Week four summary, text only

Week four summary:

As I write this on Saturday night, my first thought is that I didn’t do much in the way of Daily Creates. But, in looking back, I at least submitted some weak attempts, mostly based on approprating preexisting work.

On Monday, TDC617 was to be a thirty second audio clip defining Philosophy. I took three takes recording on my iPad with the Voice Record HD app. This simple app has worked pretty well for me in recording nice clean sound, easily converts to mp3, uploads to DropBox for retrieval on my laptop. A little editing in Audacity allowed me to add a little musical background, adjusting levels, and fading out. I should be better with attributions, but the audio was Edgars Karicks Symphony No. 1, downloaded from I don’t know where I don’t know when.

On Tuesday, TDC618, I made a face-swap with Talky Tina by taking my preexisting photo of me in my home office in a tyedie shirt, headless. I used GIMP, opened the image of Tina as a layer, added an alpha channel, then tried to erase the background to transparent. I wasn’t careful enough, and left a little bit of the background around her hair. However, I thought I did ok in placing her head in my tshirt, and filling in around her skinny neck by using the clone tool. The trick there is to make sure the selected section of the image really does fit where it is being cloned to. In both cloning and erasing, don’t get carried away with speed, and be sure to release the left button often so that an undo can be used without too much added rework.

On Wednesday, TDC619, for a photograph representing an aspect of communication, I took a picture of a box of circuit cards. I had actually used this box at work, teaching a technical class on digital communications, we were discussing Ethernet signalling, and I thought it would be a good idea for everyone to see and handle a variety of network interface cards, and look up the major parts on the internet. This actually worked well, as the findings indicated the equipment functionality matched the signalling methods I had discussed with them. Mr. Smith was right! Anyway, I took a picture of the box of cards when we were done. Proper disposal of waste electronics is important, and a major problem worldwide. Please do not through your electronics in the trash! Find a local recycler, turn them in to a big box store, or sell them on eBay. Keep them out of the solid waste stream.

On Thursday, TDC620, I needed a picture of a grid. On my recently issued iPad at school, I already had a couple of pictures of floor tiles and ceiling tiles (always interesting, if you really look), but that wasn’t quite what I wanted. Then I thought of some old papers I have kept in a file, office humor type things. One was a “Rush Job Calendar”, and a calendar is usually represented in a grid, so that was a quick solution. And it provided some humor I thought would be easy to understand and appreciate.

On Friday, TDC621, the task was a picture of a path, road, or trail that guides the eye into the photo. Rather than going somewhere to find one, I uploaded a picture I had taken when my family and I were in Rome last year. Most of the sidestreets are narrow, cobblestoned, and lined with cars and scooters.

And today, Saturday, TDC622, I’m supposed to make a video. Maybe tomorrow…

Other than Daily Creates, there are two other activites to report on.

First, I hope you have noticed that Scottlo is back on the Interweb Airwaves. His Blue Phase series is being distinguished by a call for participatory audio. He wants us to call in via Skype or Google Hangout, just to chat and discuss how the headless ds106 is going and what we are doing creatively, particularly with audio. I was able to listen Monday to about half of the show, while my class was working on some internet research. I am glad Scottlo is recording, so I downloaded to listen on my commute the next couple of days. On Friday, I am home until midafternoon, so was able to not only listen live, but to call in and talk with Scott. He is a pleasure to talk with, he knows what to ask to spur conversation, and is a highly enouraging individual. I hope he is being encouraged as well. An hour or so prior to Blue Phase, I was listening to ds106 radio when in popped Rochelle (Rockylou22), testing her ability to broadcast live voice and recorded music. I has pleased to be able to give her some feedback and even more pleased to hear the music she and her daughter have recorded.

The other activity I want to report is a listening experience I had today. We have been given some direction in learning to listen. I have listened to some of the recordings we have, Ira Glass on radio story, and Evelyn Glennie on listening with all our senses (I really enjoyed her descriptions and drumming). Today my wife and I went to a masterclass with Midori, the world-class violinist. The class featured three very advanced youth violinists playing a piece, with Midori giving critique and advice for about 30 minutes for each student. My wife is a piano teacher (with some violin background), so was taking notes about teaching techniques and musicality. I took notes on Midori’s comments related to listening. All during the lesson, I was thinking I could replace the word “music” with “story” and fit the comments in to ds106 and my own creativity. Here is a loose transcript of what I noted:
The music is always going somewhere, not necessarily forward.
Every ear hears the music differently.
Repitition shows emotional differences in each repitition.
Listening between the notes. It’s not just the notes, but what’s happening between the notes that’s interesting.
It (the performance) should not be the same twice.
We listen for many different reasons, in different ways: assessment (is it right?), to respond to emotional content, listen for the harmonics
Feel the bow across the string.
Feel it in the hands.
Listen imaginatively.
Interpretation: What we think the composer wanted and how we want to accomplish that.
Think about what it actually means, not just what is written.
We have to think of these things in multiple ways. It’s not to play with it, but to play around it. Metronome, the orchestra, etc is for us to play around.

(Shhh, don’t tell anybody, but I recorded the entire masterclass on my iPad, and will listen again Monday on a four hour drive. And I have lot’s of other stuff to listen to on the way back Tuesday, like a cd of Andes flute music I got at a yard sale today, and some Overnightscape Central recordings. And a Naropa Institute recording of Allen Ginsberg on poetry. And a couple of my son’s recent sermons.)

So, what I thought was an uneventful week was actually quite full of Art! And there was Art I saw and heard from all the other ds106 folks, and everywhere else around me.

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