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Having been shelling out for .Mac/Mobile Me account for the past few years I thought it was about time I really made the most of the storage and facilities, so I’ve been working on a new website to house my favourite photos and my music videos in one place.

The full web address is: http://web.me.com/humphreyswill/Site/Home_Page.html

Ha! I finally get Twitter. I watched the paper-cut-out style introductory video and started to understand and then I signed up and realised I could follow such luminaries as Stephen Fry and Michael Marshall Smith, though no doubt they shall block me at the first opportunity, and who could blame them? Still it is a wonderfully simple and strangely compelling site. My only problem with it is that I seem to be following myself at least 3 times, which might appear somewhat narcissistic. So I wrote the support people about it.

I know I’ve been off WordPress for an age. I needed a break from blogging.

Wikiversity offers the possibility of setting up your own learning projects, perhaps centred around a class or learning group.  I hadn’t fully appreciated this aspect of the site and it is both intriguing and exciting.

Here is a quote from the site:

Possible question: I’ve read all this stuff so far, and it seems I can just jump in here and use Wikiversity to set up some pages to organise and teach my own class. Surely this is hardly in the interest of a global project like Wikiversity? Surely there must be some kind of limitation on my exploitation of Wikiversity’s resources?

Answer: of course you can jump in and do your own class stuff here!

The reason why this helps the world at large is a piece of deep, subtle and somewhat speculative wiki-wisdom, however. The theory of wiki-dom looks at the very long-term effects and fate of the learning resources you create. At first, a new resource may be so specific and particular in terms of time, place and people, that it is of absolutely no use to the wider world whatsoever. Your resource may only be used by you for a few weeks (time); its content pretty well limits it to your own lesson planning and classroom events (place); and the people involved may not extend outside your class (people). However, unlike a non-wiki webpage, others can come after you and find the resources you have left behind. Rather than reinventing the wheel, they may re-purpose your resources to save themselves time. During the process of repurposing, it is likely that the universality (wider usefulness) of the resource may increase by a small, perhaps almost insignificant amount. The universality will tend to increase, because the resource has now been used on two occasions in different times, places and by different people. Of course, each time the repurposing occurs, the universality may not increase much, or may even sometimes decrease. But in the long run, the resource will incrementally become more valuable and of more universal appeal. This is something which is scarcely visible at the beginning, or not at all visible. But it is the theory of the wiki.

Hmm.  Looks like something I might be interested in pursuing.

I am currently working on writing the end of term papers for my class and I found this excellent resource for students who are preparing to take exams.

Students in group D, if you are reading this, please study this material in your own time and feedback to me by email.

To find the site, click the title link to this post.

The artist at work

The artist at work

Cliff Martinez has had a pretty stellar musical career (drummer for The Magic Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lydia Lunch, among others).  Not only that, but he created one of the finest movie scores in recent years, for Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris.

Incidentally, the score by Artemiev for the original Tarkovsky take on Lem’s novel (and my next favourite film after Stalker) was no slouch either.

Anyway, I was browsing a new music site I’ve been enjoying, namely Soundflavor, and I looked him up.  There wasn’t much of anything there so I checked to see if he had an official site.  He does and it has a download page here, where you can get a big chunk of his back catalogue for free.

It is absolutely gorgeous stuff and extremely generous of Mr Martinez to share it with the world.

Been off blog for a while.  Doing music, looking after our new kitten and getting a job at the local college.

Anyhow, after lots of false starts with what to do with my music on the web, I seem to have found a good home for it: ReverbNation.

I found it via FaceBook and I think it is a very, very good site – well-designed with a lot of neat tools and functionality.

I have posted a lot of the FDL stuff here.  Also, it lets you set playlists for other artists that you know or discover as well.  Here’s my first one.

I hatched a plan today to create a series of songs for my friends, most of whom are in England.  I made a start today by finishing a track I began yesterday and dedicated it to Jamie, a friend of ours in London.  Not sure why, but the piano melody reminded me of him and then that gave me the whole idea.  Having a person in mind when crafting a tune really seems to give the sounds a shape and purpose.

I think that I created a particularly nice bass instrument on Garageband for the song and wanted to share the technical details here.  Unfortunately I can’t work out how to use Grab to capture images of the Garageband instruments so I can’t show the settings – the EQ and synth boxes disappear whenever Grab is clicked on.

Anyhow nearly all the samples were created by Nu:Tone, available at Loopmasters.  I have only used the free demo samples at this stage and I was amazed by the quality.  I will definitely consider buying the complete set.

It could do with some more work in the mixing, but I’m pretty happy with it, especially as I knocked it together in about four or five hours from auditioning sounds to mastering.

Listen to it here.

Next up: Suzanne.

A little while back I was moaning about WordPress not hosting video and mp3 files unless you cough up.  Admittedly it’s not very expensive and I do love WordPress, but I have NO money at present.

Accordingly, I’ve set up a website on Freewebs to host my photos, music and video.  I’ll be using it alongside this blog, at least until I upgrade my WordPress account.

Find it here.

Freesound is a website offering user-made samples, ‘focusing on sound not songs’, all free to use by anyone and licensed under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License.

It is a fantastic resource.

Polluto

Polluto

At the risk of simply copying everything Matt Staggs posts (he may have to take out an internet exclusion order or something), he has an excellent and intriguing interview with Adam Lowe, editor of the frankly irresponsible and horrid-sounding magazine Polluto.

I strongly advise readers of this blog to RESIST this kind of immoral filth with all their might (don’t click that link…)

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