It begins with a juddering of a window being buffeted in the wind, and then we are sucked out into a squall, wind swirling about us. To lock out the gale we slam doors closed, slide bolts on their supports, and latch squeaky shutters. Thunderous impacts alternate with the howling gale in a procession of inside/outside, far/near, dissipation/intensification.
Literally and figuratively "Bourrasques" is an opening. It's a stunning way to commence Matins d'Ariège, a new release by Stéphane Marin. For two years Marin gathered sounds in the village of Fabas, embedded in the Pyrénnées Ariégeoises region of France, using mostly binaural and contact microphones.
My last article assumed quite a lot about the reader's knowledge regarding the Eurozone Crisis. It at least took for granted that the reader's attentive intellect had pierced the veil of propaganda surrounding this issue. Here I collect supplementary references. This is for those who still need convincing, or for those who want a handy place to send others.
Since this is a current event, the information is time-sensitive. Already it is in the past. Or at least it is framed that way by a news media that hops from one crisis to another. But the situation continues; people have to live with it. And the forces that generated this crisis are still at play. The same will be done again.
Here are the results of a microphone test I performed with some compact electrets and my small Olympus recorder. Read on for a description of the test. Download the files (link near the end) so you can reach your own conclusions. I trust this will be of value for those making similar decisions.
The UK has been doomed since the Second World War, which the country lost to the USA. Recall that rationing only formally ended in 1954, and had repercussions far after. (See "Government Cheddar" for an intriguing history.) The country now has no basic industry or sustainable means of economic existence, instead relying on two mechanisms for survival. It is these that define the contemporary "empire".
Sonic Vigil is a group durational improvisation, held annually in Cork. See my last post for a list of the organisers and this year's participants (some of whom I will picture here). In this article I will describe my approach to improvisation in general, and this event in particular. This will lead into technical discussions to be posted later.
Saturday last saw an incredible crew of musicians and sound artists gather in Cork, for the ninth annual Sonic Vigil. This six hour event is scheduled by a computer programme, so that every musician plays for a total of one hour, but doesn't know in advance who will be playing with them. Attentive listening and great sensitivity in sound production is required for this to work in any way, shape, or form.
So I turned to Python. Because if I write my own code I can trust it to do exactly what I wish, no more, no less. And so memories of Paul's first Python programme came flooding back... ah, sweet nostalgia! If you have no idea what I am talking about here, read Sunday's article. In it, I presented the minimal four line Python snippet that sends email. In this article I will develop that core into a fully-functional command-line application.
If I think through all of the technologies that have made my life easier and better, the first one that comes to mind is, quite naturally, the Internet. The second is Python, created by Guido van Rossum. Allow me to reminisce for a moment.
Simon Whetham is a sound artist whose work covers a wide range of activities, from installations to compositions to workshops. For a long time now I've avoided hearing much of his music, perhaps because I always had a feeling that it might be uncannily close to my own work. But now, following on the solar eclipse, it seems somehow appropriate to share my review of this particular excellent release.
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