tom moody

Archive for February, 2016

ptyxolopies event recap



Thanks to Ice and kiptok for the images of the dump screen at the ptyxolopies event at Sunview Luncheonette in Greenpoint (an actual shuttered diner that now serves as a semi-private place for talks and events).
The idea was to have "live onscreen" before a group and talk out loud about dumps and dumping, since that is rarely done.
Some reference was made to notes of previously saved dumps, including a vocal reading of this grass dump. The focus of the evening was visual poetics and how (or whether) dump fit into that. Thanks to dumpers who actively dumped from remote locations from 8-10 pm so we had something to talk about (including toilets, "sideboobs," and special sauce containers). Am guessing there were some dumpers who wanted nothing to do with any heavy handed outside interpretation but "that's what you got."

- tom moody

February 29th, 2016 at 5:36 am

Posted in art - others

Sunview Luncheonette talk tonight

Please come to Sunview Luncheonette, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY tonight for the talk:

ptyxolopies: a nighght of image-textonics

8-10 pm. The address is 221 Nassau Ave. / more / event page

Organized/moderated by Joe Milutis, the event includes yrs truly and two other speakers, Cat Tyc and Nico Vassilakis.
We are anticipating strong WiFi and the ability to project and discuss "live."
As a backup I prepared some "visual notes" that I'll also be discussing.

- tom moody

February 27th, 2016 at 11:36 am

Posted in general

essays on the 2016 political race by Alan N. Shapiro; Matt Taibbi on tr*mp

Alan N. Shapiro has put up two thoughtful posts on this year's (so far) surprising US election:

Donald Trump Casino Owner: seduced to losing by the lure of winning
Shapiro considers pulling the lever for Trump as wholly consistent with addictive gambling in a Trump casino.

Homage to Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism and George Orwell’s 1984
Shapiro explains why "democratic socialism" isn't the same thing as socialism. I sent him a comment:

Bernie Sanders’ version of socialism essentially reconstitutes the New Deal policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt: improved social security, more oversight of banks, support for labor. His opponents couch this as radical, which shows how far the pendulum has swung since Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers and began the gradual dismantling of the New Deal. Sanders’ current opponent, the political team of Bill and Hillary Clinton, delivered the final blow for Reagan, ending welfare and allowing banks to trade stocks again; they seek to protect this legacy in the present election.

There is a point where serving the public becomes indistinguishable from controlling it, and restoring the New Deal in an era of technocratic surveillance carries dangers. To receive medical benefits, for example, citizens’ personal data will be digitized and could be used against them by unscrupulous public servants.

Yet the private sector is no more benevolent. Capitalism in the US has drifted from production into rent-seeking (“seeking to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth” — Wikipedia) in almost every area (cars, phones, food, travel, medicine, etc). In the current race Sanders is the only candidate advocating meaningful checks on this parasitism. The leap of faith one takes in supporting him is that ultimately one has to trust government, suitably transparentized, over private accumulators, to moderate for the “greater good.”

The Clintons represent the status quo: on the civil side, “limited government” enabling rent-seeking; on the military side, unlimited government draining the public treasury with disproportionately ineffective results. For the environment and for working people, this state of affairs is increasingly untenable, Hence the sudden upswing in public momentum for Sanders and his program.

Have had one argument with a Hillary supporter, who followed the playbook of (i) insisting she's more "electable" (even though most Americans are sick to death of her) and (ii) making little sneering cracks.

Meanwhile, Matt Taibbi explains how Tr*mp is a creature of our crappy national media. They can't stop giving him coverage and look what happened.

- tom moody

February 27th, 2016 at 11:36 am

Posted in general

"If 90s Were 10s"

"If 90s Were 10s" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

This was made with Ardour (also verve and panache). Ardour is a digital audio workstation that I'm running on a Linux PC. Finally resolved my latency issues. Still haven't found the right tool in Linux for a final "master" so I used the PSP Vintage Warmer (hat tip JP) on Windows for that.

Ardour has what I consider the working basics: "MIDI out" to control an external synth; simultaneous record/playback of the synth while other tracks are playing; audio tracks (with plugins) running alongside midi-tracks-with-softsynths (also with plugins); limiter on the master bus. Ardour mixes all this down to a 32 bit wav file (faster than Windows does).
Ardour has some limitations -- MIDI editing is pretty sparse. But also some advantages, such as a list of audio clips that shows the place of each in the timeline. Anyway, getting there.

Sonically, am continuing to explore the E-Mu Orbit 9090 soundfonts, hence the title.

- tom moody

February 27th, 2016 at 12:35 am

Posted in music - tm


"Dial-a-Melody" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Except for the percussion, all the sounds emanate from the Vermona Perfourmer analog synth. But all are then treated with a bevy of effects (compression, reverb, delay, and Absynth treatments) so that the analog sound is effectively buried, no pun intended. I wrote the main tune -- the second melody is literally on a dial of simple midi sequences that the Perfourmer has to test out synth patches. The Absynth effects essentially create variations on this tune.

- tom moody

February 24th, 2016 at 9:41 am

Posted in music - tm

"Cloud Tenders (Brass)"

"Cloud Tenders (Brass)" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

The "brass ensemble" is the Vermona Perfourmer analog synth -- four monosynths struggling to stay in harmony. The rest is "chord" hits from NI's Battery 4 ROMpler, and selected percussion.

- tom moody

February 20th, 2016 at 11:05 am

Posted in music - tm

"Indoor Wiggin"

"Indoor Wiggin" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Back over to Windows 7 for some software synthesizer shenanigans. At the very end a hardware synth plays some of the same MIDI.
One objective was to try out the E-Mu Orbit 9090 soundfont kit in Kontakt and body it up with some effects. Also, Native Instruments did software updates and I wanted to see what was new.

- tom moody

February 18th, 2016 at 9:17 am

Posted in music - tm

Cloning Aura - interview re: surf clubs


The interview I did a few months ago on the topic of Nasty Nets and internet surf clubs is being published by Link Editions, in connection with the book Cloning Aura. Art in the Age of Copycats by Chiara Moioli. The interview appears in a browsable form at A PDF version is forthcoming via Lulu. From the Link Editions post:

The Surfer’s Conspiracy. Investigating with Tom Moody digs deep into Surfing Clubs and the way they turned the practice of appropriation into a natural attitude, with the help of one of the most active surfers and of the best critical voices in this scene.

This publication is a spin-off of the book project Cloning Aura. Art in the Age of Copycats, by Chiara Moioli: an essay that explores the close relation between practices of appropriation an, going through Postmodernism, 70s-80s subcultural movements, and the Surfing Club generation. This is the second of five interviews (Florian Cramer, Tom Moody, Vittore Baroni, Vuk Ćosić and Cory Arcangel) in English and Italian, that will follow in the upcoming weeks. The book, in Italian, will be available on our shelves from mid March 2016.

The interviews are being published in weekly installments on the Link website.

- tom moody

February 16th, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Posted in general

around the web

Cash and freedom - from Crooked Timber. Discusses the politics of the "cashless society." Who benefits? (Banks, governments).

The GOP Is Finally Debating Bush-Era Failures - from the paleocon American Conservative mag.

- tom moody

February 16th, 2016 at 11:24 am

Posted in general


"Soundfonts" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

This was done with Linux Ardour. Am having some issues with probably needing a faster processor to run this software, so I am sticking to relatively small "soundfont" files in Fluidsynth, a plugin sample player. The method of this track was to write a few bars of beats, record them, then use the MIDI with the beats to play organs and other pitched instruments, then make changes to the melodies of those, then use the MIDI to play new beats, etc. Eventually chunks of 2- and 4-bar audio begin to accumulate on four tracks of the timeline, which can be arranged into a tune. A final mix was done in Windows Cubase, where some reverb and compression was added.

- tom moody

February 15th, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Posted in linux diary, music - tm