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Thursday 29 May 2003

Tuning, Bass, Gigs, etc

Since last I typed . . .

I digitized that tape of Tennis Roberts first gig. There's about 40 minutes of music, but on most of it, the guitars are inaudible. Apparently, the guitar players are shy. Anyway, I'm hoping to be able to pull out more guitar by EQing up the mid range and high end. And then maybe mix in a bit of reverb throughout to hide any artifacts. Maybe this will make it sound worse. I dunno. I tried recording our last practice, with the idea of getting a better demo tape, but mitch saw ProTools running and was inspired to start shouting/sining "happy elves" for several minutes.

I called Tammy about her fretless bass after the gig, because it's such a great bass. Tammy called back and gave the bass to me. Not sold. Gave. Wow. She said that she wasn't using it and I was, and so I should have it.

Several weeks ago, I lent a Moog Taurus II "brain" to Zeppie, since I wasn't using it and I thought he might dig it. He called me back and asked to buy it and I didn't get back to him. I had been thinking that I could sell it to him and use the cash for a fretless bass (since they're worth about the same). But I don't need to buy a bass now and I wasn't using the Moog and he is, so I think that I'm karmatically obligated to pass the economic benefits of Tammy's generosity along. I like the idea of musical instruments being traded around in an extra-capitalists, semi-anarchist system of use-based ownership.

I spent a few days trying to figure out why the Java Just Intonation Calculator didn't make sounds, before I figured out that the answe is to ctrl-click it (equal to a right button mouse click). Unfortunately, this were days actively spent going through the code and futzing with it. So, throwing good time after bad, I added a piano keyboard interface to the program. It's beta software, released in May of 2000, but folks I suspect were college students. I'm thinking of taking over the project, since they seem to have abandoned it, as it is pretty buggy and has . . . um . . . unusual design principles employed in it. All the heavy lifting is done, I would just do a little redesign and fix problems with layout, GUI, sound, file IO, and object oriented-ness. In the mean time, if you want a GUI piano keyboard add-on, send me email.

Christi wants me to take up the standup bass. She's inspired by the bassist in Glass Beads and wants me to be equally hip and talented. I suggested that I should just get more tatoos to more closley resemble a professional bassist, but she insisted, so I'm making inquiries into renting a doublebass. Best Music rents them, but with a three month minimum, and I'll be leaving in two. Forrest's Music says that the instument is complicated and I'll want a real symphony-type teacher, not just cheesy lessons in the back of a music store. Perhaps this will all come together this summer.

Speaking of tatoos, Christi says that I should not get an anarchist symbol tatooed on my arm. Nor should I get a small portrait of Che. I didn't ask about a hammer and sickle. A peace sign is ok, as is a bass clef. These aren't ultimatiums, but Christi is wiser than I am about body modification. If it were not for her wisdom, I might have gone ahead with plans for a Tazmanian Devil tatoo, that I wanted when I was young and foolish. I would have had to pay royalties for the image to AOL Time Warner. But are Che protraits just a passing fad or a leftist symbol that will stand the test of time?

Jerry Brown's warehouse is for sale. I think I will try to get a tour of it.

I had practice today with the flute band. Tomorrow, I'm going to 100% memorize everything. And tommorrow is a recption or concert or something for Chen Yi that I failed to RSVP for, but will try to buy tickets for anyway. If that doesn't work, there's a protest against Clear Channel in front of thier building at the same time, which I could play tuba at. So my todo list is: get Chen Yi tix, memorize bass parts, find double bass, get tatoos, (maybe) get haircut, write Ratio class for the JJICalc.

Friday, the flute band travels to Eugene for a gig. My first with them. And it's the first time that I've been paid to perform music not composed by me since 1994.

There's not much else going on around here. Christi's foot is still broken. The dog is scared of the dark and doesn't want to go outside at night. Christi is reading a bio of Virginia Woolf. I just read Terrorism and War by Howard Zinn and am currently reading a book of shoirt stories by Phillip K Dick and a nonfiction called Trotskyism After Trotsky. Sometimes I stumble through the Just Intonation Primer and I've ordered a book on Smalltalk from Powells, as I continue to try to figure out SuperCollider, the music programming language of choice at Wesleyan. My strategy of late has been to install SuperCollider on computers that other people use, in the hope that those people will start programming in it and share information with me. I put it on Christi's laptop and the imac that Tiffany uses, but have had no luck so far. Tonight, I tried putting it on Mitch's computer, but there is a syntax error in some file, so it won't compile. Alas. Goodnight.

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