no trespassing

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When I was looking through my photos the other day, this one sparked something in me. I had a topic to pontificate about which would have been relevant to boundaries, limitations and things like putting items in their correct place, and consequence.
But all of that escapes me today and all I can think about is how perfect this was to find by accident while walking along Commercial Drive with Anand a couple of weeks ago. I went over to Vancouver to work on music with Anand before he went to WMC in Miami, where he currently is with Krishen. I got a text message last night – it said “At Mansion – Sasha and Digweed are playing some RIDICULOUS percussional tracks with huge chord progressions.” Sounds like something I would enjoy. Of course I am envious that I am not there right now.
It has come to my attention that I need a new computer. Any suggestions on what I should get? Just kidding, seriously – I know what I need in this department, and have been doing the research for years. Every year my current batch of research becomes obsolete, and so I have to upgrade that research. Basically (and I don’t expect this to come across as great information, but more of a recording of an observation) every year that goes by, every new model that comes along and matches the previous price point of the previous top of the line model, you get more out of an upgrade than you did before. As it is with innovation and (relatively) static price points, the consumer wins in this regard.
This is most overtly parallel to the lifecycle of digital camera functionality and, in particular, what is migrating from the feature-rich point-and-shoot consumer model cameras to the pro-sumer digital SLR models. In short, there are a number of features that were pioneered on the R&D-a-plenty point-and-shoots and they’re coming to the more specialized, higher-end cameras. I suppose the most striking point of all of this is that more features does not equate to high end. Anyone that knows anything about cameras knows that the most important points of the camera are not photo filters or face-tracking live view on a flip-out LCD, but rather the glass, the image sensor, and the person holding the camera. Everything else is peripheral.
All that being said, I am still very happy with the Canon 30D and can see myself using it for years to come, and upgrading the body (not the lenses) in about 3-4 years, for a total lifespan of 5-6 years. Some people are splitting hairs about whether they should get the 30D or the 40D, but my advise is that it doesn’t matter which one you get because they are roughly the same compared to what your options will be in 5-6 years when it comes time to replace it. The Live View technology in the 40D is VERY rudimentary and is not fully functional yet in my opinion – it has a long way to go – just look at the difference between what Olympus’ Live View is capable of and what Canon’s is. When Canon fully slams their R&D budget against Live View, expect to see some awesome results. But I anticipate that even if that has already happened, we wont see the results in actual available cameras for a year or two at least. I don’t know if Canon has a slow turn-around between R&D and actual product roll-out into the marketplace, or if they’re just lagging behind on purpose to see how the tech effects Olympus’ sales, or if they’re just behind, period.
Thoughts?

mom and dad

momanddad2008
Here you go – something a bit less ranty than my last post and a bit more happy. It was my dad’s 63rd birthday the other day and we had a birthday party last night for him. It was a good time. Here is my mom with my dad. The cake had no nuts so I could eat it. It tasted pretty damn good.
I made a website for my mom – she is an artist. If you are a relative of mine or a friend of my mom, you may have heard that this website was a long time coming. It is true – ever since around 2003 I had been planning it in my head. I was ready to build it at any time, and earlier this year my dad registered the domain. That was it – I had to do it at that point since they were getting serious about it too. I designed the site to showcase her art, awards, and upcoming events as well as show a bit of info about herself and there’s also some room for interactivity in the form of commenting in her gallery. Here’s a screen shot:
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I am deeply pleased that I have been able to set it up in a way that allows her to update the site herself with a Content Management System. The handwriting you see on the site is her actual handwriting – I had her scan (at a fairly high resolution) some words that I asked her to write out, and then I turned them into PNG24’s with an alpha layer to achieve a seamless blend with the website background, which I created out of a canvas pattern blended to the colour scheme that I had decided on. I also added some rollover behavior on the handwriting buttons (previous, next, more, back) so that it becomes more prominent when you move the mouse over it. I think it translates really well to what I wanted the user experience to be – professional, sophisticated, but not out of reach. A lot of effort has gone into this website from both myself and Mom and I’m glad to see that it is up and in front of the public now.
Here is the link:
Nirmala Greenwell, Artist – www.nirmalagreenwell.com

p2p music download ISP levy


Perhaps you’ve heard about this:
$5 a month for legal P2P could happen sooner than you think
What do you think?
What I see as issues:

  1. There’s no quality assurance in P2P. This should strike the idea down on its own. I don’t want someone downloading a glitchy mp3 and then assuming that’s supposed to be a part of my song.
  2. Underground labels will NEVER see a slice of this pie. EVER. And it will destroy their revenue, utterly. Costs will not even be covered.
  3. How do you enforce this? Does everyone pay? How about those who want to support the artists in a more direct way – are they going to be double-charged? Is there going to be someone running around at the ISP level checking to see who is downloading music with P2P software and then checking to see if they are paying the $5 fee for approved P2P music downloads?
  4. This will destroy music stores that have worked hard to get people to pay money for music. A lot of valuable work will be un-done, and we will be teaching bad lessons when it comes to how our society values music and art in general.

What they appear to be arguing about is how to divide up the money. This is because there is no clear way to do this, and the only thing they can possibly come up with to do it will be a scheme that sees the rich getting the biggest slices of the pie, and the rest will be deemed “immaterial” and will receive nothing.
The only possible way they could hope to attempt to divide the money is by comparing relative sales per quarter and then applying that as a percentage determiner in who gets what. However, by approving a plan like this, you are cannibalizing sales, so your sales figures (which you base percentages off of) become instantly useless, because no one is buying music anymore – they’re all just downloading on the $5 plan. The truth is they have no plan on how to divide the money fairly, because there IS no way to divide the money fairly.
Ladies and gentlemen, this proposed plan is the equivalent of throwing a bunch of DVD’s in a ditch at the side of a highway and charging people $5 to dive in and see what they can get that isn’t scratched or messed up. I’m not putting my name behind it. This is a 100% horrible idea, and so was the CD levy, which, for the record, I have seen $0 from. I am a registered member of SOCAN, and I have registered works. The irony here is that I buy CDr’s to give away my own music on as a promo, and I have to pay a levy on THAT, and some of it ends up in Avril Lavigne’s pocket.
How wrong is that?
Just as wrong as this.

AFK & Dustin H – Seismic

Seismic is the third collaboration between myself and Dustin H. When we first sat down to make this track I think we were both intimidated by what we had previously accomplished with The Morning Star and Cascadia, and we didn’t want to mess up what precious studio time we had. At the time, the clipper between Victoria and Seattle was on a wacky schedule so we had even less time than we should have. And Dustin was living with this band at the time and they distracted us a fair bit, but it was cool talking to them about what they were up to, and hearing some of their influences between songwriting sessions. They had come up from California. I am not sure what the impetus was behind coming up to Seattle and it still doesn’t make sense in my head, but there you have it. Anyway we had actually sat down to make something epic and soundtrack-ish. Instead, a magma monster burst out of the ground in front of us and demanded to be turned into a progressive track, or else he was going to destroy the entire Pacific North West with a massive earthquake. What the hell were we supposed to do? We agreed and spent the next 18 hours making Seismic, and in the process, saving the citizens of Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria.

The original mix features a number of twists and turns, ethereal noises and abrasive synthetic ones, percussion that falls from the sky above, and basslines that shake the ground below. You’ve heard of hurricane parties? This is an earthquake party. On remix duties we have been completely spoiled. Shiloh gets in on the fault-line fiasco with some serious progressive-tech business that I am sure will find its way into many peak time sets. Stefan Anion is responsible for the breakbeat remix on this release, and what a fine piece of work he did here. There will be no survivors from this remix – it is devastating. Powerplant, aka John Morgan, provides us with a real nice atmospheric house number that manipulates and molds the original synths into a whole new arrangement. All in all I think the package is very well rounded and I am very proud of this Pacific Front release.

  1. AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Original mix)
  2. AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Shiloh remix)
  3. AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Stefan Anion’s Running For Cover remix)
  4. AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Powerplant remix)

AFK – Frisky Radio Artist of the Week: March 11, 2008

Every week, Frisky Radio features one artist as their Artist of the Week. Some of their past feature artists are Lee Burridge, Sultan, Trafik, Kosmas Epsilon, Mashtronic, Luke Fair, Gabriel and Dresden, Satoshi Tomiie, Nick Warren, Pako and Frederik, Lemon 8, Hybrid, Tone Depth, Oliver Moldan, Retroid, Steve May, Momu, Moshic, 16 Bit Lolitas, Madoka, G-Pal, Christian Cambas, V-Sag, Steve Porter, Andrew K, Thomas Penton, and Timo Maas. On the week of March 11, 2008, Frisky Radio chose me.
Well, that was very nice of them.

Thanks to Ben Malcolm at The Media Burnout for the voiceovers, and of course thanks to Faisal Sultan @ Frisky Radio for choosing to focus on AFK.

Tracklisting:

  1. AFK – Magnetic (Chompers dub) [Pacific Front Recordings]
  2. Michael & Levan – January Morning (Retroid Frosty Dawn mix) [Morphosis Records]
  3. BT – Remember (Dale Anderson remix) [Unreleased]
  4. AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Powerplant remix) [Pacific Front Recordings – Promo]
  5. Perc & Fractal – Up (Perc mix) [Kompakt]
  6. AFK – Bergamot (Original mix) [Pacific Front Recordings – Unreleased]
  7. Dariush and DJ Da featuring Tina – Good Vibration (DJ Remy & Roland Klinkenberg remix) [Shinichi]
  8. Art of Trance – Madagascar (AFK bootleg) [Unreleased]
  9. Steve Porter – Definite Form (DJ Remy & Roland Klinkenberg remix) [Little Mountain Recordings]
  10. Hybrid – Higher than a Skyscraper (Hybrid’s Twitch and Sweat mix) [Distinctive]
  11. Will Spencer featuring Royal Sapien – Oceanica (Stefan Anion’s Port Authority mix) [Olaris Records]
  12. Sweeney & Stowasser – Move On (Original mix) [Stillwater Records]
  13. Cream Sound – Intromodul (Dynamic Illusion remix) [Morphosis Records]
  14. Sultan & Ned Shepard – Together We Rise (DJ Remy & Roland Klinkenberg remix) [Shinichi]
  15. Luke Chable presents Quest – Skyline Road (Original mix) [68 Recordings]
  16. AFK & Dustin H – Seismic (Shiloh remix) [Pacific Front Recordings]
  17. Benz & MD – Signals (AFK’s Dragon Dub) [Proton Music]
  18. Obakeh – Ghosted (AFK’s Drifting Through Walls Ambient mix) [Pacific Front Recordings – Unreleased]
Download: AFK – Frisky Radio Featured Artist 2008 (mp3)

Right click and Save As, or option-click the link on a Mac to automatically download

Brandi and Carson

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This is a photo from Brandi and Carson’s wedding. We had run outside with them after the Ceremony to the Legislature and we were all freezing during the shoot – none of us were wearing coats. It was so cold, it was insane! We got some great shots of the new couple though, and I think this one in particular turned out great. This one was an exercise of patience while balancing out the lights of the legislature with a flash to illuminate Brandi and Carson properly, but not too much of the ground or other foreground objects in the process. All worth it as you can see. This is one of 2000+ frames we shot that day.
Other interesting photo things – photos to post from photogroffee: Salt Spring, a trip to Port Townsend, and I did a photo shoot for Short Fuse in January which has some cool shots in it.
Holding off on buying any new camera equipment for the time being – it’s simply not needed at this point as we have a pretty full suite of lenses that can accomplish pretty much anything that we need to do.
* * *
Frisky Radio‘s featured artist for this week is … me! Tune in tomorrow for a brand new 2 hour exclusive set at 11 AM PST. More on the music from.. the third track I did with Dustin H called “Seismic” is now out on promo with remixes from the legendary Powerplant, the almighty Shiloh, and one of the best progressive breaks producers around, Stefan Anion.. if you are on our list, scoop it up. It will be in fine online stores such as iTunes and Beatport in early April. If you want to have a listen ahead of time, have a listen on the Progressive House promo page here – AFK & Dustin H – Seismic Preview