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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!

Walk, bike, drive, fly, carpool, take the train or bus, just get your buns down to Eugene, specifically Hutch’s Bicycles at Charnelton and 10th (by the downtown library) on March 6th from 5:30-9:00 p.m. and you can get yourself, among a slew of great offers, 15% off  Bike Fridays!!!

In addition to that, you’ll be able to check out some of the finest manufacturers of bicycles and bicycle accessories in the Northwest, including Chris King, Burley, Co-Motion, Rolf, Castelli, Detours, Redline, Yakima, and Showers Pass.

The local bicycle club, GEARs (run by our very own Paul) will be there, as will Lee Shoemaker, representing the city of Eugene, and one of two certified bicycle schools in the country, from Ashland, Oregon, the United Bicycle Institute.

William L. Sullivan, author of THE BEST guidebooks about the wonderful state of Oregon, will be there as Oregon Adventures.  I’m still bummed I missed his workshop on car free recreation at the Eugene Walking/Biking Summit.

edit 2/24/9: Oops on the above.  Turns out this is the other Oregon Adventures, from Oakridge, Oregon.  They do guided bicycle adventures.  Cool stuff, but not William L. Sullivan, who still is the best. 😀

Music will be provided by Skip Jones, a local boogie piano man, who calls on the likes of Otis Spann, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Fats Domino, Leon Russell, and James Booker for inspiration.  Ought to keep it lively.

You can meet the mayor of Eugene, Kitty Piercy, who has pushed through resistance from the community (which, despite its hippie/anarchist reputation, is surprisingly about half right-wing) to try to make Eugene a more fun, sustainable, livable space.  She deserves your thanks as it much of our success can be attributed to her support.

There’ll be door prizes and contests.  They’ve got wine tastings, too!

All of this is free!  Seriously, this cannot be missed.

Mike and I should be there to represent Bike Friday so come say hi!

Lapchynski Christmas 2009 - Sunriver, ORThe snow is thick (in fact, I swear we gained a whole foot last night) in Sunriver and Christina, Sierra, Grandma Cheryl, KZ and I are having a great time.  Looking forward to some  more sledding today with Sierra and who knows else.

Now might be a good time to finally post the video of Sierra’s Christmas performance at church wherein she pulls off a fantastic solo in “The Friendly Beasts“, so here you go.  You should be able to just press the play button and it will play in your web browser but if you have a problem with that then you can download it there, too.  Now if you still have a problem with that, drop me a line and I’ll drum up a DVD for you.

 

Sierra 2008 Christmas program solo

Anyways, Santa was good to us.  Sierra’s love for the American Girl series (which, I think is cool because it teaches girls about the important contributions girls have made to history) continues to be appeased, this year with Nez Perce (the people of Chief Joseph) sweetheart Kaya, complete with teepee and corresponding fire!

As for us, interestingly, one of our presents is to come back to Sunriver for a couples retreat!  I also get to take a class on foraging for wild food and Christina gets a class in landscape painting.  Santa also made sure to get us thank you notes, which is indeed going to be useful!

 

But Christmas ain’t about the presents, right?  No, it’s a time to cuddle up against the cold with our loved ones and celebrate the seed of new hope that has sprouted.  No matter what you believe in, whether it be in the birth of Jesus or simply looking forward to the coming of spring, may it be a blessed one for you.

By the way, this was composed to Silber‘s annual winter/Christmas compilation, “Winterizing,” which you can download and/or listen to free here.  It’s an interesting mix of psychfolk, ambient, shoegaze, and electroacoustics from an ever-interesting label.  Their tendency towards emotional yet not goth stuff has always delighted me since I landed a copy of their first release many moons ago, especially when it comes to covering traditional Christmas songs.  Sadly, that’s lacking here, but it’s a good one none the less, especially given the price.

A co-worker and I were riding home and talking about these fixed gear hipsters who showed up at the shop late in the day to borrow some air.  Maybe I just don’t like uniforms (fixed gear, messenger bag, rolled up pant legs, Pumas, track jackets, no helmet– come on, it’s a freaking uniform), maybe I’m just concerned for people’s lives (read: fixed gears are not for everyone and this is coming from a fanatic), but it just bugs me.  I mistakenly blurred the whole description together and created a new word:  hipsies.

Well, forget them, anyways.  In a year or two, when they get out of school, they’ll get an accounting job and a Volvo and never think back on that whole fixed gear craze anyways.  If you want to see some real hardcore fixie riders, check out this awesome Keirin video I gleaned from the fixed gear mailing list.  Man, I’m not even that cool. 😀

A bit of trivia is that the song this video is for is by CLP, i.e. Chris de Luca vs. Phon.o.  The former artist was one half of the now defunct trip-pop meets IDM project Funkstörung.  Phon.o apparently did a crunky mix of techno and dub and the like.  Put the two together and you get CLP.  Heady, muscular, but not unapproachable, this will likely hit the dance floor hard.  Hopefully that doesn’t encourage any more hipsies.  Listen to the evidence here and you can buy it on Beatport.