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Music

S.Ex. no. 22 Theatre of Youth

I made this using an upright bass by Ibanez. The pedals used were the Boss Hamonist, Old Blood Noise Endeavors’ Visitor, Red Panda’s Tensor, and Lossy, by Chase Bliss Audio. The video is from my phone, film in the theater lobby at Towson University.

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S.ex no. 21 Spring Break

Another spring break loop – I made one this time last year.

I played some tonal stuff, and then put the guitar down.  The pedal build their own loops and micro loops. It went on for about 13 minutes, gradually distorting and shifting. 

This is a shorter edit, featuring:

@mtl.asm count to five
@redpandalab tensor & particle 
@chasebliss mood & habit 
@bossfx_us @bossinfoglobal DD-8 & Space Echo. 

The video is from my phone.

And below is the long version, S.ex. no. 21 (longer) In the rooms. The rooms contrast my professional life with the rest of my life. Both are important, and in reality, we have one life that somehow we partition mentally.

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Music

RPM Challenge 2024

And so, with great anticipation, I return to the RPM challenge.

It’s a very cold night here in Baltimore – 18 degrees as I type this. We don’t get many of these anymore, so I’m kind of relishing this season. Maryland is wonderful for its diverse seasons.

https://www.rpmchallenge.com/ asks participants to accept the challenge of completing a musical project during the month of February. It can be a song, an Ep, and album, or even a boxed set.

I chose Ep this year, with the hopes of completing at least 4 songs – and I mean songs in the more traditional sense – and then some more experimental pieces.

I then read that it is acceptable to complete already started songs, which moves me a lot closer to the goal stated above, and quite possibly an entire album.

I’ve done this enough times to know that what I set out to do, and the material I end up with, usually are very different. We shall see.

Last year’s RPM album was A chop off the old block.

UPDATE 2/27/2024

Alas. It’s looking like 2024 is the year I won’t finish the RPM challenge. I did lay down drum tracks, and I came up with a new song that I like. I have ideas for others, but I did not spend the time getting the material worked out, nor recorded well.

I got Logic working, so that’s something.

I might finish some experimental things tonight, but I won’t release them on Bandcamp for the RPM challenge, because I told myself I didn’t want to do that this year.

Do I feel bad? Not at all. There’s always March!

At the very last moment, I joined a creative writing workshop at the University of Baltimore, and that has captured my attention. That’s not meant to be an excuse. Between that class, my own teaching, my wedding, and shinky dinks, I haven’t made time to record.

So, unless I pull out some miraculous tracks this evening, I’m throwing in the towel on RPM24.

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Music

Guitar Repairs

I found the luthier “Brooklyn Fretworks” on Instagram. Chip posted about modifying a “lawsuit” Ibanez into a black beauty 3 humbucker model, and I was impressed by his willingness to do that job. I was delighted to see it’s the Baltimore neighborhood of Brooklyn, and not NYC.

I took the Shillelagh to him for a couple of modifications, namely the volume pot had gone bad. Chip fixed this, and then I went back with my Squier Bass vi.

The Shillelagh is performing as designed!

Getting the Bass VI seaworthy was a bit more involved. I had picked it up with the hopes of having it be my main bass in Coastguard, but it’s taken me this long to complete the mods. I recorded a few things with it, and knew this model will work for me.

I had read a bunch of posts about modifications to the Squier Bass VI that could potentially bring it up to rival the Fender Bass VI.

Here’s what we did.

  • Ordered and installed a StayTrem replacement bridge from England
  • Added collars around the StayTrem posts in the body of the guitar, to make it stay put. The post collar closest to the high E string is copper, which adds grounding
  • Added copper shielding in the body
  • Replaced the pots and wiring
  • Added a bone nut
  • Swapped the factory string for round wound strings, and Chip did a complete set up with the new strings
  • Slight shim to the neck to adjust for the new bridge

What a difference! She sounds like a bass with the new strings, and plays 100% better. It will take me a little getting used to (I’m not sure I love round wounds yet).

I’m happy, and recommend Brooklyn Fretworks!

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Music

S.Ex no. 20: Walk Good part 2

Filmed in Cap Code when we were visiting the Edward Gorey house, part of my “Walk Good” series.

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Music

S.EX. NO. 19 FARMER’S MARKET

Sound experiment no. 19, at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market.