Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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recent adventures in cyberspace

Image via Tumblr - Source: Pixabay

Image via Tumblr – Source: Pixabay

I’ve been having a ball playing around with all sorts of new software. I recently switched my old “frankenstein” computer (the one I made on Halloween out of two dead computers) to Xubuntu 16.04, which is a Linux operating system.

It’s been a great adventure. Like learning how to do computers all over again. Luckily there are friendly forums, which always helps!

There’s a lot of interesting free software that works well with Linux. One is Slimjet browser, which I’m using now (I haven’t tested it on Windows yet). Another is the GIMP, a photo editor that also works with Windows.

Anyhow… here’s a little something created on the GIMP… thinking of that old madman David Bowie while doing this. Well, I guess he’s an eternally young madman now.

I think the lyric “something in the sky” is in one of his songs from the LP Outside. But I’d have to check on that.

Sorry to anyone who has liked my stuff here or at Earthpages. I WILL get back to see what you have been up to. Just that learning Linux and related software has been pretty time-consuming. As I say, like learning computers all over again. 🙂


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Galatea

My latest venture into electronica. This was pretty clearly influenced by Brian Eno’s “Atmospheres and Soundtracks” and “Music for Airports.” And maybe John Klemmer’s “Touch.” But I wanted to make it my own, give it my own twist, and not just try to copy the great pioneers of ambient music and smooth jazz.

While composing this, I had a vision of this guy sitting in a 2001-esque space station somewhere, maybe orbiting, definitely alone.


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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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Sleepy Robot Rebellion

© Lee Neale and Mike Clark

Thanks to www.freesound.org/ and www.freesfx.co.uk/

Lee Neale is the Australian-born founder of Shamagaia Universal Healing, currently living in Japan. When Lee suggested we collaborate on some projects, I thought it was a great idea. I’d been playing around with MIDI for a while, and felt confident enough to back up his vocals. I’d never heard Lee speak or sing, and didn’t know what to expect. So when he sent me the vocal track for Sleepy Robot Rebellion, I was impressed, to say the least.

To me, Lee’s vocals sound like some kind of operatic mix of Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and Paul McCartney. The soundscape we finally settled on was the 8th version. Along the way, Lee helped with the arrangement. He also came up with some amazing sound FX to add to the ones I’d found.

Just what is Sleepy about? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. And I like it that way. I prefer art that is suggestive and not overly literal. But the lyrics clearly have something to do with artificial intelligence (AI), consciousness, power and ethics. So it’s a tune that should become increasingly relevant with every passing year.

—MC


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Rod Serling did it better… but Battlestar Galactica still hot

SPOILER ALERT… don’t read this if you haven’t seen the final episode for 2008!

BSG fans no doubt delighted at the 2008 season finale where all sorts of insane tensions mount between humans and Cylons.

And Xena (oops, I mean Cylon number Three), that ever-enchanting toaster, offers an innocent civilian up to death before a truce is made between humans and Cylons.

Interesting that the truce isn’t achieved by brute force but by human and Cylon goodwill, along with President Apollo’s diplomacy.

All round great job… kudos to all concerned in the production.

Except for one thing… the final scene where Earth is trashed? Rod Serling did it way better.

If you don’t believe me, just check out the episode “Time Enough at Last.”


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Cylon’s despair

Cylon’s despair, originally uploaded by earthpages.

Sci-fi fans are all hip to the idea of human beings wondering if they’re cylons… but what about the other side..?

Original Creative Commons photo “Liverpool Street station crowd blur” by David Sim » www.flickr.com/photos/victoriapeckham/164175205/


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Are you up to tachyonic speed?

C. F. Fitzgerald, “Tachyons” pp. 421-423 cited in
Tachyons, Time Travel, and Divine Omniscience
Author(s): William Lane Craig
Source: The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Mar., 1988), pp. 135-150

I remember once saying to a friend that the pop group The Clash could have had an influence on the music of Beethoven. She couldn’t really see what I was trying to say and, to make matters worse, I didn’t have the conceptual tools back then to elaborate very well.

But these days the notion of retrocausality has been popularized by Stephen Hawking and other top scientists and philosophers take it very seriously.

So I ask… Are you up to tachyonic speed? 😉