9 Aug 2013

Look up to a shining light

Author: will | Filed under: LBC, music, video, YouTube

There are days when a Loose Bloggers Collective topic is fun and bothersome. Shackman came up with “If you could only hear 5 more songs what would they be and why?”, well I can’t pick 5. I have narrowed it down to 6. Or 38 depending on how you count.

Let’s start with a bit of creation, “Baba Yatu” by Christopher Tin.

This has shown up on the blog before. Its a favourite I discovered by accident when Jemima Kiss and Aleks Krotoski were talking about game music on the Tech podcast. And for those of you who didn’t guess or recognise it, its the opening sequence to the game Civilization IV, and was the first video game theme to win a Grammy award. Its a soaring theme that feels like hope. Its also the “Our Father” in Swahili.

And I just love it. When I find a song I love I tend to play it repeatedly live a seven year old. A lot of YouTube bits passed over my screen.

The next three all have the same source. I used to review music, so when a song stuck, it needed to be good to stick.

First is the loud “For the Kids of the Multiculture” by Sonic Boom Six.

SB6 are a Manchester based band I heard nothing about before I heard the track. And I played it silly. Its the kids saying, we may be different, but we will work together despite of what’s put against us. It’s soft of inspiring.

Next is “When the Night Kills the Day” by Lauren Pritchard.

I knew something was wrong about this song, then I realised that “Blue Roses” is a euphemism for bruises. Its the song of the abused still in love with her abuser. And based on an old job which sometimes haunts me, I know there is a lot of truth in those words.

Lastly of the three is “It’s Not Easy Letting Go” by Candi Staton.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bought the CD behind this. Candi Staton is best know for her classic disco tracks and remixes, but It’s not easy, is an older sound. Its a love song, most of her songs are, but this is, sometimes you have to let go, and the resignation in her voice shows that its a breaking heart singing with a brave face.

And now, the numbers go weird. I got interested in mashups (back when they were called bootlegs. I know, I know, its a really messy term now), and DJ Earworm was a feature since the very beginning. Now this gut has a reputation, so much so that Annie Lennox approved him to do a mashup of her back catalogue in “Backwards, Forwards“.

The track features parts of “Why”,  “Walking on Broken Glass”,  “Little Bird”,  “No More I Love You’s”,  “Waiting in Vain”,  “Something So Right”,  “Dark Road”, “Sing” and “Shining Light”. It ends up being a bit of a retrospective of a great artist.

DJ Earworm has a reputation now. In 2007 he took the Billboard top 25 for the year and ran his magpie brain over them to make a single track. Its become a yearly tradition now. My favourite is from 2011 with “World Goes Boom“.

There are some tracks that just make you want to dance. Isn’t that enough for inclusion (and no I’m not going to list the sources).

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “If you could only hear 5 more songs what would they be and why?”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar. And I think I need to find a link for Shackman.

4 Jun 2013

Bad Girl and the Summer

Author: will | Filed under: music, network

Partially to see how well the sharing works from Soundcloud, and partially because it sounds like an early morning summer's night.

Expect to hear this one a lot in July.

Embedded Link

Natalia Kills – Problem (Kat Krazy Remix)

11 Dec 2012

Stars in the sky

Author: will | Filed under: Links, music, podcast, science

Patrick Moore wasn’t just a man, but an institution. For a few generations in the UK an Ireland, if you was “astronomer” its his face and voice that come to mind.

Odd, eccentric, passionate about science and extremely fun to listen to. He quite simply made science interesting. Being an amateur might have helped. All his doctorates were honorary, but deserved.

Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, CBE, FRS, FRAS died on the December 9 2012.

Thanks to the RTÉ documentary on One podcast, I heard the music he wrote for the first time. And its a great insight in to the man. RTÉ have a habit of removing their podcasts after two weeks, so results will vary.

Embedded Link

DocArchive: Stargazers
Patrick Moore boasted to friends that he was the only man to interview Orville Wright, Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin but to his fans he was much more than a broadcaster. (Broadcast 2001)

6 Dec 2012

The rain falls down

Author: will | Filed under: Ireland, LBC, music, video, YouTube

The icy weather across the country has broken for rain. And I'm playing catch-up with the Loose Bloggers Consortium, again.

The missed topics are "Rains", "Doom and Gloom" and "Music" so the song below comes to mind. "When the Rain Falls" by Eleanor McEvoy.

This song first came to my attention when the "A Woman's Heart" CD came out. This was an all female, all Irish, compilation of songs and the title song sung by Mary Black was written my Eleanor McEvoy. Unsurprising as she is one of Ireland's highly accomplished songwriters (I really hope there is a league table hidden away somewhere for this title). The album released in 1992 spawned a few sequels and spin-offs and a couple of tours. Poke around YouTube and you'll probably catch a few of the tracks.

The song its self is a jazz, well blues, influenced number. "I woke up this morning" isn't how it starts, but its a collection of minor disasters following a break-up. The coffee's run out, the milk has gone off, the heating won't start, have trouble getting on-line, and when she does, the nasty reminder awaits.

And then it rains.

But it sounds so good.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on “rains”, “doom & gloom” and “music”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.

23 Jul 2012

Not caring

Author: will | Filed under: LBC, music

The LBC topic this week is on "Care Giving", but what if you don't care?

A generation fancied Wendy James on the basis of this song.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “Care giving”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.

4 Jul 2012

Rock and Roll 1953-2011

Author: will | Filed under: advertisement, music, video, YouTube

Alex from the +Chicago Music Exchange plays his way through 100 riffs of Rock and Roll from 1953's Mr Sandman by Chet Atkins through to 2011's Cruel by St. Vincent. Someone should do a 100 riffs podcast where you try to interview the people involved and the reactions at the time.

However a non-stop uncut riff through 100 riffs is worth seeing. Its also the table quiz music round from hell.

Naturally its being done in the hopes of going viral (so my little push) with a give-away to boot, but the page behind it http://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/100riffs/ lists all the details, the gear used and the songs and keys featured.

So sit back and enjoy the history lesson.

16 Jun 2012

As my guitar softly prints

Author: will | Filed under: creativity, Design, music, opportunity

3D printing is something I really love the idea of. The practical results are, well, mixed.

I’ve seen, and help, amazing pieces. Intricate interlocking design which can only be printed that way. Vases printed fully decorated with different designs on the outside and on the inside. Pieces that look like hand painted with watercolours Egyptian artifacts.

I’ve also seen extruded pieces that look like spaghetti softened and shaped with food colouring. All it needs is a dab of glitter to make it a kids art project. It depends on the printing technique.

However the technology is slowly improving. I’d like to be able to print my own pieces for a transforming robot to vehicle (no brand names please) based on my own design. Or print a broken part to make a robot zombie (just to be different from the usual example). And its getting there.

Of course, if I print a musical instrument, I’m going to try with a simple printed whistle first.

Now I can download a book to read on a hand-held screen. I’d like to be able to design and print (or download) a case for that hand-held screen.
That’s available now.
And if it looks like a child’s spaghetti art piece, when then it looks hand crafted, glitter optional.

Of course, that case may have prevented its screen from cracking. Anyone have a tablet they don’t need?

Embedded Link

How 3D printing is revolutionising guitar-making
Additive manufacturing, starting with nothing and adding material one layer at a time, may soon be used to output entire buildings

13 Jun 2012


Author: will | Filed under: Cork, creativity, Dublin, music, record labels, social change, social network, video

Fund:it is an unusual site. Essentially its an Irish only Kickstarter.com Kickstarter clone. What makes it unusual is that large amount of funded projects for such a small population.

I suspect that its the Irish version of the 6 degrees of separation. The theory is that all people are separated by only 6 degrees. In Ireland, with its small population and, well, habit for talking to complete strangers when bored, its about 2 degrees of separation.

That means that if you check in on the projects, you'll likely see someone you know.
Like +Ophelia McCabe .

OpheliaMc is her stage name, and its an actual stage name because she stands on stages and podiums at hip-hop gigs performing. She also works with youth projects, essentially creating a +CoderDojo for rappers, MCs, singers and hip-hop producers. She teaches the mostly female group (I expected a lot of guys) about lyricism and vocalism since 2008.

Which is how I met her.
She is one of the good guys. I would say she rocks, but I don't know if that's right for the genre.
She is an excellent artist.

And she is using Fundit to source-fund her debut solo album and own label, SPLOSION records. The FundIt link is http://www.fundit.ie/project/opheliamc–solo-debut-album

There are a lot of YouTube clips of her, so you can see if you like her sound before you pay your pounds. Or Euro, or Dollars…

And for the record, I put my money down already. I've seen and heard her live. I'd love to hear what a produced version sounds like.

17 Sep 2011


Author: will | Filed under: LBC, music, video, YouTube

What can I say, I like mash-ups. And with a subject like “Breath” the Eamezey track “Lose my spitfire” came to mind.Its a mix of “Loose my Breath” by Destiny’s Child and “Spitfire” by The Prodigy.

The video itself isn’t that good, but Beyonce sounds better with a rocking electronic track.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “Breath”; chosen by Padmini. To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, Gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie 11, Nema, Noor, Padmini, Paul, Plain Joe, Ramana, Rohit, The Silver Fox Whispers and The Student Diaries.

29 Jul 2011

Listen while you push on

Author: will | Filed under: game, LBC, memory, music, software, video, YouTube

The LBC’s topic this week is “Listen”. As much of a nerd that I am, I’ve already written about my favourite Google app, namely Google Listen. So instead I want to to listen to the music… of games.

Extra Credits is essentially the best, if not only, tutorial about video games and the video game industry. Including the small niggling fact that “games” are no longer playthings for children. Poke around Daniel Floyd’s archive of  videos, its well worth it. However this video about the music in video games touches quite a few things. Take time to listen to the music playing in the background as you take on a challenge on that screen. Be that screen in your hands on a phone or dedicated handheld gaming system, or on a larger screen as you sit behind the controller, or flail your arms around interacting with the screen.

Or listen to the sing-song rhymes chanted in the playground still. Usually to skipping or that elastic band game, that I never played.

The music here is supposed to add atmosphere to your actions on a screen. Setting the tone. Moving your mind set.

Listening is the only sensory input that we can use while doing something else without endangering yourself. (Talking is an output folks). You can’t read and drive (or text) safely. But you can listen to music.  Or listen to a podcast, or a lecture.

As the power of machines increase, their music ability increases. Now we have synaesthesia games. Child of Eden, by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, is the current star of these kind of games, and the industry is paying attention to them, partly in a “what the…” sense. Synaesthesia is an untreatable, but non fatal  medical condition. It happens because the sensory processing areas of the brain are very close to each other, so close that sometimes the areas overlap. And its surprisingly common. To someone with the condition music can sound blue or sharp. Looking at or thinking about numbers can have a colour or texture. Food can taste pointy. The music example shows just how common it might be. It might go further that that, some synaesthesia patients process emotional feelings as colour overlays over people. In short, they can pick up subtle clues on people and those people appear to have an aura around them. In short they listen to the other persons emotional state, or their own feeling about a person, and process it differently.

Child of Eden is played using the Xbox Kinect system, so the player literally conducts the action. Their actions change the visuals and it reacts with the music heard. The music and the beat are as integral as your motions in this game, and you end up moving in a rhythm to synchronise with the game. Its almost dancing about game playing. You can even use the normal controllers vibration functions to provide tactile feedback to add more to the experience.

If you want to hear the full versions of all the music in the Extra Credits video, I created a playlist on Youtube. Let that play in the background while you look at the other submissions of the LBC.

By the way, my video game favourites aren’t there. But that’s for another post.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “Listen” chosen by Grannymar. To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, in alphabetical order: Akanksha (Anki), Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, Gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie 11, Maria, Padmum and the GOM of LBC, Ramana Sir.