Thursday, November 15, 2018

Scientists turn Martian sunrise into a piece of music

You can now listen to the sun rise on Mars. Scientists in England have translated the Martian sunrise into a two-minute score.

Researchers used sonification techniques to translate image data into sounds, turning each pixel into a sonic data point. Using images of the 500th sunrise observed by the Mars rover Opportunity, scientists linked each pixel with brightness, color and elevation measurements.

Special algorithms helped researchers turn the pixel data points into pitch and melody, forming a piece of music.

The two-minute score will be shared with visitors to NASA's Mars Soundscapes exhibit on Tuesday at the Supercomputing SC18 Conference being held this week in Dallas, Texas. The song will be presented both sonically and vibrationally, so that it can be experienced by visitors with hearing disabilities.

Read the entire story HERE


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Music Modernization Act now a Law

From The Verge:

President Trump has signed the Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law, officially passing the most sweeping reform to copyright law in decades. The bill, heralded by labels, musicians, and politicians, unanimously passed through both the House and Senate before going to the president.

The bill revamps Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act and aims to bring copyright law up to speed for the streaming era. These are the act’s three main pieces of legislation:

The Music Modernization Act, which streamlines the music-licensing process to make it easier for rights holders to get paid when their music is streamed online

The Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act for pre-1972 recordings

The Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, which improves royalty payouts for producers and engineers from SoundExchange when their recordings are used on satellite and online radio (Notably, this is the first time producers have ever been mentioned in copyright law.)

What does all this mean? 

Read the entire article here.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

GUITAR GODS - Lawrence Juber

I first heard Laurence Juber when he performed Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" on Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night (other guests at that performance include Peppino D'Agostino, Alex DeGrassi, Ed Gerhard, Phil Keaggy, Preston Reed, and more). Needless to say, I was blown away! I had to find out more about this amazing guitarist!

Turns out Laurence, who started playing before his teens, earned a music degree at London's Goldsmith College and immediately become a session guitarist, playing on countless projects, including the music for the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me".

In 1978, he joined Paul McCartney's band Wings, recorded on their "Back to the Egg" album, and hit the road for their UK tour. He picked up a Grammy Award when Wings took the Best Instrumental Rock for "Rockestra Theme" (he speaks about his time with Paul below).

After Wings, he moved to the US and his sessions include pop albums to TV shows to films, from "Dirty Dancing" to "Happy Days", and in 2005 picked up his second Grammy Award for his instrumental guitar version of "The Pink Panther" theme.

26 solo albums, instructional videos, a signature guitar from Martin, a book, and countless concerts later, Laurence Juber is still going strong. 2017 saw another album of Beatles classics and this year he re-released his 1979 album "Standard Time", and he's hitting the concert stage again.

Find Lawrence Juber on-line HERE.

I had a chance to speak with Mr. Juber recently. Check it out!


Saturday, June 30, 2018


"THEY SAY you're pretty much the best at what you do..." - David Letterman, 1980, interviewing then 26 year old Al Di Meola....

I first became aware of Al Di Meola as a teen. I'd spent hours trying to learn riffs from '70s rockers, and thought I'd heard everything the guitar could do. And then, a late December evening, I turned on the TV, scrolled through our 3 channels, found nothing, and switched to the local PBS station before giving up....only to see 3 men holding guitars on stage. What I witnessed (the concert that would become "Friday Night in San Fransisco" - see video below) was earth-shattering and mind-blowing and took me a long time to get my head around. I'd never seen anyone do what they did. Never heard anyone make those glorious sounds. The influence changed my life.

Al Di Meola has been having this effect on listeners for decades.

From his early Grammy winning work with Return to Forever (alongside legends Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White) to his electric-based solo albums, to his explosion into acoustic music, to his collaborations with everyone from flamenco god Paco DeLucia to classical legend Liona Boyd, to "jazz princess" Aziza Mustafa Zadeh to progressive rock keyboard master Derek Sherinian to his "Rite of Strings" with bassist Stanley Clarke and fusion violinist Jean Luc Ponty to so many more, Di Meola has been a trail-blazing musician and guitarist for 40 years.

Al's technique is other-worldly, his expression soul-searing, his compositions kaleidoscopically wondrous, and his rhythmic mastery the stuff of legend.

With 2 new albums out (a live 2017 collection "Morocco Fantasia" and 2018 studio work "Opus"), Al Di Meola hasn't even begun to slow down.

Find him on-line HERE!

I had a chance to speak with Mr. Di Meola recently. Check it out!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Body Temple Burns...and Rebuilds

Kieba Blacklidge wrote one of our "Day in the Life" pieces back in 2012. Find her amazing diet and exercise for that day HERE. Since then she's helped hundreds of people reach their goals, published an autobiography, and built up her Body Temple Bootcamp to provide even more diverse experiences for her "campers".

But when Kilauea erupted earlier this month (technically its been erupting continuously since 1983, but things got explosively violent last week and Kilauea spit out tons of ash up to 30,000 feet in the air), it destroyed dozens of homes.

Among those homes was that of our friend Kieba Blacklidge. Her home and the entire Body Temple Bootcamp complex.

Please consider lending a hand for her to rebuild. No amount is too small.

Go HERE to donate.

Thank you!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Corey Glover & George Lynch: Supergroup!

Reported from Guitar World:

Corey Glover—lead singer of Living Colour—and Dokken/Lynch Mob guitarist George Lynch have teamed up to form Ultraphonix with bassist Pancho Tomaselli and drummer Chris Moore.

The band's debut album, Original Human Music, is set for an August 3 release via earMUSIC. You can check out the album's first single, "Walk Run Crawl," below.

"The album sounds like a fusion of early Chili Peppers meets King Crimson meets Judas Priest," Lynch said in a press release. "It's a super fun band."

Read the entire story HERE.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Christina Eve and Synesthesia

Taken from NPR...

I'd never be a visual artist if I was not first a musician. I have a deep love of music and especially love how a good song can arrest your heart or communicate things for which there are no words. I began studying music as a child and went on to get a degree in classical music. I geek-out over music theory and love the thrill of performing on stage with other musicians. Yet beyond all this, I experience another dimension of music that most do not.

I have synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that involuntarily merges senses in the brain. Auditory stimuli activate my visual sense, so whenever I hear sound I see a unique light and color show. Listening to music is always a remarkable experience as the ears, eyes, heart, and mind are all inundated. For me, music reveals shimmering lights and geometric textures in bright colors, and light and dark swell and spin around each other......

Read the entire amazing article HERE!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

2 Years....

A Tribute to Prince

Lindsay Caudill

I can’t believe it’s been two years.

It’s all still so vivid. We were sitting in the McDonald’s drive-thru, about to head back from our walk at lunch, and I opened up my Facebook app while we waited. I tapped my notifications. The top one was from one of my sweet, sweet friends. I opened it, assuming it was a birthday greeting. Instead, it was a tag to a TMZ article that a dead body was found at Prince’s Paisley Park estate and was rumored to be Prince.

I started messaging everyone, seeing if they’d heard anything. I texted my parents, asking them to turn on the news. My mother tried to reassure me. “It’s probably not Prince but someone he has working there,” she said. “Don’t get upset, Linz.”

Only a week before, Prince’s plane had to be emergency landed and it was revealed he had to be given Narcan, although at the time it was reported as the flu. We all took to Facebook then to talk about it, worrying about what had happened on the plane and his failing health. He had been frail in recent years. Had he been terminally ill and we hadn’t known? He was a painfully private person.

By the time I got back to the office, I’d read and seen enough on Facebook via various news sources to know that what I feared to be true, in fact, was. I sat down at my desk, stared blankly at my computer, grabbed my bag, and left. On my way out, I told our then-commander the news and he teared up because he, like I, had grown up on Prince’s music. I turned the radio on in the car and the Sirius’s “80’s on 8" station was already playing a tribute.

Prince was dead.

On my birthday.

He was just 57 years old.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Poetry Series - Wild Sweet Bird

~Wild Sweet Bird~
Liz Fink-Davenport

I am glad I hit the ground.

I am glad I falter.

I’m glad my flight is flawed.

And I am glad that you see it.

My sweet bird, who watches at the cusp of the nest as the wind pulls the edges of your round hearth and home, small dry straw and bright pieces of yarn I gathered with diligence, are now on the breeze. You are stretching your neck to see me try to navigate the strong press and lift of the air. You shiver against the brisk upturn of downy feathers. And two bright eyes take in my every move. You are learning to fly and fall through my wings. Coast the up current and turn and dip through the sea of wind waves.

I will lose my way, wild sweet bird. I will turn right when left was the answer. I will search for a warm lift and find a cold press and try to bolster through. And I will sometimes fall completely to the earth and lay stunned for a moment. And you will watch. I am glad. Because I would take a thousand hurricanes of terrifying dark and cold solo flights for you. I will show you that the fall can stun but not stop. And I’ll look up with eyes full of relentless strength to feed your eyes.

My child. My bird. You are watching from the nest. But soon you will test timid wings. I’m here. You can rest in my fall. You can take comfort in my harm. I’ll take on the brutal wind and storms for you. But know this, I am glad. Glad that you see my stumble. Glad that you watch me struggle. I’m imperfect, sweet bird. But my love is enough to shelter us both. To give you strength to learn from my failures. And to bolster your flight from the nest that is falling apart.

You are strong.

You can fly.

I’m here to see it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Poetry Series: Joey and Jesus

Joey and Jesus
Liz Fink-Davenport

What small smile starts in your heart when you hear your child’s name?
I’m sitting cross legged and running my fingers through hair that is as familiar as mine. DNA being redistributed through a small electric current that is solely yours and theirs. The smell of this smaller being is a hard earned fist clinched. That moment you held a blanket that was breathing and you took in the scent of them and you fell madly in love. How can a tiny angry boiled looking pink wiggling thing elicit love? Because this is a piece of your heart walking around on this earth outside of your chest. Independent footprints in mud. Dirty fingernails on chubby fingers. Drool on your shoulder that smells like milk and you both adore it and cry over it. And you will always smell like Goldfish crackers and spit. But this is what you should know, it changes. The clock in the hall moves faster than you. It speeds up and the nap turns into the walk to school turns into the sleepovers turns into the cat’s cradle turns into the can I drive turns into the mom I’m in love turns into the hold your grandbaby turns into I will care for you mom turns into don’t go yet turns into my baby is holding me.

Sweet little one who wants braids tonight, I’ll braid. I’ll hum. I’ll say the goodnight prayer. The one that asks Jesus to take your soul if you don’t wake. But I won’t mean it. I’ll ask Jesus to take me long before you, my growing up angel. Because I have one purpose on this Earth and it’s to be here until you are strong enough not to need me. And tonight you need braids. So this night is not it. The small smile starts at the corners of my mouth and rolls up and around your name.