new look for jazzsequence.com: presenting jazzsequence::metal::

jazzsequence2.0i’m still putting the final touches on the site, but the new redesigned look is here.  the theory is based on some stuff that has been floating around the net about how websites will become more like lifestreams.  since i’ve never been really happy with any single lifestream client (and i’ve tried a bunch), i decided it would be just as easy to turn my blog into one so that this site becomes, truly, a log of all the stuff i’m doing.

mockup1

as much as i really liked my old theme, discount browncoat (yes, a firefly/serenity reference), it was narrow, had some leftover bugs, and took a long time to load because of the heavy graphics.  i wanted something i could expand on easily, and offer the possibility for advertising.  i also wanted a way to showcase a lot of the projects and stuff i work on, which was hidden down in the sidebar on my old theme.  now that stuff can go prominently in the header.

so here’s a rundown: top nav listing of pages with dropdown menus for sub-pages — this allows me to have a generic top-level page, say fiction, and then have links to all the fiction i’ve written.  260 px wide sidebar, which allows for 260×260 and 125x125px ads — fairly standard sizes for a design blog.  magazine-style layout using the powerful by TimThumb script.  i really like this style of displaying posts, ever since i first saw it in mimbo, and i’ve been using it on a lot of different sites i’ve worked on recently.  i’m also using a hack that displays a little tag underneath the most recent post to identify it as such.  i thought about doing an author page, but a lot of the author fields in wordpress are information i didn’t want to share, and i already have an about page with other stuff, so i decided to just do a page template that added in where i’m available online to the about info i already had.  this way, too, there’s more flexibility to update and change content.  i also made a blog page which filters out all the lifestreaming stuff and just displays the actual posts, because i could see it getting out of hand, especially when i’m playing music (and therefore getting a feed from last.fm).  there are three, fully widgetized sidebars, depending on what part of the site you’re on.  i did this so i could, in theory, make what shows up on the sidebar somewhat relevant to what you are looking at.  there’s also a customized 404 page, and separate category and archives pages.  by the time i got to the footer i sort of ran out of ideas, so i just blathered on, offering additional links to various parts and features of the site.

this has been a project on my mind for a few months with various ideas festering and growing in there.  i hope it comes off well, and i think i’ll probably be making additional tweaks as an ongoing thing, but i’m pretty excited about the new changes.  w00t.

gwozdziec, stall

i realize that i have hit a stall on the gwozdziec project.  part of that has been due to technical difficulties — a couple of the times i tried to do stuff my computer decided not to output any sound from those applications.   but the main part is that i’ve gotten bored with the formula.  so i’ve decided that rather than just doing the same basic formula for each track, i need to change it up a bit once in a while.  i’ve toyed with the idea of using the analog synthesizer vst i used on the RPM project and rolling dice to determine the patch, where to put the notes, etc.  the last track i did any work on i did a random yahoo query and used windows’ built-in text-to-speech engine to read the text on the main page of the random site to use for the vocoder app.  this should make each post about the tracks be more interesting since it won’t just be a list of dice rolls and freesound samples, but it does mean i’ll need to spend a little bit more time figuring out how to compose each track and make it built on concepts of random and creative commons.

more as the project takes more shape in my head.

in the meantime, check out my new lifestream page.  I might change up the format but I’ve decided to use my own technology and site design rather than a 3rd party — storytlr was cool, but styling it looked like it was going to be an insane amount of work just to make it match my existing site, and even as I use this new technology (i’ve switched to profilactic), i realize that there isn’t anything special to any of these technologies — for the most part they’re just mashing up various RSS feeds that your online activities generate into a timeline.  storytlr had the option to break it down and create specific stories, which was cool, but something i hadn’t used and probably wouldn’t unless we went on a trip somewhere (and since I don’t have a laptop, the end result would be some pics from after the fact anyway).  lifestreaming is an idea, not bound to a specific technology, which didn’t fully occur to me until after i went to the lifestream blog. but the main thing i want to change on the lifestream page is to have the full articles for each item (where applicable), not just the headline for each post, which i’m thinking of doing by letting SimplePie handle profilactic’s main RSS feed.

gwozdziec, track 3

here are the 19 samples:

By Gmaleson
pen_hitting_bottle.wav

By smallsushi
breathehope – kitchen – 07.wav

By Matias.Reccius
snareD17.wav

By DOCSURREAL
massive_1.aif

By stackpool
river otter or weasel 2006-09-17.mp3

By absreports
timestamp.aiff

By MShades
Daihikaku Senkoji bell.mp3

By mw_1984
OceanGeorgetownm Penang.MP3

By Meutecee
Trumpethit04.wav

By rotcav
Fort-Myers-Beach.mp3

By huubjeroen
noise#01.aif

By dirkbag
soundeffectgoingup2.mp3

By Guitarz1970
OctoRhythm.mp3

By Scylla
rain.thunder.crickets-01.wav

By moffittmusic
indoor pooltime at summer camp.wav

By gussyrikh
Orangator-x.mp3

By tezzza
Cupsmash.wav

By Sumanguru Gyra Jones
Wade Laughing.wav

By lofabred
snare hit c.wav

i’m realizing that i could be saving the remixes i’m making of these samples, but i’m not.  but i’m sort of doing that vaguely intentionally to keep the random/one-time-only sort of thing going on for this project.

and here’s my quote:

We are able to laugh when we achieve detachment, if only for a moment.
May Sarton 

 

i’m stripping that to the bare essence and calling this one “detachment”.

with this, there were so many samples that i grouped them together by a very loose criteria of subject matter/source.  there were several ambient noise samples which i used as the main component, linking them together and beginning and ending with the sound of the ocean.  i had several moderately “percussive” samples which i hacked to create a sort of drum looping thing.  and then there were several synthesized noises which i tweaked even more and layered to create textured drones.  it was early (or late, depending on your perspective) and i was going on very little sleep so i’m not really able to attach a value to this one.  i think i like it.  i think it tells a story, and i think there’s a zen feeling to the progression of natural sounds and human noises bookended by water.  this one i actually saved the percussion track separately.  which, by the way, when this is all done, i’m going to have a zip file with all the source materials so that will be in there.

with that, here’s the latest track.  upon re-listening, i think i do like it.

also, as a side note, i downloaded analogX’s vocoder software, which i played with a long time ago and several computer incarnations ago for another project.  i’m not sure how it will be used here, but i decided it would be a fun tool to play with.

gwozdziec, track 2

okay, on to track 2.

i rolled 0, 5.  i’m calling that a 5.

here are the samples:

By 110110010 (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=711997) wood_knock.wav (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=66397)

By kyles (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=612689) airport waiting area busy1.aiff (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=51736)

By irad (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=21115) inflames01.aif (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=17484)

By james11111 (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=317104) pour a cup of tea.mp3 (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=34317)

By kuzman909 (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=491971) 4 3-es1-2.wav (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=58513)

generated my random quote page, rolled a 9 and got this quote:

There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964) 

i’m calling this track “there is no end”.  here it is:

track 3 will have 19 samples (1,9).

gwozdziec, track 1

so track 1 is done.  now i have to name it.

i pulled up my random quotes page from the album cover thingie.  there are 10 quotes per page, so i rolled 1d10 and got an 8.  the 8th quote on the page is:

You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
Irish Proverb

that sounds pretty much fine as it is, i think, so track 1 is “you’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.”

here’s the track:

i have to say i’m pretty pleased with this track.  i don’t know if i would have found that emergency broadcast system message if i tried and i think that was freaking awesome.  i was wondering where it came from?  because it sounds real, but there’s never been (as far as i know) a nuclear missile shot at the uk which is where i’m assuming the sample came from given the accent.  maybe the page it came from has some info…