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  • richardmitnick 8:14 pm on August 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Crunching", , , World Community Grid   

    It’s public radio and It’s Music to My Ears 

    Its Public Radio and It’s Music to My Ears (Originally posted at MusicSprings)

    But it’s the BBC , and it is a 29 minute radio piece about Citizen Science – Public Distributed Computing. Besides music and video, and way way more important to me than either, is being a “cruncher” for scientific projects at august institutions and universities around the globe. We use software provided by the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network ComputingBOINC – to produce for each project through our collective participation, each project’s very own super computer crunching teraflops of data, saving lab scientists literally years of work to reach their goals and help mankind.

    I hope that you will click on the link above for the radio piece, listen to it, and then explore BOINC and the many diverse projects using the software for the betterment of all mankind.

    The best example I have is from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, Dr David Foran’s team at the project Help Defeat Cancer, under the aegis of World Community Grid (see below) reduced tissue typing on one PC from 137 years to one day. Tell me that did not save lives!!

    image 1

    Most of the text below is taken directly from the web sites of the projects. I hope that you will listen to the radio piece and then visit the project web sites to learn more about what is going on.
    BOINC software is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

    The spinning ball is from Spinhenge@home, a project about which the scientists tell us, “…With your participation you will actively support the research of nano-magnetic molecules. In the future these molecules will be used in localised tumor chemotherapy and to develop tiny memory-modules….” This projects is at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld – Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, Bielefeld, the Ostwestfalen-Lippe region, Germany.

    image 2

    Einstein@home searches for pulsars and gravitational waves. They just made the headlines (in science, anyway) with the confirmation of a newly discovered pulsar. Einstein@home is a project based un the USA. Here is what the scientists tell us, ” Einstein@Home is a program that uses your computer’s idle time to search for gravitational waves from spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars) using data from the LIGO gravitational wave detector… Einstein@Home also searches for radio pulsars in binary systems, using data from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Einstein@Home is a World Year of Physics 2005 and an International Year of Astronomy 2009 project supported by the American Physical Society (APS) and by a number of international organizations. Einstein@Home is now carrying out a search of data from LIGO’s first science run at design sensitivity (S5). The current analysis (S5GC1) uses 8898.5 hours of data from the entire S5 run. S5GC1 is the first analysis deploying the F-statistic plus global-correlations method, which is currently the most sensitive search technology known.
    Bruce Allen, Director of Einstein@Home; Director, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Hannover; Professor of Physics, U. of Wisconsin – Milwaukee”

    So, we add cosmology to biology.

    image 3

    What does Rosetta@home do? “Rosetta@home needs your help to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins in research that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases. By running the Rosetta program on your computer while you don’t need it you will help us speed up and extend our research in ways we couldn’t possibly attempt without your help. You will also be helping our efforts at designing new proteins to fight diseases such as HIV, Malaria, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s… Please join us in our efforts! Rosetta@home is not for profit….” Rosetta@home is at The University of Washington, “U Dub” to the cogniscenti, under the watchful eye of David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

    The granddaddy of all projects, the “source” for BOINC is the SETI@home project.
    was
    seti

    and now
    mover
    and
    mover 2

    From the site, “SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a scientific area whose goal is to detect intelligent life outside Earth. One approach, known as radio SETI, uses radio telescopes to listen for narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. Such signals are not known to occur naturally, so a detection would provide evidence of extraterrestrial technology. Radio telescope signals consist primarily of noise (from celestial sources and the receiver’s electronics) and man-made signals such as TV stations, radar, and satellites. Modern radio SETI projects analyze the data digitally. More computing power enables searches to cover greater frequency ranges with more sensitivity. Radio SETI, therefore, has an insatiable appetite for computing power. Previous radio SETI projects have used special-purpose supercomputers, located at the telescope, to do the bulk of the data analysis. In 1995, David Gedye proposed doing radio SETI using a virtual supercomputer composed of large numbers of Internet-connected computers, and he organized the SETI@home project to explore this idea. SETI@home was originally launched in May 1999.

    da
    Dr. David P. Anderson

    Dr. David P. Anderson, Director of the SETI@home Project. David is a computer scientist, with research interests in volunteer computing, distributed systems, and real-time systems. He also runs the BOINC project.

    My personal favorite project is LHC@home, a project trying to aid the scientists at CERN who are using the Large Hadron Collider in rthe hopes of finding the Higgs Bosun, the particle which would provide for mass in the sixteen particles which comprise the current “Standard Model” of the constitution of the universe.

    lhc
    The Large hadron Collider

    I have been fascinated with CERN since the 1985 PBS Timothy Ferris video “Creation of the Universe”. While this video is “dated” with some of the graphics not up to today’s TV wonders, this is still a wonderful introduction to the world of Particle Physics and the wonders of the universe. This video is available from Netflix. Here is what the web site tells us about what is going on at CERN.

    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 m underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionise our understanding, from the minuscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.

    Two beams of subatomic particles called ‘hadrons‘ – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high energy. Teams of physicists from around the world will analyse the particles created in the collisions using special detectors in a number of experiments dedicated to the LHC.

    There are many theories as to what will result from these collisions, but what’s for sure is that a brave new world of physics will emerge from the new accelerator, as knowledge in particle physics goes on to describe the workings of the Universe. For decades, the Standard Model of particle physics has served physicists well as a means of understanding the fundamental laws of Nature, but it does not tell the whole story. Only experimental data using the higher energies reached by the LHC can push knowledge forward, challenging those who seek confirmation of established knowledge, and those who dare to dream beyond the paradigm.

    There are many other wonderful projects to explore at the BOINC web site. I hope that you will give them a look.

    World Community Grid is treated as one project by the BOINC software. But WCG has six ongoing projects, each of which is of equal importance to any of the above described projects, or any of the others that you will find at the BOINC web site. These projects are specially vetted by IBM Corporation. They are primarily medical or biological. There are current medical projects in AIDS, Cancer, Childhood Cancer, Dengue Fever, Muscular Dystrophy, and Human Proteome Folding. There is also a Clean Energy Project. Each project has its own web site, accessible from the main WCG web page.

    I personally do not like seeing six projects treated as one project for the allotment of my resources. So, in the BOINC software, I am able to overweight WCG so that the projects as a group are fairly treated for machine time. Anyone can do this for any favorite project(s), and dr Anderson makes this clear in the radio piece.

    So, a special case is World Community Grid (WCG).
    wcg2


    My statistics

     
    • Trevor Anderies 1:45 am on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Richard,

      I really like your blog and would love to let you know about an upcoming release from a band of mine called Slumgum. Please email me back if you have a chance.

      Thanks

    • richardmitnick 7:13 am on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Trevor-

      Wow! People are still looking at this blog, I am amazed, it has been dormant for quite a while. All of the issues with Public Radio are pretty much settled. Public Radio has gone over to the ‘dark side” with things like “Classical 24″ and “Jazz 24″ , music for the lowest common denominator rented from Minnesota Public Radio. Serious music is best found now on the internet, still in streams from public Radio, but also from AccuRadio.com, Live365.com and the like.

      And this post to which you responded is not even about music.

      Please check out my more current blog, MusicSprings, at http://musicsprings.wordpress.com. I looked at your band’s web site, I will explore it more fully. If I can, I will do a post for your band at MusicSprings. Thanks for your message.

  • richardmitnick 1:19 pm on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , streaming audio,   

    Q2 in the Next WQXR Pledge Drive

    The question being raised here is what will WQXR do in its next pledge drive, on its FM broadcast and the 105.9 web stream, to raise the visibility and bring to its listeners Q2, its web based New Music service? I am posting this here at “Whither…” because it is a large topic. But because this blog has been rather dormant, I will be posting it also at the more active MusicSprings. That’s a lot of work, folks, I hope someone reads it somewhere.

    Before that, a bit of a preamble about another PubRadio service in the New York Metropolitan area which has absolutely failed to do anything with its web assets.

    WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark, New Jersey, has tremendous web assets which are never pitched during pledge drives. I have called them incessantly during pledge drives and excoriated them for this failure. They have a 96k web stream for the broadcast. They produce wonderful concerts from the Village Vanguard and J&R Music which are then made available for listening and the occasional download by National Public Radio. Many of the concerts are available as videocasts. There is a huge treasure trove of video archives. WBGO originates broadcasts from jazz concerts around the country and Canada. None of this has been pitched in their pledge drives. WBGO seems to aim their pitches to downtown Newark.

    Public Radio, so much of it now available on the internet, needs to take advantage of its newly emerged global presence. Recently, the The Daily Trojan, from the University of Southern California, let us know that KUSC, Classical Public Radio in Los Angeles, has members in 38 states and 11 countires. That’s not exactly chopped liver.

    Now to the subject at hand.

    So, Q2 from WQXR has been with us now for what? Nine or ten months. Q2 is the on line 24/7/365 service devoted essentially to New Music, Classical and Avantgarde music of the late 20th century, and, as the mottos say, “500 years of new music”, and the “fearless music we crave”. It is the successor to wnyc2, a similar service of WNYC prior to the takeover of WQXR from the New York Times.

    It is safe to say that the people running Q2 have done an outstanding job of bringing us not only great music; but also a wonderful and ongoing series of special projects devoted to composers, musical styles, and the New York New Music scene. We have had “Eight Days of Steve”, devoted to the music of Steve Reich; the choral premier of David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion for which there is an accompanying video ; Homophony, a celebration of the music of Gay and Lesbian Composers, with special guests Nico Muhly and Pauline Oliveros; the Look and Listen 2010 project from the Festival of the same name; Hammered, devoted to music for keyboards – of all kinds; Hope Springs Atonal a special segment “devoted to the high octane world of post-tonal music; Contact!, a series curated by Alan Gilbert and Composer- in Residence Magnus Lindberg with the New York Philharmonic “featuring world premiers from seven composers on the international contemporary music scene. Did I get them all? Whoops, no, I missed Cued Up on Q2, a Summer festival of New Music concerts recorded live in New york City, a whole series of audios of great performances. Boy, that’s like when George Harrison almost forgot to introduce Billy Preston at the Concert for Bangladesh.

    A super important component of all of this Q2 activity has been Nadia Sirota on Q2, a four hour segmented and quite modular production which has included a great deal of the above mentioned special programming. Nadia’s gig runs for four hours every weekday and night at noon and midnight.

    In fact, Nadia is, in my estimation, the Joe Namath/Derek Jeter/David Wright of Q2. She is Juilliard trained and a great teacher, along with being a rising force in her own right on the New Music scene as a violist. If I remember correctly, she was the rock of the John Cage project that ran some time ago on WNYC. Nadia is a founding member of ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. She has performed with The Meredith Monk Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Continuum., and the Icelandic based Bedroom Community. You can read the rest of her accomplishments at her MySpace page, see About Nadia.

    I am a Q2 addict and fanboy. Q2 is saved as a bookmark on all of my computers in my own player Winamp.

    So, WQXR, what are you going to do on the radio to raise the visibility of this incredible resource in your future pledge drives. Are you going to fail, like WBGO, to spread the word? Does anyone at WQXR think I am off base or out of bounds? I hope that some person or people at WQXR will respond with comments.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:58 pm on May 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Zune   

    The Road to Digital – Are You On It?

    I have not written here since March 2010. This blog has always been issue oriented. Since the advent of WQXR and the re-birth of WNYC’s 24/7 New Music stream as Q2 there have not been for me any real issues.

    I started a new blog, “MusicSprings” because there were and are subjects of a singular nature about which to write, artists and composers, musical events, albums, and the like.

    But, now I have an issue: Going all digital, for music an video.

    This started about two years ago. I ripped all of my CD’s to .mp3 at 320k. I ripped all of my DVD’s to .mp4. I found new and loving homes for the physical media. I also found new homes for most of my sound equipment. The rest of this has taken some time.

    I think that this started when WNYC tossed out day time music on FM.

    I used Public Radio Fan and Shoutcast to find new sources for music “on the radio”. I gravitated to three stations: KUSC, Los Angeles; WCNY, Syracuse; and WCPE, Winston Salem, NC. KUSC got most of my attention. I also took subscriptions at home and at work for streams in especially New Music at Live365 I use Winamp for streaming audio, with the stations listed, and also WPRB and WBGO.

    KUSC


    Finally, one of my favorite of all time music sources, Music from the Hearts of Space was kicked out at WNYC. So, I took subscriptions at the web site.

    Today, I have 396 gigs of music and video. I keep everything on three 1 TB Western Digital Passport external hard drives. Three drives for three computers. And for redundancy. Hard drives break.
    pp

    For video, I don’t want to watch on the computer. So I have a Western Digital WD-TV HD Media Player, to which is attached a fourth WD Passport, with all of the .mp4 videos.
    HDTV

    I also have four 120 gig Zune .mp3 and .mp4 players: Classical music and Spoken Word, Jazz, Rock, and video.
    Zune

    Last and probably least used, but very useful in a pinch, is my Roku HD-XR Player for streaming movies (wirelessly) from Netflix.
    Roku

    So, what do you think? Did I jump off a bridge? Too early? I gave away thousands of dollars worth of physical media and equipment. There is no going back. But I welcome all opinions.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:09 am on March 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Freeze Frame – Start a New Music Library

    Interesting title?

    I am sitting here this morning listening to Caleb Burhans and Alarm Will Sound on The Q. I first saw Caleb’s name in connection with an Innova disc, Fast Jump with performer Danny Holt.

    So, O.K., lots of ties here. And, the music to which I am listening is bright, inventive, I mean, I have no real academic basis for commenting. I just hear a lovely newness here.

    So, should I buy the work? If I do, will I even remember that I have it?

    What’s the problem? I have for a long time been fulfilling my stated modus of supporting living composers by purchasing their work, these days in .mp3. The problem is that anything I buy now disappears into 189 gigs of music files, 400 composers, 3056 albums, 34415 tracks.

    I look over at the wall of books in my Digiteria: Theology. Jewish and Christian Theology; Islamic, Jewish and Christian Mysticism, Dead Sea material; religious philosophy and Philosophy of Religion. The wall evinces a past activity, the material evidence of a 25 year study and search for meaning. It is not really stopped, I am into those books all of the time. But, that is what I did actively before Music. Hours and hours and thousands of dollars for my own library to be able to pick up any footnote and go to the shelf and get the book. Now it is a more passive interest. I found a theology that I could live with, the Grund theology of Meister Eckhart.

    So, what about the music library. Freeze it. Start a new one. There is a new computer coming, an i5-520M. Start a new library. What is the basis to be? How will it differ? It will be based on the offerings of Q2, where I am enamored of the brilliance of Nadia Sirota; and music put forward by Marvin Rosen in his Classical Discoveries and Classical Discoveries Goes Avantgarde programs on WPRB, Public Radio in Princeton, NJ. Also, John Schaefer is constantly bringing forward new people at WNYC on Soundcheck and New Sounds . I don’t want to leave out noting the great contributions for Jazz that I have received from Dan Buskirk and Will Constantine Jr at WPRB. Among so many artists they have presented, Dan gave me Rhoda Scott, and a greater appreciation of Keith Jarrett. Will knows Latin Jazz better than anyone in radio. But, Jazz will stay with the current library. The new library will be limited to New Music, Bang On a Can composers, groups like the Bang On a Can All-Stars, Ethel, itsnotyouitsme (did I get that right?), eighth blackbird, new music from Innova, and the like.

    So, what happens to the old library? Nothing changes. I still love Miles, ‘Trane, Part, Glass & Reich, Bruce, The Allmans, Beethoven, Dvorak, Robbie Robertson, Streisand, Bebo and Chucho Valdez, The Traveling Wilburys, Paquito D’Rivera, Jerry and Andy Gonzalez, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, Ken Field from Boston, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, the Adderleys, Charlie Mingus, Chick Corea, Al DiMeola, egad, stop already.

    But, especially Nadia and Marvin, I do not know if you read what I write; but you have a huge responsibility. You bring the Truth of the New. Not just to me, to everyone who hears your programs. Nadia, I hope that you stick around Q2. I can see the day when your career as a violist will mean the end at The Q. That will be sad for us, but terrific for you. Marvin, you never let us down, you are simply the best person in New Music anywhere.

    The new computer, really purchased to add to my capabilities to “crunch” for scientific projects running BOINC software including those from World Community Grid, will be equipped with a Western Digital 1 terrabyte Passport external hard drive on which to build the new library. So, let’s fill it up.

    And, hey, any of you out there who might be interested in helping yourselves, your family members, and the Family of Man, take a look at the above mentioned World Community Grid and visit some of the projects shown on the BOINC web site. We “crunchers” have saved laboratory scientists literally thousands of hours of lab time on incredibly worthwhile research projects at august institutions an universities around the globe. We could sure use your help.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:51 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    A New Look at Music From the Hearts of Space

    I think that it is time for a new look at Hearts of Space. Hearts of Space, Music From the Hearts of Space, HOS, whatever one calls it, is the creation of Stephen Hill. HOS has been one of the singularities in performing what I see as the mission of Public Radio in music: to motivate the listener to spend money to support the artists and composers whose work we cherish. I thought about that last word, “cherish”, and I think it is the correct word to express how I feel about the music I love.

    Stephen started with Program 001, “First Flight” one January 1, 1983. There are now 903 programs in the Archive. I can listen to any program I want any time I am near one of my computers. I have subscriptions to HOS both at home and at work.

    But, it was not always so. I am going to quote directly from the web site. No one tells the story better than Stephen. I have done some editing to help readability. I hope that Stephen will not mind:

    “HEARTS of SPACE began as a San Francisco late night radio show in 1973, went national on Public Radio in 1983 and to our eternal amazement, grew to almost 300 stations. We started an independent record label in 1984, ultimately releasing almost 150 albums…

    “HEARTS of SPACE grew out of [Stephen’s] fascination with space-creating [Stephen is actually an architect], ambient and contemplative music. Beginning in the early 1970s, [he] hosted a weekly late-night radio program on KPFA-FM in the San Francisco Bay area. What began purely as a labor of love eventually became the most popular contemporary music program on Public Radio. Over the intervening quarter century, Hearts of Space evolved into a multifaceted music and broadcast producer encompassing radio syndication, a record company, and an Internet music service…

    “In January 1983, after ten years evolution as a local program, Hearts of Space began national syndication to 35 non-commercial public radio stations via the NPR satellite system. Hosted by Stephen and original co-producer Anna Turner, within three years the program signed its 200th station and became the most successful new music program in Public Radio history, as well as the most widely syndicated program of ‘spacemusic’ — a tastemaker for the genre…

    “Now in its 26th year of national syndication, a one hour program airs weekly on over 200 NPR affiliate stations, including three of the top five U.S. radio markets and a majority of the top fifty. The program is also heard nationally seven nights a week at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s ‘Spa’ Channel 72…

    “Internet streaming began in 1999 on pioneer webcasters NetRadio and WiredPlanet as well as Public Radio sites, and evolved in 2001 into a full blown subscription service offering on-demand access to the entire Archive, now over [900] programs created since 1983…

    “From the beginning, the program’s success has come from consistently high production quality and sensitive, knowledgeable music programming. The program has defined its own niche — a mix of ambient, electronic, world, new age, classical and experimental music. Artists and record companies around the world recognize Hearts of Space as the original, most widely heard, premiere showcase for ‘contemplative music, broadly defined’…

    “Quality crafting is the keystone of the HOS experience. After a brief intro, each one hour show is an uninterrupted musical journey, designed to create a relaxed but concentrated ambiance. Slow-paced, space-creating music from many cultures — ancient bell meditations, classical adagios, creative space jazz, and the latest electronic and acoustic ambient music are woven into a seamless sequence unified by sound, emotion, and spatial imagery…

    “Old as they are, contemplative sounds continue to evolve. [Stephen] says “What’s now being called Ambient music is the latest chapter in the contemplative music experience. Electronic instruments have created new expressive possibilities, but the coordinates of that expression remain the same. Space-creating sound is the medium. Moving, significant music is the goal…

    “The ancient resonances of drums, bells, and flutes, the exotic tones of gongs and gamelans, the digital sounds of the Ambient frontier; in its third decade, Hearts of Space continues to deliver the best of the contemplative sound experience, with spacemusic from near and far out….”

    O.K., that is the voice of Stephen.

    What has HOS meant for me? First, as indicated by this weblog, music is my passion. Classical music was my father’s gift to me. He thought that he gave me a business, and, yes the business made me more than comfortable. But, the business is now history and my passion for music has not only never ceased, but it has grown. I have ventured farther out than my father ever did or imagined was possible. My particular tastes include a great many late 20th century Classical composers and Jazz. And, what I heard on HOS.

    HOS took me to the cutting edge. I learned about not only “space music”, but also a great many composers in genres with which I was not familiar. Celtic, Asian, Middle Eastern, just to name a few. There are programs designed to fit the seasons of the year. I must interject to be totally accurate that I have also learned a great deal from John Schaefer at WNYC . But John, equally deserving of efforts here, is not the subject of this post.

    If you would like to see the material presented, visit the HOS web site. Along with the archive of programs, there is also a library of complete albums which Stephen has arranged to be available for your listening enjoyment. Check out the play lists for the programs and take a look at the albums.

    So, what is it like to listen to HOS from the web site these days? Well, it is a far cry from days gone by, when on the FM broadcast one might also hear the interference of a jet plane flying overhead. The olden days of the streaming audio were not too shabby. The music was streamed in a Windows Media format, 64kbit for broadband and 32kbit for dial up. I was fortunate that by the time WNYC forced me to the greater pleasures of HOS streaming audio I had broadband. The 64kbit stream was pretty darned good. I always measured the quality of the broadcast on FM by the incredible presence of the short silences between pieces. There was nothing like it anywhere in broadcast radio. The broadband stream was just as clean and bright.

    But, there was no resting on laurels. There is now an incredible flash player. The new web site is beautiful, a work of art filled with works of art. Newly added is an image gallery where one finds images that are appropriate to some of the programs.

    The weekly program is available for free on Sundays. So, if you are interested, give HOS your ear on a Sunday, actually, several Sundays, to try and measure for yourself if this programming and music can be of value to you. If you like what you hear and you want to subscribe, there are several plans at varying prices.

    One warning: if you are ever hooked, you will never go back.

    I hope that you will listen, and then subscribe, and, finally, complete the mission of Hearts of Space – as I define it – by buying the work of the artists and composers you like in whatever format you choose from what ever vendor you choose.

     
    • Eric 3:18 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to hear you really enjoy Hearts of Space! Have you ever enjoyed any of the music from Hearts of Space Records? We released some of the great programs from the show as well in the “Best of Hearts of Space” Series (http://www.valley-entertainment.com/artists/best-of-hearts-of-space-series.html).

    • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Nice to make your acquaintance. I have listened to albums from the HOS web site. I have been a “fan” of HOS so long, I go back to probably PGM 15. If you know the folks at HOS, you can ask about me.

    • Leena Rogres 10:53 am on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I have every program from #1 to #936. It is pure joy to cycle to the top of the bluff and with my Bose unit (fully charged) watch the mad world below.

    • Septer McNamaste 3:36 pm on June 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I have every program braodcast.

  • richardmitnick 8:01 pm on February 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Rhoda Scott? You bet!!

    So, who is Rhoda Scott?

    I learned of this great Jazz organist from Dan Buskirk, Jazz DJ at WPRB . Dan played one track, Also Spracht Zarathustra from the 2 LP set Live at the Club Saint-Germain (1974 Barclay 80.835/80.536- France). What a blast!

    I found the track on line and free in mp3. But I could not get the complete album. I did get a bunch of albums, all in mp3. But, I never stopped looking for the one that was so elusive.

    I recently found Live at the Club Saint-Germain and now it is in my collection.

    So, I am doing a Rhoda Scott cycle on the Zune; my practice is to alter the ID-3 tagging to put the release year in front of the album title. That way, they will go into any player software in chronological order. Then I can guide my listening. I must say, I am impressed with this wonderful musician. Here is some brief detail from Wikipedia:

    “…The daughter of an AME minister, Scott spent much of her childhood in New Jersey, where she learned to play organ in the churches where her father served. Soon she herself was serving frequently as organist for youth and gospel choirs at her father’s and other churches. Scott later studied classical piano, but she concentrated on the organ, eventually earning a Masters’ degree in music theory from the Manhattan School of Music. By this time she had been asked by a choir member to fill in with a small band as a jazz pianist. Enjoying the music, she agreed to stay on with the band on condition that she be allowed to play organ instead of piano. Choosing as her instrument the Hammond Organ, she soon became a preeminent jazz musician and is considered by many to be the top female jazz organist…”

    And, here is some of my collection:

    There is a lot of Rhoda Scott available at Amazon. Take a listen to some of the samples.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:26 pm on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    A Bone to Pick with The New York Times

    So, yes, a bone to pick.

    In many news organs, newspapers, magazines, certainly ezines and the like, readers find that they can make comments on the stories and articles they read. The writer may come back to comment. Or, the writer may leave the readers to their own squabbles.

    But, apparently not so in the NYT. At least, not always.

    The case in point is an article by Anthony Tommasini in the February 12, 2010 issue. This article had as its theme the breaking down of stereotypical genres in the serious music of the day.

    Now, this is important stuff. There is definitely, at least in Mr Tommasini’s back yard, a lot of genre bending going on. There is the Wordless Music Project. There is at (Le) Poisson Rouge in the old Village Gate a new destination for the New York New Music scene. Even the New York Philharmonic is getting into the act with Maestro Gilbert’s announcements concerning his second season, another NYT article we might like to address or attack. We have groups like Ethel and eighth blackbird. We have composers like Nico Muhly and David Lang one of the founders of Bang On A Can. David just won the Pulitzer for his Little Matchgirl Passion.

    And, on radio, we have it all being broadcast and streamed by Q2, the 24/7 eclectic music stream of WQXR. Putting it all in focus is young phenom violist Nadia Sirota on Q2, 12:00-4:00, noon and midnight, with many and varied slants on what is happening.

    Ann Midgette in The Washington Post was able to immediately respond. To her article one could make a comment. She also pointed the reader to a response by Kyle Gann. At The moment, Maestro Gann seems to be not taking comments; but he has in the past, and probably will again.

    In actual fact, Greg Sandow has been thinking about this for a long time, at least as far back as a 2003 article in New Music Box, the blog of the American Music Center, New York City. Looking at that article, there was no chance for comments on what Greg called Alternative Classical, shortened to alt-classical. But, rest assured, if you visit Greg’s current blog at Arts Journal, you will see that Greg is totally with the new environment that the Times is currently spurning. Greg is the Comment King. Sometimes, the comments exceed the total word count of Greg’s incredibly long pieces. And, Greg feeds off of the comments. He responds to some and writes new articles based on others. I wonder if Mr Tommasini reads Mr. Sandow?

    The point is, we the readers of Mr Tommasini’s article are not free to start up with either Mr Tommasini or each other. I view this as a failure of the NYT to keep up with the currency of today’s journalism. What I have described above are the leitmotifs (Pacem, Wagner fans) of the day. They are the bleeding edge. The Riley, Glass, & Reich company is beginning to look so establishment.

    It was the Times’ financial predicament which had it finally ship out WQXR in a triangular sale involving WNYC and a Spanish language station.

    The Times is going through all sorts of agonies to try and figure out its future. One place that it might look, admittedly one small place, is how to keep relevant to the people who read it in print, on line, in RSS, egad, maybe on their iPhones.

    Wake up Sulzbergers.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:17 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Recording Jazz Video from You Tube

    I just finished recording from You Tube and editing Omnibus – Bernstein on Jazz broadcast October 16, 1955 on CBS television.

    So, here is how to get for yourself some really important video on the subject(s) of Jazz.

    There is an excellent video download tool available for Firefox browser from Mozilla Corporation. You can download as Flash video, or .mp4 video. I suppose that Flash might be a better reproduction, But .mp4 is much more useful. When a video in in .mp4, you can load it into Zune, maybe iPod. One can play it in Windows Media Player, Winamp, VLC, whatever is your player of choice.

    The problem with You Tube is that videos are basically limited to 9 or ten minutes. So, what to do to get a single whole video file?

    Go to AVS4You, pay a nominal price and get AVS Video Converter 6. With this really neat little piece of software you can do all sorts of editing of videos. I use it to merge You Tube videos. I also us it to edit out commercials from programs I record from Cable TV.

    The Bernstein program is in five parts. I downloaded it in .mp4. Then, I took the five files and merged them in the proper order with AVS Video Converter 6. I am watching and listening (peripheral vision) on another computer as I write this post. I have not noticed any discontinuity as the final video goes from section to section .

    I did this procedure and wrote about it previously with The Sound Of Miles Davis from 1959 which I missed on WLIW televison because of an error in a newspaper listing.

    I highly recommend this whole process. There is tons of great Jazz video on You Tube, all in little chunks.
    If you do not have Firefox, it is worth installing it just for this purpose.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:17 pm on January 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Netflix   

    Jazz at Netflix

    I have been listening to a lot of Jazz now for a couple of years. Beyond my own collection, I hear great Jazz at WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark, NJ and WPRB, Public Radio in Princeton, NJ. What a joy it is now to be able to see some of my favorite artists in concert. The source of a lot of what I can find to view is Netflix, the video rental giant.

    Here is a list of really good videos.

    Al DiMeola “Live at Montreux 1986-1993″. Al DiMeola is wonderful on both acoustic and electric guitar.
    Al DiMeola “One of These Nights”, recorded in Ludwigsburg, Germany, with a kick-ass band.

    Calle 54 which means 54th St, is a wonderful exploration of Latin Jazz. It includes performances by sax player Gato Barbieri, Jerry Gonzalez, trumpet and fluglehorn, and his Fort Apache Band, Paquito D’Rivera, sax and clarinet, pianist Eliane Elias, Flamenco pianist Chano Dominguez, father Bebo and son Chucho Valdez both pianists, pianist Michel Camillo. So, lots of piano. This disc also includes “Side B”, a separate video in which the players are seen more in a documentary style. In this video, we learn the history of Latin Jazz and many of African and Carribean origins of the different rhythms are explained.

    Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra at the Festival International De Jazz De Montreal. Charlie Haden actually began as a bass player in Country music. But he is one of the most important Jazz bassists. He spent time with Ornette Coleman. He was part of Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet with Paul Motian and Dewey Redman.

    Clark Terry Quintet at the St Lucia Jazz Festival. Trumpeter Clark Terry is just a joy to watch and to hear. Clark Terry has devoted a great deal of time to music education for young school age hopefuls.

    Gato Barbieri:Live from the Latin Quarter. Ageless. That is all I can say about this wonderful sax player, so important in the world of Latin Jazz.

    World of Rhythm:Live. This is a concert performance by the one and only Herbie Hancock, with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Cobham. This will put a smile on your face, just watching and hearing these three giants of Jazz.

    Keith Jarrett: The Art of Improvisation. This is a wonderful documentary with lots of concert footage and good commentary. We see the Standards Trio, The American Quartet, The European Quartet, and a bit of Keith playing with Miles Davis. Keith speaks of not only improvisation but also about his life in general, and his bout of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is possibly the only footage of his concert in Japan with Chick Corea in the Mozart Double Concerto.

    There are a number of videos of the Modern Jazz Quartet. I have not gotten to them yet, but they are on my list.

    One Night with Bluenote: the All-Star Reunion Concert. This video comes from a 1985 Town Hall concert celebrating the resurrection of the Bluenote jazz label. The players include Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Grady Tate, Reggie Workman, Johnny Griffin, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Jackie McLean, Jack DeJohnette, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine and Cecil Taylor. What an outstanding collection on one stage – of course not all at the same time. These are just some of the people who made Bluenote so important in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many of them were then involved in the rebuilding of this legendary label under the umbrella of EMI Music.

    Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus. This is a documentary about the great sax player with a great deal of performance footage. There is commentary from three important Jazz critics.It includes what seems to be the only record of his “Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra”.

    Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser. There is no more mysterious figure in the history of Jazz than Monk. This film is a 1968 documentary which should not be missed.

    This is just the stuff I have already seen, except the MJQ. While all of these videos are available on DVD disc, some can be viewed on the computer, some can be streamed direct to the big screen TV via the Roku box.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:56 pm on January 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Leonard Cohen anyone? You bet.

    This post has taken some time to develop. I have been immersing myself in Cohen’s music for about three weeks. Of course, I do not miss Nadia Sirota’s new gig at WQXR’s Q2; Dan Buskirk and Will Constantine spinning Jazz at WPRB; or Marvin Rosen’s “Classical Discoveries” and “Classical Discoveries Goes Avantgarde”, also at WPRB. But, beyond these, it has been pretty much Leonard Cohen steadily.

    The genesis of this post was the NPR presentation of the 2009 Leonard Cohen concert at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Unfortunately, NPR has not renewed the rights to keep the audio of this concert available in their archives.

    As an aside, I believe that NPR is not nearly proactive enough in keeping some archival material available. I wanted to begin listening to the NPR archives of the stellar Marian McPartland “Piano Jazz” series. I found that some of what I most wanted to hear was no longer available. I believe that this is short sighted on the part of NPR.

    But, the text article about Leonard Cohen is still available at NPR and it is worth reading. There is also a very good article about Leonard Cohen in Wikipedia. I am not going to repeat what is there. For anyone seriously interested, I recommend this well constructed biography.

    All I really knew of Leonard Cohen was his song “Suzanne”, on the 1968 album “The Songs of Leonard Cohen”. But listening to the concert on NPR stimulated my interest. Cohen was 74 years old at the time of this concert. His voice, deepened with age, is actually more interesting than what we hear on the early albums, from 1968 through 1979. The early voice is sweet, winsome, and somewhat fragile. There is greater depth beginning with the 1985 album “Various Positions”.

    Also, when one listens down through the early albums, the songs begin to take on a sameness that can get boring. Part of this might be Cohen’s parallel career as a writer of poetry and fiction. Sometimes, a wordsmith can fall in love with his own creations. Often, what works as a poem does not work in a song.

    Somewhere, I cannot any longer find it, Cohen was described as a reaction to the Beatles’ amped up musical productions. I see him as rather a sort of reaction to Bob Dylan. Both Cohen and Dylan are first and foremost lyricists. Where Dylan’s lyrics are topical, political and complex, Cohen’s are personal, deeply emotional and quite simple.

    Cohen is often placed in the genre of folk music. I do not think that this does him justice. I see him as a singer-songwriter, a troubadour. Cohen writes about the whole spectrum of human emotion, love, hate, sadness, loss, depression, the end of life.

    As Cohen recorded more material in his career, more instrumentation replaced the solo performances as I show below my present collection. I think that my collection is close to complete.

    After the NPR concert, my next experience was with the 2008 “Live in London” concert. The video was presented at some point on PBS. I caught a late night repeat by New Jersey Network. Of course, this presentation is not anywhere close to the complete concert. I now own the complete 2’36” concert. The PBS presentation was 1’30”, and some of that was taken up with pitching.

    A second aside: PBS stations are constantly hauling out musical concerts at pledge time. They tell us they are the place for us to come for this music, that they support this music, egad, they are insufferable. They practically never give us a complete concert. They want us to join and give them gobs of money and in return they will send us the CD’s, the DVD, a combo package, whatever. In this case, here is part of what NJN offered: The DVD of the concert for US$70.00. The two-disc CD set for US$90.00. Now, really, what would you want? They both contain the identical 26 songs. More to the point, you can buy the DVD for US$18.93, and the two-disc CD set for US$13.99. You can buy the .mp3 album of both CD’s for US$14.99, so NJN could have bought the materials at Amazon and used them for fulfillment and still turned a tidy profit.

    I do not mean to pick on little NJN. They are just this most recent case and involved in the music and the artist which and who are the subject here. WLIW, and its parent WNET, much larger than NJN, are just as guilty of this, sorry, just my opinion, this scam.

    I heartily recommend the music of Leonard Cohen. And, I recommend all of it. The way I do this is to get the music in .mp3 and put it on my Zune. I chronologize the music by placing the year of issue ahead of the title of the album. Then, I listen down through a cycle on my exercise walks, plane trips, visits to the dentist, wherever. Regarding the “Live in London” concert, I recommend both the DVD and the album in .mp3. The band, shown below, is really worth watching, especially Javier Mas on a series of twelve-string acoustic instruments.

    Here is my collection, complete with personnel:
    1968 The Songs of Leonard Cohen

    Solo performance

    1968 Songs From a Room

    Leonard Cohen, Ron Cornelius guitar, Bubba Fowler bass, banjo, violin, guitar, Charlie Daniels bass, violin, accoustic guitar, Bob Johnston keyboards

    1971 Songs of Love and Hate

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, acoustic guitar);Ron Cornelius (acoustic guitar, electric guitar);Bubba Fowler (acoustic guitar, banjo, bass instrument);Charlie Daniels (acoustic guitar, fiddle, bass instrument);Bob Johnston (piano);Carolyn Hanney, Susan Mussmano (background vocals).

    1973 Live Songs

    Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Warren, Charlie Daniels and unnamed others

    1974 New Skin for the Old Ceremony

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, harp, Jew’s harp);Leonard Cohen (acoustic guitar);John Lissauer (vocals, woodwinds, keyboards, background vocals);Emily Bindiger, Janis Ian (vocals, background vocals);Erin Dickins, Gail Kantor, Gail Kantor (vocals);Jeff Layton (guitar, banjo, mandolin, trumpet);Ralph Gibson, Ralph Gibson (guitar);Gerald Chamberlain, Gerald Chamberlain (trombone);John Miller , Don Paune bass.

    1977 Death Of A Ladies’ Man

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Clydie King, Gerald Garrett, Oma Drake, Julia Tillman Waters, Billy Diez, Lorna Willard, Ronee Blakley, Venetta Fields, Bob Dylan, Brenda Bryant (vocals, background vocals); Sneaky Pete Kleinow (guitar, slide guitar); Dan Kessel (guitar, organ, keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals); Phil Spector (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); David Kessel (guitar, background vocals); Art Munson, Art Blaine, David Isaac, Jesse Ed Davis , Ray Pohlman (guitar); Al Perkins (slide guitar); Bobby Bruce (violin, fiddle); Don Menza, Steve Douglas (flute, saxophone, wind); Jay Migliori (saxophone); Conte Candoli (trumpet); Jack Redman, Charles Loper, Jack Redmond (trombone); Don Randi, Michael Lang , Mike Lang, Mike Long, Pete Jolly, Tom Hensley, Barry Goldberg , Bill Mays (keyboards); Devra Robitaille, Bob Robitaille (synthesizer); Terry Gibbs (vibraphone, percussion); Ray Neapolitan (upright bass, electric bass); Hal Blaine, Jim Keltner (drums); Emil Radocchia, Gene Estes, Robert Zimmitti (percussion); Sherlie Matthews, Gerry Garrett, Allen Ginsberg, Oren Waters, Bill Thedford, Julia Tillman (background vocals).

    1979 Recent Songs

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Julia Tillman Waters, Roger St Kennerly, Jennifer Warnes, Jim Gilstrap, Maxine Willard Waters, Stephanie Spruill (vocals); Ricardo Gonzalez, Everado Sandoval, John Bilezikjian, Mitch Watkins (guitar); Earl Dumler (oboe); Paul Ostermayer (saxophone); Jose Perez, Pablo Sandoval (trumpet); Garth Hudson, John Lissauer, Randy Waldman, Bill Ginn (keyboards); Steve Meador (drums).

    1985 Various Positions

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar); Jennifer Warnes (vocals); Sid McGinnis (guitar); Kenneth Kosek (fiddle); Ron Getman (harmonica, background vocals); John Lissauer (piano, keyboards, background vocals); John Crowder (bass, background vocals); Richard Crooks (drums); Lani Groves, Erin Dickins, Merle Miller, Yvonne Lewis, Anjani Thomas, Crissie Faith (background vocals).

    1988 I’m Your Man

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, arranger, various instruments); Anjani, Jennifer Warnes, Evelyine Hebey, Mayel Assouly, Elisabeth Valletti, Jude Johnstone (vocals); Jean-Philippe Rykiel, Jeff Fisher (arrangers, various instruments); Michel Robidoux (arranger, keyboards, drums); Roscoe Beck (arranger); Bob Stanley (guitar); Sneaky Pete Kleinow (steel guitar); John Bilezikjian (oud); Raffi Hakopian (violin); Richard Baudet (saxophone); Larry Cohen (keyboards); Peter Kisilenko (bass); Vinnie Colaiuta, Tom Brechtlein (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion).

    1992 The Future

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Dean Parks (guitar, mandolin); Bob Metzger (guitar, bass); Paul Jackson Jr., Dennis Herring (guitar); Bob Furgo (violin); Brandon Fields, Lon Price (tenor saxophone); Greg Smith (baritone saxophone); Lee R. Thronburg (trumpet, trombone); Steve Lindsey (piano, organ, Mellotron, keyboards); Jim Cox, Greg Phillinganes (piano); Randy Kerber (keyboards, synthesizer); Jeff Fisher (keyboards); Bob Glaub, Lee Sklar (bass); James Gadson, Ed Greene, Steve Meador, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Bill Ginn, Steve Croes (programming); Anjani Thomas, Tony Warren, Valerie Pinkston-Mayo, LA Mass Choir, Peggy Blue, Edna Wright, Jean Johnson, Jacquelyn Gouche-Farris, David Morgan (background vocals).

    2001 Ten New Songs

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Sharon Robinson (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, programming); Bob Metzger (guitar).

    2004 Dear Heather

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, Jew’s harp); Leonard Cohen (piano); Sharon Robinson (vocals, various instruments); John Crowder (vocals, bass guitar); Raffi Hakopian, Raffi Hakopian (violin); Paul Ostermayer, Paul Ostermayer (flute); Sarah Kramer, Sarah Kramer (trumpet); Roscoe Beck (bass instrument); Stan Sargeant (bass guitar); Johnny Friday, Johnny Friday (drums); Mitch Watkins (vocals, guitar, electric guitar); Ron Getman (vocals, steel guitar); Anjani Thomas (vocals, piano, background vocals); John Bilezikjian (oud); Garth Hudson (accordion); Bob Sheppard (tenor saxophone); Bill Ginn (piano); Richard Crooks (drums).

    2008 Live in London

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Bob Metzger (guitar, pedal steel guitar); Charley Webb, Charles Webb (guitar, background vocals); Javier Mas (12-string guitar, bandurria, lute, archlute); Javier Más (12-string guitar, bandurria, archlute); Hattie Webb, Hattie Webb (harp, background vocals); Dino Soldo (harmonica, keyboards, wind, background vocals); Neil Larsen (keyboards); Roscoe Beck (upright bass, electric bass, background vocals); Rafael Gayol (drums, percussion); Sharon Robinson (background vocals).

     
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