RPM 2012 ended pretty well for me. I got 35 minutes of sound made, anyway, and tried out a number of new techniques and ideas. It's all available on my audio page.
According to last.fm, my top twelve played artists (with number of plays) are:
- Sufjan Stevens - 199
- Esplendor Geométrico - 161
- The Mountain Goats - 150
- Einstürzende Neubauten - 134
- Steve Reich - 85
- Iron & Wine - 84
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - 74
- They Might Be Giants - 62
- Buzzcocks - 62
- The Velvet Underground - 61
- Ed's Redeeming Qualities - 57
- Negativland - 45
- Matthew Conroy - 45
- Yann Tiersen - 41
- Jürgen Knieper - 39
Funny to see myself on the list. I had to check out my RPM Challenge tracks a lot. I've got a lot more Esplendor Geometrico this year. Sufjan Stevens and Iron & Wine were most of my exam grading playlist this year; I listened to a small number of their tracks over and over while grading. It seems somehow better than listening to a wider variety.
Compare it to last year.
Music I've listened to this year, by artist and number of plays.
|1||The Mountain Goats||370|
|4||Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds||124|
|5||Iron & Wine||114|
|11||Neutral Milk Hotel||66|
I listen to a lot of music when grading or doing the dishes. When grading especially, I can listen to the same tracks over and over again, which is why Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens are so high: I made a short playlist of some of their tracks and played it over and over again while grading this quarter.
The list doesn't exactly match with how much time I spent listening to these artists, since the average track lengths are rather unequal, especially for Philip Glass and Steve Reich, whose average track lengths in my library are about 8 minutes, while for The Mountain Goats the average is less than 3. Still, I think The Mountain Goats would come out on top.
At Church of Brunch today, I went back to my old oatmeal-eating ways.
It was good. Afterwards, we walked from our brunch location (Julia's on Broadway) to Everyday Music, where lately I've always found something to buy. Today I got two CDs: The Mountain Goats We Shall All Be Healed and Einsturzende Neubauten's Kalte Sterne. Both came out in 2004, it seems, though Kalte Sterne is a compilation of various early "pre-Kollaps" recordings. I like both my purchases quite well.
Since one can check this sort of thing so easily these days, I note that I have more music by Einsturzende Neubauten than any other band or artist: I have 145 tracks totaling 10.6 hours of material. Second is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 101 tracks totaling 8.4 hours.
For some reason, I thought I'd do the RPM '08 Challenge, to try to force myself to do more audio experimenting. So far, I've managed one track: it's on my profile. It's generated with Csound and Perl scripts. I finally got around to writing a perl script that could look in a directory for samples, and create a csound orchestra file with one instrument for each sample. This makes it much less tedious to add samples to a piece.
In this track, I was going for a kind of Steve Reich/Esplendor Geometrico gradually changing tempre/rhythm kind of thing. I think it came out okay, but since it's all the product of code, it is permanently tweakable. Let me know what you think if you get a chance.
I'm trying to improve my soldering skills, so I can build electronic things.
In particular, I want to build this headphone distribution amplifier kit which Jenni gave me
for my birthday. But, it's so expensive, and reasonably complicated so I didn't think
my soldering skills were up to the job. So, I bought two brand new soldering irons (including a nice 15 watt Weller soldering pencil, which seems to be just perfect for this kind of work) and a nice iron holder. I also bought this kit and managed to build it into a working "fuzz box". It looks like this:
And it sounds like this (recorded with it directly connected to my laptop via a PreSonus Firebox). Which isn't too bad considering how simple it is. I was actually hoping it would sound "worse", i.e., even more fuzzy. I haven't decided whether I'll keep the thing; if I do, I'll certainly need to put it in a case.
In other news, PHO is getting national airtime on Free Speech TV! Check out the schedule: we're all over the place! If you catch any PHO on FSTV, do let me know. One of my pieces (Bless Your Car With Love) is showing on Christmas!