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  • dtoub 1:02 am on Friday, March 12, 2010, 1:02 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: stuff   

    miscellanea 


    • Finished the piano piece. 100% of people who have heard it really like it. Maybe I should mention that’s with an n of 2. I’m going to release it in the coming days once I’m confident no additional edits are needed. The title is quartet for piano. It’s not a piano quartet, but literally, a quartet for (solo) piano. The score will make it all clearer. Hopefully.
    • As many know, I’m not a big fan of Israel’s actions, towards its Palestinian neighbors, its 20% Arab minority and anyone who isn’t an Orthodox Jew (ie, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionists are all out of luck). But I think the self-righteous indignation towards the alleged Israeli spy ring that assassinated a Hamas operative in Dubai is ridiculous. Have these folks never seen any of the Bourne movies or read any of the Robert Ludlum books? Or even seen a James Bond movie? Guess they have no clue what spy agencies do with their spare time. Guess what-intelligence agencies from most countries do, at one time or another, assassinate someone viewed as counter to their country’s interests. The CIA does it. The KGB does it. MI-6 does it. And it’s well established that Mossad does it. Get over it. I’m not countenancing assassination, mind you, but I do think the holier-than-thou attitude taken by several Arab and EU nations over alleged misuse of passports is ludicrous. Again, what do they think intelligence agents do with their time?
    • Pass health care reform already. In 20 years everyone will look back and wonder what the big deal was all about, as we would now about the angst over Medicare in the 60’s. I recently came back from three trips to the EU where folks were amazed that just raising the notion of universal health care (which the current HCR bill definitely is not) is such a hot button issue on this side of the pond.
    • Been listening to a lot of different music lately. A lot of Eliane Radique drone-based music, some stuff by Somei Satoh and music by the somewhat obscure Dutch composer Matthijs Vermeulen. And to the dismay of my son Isaac, some music by Beyoncé and Keke Palmer. Hey, I’m not ashamed. Well, maybe a little.
    • Still getting through the massive A People’s History of the United States by the late Howard Zinn on my iPhone’s Kindle Reader app. It’s a great book.
    • Also been delving into the complex history of the Cuban Revolution and Che Guevara. I know many have criticized Steven Soderbergh’s movie about Che for omitting everything between the battle of Santa Clara and Che’s revolutionary fomenting in Bolivia (other than a few snippets of his 1964 speech at the UN). But I understand why Soderbergh did it. I’m not saying that Che was a really nice guy who preached nonviolence. He wasn’t and didn’t. He was the polar opposite of Gandhi in some respects. But while I can’t excuse his actions at La Cabaña in 1959, in which many Cubans were executed, I also can’t condone the murder of 20,000 Cubans by the Batista government, nor can I ignore the fact that Che was driven by a desire to combat imperialism rampant against the Latin American world, then and now. And it strikes me as interesting that so many conservatives who bitch about Che can’t bring themselves to criticize the Bush/Cheney administration’s killing of unknown numbers of Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and others, along with numerous acts of torture, rendition, etc.
     
  • dtoub 2:44 pm on Friday, July 31, 2009, 2:44 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AAGL, , , , , stuff   

    brief update 


    Lots of good stuff going on, but I’ve been swamped so have not had time to blog.

    • Next Thursday, August 6th at 7:30 PM, Bill Solomon and Mike Lunoe will be premiering my work for six marimbas titled bs piece (double canon for bill solomon) at the Berkman Recital Hall, Hartt School of Music in W. Hartford, CT. I’m listening to their latest rehearsal tape right now and it’s absolutely incredible. How they manage to play this without getting lost while syncing with a tape of the other four marimba parts and counting accurately how many times to repeat each measure (17x is not uncommon in this piece) boggles my mind. Kudos to them both for not just taking on my music but for realizing it so perfectly. The score is here. I’ll be posting a MP3 of the performance and possibly even a video once I get it from Mike and Bill.
    • Just got an e-mail inviting me to be on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, the official journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. Obviously they’re extremely desperate.
    • Composer/performer/MIDI artist Steve Layton is going to be releasing his realization of textbook: music of solitary landscapes in hyperspace (piece for IPS) via iTunes in the coming weeks. Steve’s realization is excellent and took him at least two weeks to accomplish. The piece is over two hours and is continuous, although it will be broken into individual sections for downloading.
     
    • kraig Grady 1:27 am on Monday, August 3, 2009, 1:27 am Permalink

      Congrats on the premiere and what sounds like a good performance in the works.

  • dtoub 11:58 pm on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 11:58 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: stuff   

    new theme 


    As much as I’ve liked the WordPress theme for this blog, I just decided to mix it up. What you’re now looking at is a new theme with what I imagine contains a lot of AJAX code (asynchronous javascript and xml) that permits a good deal of interactivity. Note the keyboard shortcuts and the ability to have all comments visible for all posts. I also think the resemblance to twitter is quite intentional. Let me know in the comments if you like it or not. I’m already not liking the limitations of composing in this template:

    • no bulleted text
    • no way to add images or categories. Or links (WTF? Isn’t that one of the big features of blog entries?)
    • lack of control over the title and permalink

    So how did I just add in these bullets (and add a category and tweak the permalink)? By going into the WordPress dashboard and doing it all in the code editor. Which is exactly what this template is supposed to obviate. Sigh…I’m going to give this template a chance, but if I find it cumbersome, I’m going back to the old one. I think this template is great if you don’t do much more than what you do with twitter. But I use twitter when I want to microblog. This blog isn’t a microblog. Can you tell I’m conflicted?

     
    • Paul H. Muller 11:44 am on Thursday, April 9, 2009, 11:44 am Permalink

      I like the format for reading, even if you find it problematic for writing… It’s clean and the comments are right there. I really, really like WordPress. It doesn’t even have to be a blog – by using pages instead of posts and linking them you can build an entire website – I think I have four or five now… I wish there was more flexibility in the templates, but what you get is pretty reasonable to work with.

    • dtoub 8:15 pm on Thursday, April 9, 2009, 8:15 pm Permalink

      Thanks Paul. I’m making it work.

  • dtoub 7:53 pm on Monday, March 30, 2009, 7:53 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: stuff, trivial pursuits   

    some quick thoughts, in no particular order 


    Got back from vacation Saturday evening and I’m already back in the rat race. Even so, here are some brief thoughts before I forget them:

    • I’ve been loving MobileMe’s wireless sync between my iPhone, MacBook Pro and the cloud now for several weeks. This is how it should have worked last June. No complaints so far.
    • Finally figured out how to get my TiVo programs from my laptop to my iPhone. There are AppleScripts out there along with some open-source apps, but I haven’t gotten them to work. Instead, I finally figured out that Toast Titanium, in addition to downloading content from my TiVo to my MacBook Pro, can also encode the content for an iPhone or iPod. It’s hidden, but if you click on the Convert button, you can take it from there by selecting iPhone/iPod Touch as one of the destination options. Now, Toast will freeze forever if I try to batch several TiVo files at once, and even sometimes with just one file. But it works about 50% of the time if I just convert one file at a time, and it’s smart enough to dump it into iTunes when finished.picture-6
    • The CD we got of all of us swimming with dolphins near Marathon, FL was blank, but a new one is on its way via snail mail, so I should have them posted to FaceBook and my photo gallery in the coming days.
    • The Pope is wrong on condoms vis a vis HIV/AIDS. And by saying that I’m not being “anti-Catholic” or hurtful. I’m calling out the head of the Catholic Church, who is also a world leader, for comments that are, from a medical standpoint, harmful, potentially disastrous, and frankly stupid. I’d be as critical if it were a Chief Rabbi saying crap like that.
    • Punishing the conductor of a Palestinian youth orchestra for leading a concert in front of Holocaust survivors is as bad as if Israel were to punish David Barenboim for leading concerts in front of Palestinians. Which Barenboim does. And Israel doesn’t punish him. Look, I’ve been severely critical of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and Israeli policies towards citizens of Israel who are not either Jewish, or Jewish enough for the Orthodox theocrats there. But the concert by a Palestinian youth orchestra was a good thing, and a very positive thing. Just as Israel needs to accept that the Naqba is a painful historical event for Palestinians, the Palestinians need to come to grips with the significance of the Holocaust. Trying to ignore the Holocaust and to even claim that the Naqba was worse than the Holocaust is historically and intellectually dishonest. It’s also just wrong.
    • I’m going to get some parts for zichron together for Brian Kauth and his colleagues. Yes, Virginia, it’s playable. And it’s stimulated more comments on  my blog than any other post. So far, no one has told me it’s a piece of crap. So that’s good news.
    • JC Combs has been really great about including my dreck in his Friday Improv podcasts. Check them out on his Web site.
    • What’s next for my music? I’m probably going to develop a synthesizer piece I’ve been toying with. I don’t know that I’ll actually notate it, but I might leave it as a synthesizer piece and maybe just preserve it as a Reason file as well as MIDI and MP3 output. We’ll see. Beyond that, I’d love to try to develop a better recording of digitals, because it’s a pretty decent piece and the realization I made a few years ago really isn’t that great.
    • I’m probably getting together next week with a composer I’ve wanted to meet who wrote an amazing, long string quartet I used to listen to on LP many years ago when I was in college. Looking forward to it. And no, I won’t say who it is until after the fact.
     
    • J.C. Combs 9:06 pm on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 9:06 pm Permalink

      Hey, David, thanks for the mention! I’ve been busy w/ these mini-style projects so they probably seem clumped together. I have “Amaranth Radio” which is the podcast of nonpop composer works.
      http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=309819370

      And then we have ImprovFriday, which is more or less submitting improvisations, be them from the past or like what I do, which is to to improv right before I log into Twitter at 6 p.m. Takes about 10 minutes ;) And we don’t care what kind of improv it is either. Can be looped, free, whatever. And I think sharing music from the ligeti, cage, feldman, riley, et al, is cool as well. Keeps things moving in my blip.fm playlist.

      And umm, you were the 1st to join me on improvfriday, you should know this lol! ;)

      Hope you join us again this fri!

  • dtoub 4:09 pm on Saturday, November 22, 2008, 4:09 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: stuff   

    aphorisms 


    Haven’t blogged in a bit, although I’ve been posting stuff on Twitter a lot. That’s because Twitter is short, and it’s easy for mr to do from my iPhone. I’m blogging now on my iPhone, but that’s more laborious than blogging on my MacBook Pro, and I can yet insert hyperlinks or images (hope you’re reading this, WordPress team).

    So here are some quck thoughts, in no particular order:

    • Starting to think about a sax quartet that someone requested online. Every time I finish a piece, I worry that I’m never going to have any new ideas and won’t be able to write again. So far that hasn’t happened in about 30 years, but I still worry.
    • Listening to a lot of indie rock lately, particularly Santogold. Very interesting harmonies, and she went to a Quaker school not far from my kids’ Quaker school, so what’s not to like?
    • Travelling a good deal for work, more than usual. But I’m home now, which helps. Love the job, though, which makes up for the travel hassles. After screwing up massively over the summer, it seems to me that US Airways is doing better in terms of being on time. Hope they keep it up.
    • Going to write my alumni magazine—they ran an article on Obama (he taught in the Law School and Michelle works at the Medical Center, albeit on a leave of absence), and some folks wrote letters trashing Obama worse than anything my former classmate David Brooks has written (we’re both Class of ’83—he rarely spoke in school so who knew he was a conservative?). Sorry, but I doubt folks are writing in to Hahvard Magazine bitching about Obama. Hell, they’re probably claiming him as a native son for having attended their law school. So what’s up with the U of C’s readership lately? Just declined to donate to my alma mater because it seems to be getting a rep as a conservative institution. And I let the nice third-year student who solicited me know why I’m passing on my chance to donate this year, so maybe it will get someone’s attention. Or maybe not. I thought I graduated from a place that used to be considered a hotbed of communism during the 1950’s. Ever since Milton Friedman and his “Chicago School of Economics” trashed the University’s liberal reputation, it’s never been the same, I guess. But I’d like to think there’s still hope for the place. I’m still smarting, though, over how some folks in Ob/Gyn treated abortion like a pariah procedure when I was a med student there. Please tell me it’s gotten better since then. I still remember one leading surgery professor who taught us that anything short of an extended radical mastectomy for breast cancer was malpractice. Nice…
    • And a note to my iPhone: please stop autocorrecting every time I write “bitching.” I’m really not trying to write “botching.” Honest.
    • A quick fact from my daughter: did you know that 81% of statistics are made up?
     
    • ks 8:03 am on Sunday, November 23, 2008, 8:03 am Permalink

      Every time my alma mater calls to ask me to donate for some endowment, I tell them, “I gave you money already, remember? It’s called tuition.”

    • dtoub 8:58 am on Sunday, November 23, 2008, 8:58 am Permalink

      that’s exactly my response when my b-school calls asking for support.

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