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Gathered here are thoughts on literature, technology, education, religion, culture and anything else that interests me. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Please note, comments are (currently) unmoderated.

PonoPlayer, Chilli Kebabs, and the End of HiFi in an Instagram World

Over the past week or so there’s been quite a bit of coverage given to Neil Young’s announcement at SXSW of a Kickstarter to raise money for the ‘PonoPlayer’ – a super-hi-fidelity music player that hopes to rival the iPod, and blow people away with the quality of music reproduction. Aside from my opinion that [...]

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Copyrights Expiring on The Beatles | Mutiny and Music

Interesting piece here exploring the fact that today ‘Please Please Me’ – the hit that really made the band famous – has gone into the public domain, as its 50 year copyright period has expired. The article takes the view that this is a tragedy, one that leaves The Beatles’ music open to exploitation. Anything [...]

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Beating the Bounds: Pussy Riot and Orthodox Pirate Practice

Been meaning to write something on Pussy Riot for a while now. I’ve been reflecting on how their protest resonates with the ancient practice of ‘beating the bounds.’ Traditionally, each year, members of a parish would march around the parish boundary, often singing hymns and songs. The ritual served two purposes. Firstly, it passed on [...]

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Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary – Free Mutiny! Chapter Download

The Rolling Stones celebrate 50 years since their first gig today… a gig at which they moaned ‘We’re a blues band, I hope no one thinks we’re going to play rock and roll…’ Since that time they have sold hundreds of millions of records and made ridiculous amounts of money… all out of ripping off [...]

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In the Beginning… Wasn’t the Word | Kind of Blue

Driving back from Suffolk yesterday I had on a podcast from Radiolab, which took the subject of ‘colour’ as a launchpad into various pieces. One of them was the fascinating idea of tetra-chromatics, women (and can only be women) who are born with 4 different receptor cones in their eyes – Red, Blue, Green…and Yellow. [...]

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Thoughts On Music Piracy… Gift, Copyright and Technology

One of the issues that people have immediately jumped on when I have told them I’m writing about piracy is the thorny issue of pirated music. I know quite a few people who make a living from recording music, and clearly this is a big issue for them because it gets to the heart of [...]

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Taste in the Age of Universal Access

Nick Hornby’s column ‘Stuff I’ve Been Reading‘ in the McSweeney’s writing mag The Believer is always the thing I turn to first, and this month’s (well, March/April – but it has to be rowed across the Atlantic in a bath tub, it seems) is one of the best for ages. He is ostensibly writing about [...]

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Holographic Resurrection | Tupac, R2D2 and Pirate Performance

I have to say, I’m pretty stunned… I really didn’t know this was yet possible, but there’s a great piece in The Independent today about the holographic resurrection of Tupac Shakur at the recent Coachella festival – using technology developed by the British firm Musion. The footage above – start around 15 seconds in – [...]

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The Society of the Spectacle(s)

Ended up going to see Orbital last night – some nice throwback tunes in the rather odd, but acoustically brilliant Royal Albert Hall. The gig was good, but as is normal with this sort of ‘live’ electronic stuff, there’s not a lot to look at musically, and with the beats going around my mind starting [...]

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Should Musicians Get Paid?

As part of the book I’m writing at the moment I’ve been reading and thinking quite a lot about the idea of what ‘property’ is, and how this relates to the arts – and music in particular. Just the other day a new legal ruling was passed that ensured that ageing crooners like Sir Cliff [...]

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