Monday, 18 August 2014

Friday, 7 June 2013

What about those Three Blind Mice, do you still remember them?


Leslie Clarke makes music by only clicking his fingers. He would play his fingers and sell tapes around Melbourne for a dollar or two and give the money to charity. I bought a tape some years ago and recently stumbled across it in my studio. I found a tape deck and digitised the music while listening to it.

Leslie Clarke — The Man Who Plays Music on His Fingers (sides 1 & 2) [21.7MB .mp3 file]

It's an interesting listen. The tonal range Leslie achieves is incredible and the tunes are easily identifiable. Each track is introduced by Leslie and he opens the tape by introducing himself and explaining his technique. Each song isn't titled explicitly but alluded to like it's a shared story Leslie and the listener have heard with Leslie asking questions about each song and their subjects, often asking the listener if they remember them. 

The tape itself is perfectly white and unlabeled. It is housed in a piece of paper folded around the tape with a stamped title on it (above). No artist credit is present.

When looking into the songs I found this video, which Leslie covers on the tape:


I love the lyric 'Kingdoms may come, kingdoms may go, whatever the end may be. Old Father Thames keeps rolling along, down to the mighty sea.' Nature as perpetual and anthropomorphised.

The only stuff I could find on the web about Leslie was this site from 2006. I emailed the contact listed but haven't received a reply. If anyone finding this has any info on Leslie, please let me know via a comment!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Earth, Ferris Wheel, Guitar, Cow


Here is a mix I made of music from some of my favourite video game soundtracks. This is quite a broad task so I limited myself to tracks that used recorded music rather than music made through sounds synthesised by the game media itself.

Music for Opposable Thumbs [128MB Mediafire link].

Tracklist (game titles are in bold):
Yu Miyake — Lovely Angel [Katamari Damacy]
Akira Yamaoka (credited as Konami Kukeiha Club) — Promise (Reprise) [Silent Hill 2]
Yutaka Minobe — Backbiting [Rule of Rose]
Shunsuke Kida — Maiden Astraea [Demon's Souls]
Tatsuhiko Asano — Bonfire [Doshin the Giant]
Tim Haywood — Trials of the Gad [Shadowman]
Akira Yamaoka — Chouchin Song 2 [Shadows of the Damned]
Tim Follin — Dolphin's Intrigue [Ecco the Dolphin : Defender of the Future]
Masafumi Takada — Island Edge [Killer 7]
Masaya Matsuura — Prince Fleaswallow's RAP [Parappa the Rapper]
Akitaka Tohyama — You are Smart [Katamari Damacy]
Deavid Soul — Up-Set Attack [Jet Set Radio]
Unknown — The Bear's Trials [Tokyo Jungle]
Vocal: King Robo — Katamari Dancing All Night [Katamari Forever/Katamari Tribute]
M.O.O.N. — Crystals [Hotline Miami]
Laugh and Beats — Vib Ribbon Blues [Vib Ribbon]
Masatoshi Moriwaki — The Virgin Child Makes Her Wish Without Feeling Anything [No More Heroes]
COIL — The Legendary Theme (Acoustic Version) [Gitaroo Man]
Ryou Watanabe — The Theme of Girl [Noby Noby Boy]  

I chose tracks that are unique, unconventional and predominantly not orchestral as well as being music I enjoy in it's own right. Three tracks are from the Katamari Damacy series of games but I included them due to my deep love for this game and for the fact that hearing the a track from the soundtrack on an .mp3 blog ('You are Smart', included in this mix) was what made me initially decide to buy the game site-unseen from America (the game didn't get an Australian release until it's sort-of sequel, 'We Love Katamari' about 18 months later).

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Postcards From Before


Ten years ago Elizabeth Boyce, an art school colleague of mine, did a project called Postcards From Before which involved interviewing people about the spaces they lived in and loved. I volunteered to be a part of the project. Liz recently contacted me asking for my current address as she was resolving the project and sending postcards to the participants (here is her blog about it). Mine arrived yesterday.


The first five cards read:

I remem
 

ber: feeli
 

ng somet
 

hing like
 

envy...

Initially I thought the postcards were unordered fragments of a whole but after leafing through them sequentially I realised they were feeding me a linear story, card by card. These were partially a document of things I had said around 10 years ago and my memory of those times is pretty hazy and a little uncomfortable. Should I continue reading the card's stories in sequence, seeing what these regimented letters conjure up?


I flip through the cards getting a vague sense of what I said and Liz's interpretation. The format of the postcards limits the amount of text on each card and breaks each word at the edges. The text is made up of tiny little dots, some flowing together and others being isolated. They feel like a physical manifestation of memories  — patchy, fragmented and full of gaps. The fact that the stories are broken up by the format and physical space of the postcards enhances this — individually each moment is vague and abstract, like those seemingly arbitrary moments that you end up unintentionally memorising that appear completely context free and seem to pop into your head almost of their own accord.


These words are knitted together with such care but gaps still remain like the inevitable incompleteness of memory. No document of memory is every truly accurate and complete. The postcards show that the gaps could potentially make imemories even more beautiful and interesting.

I'm staggered by the altruism in these postcards. The idea that someone would take your ramblings and painstakingly spell them out by hand over 50-odd postcards and then give them to you is incredible — a single one would have been an absolute gift on it's own. I had to make doubly sure that they were bespoke and not reproductions as I'm so accustomed to stuff (especially text) being generated by machine.


I chose some cards to scan and decide not to keep them in sequence to further emulate what I imagine is my version of today's memory. I think I'll send some of them on to other people in a similarly altruistic act as Liz has done and further fragment and share these components of a perpetually incomplete memory.


EDIT: Here is Liz's post talking about my cards and responding to this post.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Less Angry More Bird

Image from here. Proof positive that staring into the eye of a Cockatoo is
not dissimilar to staring into the cold unwavering insanity of the abyss.
What madness is this!? Two posts in almost as many days?! Two mixes at that!?? Indeed. That is what it is.

However, this mix is a lazy one, crafted by chance over craft. These songs were selected by the criteria that every song has to have the word 'Bird' in the title. I did whittle it down a bit, so I wasn't completely hands-off. Originally I chose 'Bird' as an overall keyword and this produced roughly 3 and 1/2 hours of music (one of the songs was a half-hour field recording of birds). Searching by song title alone reduced it by 45 minutes so I then played it through and made some cuts. The current mix is around 1 hour.

Unified by Bird [112.2MB 256 kbps .mp3 file via Mediafire].

Tracklist (links to albums in titles or notes)
Sandra LeBrun Holmes — Morning Star And Devil Bird (This is from NASA's Voyager Golden Record)
fLako — Bird
Acanthus — Flightless Bird
Diamanda Galás — Birds of Death
The Trashmen — Bird '65 (Taken from Lux Interior's legendary radio show 'The Purple Knif Show')
White Noise — Firebird
Guitar Vader — Bird Ship
Hideaki Sakurai — Birds And Beasts (From the Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance Soundtrack which appears to be out of print.)
Lizzy Mercier Descloux — Birdy Num-Num
Rip Rig and Panic — Howl! Caged Bird
The Robocop Kraus — A Man's Not A Bird
The Residents — Birds in the Trees
John S. Hall & Kramer — The Birds
Hedningarna — Täppmarschen (Sorrow Is A Lonely Bird)
Martin Denny — Yellow Bird (winner, most expensive collectable album)
Coon Creek Girls — Little Birdie
The Dynamic Batmen — Robin The Bird
Cornelius — Bird Watching at Inner Forest
Múm — The Ballad of the Broken Birdie Records

I kept the tracks in the same order iTunes sorted them and I'm not sure what it's reasoning was as there does seem to be a kind of shape developing over the mix with certain types of songs clustering together.

[BONUS] When originally selecting via 'Bird' appearing in song/album/composer the mix opened with this song from the We Love Katamari (also known as Katamari Tribute) soundtrack. It started the mix beautifully, but I let it go due to the word 'Bird' not appearing song title.

Yū Miyake (remixed by Beautiful Hummingbird)— Cherry Blossom Color Season (fanfare mix) [12.1MB .mp3 file] [Buy]

EDIT: Changed link to directly link to the mix.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Recent Mix: 'Conceived as a Solid Dome'


2012 took an entire year to complete. Sometimes you just have to make something for the simple fact that making it frees you from having to make it any more.

This is a mix I have been playing with for a while, having trouble finding a consistent thematic approach and I don't think that I would have finished it unless I forced myself to publish it.

It is loosely inspired by the presence of the 2012 Geminid meteor shower (which I missed seeing) and includes work by INFNTLP, Richard Brautigan, The Soundtrack from the movie 'Drive', Clara Mondshine, Plankton Wat, Geinoh Yamashirogumi, Young Marble Giants, Naked Spots Dance, Terrible Truths, Les Espions, Can, Philip Glass remixed by Dan Deacon, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Animal Crossing Soundtrack, Stan Brakhage and Laibach.

Download [116.7MB 256 kbps .mp3 file via Mediafire].

EDIT: links altered and re-posted due to 'I before E except after C' issues.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Last Metcard-device related post

Metcard device, 'Not in use' adhesive label, packing tape, second 'Not in use' adhesive label, grey Gaffa tape wrapped-around device.

Perhaps in the future old Metcard machines will form the core of layered tape and label juggernauts.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Currently (as of 12:58:13 PM AEST, Monday 14th January 2013)...

... Apple computers auto-capitalise 'facebook'.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

We instinctually shun the technologies of our ancestry



The previous technology is referenced. The ad-hoc nature of the printed label (self adhesive if memory serves) suggests that the lack of use may be temporary however this is certainly not the case. if there was any doubt, observe the caps. For the moment, the new technology nestles with the old.


  
Out of the city, the format changes. The font and caps remain. However, the old technology is no longer referenced and the label is adhered through wide-format sticky tape even though the label is itself adhesive.

Just in case you missed it: redundancy begets redundancy. The shamelessness of the brown packing tape reinforcing this point.

The display reads 'Closed'. Though in its very nature absence suggests a presence, in this case the technology lacks the format for suggesting it's finality. There will be no 'Open'. The display used to show the time and ticket-related data.

Paper is highly susceptible to relic-dom and pre-ephemera.

As previously discussed, here is the current state of the Tower of Metcards, finalised. It stands at approximately 23 centimetres.
 
[Bonus]
[Double-Bonus]




Vale, Metcard.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The instant when text goes from roman to bold

A.K.A 'My year of near-complete inactivity'

A.K.A 'Es tanzt das DNS'

'mediumtedium.net' website,
circa August-September, 2012.
So much time, sitting motionless at my desk, fingers poised mere millimetres from the keyboard twitching with unfulfilled potential. Illusionary Wolpertingers snap at calf muscles slowly atrophying from years of neglect. Internet websites enjoy an unintentional half-life bought upon them through inattention and behind-the-scenes hosting shifts.

But I digress.

You know when you run into an old friend and it's been years since you last saw them and they ask you what you've been doing with yourself for the last 11 or so years? On some occasions when this has happened I am so overwhelmed by the prospect of summarising the vast gulf of activity that my mind short circuits and initiates some kind of basic platitude such as 'The usual', 'This and that', 'Various things' and so forth. Under no circumstances would I use the phrase 'Same old, same old' (rumour has it that a pattern of slight discolouration on the belly of Ouroboros spells out these very words in Cuneiform text).

'Oroboros' enemy from 'Ni No Kuni' video game, PS3 2012

Under the surface of this near detail-free summary lies the primeval magma of significance, oozing and straining, perpetual and eternal. The universe yawns in it's massiveness and in the meantime, blogging.

As of December 2012 I have chosen the following excuses for not posting to this website:
  • Inability to edit CSS to a satisfying level
  • Discomfort with the term 'Blog'
  • The pursuit of dreams, etc.
  • Watching Youtube fail compilations (or just listening to their audio while working)
  • Trying to get non-English computer voices to read English aloud
  • Celestial bodies (2013 also looks to be a good year for these)
  • Seeking out Pavlova flavoured Slurpees
  • Miscellaneous
 And most recently:
  • Wrestling with the new iTunes interface (while I understand the philosophy of a column-based interface, arrow-key mapping should be more intuitive).
So the dust has settled and I will now try to resume semi-regular programming. Attempting to create work where the work is generated by the work itself has failed and it seems a more direct approach is required.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Historical Arc

Point a)
From 'A Second Childhood' by G.K Chesterton.
Point b)
 
Eye Guy from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode 'I, Eye Guy'.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Corruption

'Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life' Harmen Steenwyck c. 1640 [Formatted for HD PS3 background]
A good blog takes commitment, dedication and work. Recently I purchased a PS3 (almost precisely one month before a price-drop) which has begun to vie for my affections. I changed the background image of my PS3s theme to Harmen Steenwijck's 1640 'Vanitas' painting (above) in order to help remind me of the fleeting nature of the moment and that I am potentially wasting my time on trifles before the inevitability of the void. To date this strategy has been remarkably ineffective.

Corrupted Data icon on custom PS3 Vanitas wallpaper background.

Corrupted Data text on custom PS3 Vanitas wallpaper background.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Recent mix: 8 types of Drugs


One of my favourite Talking Heads songs is 'Drugs' – also known as 'Electricity', 'Drugs (Electricity)' or 'Electricity (Drugs)'. I know a few versions of it and thought I would put some together into a 33-minute mix of variations of the song. The mix is not chronological and I tried to make it follow an arc of the song's character as well as attempting to consider the mix for listenability, so similar versions of the song do not appear subsequently.

Some trivia: The birds recorded for the album version (occurring around 11:40 on this mix) were recorded at the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. The sanctuary is still open and is a 24 minute drive from my fathers house.

Download [76.4MB 320kbps .mp3 file via Mediafire]

Tracklist:
1. Drugs (Live bootleg) - Recorded at Boarding House, San Francisco, 1978
2. Electricity (Instrumental) - Bonus Rarities & Outtakes [Buy .mp3 download*]
3. Drugs (Electricity) - The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads. Recorded at Emerald City, Cherry Hill, 1980 [Buy]
4. Drugs - Fear of Music, 1979 [Buy]
5. Drugs (Live bootleg) - Recorded at Palalido, Milan, 1980 [Watch]
6. Electricity (Drugs) - The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads. Recorded at The Agora, Cleveland, 1978 [Buy]
7. Drugs (Alternate Take)- Bonus Rarities & Outtakes [Buy .mp3 download*]
8. Drugs  (Live bootleg) Recorded at Sun Palace, Tokyo 1981


*An American credit card is (still) required to purchase this album, much to my chagrin.