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March 15th, 2006

complicated

Yesterday on the commute to and from work, I listened to the band Saxon Shore's album "The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore". I enjoy this album--it's latter-day instrumental progressive rock, with ambient traces.

I went from liquids to soft foods yesterday, but rather look forward to being able to once again consume those crunchy WASA crackers. We watched "American Idol", which confirmed for me that it is very hard for kids to cover idiosyncratic artists like Stevie Wonder. I was modestly surprised that so few of the kids chose the uptempo, easier songs rather than the slower songs so chock-full of signature and key changes.

We watched the movie "Iris", about the life of the novelist Iris Murdoch, and in particular the onset of Alzheimer's disease at her life's end. The movie proved quite interesting, although I reflected, not for the first time, on how the people make complicated choices about how they live their lives. As a secondary note, from the outside, living in a university town as a university professor looks like great fun.

Last night marked the end of the Copyright Criminals Contest at ccmixter.org. This contest was good for me, in that it confirmed for me that I have virtually no sense of hip hop at all. Having already failed to create a workable hip hop mix in two tries, I am surprised that I made the complicated choice to try again. But a user named "DJ H" had uploaded a sample of percussion and electronica that I just "knew" would sound good if I slowed it down by 1/3 and then overlaid the vocal samples from the movie on top. I quickly assembled and mixed this version, and uploaded it in time for contest entry. I learned yesterday of a contest on another site more up my alley--a remix of a Bach harpsichord MIDI into something fun--but my initial effort lacks inspiration.

I'm so glad the Spring weather is back. The pear trees are almost through their bloom, but some peach trees stay vibrant. Soon the scissortail flycatchers will return, and all wll be right with the world.