" skiing, right on the edge of control; but there's no way you'd get me up in a tree.  Not sure why, but that just freaks me out.    :o

I found myself more worried about the ropes and man made stuff than the trees. It was helped by seeing two 16 stone guys show me how far up a tree and out on the small limbs they could get with good techniques.

After training I went a coupl of times into a forest on my own, it took me a while to realise why I was unusually scared - if i fell no one was going to come pass and find me. Also did some private work on my own , but stopped that when i was 60foot up a tree in someones garden and watching how rotten the branches were that I was relying on to anchor the ropes on......

Funnily enough I never want to go mountain climbing or learn to ski, I remember a few years back watching the 'raging planet' tv series and loved the volcanoes and earthquakes etc, but the second they showed an avalanche my stomache turned upside down, i felt very nauseas and actually scared - wierd.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« on: October 18, 2008, 12:21:33 PM »
My main danger/excitement period was late 80's and early 90's. I started training as a council tree surgeon 1 month before the hurricane of 87 in the UK. due to insurance concerns was not able to work on the trees in the streets as a risk to the public so spent time swinging up to and above 100 feet in the air on park/churchyard/forest trees with live chainsaws.....Sorry no pictures.

One of the oak trees damaged by the storm was so big we ended up climbing it with spikes and using a four foot guidebar to section it 'small' bit by bit...we did have a chainsaw with a 6 foot guide bar, but we weren't keen on using it as it had a handle at the sharp end that we were understandably reticent to take hold of.

One of the guys got his foot crushed so it was very dangerous, but the climbing bit was really a boys dream come true, especially if the trees were waving about in the winds.

Did forestry for 5 years, much less dangerous and exciting as we were basically planting and keeping the forest clean, landowner got guys in with big tractors etc to do the felling. But it was great fun burning the left branches etc on huge fires in winter.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Singing Bowls
« on: October 14, 2008, 03:22:27 PM »
....shortly hit upon the idea of using one of the temple bells (two small cymbals on a string) and twirled one end around inside the bowls as fast as I could - was definitely edgy and dischordant - and apologised to the bowls all the time I was doing it. Surprisingly none seem to be any th worse for wear.

Ok now I have to try this when I get to the studio later today...


let us know what you think...I got a variety of sounds by changing length of string - short meant intermittent bursts of clanging, just right length to spin all the way round the rim was a continuous sound.

not a technique I think for the crystal bowls - anyone tried one of these. I saw one almost big enough to have a bath in that made a really deep sound....

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