tom moody

Archive for June, 2014

Critical Weekend Work (new Bandcamp release)

Am pleased, and yet, humbled, to announce a new LP on Bandcamp: Critical Weekend Work.
10 songs, mostly previously-unpublished.
Experiments with field recordings begun on the 40 Yards from the Machine release continue: recordings from the transit system and my kitchen, and spoken words. Extensive use of the "Household Kit" of samples described here, at varying speeds and grains, is made throughout.
This is my sixth release in 2014. Your support in the form of buying the LP or songs would be very encouraging, but all the material can be streamed.

- tom moody

June 30th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Posted in music - tm

Critical Weekend Work LP - Liner Notes

Notes for the Critical Weekend Work LP on Bandcamp. These are mostly tech jottings so I remember what I did. Any thoughts, questions, etc on the music itself are welcome at the email address on this about page.

1. Grove Street 01:05

A basic melody done with the modular synth (specifically the Doepfer A-111-5 mini-synth) is augmented with a field recording from, er, public transit, drums from Steinberg's "Groove Agent" (yeah baby yeah), and some overtracking to make the harmony at the very end.

2. Skiffle Capacity 02:16

A variant of the "Grove Street" melody, with added parts played on various synth and/or sampler modules (Doepfer mini-synth, WMD Gamma Wave Source, SID Guts, Doepfer A-112) using the Elektron Octatrack as a MIDI controller. For all that, this wasn't working for me until I added the bassline, dubbed in with NI's Massive softsynth. The middle section is the Octatrack arpeggiator ringing changes on the basic synth lines. This sounds fairly spontaneous and hyperactive but was assembled a few pain-in-the-a** bars at a time. There is a second bassline done with Linplug's Element P percussion synth that peeks out at the ending.

3. The Persistence of Marimba 02:50

Yet another variant of the "Grove Street"/"Skiffle Capacity" tunes. Some of the same instrumentation as "Skiffle Capacity," with added percussion from the Household Kit samples (see previous LP) with heavy chorus and delay. The "marimba" is NI Massive.

4. Kitchen Drone 03:04

Shameless banging around on the Household Kit samples (finger snaps, pan lid, rice shaker, chair thump) using the Octatrack sequencer's MIDI out, converted to CV/gate and triggering the samples in the Qu-Bit Nebulae granular sampler module. The heavy "rave" chords at the end are NI Massive.

5. Cloud Tenders 01:40

An assortment of beats made with the Octatrack as a MIDI controller and two sampler modules (ADDAC wav player and Doepfer A-112) playing Household kit sounds. The sampler outputs were recorded straight (as simultaneously recorded mono files) and then a second group was created running those same beats through Steinberg's Step Filter effect (the "wah" sound at the beginning). After quite a bit of moving all these beats around in Cubase, pads and bass were added from Absynth (the very pretty "Nausicaa" patch) and NI Massive. Lastly, drums: patterns I wrote for the "vinyl kit" in Battery.

6. Grave Wobble 01:56

A tune from three years ago, reworked and tightened up, with some added parts. The wobbly bass patch is a softsynth called the MiniTera that was a freebie with some gear I bought, even longer back. The drums are a "synthesized kit" playing in Linplug's RMV software beatbox. The ascending whine during the "drum break" is the Qu-Bit Nebulae run through a hardware filter module, with a long LFO sweep.

7. Cloud Tenders 2 01:52

Similar process to Cloud Tenders, different pads (mostly NI Massive), with increasing amount of MIDI echo and arpeggiation effects within Cubase.

8. Stabs and Slabs 01:50

This was all done in the Octatrack, first laying down Household Kit beats, then adding piano and synth samples. The "rave-y" melodies are done note by note, adjusting the pitch and/or sample rate of each keyboard "stab."

9. Baby Boom/Critical Weekend Work 00:55

A three channel sound art piece, made with vocal samples loaded into the Qu-Bit Nebulae and messed with (speed, grain, start time, grain size, etc.) The middle channel is the same LFO-swept recording used in "Grave Wobble." The vocals in that channel are inaudible, it's just stuttering of a very small chunk of the words "baby boom."

10. Skiffle Capacity Reprise 01:09

The final appearance of the "Grove Street"/"Skiffle Capacity"/"Persistence of Marimba" tracks. The ethereal-sounding intro is NI Massive played with Steinberg MIDI echo and/or arpeggiation effects.

- tom moody

June 30th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Posted in music - tm

heavy ornament (pair)

heavyornamentpair

modified version of a deleted drawing from my Computers Club Drawing Society page

- tom moody

June 29th, 2014 at 11:08 pm

around the web

Idaho Transfer [YouTube] (hat tip Network Awesome)
An obscure 1973 film directed by Peter Fonda, with a script by Thomas Mathiessen (whoever that may be), gives us low-key, post-apocalyptic science fiction, filmed on a minuscule budget, beautifully shot and scored. I was hooked by the serious amateurishness, or amateurish seriousness, of the young, unknown cast and its response to a looming "eco-crisis" as vague and threatening as the one we still face, and watched straight to the end. Seeing it in the what-is-this-i've-never-heard-of-it way is recommended: some astute IMDb commenters can help unravel the film's mysteries afterward.
The actors with long period hair mostly never made any movies after this, except for Keith Carradine, who appears in a small role. The film's end-of-the-'60s nostalgic hallucination of childless young people "having a beautiful time," or trying to, after the worst has happened, has dated, but in interesting ways. Especially knowing this generation, in reality, would become Reagan-era bourgeoisie, driving gas-guzzlers and competing to get their brats into threshold schools (or whatever they were called). :{

At the other end of the generational periscope lies "Pancake Spring," a short story by Miracle Jones (hat tip orlandobloom). I like fiction where authors who I suspect are younger than me make fun of phones and corporate social media. If hating that shite is not just a case of age maladaption, maybe there is something actually wrong with our cultural direction. ("Download the app" is the new "go to something-something dotcom" but only if you accept what Jerry Seinfeld jokingly calls the "hard rectangle in your pocket" as your universal center. I don't, and neither does Mandy in this story.) Ranting aside, check out this well-written tale with its very funny take on un-funny things such as torture ("French Modern") and promoted tweets.

- tom moody

June 29th, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Posted in books, films

wheels, legs

wheels_legs

modified Google streetview photo

- tom moody

June 29th, 2014 at 8:33 am

Posted in art - tm, photo 2

sketch_j6

sketch_j6

unpublished "draft" from my Computers Club Drawing Society page

- tom moody

June 29th, 2014 at 7:30 am

sketch_j5

sketch_j5

hat tips noisia & google streetview

- tom moody

June 28th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Posted in art - others, art - tm

sculpture

andrej_double3

apologies to Andrej for this unsolicited collaboration

- tom moody

June 25th, 2014 at 8:21 am

Posted in art - others, art - tm

google+ user posts in news search results -- the company responds

As to why posts of random Google+ users are appearing in Google News search results, the "chief architect of Google+", Yonatan Zunger, responded here. (Hat tip Jules Laplace for following up on this.) The G+ users' posts are intended to be understood as comments to the preceding news items, not news items themselves. Perhaps that should have been apparent, because they're indented and put in a box (I see that now, sort of) but Google provides no other warning that they are "random dude" comments.
Zunger sidesteps the specific criticism of why a G+ user with nothing to say and very few "pluses" is junking up front page search results. In the specific example (caution: vulgarity), the comment of "Russ Abbott" takes up as much screen real estate as six legacy news sources. I had suggested it was a rather over-large carrot to entice people to sign up for Google+, which hasn't exactly been setting the world ablaze vis a vis Facebook. Zunger's corporate happy speak position is that Google is "providing people a means to converse about the news" and seeks "to invite them into the discussion." Then why not embed comments from, say, the New York Times? Laplace asked. Google can't do that for "legal and product reasons," Zunger says. OK, sorry you couldn't get that worked out, but aren't you now creating the appearance of giving preferential treatment to your unwashed users at the expense of a credible news source? I'd like to ask -- but he's not going to go there.

- tom moody

June 23rd, 2014 at 8:48 am

Posted in general

google plus news

Google News was never a great aggregator but it's preferable to, say, the agenda-ridden New York Times for a quick headline-overview. When the Times announced a few years back, for example, that Eliot Spitzer had "ties to organized crime" instead of reporting that he had visited a hooker, with Google News you could see at a glance how other papers were spinning the same factoid.

Lately, though, Google isn't even subtle about using News as recruiting tool for its Facebook-wannabe social media platform, Google Plus. Lambert at the Corrente blog made this screenshot showing how a random dude who happens to have a G+ account has his post mingled into search results with legacy news outlets:

gplusmember_corrente

Another recent change: for stories written by journalists who are G+ members, that correspondent's name appears below the headline with a thumbnail photo and hyperlink to his/her G+ page. There is also a sleekly designed pop-up associated with the hyperlink. Whereas a story written by a non-G+ member has no associated byline (and therefore no link or pop-up) in the search results. Just a little incentive for journalists to join the G+ family.

gplusmember

Google once billed itself as some kind of objective arbiter of web content. Not that any of us believed that, but placing its G+ thumb on the news-gathering scale is not all that different from having internet service providers creating neutrality-defying fast lanes. A minor complaint compared to other egregious practices but worth noting.

Update: As to why the random Google+ user is appearing in search results, the "chief architect of Google+", Yonatan Zunger, responded here. (Hat tip Jules Laplace for following up on this.) The G+ user's post is a comment to the preceding news items, not a news item itself. Perhaps that should have been apparent, because it's indented and put in a box (I see that now, sort of) but Google provides no other warning that it's a random dude comment.
Zunger sidesteps the specific criticism of why a G+ user with nothing to say and very few "pluses" is junking up front page search results. I had suggested it was a rather over-large carrot to entice people to sign up for Google+, which hasn't exactly been setting the world ablaze vis a vis Facebook. Zunger's corporate happy speak position is that Google is "providing people a means to converse about the news" and seeks "to invite them into the discussion." Then why not embed comments from, say, the New York Times? Laplace asked. Google can't do that for "legal and product reasons," Zunger says. OK, sorry you couldn't get that worked out, but aren't you now creating the appearance of giving preferential treatment to your unwashed users at the expense of a credible news source? I'd like to ask -- but he's not going to go there.

- tom moody

June 21st, 2014 at 9:06 am

Posted in general