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Well Met, Hello Again, and Vale

Phew. I have spent four out of the last five working days virtually in non-stop meetings on a wide variety of issues - from research and teaching planning sessions to team meetings for the ACID Press project (which has a very outdated outline on the ACID Website, I'm afraid), meetings of the AoIR 2006 conference organising team, preliminary work for a new book project, and a PhD confirmation presentation by Creative Industries student Stephen Harrington - and tomorrow is looking no better, with an all-day meeting of the team of our teaching and learning project using blogs and wikis at QUT. In between all the meetings about what work needs to be done, it would be nice to find some time to actually do some work... (At least I did find the time to accept an invitation to join the editorial board of New Media & Society, and I look forward to being part of it.)

Yet More DGM, and Less DRM

Following up on my "More DGM, Less DRM" post a little while ago: in his diary, Robert Fripp has now responded to some of the reports about the launch of DGMLive, and clarified some of the usage restrictions for downloaded music which apply for DGMLive downloads. "Act rightly" is the governing phrase - an idea which is positively alien to the mainstream music industry, of course.

More DGM, Less DRM

I've been meaning to flag the fact that DGMLive has gone online. The site is the new online arm of Discipline Global Mobile, the record label founded by King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, and offers a growing number of Fripp and Crimson concerts and other goodies for purchase and download. This interests me as a fan, but also for other reasons: music purchased through DGMLive is available in MP3 and FLAC (lossless audio) formats, and is downloaded through the peer-to-peer filesharing software BitTorrent.

Neither of these facts sits well with standard music industry wisdom (now there's an oxymoron for you) that 1. the customer is the enemy, and cannot be trusted, 2. p2p filesharing tools of any kind are evil, and must be destroyed, and 3. because of 1. and 2., there is a need for new music formats which include strong digital rights management (DRM) measures to prevent unauthorised duplication, filesharing, or other supposedly illegal activities. At the same time, having been cheated by industry players at various times during his 40-odd-year career, Fripp can hardly be described as a friend of the music industry - which he has described repeatedly as being 'fulled by greed' -, so perhaps it's not so surprising that he would take a different approach to online distribution.

Welcome to Iceworld

OK, I really have to get back to blogging again. I suppose I blog the most when exciting and interesting things are happening, but the last few weeks, filled with chores between the end of one semester and the start of the next, have been difficult to say the least. I have tried hard to keep my weekends free from work-related tasks at least, though - with varying levels of success. Will try and post a few updates on current projects over the next few days.

One thing I have been able to do is to compile Iceworld, a CD of some ambient soundscapes I've tinkered with over the last few months. These are mainly improvs very much in a 'drone, bleep, blurt' mode, recorded live and edited into a series of individual tracks. The CD clocks in at just over 70 minutes and generally has a somewhat antarctic feel to me (hence the title); I've made it available here in MP3 format under a Creative Commons licence. Having listened to them a few times today, I'm quite fond of these tracks - "The Factory Ship" in particular has some very impressive bottom end on a good sub-woofer... Any comments are very welcome. (I might write a little more about how I've recorded these at another time.)

Iceworld CD

Iceworld front coverIceworld


Iceworld Suite


Consumer Alert

Following on from my recent email conversation with King Crimson biographer Sid Smith, he's asked me to help pass on this alert to fans:

Inside King Crimson DVD and CD

A statement from Robert Fripp and DGM

The Inside The Music series is a "pot of gold" for Bob Carruthers & classic rock productions. It addresses a valuable & useful area of popular music studies; but in a cheap, nasty & cynical fashion that exploits everyone & scams the artists, the music & the fans.

Open Source Panel

Early Start...We've now started the last day of the conference proper here in Helsinki - with a session on open source cultures that also contains my own paper. I'll blog most of this but of course not my paper itself - I'll upload this to this site soon. Not a bad turnout for a 9.30 start on a Saturday morning, either!

Mark Tribe has now made a start on his panel, beginning with a brief history of free and open source software (FOSS) and its ideology. But Mark's own interest is in open source as a broader cultural phenomenon, which also occurs in the domain of art (and he quotes Stravinsky as saying that "a good composer doesn't imitate, he steals"). This of course is a key development of the last century - the conscious building of new art on existing material, be it ideas or actual found material (as also in the emergence of collage as a new art form - take the dada movement for example).

Fripp Was Here


Well, not really. But looking at this rack you might be tempted to mistake it for Robert Fripp's lunar module... On the far right, Richard Barbrook also seems impressed.


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