Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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FULL MOON

Originally posted on hocuspocus13:

Moon-1just one wish if you could influence the stars for me when they awake in the midnight sky

in my sleep sound and deep in dreams I hold the light of the full moon in my palms

this darkened chamber shall be emptied and forgotten when the morning sun enters with a bright new day

but for tonight dear moon wrap me in your light let me hold on for just a while longer as this enchanted summer’s night will soon bring tomorrow ❤

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GOOD NIGHT MOON

Originally posted on hocuspocus13:

Good Night Moonsummer breeze came lightly tonight
late I sat outside to talk to the sky
twinkle stars I wish with all my might
than said to the moon have a lovely good night ✴

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china swan

Image via Tumblr

So I got in the door and noticed the sun hitting this china swan in our main floor bathroom.. the background looks like a dappled photoshop effect, but it’s a translucent window.


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summer solstice

I used to be wary of trying out demo software cos I need my computer to be lean and mean, especially when doing music production. Every ounce of processing power and ram counts. Demos usually instal extra stuff, encouraging you to not only buy the product but many expansions and add-ons.

But ever since I found RevoUninstaler, which does a great job of removing most installed files when you want to uninstal a program, I’m not so reluctant. So last night I thought I’d give Photoshop a try. I own Photoshop Elements, which is pretty good in itself. Many of the PS filters come with PS Elements. But I must admit, it’s nice to have the precision with Photoshop… especially when cropping and working on text.

This pic is uncropped but obviously touched up with the “poster edges” filter. It was taken on the summer solstice (no kidding) at Lake Ontario, looking southwest. I suppose I could have chosen a more attractive font (i.e. typeface). But I’m just goofing around… and it seems the demo version doesn’t include exotic fonts.

Can you see the tiny moon at top left? :)


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The last woman in space…

Well, here’s my latest. I’m consciously moving away from current trends in electronic music, doing what I like and hoping that, if it doesn’t hit now, maybe down the line.

yesterdays_2

Image © Michael W. Clark

Not to say that I don’t have tons to learn. I do. But I like this one. It’s clean and simple. A sci-fi sketch. A mood. I don’t know.

This was one of the first tunes I wrote as a kid in the 70s. I’d sit at our old piano and pound out the repetitive pattern (octaved bassline with simple melody) cos I liked it.

Not much of a pianist, I’d always mess up the timing when it got too complicated. So i’m happy that today I can program that, and not worry about my (lack of) performance skills!

Me and Glenn Gould. ha.


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Jupiter 7

jupiter-7

This is a new song I’m working on. Having a lot of fun with it. It’s actually based on a tune I wrote when I was just a kid. We had this broken down piano in the basement. Some of the keys didn’t work. Especially the higher ones. It was slightly out of tune. But I loved it anyhow. A Heintzman upright grand. I was sorry when my parents moved to a smaller house (where I now live) cos there was no room for the ol’ piano here.

Theodor August Heintzman, founder of Heintzman & Co. via Wikipedia

Theodor August Heintzman, founder of Heintzman & Co. via Wikipedia

But God pays us back, if we’re patient. I now have enuf electronic gear to simulate almost any sound I want, including an old piano!

I don’t want this to be a spoiler for the tune, but I’m sort of expanding the very basic melody/chord progression (I was about 12 yrs when I wrote it) into a sci-fi epic. This isn’t out of character cos I was really into sci-fi as a kid. It’s just a progression. Adulthood looking back at itself as a child. Seeing a kind of connection, maybe a circularity, who knows…

Sorry there’s no sound sample yet. It’s still too raw… But I should be done in a week or so.


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Bryan Ferry’s Avonmore

Does anyone remember Roxy Music? How about the front man, Bryan Ferry?

Back in the early 80s I really enjoyed Avalon, a Roxy Music LP featuring Ferry. So I ordered the similarly titled Avonmore from the library out of sheer curiosity. We have an amazing library in TO and can get almost anything, if willing to wait a while.

When the disc arrived at my branch I wasn’t expecting much. Just another aging rocker trying to relive his or her glory days, right?

Well, the minute I got the CD rolling, I had to revise my expectations.

The first song “Loop De Li”  is a nice tune with superb studio production—like a time tunnel to the past, but masterfully executed. Same thing with the second cut “Midnight Train.” So by this time, I’m thinking, wow, I can relive my youth and have a favorite album for the car!

Then the third cut comes along, “Soldier of Fortune,” and it’s a bit of cold cut. A very good song, but the atmospheric continuity is suddenly broken. I mean, if you’re going retro, shouldn’t your CD really be a concept album?*

Image via Wikipedia

That’s about the only gripe I have with this record. Some thematic continuity does reappear later on, along with a couple of covers. Even the covers are pretty good. Especially Robert Palmer’s “Johnny and Mary,” which comes off sort of sad and distant. But maybe that’s fitting considering Palmer passed away at age 54.

All in all, a good album. I probably wouldn’t spend $20 on it. If unavailable in the library I’d have listened through Spotify, enduring their irritating ads.

I feel that these multimillion dollar rockers have been overcharging the common folk for decades. It’s about time we got some payback. Although, come to think of it, we’re still being fleeced. Just in a different way. Taxes (library) and internet fees in Canada probably amount to a lot more home entertainment spending than just buying records.

Oh well. Pay up or be outcast. It’s the same old story.

*CNN aired that “Sixties” show again last night, produced by Tom Hanks and others. It claimed that Sgt. Peppers was the first concept lp to change everything. But this is debatable. Frank Sinatra did a sublime concept album in 1955 with In The Wee Small Hours.

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