Scratch Pad: Guitar, Accents, Mastodon by Marc Weidenbaum

todayNovember 13, 2022 4

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I do this manually each Saturday, usually in the morning over coffee: collating most of the little comments I’ve made on social media during the preceding week. I’ve long thought of social media — Twitter especially, though I’m taking a break, and Facebook to a degree, and increasingly Mastodon — as my public notebook. Or more to the point, my public “scratch pad,” which seems a degree more rough and unformed than a “notebook” suggests. I’ve found it personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud in public. Also, I think knowing you’ll revisit what you say pulls in the reins a bit, in a good way, on what you do say.

What appears here isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations online that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of social media itself. Some of my notes pop up sooner in expanded form or otherwise on, and others I delay repeating to flesh them out further. And sometimes I tweak them a bit, given the additional space. And sometimes I re-order them.

▰ Dante would have written a very different book had he experienced the hell that is losing one’s place in an audiobook

▰ I know I’m getting at least slightly better on guitar because my mistakes sound better

▰ Remember when it was not just possible but fairly straightforward to own every Morton Feldman recording? To check my memory, I looked at There were roughly 15 between 1957 and 1990 (three years after his death). Then the damn broke, and these are loose numbers: 1991(7), 1992 (6), 1993 (4), 1994 (11), and onward. We’re just over three years from the centenary of Feldman’s birth (January 12, 1926), and presumably there will be a full-on (and entirely welcome) overload.

▰ Love this place, the Oakland Museum of California

▰ There’s a new Christina Vantzou album out, and as always it is willfully less than the sum of its parts: substantial classical instrumentation, ethereal vocals, and textural electronics all coaxed to a sublime, minimal state (Thanks to A Closer Listen for the alert.)

No. 5 by christina vantzou

▰ Ending the day with some Madeleine Cocolas. See you crazy kids tomorrow.

Spectral by Madeleine Cocolas

▰ The bird ate a bad worm

▰ Apparently Wikipedia has had the month of Walter Murch’s birth incorrect for some time?

▰ I want to hear Janet Cardiff’s Forty‑Part Motet on these new Teenage Engineering wooden speaker tchotchkes.

▰ Afternoon work listening: the soundtrack by Hania Rani to the documentary film Venice: Infinitely Avant-Garde. There’s a strong Philip Glass influence, but far more to it than that: shifting layers of precise arrangements, strong emphasis on the slightest touches. Absolutely beautiful

▰ I marvel when the transcription service supplies these limited options. Fascinating what common accents aren’t mentioned (Spanish? Russian? German?), how Asian is one broad swath, and yet British (which is broad unto itself) and Australian (the entire country has 2/3rds of the population of the Tokyo metropolitan area) get separated. (And yes, there’s an option for “other.)

▰ Nostalgia is a hell of a drug

▰ Somehow managed to put “.com” instead of “.org” when mentioning Lurk in my This Week in Sound email

▰ Today in guitar class: more of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” options for the Dbmaj7 chord, using a single fret for the pentatonic (major and minor), and related topics.

▰ How to get multi-column Mastodon view in your browser

▰ Good reason to leave the house

▰ My columns in the Mastodon browser app:

Local Timeline

*home is people one follows


▰ Rain to the left of me, dishwasher to the right, stuck in the middle with some old Nils Frahm on the laptop (which has remarkably good speakers).

▰ Listened to Music for Animals, by Nils Frahm, all over again this weekend. One of my favorite albums of the year. Quiet music to be played loud, so you can track the details. Also just to be played in the background. It fills the room while I read.

Music For Animals by Nils Frahm

▰ Sometimes the best moments at modern art museums is when you’re not sure if it’s an installation or just a corner where work is yet to be completed. These come more readily if a room or two away you’d just been staring at some Rauschenbergs.

▰ First visit to SFMOMA since the before times. Made sure to spend time in my favorite spot there — and in some ways my favorite spot in the entire city. Here are five (well, three plus two halves) of the seven walls of the Agnes Martin room.

▰ Dongle needed:


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