Monthly Archives: May 2012

Microtonal Strut

The wonderful thing about microtonal tunings is sort of a Forrest Gump deal: You never know what you’re going to get. There is literally no music theory that will explain what works harmonically and what doesn’t. It’s all down to … Continue reading

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Something New

Last night I took a look at a graphics programming system called Processing. It’s quite groovy. I had been dimly aware of it before, but I think I sort of rolled my eyes and muttered, “Just what I need — … Continue reading

Posted in media, music, technology | 5 Comments

A Second Opinion

I’m one of the West Coast’s least active science fiction/fantasy writers. Four years ago, after a very long hiatus, I did sit down and write some new stories. Three of them I sold, to the usual magazines (Asimov’s, F&SF). The … Continue reading

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A Little Something Extra

Here’s a rough mix of a new tune, “Distant Armies,” that may call for a little explanation. Our usual musical scale has 12 equal-tempered notes per octave. “Distant Armies” uses 13. As a result, all of the intervals are squashed … Continue reading

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Surprisingly often, scientific researchers make what (eventually, perhaps after decades) turn out to be bad assumptions. They simplify a vexing problem in order to investigate it with the available tools, and then assume that what they’ve learned describes what happens … Continue reading

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Nothing Happening Here

John Cage, who more or less invented aleatoric music, said, “I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is music.” My response has always been, “You have nothing to say, so I am not going to … Continue reading

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Fun with Synthesizers

I have an embarrassing number of synthesizers on my hard drive. It’s embarrassing mainly because I never had to pay for them. Not because they’re pirated software, I hasten to add. These are legal NFR (not for resale) installations that … Continue reading

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Snapshot No. 2

Here’s another brief example of what can be done with microtonal equal temperaments — a quick pencil sketch, if you will, not a fully worked-out piece. The Asian vibe being unmistakable, I’m calling this “Apple Blossoms on Mt. Yu.” The … Continue reading

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A piece of music doesn’t have to be 15 minutes long, or even three minutes, to make its point. I’m exploring some new techniques, so I figured I might as well start small, to get a feel for what’s possible. … Continue reading

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Dead Letter Office

Apparently nobody is very serious about wanting a solid, modern presentation for interactive fiction in web browsers. My recent blog posts on the subject, which I mentioned in the IF Forum, have met with a thunderous silence. As Adlai Stevenson … Continue reading

Posted in Interactive Fiction, random musings, technology, writing | 12 Comments