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here's a thing about #songwriting: it's all about #emotions. good melodies trigger emotions, and the more they trigger the better they are. it's absolutely not about complexity, but rather simplicity, because usually "complex" music does not affect feeling much.

Nick Sousanis' Unflattening (which, if you have not read, you should .. it's a stunning graphic novel exploration) inspires a piece of music by composer Philip Sheppard.

Sheppard writes: "... the drawn image is as important as, if not more so than, the written word. There’s a parallel with music. For me, the music starts flowing when words fail me, and I think Nick draws in the way that I’d like to be able to compose." -


I just wrote a blog post about my talk Listening to Music:

I think some things might be easier to follow in writing and with the ability to play/pause and repeat the music snippets at will.

Give it a try if you were a bit confused by the talk. For reference, the talk is uploaded here:



F#m, A, C#m, B,
F#m, A, C#m, B,
A, D, B, C#,
[WHAT GOES HERE??], E (feels like home note)

my album, shameless self-plug Show more

Turns out when I sit down and try to write the stoopidest, hookiest pop ever that I can do it in 20 mins and it's only when I try to do something I seriously want to use that I have problems

Soooo... song #10 for my next album is done. I guess I should start thinking about cover art and stuff. 😨

In case it's not evident, the point is that the original chorus is kind of weird/proggy.

If you want to listen to it before I publish the video, it's here:

I gave another music-related talk at work today.

It was about... music arrangement? I have no idea. I took the chorus of a song I'm writing, I wrote a super straightforward version of it, and then I started changing/adding things until I got back to the original, explaining what I was doing at every step. I guess the point was to make people pay more attention to music or something.

I think it wasn't as understandable as my first talk, but I'll publish it somewhere soon.

“Words are partly thoughts, but mostly, they’re music, deep down. Thinking itself is, perhaps, orchestral, the mind conducting the world. Conducting it, constructing it.”

-- The Art of the Wasted Day, by Patricia Hampl, page 6


I will play a show with my band, The Providers, on Saturday at Arcanoa in Berlin! You're very welcome to come if you're in the area. Doors open at 8PM, music starts at 9PM!

You can listen to some of our music (quite old recordings) here:


RIP Koko the Gorilla. She was 46. We learned so much about our NON-uniqueness as humans from her. And ourselves in turn.

And given current STEM funding priorities, it's unlikely anyone will attempt an experiment like this again anytime soon.

Goddamn it.

MixRemix Radio is now Icecasting. The current show is a Free Culture mix.

I need 100 votes so I can embed a player on my website without popup ads. So I am asking for a favor.

Please go here.

Ignore the link to the mastodon instance, that's not up yet.

Scroll down a page to the LIVE BROADCAST!!! graphic with a thumbs up, 5 stars, and the Tune-In button. Click the thumb to give me a vote. Cick Tune-In to listen. 100 votes will let me embed the player without a popup.

A Whale's Lantern is a music project that pairs up musicians at random to collaborate - we have released two albums so far and the third round is currently happening. You can listen to the previous songs here:

If you buy one of the albums, you:
- directly support the involved musicians
- support Mastodon development (we donate a share of the sales)
- get a download code for another album by one of the artists

I deeply appreciate that my partnership and friendship with @luka that began with A Whale's Lantern collaboration (we wrote and produced Alchemist's Dream) has extended beyond #MusicCollab. A request for a poem led to participation in a beautiful art project that merges music, art and ideas. Thank you, Luka! It's lovely.

🇬🇧 I'm listening to last week's "Écho des Gnous" radio show (thanks to the podcast on )
They played "We Danced In A Dream", the song @hairylarry and I created for @awhaleslantern ! Thanks a lot to the @Chtinux team!

🇫🇷 J'écoute en ce moment l'émission de l'Écho des Gnous de la semaine dernière (grâce au podcast).
Ils ont diffusé "We Danced In A Dream", la chanson que @hairylarry et moi-même avons créée pour le projet @awhaleslantern ! Merci beaucoup à l'équipe @Chtinux !

I'm done with a rough draft of the song for #musiccollab!

I'll let it simmer for a couple of days and then I think we're ready to start playing with it, recording, tweaking, etc.


“The thing that makes pop music so great is the way it parallel-parks on the bleeding edge of cool: nothing could be better than this beat, this feeling, this chorus. It takes something ephemeral and impossible, and for three to four exhilarating minutes, it makes it accessible and real.”

-- from Meet Me in the Bathroom (Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City), oral history by Lizzy Goodman, quote by Andy Greenwald, page 287


New HairyLarryLand CD by The Swing Band Project, "Chess Man Blues". I wrote the title track.

I think I'm all in on this Africa thing...

An entire album of songs made from clips of Toto's Africa.

Bad Idea or Worst Idea?

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