Across the Transom: May 2022

The 'Mats, camera settings, NFT

Gahlord Dewald :: 5/1/22 :: Mānoa, Hawai‘i

5/17/2022

Entrepreneurship books combine notions of hard work with DWYL as providing a path towards a financially and personally rewarding career. In such books, ensembles appear as outside-institution ‘start-ups’, a form of creativity given a privileged place within neoliberal capitalism (Sim, 2019). These models are used as ways to map out the labour market of music, a move that in some ways directly rebuts the anti-commercial stance of older musical curricula. By adopting an entrepreneurial ethic, readers are assured they can overcome any possible challenges. At the same time, the challenges of developing musical skills are only briefly acknowledged and quickly dismissed. Cutler writes in his book The Savvy Musician: Building a Career, Earning a Living, and Making a Difference (2010, p. 4) that ‘this book assumes you are taking steps to develop into the strongest musician possible’. In Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music, Beeching (2010: 10, emphasis original) asserts that ‘Talent plus hard work are necessary but are not sufficient by themselves to yield career success’. Nytch (2018) demonstrates how musical training failed to provide him with a career through an extended personal account of working in a basketball arena concession stand after having completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in composition. These books rightly critique a lack of professional development common in musical higher education (see further Munnelly, 2017). However, glossing over the acquisition of skill hides the collective labour required to train musicians and social systems that create barriers to such training.

John Pippin “Hope, Labour and Privilege in American New Music” chapter in Music as Labor

From later in the same chapter, Pippen highlights one of the reasons I founded Community of Sound:

[Musical] gear, especially when the groups were new, came from their various alma maters, as did sheet music and coaching, rehearsal space and workspace. Such production requirements constitute significant stumbling blocks to any group, and having access to free rehearsal space was a major advantage.

John Pippin “Hope, Labour and Privilege in American New Music” chapter in Music as Labor

5/16/2022

For black people in the 1960s, even less welcomed as full-fledged members of society than we are today, yarn-spinning presented a rare American ritual in which we could freely participate. Other venerable traditions, like burning our neighbors alive, casting a ballot, or taking communion alongside white Christians, had long been denied us. But lying, now that was an equal-opportunity activity. With roots in stories about Aunt Nancy, Brer Rabbit, and John Henry, our inventions were small-scale variations on the African American experience, more about outwitting the powerful than manipulating privilege at the expense of the weak.

Jabari Asim in “Getting it Twisted

5/15/2022

To recap, we have a highly unfavorable picture of: (1) accelerated evolution of the virus; (2) increased immune escape of new variants; (2) progressively higher transmissibility and infectiousness; (4) substantially less protection from transmission by vaccines and boosters; (5) some reduction on vaccine/booster protection against hospitalization and death; (6) high vulnerability from infection-acquired immunity only; and (7) likelihood of more noxious new variants in the months ahead

Eric Topol in “The Covid Capitulation

5/14/2022

Connect the ZCam App to the ZCam E2 series:

  1. ZCam/Connect/WiFi/On,
  2. iPhone Settings/WiFi/ZCam network:12345678,
  3. ZCam App Connect

Modified a little from Hayden Goldworthy’s channel, settings for a ZCam:

User Buttons

  1. White Balance (hold for auto)
  2. eND
  3. Load Profile
  4. Aperture (for nifty fifty or Sigma)
  5. OK: Autofocus
  6. Up: Shutter Angle
  7. Down: White Balance

C4k

ZCam App/More:

ZCam App/More/Image

To save a profile: More/General/Profiles

SOme profile concepts:

5/12/2022

An emotional vibraslap band playing sul tasto, recorded using a binaural dummy head in a castle in London, with 8 truly awe-inspiring articulations to choose from.

A selection from the Sample Library Ideas generator

5/11/2022

As I consider the whole NFT thing in relation to music, one of the sticking points is how, ironically perhaps, the culture of NFTs flattens the art into a fungible thing (a price) and makes the receipt/ownership the non-fungible part.

This meant that unlike a capital good, such as a hammer, knowledge could be consumed simultaneously by multiple people. It could be copied without being taken. The consequence of this property of knowledge was profound. It meant that knowledge could grow in per-capita terms in ways that physical capital could not. Knowledge was the essence of economic growth.

Let’s take a step back and consider a world of fungible knowledge. How would it look like?

In that world, knowledge would behave as a single factor. In the alphabet analogy, this would be a world in which the only thing that matters is the number of letters involved in a word. In that ‘world,’ the words dog, bet, and log are the same, since they all require three letters.

In an economy where knowledge is fungible patterns of specialization are simple. They can be described as segments in a line. In a world of fungible knowledge predicting the development of new activities is also easy, since it involves entering the activities that are next in line. Countries, cities, and regions move to products that require one more letter and exit few-letter products. In that world, the space of similar products, or ‘product space’ (24), is a chain of beads connecting one letter words, to two letter words, to three letter words, and so on.

César A. Hidalgo in “Knowledge is non-fungible

The percussionists scourge their instruments with sledgehammer blows, while echoing bells and frenzied lines of high woodwinds and strings paint a picture of a crowd that fearfully ducks away.

Thea Dirks re: ‘Der Zorn Gottes’ by Sofia Gubaidulina

5/10/2022

Listening to Gétatchèw Mèkurya’s Ethiopian Urban Modern Music Vol. 5

What starts out as contemplation soon becomes manipulated into a carnival of power, leaving only a sense of what could have been and the dawn of a new reality.

An artist statement generator

5/09/2022

Finalist: with eyes the color of time, by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti. Premiered on August 6, 2021 at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York, N.Y., a vibrant composition, inspired by works in The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, that distinctly combines experimental string textures and episodes of melting lyricism.

The 2022 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Music

“From what I gather…” is a fragment of an interview with Robert Abia Moore, words harvested from the original context and used as a guiding philosophy for the soundpiece. The title references a coming together, an accumulation of disparate parts to create its own unique whole, much like the way the Osibisa story itself is an assemblage of disconnected (but connected) parts, collectivised to create an “all new” sonic arrangement. The mythology of the invention of Afrorock, Afrofunk, Zamrock, Zimheavy etc. all influenced the structuring of the piece, as much as Pan African ideas around Black Liberation, decolonized perspectives on African rhythms, sounds and practices which were deeply informed by anticolonial movements at the time.

Tinofireyi Zhou’s radio work about bassist Robert Abia Moore

there is a self-identification of artistic labour with the type of capital extracting it. In the metaverse artists are not just artists, they are crypto-artists. They don’t make just art, but crypto-art

This is the part of the text where I am supposed to cite Walter Benjamin and complain about how the concept of aura is misinterpreted. I am sure that blockchain technologies and the attempt to normalise the tokenization – or assetization – of reproducible art, would have been his worst nightmare; as Esther Leslie shows in her biography of Benjamin, he “was keenly aware of the ways in which the production of culture within the property relations of capitalism acted to constrain the progressive, democratic potential of culture.” On the other hand, as Magritte wrote too, we can’t pretend that “there have been no valid views on art formulated during the course of capitalist domination.”

Geraldine Juárez in The Ghostchain. (Or taking things for what they are)

5/08/2022

Leigh Claire La Berge uses the term decommodified labour to describe a “new configuration of value-extraction, in which the wage is diminished but the formal organisation of work, its rhythms, commitments, and narratives remain” . Here it must be emphasised that among artists and cultural workers, there is a great deal of artistic labour that is decommodified. Fees exist but these are usually the side-effect of much larger amounts of unremunerated work. With this backdrop it is not hard to see how unwaged artists were low-hanging fruit, ready not only to be picked and eaten by the aggressive market mechanisms of the ownership economy but also ready to be instrumentalized as the perfect promotional tool. The fictitious ownership of art – the NFT– makes up for non-existent wages for artistic labour, or what La Berge also refers to as “wages against artwork.”

Geraldine Juárez in Palleten #327-328

Post-collapsists: the collapse is inevitable and therefore we must act now to build conceptual, technical, and social tools that will serve us during and after the collapse in order to minimize long-term consequences.

The transom brought me to this site.

5/07/2022

Sensitive equipment like microphones belong in closed windshields and should be protected by foam covers or windjammers. Windjammers need to be dried after the recording. If the hairs are sticky, you can use a comb to get rid of the salt - no different than brushing your cat!

Guido Helbling in Avosound

5/06/2022

Joris Hermans made a video comparing 24mm and 85mm lenses for video work. Going beyond the usual “lower mm equals wider field of view” he discovers and shows movement itself changes:

5/05/2022

Battiato is a figure I’ve always been interested in for various reasons. One certainly was his ability at crossing borders between avantgarde and pop music, between high culture and entertainment.

Hannes Pasqualini (aka Papernoise) on Franco Battiato in Horizontal Pitch

5/04/2020

Where Chivo may have had minor unexpected success is in banking the unbanked. Researchers say that those who continue using the Chivo Wallet are using it to hold and transfer dollars, El Salvador’s official currency, similar to how one uses any digital wallet or bank.

Luke Taylor in “Most Salvadorans have already ditched their national bitcoin wallets

“I think it’s shit. They won’t stop until they have sucked the life and value out of every remaining shred of organic life and every last gasp of analog craft or thought and crammed it into Elon Musk and Grimes’ patented space dildo, headed for Mars to reauthor the future of sentience in their own psychotic and ethically bankrupt likeness.”

ANOHNI in “11 Indie Musicians on How They’re Navigating the NFT Wave

This means whoever created the art had to crouch or crawl through the chamber -- and the drawings can only be viewed by lying on the cave floor.

”They are so large that the makers had to create the images without being able to see them in their entirety," the researchers wrote. "Thus, the makers worked from their imaginations, rather than from an unimpeded visual perspective."

Ashley Strickland in “Unexpected discovery of mysterious drawings could change the way scientists look at cave art

How could an audience not see their own value in the evolving exchange taking place at a live gig? Or did they only see value in terms of the ticket price. They paid their money, and then felt they could do as they like – even if it meant making the performer sick – because that’s the only value they could imagine contributing to the show.

This wouldn’t surprise me because it mirrors the extractive relationship listeners have to online platforms providing them with music. Music is even free, if you want it, so long as you accept that structure to the exchange – the platform gets your time, attention and data, and you get music. It’s not even a purchase. It’s more a mining operation, with the listener as object.

Passivity is cultivated by this relationship, to be sure. But there is enough room for directed action within these platforms to create fan armies, for example. What there isn’t room for is any kind of value generated by actions of the user. All value goes to the platform. It’s like the ultimate capitalist dream of labor: work generates no value for the worker at all. Once we submit to data extraction, our value is measured simply by our time on the platform.

Damon Krukowski re: touring in the Covid era, ”Toward a Community Theory of Value”

5/02/2020

The ban on the Hawaiian language wasn’t lifted until 1986, and today, according to census date, those who identify as at least part Native Hawaiian constitute just a fifth of Hawaii’s population. Yet they make up nearly 40 percent of the state’s prison population and suffer from poverty at disproportionate rates.

Alia Wong in The Atlantic

5/01/2022

Another area in which The Replacements were decidedly unlike The Ramones was in the pacing of their shows. They didn’t blitz through their sets but rather would play a song, pause and mumble among themselves, then tune their guitars for a while. (Endless between-song tunings were common during the band’s first few months.)

Bob Mehr in the liner notes for The Replacements: Unsuitable for Airplay, the Lost KFAI Concert

Step One: Set your taking lens to infinity

…(bunch of steps about attaching and making sure the anamorphic is straight, using bokeh and/or lens flares to check, my lens doesn’t do flares and my shooting arrangement is pretty non-standard so I skep to the next part).

Step Four: Calibrate Infinity Focus
To calibrate infinity focus, you will need to focus both the anamorphic lens and the taking lens. Start by making sure that the single focusing anamorphic component is set to infinity. On our single focus attachment, infinity is all the way to the right.

Then, focus the anamorphic lens (on our Isco Micro, far focus is left). On almost all anamorphic lenses- actual infinity distance will actually be before the lens reaches the end of the range. If you have turned the focus ring all the way to the left, you will have gone too far.

Once you see perfectly round bokeh in your DSLR viewfinder, your anamorphic lens is in focus. Adjust your prime lens. This should bring the full image into focus. Double check and make small adjustments and tweaks to both lenses if necessary. Focus peaking helps greatly.

Once calibrated, you can now focus with just the single focus rangefinder.

Additional notes:

Although we have set the anamorphic lens to infinity, we can set it to whatever point we like. So if we calibrate our taking and anamorphic lenses to 10 feet, our focus range on the rangefinder will now be 10 feet to inches. This can be an effective technique for achieving very close focusing with anamorphic lenses.

From “How to Focus a Single Focus Attachment on an Anamorphic Lens