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Pimped Out

Back in it again!

I'm still writing and recording my own music, even though I have a serious problem with going from 80% to 100%. I have about a half dozen songs at 80% right now.

But in the last month or so, I've been a little distracted by getting together with Corey and Mike to play music, like we were doing five years ago. Mike rented a practice space off of University Avenue, Corey moved his drums from his basement, where they didn't get any use, to the space, and suddenly - here we are!

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Off to San Francisco!

This afternoon I'm off to the airport to get on a plane for San Francisco for four days of Oracle Open World, courtesy of my employer. Sure, it's a technical conference sponsored by a (very) large software vendor who's just gone on a buying spree in the past few years. So there's sure to be a lot of interesting sessions, lots of people to talk to, a great venue (Moscone Center) in downtown San Francisco, and a chance to feel the pulse of the industry's direction - plus just a dash of hype and bullshit, and voila! I'm a professional!

Last time I went out of town for work was several years ago, in October - I went to Denver for a weeklong training session on BEA Systems' application server. They put me up at at the Denver Tech Center in the southeastern area of the city, and it was a very nice time, even though the only good running area was near Cherry Creek Reservoir. Three of the four days I was there, the weather jumped up into the 70s. Mind you, at that time of year, it could also have been snowing. The classes only went to 4 PM each day, sometimes earlier. One of the four days we adjourned at 2 PM! So I took the opportunity to drive my rental car (which was on my own dime, by the way) up to Loveland Pass and hiked east up to the summit of Mount Sniktau in beautiful warm clear, mountain air as the sun lowered to the horizon. Going in, I hadn't expected the chance to enjoy the locale, but I was glad to get it.


This is going to be an
interesting combination.

I'm guessing this conference will be pretty much the same. It's a good time of year for the Bay Area, and the scheduled sessions are over by 5 PM. They do have various mixers and cocktail parties and whatnot scheduled in the early evening, and I'll no doubt attend one or two of them. I'm going with three other people - my boss (the other Pete) and Jonathan and Scott from the marketing division, so it should be a little more sociable than if they were sending me alone. But, I think, there'll plenty of chances for taking advantage of what the city has to offer once the sun goes down. Our hotel is a couple of blocks from the event center, and both right in the middle of everything.

The main after-hours event I've looking forward to is a concert at the Warfield Theater on Tuesday night - Jonathan and I both got tickets to see Devotchka and the Pogues (who, thankfully, are playing with the iconic toothless Irish drunk Shane McGowan.) I'll let you figure out which is which in the photo. Either way, it's going to be one hell of a show.

Then I'll be back on Thursday night, only to turn around and head up to Camp Ripley for the Minnegoat weekend. Such a busy schedule. Sigh... poor me.



Gloria In Excelsis Deo

When I signed the register at the top of Quandary Peak, I noticed a Latin phrase printed on the sheet - along with Colorado Mountain Club and the names and comments of innumerable people. It stuck out because of the anachronism: the words Gloria In Excelsis Deo, also known as the "Greater Doxology". Now mind you, I'm the type of person who prefers the In Excelsis part, or perhaps a "Gloria In Excelsis Naturae". Nevertheless, the Gloria and other such nonsense has had some use in inspiring beautiful music throughout the ages - and this is an effect I'm not willing to gainsay.

The following "Gloria" was composed by Antonio Vivaldi and performed by the King's College Choir (audio extraction from Youtube posts by margotlorena.)

  1. Gloria in excelsis Deo (2:33)
  2. Et in terra pax (6:09)
  3. Laudamus te (2:19)
  4. Gratias agimus (0:29)
  5. Propter magnam gloriam (1:01)
  6. Domine Deus (4:20)
  7. Domine fili unigenite (2:26)
  8. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei (5:23)
  9. Qui tollis (1:05)
  10. Qui sedes ad dexteram (2:09)
  11. Quoniam tu solus sanctus (0:51)


Paying Homage

I was cleaning up some old files on my computer last night, and ran into a text file containing some song lyrics (now easily available on the web, as almost all songs are these days.) It reminded me that there's one thing in particular I've wanted to record my own version for a long time, so I took the opportunity to do so today after work.

I'm offering up this recording as an homage to what, in my opinion, is one of the best songs ever written: Country Feedback, from R.E.M.'s 1991 album Out of Time. It's a reorchestration for piano and vocals, and introduces the "feedback" that was lacking from the original.

I didn't want it to be a slavish reproduction of the original, so it's somewhat simplified - but I like the results.


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Country Feedback Listen (6.3 MB) (3.8 MB) (15.9 MB)



Some Older Music

Here's several songs that I worked on last year while I was learning how to use the software that came with my laptop (GarageBand 3). I consider these "good enough for release" - if I don't put them out now, I could keep tweaking them forever.


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Little Sister Listen (5.6 MB) (3.3 MB) (19.2 MB)
New Year Listen (9.4 MB) (5.6 MB) (27.2 MB)
Rain Listen (6.8 MB) (4.1 MB) (19.7 MB)
Summer Ago Listen (7 MB) (4.2 MB) (24.7 MB)
The Ocean Weeps Listen (8.3 MB) (5 MB) (22.3 MB)
Valse di Uccello Solo Listen (8.8 MB) (5.3 MB) (16.7 MB)



New Music and Photo Browsers

I just finished publishing a photo browser and a music browser to accumulate the various things I've posted, and will continue to post. Both browsers are accessible from the links in the menu on the left.

The photo browser let you page through titled and collected thumbnails, click to view photo details and description, or download a full size version of any photo.

The music browser lets you preview all the songs, click to see details and lyrics, or download any song in one of several audio formats. You must have a Quicktime plugin installed in your browser to preview songs, but the downloads should work for anyone.

If you encounter any problems with the browsers, let me know using the contact information at left.



New Song!

"Your Seattle"

This is a song about separation. I wrote the guitar line while fooling around during the Seattle trip. The rest of it came after I got back, with the help of a few IPAs.


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Your Seattle Listen (5.9 MB) (3.6 MB) (21.5 MB)



New Song!

"Outlaster"

I wrote this one around New Year 2009. If you remember your news, that was right when A) the one major trial of an RNC protester started, and B) a bunch of families in Gaza (too poor to be very politically involved) were about to have a really bad couple of weeks.


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Outlaster Listen (6.7 MB) (4 MB) (25.2 MB)