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Beardyman recently demonstrated his technique at TED and provided a modicum of insight into the gear he utilizes. If you can get past the fact that this is basically an advertisement for DMG Audio and Beardyman the performance is at least entertaining.

Personally, I always enjoy learning about the process other musicians use to produce their music. As much as I love the product, the production is equally entertaining. I guess this is yet another post to file under “inspiration.”

[ted id=1804 width=450 height=253]

Watch at ted.com

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Idea Channel recently posted this video exploring the idea that broken things can be beautiful.

Personally I think that what we initially see as unwanted and bad changes over time as those things become less of a problem. There’s a certain nostalgia that develops when we are able to look back with fresh eyes and this helps us to see the beauty in the broken.

For example, the dust, scratches and grain inherent in film photography were once looked upon as problems. They were unwanted artifacts of the photography process. Today our digital cameras do such a great job of taking pictures without those artifacts that they are no longer a concern. Having escaped those artifacts we are now able to look back them with fresh eyes and see the aesthetic beauty they can provide.

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As far back as I can remember I’ve always felt that people don’t create new and original things all on their own. I was a “creative” kid thrilled with art and invention but I somehow understood that the things I made weren’t singularly mine in origin.

At a young age I once attached two motors to each other. With a lightbulb attached to one motor and a battery powering the other motor I was amazed to discover the lightbulb faintly flickering. I had invented a generator! Or not. Others more famous than I had beat me to it by generations. This moment made me realize that even ideas that one may think are novel are likely on the minds of others as well.

Years later I began building sculptures from found objects. I’d gather and collect interesting bits and pieces and squirrel them away for later use. One of my favorites was a handgun constructed from small shiny pieces of metal like ball point pen clips and the flame guard from a Bic lighter. I recall thinking that these scupltures looked pretty cool but what I was doing wasn’t all that special. Anybody could do it and in fact others had. But did that mean I shouldn’t do it at all?

My endeavors were always inspired by the world around me. Someone invented pickles and someone invented potatoe chips but was it really I who invented dill pickle flavored potatoe chips when I wrung the juice from my pickle onto my chips? I would just grab pieces from here and there and mash them together into new things. I wasn’t a creator or inventor. If anything I was an opportunist.

To get to the point, I believe that everybody borrows in order to create. I believe that the world is built on the backs of those that came before us. I believe that future generations ahead of us will borrow and adapt from the works we leave behind. I believe in the mash-up, the remix and sampling.

This post was inspired by Kirby Ferguson’s TED Talk: Embrace the Remix.

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It’s an exciting day because Epilektric.com has been relaunched with a brand new look. The new site is running on content management software and this makes it’s very easy to keep updated.

Previous attempts at building this site involved static HTML pages that were tedious to update and extend. I had ideas about dynamic software pulling content from a database but that bird never took flight. There are a lot of details to consider when trying to custom build a CMS.

I finally decided to get in bed with some kick-ass open source software and put my DIY dreams to rest. Of course this new site has been tweaked, modded and adjusted to my liking. It’s basically the difference between building a floor cleaning robot from scratch and putting a wig on a Roomba. In the end I had to realize that yes, building a CMS from scratch would be cool, but life is short. And who has that kind of time?

Now that I don’t have to worry about manhandling heaps of code with every update I can focus on the content. And it won’t all be new stuff. My hope is to dig into my back catalog of old and/or unfinished work and get it out here.
So raise up your favorite spirited drink with me and say “cheers” to more time for doing what we love.