The Truth is Out There: Was the Destruction of the Death Star an Inside Job??

A fascinating documentary presents compelling evidence that suggests the destruction of the Death Star was not the result of Luke Skywalker’s coincidental tapping of “The Force”, but rather a carefully orchestrated inside job that included none other than Darth Vader himself.  I won’t go into the details here.  You can view the video and decide for yourself.

May the farce be with you.

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Neon Skull

Artist Eric Franklin has created some very cool neon skull and skeleton sculptures.  Check it out!

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Free

I have just completed a new song, titled “Free”.  Free is a dreamy, hypnotic song about escaping the chaos of daily life – “… let the world melt away”.  The music, sound and lyrics swirl around to create a mental space away from wherever you are.

As with most of my music, I am now creating two versions, one a bare-bones acoustic version, and one a studio version.  Here is a video of the acoustic version:

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And here is a link to the studio version.

Enjoy!

Unplugged and Naked

I just completed a fairly large recording project. While I have recorded full studio productions of my original material, I had been meaning to record a sparse arrangement and performance which would allow the songs to stand on their own — unplugged and naked, you might say.  To that end, I recorded number of songs live with only guitar for accompaniment.

It was more difficult than I anticipated.  Recording is not always easy to get the result you are looking for.  In this case, any execution flaw or phrasing that isn’t quite right really sticks out.  You would think anyone could do something perfectly for three minutes.  Not so easy.  But I did manage to get through it, and have posted the videos on my website, www.xybor.ca.

To get started, here is an embedded link to “My Favorite Addiction” from my YouTube channel.  The song about being human, and our inclination towards dependency, be it drugs, food, social media, gaming, oil, bling, etc. Good or bad, that just seems to be the way we are drawn:

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Check it out.  Its time well wasted.

van Eyke ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ in 100 billion pixels

One of the most famous panel paintings in the world, the Ghent Altarpiece has been digitized and is available in detail on an open source website entitled ‘Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece.’

Consisting of 12 panels (one of which is a copy, the original having been stolen in 1934) and depicting numerous complex theological scenes, the documentation project has rendered the already composite work into 100 billion pixels using the highest resolution photography.  Here is a portion of the panel entitled “Deity Enthroned”:

The documentation process makes use of macrophotography in visible light, macrophotography in infrared light, infrared reflectography and X-radiography — probinbeneath the painted surface to reveal the under-drawings. All are available on the website.

Beautiful art and a wonderful contribution by the team that documented and made it available to the world.

RIP Davy Jones

I grew up on the Monkees.  Sad to see Davy go, but his memory will live on in the great music they did.  Here is one of my favorite Monkees’ tunes, the somewhat obscure 1967 “Daily Nightly”.  Wonderfully psychedelic, it is an early example of the use of synth on a pop recording.  And it uses the word “phantasmagoric”.  Gotta love it.

 

Darkened rolling figures move through prisms of no color
Hand in hand, they walk the night, but never know each other
Passion cast in neon lights light up the jeweled trav’ler
Who, lost in scenes of smoke-filled dreams
Find questions, but no answers

Startled eyes that sometimes see phantasmagoric splendor
Pirouette down palsied paths with pennies for the vendor
Salvation’s yours for just the time it takes to pay the dancer
Once again, such anxious men find questions but no answers

The night has gone and taken its infraction
While reddened eyes hope there will be a next one

Terror signs look down upon a world that glitters glibly
And mountainsides put arms around the unsuspecting city
Second hands that minds have slowed are moving even faster
Toward bring down someone who’s found
The questions, but no answers

The Content Paradox One Year Later

Last year at this time, I wrote a blog post called The Content Paradox. The basic idea is that, while the internet exists only because of content, original content creators generally are not rewarded for their content.

Further to that original post are a couple of related articles I just found (dated 2010) that calculate how much music an artist needs to sell to earn $1,200 per month, which is not a livable wage.  This article, from InformationIsBeautiful.net, has a nice bubble chart that tells the sad story.  This article, from the Cynical Musician, does the original math.  The most egregious number is 4 million Spotify streams.  Given the increasing popularity of these streaming services, it is pretty clear that the artists will struggle under this model and most will find it impossible to earn a living.  For the vast majority, it clearly has become a labor of love.