Category Archives: Uncategorized

Creative Coding in North East Schools

CCiNES logo
(DURHAM) I’m very happy to announce the kickoff of Creative Coding in North East Schools (CCiNES), my new educational outreach initiative based here at Durham University. This AHRC funded project offers participating schools a no-cost, high-impact series of workshops and study days for Key Stage 3 students to learn the basics of Sonic Pi, a fun, kid-friendly programming language for digital music composition developed by Dr Sam Aaron. CCiNES is about exposing students to the basics of computer programming by engaging their interest in music, whilst simultaneously developing their composition, listening, and performance skills outside traditional acoustic composition approaches. My primary aim with the CCiNES initiative is to widen horizons and broaden perspectives by introducing as many children as possible to the pleasure and creative richness offered by making music via creative coding.

So, all you secondary music teachers here in the County Durham/Tyne and Wear area: get in touch if you want to find out more – I would love to visit your school and work with your students!

Download an information flyer here.

iFIMPaC 2016 at Leeds College of Music

(Durham) I’ll be heading over to Leeds on 11 March for the 2016 edition of the International Festival for Artistic Innovation in Music Production and Composition (whew!), taking place at Leeds College of Music. With a serious acronym like iFIMPaC, you know this festival isn’t messing around. I’m giving a talk during the first paper session on the Friday morning (can’t make the Thursday, sadly), leading into what looks like a really interesting lineup of concerts, papers, all-sorts. Haven’t yet had the opportunity to spend too much time in Leeds itself, but it’s definitely got a great feel; an interesting mix of old and new. Looking forward to iFIMPaC 2016; maybe see some of you there?

The “numbers stations”. DXing.

Evening all. I’ve just recently taken receipt of THE FINAL SHIPMENT of books, keepsakes, and bric-a-brac from back home. Having moved to Europe over seven years ago, I finally decided that it was time to get my beloved library over to this side where I can actually use it! One of the boxes contained my granddad’s shortwave radio, an old Kenwood R-600, which amazingly has a voltage selector switch, allowing me to use it on the UK’s 240v supply.
r600
Back in Montana, I used to (very) occasionally surf through the bands and would often come across reasonable-quality signals from Australia, Western Europe, and beyond. I’ve now got the thing set up in my studio with an antenna-wire running around the edges of the ceiling, and I’m finding all sorts of interesting stuff; broadcasts from Eastern Europe, the subcontinent, China, Japan, and heaps from all over western Europe. I’m also finding lots of high-speed morse code-y sounding things, which apparently could be Navy traffic. Doing some research the other night, I also learned about the mysterious “numbers stations”, frequencies where voices simply read out lists of numbers (or, less often, letters), sometimes preceded by identifying signature melodies which are always the same. Many of the most commonly known broadcasters have become known by their theme tunes, so you’ve got people scanning the airwaves trying to find “Lincolnshire Poacher” (thought to be MI6 broadcasting from Cyprus), “Cherry Ripe”, “Swedish Rhapsody”, etc. The theory (widely believed) is that these stations are still being used by governmental security services to communicate with their agents in the field, as this type of one-way communication is still extremely secure even in our internet age. Unlike receiving or sending data on the web, no one can tell if you’re listening in to a broadcast, and shortwave sources are extremely difficult to trace, as they bounce off the ionosphere and back down to earth quite randomly, with weather and solar activity increasing the variability. The spy has no need of a laptop, only a cheap, widely-available shortwave radio, which is unlikely to attract attention. I’ve been trying to find some of these stations over the last few evenings, but so far no success….

Google results compared.

(DEN HAAG) Top auto-complete search responses for Google US, UK and NL for “How can I make”:

Google.com

how can i make my hair grow faster
how can i make money
how can i make my computer faster
how can i make my breasts bigger
how can i make money from home
how can i make extra money
how can i make my period come
how can i make myself throw up
how can i make my hair thicker
how can i make my skin lighter

 

Google.co.uk

how can i make money
how can i make my hair grow faster
how can i make my breasts bigger
how can i make my computer faster
how can i make money from home
how can i make my hair thicker
how can i make myself sick
how can i make my laptop run faster
how can i make my period come
how can i make my teeth whiter

 

Google.nl

hoe maak ik een website
hoe maak ik een cv
hoe maak ik een app
hoe maak ik ghb
hoe maak ik een printscreen
hoe maak ik wentelteefjes
hoe maak ik pruimenjam
hoe maak ik een blog
hoe maak ik vrienden
hoe maak ik mijn computer sneller

Good morning, and thank you all for being here.

As you see, it was time for a total website re-design.

Some of you may have been following my former blog on LiveJournal, or checking the blog page on my former website, or looking at my vimeo page, or the long-lost flikr page, etc.  That’s all in the past.  What you see before you here is the The New Way For 2011!  I am always looking for ways to simplify, and by putting the ‘blog’ right up front here on my homepage, I should be able to better stay on top of what really matters:  high-frequency digital pontification on subjects of current interest, and keeping you all entertained, which is extremely important to me.

I have to go meet my wife now.  I will speak to you again soon!