1. After almost two years of mainly playing the gurdy and recorder, I can feel the accordion calling me again. It’s saying “Remember all that stuff you miss, like chords, polyphony and 4 octaves range? I can do that! Pick me! Pick meeeeee!”

  2. Yesterday I dug out this rather odd track from January:

    It was recorded after a visit to Hayling Island, wherein we found an assortment of sea creatures, all of whom, according to tradition, were called Gordon. One was alive, and thus the tune was named.

  3. It’s a strange feeling to open Logic and find a recording you don’t remember making of a rather beautiful mazurka…

  4. yiddishsong.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/di-gantse-velt-iz-hevl-havolim-performed-by-lillian-manuel has some interesting background about the song “Hevl iz Havolim”, and one of the comments has what appears to be a quite extensive translation, but of a different version — it doesn’t translate the two longer verses in the middle of the version the Klezmatics sing.

    That version is covered by this klesmer-musik.de/hevl_iz_havolim.htm German version, which seems to line up better with the sung lyrics, but Google-translated the middle verses are still rather vague. I suspect they’re using idioms and imagery which does not easily translate word-for-word.

  5. Trying to buy MP3s off Amazon and seeing unfriendly errors like “Important Message There was a problem with your address submission. Please fix all the areas below and try again.”?

    It’s probably because the Amazon MP3 service only works in the US, despite this information not being displayed anywhere or reported as an error. The billing information form even lets you choose countries which it knows will not work!

    This is an excellent example of terrible form design, and to communicate exactly why, I redesigned the form with some improvements:

    Important credit card number:

    Date it stops working:


    Select a next step:

    (If anyone from Amazon is reading, feel free to use this design on amazon.com/gp/dmusic/verification/addCreditCardMP3 — it would be orders of magnitude more helpful than the current one)

    Source: chat with amazon support staff:

    Update: follow-up email clarified that Amazon music is actually available in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Spain and Italy — so not just the US, but also no love yet for Iceland :( In their defence: Amazon’s support channels are excellent. Polite, helpful, quick chat and genuinely useful follow-up email.

  6. Idea: geek-styled boy band called “Unified Trajectory”. Who’s up for it?

    Edit: s/Single/Unified a) because it’s more jargoney and b) because geek == single is an inaccurate generalisation which hardly needs further perpetuation

  7. That Steve Tyler is some sort of compositional genius:

    Really pleased to see him publishing more of his music online. If you get a chance to go see him play (with Katy or Andy or whoever else really), don’t pass it up!

  8. Unexplained Sounds — Whistle

    My first experiment with using sped-up oceanic hydrophone recordings as a musical element, contrasted against the Hurdy Gurdy.

    This one is a currently (2014-04) unidentified sound (probably an underwater volcano erupting) known as “whistle”.

  9. MTU has this wonderful explanation of the differences in physics between open/closed conical and cylindical bore instruments. Try some of the equations out in grapher or an equivalent!

    Open cylindrical bore (e.g. panpipes): y=sin(nx)

    Closed conical bore (e.g. saxophone): y=sin(nx)/nx

    where n is the harmonic e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. in both cases.

  10. Heading off to see DJ Geimskip og Flugvél (amongst others) at Café Rosenberg later. Come along if you’re in town!

  11. Sophie Dennis: @BarnabyWalters I mistook part of the handwritten notes for "disco" - an extreme example of varying tune for different dance types :)

    @sophiedennis haha yeah “dissociation” is the French word for trompette rhythms to go with the melody, abbreviated to “disso”. But if anyone could do disco gurdy, it’s Gregory Jolivet ;)