Monday, 30 March 2009

A Coming Paradigm Shift in (Online) Music


FA├čCINATED: "For starters, it seems to me that over the course of history very little of what we now think of as great music was produced specifically because the people making it were concerned about making the music a commercial success"
I know many of you have heard me say nearly this verbatim, and I know many who have rolled their eyes at it, but here it is, proof of the existence of at least two others out there who share my "naturally unpopular but important" point of view.
I'll go one farther too, and point out that all of the musics now considered marketably popular, be that hip-hop or baroque, bebop or troubadour, without exception all genres were pioneered by people who weren't in it for the money, and only later appropriated and exploited by the unimaginatives who were. Yes, I know, that's a pretty strong generalization, but I am open to any spectacular counter-examples.

A Coming Paradigm Shift in (Online) Music

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FA??CINATED: "For starters, it seems to me that over the course of history very little of what we now think of as great music was produced specifically because the people making it were concerned about making the music a commercial success"
I know many of you have heard me say nearly this verbatim, and I know many who have rolled their eyes at it, but here it is, proof of the existence of at least two others out there who share my "naturally unpopular but important" point of view.
I'll go one farther too, and point out that all of the musics now considered marketably popular, be that hip-hop or baroque, bebop or troubadour, without exception all genres were pioneered by people who weren't in it for the money, and only later appropriated and exploited by the unimaginatives who were. Yes, I know, that's a pretty strong generalization, but I am open to any spectacular counter-examples.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Monday, 16 March 2009

Musicians' brains keep time--with one another

Scientific American Blog: "The synchrony was most prominent in the frontal and central parts of the brain that regulate motor function. 'Whenever synchrony of behavior was high, synchrony of brain waves were also high,' Ulman Lindenberger, a director the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, tells ScientificAmerican.com. But, 'we can't assign a causal role to that synchronizing.'

While brain synchrony during a duet seems like a given, it's a mystery how it happens, says Lindenberger, a psychologist. 'One could speculate that this may be related to mirror neurons, the capacity of primates and humans to imagine the action of the other person while performing actions yourself,' he says. 'The mirror neuron system could be active during synchronized guitar playing.'

Lindenberger says that inter-brain synchrony may also help explain humans' ability to engage in a host of other activities and behaviors that involve couples or teams, such as dancing, boxing, tennis and mother-child bonding. 'People have an extraordinary capacity to synchronize their actions,' he says. 'When two people concentrate on the same thing, gestures and head movements are highly coordinated and supported by brain synchronicity. We think what we are getting through music has wider implications and social bonding behaviors are part of those wider implications.'"
A further implication: the sum energy of adding waves increases as the square of the number of sources when the sources are in phase, which is to say when they are synchronized, yes, but also when those sources are proximally co-located, say, for example, on a small live stage. This seems a very strong case against any equivalence of sound and the subjective qualia of music, a myth that lead us to multitrack recording and replacing live musicians with pre-recorded sound as if they were the same; the broadcast psychic energy-wave of the canned and asynchronous performances simply could not gain anywhere near the same intensity as the living sound.

Musicians' brains keep time--with one another

Scientific American Blog: "The synchrony was most prominent in the frontal and central parts of the brain that regulate motor function. 'Whenever synchrony of behavior was high, synchrony of brain waves were also high,' Ulman Lindenberger, a director the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, tells ScientificAmerican.com. But, 'we can't assign a causal role to that synchronizing.'
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While brain synchrony during a duet seems like a given, it's a mystery how it happens, says Lindenberger, a psychologist. 'One could speculate that this may be related to mirror neurons, the capacity of primates and humans to imagine the action of the other person while performing actions yourself,' he says. 'The mirror neuron system could be active during synchronized guitar playing.'

Lindenberger says that inter-brain synchrony may also help explain humans' ability to engage in a host of other activities and behaviors that involve couples or teams, such as dancing, boxing, tennis and mother-child bonding. 'People have an extraordinary capacity to synchronize their actions,' he says. 'When two people concentrate on the same thing, gestures and head movements are highly coordinated and supported by brain synchronicity. We think what we are getting through music has wider implications and social bonding behaviors are part of those wider implications.'"

A further implication: the sum energy of adding waves increases as the square of the number of sources when the sources are in phase, which is to say when they are synchronized, yes, but also when those sources are proximally co-located, say, for example, on a small live stage. This seems a very strong case against any equivalence of sound and the subjective qualia of music, a myth that lead us to multitrack recording and replacing live musicians with pre-recorded sound as if they were the same; the broadcast psychic energy-wave of the canned and asynchronous performances simply could not gain anywhere near the same intensity as the living sound.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Canadian government eyes open source


Canadian government eyes open source, asks for feedback - Ars Technica: "The government of Canada has issued an official Request For Information (RFI) on open source software and is looking for feedback and public guidance to help shape procurement policies. This move could be a prelude to broader adoption of free and open source software in the Canadian government's IT infrastructure."
The language used in the RFI makes it pretty clear that cost reduction is priority number one. It uses the broad term "NO CHARGE LICENSED SOFTWARE", which it defines as software that is open source or available at no cost. According to the RFI, Canada is exploring no-cost software options on the desktop as well as the server, in categories that include operating systems, office suites, and automation systems.
The RFI closed February 19, 2009, which means, like Copyright Reform, it likely safely escaped all detection (apparently CLUE missed it!). Which is probably just as well as the official Request Document really doesn't read like the Feds were eager to be good neighbour eager community participants in software, only just what we in the free-software world affectionately call leeches looking to save a buck. Nonetheless there was also the bit about new custom software being opensource (to taxpayers?) which mirrors what I had done with Bell Canada and the CBC back in the middle 90's, and given what's happening in France is it only a matter of time before the needs of their pocketbooks take sway over the wants of their pride.

Canadian government eyes open source

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Canadian government eyes open source, asks for feedback - Ars Technica: "The government of Canada has issued an official Request For Information (RFI) on open source software and is looking for feedback and public guidance to help shape procurement policies. This move could be a prelude to broader adoption of free and open source software in the Canadian government's IT infrastructure."
The language used in the RFI makes it pretty clear that cost reduction is priority number one. It uses the broad term "NO CHARGE LICENSED SOFTWARE", which it defines as software that is open source or available at no cost. According to the RFI, Canada is exploring no-cost software options on the desktop as well as the server, in categories that include operating systems, office suites, and automation systems.
The RFI closed February 19, 2009, which means, like Copyright Reform, it likely safely escaped all detection (apparently CLUE missed it!). Which is probably just as well as the official Request Document really doesn't read like the Feds were eager to be good neighbour eager community participants in software, only just what we in the free-software world affectionately call leeches looking to save a buck. Nonetheless there was also the bit about new custom software being opensource (to taxpayers?) which mirrors what I had done with Bell Canada and the CBC back in the middle 90's, and given what's happening in France is it only a matter of time before the needs of their pocketbooks take sway over the wants of their pride.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Libertango

So why would you want to put what you do on YouTube and give it away for free? You might want to ask Argentinia's Josefina Scaglione and how she got from Buenos Aries to be currently cast by Arthur Laurents as Maria in his latest production of West Side Story:


From the Wall Street Journal's article on January 9, 2009:

"She has this incredible, ineffable something," the director says. "She's trained as an opera singer, she's trained as a ballet dancer and she's trained as an actress. It's unbelievable in somebody that young."

This is the video that led to her discovery.

Making ads more interesting


Official Google Blog: Making ads more interesting: "ads are a valuable source of information — one that can connect people to the advertisers offering products, services and ideas that interest them. By making ads more relevant, and improving the connection between advertisers and our users, we can create more value for everyone. Users get more useful ads, and these more relevant ads generate higher returns for advertisers and publishers."
what this also means is now your experience of any given website's advertising will now become different from my experience on the same site; the adverts we'll see will still be driven by that site's content, but now become influenced by our respective surfing behaviours as tracked by the adsense we've seen elsewhere.

on the privacy side, no, Google isn't keeping track of where your cookie has been, but if you've gone on a binge of watching websites on how to separate U232 by whirling a bucket of Uranium slop, be aware that shadows of that interest might be detectable in the Visit Afghanistan! adverts your local MI5 agents will find when they check out your laptop.

to peek at and maybe pro-actively tweak what Google thinks you're like, you can visit your Adsense Manager and edit your cookie.

Libertango

So why would you want to put what you do on YouTube and give it away for free? You might want to ask Argentinia's Josefina Scaglione and how she got from Buenos Aries to be currently cast by Arthur Laurents as Maria in his latest production of West Side Story:

From the Wall Street Journal's article on January 9, 2009:

"She has this incredible, ineffable something," the director says. "She's trained as an opera singer, she's trained as a ballet dancer and she's trained as an actress. It's unbelievable in somebody that young."

This is the video that led to her discovery.

Making ads more interesting

Media_httpwwwgooglecomadspreferencesimagesabgpnghlen_gqyoqfgeoctjxjg

Official Google Blog: Making ads more interesting: "ads are a valuable source of information ??? one that can connect people to the advertisers offering products, services and ideas that interest them. By making ads more relevant, and improving the connection between advertisers and our users, we can create more value for everyone. Users get more useful ads, and these more relevant ads generate higher returns for advertisers and publishers."
what this also means is now your experience of any given website's advertising will now become different from my experience on the same site; the adverts we'll see will still be driven by that site's content, but now become influenced by our respective surfing behaviours as tracked by the adsense we've seen elsewhere.

on the privacy side, no, Google isn't keeping track of where your cookie has been, but if you've gone on a binge of watching websites on how to separate U232 by whirling a bucket of Uranium slop, be aware that shadows of that interest might be detectable in the Visit Afghanistan! adverts your local MI5 agents will find when they check out your laptop.


to peek at and maybe pro-actively tweak what Google thinks you're like, you can visit your Adsense Manager and edit your cookie.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The Brain Beautiful


TeledyN: "The objective is fine of itself, to work to be better tomorrow than one was today, to work to keep mentally acute and fit, to stay mentally agile and so save others the need to dote and care over your advancing years, or even so as to ensure the peak condition and progressive cognitive development for growing minds, from 8 to 80 as the boardgames used to say:
Participants play fitness games for about an hour per day on a computer, training their brains to react to certain stimuli faster, thereby speeding up the process of when nerve cells talk to each other.
[ Reality Sandwich | Brain Workout ]

But dig, before you shell-out the subscriber fee for your ticket to ├╝bermench-hood, I want you to know something: there is something very very wrong here, fundamentally wrong, epidemically wrong, culturally wrong, and needlessly wrong, and I'll tell you what it is ..."
And so begins the case for trading the suduko pads and Wii stations on a brand spankin' new clarinet, and why we should care. A re-tweet of a year-old post prompted by MooCow and VinylGirl who regrettably said they liked it; they should know by now, you shouldn't encourage me.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Brain Beautiful

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TeledyN: "The objective is fine of itself, to work to be better tomorrow than one was today, to work to keep mentally acute and fit, to stay mentally agile and so save others the need to dote and care over your advancing years, or even so as to ensure the peak condition and progressive cognitive development for growing minds, from 8 to 80 as the boardgames used to say:
Participants play fitness games for about an hour per day on a computer, training their brains to react to certain stimuli faster, thereby speeding up the process of when nerve cells talk to each other.
[ Reality Sandwich | Brain Workout ]

But dig, before you shell-out the subscriber fee for your ticket to ??bermench-hood, I want you to know something: there is something very very wrong here, fundamentally wrong, epidemically wrong, culturally wrong, and needlessly wrong, and I'll tell you what it is ..."
And so begins the case for trading the suduko pads and Wii stations on a brand spankin' new clarinet, and why we should care. A re-tweet of a year-old post prompted by MooCow and VinylGirl who regrettably said they liked it; they should know by now, you shouldn't encourage me.

The Brain Beautiful

Media_httpwwwearthhennacommcimagescategory0navgirlsbackgif_eyucaimzbegnfio

TeledyN: "The objective is fine of itself, to work to be better tomorrow than one was today, to work to keep mentally acute and fit, to stay mentally agile and so save others the need to dote and care over your advancing years, or even so as to ensure the peak condition and progressive cognitive development for growing minds, from 8 to 80 as the boardgames used to say:
Participants play fitness games for about an hour per day on a computer, training their brains to react to certain stimuli faster, thereby speeding up the process of when nerve cells talk to each other.
[ Reality Sandwich | Brain Workout ]

But dig, before you shell-out the subscriber fee for your ticket to ??bermench-hood, I want you to know something: there is something very very wrong here, fundamentally wrong, epidemically wrong, culturally wrong, and needlessly wrong, and I'll tell you what it is ..."
And so begins the case for trading the suduko pads and Wii stations on a brand spankin' new clarinet, and why we should care. A re-tweet of a year-old post prompted by MooCow and VinylGirl who regrettably said they liked it; they should know by now, you shouldn't encourage me.

Monday, 9 March 2009

The Obama Song Project

Weebly Site: "Her principal had given her two periods free from teaching to complete the project. She brought her iMac to work and set up a makeshift studio in her English office. By makeshift, she means she put her computer on her desk and plugged it in. There were no external microphones, mixing boards or audio interfaces. There weren't even earphones with a long enough cord to stand away from the computer (a student would lend her earphones later in the day -- the black ones seen in the video).

An announcement was made in the morning for singers to stop by the office throughout the day. Slowly but surely, students popped their heads in and started to sing. Weston is a school with 1300 students, so the odds of not knowing a student are higher than the odds of knowing. Some, Ms.Price knew by name; others, she was meeting for the first time.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--DcTM0GmRA&hl=en&fs=1]
Somehow, between the ringing of bells, making of announcements and daily interruptions, the song became whole."
Every year at Weston [Collegiate Institute in Toronto] , the African Canadian Leadership Committee, or ACLC (led by Chris Reid) organizes an assembly to celebrate Black History Month.

Every year Ms.Price-Farago, an English teacher at Weston, creates a video to open this assembly. This year's video broke the mold with the help of seventeen talented students who loaned their voices to heighten Obama's words.

The Obama Song Project

Weebly Site: "Her principal had given her two periods free from teaching to complete the project. She brought her iMac to work and set up a makeshift studio in her English office. By makeshift, she means she put her computer on her desk and plugged it in. There were no external microphones, mixing boards or audio interfaces. There weren't even earphones with a long enough cord to stand away from the computer (a student would lend her earphones later in the day -- the black ones seen in the video).

An announcement was made in the morning for singers to stop by the office throughout the day. Slowly but surely, students popped their heads in and started to sing. Weston is a school with 1300 students, so the odds of not knowing a student are higher than the odds of knowing. Some, Ms.Price knew by name; others, she was meeting for the first time.

Somehow, between the ringing of bells, making of announcements and daily interruptions, the song became whole."

Every year at Weston [Collegiate Institute in Toronto] , the African Canadian Leadership Committee, or ACLC (led by Chris Reid) organizes an assembly to celebrate Black History Month.

Every year Ms.Price-Farago, an English teacher at Weston, creates a video to open this assembly. This year's video broke the mold with the help of seventeen talented students who loaned their voices to heighten Obama's words.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

East isn't East and West isn't West


The cognitive fallacy of East is East and West is West: MindHacks review of Ed Yong's article in New Scientist which suggests that Kipling's twains of East vs West never existed in the first place
"Even more surprisingly, the article describes how these same cognitive tendencies are malleable - they can be changed in individuals by simply priming them with individualistic or collectivist concepts.

The article is a thought-provoking challenge to the East - West psychological stereotypes common in both the popular press and the scientific literature"

East isn't East and West isn't West


The cognitive fallacy of East is East and West is West: MindHacks review of Ed Yong's article in New Scientist which suggests that Kipling's twains of East vs West never existed in the first place
"Even more surprisingly, the article describes how these same cognitive tendencies are malleable - they can be changed in individuals by simply priming them with individualistic or collectivist concepts.

The article is a thought-provoking challenge to the East - West psychological stereotypes common in both the popular press and the scientific literature"

mirror mirror

The Japanese Spider-Man

You Really Haven't Lived Until You Have Seen The Japanese Spider-Man TV Show: "In this series, Spider-Man isn't some geeky, science loving, newspaper photographer, named Peter Parker. Oh no, he is a bad ass motorcycle racer named Takuya Yamashiro.

In true Japanese fashion, this Spider-Man doesn't waste his time taking on light-weights like 'The Vulture' or 'Doctor Octopus.' Japanese Spidey fights giant monsters with the aide of his 'Voltron-like' robot from space."
This explains a great deal about all those strange techie-vehicle Spiderman toys we see in the Wal-Marts.

mirror mirror

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The Japanese Spider-Man

You Really Haven't Lived Until You Have Seen The Japanese Spider-Man TV Show: "In this series, Spider-Man isn't some geeky, science loving, newspaper photographer, named Peter Parker. Oh no, he is a bad ass motorcycle racer named Takuya Yamashiro.

In true Japanese fashion, this Spider-Man doesn't waste his time taking on light-weights like 'The Vulture' or 'Doctor Octopus.' Japanese Spidey fights giant monsters with the aide of his 'Voltron-like' robot from space."
This explains a great deal about all those strange techie-vehicle Spiderman toys we see in the Wal-Marts.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Terry McBride on DRM


Rollo & Grady - Los Angeles Music Blog: Interviewing Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk Music Group - "I didn’t see any purpose in locking down files; it made no sense to me. People have always been sharing music. Why would I want to stop them? Why would I want to tell them what to do? The way to win was to get them to support my artists, not to force them to do it a certain way. I know I wouldn’t like anyone telling me that."
“The future of music isn’t selling records. It’s selling music in every form imaginable.” As a result, he shifted the company’s focus to the Internet and digital distribution in order to market his clients’ music. Those changes have paid off.

Terry McBride on DRM

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Rollo & Grady - Los Angeles Music Blog: Interviewing Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk Music Group - "I didn???t see any purpose in locking down files; it made no sense to me. People have always been sharing music. Why would I want to stop them? Why would I want to tell them what to do? The way to win was to get them to support my artists, not to force them to do it a certain way. I know I wouldn???t like anyone telling me that."
???The future of music isn???t selling records. It???s selling music in every form imaginable.??? As a result, he shifted the company???s focus to the Internet and digital distribution in order to market his clients??? music. Those changes have paid off.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Tone Scientists

"In the half-between world,
Dwell they: The Tone Scientists
In notes and tone
They speak of many things...
The tone scientists:
Architects of planes of discipline
Mathematically precise are they:
The tone-scientists"

The Tone Scientists

"In the half-between world,
Dwell they: The Tone Scientists
In notes and tone
They speak of many things...
The tone scientists:
Architects of planes of discipline
Mathematically precise are they:
The tone-scientists"