Eking Out a Sphere

Writers writing from the margins do not write to be consumed. They write to be read (a different thing) and, for many, to eke out a sphere of existence that had not previously existed in the literary imagination. – Li Sian Gon

Much of this new article in Bitch–like much of the material within–goes over my head, but these two sentences resonated and I wanted to document it in a feed.

Continued

Why Simple?


This particular song, Icicle Man was written over the course of a walk around Nashville one hot afternoon while on a solo tour. Had been reading a biography of Hank Williams and didn’t have a friend for miles around, at least that I knew of. There was also a copy of Johnny Cash’s first autobiography, Man in Black, that had come into my hands at the time.

I was in my mid-late twenties and my last romantic relationship had ended really unhappily,

Continued

Mad Challenging

Yes there’s suffering in these songs. Insecurity, frustration, stress and other first world problems. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Philosophical confusion. Political anger.

There is not a shortage of first world suffering in the recording process itself either. Insecurity, frustration, stress, anger. Gender issues. Sexual challenges. Economic shortcomings. Power struggles. Terrible communication. Ego trips.

sulfite free wineThis is life. This is what we do; what we’re all doing if we can maybe.

Continued

Further Developments Latex and Lilypond now with Arara and International Unicode Text via XeLatex

The title might be a white lie, because while I did get arara working, in combination with a bash script, to automate the steps to render the hymnal.

Good news. One of the arara developers helped me solve the problem. Stack overflow:

The solution ends up being quiet simple. The only limitation is that we are not outputting the lilypond-book content to a subdirectory as originally planned.

At the top of the music.lytex file (after configuring arara as directed in the referenced post),

Continued

Latex and Lilypond Hymnal Volume Two

So this time there are two new elements to the Hymnal.

  1. It will be a smaller size, 5.5″ x 8″
  2. It will blend text and music snippets more than the first book.

It’s fairly easy to make a single sheet or even songbook a custom size:

#(set! paper-alist (cons ‘(“my size” . (cons (* 5.5 in) (* 8 in))) paper-alist))

\paper {
#(set-paper-size “my size”)
}

And this can be included in a text document:

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}

\begin{document}

Documents for \verb+lilypond-book+ may freely mix music and text. … Continued

Fun Times with Luddites and Zero Tracks on QuodLibet

Wow. That was in-ter-es-ting!

So yes – a couple of the “older” folks were a little wary of moving from cassette to digital format, which put me in the awkward position of defending this archiving project. Kind of the opposite of Paul Bunyan – with the new technology fighting to justify it’s value.

Last week, Quodlibet was finding Zero (of over 17,000) tracks. So there I am unable to play ANY music.

Continued

Adventures in QuodLibet

The vision of Steve Jobs and Apple products are beautiful and beautifully intuitive, but the magnitude of the company and it’s market share combined with it’s Closed Source approach create a bit of a Bog Brother feeling at times. As far as all of that goes, Quodlibet is pretty much the opposite. Open Source. Written in Python which is a classic Open Source programming language. Anyone in the world can make additions to the main code base or create plugins to add or modify functionality.

Continued

International Folk Dance Archive

Earier this year we received another grant from the Puffin Foundation West for a project to develop the music database we use with Pensacola International Folk Dancers.

We\’ve been using a combination of cassette tapes and a fairly un-maintained iTunes music collection and we had a few objectives for the project.

  1. Digitize cassette collection
  2. Archive some of our collective knowledge about the songs and dances
  3. Ensure that all members of the group have access to the music
  4. I need to check if this was part of the initial grant proposal,

Continued

Thanks for the tips

Wanna throw some thanks out there:

Really cool blog that helped me assemble Hymnal.

Chris who turned us on to lilypond engraving library.

Seth Tobocman did the cover art.

These folks sponsored the project personally:

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000155 EndHTML:0000001876 StartFragment:0000000475 EndFragment:0000001859

Shavaun Pizar

George Blitch

Geraldine T. Vaurigaud

Boo Reiners

Carla Murray

Alice K Genese

Norman Vazquez

Sylvie Harris

Jennie Spanos

Adrian Fallwell

The Perrin Family

Hans and Marina Frei

Alex Sniderman

Scott Anthony

Stephen A Stetson

Leah N Pietrusiak

Jason Daniels

Georgeanna Presnell

 

Continued