We lost power Thursday, around 4:30pm, a couple of hours before Hurricane Katrina made landfall near the Miami-Dade – Broward county line. Someone needs to take FPL to task on this point. This pre-hurricane power failure issue was a bit lame. It’s definitely an argument for putting some power line underground.
Katrina, a catergory 1 hurricane, came, past and left us in the dark. We were underprepared, as were the rest of the city. Many trees toppled, around here, mainly Banyan (ficus). We fared well; we had the generosity of friends and family.
Katrina did go on to become a Category 5 hurricane. And places North of the Gulf of Mexico, like New Orleans, Biloxi and Gulf Port didn’t fare as well. They are going through devastation, from wind and flood, that renders our inconvenience to the degree of insignificance. As I write, NPR reports bad news to terrible news of tragedy and utter pain–no food, no drinkable water, no power, many people are missing, many of the dead are clearly visible and are on the street, looting in New Orleans, a little girl raped. It is crazy, scary and a bit unbearable. Martial law (state of emergency) has been declared. There is a real need out there. So I urge all to be a little bit less self-involved and help, anyway that you can.

iSAW hollers

Gustavo Matamoros wrote in an email:

The interdisciplinary Sound Arts Workshop is issuing a call for works
in surround sound format to be exhibited at the Miami Beach Cinematheque.

The interdisciplinary Sound Arts Workshop is launching a new project
in collaboration with Miami Beach Cinematheque we call the “Surround
Sound Gallery.” The project will feature audio pieces submitted to us
in 5.1 surround audio format from composers and sound artists in response
to specific themes in the Cinematheque’s programming. The selected works
for each exhibit will be on display before and after every film for a month.


A month-long retrospective of the films of David Lynch culminating Halloween weekend with a site specific, Lynch-inspired SÉANCE project.

This ten-part silent-film inspired movie will exhibited as individual peepshows.

Celebrating “Women History Month” the surround sound gallery will display the work of women composers and sound artists. The surround exhibit will accompany a photographic collage exhibition by women about women.

Interested artists should submit 5.1 DVD’s, bio and press materials to:

iSAW’s Surround Sound Gallery Project
PO Box 01-5298
Miami, FL 33101-5298

Materials not accepted for the exhibits, will be deposited in the iSAW experimental sound archive for later use. Artists will be contacted if and when the opportunity arises.

Please spread the word! Thanks!

gustavo matamoros
director interdisciplinary Sound Arts Workshop
305 981 0600 ? isaw@earthlink.net

[:: LOCATION ::]
iSAW is located at 12355 NE 13 AVENUE #206 in NORTH MIAMI, FL 33161

From: I-95 –> NW 125th street [EAST]–> NE 13th Avenue
(one street before railroad tracks) [SOUTH]–>
12355 NE 13 AVE (on your left hand side)

From: Biscayne –> 123rd street [WEST]–> NE 13th AVE
(one street pass railroad tracks) [SOUTH]–>
12355 NE 13 AVE (on your left hand side)


Saturday edition

We listen to a lot of radio around here. We don’t watch tv at home, we primarily do Netflix and the library. Television is too expensive really and besides, I want to get tv à la carte.
< dream > I want about 5 or 6 channels and want to pay about $10 a month. I want to be able to switch those 5-6 channels from the pool of avaliable channels and I want this as part of an open DVR package. For no more than $10 a month. < /dream >

Until that happens, radio will continue to be dominant aroung here. I am not sure how dominant radio is really. We mainly listen to WLRN, our local NPR affiliate. I also listen to some of University of Miami‘s, WVUM; but the current wvum-DJs are just too young. Some of them sounds like that they have just discovered Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. And they just talk about crap like being too tired from partying. And times, they play the same music day after day. They also missed their own shows, and so, a tape show is played. Sometimes, the same tape show is played several times a day for sereral months. Yeah, wvum can be a bit annoying.

Saturday is good day for radio, though. The highlight of the saturday line-up is Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, WaitWait…Don’t Tell Me, Marketplace: Money, Weekend America, On the Media, A Prarie Home Companion and Weekend Jazz. It’s a lot of listening, but listening is developable skill.

Knowledge à la carte

At the library.

I love libraries, private or public. I love to browse people’s libraries, to determine something about them. Not necessarily evaluating how smart or well-read they are, but taking notes on what do they buy, what do they collect, what pattern emerges, what book seems to be read often and what seems to be overlooked.

The real fun occurs at the public library. We have a very good one, here in Miami. It has always been a place I can go kill a few hours, browsing and discovering. I spend a lot hours in the 700 (The arts) section and the records bin. Part of my jazz listening education was supplemented by records and tapes borrowed from the library. More recently, I have been borrowing DVDs from the library. They have a good number of Criterion Collection films. The library also subscribe to Film Movement, a dvd-of-the-month club for independent and foreign films. We saw Hop from that series. A very cool film about africans in Belgium fighting the immigration system with the help of an anarchist.

I met a fellow artist at the library, in the DVD section; and she said that she might suspend her Netflix rentals as the library is providing her with all the movies she needs. That would not work for us, but the library does provide us with many children movies and some films like Taxi Driver that I have been taking apart. And that is what I wanted to write about. The library being an essential place for the ‘open source’ and ‘free culture’ movements. I heard a nice argument from Lawrence Lessig, yesterday on the radio show ‘Weekend America, for the need of younger generations to stand on the shoulders of giants and for that younger generation to be able to peek at the underlining of all works to see and learn how things are put together be able to innovate, create or simply imitate. Libraries are great, because they make available materials for one’s pleasure–reading, learning, hacking, probing truths, investigating wrongs and determining self, all for ‘free’. And I am mean free, as in free beer and free speech. There is a tangential matter to discuss, that has to do with The Patriot Act and other restrictions that are being imposed on/by libraries. I’ll discuss that on another day.

The piece in Weekend America also talked about how Virgil wrote poems based on Homer’s poems. The radio show talked about this in the context of remixes and mash-ups. But there is the idea of crafting something new out of what already exists and it resides in the thinly separated region of imitation, interpretation, appropriation and plagiarism. The ‘Free Culture’ movement simply asks that authors and other corporate entities to be less litigious and allow contemporary Virgils to play with the works of contemporary Homers.

free culture t-shirt

Riding around town

I have been thinking about Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver for a while now, since I saw it last. I was really impressed by the way filmmakers moved about the city. Many elements, from Bernard Herrmann‘s score to the cinematography and generally Scoresese’s choices, are superb. There is a good sense of movement and rhythm. This is Herrmann’s last score and it is very impressive–conveying subtlety and a metered pace of an unhurried cab. (Terence Blanchard‘s score for Spike Lee‘s 25th Hour also had a very good pacing and measured beat; I’ll compare these two scores later.)

Pimps of nyc.

Driving around nyc.  Texas chainsaw massacre in the theatre,

One interesting note from Wikipedia:

In the original screenplay Sport, as well as other minor characters, were black. Scorsese thought that this would make the film appear to be racist, and they were changed to white roles.