1. When I get tired of working in a critical, analytic frame of mind, I need to do something fun. This jam session was inspired by the beautiful weather we’ve had in the Bay Area this past week.


  2. [updated] This silly experiment was made by abusing some of Ableton’s features that are meant to make it easy to remix a song - such as constructing MIDI drum patterns from audio clips. I used a corrupt MKV file as the source audio, and also as the sample in the regular-sounding beat. Creepy melodies are in the Bohlen-Pierce scale. This is the first time I’ve used a customized version of Robert Henke’s Granulator II for playing in that scale. Narration by Mahmoud.



  4. Not too long ago, I watched a video of Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) explaining his live performance setup. One memorable comment he made was something along the lines of “I’m not running a Max patch or anything, I’m just clicking madly with this mouse” to produce glitchy sounds using simple audio-playback software. I wanted to see if I could mimic the imprecision and inexactitude that he loves so much, ironically by using a really janky sampling instrument I made in Max for Live. This track certainly doesn’t prove anything, but it was fun to try.


  5. Another page in the sketchbook. Channeling fun times with friends.


  6. Holism

    A system is less a thing than a pattern. It is a pattern of events, its existence and character deriving less from the nature of its components than from their organization. As such it consists of a dynamic flow of interactions. It is “non-summative” and irreducible; that is, the character of a system as a pattern of organization is altered with the addition, subtraction or modification of any piece. Hence it is more than the sum of its parts. This “more” is not something extra, like a vitalist principle or an élan vital, but a new level of operation which the interdependence of its parts permits. It is lost from view when a system’s composite units are investigated independently.

    Joanna Macy, Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory (1991), 72


  7. Something complete

    About one year ago, a good friend of mine suggested that I set myself a goal in order to take my hobby of music composition/production to the next level: “make an album or something.” Well, I did set that goal for myself, but I didn’t make it. Nevertheless, I’ve passed various mini-milestones since then. As a way of acknowledging the completeness of existence—or better, that there is no completeness or non-completeness—I’ve put together a small selection of finished tracks from the past few years. It’s not an album, but it marks my letting go of this music.

    Each of these tracks needed little bit of extra attention to finalize the mix. So these versions are more finished than my previous uploads of the same tracks. The most significant changes I made were in Gamera (California Desert Remake), which now has much improved balance and dynamics, and a new title; and Free Induction Decay, which I won’t bother explaining (but see the description on SoundCloud, it’s pretty neat).

    So, for the entertainment and edification of my friends:


  8. A sketch inspired by Mahmoud, with violin playing & effects that modulate by following the amplitude of their output.


  9. To all those who awkwardly fumbled through another year.


  10. Violin arpeggios in overlapping cycles + a bunch of kick drums… edited to a tolerable length.


  11. More mindless music production, strictly for fun. “I have headphones and I can do the DJ.”


  12. The tension between disciplines that aspire to predict and those that aspire to describe is epistemological in nature. The latter is erroneously often attributed to the social sciences/humanities and the former to the natural sciences/engineering/medicine. A similar over-simplification is often made when distinguishing between quantitative and qualitative studies. We emphasize that the assumption that quantitative methods map neatly onto biophysical sciences and qualitative onto social sciences is completely erroneous.

    A common critique of qualitative and/or studies that aspire to describe is that they can get bogged down in particularistic detail and not lead to action. A critique of quantitative and/or studies that aspire to predict, is that these are reductionist and that the quantifications/predictions will always be based on (over) simplification. Furthermore, these over-simplifications will often be the root of a new problem due to a simplistic understanding of ‘the problem’. We agree that we do need to act and we do need to learn how to incorporate reflection into our actions. The major challenge is to improve our ability to manage this tension. 

    Öberg, Fortmann, Gray (2013). Is Interdisciplinary Research a Mashup?