January 30, 2006

more copyright ridiculousness

Apparently some stage directors are trying to sue for copyright infringement when a subsequent performance of a play uses any of their 'original' stage direction. This ME ME ME attitude makes me sick...

a salient excerpt from the sensible side of the argument:

"But that does not mean, he argued, that the director owns his work, any more than an actor does. Not everything creative is copyrightable. The repercussions, he said, would be too dire. If each director's staging of a relatively new play had copyright protection, very soon there would be no staging options left. The play would become so encumbered with licenses, or the risk of lawsuits, that it would be impossible to produce — a net loss to the culture. Even classic works like "Romeo and Juliet" might gradually be removed from the public domain, thus perverting the aim of copyright law, which is to increase the flow of ideas and artwork by providing an incentive to their creators. "If Leonard Bernstein had been in a position to copyright his interpretation of Mahler," Mr. Weidman asked, "would another conductor who thought that interpretation was right, and then conducted Mahler in the same way, be stealing from Bernstein?" "


Here's the full article:

Exit, Pursued by a Lawyer

Posted by halsey at 08:52 AM

January 28, 2006

the dawn of Saturday

Download: Until I'm Ready

I wrote this piece specifically for the public radio program Weekend America. In fact, it will be broadcast today along with some audio documentation of my process and of a Bring Your Own Voice event.
I've always thought that the whole notion of a weekend and the five days on, two days off schedule of our culture is interesting. Some people I know are no different from weekday to weekend day, but others act like entirely different people when they are free of the confines that their jobs or school put on them.
Weekend America, as the name suggests, focuses on weekends and how people use them etc, so this topic was clearly appropriate for this piece.

To answer some questions:

Where did all the voices come from?
All of the spoken voices were collected two weeks ago at a Bring Your Own Voice event at the Museum of Science in Boston. The MoS is a significant weekend destination in Boston, especially for kids and families, so I was able to collect a ton of voices ranging from 5 to 75 years old.

What's up with all the horns?

I thought saxes and trumpet would provide a nice upbeat sort of weekend feel. It is really fun to arrange horns as well.

It sounds like that kid is singing "It's Saturday, the..." throughout the piece. I thought you only ask people to speak, not sing?

This was one of those amazing moments that happens sometimes as I'm arranging and listening to the voice recordings. The thing is, that kid didn't sing those words at all, and if you listen to them in context, they could easily pass you by as not terribly interesting. But when I put them on their own and stuck them in with the music, all of a sudden it was as if I'd asked him to sing a set melody. He was in key and tempo to what I had already written. When things like that happen, I know I must be doing something right.

How do you feel about Sunday evenings?
I used to not be such a big fan of them when I had a 'real' job, I will admit. I wouldn't feel dread exactly, but there would be some sort ofrestricting feeling that would pass through me when thinking about the reality of Monday morning. Nowadays, I am working for myself which more than anything means that I work on the weekends, so there isn't much difference at all between my weeks and weekends. Of course, the work is fun, so it's ok. There was an elderly gentleman who stated in his recording that his weeks and weekends weren't all that different either. But this was because he was retired and relaxed all the time. That sounds nice.

Do you wear pajamas?

Not any more.

Posted by halsey at 12:45 PM

the dawn of Saturday

Download: Until I'm Ready

I wrote this piece specifically for the public radio program Weekend America. In fact, it will be broadcast today along with some audio documentation of my process and of a Bring Your Own Voice event.
I've always thought that the whole notion of a weekend and the five days on, two days off schedule of our culture is interesting. Some people I know are no different from weekday to weekend day, but others act like entirely different people when they are free of the confines that their jobs or school put on them.
Weekend America, as the name suggests, focuses on weekends and how people use them etc, so this topic was clearly appropriate for this piece.

To answer some questions:

Where did all the voices come from?
All of the spoken voices were collected two weeks ago at a Bring Your Own Voice event at the Museum of Science in Boston. The MoS is a significant weekend destination in Boston, especially for kids and families, so I was able to collect a ton of voices ranging from 5 to 75 years old.

What's up with all the horns?

I thought saxes and trumpet would provide a nice upbeat sort of weekend feel. It is really fun to arrange horns as well.

It sounds like that kid is singing "It's Saturday, the..." throughout the piece. I thought you only ask people to speak, not sing?

This was one of those amazing moments that happens sometimes as I'm arranging and listening to the voice recordings. The thing is, that kid didn't sing those words at all, and if you listen to them in context, they could easily pass you by as not terribly interesting. But when I put them on their own and stuck them in with the music, all of a sudden it was as if I'd asked him to sing a set melody. He was in key and tempo to what I had already written. When things like that happen, I know I must be doing something right.

How do you feel about Sunday evenings?
I used to not be such a big fan of them when I had a 'real' job, I will admit. I wouldn't feel dread exactly, but there would be some sort ofrestricting feeling that would pass through me when thinking about the reality of Monday morning. Nowadays, I am working for myself which more than anything means that I work on the weekends, so there isn't much difference at all between my weeks and weekends. Of course, the work is fun, so it's ok. There was an elderly gentleman who stated in his recording that his weeks and weekends weren't all that different either. But this was because he was retired and relaxed all the time. That sounds nice.

Do you wear pajamas?

Not any more.

Posted by halsey at 12:45 PM

January 26, 2006

who's Randy?

Well, there's always something erroneous, but this is a fact of celebrity that I am coming to terms with (ha ha ha...). Here's a review I got in the current issue of Northeast Performer Magazine. It's pretty favorable, and I am grateful for the coverage.
Go here and scroll to the bottom:

Performermag.com reviews

or just read below, as this link will only include my review during the current issue.

======================

Aesthetic Evidence — Words and Voices
Recorded by Randy Halsey Burgund at home
Additional recording and mixing by Rafi Sofer
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering


Aesthetic Evidence’s debut album, Words and Voices, makes use of conversations, phrases and other vocal fragments while incorporating an array of electronic, ambient, pop, jazzy, and progressive musical compositions. It’s all merely a background for the collage that Halsey Burgund, Aesthetic Evidence’s only member, creates with loops.

In “The Truth is Out,” Burgund begins with the recording of a woman who is checking the microphone by saying, “Halsey, you’re the hottest man I’ve ever seen” against a single and almost creepy string. Burgund pauses, gasps and says, “You don’t know how excited I am to have that on tape!” The song continues with three loops of “Halsey, you’re the hottest man” and then one “I’ve ever seen” repeated throughout the song, with a simple foot-tapping, hip-hop beat that eventually leads into a powerful combination of drums, bass and keyboard.

Words and Voices’ style might seem very similar to that of the Books, but Burgund makes a point of sticking only to samples of the human voice and using them to create a true collage that connects seamlessly and deeply with the music.

This collage of words against original music with a great beat, makes Words and Voices a genuine musical work of art by Aesthetic Evidence. It is music dedicated to something other than the band’s girlfriends and personal hardships; it is dedicated to this thing that humans often take for granted: speaking.

Recently, Burgund worked on a project called “Bring Your Own Voice,” where people could enter a mobile plywood recording booth he built, and record their random ruminations. Eventually, the samples would be layered over Burgund’s musical compositions. On the project’s website, www.bringyourownvoice.com, Burgund explains his fascination with people’s voices by saying, “Your voice is unique. Your voice is a fingerprint of yourself. The way you intone words, the speed you speak, the inflections you use are all part of a unique aural fingerprint that identifies you as an individual.” (self-released)

Posted by halsey at 12:13 PM

January 23, 2006

marketing

I've known for some time that my gaggle of websites has been causing confusion, especially when introducing someone to my music for the first time. It's either aevidence.com for this or bringyourownvoice.com for that etc etc...you see the issue.
No longer. I have finally built halseyburgund.com as a consolidated jump page for people to go to initially when curious about what I do. Really all it is is a page with links to my projects and some recent news, but I hope that by creating a central entry point, this will minimize confusion.

So check it out and let me know what you think.

the new and exciting halseyburgund.com

Posted by halsey at 08:24 AM | Comments (2)

January 14, 2006

reading list

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything Is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer
The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
Still Life With Oysters and Lemon - Mark Doty
FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop--From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication - Neil Gershenfeld

This FAB book is pretty eye-opening. Gershenfeld goes into significant detail to describe how personal fabrication laboratories are a reality of today and how they can be used to enable individuals to design and create physical things that they want or need. We are all used to the powers of computers and how we can create digital 'things' using them, but this book shows how technology has progressed to the point at which we can take these highly customized digital designs and actually turn them into real-life objects that will, in fact, perform the functions we intended for them. Gershenfeld has set up "Fab Labs" in under-developed parts of the world and has seen amazing results of the empowerment these tools give people to help themselves out of their difficult situations. This is powerful stuff, and could possibly be a MAJOR factor in the global fight against hunger and poverty. Very exciting.

And in the words of Alan Alda "I don’t care what anyone says, being able to email a bicycle is a paradigm shift." Yes, it is.

Posted by halsey at 10:14 AM

January 10, 2006

listening list

Dominic Frasca - Deviations
Konomo No. 1 - Congotronics
Gutbucket - whatever they let me download from their site
Philip Glass - Heroes Symphony
Beethoven - String Quartets

I have been on a big Philip Glass kick lately. Thankfully, the Minuteman Library Network seems to have quite a number of his cds available, and even more thankfully, they have reinstated inter-library loan of audio-visual materials. It was pretty tough there for a while being restricted to borrowing exclusively from the Bedford Library. In any case, Mr. Glass is pretty amazing. Some of his stuff is better than others, for sure, but his style is remarkably unique and is amazing how influential it has been over the past 40 years and how it has wormed its way into our collective ears.

Posted by halsey at 02:11 PM

January 08, 2006

BYOV Anniversary!

Today is the day I held my first public Bring Your Own Voice event. It has been a long and eventful year, but don't worry, I won't recount it all for you here. I'll just note this fact, give you a few key stats, and hope that the second year of BYOV is fruitful and fun as well.

Thank you everyone who has participated in any form. Your support is invaluable.


# of events - 10
# of voices recorded - 233
# of songs written - 8 (completed)
degree of fame attained - still working on that...


the booth started out looking like this:

orig_booth_mask_sm.png

and now looks more like this:

mos_booth_mask_sm.png

I think it's no worse for the wear...

Posted by halsey at 06:55 PM

January 04, 2006

a new stack

Life is better when you are reading a book. Maybe I'll make it a new year's resolution (not that I really believe in such things) to always have a book going and to try to read at least a few pages a day. I've been doing this recently and I have really noticed a difference in my life. By simply having this additional input of something - a story, new facts, scientific reasoning, a remarkable character - into my brain on a regular basis, I have found that I feel much more intellectually stimulated.

I am currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, which is fascinating, and I find that though I only spend maybe 20-30 minutes a day actually reading it, the content is going in and out of my head all day, mixing with everything else I have going on including music marketing, my new song, artist statements etc etc. It also gives me a treat to look forward to.

Now that I don't have a real job, I am finding myself at home, alone, much of the time, and pathetic as it seems, having a book going is an important way for me to have the external stimulus that perhaps I am missing by not interacting with a variety of people quite as much. I get excited when I look at my stack of new books to be read that I got for Christmas. There's some good ones in there, I think!

I've always had a steady flow of new music into my life, as that comes more naturally to me. But books are different; and very welcome. The strange thing is that everything I have just written about, I have known for some time; I just seem to forget it somehow. I get caught up in my life and forget about things that are important that don't come naturally. Maybe part of the problem is that I force myself to finish books even if I don't like them, resulting in the pace of my reading slowing asymptotically to zero. I need to stop this habit. I am grateful that I have been recently reminded that reading really is fundamental.

Posted by halsey at 07:02 PM

a new stack

Life is better when you are reading a book. Maybe I'll make it a new year's resolution (not that I really believe in such things) to always have a book going and to try to read at least a few pages a day. I've been doing this recently and I have really noticed a difference in my life. By simply having this additional input of something - a story, new facts, scientific reasoning, a remarkable character - into my brain on a regular basis, I have found that I feel much more intellectually stimulated.

I am currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, which is fascinating, and I find that though I only spend maybe 20-30 minutes a day actually reading it, the content is going in and out of my head all day, mixing with everything else I have going on including music marketing, my new song, artist statements etc etc. It also gives me a treat to look forward to.

Now that I don't have a real job, I am finding myself at home, alone, much of the time, and pathetic as it seems, having a book going is an important way for me to have the external stimulus that perhaps I am missing by not interacting with a variety of people quite as much. I get excited when I look at my stack of new books to be read that I got for Christmas. There's some good ones in there, I think!

I've always had a steady flow of new music into my life, as that comes more naturally to me. But books are different; and very welcome. The strange thing is that everything I have just written about, I have known for some time; I just seem to forget it somehow. I get caught up in my life and forget about things that are important that don't come naturally. Maybe part of the problem is that I force myself to finish books even if I don't like them, resulting in the pace of my reading slowing asymptotically to zero. I need to stop this habit. I am grateful that I have been recently reminded that reading really is fundamental.

Posted by halsey at 07:02 PM

January 03, 2006

The Sonic Body

I thought this was pretty cool. The idea of walking through a super-size model of the insides of the human body while triggering recordings of the actual sounds that our bodies make sounds like a really neat experience. I suppose it might be gross at times, but I have an affinity for things that are both scientific and artistic.

Check it out:

Mapping the Body Through Sound

It would be fun to write some music with some of these sounds. Of course, Einsturzende Neubauten used their own heartbeat sounds a long time ago in their music, but I bet there are some other more subtle rhythms and sounds that would be really cool to use.

Posted by halsey at 08:30 AM