March 2, 2008
Kosovo / Geopolitics Meanderings
Wandering around the internet during a discussion with Yvette and Moses...
- BBC World News: 'Early Independence' for Kosovo
- A Short History of Kosovo
- Stratfor, geopolitical news source recommended by a friend
January 16, 2008
August 27, 2007
OS X Native Ardour coming soon
While I've been using Ardour for years and am happy to "roll my own," I know lots of people for whom this news makes adoption or even testing of this amazing software a real possibility. Huge kudos to Paul and the rest of the Ardour team!
August 18, 2007
OK, we all know and love (and sometimes hate) the world wide web for its tendency to turn us into curious trailblazing seekers riding a never-ending stream of mostly trivial knowledge. Wikipedia is of course even more notorious for inciting such tendencies than other parts of the web. I just thought I'd share a recent cloud of Wikipedia pages I visited. LOL... so fun, so weird, so unfocused.
- The Hague
- International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- Slobodan Milosevic
- Piet Mondrian
- Music genre
- Principes de classement des documents musicaux
- Classical music
- Sonata Arctica
April 8, 2007
Out of the ashes
April 2, 2007
Thank you to open minds
EMI and Apple announced today that EMI tracks will be available in a DRM-free premium format from online music services, starting with the iTunes store. As Charlie Sorrel says,
EMI will sell a lot more digital music now and piracy will not increase. Hear! Hear!
Thank you to one record label out there who has the courage to believe its consumers are not all hoodlums.
February 11, 2007
You've never seen tacks so sharp
Ok, I'm in the midst of PhD prelim exams and don't have time to be blogging, but damn... I mean seriously folks -- every time (repeating for emphasis: EVERY TIME) I encounter this man's writing, I am inspired and reminded just how sharp a good scholarly writer can be...
Richard Taruskin (faculty page, wikipedia entry) will never disappoint an attentive reader. He may rile you up; he may punch a sudden visceral laugh from your gut. You may find in him the razor sharp wit you wish you had on a topic dear to your heart, and you may think he deserves to be stabbed with something equally sharp for what he says. But if you can retain a little bit of objectivity in those moments, you will realize just how powerfully he has galvanized you out of your torpor.
He is one of very few Western musicologists who can read Russian and has specialized in Russian music. As a composer, lover of Russian music from all periods, and one who is fascinated with many elements of Russian history (music and other), that's the main context in which I've encountered Taruskin in the past. But in the past few days I've been reading about John Adams's opera The Death of Klinghoffer. A few months after 9/11, Taruskin wrote an article in the New York Times Arts section, commenting on the cancellation of a performance of choruses from the opera by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
You can get a small taste of the context from the wikipedia entry on the opera, but you shouldn't stop there. If you want some thought-provoking reading, you should actually read Taruskin's article. If you don't subscribe to the NY Times online service, it will cost you $5, but for my fiver it's well worth it. You should also be sure to read the interview with Adams that our esteemed scholar quotes. He does not change the meaning of Adams's words, but those words do belong in a context which Taruskin does not mention.
Well, *MY* thoughts have been provoked... hope yours have too... no easy answers on this one... and that's as it should be, as it truly is...
November 2, 2006
OK. So, yes, I understand our need for law enforcement, and of course I'm glad I can call the police when I feel unsafe. And I also understand there are a lot of open warrants out there, which means criminals and potential criminals on the street. And yes, I even see that it is reasonable to "crack down" and get officers excited about pushing hard over a short period of time to get a lot of these human beings who have done something (or many things) wrong into custody so that the legal process can continue in their cases.
So, this past week, that happened in the eastern U.S. Witness Project Falcon 3. The press release focuses on the fact that sex offenders were primary targets of the operation. It tells one specific story of an arrest that everyone will obviously be glad took place: dirty old man molested a young boy in the past, not currently registered as a sex offender, babysitting several young kids, and the possessions and property of the man suggest that he is still a shady character. I am genuinely glad he is in custody. Thank you U.S. Marshals and associated law enforcement at all levels, and congratulations on a job well done. Children in that community are probably safer now.
What disturbs me is that, if you look at the bold numbers on the operations's home page, the biggest number that is not a total number of people or warrants... the biggest number that is some subcategory of those arrested... the number that is more than double the touted 1659 sex offenders... is this: officers cleared 3609 narcotics warrants through these arrests. That is fine on some level—drug offenses are still illegal, but why don't they play up that number? Why is it that it is only mentioned in that specific place, never again? It's certainly not in any headline; it's not even in the operation press release.
Troublesome. I wonder how many of those narcotics warrants were associated with any violent crime. I wonder how many of them were just kids caught with some weed. I wonder how many of those 10,773 arrested fugitives were black. I wonder how many of them were currently doing no one any harm.
October 18, 2006
See if you can find the newly posted audio... the title is an anagram of "cello noise"
October 4, 2006
I just found out a whole bunch of information about my building (the one where I live and pay rent) that I didn't previously know! Minneapolis provides this info as a public service—and maybe every city does—but I wouldn't have know how to find this if I had tried! I just stumbled on it by accident when trying to find out whether tomorrow was a recycling pickup day.
I now can unequivocally tell people that my home was built in 1900, that my apartment is 938 square feet, and that it's currently worth $325,500. The most exciting part is that there's a (somewhat incomplete) rental and ownership history. I now know (whereas I didn't before) who owns the building! And I know his phone number! If I told you that I lived at 3029 Aldrich Ave S, you could know it too! You'd also know (and this is perhaps the funniest and most exciting part of it to me personally) that my previous landlord owned my current property until he sold it about a week before my 10th birthday.
October 2, 2006
Great %^@&!#& Fun
J. Anthony Allen talks about Household Bank's Great Fun program... and yeah, and how evil they are.
September 26, 2006
Issues in Music Composition Pedagogy
Dan Becker, a composition professor at the San Francisco Conservatory articulates what I believe to be among the most crucial issues today in music education and the development of tomorrow's composers. He calls for a restructuring of the world's music education institutions, referencing composer Edgar Varèse, poet W.H. Auden, musicologist Richard Taruskin, and philosopher Krishnamurti. You can read his article on New Music Box.
Balancing Act: Some Thoughts On Teaching Composition by Dan Becker
September 20, 2006
We go about our day-to-day mostly dealing in superficial pleasantries or straightforward information exchange so we can all keep the world running, keep doing our thing. I desperately wish to hear more discourse on the things that matter. Wisdom, Patience, Honor, Humility, Respect, Indecisiveness, Luck (or the lack of it), Doubt, and the list goes on.
This has become a new impetus, a new spur for me to compassion: I remind myself, when looking down on someone, when pitying someone, when despising someone... that we, he and I, she and I, we have Great Struggles in common.
Our struggles are different, surely, because we are individuals with different histories, but there is this: we all struggle, and our struggles are colossal for us. They will keep us moving forward for a lifetime, ever giving us reason to rise from sleep. And rise to our dreams. I suspect also that themes will emerge when many people's struggles are taken in sum. I want to find out what these themes are—what are THE Great Struggles of humanity, from a survey, not from what I imagine them to be according to this or that archetype or stereotype.
Please, share your great struggles with me. We all have them... artistic, or moral, or political, social, psychological. What questions confront you again and again in all areas of your life? I honor you, respect you, and thank you for anything you might share, for confronting head-on the big questions in your life.
August 30, 2006
Long time no bloggy bloggy... Coffee news—YEAH! Drink up!!!
May 24, 2006
Paul Bourke's site makes my jaw drop... start at his surfaces page and just start clicking around...