This year I’ve been really enjoying reading poetry again this year. Both revisiting poetry that I’ve always enjoyed, and also finding new poets and collections. One such is Deluge by Charlotte Ansell. It’s a great collection.
I’ve never read her work before, but I may well go back and read some of her other work based on this. From the first poem onward it has been brilliant. Insightful and penetrating, funny at times, gentle and revealing.
I think that this is a collection of poems that I’ll read again, and again.
If this doesn’t mean anything to you then don’t worry. I have to admit it’s a very obscure niche. Sonifying the bio data from plants might seem odd, esoteric even, but to me it’s something really interesting.
I remember seeing MIDI Sprout on Kickstarter, but felt that the price point was prohibitive. However, I always felt that it was something that I wanted to try out. So I watched for one on eBay, and finally one came up at a reasonable price. So I bought it and it worked beautifully.
The little video is with a coffee plant. My plan is to try the MIDI Sprout with a range of different plants to see if there are noticeable differences in each plant’s musical output. As and when I do I’ll post the results. Probably with video too.
However, this isn’t the only kind of sonification project I have on the go, but more of that another time.
Yesterday my little blog turned 10 years old. When I started it I had no idea that it would last this long. But here we are at 10 years old. For the last few weeks I’ve been wondering what I should do to celebrate. To be honest I still don’t know. But I do know that I have to mark it in some way. Although this seems like a slightly lame attempt at that.
I didn’t want to leave it too long before marking the day, even though it was yesterday.
I was thinking about saying what I was going to do differently now, promising more content etc etc. But also that seems a bit hollow. So I won’t promise. I’ll just keep going. Maybe that’s a better statement.
This is undoubtedly my favourite album of all time. It is a work of tremendous and rare beauty, and every time I listen to it I am stunned by just how complete and unique it is.
I listen to it only when I have the time to devote myself entirely to listening to it without distraction, as it just isn’t the kind of music that you can listen to in the background. At least that’s my opinion.
However, I’ve recently just sat down and read the poems that are an integral part of Uncommon Deities. On their own they are incredibly beautiful. As a part of the whole they’re even better. But even so, I really enjoyed reading them in isolation.
I can’t exactly remember when I started liking Blancmange, but it was pretty early on. Probably when they first appeared on something like ‘Top of the Pops’. I’ve liked them ever since. When they made they’re somewhat unexpected comeback I was very happy indeed. Since then the output has been steady and I believe I’ve bough everything.
This latest release, ‘Mindset’, arrived this morning, although it was actually released yesterday. I listened to it yesterday, and it is a solid album. My initial impressions are it is very good and will probably grow on me.
I’m pleased that Blancmange is still going, and pleased to be able to support them wherever I can. In the current climate there are many artists who are suffering and those of us who love and appreciate music need to do whatever we can to support the people who help to give meaning to us. It’s important.
I had this thought about how the sounds around us have changed in so many ways, and in so many others, they haven’t. It made me wonder what would the sounds of the 2020’s be. It also made me wonder what sounds have become the signature sounds of my life.
This is something I’m likely to, or rather, hope to explore in my field recording podcast. If you didn’t know about that, you can find more information here.
I’ve been playing with Endlesss for a little while now. A few weeks anyway. To begin with I wasn’t sure quite what to make of it. Now I’m beginning to realise that I’ve only just scratched the surface and that there is a huge amount more that I can do with it, and also that I can do with others, after all, it is collaborative.
The idea of Endlesss is really simple. You create what Endlesss calls ‘Jams’. Each jam is like a track, except it isn’t. It is much more than that. A jam consists of ‘riffs’ (or it may be ‘rifffs’, I’m not sure). Each of these is like a moment in time when you add something to the jam, and as you build these up, adding instruments etc, you get a journal of sorts showing how this track (I use that term simply for ease) has developed and changed.
Here’s what the journal looks like
In isolation that’s pretty interesting in itself. But the more impressive feature is that you can take any point in the journal and then take your jam in a different direction. For me this is probably the most interesting aspect of Endlesss.
As you can see there are a number of different iterations of this jam and they’re grouped by date. This makes taking ideas in different directions very easy.
I’m not the first to mention that the world is a lot more quiet now. Perhaps not all the people, which is actually a shame, but there is less noise around. Apparently earthquakes are easier to spot as there is less background noise. Birds are making more song, which is lovely, and air pollution is down. These are all good things.
I’ve been recording more things too. Mainly just the quiet of the morning, but other stuff too. So I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
I was aware of this story and the books, but had never really thought about reading them. So when the BBC announced their new series I decided to give it a go. I have to admit that I had low expectations as they’d not exactly done a great job with War of the Worlds.
But, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually very good indeed. I watched all of the episodes, and, whilst I can’t say it was a story that I found totally gripping or interesting, it was actually good.
I think they’re making more of this too. I would definitely watch more if they do. If nothing else I expect it’ll be diverting.
The other thing it’s made me do is to get the first of the audio books. I haven’t started listening to it as yet, but I’ll get to it eventually.