After cancelling my Spotify account because they became too chummy with Facebook, I started a free trial with MOG yesterday, since Jon likes his new MOG account. MOG is a subscription service that is much like Spotify, but MOG streams everything at 320kbps and is considered to stream the highest quality of these services.

I could not tell you how I obtained the free trial, because the website is not very clear. Somehow I found a place to create a sign-in on the site, then downloaded the iPhone app and signed in, and at that point I was offered a free trial.

Spotify claims more songs than MOG, but yesterday I found several albums on MOG that are NOT available on Spotify, e.g. Jeff Beck’s “Blow by Blow” and my album “The Scent of Light” – although that album is credited to “Luna Negra” and can only be found be searching for the album title. (((We are looking into why the album is not at all available on Spotify)))

Both of Stephen’s albums and both of Jon’s albums are on MOG. They should be on Spotify as well, but I didn’t look.

Numbers Game

I am having fun with math… one new piece has a chorus in 4/4 at 99bpm and a verse that’s in 6/8 at 66bpm – the beat is the whole note of the 6/8 verse rhythm and the triplets of the 6/8 rhythm are the quarter notes of the chorus rumba.

Actually that’s how I was playing it this Summer, but I wanted to know why I was playing it and what the relationship between the rhythms might be. It feels natural to me to switch between these rhythms. Jon said that there are African rhythms that do something similar, but playing both at the same time.

I have another new piece that’s in 5/4 at 120bpm and today I wrote an outro that’s in 4/4 at 96bpm. (((120 : 5 = 24, 24 x 4 = 96))). I am changing the kick drum and snare patterns, but the clap pattern will remain the same. It’s an eerie effect because the music seems to slow down because the same length of the bar now contains only four beats, instead of five, but the clap pattern stays the same and constant…

Will we entertain ourselves to death…

Brian Eno: Success ruins artists –
What does Doctor Pangloss have to say about how 21st-century human ingenuity is being channeled into inventing juicy gizmos like the iPad, instead of preparing for a world without oil, which, if even conservative estimates are correct, will be upon us by the time my daughter is in her late 20s?

The hope is that some of these gizmos become the tools by which we make those preparations. It’s a worry: Are we entertaining ourselves to death, or are we actually learning new ways of coping? Only time will tell.

People discuss the merrits of their f’ing phones (((Android!!! Apple!!!) with more emotion and involvement than Climate Change. I have wondered whether that is because phones are safe in the sense that they are not political. Americans don’t seem to be very good at discussing politics (((perhaps Americans don’t have as much practice talking politics compared to, say, the regular English pub or Italian cafe discussions, and they often see things too polarized – on the other hand we can’t say that Italy or the UK are especially successful politically, can we…))), so maybe people find phones a safe object of discussion and disagreement. Let’s avoid religion and politics, but let’s really get involved in the phone we carry..

It’s just a phone. Who gives a shit what operating system it runs! If you are happy with yours, I think that’s great, but let’s talk about more important things, like climate change, like education, like the fact that without charging a realistic amount of taxes (((more than currently))) we cannot build a great culture and country, period.

Swirly Stars

Australian photographer Lincoln Harrison endures 15-hour photo shoots to capture stunning night images of star trails | Mail Online
At first glance these spectacular swirls of colour may look like clever computer graphics or the result of faulty camera work.

They are, in fact, the product of hour after hour of painstaking night-time shooting by photographer Lincoln Harrison.

His stunning pictures of star trails across the Australian night sky were taken over periods of up to 15 hours.