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Messages - Scott M2

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambiloop
« on: July 06, 2008, 03:10:04 PM »
The looper's Delight site and their e-mail list
is a darn good place to get any looper questions answered.

In that case, it perfectly encapsulates your vision!   8)

Hi Jim - I like that white on the "visited links"
but it was actually the blue "unvisited links"
that I found awkward against the brown.
I just have to visit all your pages though
to turn them all white!  ;)

Hi Jim - I just took the quickest of looks and I was getting
blue links on the brown background which didn't make for a pleasant contrast.
I'd suggest trying another colour for your links (and "visited" links).

My two cents...

Everything and Nothing / Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!
« on: June 11, 2008, 01:34:06 PM »
Happy Birthday Mike.    (No old man jokes from the likes of me.)

(I liked the red theme in the photos Lena.)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Interspecies Music
« on: June 09, 2008, 08:48:37 PM »
Interesting, though probably more so for the humans, unless whales start developing a taste for Coltrane or Hendrix.  What, no credit given to Paul Winter or Paul Horn (who  were probably the first ones to do something like this in the early 70s)?


Here's some quotes from "Can We Play Live Music with Whales?" by David Rothenberg


"Who has played music to killer whales? Paul Winter, for all the great photos of him and his soprano sax standing in rafts playing pure tones out to leaping orcas, says he just tried it once, thirty years ago, blowing the sax into a big metal tube that stuck into the water. He heard the whales, the whales heard him. "At one point it seemed like they were responding," he says, but this live interaction never made it onto his records the way the sax/wolf duets did."


"When a whale named Haida lost his mate, he sat despondent in the pool as if she too wanted to die, refusing to eat anything for a month. (Paul) Spong invited jazz flutist Paul Horn, known for his solo recordings inside the Great Pyramid and in the Taj Mahal, to offer some gentle music to cheer up the bereaved whale. For a week he played mournful elegies for the whale's lost love, but Haida showed no interest. One of the trainers urged Horn to try a more positive approach.

"I get the feeling you are playing rather sad music," she said, "reinforcing Haida's unhappiness. Maybe you should try providing some positive energy to bring him out of his depression."

Horn leaned over the water and talked to Haida eye to eye: "Look, I've been coming here for three days now and you have totally ignored me. I get no response from you, and I'm getting bugged."[ii]

The whale said nothing. Horn continued. "We know you've suffered a great loss, and we sympathize with you. But thousands of people come to see you, they respect and admire you, but you're letting yourself down. Not only that, you are letting yourself down and you're letting life down. Life is a very precious thing, Haida, so get your act together and snap out of it. I'll come back one more time. If you don't respond tomorrow, then I won't come back again."

The next day Paul Horn was back at the pool, playing the same mournful music he always played. But right away Haida moved his head, the first movement he'd made in weeks. Horn walked around the pool, playing his flute with conviction, just like he'd famously done walking around the Taj Mahal. For the rest of that week the whale followed the flutist, and after five days, Paul put his flute down and dangled a herring over the water. Haida hesitated a moment, but then decided to scarf it down. It was the first food he had taken in a month, and the first time a whale was known to have been brought out of depression through music therapy."

There's much more on this in the piece at the above link.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: A nice video of the Moog Guitar
« on: June 05, 2008, 09:17:51 PM »
Hey - It's only $6,495.00    :o

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: GOT GEAR?
« on: June 05, 2008, 01:58:49 PM »
I've been watching sale prices for DSs - about $130CN in Toronto sometimes. (The hidden price.)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: GOT GEAR?
« on: May 31, 2008, 10:46:57 PM »
Another cool small portable virtual synth system - 2 Korg MS-10s and a small drum machine
in a Nintendo DS. Odds are better that they won't hassle you about your Nintendo at the airport.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: GOT GEAR?
« on: May 30, 2008, 07:19:53 PM »

While we're talking small synth/doodads. I'm quite in love with my Kaossilator -
so it's not for sale but they're pretty reasonable new. Maybe not the greatest for ambient music -
although add a stereo volume pedal and and some verb/delay/whatever & you're getting there.
I bring mine on the bus/subway to and from work and make various loopy grooves and solo away
on top. Great fun and you must get very Zen about the results, because it has no memory.
(Sometimes I can sample my homebound loop into my Kaoss Pad 3.)
I've tried it live now and it will remain part of my regular live setup.

Serious fun even without the Autobahn. They're not paying me - really.

This is mighty fine news for us 10 to 30 percenters.
Maybe someday - jewel cases with spines.
Evolution or devolution?
I don't know.

Tyrannosaurus M2

Hypnos Label Releases / Re: CD release: M. Griffin - Fabrications
« on: May 28, 2008, 01:57:10 PM »
Congratulations Mike... You did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!       8)

Damn! Now there's a CD I'll have to get.    8)

Whoa! You earn your stars!

A very friendly and supportive person. A great loss to our community. RIP Gordon.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: April 27, 2008, 04:10:45 PM »
Future Shop here in TO had the 3 Millennium seasons on sale for $20 each
so I picked up the works. We're half way through the first season and are
finding it very compelling.

Saw Kraftwerk here in Toronto a couple of years ago (went with rik from mara's torment)
and the sound was superb. I have no idea how they achieved such tight, solid (yet non-boomy)
bass in the small arena they played in.

I'd be curious to hear the results of a Neil Young album or two processed by Direct Note Access.    ;)

Whoa! First M.Peck and now Mark Mahony using Reiki/Jedi Mind Control techniques to perform!
I am totally behind the curve and still using my hands. Guess that's what I get for letting
my Sound on Sound magazine subscription expire. Must book trip to Tibet now, to find a Master
before they shut down the borders for the torch convoy to forge through.

rik maclean has posted an extensive review of Sounds of a Universe Overheard on his ping things reviews blog and he's OKed me cutting and pasting it here...

With the release of "Sounds of a Universe Overheard", the well respected Hypnos label has put together an excellent collection of work representing some of the brightest talents in the contemporary ambient music scene. Drawing from a variety of styles and tones, it's a fine compilation offering some valuable insight into not only the Hypnos label, but the ambient scene as a whole.

"The Language of Rocks" by Jonathan Block opens the disc, a lightly melodic track where pads and sounds bend back and forth. There's an elastic feel to some of the tones in use here, a feeling of stretched notes and elongated sounds that pull against each other to create a fascinating study in tension and texture. A wonderful way to start the disc.

"Somna" by M. Peck is up next, beginning with a dripping cave-like environment where tones shift throughout the soundfield, phasing in and out within a well-crafted atmosphere. The space is really well defined here, an area clearly established by the use of carefully placed tones throughout. As the track continues new sounds are added, keening drones, backwards loops, a variety of others, all of which contribute to the environment, effectively and expertly shifting it to new spaces and locations for the listener to discover.

Freq. Magnet's contribution, "Nitrous", is a beautiful drone-based piece where sounds ebb and flow throughout. There's a hint of melody just on the edges of the track that make it a really intriguing piece for me, giving me something that I can wonder and speculate about as it plays. There's also a brightness to this work, a light that permeates the sound to create something hopeful and optimistic, something that sounds to me like being born. Don't ask me why, I can't put my finger on it, but there's something about it that suggests possibility and newness and warmth. Certainly a lovely track, whatever you might hear in it.

"Scarecrow" by Kirk Watson follows, featuring a slow opening that builds from silence to reveal a vibrant soundscape where languid pads weave through more abstract sounds. A sense of slow drift plays throughout the piece, a feeling of movement in a defined space suggesting a planet's rotation. It all contributes to a very space-y vibe in this track, a really nice sensation of floating amongst the stars.

"Ghost Nebula" follows, a dark and hallucinatory track from dreamSTATE, a piece of music that begs to be heard with your eyes closed so you can give yourself over to it's visual nature. I've always felt their work is very cinematic, very rich in mental imagery and this track is no different. Pads blend with each other in a seamless mix to create a web of sounds, rising and falling within it's own space. Listening to it, I'm filled with images of solar systems and nebulae, the sounds of stars being born and dying. Certainly a wonderful piece of music from two of my favorite ambient artists.

"Strange Attractor" by Seren Ffordd is a dark and haunting piece, very subtle and mysterious. Sounds play on the edge of the senses, deep down where you have to listen a little more actively to hear them. And I appreciate that effort required as it allows me to pick up on the nuance of the track. It's a piece of music that requires examination and thought, rather than one that can be heard as a personal experience. As you listen to the track, sounds become more distinct, more focussed as it progresses, until you find yourself surrounded by what's happening. Quite an engaging piece, one that particularly stands out for me.

Dwight Ashley's "Behold the Trampled Wheat" begins with a quiet drone that intertwines in and around itself with subtle melodic work. As the track progresses the drone begins to oscillate, creating a new sense of almost oblique movement to the piece. The drone is paired throughout with minimal melodic work, leading up to the last minute of the track where a string section plays a mournful tune. Lovely work.

"Infection" by Justin Vanderberg has a ghostly sound to it, tones and pads in the upper register creating a mournful feeling to the track. A variety of haunted sounds blend in, fluid and crinkly, that fly through the soundfield from one side to the other. There's an effective use of space in this track, resulting in a very nice sound that really appeals to me.

"Pandora" by Igneous Flame is up next, a beautiful piece that blends drones and nicely organic pad sounds. Another bright and hopeful track that I quite enjoy, something more akin to the sound of natural earth scenes than something from beyond the stars. I imagine waterfalls and blue skies, soaring eagles and the promise of a wide open space. Excellent work that brings to mind the majesty and beauty of the Grand Canyon. Another track that stands out for me.

"Float" by Tau Ceti finishes the disc, a slowly moving melodic piece where pads stretch out and elongate, creating a beautiful tapestry of sound. The whole effect is wonderful and inspiring and I imagine I could drift in it's beauty for considerably longer than it's 5:37 length. A lovely piece of music.

The release of "Sounds of a Universe Overheard" confirms my belief in Hypnos as a musical leader, and also provides an excellent insight into the sounds and ideals that represent the ambient genre today. It should come as no surprise then that this is a disc that has been in constant rotation on my CD player for some time. An excellent collection from Hypnos that is sure to be appreciated by both new fans of the genre, and older fans who like to discover new sounds. Highly recommended.

rik - ping things

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