Buzzy Third

I’ve finally finished the rough mixes my long-awaited third Buzzy Tonic record Elixr.

1. Rocket to the Moon
2. Sea of Tranquility
3. Is It Safe (To Go Outside)? – written by Martin
4. Now and Forever – written with Michelle
5. Black Swan
6. Your Dancing Shoes
7. To Be a Rock
8. (When My) Soul on Fire
9. Leave the City Behind

The ones with numbers are the album tracks; the rest are bonus tracks. Some of these go back quite a few years at this point. In fact I released side 1 as an EP a while back, but even those are all remixed and much improved.

I really wanted to get this project done this year. When I bought my Moog back in the fall I had the idea that I’d overdub some of synth parts onto the last couple songs. But finally I said screw it, I’ll use the Moog on the next record. I have a whole ‘nuther album worth of music in my mind, so it’s time to move forward.

As for final mixing and mastering, I’ve enlisted the help of Jay, the bass player in my jazz originals group. He was a sound engineering major at Berkelee back in the day, so he ought be able to make the mixes sound as good as they can sound. So watch this space.

Anyway here are the penultimate mixes, enjoy!

Leave the City Behind

I just got back from a great but fast trip up to the Adirondack mountains. I love it up there and don’t get to visit as often as I’d like. It was my good friend Mark’s fiftieth birthday and his wife Kelly was having a surprise party. I’ve known Mark from high school and college and the early days of my career in multimedia in NYC in the 90’s. So our friends Seth and Cathy and Jeannie and me went up to Seth’s place Friday night and then onto Placid the next morning. A whole weekend of catching up, sitting by the fire sipping whiskey, going out to breakfast, all very nice. It turns out we’re all turning 50 this year. We also had the first snowfall of the year, which was beautiful but not so nice for driving.

The party itself was great. It was also release of the first CD by Mark’s band Crackin’ Foxy. They do banjo-oriented old-timey jazz with tight vocal harmonies, sort of Django Reinhart meets the Andrews Sisters, with an eclectic mix of covers and originals. Great stuff. The party was at the house across the street from Mark. These are old TB cure houses, and they have great flowing floor plans with lots of windows. Both Mark and his neighbor’s are very nicely restored and modernized. Mark’s friends seem largely to be Bohemian expats from NYC and elsewhere. Only problem is it can be hard to make a living up there, so many have to leave after a few years. In fact Mark’s neighbor’s house is for sale. Jeannie and I are toying with the idea of buying and airb’n’b’ing it for a few years until we’re ready to retire. Only problem with that plan is the winters up there are brutal and I don’t really like the cold.

GJB and TypeScript

We had a pretty major release of The Global Jukebox back in October. Since then we’ve been busy planning new features, and taking some time to up the architecture. One thing we did was to combine the different views and pages into a single-page application. The the two main views are the Map and Wheel. To switch between the two required a full page reload, but now it happens within the page so you can continue in your song, playlist or journey. Very nice.

The next thing is we converted the site to Typescript. We’ve been getting into Typescript in my day job. I must say it’s a big improvement over Javascript, and it feels like coming home to a real programming language. I’ve been getting into alot of functional programming in JS the last year two, and for the first time I really feel like Javascript is becoming a really cool language. I also made a whole new build and deploy pipeline in Node and Gulp. This has been on our todo list for a long time. It’s nice to be making everything more solid.

It’s funny, things have been following a similar trajectory with my day job. It was extremely chaotic in the time approaching our last major release at the end of the summer. Since then the focus has shifted towards getting things done in a more mature and organized way. We started migrating to Typescript in the fall, and we’ve finally moved to GIT as well, and the company is getting a bit more disciplined about sprint planning. This is all stuff I’ve been advocating for for a long time. So things are improving, although I’m still being told more often than I’d like that we don’t have the time to fix things properly. Ah well.

On Composing Interactive Music

A blast from the past – a web site called Audiokinetic Blog found an old essay of mine and asked me if I’d like to dust it off for them to repost. I wrote a new intro and they added some cool artwork. Audiokinetic are makers of interactive audio tools. I haven’t had a chance to play with them but they sound like they’re pretty cool. Ah life is too short.