Although represented by auction house Bonhams as "the first
electric keyboard", this is not correct.
It is however certainly an early electric keyboard, of sorts. The claim of being
first might refer to it using Helmholtz's physical resonator designs
which Helmholtz publically demonstrated in 1857. Physical resonators of
comparable design have been used for thousands of years though, so it's
not as if they really arrived on the scene in 1857. The claim of it being
a keyboard refers to it having 10 ivory depression switches to turn
overtones on and off.
Note that it is electromechanical, rather than having electronic
oscillators it has 1 fundamental and 10 overtone oscillators in the form
of fixed pitch tuning forks tuned to c,e,g,c',e',g',c",e",g",c"'. These
are electrically activated under switch control, and run through physical
resonator cavities. And as it is quite small it can be considered a
portable instrument. Its purpose is as a demonstration device for sounds
and not as a performance instrument for music as it's really only capable
of playing a single note and turning on and off some of the overtones, a
this could be reasonably described as a primitive one-note additive synthesizer.
I'm not certain even the word synthesizer is correctly applied here, but I'll
give that claim a pass.
Helmholtz's gorgeous electromechanical sound generator here is not at
all the first electronic portable music synthesizer. That notable
and worthy honor likely goes to Ivor Darreg's brilliant and exceptionally
practical and useful Electronic Keyboard Oboe which he invented in 1936,
which was used in an actual public playing music group then, which
features interactive and dynamic microtonal intonation controls, and
which I refer to using the present tense since it still worked when I
played it only a few years ago. This was only possible since Darreg
didn't waste his time making junk, no, Darreg built his instruments to
last throughout the ages.
It should also be mentioned that the commonly held beliefs that Bob
Moog "invented the synthesizer" in the 1960s are not correct either. I
love Bob and consider him as a father. This is not to put down his own
monumental contributions. It is just to set the record straight that 1936
is before the 1960s.
If not speaking of portable practical instruments, working
electrically based music synthesizers were built in 1897. And... even
before then, as many already know. None of these achieved regular musical
use though. This is in contrast to the awesome microtonal, portable, and
electronic keyboard synthesizer that Darreg built in 1936 and 1937 and
which continued to be actively used as a live performance instrument for
at least 46 more years, up to 1982. Its live street use spans the entire
history of modern keyboard instruments and its age, great tone, and
practical musical usability kick the butt of all the come-late academic
designers who were bogged down in debate until they got massive funding
to spend a bazillion dollars building the elitist RCA synthesizer at
Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in the 1950s and 1960s, one of
several well known havens for the children of the wealthy elite at the
time, kids like Vladimir Ussachevsky, Charles Wuorinen and the king of
the this field "Milton Babbit". While these guys were spending hours in
the lab having fun twiddling knobs to make a strange sound here and
there, and writing articles suggesting they were electronic music
pioneers or even the first synthesists, Darreg had already been rocking
out for 20 years as a working synthesist playing real music to live
Back to Helmholtz, the guy was super cool and chill. Despite typical
and normal exagerations and claims by the auctioneers, the price here is
probably a bargain for the right collector. 1905 era synthesizers are
rarer than Van Goghs (much as I love the guy).
Ivor's instrument though is truly the first of its kind, and there is only
one extant instrument. As such, it is probably worth 50 million dollars to
the collector's market becauce of its historical importance and rarity. It's
not like you can actually purchase a working 1897 Telharmonium. That instrument
simply doesn't exist any more. But one of Darreg's instruments, a 1937 build of
the 1936 Darreg Electronic Keyboard Oboe,
does still exist.
September 23 2014
"Follow the law in the first place so you don't get pulled over,"
says Capt. George Brown while explaining that women in Oklahoma can avoid getting
raped by police such as Officer Gerald Nuckolls simply by following the
law. He also helpfully notes that the squad cars have cameras, suggesting
that women who are raped by police while held in squad cars can be
assured that evidence of the interaction is being saved for posterity.
Perhaps it was meant as practical advice, but it comes across as
blaming the victims of violent predators who commit deprecations under
color of authority.
It's disappointing to see this window into the perspective of law
enforcement in Oklahoma. When their officers are discovered pulling
drivers over and then raping them, official police spokesmen look at the
situation in order to try to find what it is that the victim must have
done wrong. Rather than see the problem being with the rapist, their
reasoning and fault analysis discovers the problem to be the person who
forgets to wear their seat belt or engages in improper lane change. By
focusing entirely on the supposed wrongdoing of the person without a seat
belt, the police show us into their world and way of thinking,
explaining, and justifying any and all uses of their claimed authority.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for
2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary
efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between
peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision
of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Among other items, local police departments in the US have recently armed themselves with 79,288 assault rifles, 205 grenade launchers and 11,959 bayonets.
11,959 bayonets. Will the bayonets join chemical weapons to
be considered "common sense" and "basic needed tools" for the state's ongoing
war against the threat to their authority and civilization itself which they
consider to be represented by pro-democracy demonstrators? What arguments
will the majority of the pro-statist, pro-authoritarian american public
adopt next use to justify their enthusiastic, heartful and gleeful
support of the use of bayonets by soldier-police against demonstrators?
One can only imagine.
September 9 2014
ტრიო მანდილი - ზეცას შახენეო აპარეკავ
ტრიო მანდილი - რაჭული პოპური
ჯგუფი მანდილი - რაჭული
August 31 2014
Rap News 27 is out!
August 27 2014
Yulduz Usmonova - Devonalarmiz | Юлдуз Усмонова - Девоналармиз
A fascinating, challenging and intense new video from the fearless Yulduz Usmonova.
"I'm sick of these protesters. You are a burden on society and a blight on the community."
"These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night."
"Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them."
"I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, but I'm also a killer. I've killed a lot. And if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me. I have no problems with it."
"I'm into diversity -- I kill everybody. I don't care."
"There was a time in this country when pastors wore a military suit underneath their robe."
August 23 2014
We have known for a year now that the NSA has been tapping servers at
top internet companies. These companies have all issued denials that they
consented to or were aware of these programs.
Here is a statement in an NSA document from 2011:
All PRISM providers, except Yahoo and Google, were
successfully transitioned to the new Certifications. We expect Google and
Yahoo to complete transitioning by Friday 6 Oct.
In addition, these companies were paid by the NSA to help with costs.
[W]hen it comes to killing people from the skies, again and again air power has proven neither cheap nor surgical nor decisive nor in itself triumphant. Seductive and tenacious as the dreams of air supremacy continue to be, much as they automatically attach themselves to the latest machine to take to the skies, air power has not fundamentally softened the brutal face of war, nor has it made war less dirty or chaotic.
Indeed, by emboldening politicians to seek seemingly low-cost, Olympian solutions to complex human problems -- like Zeus hurling thunderbolts from the sky to skewer puny mortals -- it has fostered fantasies of illimitable power emboldened by contempt for human life. However, just like Zeus’s obdurate and rebellious subjects, the mortals on the receiving end of death from on high have shown surprising strength in frustrating the designs of the air power gods, whether past or present.
For those who resist, who dare to act independently, think for themselves, march to the beat of a different drummer, the consequences are invariably a one-way trip to the local jail or death.
What Americans must understand, what we have chosen to ignore, what we have fearfully turned a blind eye to lest the reality prove too jarring is the fact that we no longer live in the “city on the hill,” a beacon of freedom for all the world.
Far from being a shining example of democracy at work, we have become a lesson for the world in how quickly freedom turns to tyranny, how slippery the slope by which a once-freedom-loving people can be branded, shackled and fooled into believing that their prisons walls are, in fact, for their own protection.
The real perversion of justice by way of modern American racism is that
black people in Ferguson – like black people in the greater St Louis
metropolitan area and nationally – are marginalized economically and
physically from day one. That is the real looting of Ferguson.
Even more terrifying than these soldiers (often misleadingly called
militarized police) are the americans who defend this activity and claim
falsely that the US is a free country, or values justice.
The U.S. is a genocidal war regime. It is an illegitimate criminal
entity. Those who defend this particular version of the U.S. on any level
are depraved and delusional psychopaths. They are mentally ill.
A free america no longer exists. Whose fault is that? It is the rah rah
american police state defenders who make excuses for totalitarianism. The
police state defenders are the ones who truly "hate us for our freedom".
This mentality was present during the days of Jim Crow, through the red
scare, and through the era of lynchings. And it continues to infect
the minds and spirits of much of america. These people hate freedom.
They love authority, power, and abuse of power, believing it serves their
own interests. Until it turns to bite them, as it always does. Just
as Josef Stalin eventually betrayed those who supported him, so will
the defenders of the american police state themselves be betrayed by
the police state monster they themselves have created and celebrated
for decades. They are making their bed they will lay upon. Unfortunately
there is massive collateral damage of the innocent and those who hope for a better world.
Some may recall I was really excited to broadcast and discuss some
music from the works on this album when I was a guest on WRFU Radio Free
Urbana. Well the fancy high brow label version is finally out! Get it!
July 27 2014
Dildora Niyozova has been focusing on pop music, often with
identifiable nuances of traditional singing, but lately has released
several videos with a focus on classical and folk Transoxianian repertoire.
Dildora Niyozova - Sevgi | Дилдора Ниёзова - Севги
Here's a nice example of her pop style, which is also one of the videos showing
the immense influence of Cuban culture in Uzbekistan due to cultural exchanges
during the Soviet era, similar appearances and values of the people, and the symmetry of
the inverse relation between water and land between the two nations.
Cuba is known as Ozodlik Oroli, the Island of Freedom.
Dildora Niyozova - Yana yana
July 13 2014
This evening, upon returning home from a Maker's Fair, we encountered
some kids and a man standing in the middle of the road. The adult
held a shovel. We stopped and they moved something out of the way with a
stick. We moved slowly past and I looked down at the ground to see what they
There was a smallish yellow and black garter snake, about 3 feet long
lying on the side of the road, his head in position to see me. He was
still conscious, but his head had been partially hacked off with a shovel
and was bleeding.
A little innocent garter snake just out minding his business. Happily
eating mice that carry dangerous diseases like Lyme disease. Performing a
real service. Harming no one.
After securing my things at the house, I went back to talk to them and
explain that these snakes are harmless and helpful, but they were gone.
They had all gone up to the neighbor's house, carrying the now dead
snake. The neighbor was up there, with his gun holstered, glancing at me.
It was clear from the way they were showing the snake and he was
examining their work that he had sent them down to kill the snake. Some
years back this neighbor had previously threatened to harm my family,
while in the direct presence of his friend the Deputy Sheriff. I asked
the Deputy at the time if he had any opinion about that threat and he
told me, "To be serious it has to be more specific than that." This
neighbor doesn't take kindly to having any of his various killings and
schemes questioned, and often spends hours shooting his various guns, so
I chose not to proceed with the explanation of the snake's harmlessness,
which he knew anyway. The reason these people murder animals is because
of their distorted religious framework that calls for domination and
destruction of innocent creatures. I knew this because some years ago I
was in a field with him and his children and picked up a black snake and
they wanted me to kill it but I would not. I explained that these snakes
reduce disease, are harmless and helpful and something that you want more
of, not to harm. Their response to all these points was simply "Snakes
have the Devil in them."
Whether killing garden snakes, shooting little turtles, murdering indians,
or enslaving blacks, it's all the same philosophy and comes from the same place
and is an endemic theme of this colonialist culture. A place of immense evildoing
seeking to control, assimilate, enslave and destroy.
It's been a while since Lola Ahmedova's last video, glad to see a new one.
Lovely voice, very sentimental topics.
July 9 2014
Yulduz Usmonova - Yoningdaman | Юлдуз Усмонова - Ёнингдаман
Latest video from Yulduz Usmonova. For those not keeping up with the
super coolest stuff, Yulduz is especially interesting because after her
music was banned for being too activist, there was a great public outcry
and her music was restored. Inspired by the support of her fans to fight
the power, she ran for national Parliament and was readily elected. She's
also cool and approachable, maintaining her indigenous roots which are
apparent in some of her videos involving mountain tops. (This particular
one is more popish and follows the new bicycle trend started last
month by Munisa.)
I wonder if I am meant to put the wontons in at the beginning?
Or should I instead heat to thawing the broth packet first, and then put in the wontons?
No problem, let me check the instructions...
"Imagine yourself sitting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Central Thailand. You order a bowl of Tom Yam soup just the way YOU like it: spicy or not so spicy. With our True Thai Tom Yam Soup, you can have it either way. In addition to the frozen broth and package of spinach & mushroom filled wontons, in this package, you will find a packet of frozen lemon grass, Thai basil and chilis. Add what you like and leave out what you don't. In five minutes, you can be back on the banks of the river."
Um, I guess that means I should just add the wontons "whenever"? Cool.