February 20, 2006

reading list

I promised myself earlier this year that I would have a book going at all times so as to not forget how great it is to have this sort of added influence in my life. I have kept up with that promise relatively well - though I can't say I have actually read some every day, I'm not far off. Here's my most recent list:

One Good Turn - Witold Rybcynski
It's Not About the Bike - Lance Armstrong (etc)
Amsterdam - Ian McEwan
We the Media - Dan Gillmour
The Keep - Emily Wilson
Steal These Ideas - Steve Cone
When Things Start to Think - Neil Gershenfeld
My Faith So Far - Patton Dodd

Truth be told, these books were not all good. All were worth the read, but perusing 'Steal These Ideas' reminded me of why I am not very interested in big business any more. Little business is good, however. I will admit that the most surprising book on this list was the Armstrong memoir. I love to cycle and have a strong admiration for Lance as an athlete and as a person, but was skeptical that his writing would be in any way interesting. Turns out, his writing is pretty darn bad, BUT the story is so amazing, so uplifting and full of hope and poignant human interaction, that I found myself incredibly moved and inspired to be in this world. It truly isn't about the bike - I would recommend this book to anyone even if you hate cycling.

Today, I'm going to the Bedford Library to pick up a few of Paul Auster's masterpieces to dive into. I'm excited to reaquaint myself with his beautiful language and mesmerizing story-telling.

Posted by halsey at 10:17 AM

reading list

I promised myself earlier this year that I would have a book going at all times so as to not forget how great it is to have this sort of added influence in my life. I have kept up with that promise relatively well - though I can't say I have actually read some every day, I'm not far off. Here's my most recent list:

One Good Turn - Witold Rybcynski
It's Not About the Bike - Lance Armstrong (etc)
Amsterdam - Ian McEwan
We the Media - Dan Gillmour
The Keep - Emily Wilson
Steal These Ideas - Steve Cone
When Things Start to Think - Neil Gershenfeld
My Faith So Far - Patton Dodd

Truth be told, these books were not all good. All were worth the read, but perusing 'Steal These Ideas' reminded me of why I am not very interested in big business any more. Little business is good, however. I will admit that the most surprising book on this list was the Armstrong memoir. I love to cycle and have a strong admiration for Lance as an athlete and as a person, but was skeptical that his writing would be in any way interesting. Turns out, his writing is pretty darn bad, BUT the story is so amazing, so uplifting and full of hope and poignant human interaction, that I found myself incredibly moved and inspired to be in this world. It truly isn't about the bike - I would recommend this book to anyone even if you hate cycling.

Today, I'm going to the Bedford Library to pick up a few of Paul Auster's masterpieces to dive into. I'm excited to reaquaint myself with his beautiful language and mesmerizing story-telling.

Posted by halsey at 10:17 AM

February 16, 2006

reviewed

Thread Counts review in ArtsEditor

Considering that there are over twenty artists participating in this show, I'm pretty pleased to get such a large amount of real estate in the article (and positive too!)

Posted by halsey at 12:07 PM

February 14, 2006

Halsey vs. the abundant microbes

I'm not sure if I win or lose, but nonetheless, this seems to be this week's matchup on the Current Science and Technology podcast from Boston's Museum of Science. I was interviewed for the podcast back when I had my Bring Your Own Voice event at the Museum of Science and now it has been edited a bit and released officially.
Normally this podcast focuses on topics a bit more scientific - like those wonderful microbes - so there is a slightly more significant focus on the technology I use to write my music than in other interviews.

Halsey on the CS&T podcast

You can download the mp3 of the podcast by right clicking and 'Save as...' the above link, or if you are familiar with podcasting technology, you can subscribe to the CS&T podcast using iTunes or iPodder or some other podcasting software. Either way, you can skip over the abundant microbes or give them a listen too as they are interesting in an entirely different way.

Posted by halsey at 06:48 PM

February 13, 2006

I saw them, yesterday

I just completed the music for a short film over the weekend. Though I have written music for visuals of sorts before, this is my first official foray into this world. I actually enjoyed it quite a lot, though it was a challenge for sure. I have heard that often composers get upset having to be beholden to the director and the various on-screen cuts etc, but I thought the challenge of writing something for such a specific purpose was really interesting. And the collaboration between myself, the director/writer and producer was something very different for me, but I found welcome at this stage. I have spent so much time composing stuff with only myself to react to it along the way, it was interesting to get input from people who were equally invested but who were approaching the project with a different perspective.

The film is called 'The Fines' and is a fictionalized account of a man who returns to Boston for the first time after having lost his wife and daughter in the plane that left Boston on 9/11. It was produced by Central Productions in Cambridge and is going on the film festival circuit shortly with a screening at the White Sands Film Festival in New Mexico at the end of the month. Hopefully it will be screened at the Independent Film Festival of Boston in April, as it would be really fun to see it on the big screen and hear it in a theater.

Here's a taste of the music:

That was the credits music, so it's a bit less subtle than what's in the film itself, but is certainly related.

Posted by halsey at 09:10 AM

February 10, 2006

national and public

For those of you unable to wrestle your way through Real Player or podcasting, I have created an mp3 of my Weekend America feature which you can listen to online or download (right-click) to keep forever in a very special place.

Bring Your Own Voice on Weekend America - January 28th, 2006

Posted by halsey at 02:47 PM | Comments (1)

February 08, 2006

Variations on the Theme of Food

I wanted to let you all know about an exhibit that I am participating in which is currently on display at the GASP Gallery in Brookline, MA called the Thread Counts Project.

I am collaborating with the very talented and always creative artist Leah Gauthier on a project we are calling 'Variations on the Theme of Food'. We interviewed 24 people about their food likes and dislikes, traditions, memories, stories etc., and used these recordings as inspiration for the piece. I wrote music using the voices and Leah developed recipes inspired by each person which she will be cooking at the gallery in a series of performances from now until March 9th. We also created a space within the gallery for the music to be heard and the food to be cooked and consumed.
We hope to highlight - through these varied opinions - the huge variety that exists even among the common experience of eating that all human beings share. There is more about our thoughts as well as photos of the exhibition and much much more on the website we created for this project.

Variations on the Theme of Food website

You can check out what will be cooked each day and sign up to attend whichever of the performances sound yummy. Most of them will be; trust me.
You can hear the music I wrote here:

The Musical Variations

and here's a taste of Variation F:

It's over half an hour of music in total, but is broken down into six variations which are a bit more easily digested. So give them a listen and let me know what you think.

This is my first foray into doing more of an 'art' piece rather than purely music and it has been lots of fun. I will say that it was also quite challenging and left me questioning many things that I had not normally questioned, so that's a really good thing. I hope to do more collaboration in the future as well.

Posted by halsey at 02:16 PM