a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
flac's profile

x 51

following: 31
followed tags: 28
followed domains: 0
badges given: 7 of 10
hubskier for: 3238 days

You're all groovy <3

recent comments, posts, and shares:
flac  ·  1165 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: When We Were Mountains - Please Add to This!

This is GREAT! And I am so loving your dad's harmonica, and that you got him included in the music process. Thank you for adding (and improving!) :)

flac  ·  1175 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 28, 2021

I finally finished my horrible preschool job a few weeks ago, and jesus christ I didn't realize what a number that job had been doing on my body/psyche until I was out of it. It's nice not being on edge and full of tension all day, or collapsing into a ball and sleeping for 12 hours every night. Barring an act of god, I'm never teaching preschool again. I love teaching, and I love kids, but it just isn't worth it.

I have a job teaching music over the summer, which I'm really excited about, and I hope it'll pave the way for future jobs. And I have a month or so of downtime before then, which I am using to actually deal with a lot of the problems which have been accumulating the past year. Found a therapist, started meditating every day, and I'm making time for music again. I spend an hour a day practicing piano, and another hour practicing improvising and songwriting. I'm hoping to put together some videos on the games / techniques I use to get me out of my creative blocks, because I think they might be really useful to other people who are stuck. I also realized how much of my creative block was rooted in a more general emotional block - it's kind of incredible how much easier it is to make music you like when you are actually able to emotionally connect to it again. Music is just flowing out of me naturally again, and it feels great.

Here's a couple tracks I put together this past week to submit to a little beatmaking contest:

Especially pleased with the first one. I think I am going to try and record an EP or Album of summery, funky tunes to release by around June.

flac  ·  1244 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Rush Limbaugh Dead


flac  ·  1244 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 17, 2021

I'm really hoping this will be my last year teaching preschool. I'm stretched way too goddamn thin at this center I'm at. I'm at school 8-5 every day, teaching 15 kids, 4 of whom are on the Autism spectrum and qualify for services (but aren't receiving them due to COVID). We stay in one room all day, and maybe if it's sunny and over 40° we go outside for a max of 30 minutes a day. It's fucking depressing, and I have no power to change things because almost all aspects of the day are determined by corporate. It's incredibly frustrating knowing what small changes would make a huge difference for these kids and being unable to actually implement them.

After years of having a vague notion of wanting to teach music at some point, I finally looked into what goes into getting licensed in various places, and it turns out VT has a pretty solid alternative peer review based licensing program. I'm making it my goal to put together a teaching portfolio and pass the Praxis teaching tests by the summer so I can get licensed for the upcoming school year and get the fuck out of CT, and out of the "childcare solutions" racket.

flac  ·  1250 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tribute to flac

Awwwww heck! Glad I could be an inspiration :) keep it up!

flac  ·  1266 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 27, 2021

I've been (non-COVID) sick for about 5 or 6 days now. I think it's just the standard flu, been incredibly tired and out of it. Possibly returning to work tomorrow.

I've been staying busy by fiddling with electronics some more. I got my 3D printer up and running again, and have been making some odd devices. Here's a prototype of an idea I've had knocking around for a few weeks - a solar powered synth, with a build-in piezo disc speaker, to use as a tool for measuring/interacting with sunlight. Right now, I'm really missing my old job teaching in the woods, and am really bummed out by my current school's very small concrete and astro-turf playground. There's no sense of change to it, it's exactly the same every time we visit. So I want to make some devices that kids can use to explore the changes in natural forces in some fun and unique ways, and this is the first idea I came up with. After I fine-tune this, I want to make some sort of wind harps. Still trying to think of a good rain-instrument (maybe a drum of some kind?).

I have a ton of these little squares of wood left over from my wedding (I made coasters as party favors), and they happen to fit the solar panels I have beautifully, so I'm using them as my basic unit of measurement in designs. I think this box's design is a bit too deep, especially for little hands. There's two oscillator voices in this device - one is wired up to the output jack on the back, and is controlled by the knob (the sound is SUPER gnarly). The other one, wired to the built-in speaker, has a fixed frequency, but is only activated if you complete the circuit by touching both copper plates. It sounds like an angry bird to me, which I like. I might have the pitch mapped to an LDR in my next iteration.

These are <$5 in materials, and take maybe 45 minutes to wire up. I'm going to send some to musical friends to play around with.

I also made an Electromagnetic Mic out of an old solenoid I had lying around - here's me playing my hair clippers like a didgeridoo:

EDIT: Just made another sunbox. 4 voices, always playing, pitch controlled by LDRs. I call it the "very angry box" for reasons which I think will be clear upon listening. Might re-make this with different capacitors, wonder if I can make it actually melodic in some way.

flac  ·  1271 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump just named Woody Guthrie an American Hero... who wrote 'Old Man Trump'!

Guthrie and Seeger are huge heroes of mine, and absolute dyed-in-the-wool pinko commies. It's really a testament to their persistance and skill as songwriters that they became as popular as they did despite the "Red Scare" and being blacklisted. Always loved bringing in songs by them to do at my last school's "All School Sing" - went over very well at the little anarchist school in the woods.

If anyone's interested, here's a playlist of leftie jams I put together a year so ago, some good covers of Seeger/Guthrie songs throughout.

flac  ·  1272 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 20, 2021

Ah, your teacher has excellent taste ;) It's an insanely open-ended synth, love love love it. I hear Syntorial is really great, hope you enjoy!

flac  ·  1273 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 20, 2021

Allow me, if you will, to nerd out for a minute.

I hunkered down this long weekend with "Handmade Electronic Music by Nicolas Collins" and HOOOOOLY MOOOOOOLEY did I have fun. Can't recommend this book enough for anyone who likes tinkering. I especially loved the section on 40106 chip oscillator circuits. It's insane to me how expressive such a simple circuit can be. Just got some cheapo solar panels yesterday, planning on making some audio automatons this weekend.

Here's my attempt at making a "digital fire" by making a bunch of lfo-rate oscillators, controlled by photosensitive resistors, and playing them through Piezo pickups taped to pieces of wood:

And here's a track I made last night using the circuit pictured and a couple FX:

I am absolutely blown away by this shit. This would have made my gig scoring a horror movie a few years back infinitely easier! And all for like $2 worth of materials (ignoring the effects, all of which could pretty easily be emulated using free VST plugins or a Pi running Pure Data). No programming, no automating effects in my DAW, just putting my hand in front of a flashlight for a few minutes and seeing what happens.

If anyone's interested in the specifics of that track: Two oscillator voices, both running into separate FX units on my Koma Field Kit FX. The first one is run into a frequency shifter which changes frequency every second or so, the other run into a resonant band pass filter. Both run together into a ping pong delay and harmonizer (set to a perfect fifth) on my Raspberry Pi. The circuit is powered by a 5V solar panel, which in turn is powered by the flashlight in that picture. When it receives full power, you hear a little rhythmic "ping" sound. When I cover it partially, the circuit is "starved" and starts making the whiny rumbling sounds.

goobster I definitely recommend checking out that book if you're ever looking to play around with your own custom synthesizers! It's very clearly explained, and assumes no prior understanding of electronics. It's all geared towards tinkering and exploration rather than mastery, and I've found it incredibly fun to work through.

flac  ·  1274 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 417th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

I've been trying to listen to a new album every day, mostly been able to stick to it. Here's the best ones I've listened to so far:

NNAMDI - BRAT - really cool fusion between math pop and indie hip-hop.

sunn - Life Metal - really sonically rich drone metal.

Holly Herndon - PROTO - avant garde electro-pop. Really cool production.

The Microphones - It Was Hot, we Stayed in the Water - Somehow I'd never given this a listen, despite loving their other albums. Great lo-fi freak folk.

Billy Woods/Kenny Segal - Hiding Places - excellent rap album. Really inventive and personal lyrics, killer production.

Also just stumbled upon this, which is awesome:


Anyone have suggestions for albums to add to my list? I'd love some ideas, feel like I'm getting into a rut.