Sunday, January 10, 2021

David Bowie: Five Years

It's been five years since Bowie passed away. I had never considered that there wouldn't be a year without him, when I wouldn't have the joy of wondering if he'd release any music, and if it would be any good.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

2020: Releases and Productions

Everything considered, 2020 was a productive year for me. I released two albums of compositions, one long improvisation, two music videos, and contributions to several compilations. This post summarises these nine releases, with listening/watching links.

Monday, January 04, 2021

2020: Pandemic in Review

I teach at the University of Limerick and have a duty of care to my students. At the beginning of 2020 I started hearing about a new virus from China. Students returning from Christmas break were self-isolating and wearing masks where before they weren't. By the end of February I began searching for reports from Chinese researchers. These had been immediately translated to English and published in newspapers for the widest possible dissemination.

For this reason I was the first in my department to signal the arrival of COVID-19, the first to develop strategies (both personal and teaching), and the first to remove myself from campus. At the risk of crying wolf, I encouraged a pro-active approach.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Dictionary of Musical Terms

Time for a little levity, so I went back into my files (thousands of unpublished articles) and discovered this... have fun adding your own terms!

Dictionary of Musical Terms

a cappella: smoke break for the accompaniment

a niente: future income forecast for students of composition

adagietto: fairly slowly but not that slowly, come on now, a little faster, do you think we have all day?

Friday, October 30, 2020

On Corbyn, smear campaigns, and journalism


You may have noticed, even if you care little for the politics of the UK, that Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party. That's a party he joined at age 16, has been active in for 55 years, and recently led in an election highlighted by outright lies from the Tory party, combined with a smear-filled campaign of hate directed at his rational and measured policies. In this, the mainstream media were completely complicit.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

DaVinci Resolve resource hub

I have been working with DaVinci Resolve for some time now, and I must say it has completely changed my video world. Media management, transcoding, timeline editing, animation, effects, colour grading... it seems to do just about everything. Furthermore, it's changed how I teach video, since it lowers the bar of entry to a professional-level feature set. When I recommend it to artists, it blows their minds. When I teach it to my students, they are empowered to do their best work.

However, like other professional video applications, Resolve is complex. I have a series of tutorials ready for publication, and will use this page as a launch pad for these videos.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

On Releasing Music: My Advice As Label Owner

I have a "record label," if that's what they are still called. As curator of Stolen Mirror, I consult with artistists on what to release and how best to do this. Many times, nothing gets released at all, but perhaps the process is still useful.

When an album does result, it's because I've creating graphics, written marketing material, created a unified image, and performed the tedious tasks of uploading files and submitting publishing information.

There is no way to make money from distributing music. Instead, I treat my label as an act of friendship with my artists. I release music after a significant investment of time, with no hope of returns, because I want to see their sounds get more exposure.

I also give advice, hard-worn from the many years I've been on the strange peripheries of radio, live music, and production. Let me share this advice here.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Computer ports: making sense of USB and Thunderbolt

Do you want to know how to connect an older peripheral to your computer? Are you confused by how Thunderbolt relates to USB-C? This tech article is designed to shed light on this acronym-ridden realm.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a series of standards that govern how peripherals (external drives, phones, printers, pointing devices, etc.) will connect to a host (computer, gaming console, etc.). USB consists of two distinct parts. The first part of the specification consists of numbered protocols that indicate the available features and transfer speeds. The second part consists of lettered standards specifying the physical ports.
Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Defund the Police: Five Steps to Peace

In this article I will explain what the slogan "defund the police" means. These points largely align with Campaign Zero, which provides a massive, detailed body of research to back up these claims. However, I have chosen to emphasise five points in a different order and manner than that organisation.

These points are made largely within the context of the USA and the Black Lives Matter movement. My personal experience with police forces in that country is limited but certainly not reassuring. It's important to note that many, though not all, of the points made about policing in the USA are relevant to other countries. As in other spheres, the Usonian situation acts as a warning of where dangerous ideologies can lead, a limit case if you will.
Monday, June 08, 2020

On the shaming of protestors

In the last few days I have read dozens, if not hundreds, of posts in newspaper comment streams and social media complaining about protesters. The argument is the same. We are not supposed to assemble in light of the current pandemic. So those who do gather for protest and demonstrations -- as they have in Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, and elsewhere around Ireland -- are violating the rules. Shame on them!

If you want evidence, merely wade into the cesspit that is the comments section of the Limerick Leader. (I will not provide a link nor drive revenue to their site.) Here you will find people parroting the racist line "All lives matter", calling protesters "trouble makers," "idiots," "stupid," etc.