Saturday, March 28, 2009

im just a jazztafarian

I have been thinking recently about the idea that living a life as a jazz musician is something akin to a form of addiction . I imagine it becoming illegal in the future . From the outside it looks like a life of suffering and the music seems unusual to many ears , but for the performer there is immense pleasure . I bit like a heroin addiction . I have also been listening a little recently to "Thin Lizzy" . Phil Lynott's story is a classic musician's tale of addiction , ruin and eventually death at the hands of his narcotic. Fortunately , not many people have died yet from improvising . Still jazz musicians can be seen as some sort of religious cult without polygamy . We improvise to put ourselves in touch with a higher " jah" . I have coined the term " jazztafarian" as such .
Here's the lyrics to the song :

" just a jazztafarian
get in touch with jah
ive got to give it up
jazz monkey on my back
people say I've changed
They say I look sick
But inside I feel good
Im just Jazztafarian
Where getting in touch with Jah "

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New York Dermatology

I went to a New York dermatologist worried about a strange looking mole on my back . 
First thing they did when I arrived was hand me this form :
All the staff were female , young , beautiful and had great skin . 
The walls were adorned with articles from so called "newspapers" and other gutter magazines featuring the doctor's treatments .
There was a TV screen showing ghoulish videos of treatment's shown on so called "News" television shows . 
Does Rupert Murdoch get a taste ? How does it work ?
A lady  doctor saw me and she had great skin  .
She complained that she didn't have enough room in the office due to all the different Laser machines . 
After looking at my mole she scheduled me for a biopsy .
I decided to visit a different dermatologist for the biopsy. 

update april 16th :
Its not cancer , but you have the mole removed surgically as the cells " look weird " under the microscope . Your newly acquired health insurance company ( the freelancers union ) rejects all claims stating " previous condition " . Yes ... I have had moles on my back for my whole life . If I broke my arm would they say " sorry we cant pay for that as you had that arm BEFORE you applied for insurance " .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

vale hardware synthesizers

looks like I am going to switch over to the computer for synthesizers ... I think with a new macbook pro quadcore , my dream of a low latency , seriously programmable music machine are in reach . It's an exciting time despite the world and the music business' woes 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

email to creator of continuum fingerboard

Hi lippold ,
I may have contacted you before . I cant remember . I am a musician . I studied electrical engineering briefly in Sydney , Australia before the pull of jazz music became to great . The music pulled me all the way from Sydney to New York . I like synthesizers , and I think your instrument looks great . I was thinking about a certain problem today and your thing came up again as a solution .
Is it possible to fix the X-axis to discrete pitches ? I want to use the Y axis to select "octaves" and play chords/melodies that are not possible on a conventional keyboard . Can the "Y" axis be converted into 12 discrete areas ( one for each octave higher than the key that is being pressed ? ) . I have a nord modular G2X synth and use the "samchillean" system on it occasionally . I would eventually want the geography of the instrument to be the same as a standard keyboard ... I like the fact that a keyboard is discrete pitches ( and the good lord has given us pitch bend ) . I dont want to relearn 30 years of practice .

I am also interested in how well the thing "tracks" . The computer synths sound great , but I am yet to find a way to controll them properly in real time . That's why I use the nord G2X which sadly has been discontinued. I consider myself the world's only virtuoso synthesizer player ( well Allan Holdsworth is better but he doesnt use a keyboard ) . I figure if I could change octaves on the one key I might be able to figure out a way to beat him and I might even have a musical career as a performer .

Sorry for the long email.
Hope you are well. Congrats on your work .

best regards

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

youtube / metube

You enter show-business with the most honorable of intentions. Hoping to make a contribution to culture available to all of mankind for eternity .  The counter on youtube becomes a yardstick of your success in the world .  Your own attempts to push the vanguard of technology and humour ( Australian spelling ) are a dismal failure managing to achieve only 130 hits after almost a year of "airtime" .

 You take solace in the fact that what you consider to be mankind's greatest artistic achievement , the Brahms Violin Concerto 3rd movement , performed by the great David Oistrach , has only managed  36,897 hits . 

You take further solace when you realise the Brahms violin concerto is easily out-trumped by a drum solo competition between Buddy Rich and a Puppet . ( 753,146 hits)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Letter to Wall St Journal

If a website such as youtube, myspace  can put a counter on its site which counts the number of hits , it should be fairly easy to set up an automated payment system to owners of copyrighted material .  My website sells downloads automatically and payments are administered via paypal without me lifting a finger . 

I recently cowrote a song with Madeleine Peyroux and Larry Klein which she recorded on her new Cd " Bare Bones " . 

Watching her perform it online on the Wall St Journal , I thought she had done an awesome job of playing it and singing it , but wondered if I would ever see a penny from this particular performance . 

Musicians here will argue in the local Cafe about the plight of Israel or the Iraq war , but when their own rights to remuneration are being eroded they seem strangely mute to me .  Why isn't there a greater effort by musicians, journalists , actors etc to get together and force people who sell "streaming" entertainment to pay to use it ? I would posit the thought at this point that in the near distant future ( perhaps 2 years away) , it will be useless to "own" any piece of digital art . All will be available free as a stream online and most people in the developed world will have 24/7 access to anything on their iphone or equivalent . I believe we are in a "now or never" situation .  I think it's time to act . 

Sincerely Yours 
Sean Wayland 

berklee college of music website

"Q: Can I play electric keyboards as my principal instrument?
No. Although there are many playing opportunities for keyboards/synthesizers in ensembles, instrumental labs, and recitals, acoustic piano is the official principal instrument of all keyboard players. Proficiencies, private lessons, and auditions are all performed on acoustic piano."

Annual cost of study towards jazz Degree $ 38,100 


From " The Business of Music" 9th edition ( Krasilovsky/Shemel/Gross) 

Excerpts from chapter " Copyright Legislation " 

" Under the Copyright Act of 1976 , an individual cannot be convicted of criminal copyright infringement unless he or she willfully infringes a copyright " for the purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain " 

" Further , this act also criminalizes the electronic reproduction or distribution of copyrighted works by electronic means , if more than $1000 in total retail value during any 180-day period is involved "

" At the same time the act created certain " safe harbors" for ISP's . eg " Where the service provider acts as a "mere conduit" for an infringing transmission "  or " Where the service provider has unknowingly stored infringing material and has recieved no financial benefit and responds " expeditiously " to remove the infringing material  " or " Where the provider has unknowingly linked users to sited containing infringing material and responds " expeditiously " to remove the infringing material "