It’s been a busy winter for me so I thought I’d check in with you all to share some things I’ve been up to.
In the melodica realm, the Quartet’s re-debut in November was a big success. We had so much fun sharing buzzy music with a full house of friends and nerds. We took some time off over the winter but recently we’re back to work on some very exciting and ambitious repertoire. We’re hoping to have an open-invite jam party next month and a proper concert in May.
I’m starting to rebalance my time from melodica back to poetry, but before that I want to share what I’ve found over the past 2ish years of practicing this funny instrument altogether too much. I’ve finally started putting out a short series of videos called Melodica in Depth, which goes over advanced melodica techniques I don’t believe are documented elsewhere. And I’m very excited to say that just yesterday I finished recording the complete Bach cello suites on melodica; this will be coming out as both my first studio album and a series of videos this spring which I can’t wait to share!
In the music technology realm, my graphical notation programming library Neoscore has been seeing growing interest. In May I’ll be giving a workshop introducing it at the TENOR conference in Boston, and a couple great composers will be premiering works using it. As someone who’s worked on open source projects for my personal use for a long time, it’s very surreal and gratifying to see other people actually using my work, and even contributing back to it with code and bug reports!
In the poetry realm, I’ve been invited to be a panelist at the Unbound Book Festival in Columbia, MO next month. They want me to talk about AI in art, an auspicious topic since they pitched this before ChatGPT came out. Increasingly these days I’m worried about the existential threats of AI and considering whether artists should be taking a firm stance against it. If you have thoughts on this I’d love to talk.
I’ve started a strict regimen of work on my “chancelation” of the Tao Te Ching, chancelating one poem-chapter per week. At this rate I should be done in a little over a year. I can’t overstate how spiritually fulfilling it’s been to study this ancient text so deeply. Every day I understand less, and every day the sun is a little brighter. As I sign off, please enjoy this crystallization of chapter 58 I just found:
When a ruler is dazed and reserved,
the people are plain and honest.
When a ruler is inquisitive and probing,
the people are wanting and disgruntled.
Disaster is that on which prosperity depends.
Prosperity is that in which disaster is hidden.
Does it go on and on?
Is there no justice?
Justice becomes trickery;
improvement becomes wickedness.
Our confusion goes on and on.
Thus the Sage
shapes without dividing;
points without piercing;
untangles without straining;
shines without blinding.
You can see the source code behind this chapter and explore its ~10^32 possible realizations here.