May 23rd, 2011

intelligent communication

Interesting insights into the scope of words as language versus other ways of interacting with meaning and environment. Thanks Esther for the tip.

April 3rd, 2011

maths is real

Wonderful physics experiment (thanks Seán)

March 2nd, 2011

light to sound translation

Colin from Make magazine modifies a Korg synthesizer to respond to light.

February 16th, 2011


Early John Zorn interview (part 1).

Part one on youtube. Part two on youtube. Thanks Esther for the link!

February 13th, 2011

you can’t lose something you aint never had

From 1964, England. Almost like a music video!

February 4th, 2011

down here on earth

The Galaxy Song from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

January 14th, 2011



In the 70’s, Rainer Wehinger created a visual listening score to accompany Gyorgy Ligeti’s Artikulation. I scanned the pages and synchronized them with the music. Enjoy!

January 9th, 2011


January 3rd, 2011

please, nasty rain, don’t drench my love

December 27th, 2010

these days

December 17th, 2010

evolution of a book

I’ve been working on a translation of a poem into sounds and smells. The sounds and smells are released in synchrony by a machine (made with help from my engineer friend Brecht) that selects scented beakers using the turntable of an old record player.

You can download an excerpt from the audio track here, smells not included. This one is the translation of the second stanza, which begins “fondants, fudge, caramels, taffy brittles”, and lasts one and a half minutes. The whole piece is approximately eleven minutes long.

I may improve upon the audio, smells and machine over the next weeks. This is a sort of work-in-progress or, I suppose, the continued evolution in my mind of the original text.

December 4th, 2010

sound that doesn’t mean anything

John Cage (loved sounds just as they were).

Via the blog of Foxes in Fiction.

October 6th, 2010

revolution 909

I like this music video (Roman Coppola, 1996). The track is Revolution 909 by Daft Punk.

Finding this video was a happy accident. I was looking for information about Sofia Coppola’s new film (Somewhere), when I found myself on a wikipedia trail. I was surprised to learn Francis Ford Coppola’s family tree contains not only his famous offspring, directors Sofia and Roman Coppola, but also Nicholas Cage and Jason Schwarzman, who are Francis Ford’s nephews and therefore the cousins of Sofia and Roman. And there are more Hollywood names in the tree.

September 29th, 2010

hair raising piano

Holy crap.

September 29th, 2010

what’s at the end of the aspectral rainbow?

The above video offers some insight into Arnold Schoenberg’s technique for composing what’s now referred to as “atonal” music.

The term “atonality” itself has been controversial. Arnold Schoenberg, whose music is generally used to define the term, was vehemently opposed to it, arguing that “The word ‘atonal’ could only signify something entirely inconsistent with the nature of tone. . . . [T]o call any relation of tones atonal is just as farfetched as it would be to designate a relation of colors aspectral or acomplementary. There is no such antithesis” (Schoenberg 1978, 432)

Atonality at wikipedia.

September 28th, 2010

time after time

August 30th, 2010

you must believe in spring

“You must believe in Spring” by Bill Evans and Tony Bennett.

Esther Satterfield does a nice version of this song too.

August 13th, 2010

the complimentary protein song

From the University of Cincinnati Professor Stein Carter:

Amino acids are just great
When sitting on your plate.
Your body needs all twenty kinds
To build your bones and minds.
But there are eight that we can’t make:
Essential ones to take
Within your food so you’ll be set,
But some are hard to get.
Three limit others’ usefulness
If you consume much less.
Combine these foods to get them all
So you’ll grow big and tall:
Whole grain with milk or grain with bean
Or peas with seeds between
Or maybe try all three or four
If you want something more.

You must of course hear the accompanying music to appreciate this musical mystery. Don’t quit your day job, Professor Carter!

Here’s the science bit: an explanation of dietary protein requirements at the same website..

Our bodies use amino acids in a specific ratio to each other, so if a person doesn’t get enough of one of them to match with the rest, the rest can only be used at a level to balance with that low one. Most of these amino acids are fairly easy to get in a reasonably well-balanced diet. However, there are three that are a little harder to get than the rest, thus it is important to make sure you’re getting enough of these three. These three are called limiting amino acids, because if a person’s diet is deficient in one of them, this will limit the usefulness of the others, even if those others are present in otherwise large enough quantities. The three limiting amino acids include the sulfur-containing ones (methionine and cysteine), tryptophan, and lysine.

Because of publicity from certain agricultural industries, many people in our culture have been taught to think that it is necessary to eat meat to get protein, but this is not true! People in many other cultures do not eat meat yet do get enough protein in their diets. It is true that there are areas of the world where people need to raise cattle and eat meat to survive. For example, in certain arid areas of Africa where almost nothing grows, cattle can graze on the meager grass that’s there that people can’t eat, and the people can eat the milk and meat from those cattle. In our country, the climate is much better, and we can raise many varieties of edible plants, thus we have available alternate (and often better) sources of protein. Some plant protein sources, like soybeans, have a better amino acid balance for humans than meat.

Well, I never.

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