Work and fun start in your watchlist

At Wikiloops, we have that concept of a ‘watchlist’, and mine got filled quite a lot recently. Each time I sit at work and listen to something where I think I could add something, I add it to this watchlist – so mine currently has over 100 gems inside:

At home, I’ll download all of these when I have the time, and start ‘working’ on them in my DAW (=’Digital Audio Workstation’). Convert MP3s to WAVs with Audacity first, then load them into Ardour. Set the tempo, check with a metronome, eventually make a clicktrack and/or a count-in. See if I can enhance the given audio, and it helps if you have single HD tracks because a drum kit or a guitar might need other treatments than a voice.

Often I also add markers where the chords change or to separate parts of the song so during recording I can see the structure.

And finally I’ll grab my bass and play.

And all of this is great fun. I’m learning so many different things. And I’m so glad that I found Wikiloops

3rd party planned outage

If you are reading this blog since a while then you probably know that I’m hosting almost all of my photos on Flickr. I have a paid account with them of the old sort, which gives me unlimited storage (an offer which doesn’t exist anymore since a few years).

Flickr was bought by Smugmug, and they’re finally moving all content from Yahoo’s servers and infrastructure to Smugmug’s hosting provider which is Amazon AWS. My pictures will move into the cloud…

This all will happen on Thursday 12am GMT which means 1400 CEST, and it will last for maybe 12 hours. Here’s what’s written in Flickr’s public announcement:

On May 22, 2019, Flickr will be down for planned maintenance for about 12 hours starting at 5pm PDT (that’s 8pm EDT or 12am GMT on May 23).

This will of course lead to the fact that you won’t see most of my photos on this page for about 12 hours, and so I’ll have to apologise for this.

A screenshot of my stats at Flickr, before they move everything…

As always, thanks for reading.

A walk through the wood

And all of a sudden it’s relatively warm again, after all those weeks with really low temperatures which we had now. So I took my camera and walked through the nearby wood, direction of Frankfurt Airport. Some things I saw were:

What people “forget” in the woods…, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019
Leucanthemum vulgare (field daisy, Marguerite), close to Frankfurt Airport 2019
Fungi on dead tree, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

It felt good to be out again, and to listen to that unbelievable concert of birds.

As always, thanks for reading.

Keb’ Mo’, Jennifer Hartswick & Christian McBride, “France”

Here’s another video featuring Keb’ Mo’ which I found via No Treble, a bass players’ mag. And the bass player is definitely worth watching as well, because it’s Christian McBride playing here. Didn’t know the trumpeter until now, but boy that lady plays a bluesy horn as well… so enjoy Keb’ Mo’s “France”:

Keb’ Mo’, Jennifer Hartswick & Christian McBride, “France” Night Owl | NPR Music

Thanks for reading, and for viewing.

Walking Blues featuring Keb’ Mo’ | Playing For Change | Song Around The World

I haven’t reported about the ‘Playing For Change‘ Foundation and movement since a while. But today this came up in my Youtube stream:

Walking Blues featuring Keb’ Mo’ | Playing For Change | Song Around The World

As you can see, it’s a jamming collaboration project very much like Wikiloops, with the difference that at PFC it’s mostly well-known song covers, like a Blues from the 1930s in this case – while at Wikiloops we only allow original material due to legal & copyright matters.

I have colleagues who like this, but have never heard (except from me) about Wikiloops. On the Wikiloops Youtube channel we have a playlist of 5 member collaborations from 2018 (one of them including me), and these caused a lot of video editing and cutting work for Richard.

But some members have their own channels, and do their own video creations, edits, and uploads – and maybe we should do more in that direction – so I’m considering filming myself more often when playing the bass, like some of us do. And if all contributors of a song would do that, then we’d have something like PFC as well – with the difference that we make up and play own stuff.

Food for thought, as prof. Joseph Beuys would have called it…

Thanks for reading, and viewing/listening.

Edit: here is one such video made by a small subgroup of Wikiloops members, not by the whole project. Still nice, and very professional editing here:

“HALF THE TIME” – OFFICIAL VIDEO by Ettore Poggipollini feat Andrea Zey

Again, thanks for viewing, and for listening.

A little appreciation: Feels So Good :)

It’s now almost exactly 15 months since I found and joined Wikiloops, this ‘Über-cool‘ platform for jamming with other musicians from all around the globe. It’s even fun to only listen, and to discover new original music each and every day there – we have different “radios” (streams) to cover almost every taste you might have at the moment. So even for ‘consumers’ this is nice, and it’s heaven for musicians. I’m so glad that I’ve found it.

And if you don’t only listen and/or practise to the looping tracks but remix and upload some stuff yourself, you’ll receive a little appreciation from others in form of nice and helpful comments, and “thumb ups” like in other social media platforms.

And today, I received thumb up number 1000 from fblack (from Spain) on my latest contribution to the track “Story…“. Thumb number 999 was from Ms Shi from England, number 1001 from Pexe from Brasil. So my statistics (which you can see on my profile) looked like this an hour ago:

So thanks go out to my friends on that platform for being nice and commenting and giving feedback in form of these thumb ups. As Chuck Mangione would state it: Feels So Good…

Chuck Mangione – Feels So Good

Thanks again my friends, and to those whom I haven’t met in real life yet: I hope that day comes soon 🙂

Thanks to everyone who reads this, for your interest 🙂

Two years older than me, and oh so beautiful…

Listen to this 1955 recording or The Modern Jazz Quartet, with “Softly”:

The Modern Jazz Quartet – Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise

So unbelievably good. Thanks for listening. And if you have a personal fav version of that song, please let me know about it. Thanks.

The world’s oldest motorcycle brand seems to still be getting it

I’m speaking/writing about Royal Enfield of course, which was bought and is now owned by Royal Enfield (India).

First, let’s hear Jay Leno about them, and why he added one to his garage (with his collection of hundreds of cars and motorcycles) as it seems:

2019 Royal Enfield Motorcycle – Jay Leno’s Garage

To me, that makes a lot of sense. Almost as good as my Honda NTV as it seems. Now, that Himalayan motorcycle should be introduced by someone who actively rides it, and I found Noraly, a 31-year-old Dutch as she describes herself on her page. She bought a 2018 Himalayan in India, and rode it to Malaysia to do a first conclusion on it:

10.000 KM Bike review Royal Enfield Himalayan (2018) – BS4

Ok, less than 25hp, I get it. But Noraly’s right – the fact that this is everything but high tech makes it so appealing for round-the-world trips like hers. And this easy-to-maintain part was also what fascinated Jay in his video above.

Seems like Royal Enfield (India) is a force to reckon with. All three of the motorcycles shown here make much more sense than the current electro craze.

As always, thanks for reading, and for watching.

Links to Jason, for colleagues, friends, and family

At LinuxMusicians, we have some really good producers (like for instance user ‘singforme’ and/or ‘bluebell’). And in this thread on LM, one of them pointed me to an article written by Jason Evangelho for Forbes, here.

That article is about UbuntuStudio, which Zuleikha was using until recently (she’s now running the KXStudio stuff on a ‘normal’ Ubuntu on what used to be Mitchie’s Dell notebook, now hers). The article also covers the Jack Audio Connection Kit, and Ubuntu Studio Controls, which together bring a bit of nice automation into the game, taking out some complex steps of setting up a productive audio environment on a PC. As Jason concludes in his article:

I tried Ubuntu Studio 18.04 last year in a short-lived attempt to see if it could replace my macOS + Logic Pro workflow (my last hurdle to using Linux full time), and I honestly walked away a bit disappointed. But 19.04 is shaping up to worthy of a second chance. You’ll have my thoughts when the final version releases this Spring.

But so far this is interesting for musicians and/or creative people only (which covers some of my own family, but not many other people). So if you’re in this ‘other people’ group, stay with me just a little bit longer, because the other interesting finding in his article on Forbes were links to Jason’s own site Linux For Everyone, and to his music on Soundcloud.

And while Jason’s music might be interesting to you or not, I’ve read just one article on his site called “Ditch Dropbox: Create A Personal Home Backup Server With Raspberry Pi 3” which made me write this link collection, and recommending it to colleagues and friends (who aren’t musicians or other creatives) as well.

What Jason is describing there is simply how to set up a small and low cost home server based on Linux which everyone could use, together with some useful stuff like apps for your desktop, and your Android or iOS device to make use of it all – without having to touch a command line even once. He shows how to sync your PC and your phone with that small server automatically using NextCloud, so you have basically replaced Dropbox or any other commercial service provider (you have to read some additional stuff on how to open ports on your router, or to connect to your home from outside via DynDNS-like services if you haven’t done so, but that’s stuff for another article).

So at this point, Jason concludes:

Wait A Minute….
Did we just setup a Linux-based file server without using the command line once? Yes. Yes we did.

Thanks for reading.

I know I have some colleagues who are interested in just this. And I don’t know about you, but I am interested in something like this myself. And besides, I’ll go on reading Jason’s other stuff as well, so I have set up an RSS-bookmark to his site, so that I can see new headlines when he comes up with new articles. So, in a nutshell, I consider this recommended reading for everyone who’s an admin of their own home network. You. Me. Everyone.

P.S.: Jason’s articles on Forbes are good reads as well. I’ve short-scanned only the last 2 months or so, and found these three very interesting ones:

I Can’t Believe I’m Writing This Linux Article About Loving The Xfce Desktop Environment

Warning: Internet Explorer Just Became A Silent But Serious Threat To Every Windows User

Here’s The Shocking Reality Of Completely Blocking Google From Your Life

Like I said/wrote: interesting (tho he still is new to the Linux desktop experience, but this might apply to you as well, right?). As always, thanks for your interest, and for reading.


Played on a nice song from RobM, mpointon, jamlady, and ROBJOL (all Wikiloops usernames) yesterday, and since we’re not done with embedding the new Wikiloops player into WordPress, please consider listening to the song “Story…” at its source. This will also show you the list of musicians who participated so far, and some comments from other Wikiloopers.

Thanks for reading, and for listening.