Wednesday 31 October 2007

Moon Calendar 2008

If you liked Moon Calendar 2007, you're going to love this - Moon Calendar 2008. If you're stuck for ideas for c.......s presents, you need look no further.

As before, it's available from Go-art in Amsterdam.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

My new playlist

My new playlist built using JW's Mediaplayer. I host my own swf files and playlist on Fileden. Next I'll look at linking in an RSS feed given very dynamic playlists.

Saturday 13 October 2007

Lolou at The Tower, Winchester

Lolou, a seven-piece band from Senegal played a wonderful set at the Tower Arts Centre, Winchester last night (as I write this, just after midnight). Lolou features a really great djembe player - Mamadou Sarr . That's a name to listen out for in the future.

Here's a playlist for the entire concert. Ten numbers and an incredible 1 hour 49 minutes (yes, 109 minutes) of great music. What a performance!

Mamadou, Kevin: If you read this - Great Set! I hope you like the recordings. The .wav files sound much better than these .mp3s, so get in touch if you'd like me to burn you a CD. (PS - Glad to hear that you liked the CDs).

I recorded the whole set as native .wav at 44.1 so they should sound pretty good. On the player above they are compressed at 96kbps (medium quality) to avoid drop-out when playing at busy times or on slow links.

For those of you with fast links, try this verison:

LOLOU: General Info
MySpace URL:

Band Members
Badou Ndiaye: Drums
Birame Seck : Lead Vocal
Mamadou Toure :Lead Vocal
Elhadji Seye : Bass
Jules Sow: Lead guitar
Kevin "Senegal": Keyboards
Mamadou Sarr : percussion [Djembe,Congas ]

UK Bookings through CTM.

Thursday 11 October 2007

Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival 2007 playlist

Here, all in one place, is the music I recorded in June at Essaouira.

BigBagStudios - Zig Zag - The series

For more from the guys over at BigBagStudios, visit their YouTube channel. You'll probably want to subscribe since they are pretty prolific.

Tuesday 9 October 2007

The Cloud Appreciation Society

I took this book called The Cloudspotter's Guide away with me on holiday to Italy last month and read it in a few days while sitting on the beach under a largely cloudless sky. Question to self - Is that Irony? Anyway, its a great read and better (in my opinion) than another book on clouds that I read a couple of years ago.

The Cloudspotter's Guide is written by a guy called Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who, believe it or not, is also the founder of the The Cloud Appreciation Society. If you like clouds, want to look at great photos or learn how they work, that's the place to go.

Here's a cloud that I photgraphed from my window a week or so back. Stratocumulus, I think.

Branching out into video

As you probably know if you've listened to any of the music I recorded this year, it's all audio-only. While the sound quality is usually pretty good - except for some unavoidable wind noise in Essaouira - the full-length videos that I post on YouTube never seem to get the number of plays that even short clips of the same piece get when accompanied by a video track. Maybe that's something to do with the media; people expect video on YouTube and are put-off if they don't get it.

Its not only that, though. The Essaouira festival is not just about music its also about dance and that over-worked word performance. I've been there five times not just because the music is great (which, of course, it is) but because the performance drags me back. And when I get home, I not only want to listen to the music again - which my recordings have allowed me to do - but I also want see again what I saw then. Yes, I know its not the same as being there - but it certainly helps.

That's why, I'm now seriously planning to move to video, and not only regular video but HD. That's High Definition to the uninitiated - i.e people like me, until a week ago.

Where to start is the problem. Audio quality and the ability to plug in external microphones is obviously a real necessity. So is low light sensitivity - especially for night-time concerts, Lilas and general street-shooting. Size and weight are also important - I don't really want to hold a 5lb camcorder for hours on end. And anyway - how can I film and dance at the same time? Do I need two cameras - a bigger, more functional one for me and and smaller, lighter one for Maggie? Do I really need HD or should I wait till that settles down a bit? Am I destined for the movie business or should I limit myself to audio? Do I really need interchangeable lenses? How important is SMPTE at this entry level? When will YouTube move to HD? Ever or never? Is size important?

As you can see, this post is all about questions, not answers. I'm doing my research and will make a decision soon. Maybe buy something for Maggie and see how I get one.

More later on this, but if any passing reader can answer any of these questions, please do.

Next year - VideoTime!

Wednesday 3 October 2007

Cinema and Movies.: Gnawa music in Essaouira,the soul music town in Morocco

There're some good photographs of the concert space at Bab Marrakeck during its initial set-up over on this blog posting Cinema and Movies.: Gnawa music in Essaouira,the soul music town in Morocco