cruft for the world.

June 30, 2005

Chicken Wings

I assembled a portable blogging system: my old laptop plus a cheap webcam. That way, I hoped to hang out in downtown Vancouver and write blogs and then when I reached an internet-capable computer, upload those mothers. But no dice: I was derailed by Tron, leader of an obscure sect of chicken wing worshippers. The night went downhill from there. I got home at 3 a.m.

Anyway, I still hope to implement a portable blog procedure. I'll keep you posted.


June 28, 2005

Audio Photography

I've been taking audio photos since 2001, when I got my first MiniDisc recorder. Then I was in Taipei, and there were hundreds of great audio sources. My favorite were the clanging religious processions that ambled down the smaller streets on auspicious days. Audio photography means more than just 'field recordings,' for me - I want to use the sounds I capture as sample sources. I'll be processing all the natural environments and re-imagining them, too, so it pays to listen closely to what the microphone picks up. The secondary benefits of audio photography are that it trains your ears to notice the resolution and bit-rate of your recording technology - and your environment.

To do audio photography correctly, my prefered procedure was always to wear headphones and hold the mic in one hand and MD recorder in the other for freedom of movement and simultaneous monitoring. Then, with the tape rolling, I'd wander a pre-selected area and record sounds from varying locations. This captures all kinds of delicious doppler effects and psychoacoustic gloss. Now I use a small MP3 player with a built-in mic. The advantage of this system is that people (if they are the photo-target) don't suspect they are being captured, but the drawback is that I cannot monitor through headphones (due to technical limits of MP3 player.) Howver the end results are usually spectacular.

And another bonus of audio photography is that it allows me to recreate in audio the environments I've passed through... I've got great captures of improvised music by friends I went camping with, and tracks of industrial noises that sound like synthetic microsound but were actually naturally produced. Audio photography taught me that even nature is learning to imitate digital synthesis and resynthesis.

There's new kind of nature I wish to photograph, too: radio. My new MP3 player has a digital radio tuner and a record function, so hopefully, if I manage to slip the surly bonds of Canada and get a job overseas, I'll be able to document their broadcasts and sample them too, like Akufen.


Last night, after wrapping up the Blips and Ifs celebration of the launching of the bloglabel, I caught the 22 Knight bus to downtown Vancity on my way back to Tsawwassen. I had an hour to wait downtown for the next bus but I didn't care because I was full of bloggy enthusiam and sugar-free Red Bull. The half-forgotten faces of girls from history flashed in front of my eyes. Then in an illumination of hallucinatory empty city insight, Menalque's words from The Immoralist popped into my brain-hole:

"'If only our wretched brains could really embalm our memories! But memories don't keep well. The delicate ones wither, the voluptuous ones rot, the most delicious ones are the most dangerous later on. The things you repent were delicious once ... Regret, remorse, repentance - they're all former joys, reversed. I don't like looking back, and I leave my past behind me the way a bird leaves its shady tree in order to fly away. I tell you, Michel, each joy still awaits us, but must find the bed empty, must be the only one, so that we come to it like a widower. Oh Michel, each joy is like manna in the desert, which spoils from one day to the next: or like water from the fountain of Ameles which Plato says no pitcher could preserve. Let each moment carry away whatever it has brought."

That's why I blog. Because unlike writing an autobiographical novel, where one can summon and reanimate the corpses of former joys, a blog is written as things happen, and doesn't need to be revised later as our memories decompose into regrets. I want to write forwards, not backwards.

June 27, 2005


I originally emailed a lot of people to say that the price of a Tachikoma-Kun album, if ordered from Shima Records, would cost about $13.75 Cdn. But one person who ordered it emailed me to say that the cost was actually $16.50, because of changes in the exchange rate... or perhaps credit card charges, I dunno.

Or perhaps they're becoming more collectible.

Either way, I am off to watch an episode of GaoGaiGar. The best part is the opening.

Gentle, Amoral Robot Music

I'd like to announce the simultaneous starting of the Blips and Ifs bloglabel and the UK release of Tachikoma-Kun's "Gentle, Amoral Robot Music."

The album can be purchased here, and longtime Blips and Ifs supporters will note that it has a completely different cover from the Canadian release... just one more reason to pick up your copy today.

So, what is a bloglabel? Well, it's really a catalyst for a lot of Frza, Moil and Tron's music and art projects that are always getting cooked up but are never completely baked all the way through.

The goal is to turn out a daily stream of content which can be delivered faster and more regularly than any other label in the world. I'd like singles and albums to be released like serials in an ongoing comic strip.

Things like brands and copyrights no longer matter. People eventually locate content streams that they love, and they stay tuned. I know I do.

Anyway, don't touch that dial, we'll be right back.