Real World Studios Remixed Competition

Real World Studios started out as Peter Gabriel’s “home studio” and then like all good toys, grew like topsy. The studio has recorded (apart from Peter Gabriel’s works) , AfroCelt and Flook and a ton of other artists as well.

They are celebrating twenty years of Real World Studios by making available a sample pack; including all the vocals, from Peter’s original multitracks of Shock The Monkey. Recorded between spring 1981 and summer 1982 this track was one of the first to use sampling technology. Peter utilised the ground breaking Fairlight CMI and you can hear it and other classic machines such as the Linn Drum and the Prophet 5 synth throughout the sample pack.

and as icing on the cake they have announced the Real World Studios Remixed Competition

We’re pleased to announce the first Real World Remixed competition in association with Peter Gabriel, who’s given us Shock The Monkey to remix and Solid State Logic, who are donating a great prize.

Download the pack when it becomes available on the 28th of June, remix, then upload your finished mix back to this site – we’re going to be keeping an eye on the peer reviews and ratings, then we’ll sit down with Peter and listen to the pick of the mixes here in the first week of October. The winner will be announced on October 7th.

I know what I am going to be doing for the next couple of weeks.

Oh, there is also an AfroCelt sample pack for remixing as well. Yum.

UPDATE: Solid State Logic are providing one of the prizes. SSL has also started a new community site, called Mix Buss, which looks pretty cool Some of the articles are lifted straight from S.O.S. (Sound on Sound magazine), so there is some connection there, but I have always enjoyed the writing in SOS.

A Not To Do List

A Not-To-Do List

Today is the day you start your project.
Wake up. Make your coffee. Sit down. Get to work.

Now, it should be that simple. Wake up and get to work.

But there are many distractions. Mental and otherwise.

So this is NOT a to-do list.
This is a not-to-do list.
You don’t need to check anything off, because these are things YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO.

And so begins 52 Projects: A Not-To-Do List, it’s great. I think I should put at the top of every project setup list.

You could probably add “Don’t read Impediments on a Monday” to it as well.

Che, Jim, Andy and Silkscreening

Way back in the late Sixties I picked up a number of useful skills. AND they had nothing to do with computers. Apart from tie dying which was messy and great fun, I learnt how to silkscreen tshirts and posters.

Now you have to remember that desktop publishing hasn’t been invented yet, and neither has the inkjet printer, iron on paper or Kinko’s. So we had to figure out ways to get the message across while waiting around for someone to invent all that stuff. It also had the advantage that while you were waitng for stuff to dry you could whip round the corner and catch a set from a band at the local pub.

Korda photo of CheIn case you think that this all sounds a little lowtech and primitive, I would like to point out that one of the enduring icons from that era was first popularised as a silkscreened poster and tshirt.

The Maryland Institute College of Art called Korda’s photo (that’s the one on the left), “The most famous photograph in the world and a symbol of the 20th century.” and who am I to argue.

Jim Hamilton GraphicNow this is transformed using a single stencil and some black ink by Irish artist Jim Hamilton into the graphic at the right (of course recognise it,you’ve seen the image a million times). and then Fitzpatrick’s high contrast image is hijacked and re-purposed by Warhol CheAndy Warhol’s in his 1962 artwork Che Guevara, a montage of brightly coloured images in Warhol’s stylised screenprint. And now it’s used to sell Vodka, clothes and probably appears at least somewhere in the graffiti on a wall near you right now.

So screenprinting, lowtech and primitive, OK. But you still can change the world with it.

Silkscreening is a great medium, as it sort of sits half-way between hand-drawn and mass production, way more colourful than photocopying and as you can see above, it has an aesthetic all its own.

What prompted all this is a post by Artist Shannon Gerard, who broke out her silkscreening gear to make cool shirts and posters for her upcoming comic launch, and while waiting for things to dry has shared her skills in a funny and very detailed tutorial over at No Media Kings How to Silkscreen Posters and Shirts

So go and read up, learn how to print your own posters, shirts, or whatever else is small enough to be printing on. Lets face it, we may be needing this soon. Oh yeah keep an eye out for the Virgin Mary and Spiderman, they help her out.

Australia, atoms and nuclear accidents

John Howard recently announced that Australia ( that’s the former democracy) is going to go nuclear. Now, he assures us that this decision will be thoroughly investigated. Pity it’s a decision already rather than a discussion.

The Austrlian Green’s media release yesterday claims that

Prime Minister John Howard wants to shut out the Australian public from his nuclear review, making a lie of his call for a ‘full-blooded debate’, Australian Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said today.

“Reports today that the hand-picked review panel will not hold public hearings and probably won’t call for public submissions show just what a sham the process is,” Senator Milne said in Alice Springs.

“Prime Minister Howard said he wanted a ‘full-blooded debate’ about whether Australia should go down the nuclear track but he doesn’t want to hear what Australians have to say on the matter,” Senator Milne said.

“Instead, the panel will ask selected individuals to make submissions, and even these may not be released to the public until after the review panel reports to the Prime Minister.

SO when the pundits tell us how safe this stuff is, it might be worth popping over to Lasting News, who have produced a timely Google map of nuclear_accidents around the world.

I will bet there are a lot more there than you knew about ( I could only name 6).This map displays information about the most important nuclear accidents and disasters relying on a well-documented Wikipedia source.

Here are some other pages to cast an eye over.

Oh and just in case it wasn’t obvious, NO NUKES FOR AUSTRALIA.

55 Ways to Have Fun With Google

If you are like me you use Google a dozen or more times a day.

But do you know about say, the Google Snake Game? How about Googledromes? Memecodes? Googlesport? The Google Calculator? Googlepark and Google Weddings? and then there’s Google hacking, fighting and rhyming?

Well neither did I, but Philipp Lenssen (the author of Google Blogoscoped.) has just released
55 Ways to Have Fun With Google and generously put a Creative Commons PDF / HTML version on his website.

In this book, you’ll find Google-related games, cartoons, oddities, tips, stories and everything else that’s fun.

On the subject of Advanced Google Mail ( I know we weren’t but it seems apropos)

Lifehacker had a post a while back called Become a Gmail master

The first thing you’ll want to do to flex Gmail’s muscle a bit is set up a few labels. If you’re new to labels, think of them as folders, or better yet, tags.

Your email doesn’t have to specifically reside in any folders to be just as accessible. In fact, labels are great specifically because you can apply multiple labels to one email, making you email that much easier to find. Setting up labels is super-easy:

and Smallwire discovered Keyboard shortcuts for every Google webapp

All good geeks know that keyboard shortcuts are the shiznit. I have been a dedicated user of Gmail since I got my hands on an invite over a year ago. I thought I was a power-user until someone told me that you could archive a conversation by pressing ‘y’. “Shortcuts in webapps?!” I screamed. After this mini epiphany/freak-out, I ran around the help files of all my favourite webapps, looking for the shortcuts. Here they are. They’re useful. Go wild.

All in all a bit of reading time seems called for.

Brunswick Music Festival: Lunny & Irvine

The Brunswick Music Festival sent me one of their “keeping in touch: emails the other day which was good because it prompted me to jot some notes down about the concert we went to back in March ( Hey, I’ve been busy). Here is a belated review.

The Date: Thursday 30th March
The Place: Mechanics Institute Hall in Sydney Road.
The Reason: To see two amazing musicians. Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny

One of my friends (Hi Ian) came around and physically removed us (Jools and I) from our computers (“help help” as they struggled… to get to the bar) and rushed us of to Sydney Road. He felt we weren’t getting out enough and as we had missed the Richard Thompson gig a few weeks earlier, he was probably right.

Our evening started out with the warm-up act, a local band called “Triskel” comprising of Sally Taylor on Fiddle , Corey Romeo on Mandolin, Guitar and Gerard Daly on Bodhran, Guitar.

The music was sort of Irish, Scottish?, Breton and was really arranged well, but it was presented as precious “chamber music”. Sad to say there was no real attempt to engage with the audience and it was a pity. Yes I know we were all there to see the other lot but they could have at least tried. The great thing about the Brunswick Music Festival is that a lot of times the “warm-up act can be as interesting as the main act. I know that they go to a lot of trouble to pair the acts up to make sure that we punters get a great night.

I wouldn’t mind hearing them again, but heard nothing that really pushed my hand in my pocket to grab a CD. Don’t get me wrong they CAN play (oh god can they play), but it seems I expect more from performers these days. (Also I cant send you to anywhere you can actually LISTEN to them on the web. Like so many musicians, they haven’t put a sample up anywhere I could find).

Irvine and LunnyWhich after a short intermission brings us to the main event.

The musical combination of Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny is world-renowned and how many people do you know who established a whole new genre in Irish traditional music in the early seventies. The duo were a delight to listen to. Let’s face it, they could have sat up there played a “Plantxy / Bothy Band Greatest Hits” bracket and we all would have gone home feeling well pleased. But NO, instead of taking the easy way out, they played. Boy did they play, we got two brackets of exciting and entertaining music. They took chances, had fun and allowed us to see WHY they are held in such high esteem. No resting on the laurels here.

I had a ball and so did nearly everybody else I could see. The Mechanics Institute is a tiny (200 seats?) venue and at times it felt as though you could reach out and touch the music. Fanciful? Maybe but, you really had to be there.

John McAuslanHere is a picture of our host. John McAuslan. He is the poor bunny, who with his team get all this music together (and have done for 18 years). Thanks John. You will inevitably see us again next year, you always manage to find music that fires me up.

So to the point. To you, our reader. Go and put yourself on the Brunswick Music Festival mailing list. and when they announce the concert lineup next year, if it is too hard to pick between the offerings just shut your eyes and pick something at random. The odds are you will love it.

For more musings of a musical nature, head over to Duggup.