Monday, February 12, 2007

An Aside and an Update

...in all ways far more important than the stated purpose of this blog: I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" for the first time with my roommate Nick tonight. As someone who considers himself fairly knowledgeable on the topic of global warming (and who'd love to call himself an environmentalist) I had passed on this movie when it was making the theater rounds thinking it'd pretty much just be preaching to the choir. I have to say, though, that this is a film that needs be seen by everybody. It's really a remarkable achievement, and presents the potential catastrophe of human-induced climate change in simple, powerful, and almost entirely irrefutable terms. Not to mention that it's engaging, well paced, and emotional in all the right ways. "A triumph!" I'll leave the rest to the Ebert's of the world (most of whom have said what I just did, but much earlier), but if you get a chance, it really is an important thing to watch- and not just for newbies to the idea.

That said, back to the topic at hand: I haven't been getting as much done these last few days as I would have liked music-wise. Social events seem to have soaked up a lot of my time, which is something I'm a little worried about when looking forward to the future. Where I live the social scene is pretty much brought to you, which makes it a little tough to concentrate on weekends even when I'd like to. Of course the only one I can really blame is myself, but it's a concern. I'll chalk this weekend up to special circumstances for now, and try to use it to help calibrate my professional / social scale for the future.

In what little time I devoted to the cause, I spent most discovering and investigating new tools. Went a little nuts downloading a ton of freeware VST instruments on Friday, which was an exciting and somewhat overwhelming experience. There's so much good, free stuff out there! Being so singularly involved with Reason all these years made me blind to that development in the scene I guess. I'll try to post about a few of my favorites once I get a chance to work with them all some more.

I also downloaded a demo of the new version of Fruity Loops (FL Studio 7.0) which, despite the kind of dopey name, has grown up to be an incredibly powerful DAW. It has a lot of features that I never knew I was missing in Reason, and in some ways hearkens back to my "good old days" of writing with Impulse Tracker. Not to mention that it has the best upgrade policy I've ever heard of: one fee = free updates for life, including all major revisions. I almost considered purchasing it outright (it's $149), but decided to spend a little more time with it first. Gotta be careful about getting excited when you're on a fixed income.

Thematically I was inspired by the "Inconvenient Truth" soundtrack (minus the Melissa Ethridge song in the closing credits) to work on some more minimal, "soundtracky" music. It was scored by Michael Brook, who I'm going to need to check out. There was also a track by Thomas Newman, who composed the score for "American Beauty" which is one of my all time favorites I think. He and Cliff Martinez ("Traffic") are an inspiration for sure. There's some idol worship for you.

More and better clips upcoming this week! Time to get the nose back to the grindstone. It's impressive (but not surprising) how much more you value your time when you're paying for it instead of being paid for it. Amen to that, brother.

P.S. It looks like my posts are getting increasingly linkified. Does this happen to everyone that starts a blog? Shudder...

3 comments:

the-way said...

I think you mean.. weog?

Sowmya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

The more recognizable piano motive from American Beauty is very similar in concept to a piece by Arvo Part called Für Alina. No more than 2 piano notes ever sound at once, but he builds bell-like harmonies using a lot of 4ths and 5ths in different octaves. Anyway, maybe worth checking out...