Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

The Virus Plays A Sad Song

Composer James Beckwith has been at work with the COVID-19 infection and mortality numbers. You could say that he lets the virus play a tune – and it’s not a pretty melody. Let this be a warning to all those who think that the epidemic is gone, or the virus weakened: the numbers are not getting better after June (even if that might seem to be the case in your little corner of the world)!

I hope James can provide one or more updated versions in the future.

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This news report from AP is a good summary of who Johnny Clegg was: “South African musician Johnny Clegg dies at 66 after cancer“.

When we bought our first music CD player, somewhere in the second half of the 1980’s, the CD “Third World Child” was one of the first we added to our collection. At first because the music is great, and then because of the significance of Clegg in the anti-Apartheid movement.

I’ll continue to hum/sing along with his songs.

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It’s a catchy #SaveYourInternet song with good lyrics!

The software in Tesla’s car was hacked just a few days ago, so these words from the song are particularly appropriate for today:

And if we still don’t trust AI in Teslas yet
Then pray why would we let it suppress the Net?

Or how about this quote?

It isn’t about creative control, nah,
It’s about controlling creatives for cold cash

Thank you for this song and video, Dan Bull! And thank you, BoingBoing, for pointing them out!

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Happy Bach Day!

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Prince Was Right (Almost)

Sometimes it snows in April“… but today, here in Belgium, it was hail that coloured our garden.

The (almost) purple flowers  in our garden are just a coincidence...

The (almost) purple flowers in our garden are just a coincidence…

Thanks for the quote, Prince Rogers Nelson. And for all those wonderful songs too, of course.

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From the Gramovox website:

We proudly introduce the Gramovox™: World’s First Bluetooth Gramophone. Our bold design and vintage sound are inspired by the 1920s Magnavox R3 Horn Speaker. Its form and function are a marriage of vintage and modern aesthetics—producing a timeless piece that allows you to stream nostalgia.


Listening to the videos from Gramovox on your computer is no substitute for the real thing, so it’s hard to say whether you will like the interbellum soundscape from such a horn. But I love looking at the Gramophone: that vintage horn certainly has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi‘ ;-)

I also like the fact that it turns the music on your very personal music device back into something to listen to with friends and/or family. Nothing beats connecting with others in the real world!

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There are two interesting sides to this experiment: Coding project aims to deepen the experience of streaming classical music (Ars Technica). I like listening to classical music, but I often wonder: is what we hear today really what the composer intended? Or: why did the composer use those instruments? Having a running commentary while listening to a piece could be quite illuminating, if and when some of my favourites were to belong to the selection.

On the other hand, this project is a nice illustration of some of the powers of HTML5. Food for techies and music fans at the same time!

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Jazz Fever

There’s a lot jazz music to be heard in Antwerp (Belgium) these days: the jazz festival ‘Jazz Middelheim‘ starts next friday, and the public radio stations play more jazz music than usual.

I also stumbled upon a 2008 concert registration on TV, where the Pierre Anckaert Trio (featuring Pierre Anckaert on piano, Hendrik Vanattenhoven on double bass and David Barker on drums) clearly showed why they won the Jazz Hoeilaart competition in 2007. I have ordered their first CD ‘Candide’ online ;-)

CD Cover of Pierre Anckaert Trio - Candide

Pierre Anckaert Trio - Candide

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Blog Cops? No, I went to see The Police yesterday evening, so I had no time for blogs! And yes, it was a good concert, if a bit short – but we know now that Stings voice wasn’t 100%

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Tongue-in-cheek Indeed. A few weeks ago, Scott Ambler presented “a formula for calculating the cruftiness of a document”, which measures the degree in which development documentation is ‘badly designed, poorly implemented, or redundant’. Great! Now: can that same formula be applied to the applications and systems themselves?

Thirteen Indeed. Frank Zappa probably would have been amused, rather than proud, to see that a small ugly street originally called ‘Number 13’ is now being named after him: “Schön ist sie nicht, die Straße Nummer 13 im Industriegebiet. Und doch wird sie ab morgen als erste Straße in Deutschland den Namen der US-Rocklegende Frank Zappa (1940-1993) tragen” (from the Berliner Zeitung Online).

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Just A Bit More about Frank Zappa: the Zappa Wiki Jawaka.

And Just A Bit More about Hypercard: Hypercard’s History.

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No, I Wasn’t Looking For Bach. In fact, it was developerWorks’ John Swanson who pointed me to Jóhann Jóhannsson : IBM1401, A User’s Manual : www.ausersmanual.com. Inspiration for great things can be found everywhere – even in old computers. This is fine music – I can see myself buying this CD.

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Sing Along – or just enjoy: “A love song about web standards“. The lyrics are very funny, and the song is not bad either… Let’s call it an excellent way to smooth over the passage from holiday to web development work!

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Modern Times. The wonders of modern technology in a nutshell: here I am, 800km from my home, in a so-called summer residence, small yet cosy and with all the comfort we have learned to take for granted. Satellite TV broadcasts will turn out to offer the high-quality station you know so well (keep it up, Arte). What’s that wonderful opera they’re showing? Boot up the PC and you’ll know it´s Rossini´s “L’Italienne à Alger” (great show, live from Aix-en-Provence). Grab a mobile phone, and wake up your buddy to tell him about it. It’s no wonder we call our kids obsessed with tech stuff – we have taught them to be obsessed with it!

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Sing Along With Lisp. I can’t remember how I got hold of this URL, but I sure do want to remember it: Experiments in Musical Intelligence. Apparently, David Cope is a well-known composer, who also happens to be an author and an authority on what I will call computer-generated music compositions. He has some amazing samples in MP3 format; enjoy!

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