||[Nov. 30th, 2003|12:39 am]
|||||ekkehard ehlers (mäander i) / basement jaxx (kish kash)||]|
For those not following, or not following well enough, the issues involving various electronic voting systems, do so, its important. Oddly enough, there don't appear to be any serious attempts by the open source community to create alternative OS election software(s). Germany, Austrailia are opting for OS voting software, and with the recent Diebold problems, I would hope the US isn't far behind).
The midterm project I was complaining about a week or two ago went off as planned. The result was both interesting, and disappointing. It turned out my group created our piece with the 6 speaker environment in mind much more than anyone else. Thus, ours turned our rather quiet and unimpressive on its own, and was easily overwhelmed by the other 5 groups, several of whose compositions could have stood well entirely on their own. The constant cycling of the various compositions made for some interesting momentary alignments. The most impressive were usually moments of near silence, since the installation was exceedingly loud and overwhelming most of the time. I think it was a good learning experience for all: I know it was for myself, both in terms of implementing musical ideas, and technical things like using lisp.
Did anybody celebrate Buy Nothing Day on Friday? I'm pretty sure I bought myself several cups of coffee, a donut, and a burrito, and consumed every last one of them, consumed till there was nothing left but my fat materialistic belly.
I've currently been laboring on a final for a media history / theory class I'm taking. Its a pretty lame final: I won't go into details at this point. I'm struggling to keep my project focused on particular issues, rather than have it branch off in every concievable direction. I shouldn't worry too much, I suppose, most of the projects proposed by my classmates sound utterly awful.
The new Matthew Herbert record, Goodbye Swingtime, is worth a listen. It follows through on some elements that have appeared in his earlier works (especially Bodily Functions), but is much closer to the jazz end of the spectrum, along the lines of Stan Kenton perhaps. He manages his "big band" well, employing a fairly un-ironic '40s jazz band style but looking at it through a rather post-digital lens. And he deserves a medal for putting Arto Lindsay and Mouse on Mars together on a single record. His manifesto is always a magnet for debate, and as usual, it is quite unclear exactly how he thinks it's contributing to the Goodbye Swingtime project. What kind of reference is he aiming for, by using sounds recorded from his own (real, live, etc.) band, rather than a band that he has no aquaintance with at all? The political content of the album, while admirable, is also somewhat shaky:
It is in the nature of the additional sounds that I have added though, that the politics becomes embedded in the music. The conceptual back bone of the album is political literature. Throughout there are sounds taken from a number of relevant and sharply argued political texts. There is the sound of printing made by machines at my local printers. (...)
He's referring to sounds made by particular political texts (i.e. the sound of the pages being flipped). The political texts used are enumerated in the liner notes, so he does establish a link between the sounds and political ideas. However, I have trouble seeing why these links are any more interesting than my saying, for example, the round block denotes The Communist Manifesto, and the square block denotes Manufacturing Consent, and then setting the blocks down and leaving the room. Perhaps this is all there is to it, or perhaps I am not looking deep enough.