After work last night, I drove from San Jose to Berkeley...
With the new hybrid, I watch the miles per gallon gauge closely. Intellectually I have a good idea what it takes to consistently get 40 mpg on the highway. But even if I drive in the right lane, I feel compelled to go at least 60 else I start to replay my being rear-ended this spring (even if it did finally spur me to buy a new car).
I also make good use of the GPS. For something new, I routed myself through San Lorenzo on the way to Oakland and Berkeley. Who knew San Lorenzo had a real downtown?
The usual melange of happenings in Berkeley: a Free Tibetan protest (with the Tibetan marchers carrying Tibetan flags and candles and led by someone carrying an American flag), a belligerent homeless woman, a well-dressed French family walking along the always scruffy Telegraph Avenue, someone soliciting me in the middle of the sidewalk asking if I like hip-hop (presumably to buy some), and a young panhandler calling me "father" and "pops" (and I think he meant it in a good way).
Rasputin's had the Wooden Shjips CD I was looking for.
Amoeba was particularly fine. Downstairs, it was a DJ set by Afrika Bambaataa with thirty dudes standing and watching. Upstairs in the classical music attic, they were playing opera. I wasn't enamored of either music but the juxtaposition was promising.
Finishing my tour of bookland, the new and ill-fated Cody's was having a 40% off closing sale. Alas, I ended up buying some books after all, including Gershwin: His Life and Work by Howard Pollack. Whether I will really read 800+pages of this is unclear but I feel I should since Gershwin is America's favorite semi-serious composer. Actually, what I'd really like to read is a good biography of Stephen Foster so I can learn how his life turned out so poorly in the end.
I decided to return home via San Francisco so I could see the sunset. However, I was a little late and missed the color. And as I was driving over the Bay Bridge, the fog obscured much of San Francisco starting at the Ferry Building. But by the time I got home, the sky was clear and the moon was hovering over Menlo Park.
Most importantly, I listened to Carl Stone's long Woo Lae Oak on the way up and then back. It's like a string section and Peruvian pipes meet at Drone World. Such exquisite timbre. Music from Other Minds describes the work:
Woo Lae Oak is a continuous electronic work crafted out of loops of the
sound of a rubbed string and a bottle played by blowing air over the
Taking the minimalism of say Reich and Glass into
the world of computers, these four 'songs' (lasting anywhere between
nine and twenty-four minutes) are all shifting phases and time measures
and create a hypnotic feel.
Fresh turmeric, sator beans, frogs legs with santol fruit, young
tamarind shoots and palm vinegar are just a few of the rare ingredients
that go into Southern Thai cuisine, which is full of fragrant curries,
fresh herbs and unusual vegetables.
Still, "f" possesses 13,177 legacy tracks (4423 aworks-related). As one's iTunes library grows unwieldy, one becomes cautious about moving said library. So, before making the migration, said owner will forego said Apple product for awhile and see what happens...
And what happens is Kyle Gann playing Carl Stone's Nyata on PostClassical Radio via ad-overdosed live365. Fortunately, Nyata is fifty-two minutes of interesting music between ads. (last.fm was first but the selected Messiaen stream was silent, for unspoken reasons).
Moving on to the textual world, this blogger is not a hardware guy (nor gal for that matter). But the new system does come with a "show interesting blogs" key. (Probably implememented with new-fangled FPGA accelerators). First up was:
For a minute, let us simplify the pleasures of a cultural item into three categories: experiential pleasure (how much you enjoy experiencing the work itself), social interaction (how much you enjoy talking about the work with other people), and social distinction (how much you enjoy the fact that you know the work when other people do not).
And speaking of bloggers, technology, etc., next on Gann's radio station was the gentle flute composition of blogger Lawrence Dillon ("Devotion"). For the record, said programmer Gann knows infintely more aworks than probably anyone.
Then, after FolderShare was installed, the work computer ("g") has delivered Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión Según San Marcos. What does one call "peer-to-peer" when one is on both sides of the equation?
Finally, Carly "f" Fiorina, we're gonna miss ya...
* technically, said computer was named after a major league soccer team ("chicago fire"). But, the #$%^&*() league/owners/cartel/traitors moved the beloved san jose team to texas some godforsaken state (notwithstanding the austin record convention, some in-laws, and hucbald). therefore, american divison 1 soccer is no longer acknowledged on this blog. <general mls hostility redacted>. still, in the spirit of getting along, this blog acknowledges love for la's #1 record store since it constitutes "experiential pleasure, social interaction, social distinction," and is a bay area import...
I see that composer Carl Stone has been listening to John Coltrane's A Love Supreme as played by Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin as well as music by Dumisami Muraire, Mykal Rouse, Henry Brant, Glenn Gould and others. I'm always interested in what people actually listen to. In this case, not surprisingly, it's a diverse list.
This week the BBC will announce there have been more than a million
downloads of the symphonies during the month-long scheme. But the
initiative has infuriated the bosses of leading classical record
companies who argue the offer undermines the value of music and that
any further offers would be unfair competition.
While clearly this is competition, explain to me again why it "undermines the value of music." I scan, more or less, every blog with the phrase "classical music" and I saw more interest in the BBC Beethoven downloads than any other specific classical music topic since I started, usually from bloggers who were apparently not devotees of classical music. The article goes on to quote someone from Naxos who says:
You are also leading the public to think that it is fine to download and own these files for nothing.
Oh, I see. Even though the Naxos business model torpedoes "premium" classical labels, when something threatens Naxos, it is unacceptable.
Back to Live365, the stream now reports:
Broadcast unavailable. "#1312526" is not broadcasting on our system at the moment. Please try again later.
Lack of reliable streaming is why 80% of my listening is via MP3s on my iPod. Presumably, all those Beethovem downloaders also see value in the convenience of having their own copies of the music.
Ok, let's try live365's Iridian Radio. They are playing Carl Stone's Wall Me Do followed by Autechre's Tapr. Much better. For the record, I happen to own both the Carl Stone Four Pieces and Autechre Draft 7:30 CDs, although it might take awhile for me to locate them so kudos to Iridian Radio for playing this music.
Lots of extremely interesting questions continue to be raised by the
success of our trials - from distribution to commercial policy, from
music strategies to on-demand radio, from marketing to navigation and
so on - and we're feeding a lot of the learning and creative ideas
right into the heart of the various bits of strategic and tactical BBC
work going on at the moment.
Today, I have been listening to the music of electronic composer Carl Stone. Chao Nue is a current favorite that I recommend. I recently downloaded .bitÅ (MP3) but unlike Stone's classical deconstructions/reconstructions, this one is really "out there." A short track with intermittent electronic tones of various frequencies and timbre, it is either completely abstract or else it represents the aquatic and insect life of a pond (in the manner of Brian Eno's Ambient 4: On Land). Stone collaborated with Tetse Inouye, a noted ambient experimental musician.
Postscript: This post gives me an opportunity to indulge my new-found interest in character sets and relate it the Alex Ross request for a "blögôsphère" response to names for hipper-than-thou classical ensembles. Not necessarily hip, my list of possible ensemble names aims to get pop fans to respond to art music. So here goes:
Carl and the Family Stone
The Al Hovhaness Experience
Life of Riley
The Allemande Brothers Band
Franz Ferdinand Schubert
Joan Tower of Power
The Adams Family of God
The Amy Beach Boys
Keb' Mo' Feldman
and my favorite: Crosby, Stills, Nash, and La Monte Young. (Hey, it could happen).
Apologies to all.
By the way, I suspect at least a few Led Zeppelin fans made the transition to reggae via Dread Zeppelin. And here's a Family of God MP3.