Archive for February, 2013

a bit of pile-driving

Sorry for no update on Wednesday; I’ve just been kind of swamped. But I had a fun interview with a couple of BCIT students doing a student documentary project for class; it’ll have some of my music in it, too.

The soundtrack album is in a frustrating stage, on a frustrating cycle. I’m in a spot where I learn a bunch of new tunes well enough to play them for recording in studio – takes about a week – then timing-edit them into a basis track, the track everybody else will use as foundation for timing and rhythm. Then I drop that track entirely, move on to the next set of tunes, and repeat.

None of this is much fun or creative. I’m having to do this on both mandolin and zouk, neither of which are optimal instruments for this kind of melody; the zouk is particularly difficult. A fair number of musicians outright say you can’t do this on zouk, effectively, and often I feel like agreeing with them, particularly when I’m in hour three of timing edits making every note exactly. rhythm. perfect.

So it’s kinda gruelling and not highly motivating. It’s like being an expressive metronome.

My heart is not a metronome

But this is partly my own fault. Once I realised I was going to have to do this – the original intent was that I wouldn’t have to do this part, but, well, things go the way they go – I stacked my work schedule all together this way up front. “Pile-drive my way through this,” I thought, “and then I can get arty.”

This was not my most brilliant decision.

I’ve actually had to let myself get a little arty already. I wish I could throw you a player for the fight scene music. There’s a chapter in Bone Walker, the second book in the Free Court of Seattle series, and I’m arranging Odeo Nihonbashi (Japanese folk, and there are reasons), a Scots tattoo called Douce Dame Jolie, and an Irish jig that I’ve turned into a march, as kind of a really really short symphonic movement with leitmotifs and everything. I did this one first, because it’s the most difficult of the tune sets to integrate, and honestly I can’t wait for this one to get out there.

There are big, big drums. Really, really big drums, along with some Irish bodhran. And that is where it’s been fun. HUGE DRUMS! I love them. But it’s not finished. Those instruments are recorded, but we still need the flute – and it has to be chromatic due to key changes, so I can’d do it myself – and some other work. So not yet.

But soon. I hope.

Encourage me, will you? I’m hip-deep in the draggy part of this. MOTIVATE THE METRONOME!

Of course this had to be out there, too.

ichi ni san shi

For reasons directly related to the soundtrack album, I need to know how to count to four in Scots Gaelic. Ideally, I can get someone who can record this being done correctly, and if possible, even, work with me on pronunciation so I get it right.

Or, failing that, get it with a Newfoundland accent. That would also be okay. Arguably, hilarious, but probably only to us.


Since there’s usually more than one way to count (Japanese has nine systems, English has at least five (one, two, three four; first, second, third, fourth; primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary; triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon; others, more obscure)), I need one that’s mostly single-syllable, if at all possible. Like for, oh, a four-beat count-in.

Anna found this page of numbers for me, but I don’t know whether those are appropriate numbers, much less how to pronounce them. Anybody know?

ETA: Thanks to everyone replying so far, and to @GaelicTweets for the retweet! I now know the website numbers are correct – but I’m rubbish at reading phonetics and the linked website’s sound link doesn’t work for me. I would dearly love a recording of a native speaker or first-generation non-native fluent speaker pronouncing these. (The latter would actually describe the character exactly; he’s fluent, but not native; his father was a native speaker.) You’d get liner notes mention and a download code for the album once it comes out… ^_^

no questions just

If you have access to a command line:


Amusement is to be had.

how do you even FROM SPACE

International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies, live on CBCMUSIC three days ago. I AM NOT EVEN JOKING. Click through and hit play. Chris’s parts were actually recorded from space, tho’ time syncing would’ve been done later, of course, as is normal.


no time today

Been busy with nwcMUSIC and soundtrack album this week, and today is all Daye Jobbe, so here, have a parrot singing dubstep:

And a genuinely fascinating hour-long German documentary – this version in English – on television under the Nazi regime. Turns out they started regular broadcasts in 1935! To almost no one, mind you, but it’s genuinely fascinating. A lot of filmed footage of television survived, turned out, and it’s just odd:

geekmusic podcast

I am thinking really hard about starting a geekmusic podcast.

In fact, I’m thinking so hard about it that I want to do a pilot episode. The idea would be for it to be released in early March, before Norwescon. I could bring in a few people who are going to be at nwcMUSIC, so it’d serve a dual role – pre-event publicity and pilot episode! – while having a bunch of different people on, to keep it interesting. Then, maybe monthly.

I’ve already made a bumper.

What sorts of things would make you, personally, interested in listening to a geekmusic podcast? Yes, I’m looking for content ideas here, because I’ve never done a podcast before, and while once upon a time I was in radio, I didn’t do that kind of programming – I was a DJ at one station, in sports at another, and sports director at my college station. But no interviews.

(Yes, me being sports director is in fact hilarious. But we had the best women’s basketball coverage in the city, so take that.)

Playing some music? DIY? Interviews? About what, particularly? Other musicians not on the show? Vicious backbiting? History of geekmusic?

What would make you interested in listening?

nwcMUSIC 2013 sneak preview

As most of you know pretty well by now, I run a small geekmusic festival, nwcMUSIC, as part of the Norwescon Science Fiction Convention. We’re two months out now, so WELCOME TO THE GRID:

nwcMUSIC 2013

There are so many things to talk about I don’t know where to start, even. MONSTARRS OF NERDCORE is a two-hour multiband nerdcore extravaganza, featuring Death*Star and Klopfenpop, and possibly a surprise. Yes, that’s Molly Lewis, making her debut at Norwescon on Saturday night, with Vixy & Tony as her backup band. Yes, that’s Hello The Future on Friday. Yes, Alexander James Adams will be doing one of his rare shows this year at our event. Yes, that’s Guest of Honour Catherine Asaro – who is also a musician as well as a writer and a brain surgeon research scientist, doing the Buckaroo Banzai/Hong Kong Cavaliers thing on Friday afternoon; CD Woodbury will be bringing in some of his friends as backup. And yes, that’s 13 hours of workshops and panel programming during the day, all with our determinedly DIY/participatory culture emphasis in mind.

Plus other artists I am so excited about I can’t even tell you. HeyLasFas? Pony Progrock. They released a concept album about the fall of Princess Luna, called Nightfall, and seriously it is amazing…

Now. Where. Were. We?

I’m not going to cover all this in one post, so I’ll talk about more in weeks to come. We have so much going on this year we had to make a hopefully-one-time exception to one of our rules, and overlap programming. And if you know me, you know how much I try to avoid that – but there just wasn’t any other way to fit it all in. Chiptunes, filk, Jpop, nerdcore, ponyrock… did I mention Leannan Sidhe’s CD release concert? Ah well, I’ll get to it next time.

Easter weekend 2013, people. It’s gonna be epic.

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