Sleepwalkers

I’ve only just bought this album as it only came out today. It’s the first album from David Sylvian since his difficult Manafon album.

Although this is a compilation people have already been saying good things about it, so I’m really looking forward to giving it a thorough listen. Probably tomorrow now.


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When tapes go wrong

TDK Metal Cassette

I’ve been clearing out old tapes, and when I say old I mean old. Some of the tapes are of my own music so I’ve been converting a few tracks to digital and finding songs that I’d completely forgotten about.

Sadly, one tape seems to have decided to give up and of course it had to be one which had lots of long forgotten treasure (for me anyway).

There’s only one thing for it. I’m going to have to open it up and see if I can splice the tape together, and I haven’t done that for years!


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Remembering Bands from a long time ago

Teac Blue Reel to Reel Cassette

I decided to start digitising my huge collection of old cassettes. A daunting task. I’ve been putting off doing it for years. Really years and years.

But it needs doing. I started off with a tape of a load of bands that I put on in the nineties at an open mic type event in South London that I used to run once a month.

It is fantastic to listen to some of these bands and their songs again. Songs that have been forgotten by most of the people that heard them.

I don’t even know most of the people who played at those gigs. I wish I hadn’t lost touch, but it is a fact of life that we move on and people drift and do different things and stop being in bands. A shame, but that’s the way it is.

I suppose in a way listening to all this old stuff is a way of reliving the past, but there’s nothing terribly wrong with that. Also you start to remember why some of those songs never got anywhere!

It’s fun to do, and who knows if I’ll get through all of those tapes?


I love tape, so I love this …

I’m a fan of Deerful’s music so it was good news when she announced a cassette release. It’s a really nice EP too and very well put togeher.

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Getting that TC going again

I found that I had an old Palm TC lying around doing nothing, and after a decent charge it powered up just fine. So I’ve installed iziBasic and ViziBasic on it to see what it can do and more importantly what I can do with it.

I’ve got some new ideas for a few palm OS apps (not webOS). These will almost certainly follow in the footsteps of my older apps which are all sound toys, but I want to see if I can do anything with infrared communication between apps.

Let’s see what I can come up with then.


Say hello to Fossil …

I’m really loving experimenting with the Fossil. It’s a great old smartwatch from before we called things smartwatches and before we knew what a wearable was. Hopefully in the not too distant future I’ll have some apps for it too.

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Palm Apps from the past …

BeatPad and bC-16

If you’ve been reading my PalmSounds blog for a long time you’ll know that in the past I’ve dabbled with making my own Palm OS apps with a little bit of success. The apps I made were never going to be totally amazing music production apps, but they were free toys and a little bit of fun to play around with.

Anyway, I’ve moved them all here now and you can get them in the ‘PDA Obsessions‘ page.

I do plan to do some more apps using old Palm OS and some other mobile OS stuff too, most notably Android, but more of that in another post.

For now I hope you like the old Palm stuff. Give me some feedback if you do.


Here are a few other PDA related posts

Noodle Pi is coming

Another Pi related Kickstarter purchase and one that I’m looking forward to trying out soon. I’ll be getting to grips with it soon and seeing what I can use it for. I’m hoping that it’ll be like a little PDA…

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Little Girls with 99 Lives

I bought this CD EP without ever having heard Ingrid Chavez before. I knew very little about her music I just knew that David Sylvian was on it and I am a long time fan of his.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how beautiful this EP is. It starts of in a fairly conventional form and gets progressively more experimental with each track, which is fine with me. However, it never gives up any of the lyrical elegance that struck me when I first listened to it.

Since listening to it several times over the weekend I’ve bought a few more Ingrid Chavez tracks, and her music is really growing on me now.


Ingrid Chavez, Little Girls with 99 lives, signed copy
Ingrid Chavez, Little Girls with 99 lives, signed copy

David Sylvian as a Philosopher

I got this book a week ago and as it’s so short I’ll probably read it very soon. I’m looking forward to it to see just what kind of arguments are made for this. We’ll see.

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Going Ape

Over the summer I spent a great day at a Go Ape site at Bedgebury. When you first take a look at a course like this it can look daunting, but when you’re up in the trees it is great fun, and we had perfect weather for the day.

Climbing trees is a wonderful activity except in the rain of course, but even then it can be fun. That’s probably a post for another day. It is probably good exercise too, but that’s not why I enjoy it. I just love getting off the ground and being up in the trees. There’s nothing quite like it.

Spending a few hours at Go Ape is just pure fun and I’d recommend it to anyone so long as you’re not afriad of heights that is!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about then check out the Go Ape web site and see if it takes your fancy.

WOMAD: A Musical Buffet

Obligatory WOMAD flag picture

My last post was about going to WOMAD, and since then I’ve been thinking about why I like festivals so much, especially ones like WOMAD, in fact, especially WOMAD.

A lot of UK festivals are just too big for me. I like smaller festivals like WOMAD where I can wander around easily and go from one stage to another quite quickly. That’s one of the things I love about festivals I can check out lots of different acts during the course of a day and stay for 5 minutes or watch the whole show.

It is like a kind of musical buffet where I sample some things and don’t get on with them, and others I have to eat the lot. If you know what I mean.

In some ways this goes against what I’d said before about listening and consuming music. I guess that this buffet approach to must is further along the consumer path then the dedicated listen. However, in many ways it is different from that argument.

I always enjoy coming away from WOMAD with a few new things to listen to, and this year they were.

I really enjoyed these three for very different reasons. They were the best bits of my buffet!


A day at WOMAD

I wasn’t able to spend the whole weekend at WOMAD this year, I was only able to go for the day this year. Which was ok. The weather was pretty awful on the Friday, so the Saturday was a good…

I miss Mitsoura

They only released two albums and the last was a long time ago. Dura Dura Dura (their last album) was excellent as was their first album but it’s been years since they did anything. It’s a shame. I wish they’d…

Real World 25

I felt compelled to get this nice little box set at WOMAD this year. I’ve got quite a lot of the tracks already, but it’s really well put together and it came with a load of bits and pieces like…

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WOMAD 2010

I spent last weekend at the WOMAD festival in Charlton Park, and what an amazing weekend it was. I’ve been going to WOMAD for several years now, but this year’s festival was one of the best so far.

The music was great, I saw some amazing performances from some great artists, and of course, as with all festivals there was a load of stuff I missed too.

If I had to say what was the most enjoyable experiences of the whole festival though, here’s what I would choose:

  • Nouvelle Vague – I didn’t know them before this year’s WOMAD and I’m off to buy some very soon.
  • Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – They were very funny and very talented, but I think that this is something to enjoy live rather than recorded.
  • Syrianan – I really enjoyed their performance and so I bought their EP CD and was disappointed. I might get their album when it arrives later in the year, but live they were great.
  • Lastly, Rango. Who were the last act I saw and were fantastic!

I thoroughly enjoyed WOMAD this year. The weather was good, I got to meet up and spend time with lots of friends and the music was awesome.

If that wasn’t enough though I actually got to play on the Roots Architecture Stage too! But that’s more in Palm Sounds territory, so I’ll write about that later.


A day at WOMAD

I go every year and love WOMAD, but, not in the rain, and this time around it rained and rained and rained. It was a shame as the day had started really well. But by 9pm it was wet, muddy…

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When did I stop listening to music and start consuming it?

As many of you who are reading this will know, I am a big fan of mobile music technology. It gives you the ability to do so much on the move and take so much with you on the go too. I still have an iPod classic with my entire music library on it and that’s great to be able to take with me wherever I go.

But there is a downside though. Often I find myself flicking through my music library in the same way as you might flick through TV channels. There’s nothing wrong with that, nothing it all, but it does change the way we listen to music, and in my opinion, it moves along the line from listening to consuming.

Of course, there are now a vast array of services to help us do just that, from iTunes, to Spotify and lots more, and whilst lots of these services are great for discovering new music they do push us along this line from listening to consuming.

This was brought home to me a little while ago when a friend asked me over to play some of my vinyl. I hadn’t just sat and listened to an album for a long time. Sure, I’d had an album on while I was out, or while I was working or generally doing something else, but not just sat and listened to the music. I found the experience liberating.

It made me realise that I do consume music most of the time and I don’t really actively listen a great deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a soundtrack to my day whether I’m working, driving, walking through town etc. But the experience of just sitting still and absorbing music as an active participant rather than as a passive consumer is one that I rarely take part in.

As a result I started to think about ways of adjusting the balance back from consumption to listening. It made me think of book clubs. where people read and discuss a book at great length. It made me wonder if such a thing existed for music.

I think it would be wonderful to go to a sound club, or a music club where the point was to listen to a piece or an album once a month then get together and discuss it in great detail.

I’ve no idea if such a thing exists, but I hope it does.


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