Carya Amara – Vague Wars

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Apr 192018

Vague Wars by Carya Amara is out today. Download it now from Bandcamp.

“Here is some indeterminate music for vague wars. You may wish to keep it on at a low volume level in the background, perhaps as an accompaniment to reading or even writing. Ignore it. Nothing will happen”.

Political conference photographs

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Oct 102012

Here’s a link to some mischievously composed photographs from UK political party conferences: Party conferences – three decades through a lens.

The first photograph in the set seems somehow familiar.

Party political conference 1

Party political conference 2d

Above left: a photograph from the article.                                 Above right: They Live.

Cumbria Remixed

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Mar 042012

Cumbria RemixedAs explained at

“Cumbria Remixed was an exciting sound project using digital technologies to investigate and remix the soundscape of Cumbria. It created a lively dialogue between old and new, young and old through field recordings of Cumbrian environments, and local people’s tales, tunes, stories and songs”.

As previously mentioned, Carya Amara’s contribution, The Sound Around Me, was a remix of some sentence fragments uttered by Cumbrian musician and organiser of the project, Shaun Blezard. This track and 21 others have now been collected into a release which you can download for free from the Internet Archive.

Download Cumbria Remixed in MP3 format or see the download page for other formats.

Excited semi-whisperers accused of undermining literacy

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Sep 302008

As AJMG reported in a review of the DVD of The Singing Ringing Tree, some of us remember a muted voice mumbling away in the original UK broadcast of that creepy fairy tale series, separate from the English narration and the original German dialogue. Well, we didn’t necessarily recognise the dialogue as German at the time, but the intonation of that mumbler was something that could never be forgotten, and with hindsight (hindhearing?), it sounded like some Slavic language. We recently came to suspect that the episodes show in the UK were prints prepared for the Polish market, since reading in The Xenophobe’s Guide to the Poles about a peculiar practice of Polish television broadcasters: rather than prepare subtitles, or dub foreign dialogue, they employ an actor to read translated lines on top of the dialogue, in, as the Guide says, “an excited semi-whisper”. The effect was in this case really quite sinister.

Now the Polish Blog reports on a move to replace this peculiar practice with subtitling for foreign programmes, and laments the popular opposition to this innovation. There is of course the point that people are used to the Mumblers and may resist change on the basis that they like what they grew up with. However, the Blog goes on to note the prevalence of Poles who “are functionally illiterate” and suggests that subtitling may play a role in encouraging literacy. If that is the case, perhaps we should encourage subtitling of programmes in English, for the training of our own illiterates. Dubbing all programmes into Polish – or better still, a language that is not widely spoken in the UK – could only help.

Google promises some decent verdammt software

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Sep 022008

Deciding not to wait for a suitable quantum computer, Google explains the thinking behind its new browser, Chrome.

One feature – the ability to move tabs between windows – is already implemented in the Omnigroup’s browser for “Mac fans”, Omniweb. But Omniweb doesn’t have one feature of Chrome, the omnibox. Confused? Well never mind. What counts is that Chrome is an open-source attempt to produce not just a fast, “rock-solid” browser, but to improve all actively developed browsers. It’s in Google’s interest, and those of Web users, for browsing software to be better. And companies that haven’t been sufficiently imaginative or perfectionist can treat this as a simultaneous hand-out and kick up the rear.

Pretending that is updating lynx to be a “Chrome killer” would be cheap so let’s not do that.

Ken Campbell

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Sep 012008

It’s sad to see that Ken Campbell has died, at the age of 66. As this obituary states, “he will be known for his commercial cameos on TV, such as In Sickness And In Health or Fawlty Towers, but the legacy of his live work will be the true measure of the man.”

Beyond these effective appearances there were Ken Campbell’s televised explorations into the nature of consciousness, which were rather laboured – whereas in live performance, he was probably the only person able to hold a general audience with an explanation of qualia, in the same set as a tale of translating Ken Dodd jokes for performance in the New Hebrides.

In fact – that’s almost certain.


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Feb 112007

This weblog will feature some topics of tangential interest and slight relevance to Earthrid, which is a non-profit project that releases unusual music. You can find out more about Earthrid from the main site.

Most “bloggers” eventually lose interest in their weblog and fail to update it often. We are avoiding the interim stages by having very little interest to start with, and by resolving to hardly ever update it…

Opinions expressed on this site will come from various sources and will not necessarily reflect the collective aims or policies of Earthrid.