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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Music, class, computers

I got a basic guitar instruction book, so I'm actually learning to read music. This was one of the things I put on my list of "long term personal-satisfaction" things I need to do, so its nice to be making progress. Also I note that its strangely satisfying to be reading and playing even very simple music. I experienced something like it playing guitar hero a year ago; you get into this zone where you are responding to the instructions on the screen without thought. Its as if your eyeballs are plugged directly into your fingers, it feels like the game is playing you. I imagine that the potential depth of that experience is much greater when reading and playing actual music, rather than pretend guitar. I'd be interested to know if skilled musicians have any sort of that feeling.

Matt and I were gonna play at open mic night at Babba Budans last thursday. I was super excited, I figure it would be a nice, low pressure way to play in front of people for the first time, and I was expecting that the crowd would be sparse. Turns out, thier open mic night is rather well attended, and mostly hip-hop oriented. I chickened out. It would have been cool if we had something defined and high-energy to play, but the aimless jamming that we've been doing would have been out of place (however cool it sounded). So Rick's had the brilliant idea that we should just roll with it: he'll come into town on a thursday and play bass, I'll do guitar, and Matt can freestyle and do keyboard. Matt's freestyling is remarkably good, I think it'll be a well-received performance.

I finally figured out how to change the PATH variable in my BASH environment again. I had figured it out a year ago when I was trying to get the NUPIC software to work, and now I actually have to use it for class to run GAMS. Ironically the windows version has a nice GUI and the Mac version has none at all, but I want to be able to use the software without starting my Parallels virtual machine. Also I want to actually know unix.