Family


So first a little housekeeping. Sorry I’ve been a little lax on posting things here. Been busy and, besides, microblogging (see Twitter feed) is more up my alley (haiku is my favorite poetry form). On the subject of music, which this post will concern itself with, I should point out a few things:

  • My radio show isn’t dead, just been busy. That, and I’m waiting on Mixxx to fix the bug with my microphone so I can use voice over. But that’s really an excuse. I’ve been planning on doing another show, for weeks. So I have lots of fodder for it. Also been thinking about doing a noise show.
  • This year, my friend Jon 7 aka President Blair who runs the Timetheory netlabel and subsequently released my first noise album as Brownian Motion, started a project called The ERNIE 4 and played a couple local shows. In the spirit of Future Sound Of London’s “ISDN,” we did a little “tour” via Icecast. As the year is drawing to a close, we should be releasing the archives of this year’s tour soon. Keep an eye out.
  • Also keep an eye out for the second Brownian Motion, More Culture Than A Pint Of Probiotics, soon to come from Bleak netlabel.
  • The biggest show The ERNIE 4 had the delight in playing was with noisers from across the country at the 2011 Eugene Noise Fest. It was a lot of fun and we had an opportunity to test out some new equipment which worked out really well. We released the rather short set for free which you can find here.

On that latter point, I had finally decided to put Linux on my G4 Mac. It worked, but I wasn’t totally satisfied. After mucking around with it quite a bit, I realized how I could make an old Thinkpad R60 do the trick. Merely days before. I got Lubuntu, JACK, Pure Data, JACK-Rack, Patchage, and a bunch of LADSPA plugins set up. I brought a contact mic along for fun. The flexibility it offered, especially via Jack, was awesome. Best of all, Patchage made virtual cabling super easy. I was able to run multiple inputs any which way I want. Through this process, I got Jon interested in pd and he used it, too.

The more I contemplated this the more excited I got: I had a completely free system. By this I mean not that I got the computer without cost (this is not about money), but that my entire set up, down to the operating system, was entirely open source. Free for anyone to investigate, distribute and modify. Why is this important?

There’s a reason why I’m so adamant about Creative Commons licensing with my work (including my radio show). It’s the same reason why I’m so adamant about using freeware. I don’t believe information should be “owned.” It’s like Monsanto trying to patent DNA. There is only one goal from this– greed. Music should be about your passion to make it. Not greed. If you want to be greedy, go be an investment banker. I do believe that artists deserve recognition for their works and I do believe that artists have the right to profit from their works, even make lots of money from them. When you make it only about profit, however, then you are, in my opinion, not art, you are simply another commercial juggernaut. Go make jingles for McDonald’s.

There is that phrase: if you love something, set it free.

Meanwhile, I became a member of Hal McGee‘s Contact Group of Homemade Experimental Electronic Music and Noise on Facebook. I missed an option to add a track to his recent compilation series of 60 second tracks. In the process of discussing this and lamenting that there were some missed opportunities, it was brought up that the group was about the free change of ideas, not about the compilation. The gauntlet was thrown down.

So I picked it up and offered an idea of my own: a free electronics compilation. Made with free software, distributed in a free format, with a free license, offered through a free host, and released for free. By all of those except the latter, I meant free as in speech, not beer (i.e. not about money). This led to some lively discussion and ultimately some decisions were made:

  • Contributions are open. Anyone, Contact Group member or not, can contribute.
  • There are no limits on genre or genres. Doesn’t just have to be noise.
  • There are no limits on time. Doesn’t have to be 60 seconds. It can be. Doesn’t have to.
  • Deadline is January 1. February 1.
  • Release will be offered through Bandcamp (technically not free, but their API is freely available). Reason is that we can offer it for “name your own price”which means it’s free as in beer if you want it to be, but if you want to contribute, great. The money will be equally split between all the software projects used.
  • More specifically, it will be released on my own Bandcamp page under the “Brownian eMotions” label. Cuz it’s funny.
  • Must use free software.
  • Must use a free format. MP3 is not free and, besides, we need lossless to make Bandcamp work. I highly recommend FLAC because it is free and lossless and compressed, which makes distribution easier. Other alternatives are WAV and AIFF, but they were originally proprietary formats developed by IBM/Microsoft and Apple, respectively. In general, these should not have licenses or patents, but there are some patents on some extensions, so it may be difficult to be certain that you’re using a free version. FLAC is definitively free.
  • Contributions can be made available any which way you want: file sharing services, email, etc. Leave a comment here with how you’d like to do it and I’ll email you back with the necessary information.
  • Remember, this is free as in speech. Open source. We’re not talking about price. If you stole Fruityloops off of some Torrent site, that’s not the free we’re talking about.
  • It is highly preferable, but not necessary, to use a free operating system. Windows and OS X are not free.
  • Also preferable, but not necessary, is the use of open source hardware. If you want to use your guitar, go for it. But if you want to make an electronics project out of this, knock yourself out.
  • For many people, this will be a dramatic change. It’s meant to challenge you. Try something new. I WILL be happy to answer technical questions.
  • All tracks will be licensed with a by-nc-sa license which allows users to remix and share the track given that re-use or re-distribution is non-commercial, that the original is attributed, and that the new work or distribution is similarly licensed.

That being said, we already have some takers. As I hear from more people I will add them to this list. Here goes:

  1. Travis Johnson (track received)
  2. Jack Hertz
  3. Nuno Maltez
  4. Ronny Wærnes (track received)
  5. Post-Avantist (track received)
  6. Herv
  7. Halluciphile (track received)
  8. Antiquematter
  9. President Blair (track received)
  10. The Cheshire Dragon (track received)
  11. Centrescape
  12. Ganglion Cyst (track received)
  13. Hobo Liked Gnomix (track received)
  14. hiyohiyoipseniyo (track received)
  15. Astrometria (track received)
  16. Hollywood Video Game Kill-Bot (track received)
  17. d0x10 (track received)
  18. Lackthrow
  19. RJ Myato
  20. I Died (track received)
  21. John Dunlap (track received)
  22. Nick Bailey (track received)
  23. Elizabeth Veldon (track received)
  24. Pulsewidth (track received)
  25. Carl Kruger (track received)
  26. Somnaphon (track received)
  27. The Implicit Order (track received)
  28. Shaun Sandor (track received)
  29. Marax (track received)
  30. The Last Thing I Said To You Was (track received)
  31. Loopool (track received)
  32. noish (track received)
  33. Jukka-Pekka Kervinen (track received)
  34. Arvo Zylo (track received)
  35. Brownian Motion (track received)
  36. The ERNIE 4 (track received)
  37. Precocious Mouse

So get out there, make some noise, and spread the word. Bonus points if your piece is on the subject of freedom :)

P.S. This post has been done by email so if it sucks, blame WordPress. :)

Update 29 December 2011: make sure to read the comments for some further clarifications.

Update 2 February 2012: A few loose ends left in bold. Revised to include all previous candidate contributors. I struckout the ones who either I lost contact with or who said that for whatever reason they couldn’t contribute. This is mostly for my own desire to document. There may be a volume 2 and 3… Meanwhile, expect this out relatively soon. I’m aiming for mid-February, probably consistent with the release of the new Brownian Motion.

Update 14 Febuary 2012: Come get it!

Flying by Christina LapchynskiMy lovely wife, Christina Lapchynski, has been an artist since she was a little kid. She recently decided to go to school to study. One of her classes, on 3-D design, has been challenging her to try new media. Her unique vision continues to shine through despite this difficulty, as you can see in this work, “Flying” which is a static sculpture that has a moving element (the front wheel). In this sense, it not only implies motion but has motion. Please check out (and comment on!) her other works on her new blog, “arousing the inner child.”

As an aside, we went to a show of Kenneth O’Connell‘s work at DIVA recently. Christina was really excited about this because they both work with Copic markers. When we were there, we bumped into ex-customer service guy Hugh Larkin & his wife Sandy (who has some great art herself). Turns out they took one of Ken’s classes on a trip to Italy. Small world! Ken’s stuff is INCREDIBLE, by the way. He takes sketching and elevates it to a whole new level.

The wrong dessert to get me for my birthday: Bacon Burger Pie

The wrong dessert to get me for my birthday: Bacon Burger Pie

Yep, it’s my birthday tomorrow (thanks for the early wishes, everyone!). My honey ain’t feeling too hot so I probably won’t have a cake, so if you want to stop at Sweet Life and grab a Vegan Tiramisu or something, that would be cool. While you’re at it, a Vegan Chef’s Choice from Pizza Research Institute and some Oakshire beer, maybe the Vit or Duck Billed Platypus or the Ill Tempered Gnome, would go down quite well, too.

If you really want to splurge, get me a gift certificate at Best Buy (I probably would have said Frys but they’re not local and I’ve already got some old gift certificates at Best Buy). I can use it to get another external hard drive for the music, pictures and video. A print server would be nice, too. We could also use a couple extra Wii MotionPlus remotes for when the visitors come and want to gang up on New Super Mario Bros. Wii! :D

<geek>Not to mention the fact that it would be nice to get another Linksys WRT160Nv3 router in case I happen to render mine useless trying to flash an Open Source firmware called Tomato USB onto it. After SimplifyMedia made me mad and gave up the ghost, I’ve been trying to find a good solution to accessing my files from abroad. Maestro.fm crashes and has literally no support. Remobo– is just plain weird and looks like it will have issues with firewalls. This lead me to virtual private network solutions. Hamachi would be GREAT but there’s no support for anything but Windows (ew!) anymore. There was Viscosity but I didn’t feel like spending money for it.

So that lead me to OpenVPN solutions. Tunnelblick held some promise but it was going to take me forever to figure out how to configure the thing (I have a couple BOOKS now on the subject) and then I wasn’t sure it would work with a Bonjour-based service like iTunes Home Sharing. Looking for other options, I stumbled across a few different Open Source firmwares like dd-wrt and the original Tomato, complete with built in OpenVPN server. Now it’s just a matter of implementation but I’ve been a bit nervous without a backup option. So, yeah, that would be cool. I can always return it if all goes well.</geek>

But in all honesty, I don’t need any presents or surprises. I can’t complain. Even if I got nothing, I got a great wife who I am so proud of for going back to school to persue her dream (art) and constantly and delightfully surprised by for gaining new interests (biology) and who is just the best friend I could ever have (tandem kayaking and whale watching last weekend was fabulous!). I also got a remarkable little daughter who could out-swim me any day, who’s excelling reading standards and who continues to challenge and astound me every day.

Besides, I’m a geek. I don’t ever get bored, so it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself if you don’t get any presents or no one remembers your birthday. :D Not like I have that to worry about…

Ever since I got a Prism kite as a gift, the easily foldable/packable Stowaway Diamond, I have been absolutely in love with kites. On a recent trip to the Northern California Coast, home to the world’s oldest trees (the Redwoods, silly!), I even rushed to save my kite from the ocean as if I was trying to save my daughter from drowning. I guess that’s what I get for letting someone else fly it!

Anyways, I always enjoy when my client’s interests (outside of bikes) intersect with mine. Such is the case with the well-travelled cycletourist Jan Houtermans aka kiteplayer. He just happens to like kites, too. While browsing through his galleries, I found a glorious picture of a cyclist AS a kite, which was even more coincidental. Jan told me that he was not only a French professor of math and physics, but was well known for his remarkable kite making abilities. And does he deserve it. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:


Any other kite flying cyclists out there? What’s your favourite?

My first album has been released.  Not for the faint of heart, it’s a rather noisy eighteen-minute manipulation of some very high frequency electromagnetic waves I found floating in the air one day.  It can be listened to here and can be downloaded directly here (for free!) along with the fantastic artwork by Timetheory label owner and good friend Jon 7.  I named my little project Brownian Motion after the random movement particles in suspension and a little bit of double entendre.  The title of the album, “Midnight Vawk In The Park,” you’ll have to figure out for yourself.  Let’s just say the mispelling is intentional but doesn’t lead directly to the meaning though the timing is about right.  All in all, it’s a little bit serious and a wee bit tongue-in-cheek.  Enjoy!

Sierra taking off on 25 meter breaskstroke

Well, as aforementioned, the 2009 Big Kahuna Open happened this weekend.  We only showed up for Saturday, the day of Sierra’s two events.  It was a long hot day and we couldn’t see and we were perched on the side of a hill and there were people everywhere but it was a good time and we had great fun bonding with the rest of the team and their families.

Sierra ran the 25 meter freestyle and the 25 meter backstroke.  For the first, she was one of the few (even among older kids) to dive off the blocks, which were significantly higher than the ones at home.  For the latter, she thrust off the wall with such velocity (see above), it was really delightful to see.

Most of all, she had fun, even despite the fact she had to do the backstroke twice.  There was a long whistle and then a short whistle and then a horn to at last signal the start.  This confused one of the girls who took off on the short whistle.  I was confused, too, so I yelled “go” and off they went.  All of the kids finished the whole event and after 5 more heats, ran again.

Sierra’s coach was very proud of her, as were we.  Also, we had a lot of fun and look forward to future events, especially if it ends with a little ocean swim.  We had a get together at Sunset Bay State Park where we actually managed to get in and not be cold.

Click on the picture above for the usual shots and please enjoy a movie by clicking on the one below.

Sierra takes off in the freestyle relay

It’s official:  Sierra’s a ribbon-holding  competitive swimmer at the meager age of six.  The Emerald Aquatics team (that’s Sierra’s) took on another group at whose name I did not catch because I was too interested in encouraging Sierra and making sure she wasn’t nervous and had a happy experience.  The atmosphere was relaxed:  no official times, everyone got a ribbon, free food, but to her, it was still her first meet.

Grandma came down from Portland to watch the action took a number of great pics (see more by clicking on that picture above).  The weather was warm at Echo Hollow Pool and after a long bike ride (and for Grandma, horrible traffic), we were all looking forward to a dip.  Too bad the pool was filled with kids!

After some 150m of warmups (!), Sierra took on the 25m breaststroke and got 6th, then the 25m freestyle and got third.  Lastly, there was time for freestyle relays and her team got 2nd (though they got 3rd place ribbons for some odd reason), each of the four of them doing 25m.  Sierra was the second of the four in the relay sequence and did great.  You can see her launching off in perfect time while the competition stares in stock.

The last relay was with the older age group 2 and it was neck and neck.  The crowd, myself included, was really getting into it.  I had to ask one of the finishers who actually won because I couldn’t tell!

We had a blast and we’re looking forward to the big meet (the Big Kahuna hosted by the Gold Coast Swim Team) in Coos Bay at Mingus Park Pool August 7-9 if anyone wants to show up!  Warm ups start at 8am except at 11:30am on Friday.  If I understand the information I find correctly she should be racing in the middle to near the end of the day.

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