For One Week Only: String Quartet No.2 – Canon in Beta

Wednesday 30 November 2005

Update: the piece is now permanently available for download at Cooky La Moo.
It’s short, it’s austere, it’s a strict canon, it’s about 6 Meg and available for download for one week only. The piece was made out of an unfulfilled wish to hear Phill Niblock’s music – despite having heard about it for over ten years I’d never actually managed to hear any of it – so I created an ersatz composition based on descriptions of the original. I knew it typically involved someone playing one note for a long time, over and over again, and then overdubbing all the renditions of said note, resulting in -?- : a mysterious product of all the previously imperceptible fluctuations of intonation from one idealised pitch.
The piece started as a sample of homogenous sound fed through a (virtual) tape delay system, using small variations in filtering to produce gradually shifting overtones on a steady harmonic base. It was long, capricious, and sometimes very loud. Then its nature shifted to a prolonged, almost inaudible performance piece, requiring great concentration and self-control to make a few gestures with little immediately-noticeable effect. Over several incarnations the piece became more and more restrained until it was reduced to this 5-minute composition, a fixed object for contemplation, stripped of added harmonic complexity and overwhelming volume.
This isn’t one note, but it is a single chord played by 240 string quartets with a remarkably uniform sense of intonation, each playing in a very rapidly articulated canon in unison, and each able to expertly imitate the slightest change of nuance in tone colour of its predecessor.
Totally download that thing now!
It’s ideally heard at a modest level, where you only notice the changes if you concentrate. Or if you prefer, set it on repeat, crank it up and switch the telly to a report on Third World child labour for the full faux-Niblock concert experience in your own home.
Made with Ross Bencina’s excellent program AudioMulch.

Older, not wiser

Sunday 20 November 2005

Another six months have passed, so it’s time to update the list of People Or Things I Have Been Mistaken For, Or Allegedly Physically Resemble, In Increasing Order Of Ridiculousness. Two new entries, which have been placed above and below Jim O’Rourke, although it’s a bit of a toss-up which way those three should go.

A post about posting about posts you just posted: a rueful autopsy

Thursday 17 November 2005

It’s kind of sad when you notice these kinds of things, but it had struck me that over the last week or so no comments had been added to the blog, while over the same time I had received several emails about it. Worrying about who’s reading or not reading your blog is a sure sign that you’re turning into a dickhead, but the thought popped into my mind: “You know what the next comment will be about? Something really minor that I put up in a few minutes as filler and then forgot about.”
And so today I get four comments posted about my posting about that Kia salesman’s defunct blog. Disturbingly, someone called Cyn complained that there’s not enough violence on this site. More disturbingly, this seems to be proposed as her(?) solution to people not coming to your birthday party. Even more disturbingly, she apparently uses the term “twilight twitterings” as some sort of Clockwork Orange-type dystopian slang for “bloodletting”.
Do I feel mad with power? No. At the moment, even after half a box of pseudoephedrine I can barely summon the will to get out of bed.
At the very least, I can sleep tonight content in the knowledge that there’s one more person besides myself who doesn’t have a copy of the Fluxus Codex.

Title Pending

Sunday 6 November 2005

Blogger’s been down, so no post for you. Presumably the server was accidentally blown up by a stray firework or ten last night. For the past week the bunker has been surrounded by small clumps of locals setting off cheap-arse fireworks with such irritating regularity that I can’t phone aged relatives in Australia without them assuming that I’m calling from Basra or, worse still, France.
Of course, it’s all part of the festivities commemorating the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot and reenacting the misdeeds of Guy Fawkes, who was apparently a Nigerian who went around attacking pets with bottle rockets.
So much of the weekend was spent hiding down the pub. Here’s a picture of my local and, hey, check who’s street it’s on!

Another month, another attempt at a relaunch

Monday 3 October 2005

Many years ago, I started this blog with the intention of making it the world’s premier forum for analysis and discussion of speedboats, but along the way I lost focus and the emphasis shifted more into the popular pastimes of admiring mediocre pop divas and mocking the dead.
Now I’m back from a tops trip overseas (no Juliette Lewis!) I’m ready to adopt a new tack: long-winded traveller’s tales and enough badly-compressed holiday snaps to bore you rigid. So get ready. There may even be some pictures of kitties. Rejoice!
The main reason I’m so happy is while I was away, the refurbishment of the bunker was all but completed:

Cousin Norman had a real fine time last year

Wednesday 21 September 2005

So long folks, I’m off to Spain for a week or so. While I’m gone I promise to investigate the whole Juliette Lewis fiasco. In the meantime, enjoy a few new pictures intended to illustrate a longish, serious article about my visit to St-Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, which I haven’t gotten around to finishing yet. See you next weekend. Squeezes!

Getting amongst it real soon now

Saturday 10 September 2005

I’m still suffering technical issues, albeit of a self-inflicted variety this time. So in the meantime you can amuse yourselves with the photos slowly getting posted to Flickr (over on the links section): there’s some nice relaxing ones of people kite-surfing at the seaside, if you look around a bit.
Apart from that, I think I might get me some religion. I went past the Celestial Church of Christ, Hackney, last Sunday afternoon and found lots of black people dressed in white robes running about on the pavement throwing blocks of styrofoam at each other. That’s the kind of fast-and-loose interpretation of the bible I can get down with. I may even go in for ordination if there’s a bouncy castle involved.

No-one reads this blog

Thursday 11 August 2005

And I’m not reading anyone elses’ right now. I’ve got bigger problems, having been evicted from my bunker. About a year ago I thought I had me a nice, stable life in Melbourne and was happily settled in a large, crumbling house in the I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Brunswick end of North Fitzroy. Thanks to perfidious landlords and some bad business decisions I am about to move for the fourth time in the past 12 months, one of those times being a midnight dash to the other end of the earth.
At least I’ve found me a new bunker, which is considerably bigger and cheaper than my present abode.
It may, however, be a while until I have regular internet access. I move Friday. Postings to resume soonish.

“I’m quite surprised that things written in personal blogs might not be so true after all.”

Wednesday 10 August 2005

Please forgive me for ignoring an unsolicited email sent to my blog’s email account some time ago, from people claiming they were taking a survey about bloggers. You can understand my suspicion that they were not serious. What’s more, they were from Singapore, where I thought surfing websites was a capital offence.
The survey purported to address the burning issue of “blogging and ethics“. I expected their idea of ethics might boil down to “Don’t say anything that might offend Lee Kwan Yu,” but it’s slightly more expansive than that. Their idea of blogs seems limited to the diary or the news digest, and they don’t seem to realise that they have become the self-storage units of the internet, where you can dump any old crap.
They also didn’t seem to notice their own Blogger log-in page which has been encouraging people for the last few months to post novels on their blogs. I don’t know how that would square with their ethical principle of truthfulness (see the comment left by one survey reader in the above title*.)
Who knows what they would make of blogs like this, this, or this. Their heads might explode, if the government-approved proxy filters let them see it.
Naturally enough, they conclude by wanting to establish a code of ethics for blogging, because what’s the point of living in Singapore if you can’t regulate something?
Bloggers currently do not see a strong need for a blogging code of ethics.

No surprises there: most people in the real world, particularly those who have had to access services through some type of computer interface, have grave doubts as to whether it is necessary or desirable to have any further aspects of their lives organised by the type of computer nerds who can sustain an argument for several months over whether or not a certain Star Trek novelisation is canonical. This goes double when said nerds have been brought up in a country where it is mandatory to have your TV switched to MSNBC at all times.

* Everything on this blog is 100% true.

Pausing for reflection… zzzz…

Friday 15 July 2005

Living conditions in the bunker have been spartan, but are slowly improving. I am not sure this is entirely a good thing. The monastic lifestyle has allowed me to focus my life on more spiritual matters, but moreover it helps to deter kibitzing houseguests. The instant you get digs in London, every unexpatriated Australian – and even some particularly shameless New Zealanders – will suddenly claim an eternal bond of Mateship. Before you know it, your peaceful sanctuary starts to resemble throwing out time at the Walkabout Pub.
The last visitors to the bunker were a couple of girls from Guernsey. I had entertained notions of showing them around the Tate Modern or the stuffed corpse of Jeremy Bentham, but it turned out that their idea of a hot time in London was going to Pizza Hut and then riding the escalators at the tube station – all the big city things they can’t get at home. Worse still, they’d look to me to bail them out when shopkeepers refused to accept their dinky little local £1 notes with cows and pictures of Bergerac on them.
On the up side, I have been able to take advantage of other people’s hospitality on weekend trips out of London. I’ve been meaning to share with you all some of the highlights, but my internet service has been spotty lately and won’t be sorted out until sometime next week. So you’ll have to wait until then, when I’m back from my jaunt to Bristol and I get my interminable series of holiday snaps uploaded onto Flickr.
This seems a good time to mention that this blog is one year old. Sure, the first post is dated sometime in August, but I actually set it up in July last year and then couldn’t be arsed posting anything to it for a few weeks; and so the tone was set for the twelve months’ since of haltingly updated posts about mundane trivialities.
Coming soon: I’ll finally get around to catching up on that played-out music meme. Maybe I’ll also update the links section so you’ll have something good to read.

Not quite narcissistic enough yet

Thursday 19 May 2005

Six months since its inception, a freshly updated and expanded list of People Or Things I Have Been Mistaken For, Or Allegedly Physically Resemble, In Increasing Order Of Ridiculousness.

Let’s get this over with

Saturday 14 May 2005

I hope you have all enjoyed my month’s holiday as much as I have. Just joking! Of course, I don’t take holidays. Ever. In fact, I’ve been hard at work parlaying my modest investments into some serious capital, so I cd spin this thriving internet concern into one those hateful yet lucrative insta-bookoids that clog up the shelves by the cash registers at Dymocks. The perfect gift for an infrequently-visited relative or workmate you have no real connection with. A show on Foxtel, too, was not out of the question.
Unfortunately, I had a “misunderstanding” with my “business partners” over some supposedly “misappropriated” funds in “brown paper bags” and a “racehorse”. Like any bold, forward-looking Australian entrepreneur I have fled the country and moved to London. To be precise, a cosy and modestly-priced bunker in the small, sleepy suburb of Robson Green, NW2.

Within these walls my empire shall rise from the ashes.
Bookworms: the Penguin on my night-table is Milne’s Mr Pim Passes By. The bookmark is a small, creased photograph of Julie Dawn Kemp.

We Are All Winners

Thursday 14 April 2005

This is a great day. Boring Like a Drill is now the Number One Google result for the terms “Austrian Flame” and “Julie Dawn Kemp.” To celebrate this momentous occasion, I have awarded myself several prestigious internet awards for web excellence.
Thanks to NetGuide, Excite and Magellan for the 4-star ratings, and especially to Point for listing me amongst the top 5% of all web sites – what an honour! Without your poorly-conceived business models sending you tits-up during the dot-com boom I would have had to make up my own meaningless awards graphics.
But most of all, I’d like to thank you. Not ‘you’ the readers; firstly because, in all frankness, without you I still would have conquered this search engine summit; and secondly because I seriously doubt I have any readers, and suspect that comments left here were actually written by me when drunk. Rather, I mean the people who set up and run the Google bots and Blogger, because otherwise I’d have to communicate this important information in the old-fashioned way: by pissing it in large, crudely-formed block letters against a wall or other similarly flat surface.
Which reminds me: BLAD is also the Number One Google result for “Peter Phelps is Fat.”

Entropy

Monday 7 March 2005

I’ve been tinkering with the site a little bit, so there’s not quite so many italics to read, a few more links on the side, and some other minor tweaks.
Blogger has finally fixed the comments section so you can put a name to your messages without having to register. Also, in case you don’t know about it already, the links on the side of the page now include Bugmenot, a useful site if you land on a website that expects you to register before you can read anything. (According to The Age, my name is rewt.) If Bugmenot doesn’t work and you have to register, tell them your email address is something at real.com and pretend you’re teaching them a lesson about making bloated, intrusive media players.
Some of the tweaks on this page don’t work exactly right all the time, for reasons I have not yet figured out. In all likelihood I will never figure them out. You probably won’t notice the broken bits, but they’re there and will never get fixed. Every time I attempt to improve this thing it will get a little more broken until it disintegrates into an unusable wreckage of lousy code, but hopefully I’ll get bored and stop updating before that happens.

Got it live if ya want it! Hello? Hello?

Wednesday 23 February 2005

Experimental + interstate music: With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it often takes religion presents…
Ewe bleats harshly after lamb / Grows the seed and blows the mead
Thusday [sic] 24th Feb 8pm – 12am
impromptu lons – hi god people – barrage – meatwave – scraps – grey skulls -night crash – das butcher – rory brown / dennis rappoport – old timey dj -an unknown film – plus guests from queensland
Sweatshop Warehouse, 140 Barkly St (off Sydney Rd.) Brunswick
(near the Brotherhood of St Lawrence)
Donation for entry (money please)
This is in Melbourne, don’t go to your nearest Brunswick expecting to find it if you are in another city. I don’t write this stuff myself, it’s all dictated by higher beings.
I’m plugging this because I’m playing that night as a “guest” (even though I’m not from Queensland – brr!). Expect to find me lurking in the background messing with some bits of balky electronic gear with one hand, nursing a beer with the other and clumsily propositioning girls.