I’ve been feeling quite depressed lately, and decided to do a search for Chinese Medicine and depression. What I discovered was an interesting approach. While Western head shrinks are quick to prescribe drugs for depressive symptoms (often with catastrophic side effects), Chinese practitioners suggest depression results from repressed emotions, such as guilt or anger. Their treatments seek to release these emotions in order for the patient to study them and let go of them accordingly. Acupunture, acupressure and traditional herbs are their route. I’m going to check this out, or spend an infinitude of days suffering this terrible indignity.
News for August 2005
Rap Lyrics Translated
Standard American English translations of Ebonics in contemporary rap and hiphop tunes.
This one is from BizBag:
First I talk about how I dress and this
And diamond necklaces – stretch Lexuses
The sex is just immaculate from the back I get
Deeper and deeper – help ya reach the
Climax that your man can’t make
Call and tell him you’ll be home real late
Let’s sing the break
I prefer to open the conversation with light banter about my wardrobe and jewelry, then I like to discuss my collection of expensive cars. This is more than enough to convince you to have sexual intercourse with me. I am able to insert my penis further into you when I enter you from behind. Furthermore, you will be able to reach orgasm. I understand this to be a problem with your current sexual partner. He needn’t be concerned about your whereabouts. Please phone him and inform him that you won’t be home for a while. By the way, please sing the chorus of the song for me also.
Until last week, I had never heard of CSound, a programming language designed in 1985 for synthesizing sounds and signals. As I read the Engadget article, I discovered that Brian Eno, Richard James (aka Aphex Twin), Trent Reznor (aka Nine Inch Nails) and many others have been using CSound for years. With free downloadable programs for Windows, Mac and Linux, and the tutorials below as a guiding framework, aspiring musicians, producers, and the like should have no trouble getting their computers to beep, squeal and squawk like an ARP.
I found a great site on circuit bending, which Wikipedia defines as “the creative short-circuiting of electronic devices such as guitar effects, children’s toys and synthesizers to create new musical instruments and sound generators.” Never mind that it’s potentially hazardous, and could kill you, but the results are pretty awesome. A few months back I picked up a used Roland TR-505 drum machine, circuit bent by the guy who sold it to me. I think I paid around $75 for it, and man is it cool. Not only can I get the standard sounds out of it, but a few flips of some extra switches allow some otherworldly percussive sounds. Interested? Check out a full circuit bending tutorial at anti-theory.com I’ve just uploaded an MP3 of my circuit bent TR-505 (MP3, 1.51 MB).
RIP Robert Moog
Robert Moog, electronic music innovator, passed away at his home on August 21, 2005. For those unaware, his Moog synthesizer was responsible for the sounds heard on countless recordings from the sixties, seventies, and beyond. Diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year, he battled the disease with radiation and chemotherapy. Mr. Moog, I never knew you personally, but I want to thank you for all you’ve done.
The Wikipedia article on Robert Moog features some great information, including a snippet on how to pronounce “Moog” properly (apparently, it rhymes with “vogue”).
Also, check out the Moog Music website.
The photo pictured was originally uploaded to Flickr by Theremina.
A Musician’s Keys
My friend John just sent me this:
A septuagenarian named Frank “Little Sonny” Scott Jr. plays a homemade instrument made out of keys. Pretty cool. I’ve heard of wind chimes made out of old keys (which I’ve been saving some to create), but I’ve never actually heard of anyone making an instrument and earning a reputation for playing keys. Playing in key, maybe. I’d love to hear what this gent sounds like. Good thing he’s only 90 miles away.
La Dolce Vita
Last night, we got together with a bunch of Nicole’s friends at an Italian restaurant called “Il Dolce Vita,” or the sweet life. Situated in the historically Italian naighborhood of Boston’s North End, the restaurant dishes out an excellent culinary experience coupled with fine wines, live music, and exceptionally generous service, albeit at a lofty price. Glancing at the bill at the end of the night, I was quite thankful there were 10 of us to split it. Had I been dining alone, it would have amounted to a hefty car loan payment! Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself thouroughly. When the old crooning accordion player came to our table during his rounds, I scatted improvised vocal lines with him. He was so into singing that I would occasionally get sprayed with a fine mist of saliva. It was quite a blast. Really, it was. I felt like I was suddenly on the “in.” The food? Well, my scallops were excellent and slightly sweet, but I was disappointed by the shrimp, which were tougher than I expected from an expensive restaurant in a coastal city like Boston. Overall? I had a rippin’ good time, and the food was good. Bring extra money.
Vera Meyer and her Glass Harmonica
Once in Harvard Square, we stumbled upon the most fascinating street musician, Vera Meyer. She played an odd instrument called the Glass Harmonica, and was quite obsessed with Jay Leno and appearing on the Tonight Show. Vera ran through a gamut of songs with an audience member turning the crank on her instrument, and I was mightily impressed by the eerie sound. She informed us the instrument was rumored to make the musician go insane, but that she felt fine. I shrugged to myself as we walked away; sanity is in the eyes of the beholder.
This photo was taken shortly after we arrived in Boston yesterday morning. It was nice to be back in a city, and slough off the remnants of the Cape Cod Coma. We dropped off our bags at the hotel (check in wasn’t until 3:00 pm!?), and started walking around immediately. We hopped on the “T,” Boston’s subway, and made our way to Harvard Square.
Sri Lanka to host WOMAD World Music Festival
My friend Tim just recently sent me this article, and I totally want to go to this outstanding event. However, my finances will likely not permit it, so I’ll have to encourage my friends and family in Sri Lanka to check it out.
The creation of WOMAD (which stands for World Of Music, Arts, and Dance) was inspired by Peter Gabriel in the early 1980’s, and since its inception has dazzled audiences by bringing together the most awe inspiring performers from around the world.
I’m quite excited that WOMAD will be held in Sri Lanka this year, especially since most people had never heard of the country prior to last December’s tragic tsunami. WOMAD’s presence in Sri Lanka will bring greater awareness of this cultural gem to the rest of the world, and only time will tell what creative bridges will be spanned as a result.
For any of you in the general area (Sri Lanka is quite a short trip from Europe, Asia, Australia, and India), the WOMAD festival will feature such greats as Billy Cobham, the Master Drummers of Burundi, and many more.
via World Music Central