February 29, 2012
As you can see, I'm sort of on a kick right now, but can you blame me after what happened yesterday? This song is amazing though. I really love it. It was recorded by Stephen Heidenreich who lives in Martinsville, IN.
February 28, 2012
The exciting thing (the one that I mentioned in the last post) did happen today! I went to The Kilns: The Home of C.S. Lewis, The place where he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia. I hiked through the woods in the back. It was magical... in a bleak sort of way. I was thinking of visiting his grave and The Eagle and Child pub, but I think I'm going to save those things for later in life.
February 27, 2012
"In some ways I thought of it as a lullaby for the Earth. And it was the idea of turning the whole thing upside down and looking at it from completely above. You know, that image of if you were lying in water at night and you were looking up at the sky all the time, I wonder if you wouldn't get the sense of as the stars were reflected in the water, you know, a sense of like, you could be looking up at water that's reflecting the stars from the sky that you're in." - KB
Hounds Of Love was launched with a laser light show party at the London Planetarium on September 9th 1985. Seven days later the album debuted at Number One where it stayed for the next four weeks.
February 26, 2012
The first analog keyboard I ever owned was a Roland RS-09. My mom gave it to me. It used to be the only instrument they used for services at our church in the early 80's. The church, by the way, was Abundant Life Fellowship in the smallest town on Earth: New Waterford Ohio. It was started by my grandparents in '82; converted from an old auto-mechanic's shop (I guess it was an auto mechanic who had an affinity for Swiss cottage architecture). Anyway, soon enough the church put together a band and my mom moved on from the modest RS-09 to the lofty Hammond B3. The RS-09 was banished to a closet and forgotten about for a decade until a twelve year old me happened upon it. At first I thought it was kind of lame. It was analog, but not really a synthesizer. It couldn't make twinkly space sounds and I'm ashamed to say that was about all I cared about at that age. But sixteen years latter it is now my favorite instrument of all time. I could not live without one. I'm actually full blown obsessed with it.
I used to go to my church in the middle of the night and practice playing synthesizers. There is a certain, wonderful feeling of being alone in a church at night with most of the lights off and making sounds that wouldn't normally be heard in that setting. Sometimes when I pass by a modest little church at night I wonder if (well… i hope) there's a kid in there playing synthesizers. I'm sure there rarely is. I wonder how many discarded synthesizers are in closets, basements and attics of churches all across America. We have no way of knowing.
The last image I'd like to leave you with is the thought of a girl in her early twenties playing a Roland RS-09 to lead a worship service by herself for a very small congregation late one Sunday night in 1982. While I love silent, Quaker worship services, the thought of it happening with just my favorite instrument in an intimate setting sounds so magical. The irony of it all is that I've certainly experienced exactly that, I was just too young and stupid to appreciate it.
It will never happen again.
February 25, 2012
February 23, 2012
"I was moved to cry also against all sorts of Musick, and against the Mountebanks playing tricks on their Stages, for they burdened the pure Life, and stirred up people’s minds to Vanity"
I do believe that modern Quakers feel quite differently about it, or at least they appeared to when I attended a concert at our meeting house (which has amazing acoustics by the way) last month. I'm interested in hearing what happens with music in the realm of Quakerism in the next few years. I'd love to hear some music that demonstrates the quiet and calm attributes of our faith. While I don't believe the music of Jon Watts embodies these traits, I think he's probably the first Quaker of our generation to put his music out there (Well, there's this little blip, -- yet to publicly release anything that would be considered Quaker music. Stay tuned.) and that should undoubtable inspire others. To be perfectly honest, I can't stand his music -- nails on a chalkboard could be an understatement. But of course I have such specific, narrow minded ideas about music that could only pertain to myself. Having said that, I'll leave you with a quote from my muse C. S. Lewis who seems to share my sentiment:
"Just because I don't like this music . . . isn't an ironclad guarantee that it's wrong everywhere, every day, for everyone."
February 22, 2012
I seem to have gotten a little off topic lately (though, what is the topic really?), and what better way to get back on than a good, old fashion instrument review?
From email@example.comThu Mar 23 10:03:33 1995
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 23:32:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Machine Media
To: "Stefan Gruhl (CIP 92)"
Subject: Changing MC-202 accent modes
> HOW can I access both seperately on my lovey 202 ???
> I thought it is VCA only. I hate this working without manual,
> the only positive thing is that you discover new features even
> after years! :-)
Yep, I think 95% of the 303 owners out there have never put it in tap
" The notes with Accent usualy control the VCA, but it is possible to
control both the VCF and VCA "
Put the thing in play mode. Hold down the shift key. Hit the "accent" key
(cleverly disguised as a C# :) I will then say either "FA" or "A" in the
little LCD display window. It just toggles back and forth
between the two. I don't think you can make it say just "F" though.
PEACE OUT :)
February 21, 2012
February 19, 2012
Today while reading a bit of Sleuthing C.S. Lewis: more Light in the shadowlands by Kathryn Ann Lindskoog I found the following excerpt:
February 16, 2012
February 13, 2012
Alright, I'll admit; this is a little far fetched, but if you've been reading for a while you're probably not surprised.
There are some modern notions that The Chronicles of Narnia are based on the seven planets of the medieval solar system. Not sure weather I believe it or not, but if you're interested there are a couple of books about it; The Narnia Code and Planet Narnia. Haven't gotten around to reading either of them but the documentary was interesting enough. Perhaps one day I'll get to those books.
Anyway, what I'm going to do here is compare the Roland Jupiter-8 with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe -- which is supposedly a story constructed around the planet Jupiter.
Jupiter is the largest planet, the JP-8 is quite large, but I don't know that LWW is particularly longer than any of the other chronicles. Hindu astrologers called the planet "Guru" which literally means the "Heavy One", indeed -- the first thing I noticed about the JP-8 was how heavy it was. The LWW on the other hand is quite light as far as books go. So, in the category of size and mass this is not a match.
The JP-8 is often referred to as Roland's "flagship" synthesizer and I suppose one would consider LWW the flagship Narnia book (not my personal favorite, but you know…). So in the department of the gratuitous use of the word flagship, we have a match!
In Roman mythology Jupiter was a sky god associated with thunder and lightning and his wife was Juno. I conducted my own experiment of putting a JP-8 in the same room over night with a Roland Juno-6. There was no romantic connection and I didn't really do that.
The final results of this comparison? Inconclusive. Stay tuned, next week we'll be comparing Prince Caspian with the Roland ProMars and The Last Battle with the Saturn-09.
February 9, 2012
February 8, 2012
It's something I've struggled with my whole life. I guess, technically, I hate sequencing... in the traditional sense. I grew up with a Juno-6 and it's lovely arpeggiator, so why would I ever need to sequence anything? The only sequencers I had as a kid were the simple step sequencers of the Korg Poly-800 and EX-800. It didn't take long to reach their limits. Then I found the Roland MSQ-700. A beautiful box, with a button, switch, slider or knob for every function. Perhaps the worlds most intuitive digital/MIDI sequencer. I spent my late teenage years in a basement with that and a Juno-106.
February 6, 2012
I really wish some of these synthesizer demos had survived. Wouldn't it be wonderful to listen to your favorite soundtracks played minimally on synthesizers with bad quality recording?
February 3, 2012
The Roland System 100m. It had three different rack sizes, the M-190 holds three modules, the M-191 and M-191J hold five. And most of their modules are multifunctional. For example; the M-110 module has a single VCO oscillator, VCF, and VCA section. So, you could cram a lot into three rack spaces. If one could get that M-190 cabinet and the 180 keyboard controller (with it's modest 2 1/2 octaves) you've got a nice, sensible set up. The dream.