Dandyism Incarnate

Archive for the 'Music' Category

Always Collimate

Tonight I attended the public astronomy night at UWS Penrith.

Several of my fellow astronomy club members also attended and we setup out telescopes for the public to look through. The RFS was conducting a hazard reduction burn in the mountains (near Faulconbridge) which cause a big plume of smoke to slowly engulf us. However we did get some good viewing in before the smoke closed in.

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RPM Album Completed

The month of February has ended – and thus ends the RPM Challenge.

I completed the album – including the cover art and CD label late on Sunday night (27th) and mailed the CD off to the U.S. today. I chose the title ‘Glass Wall’ because that’s what appears in the cover photo, and it may also have some deep hidden arty meaning.

Unfortunately my former work colleague, who first told me about RPM (and goes by the name Entropy), did not finish in time this year, despite having completed albums in 2008 and 2010. However, he said that he will continue to work on his album anyway. I look forward to hearing it.

My album will appear on the RPM Jukebox some time in March. However, I’ve posted the whole thing on the AloneTone site here.

The tracks are now also on iTunes although they are not in the ‘correct’ order there.

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RPM : Recording Guitar

Although I am supposedly a guitar player, most of my music for The RPM Challenge so far has been without guitar. But today I actually recorded guitar for a song about a werewolf.

Here’s a video of me recording a couple of riffs for the guitar solo. It shows me experiencing technical difficulties when the drum track mysteriously disappears…

I posted the finished demo recording of the song on the AloneTone.com web site here. Whether I have time to do any more tweaking on it before the deadline remains to be seen.

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RPM: Noswonky Gets Podcasted

RPM is consuming a lot of my time. I now have three songs ‘complete’ and another two in progress. Overall, it’s going well and badly.

‘Well’ in the sense that I’m getting a lot of work done musically – more than I have in years. ‘Badly’ in the sense that my progress so far, if extrapolated to the end of the month, will not be enough to finish the album in the time available. I will probably have to churn out some quick and easy electronic music just to fill it out to 35 minutes (or 10 songs).

I was shocked today when I listened to the first episode of the RPM podcast and heard one of my songs! I had not read the forum post announcing it (below) so it was a bit of a surprise.

Here is the mp3 file.

(The link to the forum post doesn’t appear to work unless you’re logged into the site).

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RPM Challenge Begins

One year ago when I was working at SMARTS, a dude I was working with told me about a project he was participating in – The RPM Challenge. The challenge is to record an album of original music during the month of February. I was too busy last year to take part, but this year I have decided to go for it.

I’ve been preparing for this for the last few weeks. I bought some new equipment including a microphone and an interface to connect my instruments to the Mac. The interface box also came bundled with ‘Pro Tools’ recording software, which I’ve been learning to use.

The 'Studio'

I’m using my old music keyboard, which I bought in 1993. However I will only be using it as a MIDI controller – not using the built-in sounds.

Old Roland E-5 Keyboard

By the time this blog post is published, I should have one or more demo recordings posted on my RPM player (which is embedded below).

Noswonky‘s player:

Meanwhile, the doctor called me to say that Belinda was ready to come home. So in the afternoon I walked to Artarmon to pick her up…

Belinda after surgery

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The Tiny Red Guitar

Today I drove over to Crows Nest to drop some documents in to my financial advisor’s office. So while I was there I decided to have a look in the Big Music shop which is nearby.

I only intended to browse, but I emerged from the shop with a new guitar! It was very exciting indeed…

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My Love Song to a Man

A couple of days ago, I wrote a love song and sent it to a man. Or, to be more precise, I wrote new words to an existing song, and sent a video of it to a man.

I should mention at this point that I am not gay – not that there’s anything wrong with that. But there’s this dude on YouTube called 01davethecouchguy, who was celebrating reaching  tally of 2000 subscribers and he asked his subscribers (of which I am one) to send in video clips saying how much they love him.

He then edited all the clips together and posted the result on YouTube. Such collaboration videos are quite common on YouTube, but it’s the first time I’ve contributed to one. Today the video was published.

I appear at about 1m40s into it, and again briefly right at the end…

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Not Buying an iPad

The iPad was released in Australia on Friday, so today we went to have a look. Before we went, I got Yuko to promise she wouldn’t buy one today. However, once she got her hands on it, she wanted to regene!

I tried the YouTube app and it looked quite good, except that there is no way to visit someone’s channel!

YouTube on the iPad

Fortunately, I managed to physically restrain Yuko and wrestle her out of the store. Later as we discussed the features (or lack of features) of the device, she was glad she hadn’t bought one. She was particularly scathing about the iPad’s lack of a USB socket.

In the evening I finally set up my music keyboard in an easy-to-reach spot. I can now alternate between coding and music practice…

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Yuko Flies Out (again)

Yuko’s flight was at 8.50am, so we woke up very early and I drove Yuko to the airport. After she checked in we had coffee at the courtyard cafe which is near the observation deck…

Yuko went through the departure gate at about 8am…

Then I went home and decided to clean my keyboard (the music kind). I haven’t used it for a long time and it’s been uncovered. The keys had accumulated a serious layer of dust. It could not be dislodged with a simple cloth – it needed soap and water and scrubbing! But I didn’t want to risk getting water in the electronics.

I decided I would have to clean the keys upside-down so that any excess water would fall away from the electronic bits. It was a bit awkward, but the result was a clean keyboard which still works…

Upside-down Cleaning

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Graunched: Sky and Fingers


Yuko’s meduim sized computer – Sky Blue – is graunched! After being unusually hot for a while, the screen now just displays vertical coloured lines. Her first (and perhaps typically Japanese) response was to trash the machine! But I suggested that it was probably still under warranty (and I was right) and that Dell might fix or replace it for less than the cost of a new machine.

She now only has two working computers!


Meanwhile, I’ve been practising guitar after not practising enough for a long time. My fingers had become soft and ‘woosy’ from lack of playing. This is what guitar strings do to soft woosy fingers…

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