This is number 3 in my series of lectures in music technology and ChucK to the Oxford Laptop Orchestra. Read the other two first. Sorry this blog post was a couple of weeks late. It’s quite substantial, but conceptually it underpins a lot of material. Persevere, read, ask questions.

This week sees a bit of a philosophical turn as we contemplate what ‘digital’ really means and how we can use it to play Bach on organ without having to build one first.

Read more →

This is number 2 in my series of lectures in music technology and ChucK to the Oxford Laptop Orchestra. Give the first lecture a read before reading this.

Last week we took a look at why, in my opinion, music and programming are natural bedfellows. We talked about what a program actually is and how it relates to Western music notation. We compared structural features of music and computer programs. We pinned down what the words ‘analogue’ and ‘digital’ actually mean, how sound is transmitted, and finally we wrote a program that plays a tune.

This week we’re going to continue down two parallel paths: more about the programming language and the nature of sound in general. The reason for all of this is to give you the tools to think about what you hear, apply analytical thought to the process of composition and creation, and to enable you to conceive of and make your own ChucK sounds.

Read more →

According to Ian Betteridge,

‘Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no

But is this long-standing principle of journalism now dead?

Read more →

I’m very excited to be involved with the nascent Oxford Laptop Orchestra. This project, run by and for students at the University of Oxford, follows on from the work of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. PLOrk, as its known, and now OxLork, is an effort to reproduce the form of performance embodied by a real orchestra or chamber group — that is, a number of individuals performing in concert, in a certain arrangement in space — with modern advances in electroacoustic music. At a PLOrk performance, musicians will sit, each with a laptop and a specially developed speaker, and make music together. So shall OxLork be!

Read more →

I posted some pictures about the removal of the old engine but never got round to its replacement. Time to correct that. The old Lister LR2 was replaced with and older SR2. Older by a year, but superior in all kinds of ways.

Read more →

Birthday Shinbash

A few shaky photos from a magnificent 18 hour birthday stint.

Read more →

I used to make music on computers when I was a teenager. I used to spend hours in my room on a MIDI sequencer with a keyboard, a synthesiser and a mouse. These tracks were all MIDI. No they didn’t sound awful I had a nice sound module, but they do sound a bit dated now. But that was MIDI.

I very clearly remember a turning point. The day I bought my first (and, it turns out only) microphone. A Røde NT1A vocal mic. I had a mixing desk in my room with phantom power and preamps, (a

Read more →

Have you just got an exception from Django saying:

IndexError at /admin/mything/

list index out of range

Read more →

Blacking Up (Part Two)

After Dawn’s slipping out, she was power-washed and given a new coat of bitumen. All the way up to the gunwales. Very smart. Especially compared to her prior grubby state. As on Friday, the slipping back into the water happened before work!

Read more →

Blacking up (Part 1)

Last night I got a call out of the blue from Jon Ody asking if I wanted my boat Dawn’s hull blacking. It’s something that needs to be done every couple of years and I was starting to think about it anyway. The catch: it had to be done tomorrow morning and he needed a decision promptly, as he had a free slot in the boatyard. It didn’t help that it would make me homeless for the weekend.

Read more →