“And the trees when bare reveal their true form

As do our souls

So let your leaves fall

Let them fall for me”


On Thanksgiving:

I’m so thankful that a holiday exists which masks the shameful, disgusting nature of my binge eating disorder… Blessings



Alter, Re-Purpose, Repeat

The implementation of remix in today’s world is more widespread than many know, or would dare to believe. I’ve found that movies, music, television, virtually anything you can imagine could potentially fall into the category of a remix. Is anything completely original (ie: free of any outside source of inspiration)? In Rhythm Science Dj Spooky stated that “many movie soundtracks sound like heavy handed treatments of The Ring Cycle’s Overtures”. Upon further inspection, it becomes clear that he is correct in this assertion. He goes on to say that “Rhythm science uses and endless recontextualizing as a core compositional strategy, and some of the generation’s most important artists continually remind us that there are innumerable ways to arrange the mix.”

To me the changing same is his way of expressing, in short, his major ideas which I have reiterated above. It makes reference to the fact that we look to the past when creating, because of the sense of familiarity that it provides. We don’t necessarily draw our inspiration from the present moment. That’s not to say that our creation completely unoriginal, in fact it is original in the creative differences you incorporate.

I feel as though the concepts outlined in Rhythm Science can be applied to different facets of our lives as well. I was struck when Dj Spooky made reference to technologies integral role in society, and I agree wholeheartedly. The term ‘remix’ can apply to most anything. The shirt you’re wearing, initially made of ‘god knows what’, has been remixed and altered using polyester, cotton, silk, or any number of other materials to create something that still resembles the original. From a technological standpoint, products are made, altered, then re-purposed, altered again, and then re-purposed yet again. The cycle of progression never slows. It is past learning allows future advances to be made. Remix shouldn’t be seen as a cheap alteration of the original, but as a potential growth in the genre in which it resides.

For our final projects, we are asked to make remixes of our class archive. We will be creating works of art from our classmates content. How can we alter the archive to create something new; to re-purpose it to tell a unique story, and elicit emotional responses all its own. How can we make these remixes stand alone as one cohesive whole?



Navigation Made Easy

Well you know what they say, better late than… or, I’ll be late for my own… you get the idea. I know that the early bird gets the worm, but if you ask me a worm is a pretty crappy prize for consistent punctuality. Worms gross me out. It would work better if it was like “the early man gets to avoid the rage induced blood pressure spike caused by morning rush hour traffic” or “the early Instagram addict gets to post the days first Pumpkin Spice Latte pic”. Bear with me, I get off track easily.

Okay, so on the off chance you’re still reading this, allow me to say that all of your DIY posts were truly helpful. I hope some of the quick tips I outline can be, at the very least, more useful than the picture of that coffee your friend Courtney just posted.

Here We Go:

Zooming Without The Magnifying Glass

  • Pressing “Cmd-1” / “Ctrl-1” allows you to zoom in on the specific point where your cursor is placed
  • Press “Cmd-3” / “Ctrl-3” to quickly zoom out
  • Both of the above can be pressed until the desired zoom level is reached
  • “Cmd-2” / “Ctrl-2” allows you to return to the standard zoom level
  • “Cmd-f” / “Ctrl-f” makes it so that your whole project fits horizontally into the window (the longer and more complex the project, the more useful this shortcut is)
  • “Shift-cmd-f” / “Shift-ctrl-f” makes it so that the whole project fits vertically into your window. You’ll be able to see how all your tracks line up with each other more clearly after using this shortcut
  • Also, If you’re using a mouse with a scrollwheel you can place the cursor over the area you want, hold “Cmd” / “Ctrl”, and use the wheel to bring the selection in or out.
  • Hold “Shift” and use the scrollwheel to quickly move horizontally through your timeline

Jump To A Specific Time In Your Project

  1. Enable the selection toolbar by pressing “View Menu > Toolbars > Selection Toolbar”
  2. Enter a time under “Selection Start”
  3. Press the Spacebar twice
  4. The view will jump to your selected location

Learn More!

  1. Go to the Audacity Menu > Preferences
  2. Go to “Keyboard” to learn, set, or change the shortcuts
  3. Go to “Mouse” to learn, set, or change  the shortcuts associated with your mouse

I hope you are now leaving this post better equipped to efficiently create your Audacity projects. These little tricks have saved me some time, and I think they will do the same for you!

“The other day I entered 10 puns into a pun contest. None of them won. No pun in 10 did.” I’ll uhhhh…yeah I was just leaving


Talking in the Dark

For this, Blog post #10, I am choosing to touch on the importance of Radiolab’s: Behind the Scenes making of a podcast. I view myself as being a good listener in the traditional sense, but had never listened to a podcast up to this point. This podcast appealed to me because I feel as though it preps the inexperienced listener, and gives some background on the genres creation. 

My preconceived notion of a podcast had relegated this genre of digital composition to being strictly spoken word. I now know that that couldn’t be further from the truth. In the case of Radiolab it begins by meeting with ‘some guy’ who wants to meet with them. The audio is recorded, usefulness is determined, and then the clips are arranged. They then record (and often re-record) they’re prepared inputs on the topics being discussed. Jad described the creative process as being one which treats the clips as musical objects that need to be arranged properly and scored. I can’t help but make a comparison between scoring a podcast audio track, and scoring a movie. In my eyes, or rather my ears, the two have some distinct similarities. The primary goal is to elicit the desired emotional response, whatever that response may be.  The varied sounds and music that are used really propel the project forward, and aid in preventing boredom or confusion. Proper scoring may be even more vital in a podcast because there isn’t any clarity provided from a visual representation of the words being spoken.

There is substantially more that goes into the creation of a podcast than I had originally thought. Carefully planned choices seem to be of paramount importance in this genres creation. Another important learning experience I gained from Jad and Robert was through the polished, yet informal vibe of it all. Everything was edited precisely with its accompanying music or sound, but all the while never lost its conversational tone. In order to accomplish this, there must be a certain level of comfort between those who are speaking. I can imagine that nothing would be more boring than a stiff podcast which lacks authenticity.

Overall, I want my audio documentary to portray ‘me’ in as accurate a light as possible. How can we create documentaries on ourselves which are both intriguing, and objective? Does the recording device need to be left running in order to better produce authentic content? Careful reflection is needed to come to these creative decisions.



Refined Design. Patagonia

For this blogpost I am choosing to speak about the website layout and concept for the retailer – Patagonia. I previously had never visited their site, but upon viewing, was struck by the beauty that lies in the simplistic nature of its layout. I hope to use elements incorporated in their design when I go on to create my own website

Let me explain:

Patagonia is a clothing retailer, which has taken a more minimalistic approach to the design of their website. The background of the main page cycles between 5 photos. When you hover over the photos and click you will be taken to the place where Patagonia sells the clothing being depicted in use in said photo. In terms of the opening 5 images, some are embedded with video links that house pertinent information. Much of their product is geared towards the avid outdoorsman, or woman. As such, the pictures help illustrate some of natures beauty.

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The top left of the site has “Shop Clothing & Gear”, and “Inside Patagonia” tabs. The top right houses a search bar and a space to view your cart, sign in, or sign up. The “Shop Clothing & Gear” tab is of particular interest to me due to its location and content. We read from top to bottom, and from left to right. Since this is the case my eyes draw me to clicking here first. Under this tab you can find all of the different things they sell broken down into highly descriptive categories.

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Under the “Inside Patagonia” tab you can read testimonials, find information about their corporate social responsibility, view their blog, and links to all their social media accounts; among other things.

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The drop down menus are white with black lettering, which is a stark contrast to the images of the natural world being displayed behind them. Navigation through the site is extremely easy, and I feel as though this works for Patagonia and the overall brand message they are trying to convey. Thankfully they do not have an overly complex user interface, because their cliental would likely not appreciate it. The people buying their clothing would much rather be out enjoying the world – Patagonia’s clothing and site help facilitate that enjoyment.

When reflecting on what I want in my website, I can’t help but be torn. A flashy and complex website, while aesthetically pleasing, detracts from my ability to display important information on it. I really enjoy the outdoors, and have recently taken up some ‘extreme’ sports. I hope to use drop down menus to increase the ease of navigation, while also making use of beautiful pictures of the natural world in my design.



Using the ‘Oil Painting’ Effect

In previous versions of Photoshop you had to use a plugin to create an ‘Oil Painting’ effect, but in Photoshop CS6 it is built in. This effect softens an image and makes it resemble a painting more so than a traditional photograph. It is both quick and easy to learn how to do!

High resolution images will work better, however any image can be used.

To Start:

1. Right click and duplicate your layer so you have your original image to refer back to.

2. Make sure your top layer is selected, then click ‘Filter’ –> ‘Oil Paint’

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3. From the settings options that appear on the right do the following (exact numbers may differ from image to image; this is a guide):

  • Stylization – 8.96
  • Cleanliness – 3.5
  • Scale – 8.96
  • Bristle Detail – 2.2
  • Angular Direction – 244-245
  • Shine – 0

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At this point your image should be starting to resemble an ‘Oil Painting’.

4. Duplicate the layer you just worked with, and set the fill to roughly 80%

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5. Now select ‘Filter’ –> ‘Other’ –> ‘High Pass’

  • Set to about 190 (adjust to your liking)

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Click ‘OK’ and you can toggle between your layers to see the before and after effects of using this tool. It really does help reduce shine and give a nice finished product that could be useful for our projects!

Link to Video: