Red Echo

September 29, 2007

At the gun range with Adam

September 28, 2007

Here’s a 2004 paper on the history, cultural context, and stylistic features of psytrance music, with a structural analysis of four representative tracks.

Music music music. I took my keyboard over to Dawn’s place last night and we played some songs. Trying to cover a rock song as a duet is hard work, and all your mistakes show up clearly, but it was fun. She played drums, I played bass with one hand and accompaniment with the other, and we traded off singing; with that kind of stripped-down arrangement it’s really all about the song itself.

I have been listening to goa trance all morning and I can’t stop breaking down the song structure as I listen: tracking the parts coming in and out, the 8-bar slow-mo knob twists, the percussion shifts, the bass-line dropouts… I want to do this.

September 26, 2007

I spent half an hour reintroducing myself to my piano today. Scales, thirds, major, minor, left, right. Metronome.

Hello, piano.

How to build your own MP3 player. I am not going to do this, but it sure is fun to think about it.

September 24, 2007

Amy S.’ brother owns a winemaking shop up in Bellingham, and a dozen of us spent the weekend up there making wine and lounging around a lake house. There’s something really satisfying about spending time with a small group like that; it’s enough people to keep a lot of energy in the air but few enough that you can spend time with everyone individually.

I’ve been feeling a more quiet, introspective mood coming on lately. This is part of the usual end-of-summer, post-Burning Man change of seasons / change of direction / reëvaluation experience, but it’s intensified by the recent change in my job.

September 23, 2007

September 22, 2007

At Whatcom Winemakers

September 21, 2007

Fall is here and it’s time for more ferns in the flowerbed along the front walk. I also added a few grass clusters, for variety.

The entry always felt dark and overhung, a little cavelike. We’re going to have a cocktail party tonight, so I decided to replace the old light fixture with something more welcoming. This trio of halogen floodlights is brighter and fills the entry with a warm diffuse glow.

Yay for redevelopment: Adam and I got word last night that we are being evicted from the Rainier Cold Storage building. Sabey Inc. is apparently kicking everyone out as their leases expire, and the guy we’re subletting our space from just got his notice. We have until the end of November.

I suppose that means it’s time to find a new home for the Rocket Factory. We’d like a 1000 square foot shop with 220 power, concrete floors, and vehicle access, in a non-residential area right in the middle of Capitol Hill, for about $400 a month. That’d be totally great. I’m going to start looking at craigslist ads now.

More seriously, I’d love to take the Rocket Factory concept a step further: bring in more partners, obtain more tools, schedule more workshops. I’d like to set up regular “shop hours” and rent out bins or lockers where people can store the pieces of their projects-in-progress. Getting evicted so quickly sucks, especially after all the work we’ve done getting the place set up the way we want it, but maybe it’ll lead to something even more interesting.

September 19, 2007

Rover is in the shop. Time for a regular tune-up, and to figure out what’s up with that odd ticky noise in the front wheels.

Thoughts about music are becoming more prominent. I’d like to include some kind of regular technical piano practice into my routine: twenty minutes of scales and exercises every other day, or something like that.

I’m going to shuffle around the pieces in my loop-machine system but I have talked myself out of buying any new hardware. Of course it would be fun to expand my sonic palette with a couple extra channels or sweepable mids or a multiband compressor or a tempo-synced delay unit or whatever, but I really just need to spend some good solid hours composing.

September 17, 2007

September 15, 2007

Out at Dick’s during the scavenger hunt for Serena’s “Wonderland” birthday party

My bike has a matching pair of actual, working mirrors now, and its rear fender is once again equipped with turn signals.

But it still won’t start.

September 14, 2007

September 13, 2007

Work is going well. The dev team is pounding through a list of bugs, and our users are going to be a little surprised when the next alpha release comes out. I’m feeling increasingly comfortable in this new management role; my leadership skills are better developed than I had realized. This is going to work.

I made my first job offer today. It was kind of fun to see what it looks like on the other side of the table. I hope the candidate accepts; I have a Plan, and it needs some talented people, and I can’t wait to get things moving.

September 12, 2007

Infinite Connections just announced another Magnetic party at the Pacific Science Center, on November 10th. This is, most unfortunately, the same night as Seacompression, which will be over at Sand Point again. How on earth am I going to manage this?

I suspect that lasers will be involved.

September 9, 2007

I missed a digit when I looked at my flight time yesterday – I was supposed to fly out at 11:05 today, not 1:05… so of course I’ve missed that flight and have now booked myself on a 3:40 departure with a completely different airline. It will still end up being fewer than 24 hours at home before departing again, but at least this way I have enough time to do some laundry.

September 8, 2007

Home again, briefly. I spent the last couple of days in California with my family, and tomorrow I’m leaving for a week at the office in Austin.

I feel tired. There is a lot going on that seems like it ought to be worth mentioning, but it’s hard to push the words out.

The new job is going OK. I am going to have to find and implement some new organizational systems in order to keep this up long-term, though.

September 7, 2007

Chanel, Andrew, my mother

September 5, 2007

My motorcycle won’t start and I can’t figure out why. I’m sure it must be something simple, related to sitting unused for a few weeks, that I should be able to puzzle out; but I have so much else going on right now that I don’t want to deal with it. What I really want is to pay some grizzled old biker dude to show up at my house with a bag full of tools and do whatever it is motorcycle experts do until the problem goes away and I can go riding again.

September 4, 2007

I’m home from Burning Man and getting ready to jump back into work.

It was a good week. I looked at and played with lots of art, made some new friends, spent a lot of time getting to know old friends better, and had some interesting, frequently surreal adventures. With no project to work on, this was my most relaxed Burning Man ever, which was a worthwhile experience but not one I expect to repeat.

I have redesigned my life over the past few years to include more of what makes Burning Man compelling, and one unexpected consequence is that Burning Man itself no longer feels like such a radical experience. My life is already built around creative expression and relationships with friends. This thought needs more processing.

Michael T. and I spent a lot of time talking about a project for next year which would involve metal work. We are going to look into taking a welding class this fall.

Watching my projects in action taught me some interesting new lessons about their designs. I am going to make some radical changes, particularly to the backpacks. I think that I will expand the workshop program and introduce some simpler projects as well, for people who want to develop basic skills. Maybe I will also start holding regular open-house sessions at the Rocket Factory for people who want to make things but don’t have tools or space of their own.