tom moody

"Cumulative Beats (Fat Tech Mix)"

"Cumulative Beats (Fat Tech Mix)" [5.6 MB .mp3]

Continuing to mine some beats I made back in April for sample-nuggets. This version is unabashedly house-esque, with a ridiculous boomy 4/4 beat from an Ableton "make music like the pros" collection.

- tom moody

August 6th, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Posted in music - tm

supreme beef


apologies to Malevich and Nicolas Pioch

Pioch's name appears in the metadata for the shaky meat GIF -- the GIF is dated 1995.
Kazimir Malevich's Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions is dated 1915.

- tom moody

August 4th, 2016 at 8:46 am

short reply to curtis roads re: the relevance of 12 note equal temperament

A while back I quoted Curtis Roads' book Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic on the subject of conventional Western harmony:

A formidable advantage of 12-note ET [equal temperament] over its predecessors was the equality of its intervals. For example, an ET “perfect” fifth interval will sound equivalent no matter which pitches are used to form it; this is not generally true of non-ET tuning systems. Such flexibility means that a composer can write functionally equivalent melodies and chord progressions in any key. It also enables harmonic modulation (i.e., a transition from one key to another by means of a chord common to both). The same flexibility fostered the rise of atonal and serial music and the promulgation of increasingly abstract operations on pitch class sets.

The mother lode of 12-note ET has been mined for 500 years by millions of musicians in innumerable compositions. The tuning is so ingrained that it is virtually impossible to musically express anything new about it. Consider a work for piano; it is constrained by its tuning and timbre from the start. If it is to find novelty, it must seek them not in tuning or timbre, but in other aspects of the composition. This is not to say that it is impossible to express anything new with 12-note ET. However, the new thing is not about the tuning. Rather, the novelty lies elsewhere, for example, in a new interpolation between existing genres, an unusual rhythmic organization, an atypical formal structure, a fresh combination of timbres, a philosophical message, etc.

The pop music industry sometimes manufactures songs that are attractive despite the use of 12-note ET in worn-out harmonic and rhythmic formulas. Yet some combination of elements in the voice, lyrics, audio production, fashion, face, camera angle, lens, setting, hairstyle, body language, stage show, animation, or attitude spawns mass fascination. The familiar melodic and harmonic formula—like the formulaic beat—serves as a comfortable backdrop.

Throughout the book Roads asserts that electronic music breaks new sonic ground and implicitly, it's time to move on from 12 note ET. ("Implicitly" because the vast majority of his electronic music examples do not use 12 note ET.) One could have a different opinion, though: which is that the new sonic ground means musicians can keep working in 12 note ET, or whatever other existing tuning schemes are out there, because the timbres and time manipulation of electronic music radically change the meaning of those notes. Suddenly it's no longer a piano playing that sequence but a what-the-hell-is-that instrument with different overtones, dynamics, and relationships to other instruments -- aural as well as semantic. The harmony of a string quartet is not the same as the harmony of a polyphonic array of synths designed in the last six months. It's a whole new set of problems to be worked out.

- tom moody

August 4th, 2016 at 8:45 am

Posted in theory



Airbnb is now reaching into the unpopulated exurbs with this offer of overnight accommodation in a "Charming Ditch" in Lake Charles, LA.
One suspects this is net art by "Poey." Check it out before it disappears.
Related: Airbnb for non-sites / Designated Natural Area

- tom moody

August 4th, 2016 at 7:37 am



Something I bet you don't have -- a Captain Beefheart signature.
A bunch of us youths mobbed him after a concert; he was signing "Love Over Gold" on whatever scraps of paper we had handy.
This authentic Don Van Vliet signature is on the back of a receipt for a car battery from a store called Memco.

- tom moody

August 3rd, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Posted in music - others

work on paper, late '90s


ink, acrylic, collage, 28 x 17 inches

- tom moody

August 3rd, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Drive, book and film

Drive, the movie, featured disturbing gore, Albert Brooks as a notable villain, and too-long stretches of Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan making cow eyes at each other. It's pretty good but if you backtrack to director Nicolas Winding Refn's "Pusher Trilogy" you can see how the director deliberately, possibly subversively, "went Hollywood." If you want to experience Drive without the sentimental goop, I recommend the Pusher films and also James Sallis' source novel, also titled Drive. (And the book's sequel, Driven.)

Keith Rawson has a good rundown on the Drive book/film differences. Sallis is a writerly writer in the Cormac McCarthy mold who is also a fan of Richard Stark. The Driver character resembles Parker with backstory -- mostly melancholy. Driver is far less zombie-like in the books than Gosling plays him.

One lingering question about Drive, the book, and please email if you have any thoughts. A character is introduced late in the story named "Eric Guzman." There is an earlier character named Standard Guzman (Standard Gabriel in the movie -- Mulligan's creepy husband played by Oscar Isaac.) Who the hell is Eric Guzman supposed to be? Is this Standard back from the dead? A fake name used by mobsters trying to track down Driver? Both? Neither? Very little is said between Driver and another character, "Doc," to explain who "Eric" was and what happened to him. Did Driver "take him out"? The barely-explained reappearance of the Guzman name (and there is a third Guzman mentioned -- Eric's brother Noel, who Doc supposedly fixed up medically) in a novel with a Pulp Fiction-style scrambled chronology throws off the rhythm of the scrambling so the result, for this reader, was confusion as to when events were taking place. Again, would appreciate others' thoughts.

- tom moody

August 3rd, 2016 at 9:40 am

Posted in books, films

dark pattern politics

We've talked about Dark Patterns in web design (manipulative page layouts that trick you into subscriptions, etc) but we also encounter them in media and politics. The Clintons are masters at them. One example is claiming a "Russian hack" to deflect attention from their dirty tricks against Bernie Sanders. Another is having Muslim parents of a deceased Iraq War soldier speak at their convention. Predictably their opponent spouts some Islamophobic nonsense and this shiny object diverts the media away from the Clintons' support of the war that put the soldier in harm's way.

- tom moody

August 2nd, 2016 at 10:53 am

Posted in general

matt taibbi, ex-rss, on the leaked DNC emails

Rolling Stone decided in its wisdom to deactivate the RSS feed for Matt Taibbi's essays. You know, because of progress and the web being Facebook now, whatever.


Taibbi's employers support the Clintons, so he has to write more gently when he criticizes the improper Democratic National Committee tactics that helped doom the Sanders campaign before Sanders self-doomed. Sadly, Taibbi also seems to have accepted the Clinton disinformation about the leaked DNC emails being a "Russian hack," which they then bizarrely tied to Trump. The proof for the Russian connection is weak but the media ran with it, successfully deflecting the story from the awfulness of the DNC emails. Taibbi at least attempts to walk readers through what was sleazy about the DNC's fundraising practices.

The best Democratic Convention coverage came from Counterpunch's Jeffrey St. Clair [1 / 2 / 3 / 4], wearing rubber waders while trudging through the you-know-what.

- tom moody

July 30th, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Posted in general

"Piano Exercise 1"

"Piano Exercise 1" [5 MB .mp3]

Have been listening to Carl Orff's Klavier-übung and got inspired to make some "exercises." Having a human player for this would be appreciated -- MIDI doesn't handle loud and soft velocity (dynamics) very well so this version is mostly loud.

- tom moody

July 30th, 2016 at 11:44 am

Posted in music - tm