After some holiday visits and such, I’m back at my desk with some posts to round out the year. Today’s post is a neat encapsulation of the planet’s population and stats showing what our world would look like if we were reduced to 100 people representative of our current makeup. The site I’m referencing from, 100people.org, bills itself as a global educational toolbox and has a lot of neat info, pics, videos and stories of our planet’s now 7 billion human inhabitants. You can view the stats page here. The info has been updated and there are many surprising changes just in the last five years. Here’s what they’ve come up with:
If the World were 100 PEOPLE:
50 would be female
50 would be male
26 would be children
There would be 66 adults,
8 of whom would be 65 and older
83 would be able to read and write; 17 would not
7 would have a college degree
22 would own or share a computer
77 people would have a place to shelter them
from the wind and the rain, but 23 would not
If no one ever experimented or tried new stuff out, we’d be a sorry lot living in caves with bare walls throwing rocks at animals to get ourselves dinner. No bows and arrows, no wheels, no electricity, no computers, no space travel, no web conference calls discussing neutrinos, no s’mores. There’s also a lot of utter crap we wouldn’t have to deal with as well: pollution, cluster bombs, advanced marketing techniques for someone’s useless trinket, GMO’s in your organic brown rice, PR firms and microwavable s’mores.
This applies to music, arts and philosophy just as much as it applies to technology, science and commerce. There will be inspiring innovations, and there will be crap in its wake as well. The larger point is about moving forward through exploration, curiosity and creativity. You’re not going to learn how to ride a bike until you try; and that includes some scraped knees and elbows along the way. But you’re not even going to be able to do that until someone’s curiosity and ingenuity invents the tires, spokes, handlebars and metallic frame first.
Experimentation in the arts isn’t generally viewed as being as crucial to humanity’s fate as advances in medicine, food development and technology are. C’est la vie. But some of the earliest attempts at communication (and all arts are at their core simply a form of communication), from wall paintings, carvings and music to storytelling, constellations and early attempts at written symbols have generated more than their fair share to our general welfare and advancement. And if you’re an aspiring artist, writer or musician, or even an established pro in the creative arts, at some point in your development you’re going to have to try new things or new ways of doing things as part of the learning process.
Welcome. Thanks for dropping in. The first batch of tracks uploaded to the new site here span from a live 1991 gig onward through the 2000′s; a good intro to my somewhat chameleon-like output and various bands/projects over 25 years of songwriting, experimentation and music-making.
There’s lots of guitar here, of course: acoustic, electric, slide, prepared guitar, lap steel, fx freak outs and more. And songs of all sizes, be it a full electric band or a solo folkie nugget. But there’s also the sound-making adventures I’ve always been fond of taking that get featured as well. The lap steel/fx duet with shortwave radio that is “Hurtling Thru the Information Age”. The contagious (literally) electric prose of “Language”. The Pink Floyd cover arranged for autoharp, tea kettle, trash pail, cassette case and seashore. A guitar conjuring up CB radio voices and phone conversation in “Word Travels Fast”. Vignettes from the Urban Candid Mic-ing series. The tabla, gong and organ sounds coaxed out of an old Richenbacher slide guitar on “Steel, Delay and Buddhist Monks” and more. It was always that thirst for sounds and how they could be presented that drove my musical engine. That some of them landed on their feet was just a bonus. So hopefully while you’re here today you can scroll thru a playlist and find something that appeals to your listening needs, whether in the songs and pieces or in the lab experiments.
The bookends are still to come. The most recent material (2007-present) and the earliest stuff (pre-1991) still are not represented onsite yet, for very different reasons. The newest stuff is mostly unfinished; instrumental guitar pieces which still need arrangements, a few songs with drums and vocals, and some promising electric bazouki sessions done recently at PureLand Sound Studios out west. The oldest material, on the other hand, is all on 20+ year old cassettes that have braved the weather extremes of my various moves through the years; some need a simple digital transfer and cleanup, while others have succumbed to breakage, tape hiss or de-magnetization. But the ‘fun’ stuff done on the 4T will be remixed where possible. That process was ensured when local audiophile NZ donated a double-speed 4T cassette machine which will allow a revisiting of those heady days of the Tascam PortaStudio; the first generation of home multitrack recorders, the true forbear of the affordable and portable DIY multitrack recording systems everyone enjoys today.
Here’s a short video to start December. POV: Lying on the forest floor, looking up at the leaves. The clouds have held the bright fall colors in check; that is, until the sun arrives, igniting the whole forest up with a vivid glow. Watch the treetops sway above you, autumn briefly reigning until the arrival of winter.
I also re-edited my first HD vid from last week, shortening it and correcting the sound. In this one, three leaves, making good progress downstream, enter an eddy. “It’s a trap!” Too late, they enter the swirl of purgatory. See that short in the post below (re-uploaded today).