Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Great progress on artwork

ok, so there is this thing about dpi and ppi. To have graphics look good on a webpage is one thing, and to print nicely is of course another. Good news is that I got back some proofs in PDF format and they seemed pretty good. The less good news, but still progress, is that they need to be more densely pixelated to print out nicely. But the templates are all set up, it's a matter of maaaayyybee another week to get this worked out and off to the replicator.

Meanwhile, I've set up a date to play live, in a local park. Sunday, June 19th, 7pm. More info in the "gigs" section of the GB site.

I will be able to use the G-Force graphics engine for visuals having secured permission from them, which is really nice: the graphics are awesome and very customizable.

So this is continued positive progress. I'm hoping to hear from the film folks who were interested in using a track, I'm patient about that, it seems like a really cool thing to have happen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

free wi-fi, more and more. artwork moving somewhat

WiFi/WiMax is good. Free, even, is better, wonderful even.

The artwork is moving a little, not too much yet. People seem to like to make things harder for one another nowadays, I'm not sure why that is so, but it is very difficult to get some things done that seem rather straightforward.

Like, you want to play in a park. You have to get permission, maybe a 'permit' but definitely permission. There may or may not be the 'porta potty' issue, rules and regulations of the park, etc.. So you begin to think maybe there is some value you provide, or maybe you're just irritating people. These are not bad things, or huge obstacles, mainly limits to work within.

All along the way there are people who might faciliate you, or may not. One thing for sure is that once you get it done, there will be people who will take full advantage of a free concert and it can be fun. If it's just you, some random humanoid, wanting to do something, it is not as easy as it could be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Artwork! again it is the sticking point, and other things to fret about

So I have put together my artwork. This time, I am not going the CDR route, I will get CDs pressed. This will cost much more, because a larger lot is required. But, because I plan on playing out, having CDs to sell at performances would be good.

To place such an order remotely, the artwork needs to be put into a template that can be manipulated in one of several very expensive desktop publishing packages. I am fortunate in that I have a relative who works with at least one of these packages, and has it. So I have sent my artwork away along with the templates, to have it imported into this software.

And this is where the "other people in the project" thing comes into play. When you introduce other people into the project, there is a built in time-cost overhead. Of course, I should not complain because this is being done for no dollar cost. But it is a little nerve wracking, because the artwork is a dependency for the project's completion, and I will not be able to get it done until the artwork is done.

There are other things that I fret about. For example, my website is not lavish but I don't necessarily want it to be lavish, either. My thought is that a band website should reflect the project, it should be no more or no less than what the artist/band is. Not pretentious, mainly informative, minimal and entertaining. If you go to the Utenzil site, you can get a free download and there are links to several purchase sites. There's a guestbook. There are not a whole lot of graphics, I want the pages to load quickly.

I've seen some band sites for unsigned artists that are very slick that provide lots of pictures and give a fair amount of info, but no downloadable music, this is not particularly helpful.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Setting up the project website, and a puzzling thing...

New website for Utenzil,. it's very simplistic at this point and will grow.

The mastering for the next release is nearing completion. There will be a couple more songs with vocals this time (there was only one on the debut release).

A little puzzled because I got a return disc in the mail today, from Barefoot Connections, with a sticker from the post office indicating the 'time for forwarding' had expired, which was stuck over the address. Now, I'm wondering if I got the address wrong, but *lol* can't tell because they stuck the label over it. Also, the Post Office has a different label for that. I will send B.C. some email.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

lackluster band history

The last band I was in was about 10 years ago. It was an all original band, we were ok. I'd have to say Utenzil sounds best of all the musical projectsbands I've been in. These bands had some talented people, none of them was any more than something fun to do, and in a more critical hindsight a waste of potentially productive hours.

One thing is that every band I've ever been in was a source of excitement and great anticipation of marvelous things despite the apparent reality that large portions of the audience in the places that accomodate bands don't want to hear you play. That doesn't mean the audiences don't want to hear music, it means they don't care whether or not it is played by a live band. But we always got excited to play, and put all kinds of energy into it.

In high school, I was in a band where we drove way out to the shore to play, to set up in a small bar. I don't think this would be legal any more, but we did this at the urging of a friend of the drummer's father who for some reason wanted to try to promote us and felt there was a brief window of opportunity in this particular place. There may well have been, I don't know.

So there was this whole, like, political thing where we had to go play in this place, and of course the excitement and anticipation was there but it was also something we were somewhat obligated to do to keep the drummer's father in good standing with this friend of his.

This particular bar at the shore was supposedly owned by an influential, uh, owner of bars and things at the shore, who would be able to make manifest some subset of the Greatly Anticipated Marvelous Things, according to the half heard explanation from drummer's father's friend (DFF). It seemed that the drummer's father's friend had also some need to preserve standing in that once we said we were going to play that we needed to be there. So a cascading interactive series of obligations was in place, and we loaded up our gear, some of which was pretty nice but what we used for the PA was really total crap compared to what's available nowadays. We set it up in the corner of this bar where there was barely enough space to set up the drums. We had a drummer, bassist, guitarist and singer (me) at that point-- at a later time we added keyboards. I cannot remember the name of the band at that time, I wish I could.

It seemed like the people running the bar did not expect us. The DFF apparently invoked the name of the Influential Owner of Bars and Things, so that we might continue to set up and begin playing.

Now, it was the case that the Influential One was on site, the DFF was on track in that regard-- apparently he had enough of a connection with the guy to invoke his name while he was in the vicinity for verification, and so we had secured this cramped area to play in.

The bar was adjacent to an outdoor semi pro basketball court, where a team was playing, which team was also one of the things owned by Owner of Bars and Things, who was there to see his team play. This particular aspect should have raised warning flags-- that someone who was interested in a basketball game should somehow also be interested in hearing a rock band play at the same time would require something of a pop culture Renaissance man with far greater tolerance than other adults.

And of course such a division of attention could not be had. The DFF entered into negotiations with the people running the bar, wherein we were given the conditions under which we could actually play real notes. This was new to us-- we had driven miles and were jammed into a corner, from our point of view we had already endured significant hardships, and now we would be told when we could stop and start playing, essentially turned off and on like a radio.

In hindsight, this makes perfect sense. We would play at breaks in the game, adding some excitement to the overall atmosphere, it really wasn't too bad an idea. It would've been nice if someone could've told us that was what was going to happen, but it seems like this was completely impromptu.

It strikes me that the DFF may have completely made all of this up, that for some reason he needed to exert some influence and felt this would be the way to do it, to get a band to come to this place which really wasn't thrilled to see us and populated by people who were not in our, uh, target demographic, but because we were there and playing for free, they figured "why not?" and then several reason for "why not" had to be grappled with and reconciled.

The long and short is that you can't take a high school rock band that likes to jam and expect them to turn themselves off and on like a radio. What was needed was a series of songs that was timed to breaks in the game, which meant that the songs would have to be played for fixed lengths of time and arranged in an order accordingly. Needless to say, this particular brand of organization was not in our operating procedure, and although it could have been put together given some foreknowledge, we did not have such a thing. The DFF had actual domain knowledge in this regard, and we worked with him to hastily craft this "set list" of which he spoke.

We actually had pretty good logistics, we could load up, deploy and break down pretty well, and we knew our material. This was something of a challenge, and we ended up meeting it although at the cost of some lost enthusiasm.

And we played, it took a while for the sound to gel in the uncomfortable setting. Most of the people sitting at the bar near the band moved away because it was too loud, and we were asked to turn down-- this we were used to, but even so this night was turning into a virtual parfait of indignities.

What did happen was kind of expected and unexpected: the Influential Owner of Bars and Things appeared in the bar, during the half time break. He seemed a very normal person. The DFF approached him to "pitch us". Some conversation we were not privy to resulted in the DFF telling us to stop playing, we were told that we "didn't sound bad or anything" but that we wouldn't be able to play anymore.

Not understanding why someone would care more about basketball than music, I seem to recall attempting to appeal this decision to the DFF, who I recall as being somewhat perturbed and sad at this point, being caught between a rock and a whining teenager. I believe he attempted to service this appeal, it was denied, and the basis for this was revealed:when we played, the electronic scoreboard would malfunction.

If this was true, it seemed clear that we'd have to stop playing, if not true, it was a masterfully constructed excuse to get us to go away, because there was no way we could verify this (one of us may even have proposed a test, where most of us would play and one would go outside and look at the scoreboard; untenable for a number of reasons).

As all this transpired, there didn't seem to be any friction or sharp words, but mostly everyone in our contingent was sad. The DFF was really trying to do us a favor, I think, although we didn't really see it that way. He did seem to know some things about managing a band and he seemed excited about being able to be involved. He had intended to introduce a rock band, what he had delivered was a bizarre way to disrupt a basketball game. Seeing things now, clearly the bar owner could have had us thrown out in any number of ways, the DFF was maybe on a bit of an ego trip: it was never really clear that we were even supposed to be there, but we had gotten our foot in the door.

We disengaged from the situation and withdrew, wondering why it was that we drove all that way to play for less than half an hour in an attempt to impress some guy who was really just trying to watch his basketball team play. Eventually, the consensus was reached on the ride back that it was the fault of the crappy scoreboard.

is blogging stupid? depends... fear of blogging is stupid, though.

A thought crossed my mind about blogging. Here's the thing-- if i am able to encapsulate my 'thesis', my outlook, my philosophy of life in this blog in a way that might illuminate, uplift and inform: then what?

Mostly what I've done is go over a process which is pretty mundane, mostly obvious and easily understood. It's stupid, really-- of course you do this and then that, and then once you've done that you do this and send it to the people who do that thing over there.

But anyway, here are some ideas, sort of plausible perceptions, that hardly anyone will read.

There is a Jungian notion of a collective unconscious, shared by all humans. This unconscious in my way of thinking of it is that vast pool of nothing yet everything that lies underneath our dreamselves. Your dreamself is what you experience in dreams, not just the point of view you experience in dreams but the entire simulated milieu that you experience, because of course it's all being generated by you in an unconscious state.

Now if you think that people are just organisms, and brains are organic circuits, then you don't really buy the whole collective unconscious concept, because there is no physical organic biochemical connection.

My thought is that connections between living things, particularly people, are not simply physical organic biochemical. There are energy fields that our circuitry emits, and those fields intersect. The thing that allows one to conjecture this way is that there have been things that have been conceived as existing that could not be measured, and later the technology to measure the objects indicated in the concepts has come about and they were revealed as being mostly real.

So we have fields within fields, interlocking or at least intersecting, and interacting. Tbe things that we're about to see, and haven't seen yet, and don't have any idea that we're going to see them or know them, they are making their way towards us, or moving around us, or us towards them. That movement disturbs the fields through which things travel, and of course those things emit fields as well, and there is knowledge inherent in the fields, that is "data" which causes a transmittal of foreknowledge as the fields pass along vibrations. There is some waveform nature to these fields, or maybe it's some construct that is functionally equivalent to a waveform given the model being discussed, but the overall concept is that these fields intersect, interlock and influence one another like magnetic fields, and as such larger fields influence those objects that move through their intersection because of the influence exerted by their waveforms' compressions and rarefractions.

Now, there is some complexity, some classification of these field emitting things, and it is extremely rich. One of it's characteristics is an affinity that the field emitting things have. These affinities are multidimensional. So if you think of the energy of these fields as travelling through the objects, being passed along, like the energy of one of those desktop toys where the hanging steel balls clack into one another, only the balls in question are these field emitting things lined up along many different axes, then you get an idea of how one ball clicking into another causes its 'vibratory encoded data' to travel through the 'milieu of field emitting things'.

The tapestry of vibrations in this milieu of field emitting things is the collective unconscious. It cannot be measured because we are unable to stand outside of this milieu. But if we attune ourselves by being still, our own fields are dampened and we can get closer to perceiving this and expressing it somehow. It's my thought that people who create art have their fields innately dampened in some sense, so they do not drown out the vibrations from the milieu, and at the same time these objects with dampened fields influence the milieu such that an affinity between them is created. So if we consider that an infinite spectrum of waveforms is possible, the everything that ever emitted a field still resonates in some distant harmonic at some miniscule amplitude.

Because of this odd things occur. Things we perceive as odd, or being oddly coincidental.

Now if you believe in God, consider that the laws that govern the nature and behavior of these fields are a subset of God, and that because of the consistent nature of these fields nothing can happen that is somehow not in accord with that nature, or will. Our thoughts are influenced or even triggered by these vibrations, manifestations occur that are perceived as the personification of the undefinable, immesurable nature of these fields. So coincidences occur, strange ones-- possibly, seemingly for a purpose. We can attune our perceptions to the perturbations in the milieu of intersecting fields. Sometimes our conscious choices that we believe to be very important are not at all, and sometimes they are more important than we'd dare imagine because they cause perturbation on several dimensions of the intersecting fields.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Being considered for a soundtrack

NYC Visions Films is interested in using music by Utenzil in an upcoming full length indie feature, this is neat.