Rob chats with a friend and old co-worker, Chris Castaneda. You can hear his whole backstory in an episode of Letters, which will be featured on Sorry to get back on topic very soon. Until then, here’s the site for the Letters episode.*
In this episode we talk about design jobs for a bit, but don’t worry, we also get into our changing music preferences, making music as a hobby, and reminiscing about the old Spotify app.
Chris uses Alexa to help him record covers of Swedish rock, which got us talking about smart home devices, and some pro-user features of iOS like Apple Shortcuts. Rob might have been a little too honest in automating his marriage 😛
*After talking to Spotify last week, we learned that they don’t support html links in show descriptions. You have to type out the actual URL, like this http://letters.robrogan.com for it to be clickable on Spotify. In general, I think Spotify is trash for podcasts, but I try to make our show available on any platform. On the bright side, I think we get zero listens from that platform, so you should be good to go with Apple or Overcast or whatever you like.
No robots were harmed in the making of this podcast. All music sourced for this episode was computer generated, except for a couple samples later on in the jury duty story (you can tell).
I got to catch up with Todd again while he was finishing up summer break from teaching and he told me about some cool and bizarre examples of computer generated music. He has been on jury duty for weeks, prohibited to discuss the criminal case, and now he’s finally finished!
This might show up in your current podcast app (let us know), but if you don’t see chapter markers then we recommend trying out the Overcast app for our podcast. Or don’t, whatever, just an idea.
Rob has a long chat with another good old friend from Band Camp. Todd currently lives and teaches music in New York City. He also studied trumpet, so we occasionally veer into the weeds to learn some interesting (to Rob) facts about trumpets.
If that’s not your thing, don’t despair, we also hit on a few productivity apps and methods that Todd has experience with, talk about similarities between education and tech jobs, and of course get a bit philosophical along the way.
All the external audio is sourced from youtube which you can view on our website or (if I did this right), hit the links in the notes below.
Rob continues his conversation with Alex and they scratch the surface of “New Music.” Let us know if you dig this kind of thing. We can do some more like this once in a while!
NOTE ABOUT THE NOTES:
If you’re looking at these show notes in your podcast player like a totally normal person, we don’t blame you; that’s how it should be. There are a lot of media excerpts in these notes however, and we highly recommend that you read the rest of this on our website.
Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint” – we used it in the intro and a couple minutes later when Alex introduces minimalism.
“Mallet Quartet” is a quintessential example of Reich minimalism. The recording came out last year and won a Grammy.
I won’t even include a Schoenberg piece because I can assume no one wants to listen to him. Check out the wiki here if interested.
John Cage frequently experimented with structure in his works by using the I Ching to generate a “randomness.” This is an earlier work of his that is quite beautiful and tonal, but is not grounded in a common structure (whether verse, chorus, etc. or exposition, development, recap). This excerpt is not in this episode, it was in part 1.
Cage is probably most known for his piece “4 minutes 33 seconds” which is a ‘silent‘ performance.
This piece is so zen. It also is a great example of using found objects to make sound. The main hum you hear is a set of flowerpots being played with yarn mallets.
Alex says: This is an example of how percussion groups have gone mainstream and become more like bands:
We’ve got another special edition with Rob and guest of the show, Alex Monroe! Alex is a percussionist living in Chicago, and the Executive Director of Beyond This Point – ooh fancy. They mostly talk about meditation and the philosophy of Buddhism. Coming soon, in part two there’s an interesting introduction to modern / ‘new’ music for you too.
NOTE ABOUT THE NOTES:
If you’re looking at these show notes in your podcast player like a totally normal person, we don’t blame you; that’s how it should be. There are a lot of media excerpts in these notes however, and we highly recommend that you read the rest of this on our website. Go ahead and open it up in the background while you listen, we won’t mind 🙂
13:00 – Threads (mvt. 1), by Paul Lansky – Narration by Alan Watts – Performed by beyond this point and Matthew Duvall. Here’s the video:
16:30 – Alan Watts’ recorded lectures make up the soundtrack for this awesome hippy game called Everything. This is the trailer you heard:
Buddhism has transformed Alex’s worldview, even his politics! Rob feels like he had been somewhat Buddhist all along, but didn’t realize it until he read What the Buddha Taught. That Goodreads link has lots of options to buy or check out from a library.
27:20 – Music sampled in the background is from Satyagraha by Philip Glass, someone you’ll hear more about in Part 2. Listen to the full piece here
29:00 – Alex talks about the Headspace app, which is helping him meet his goal of meditating every day for a year! We also play audio from one of the videos just because it’s a cute mix between goofy and interesting. Here’s the Headspace ‘How It Works’ video:
If you want some free podcasts of Buddhism, meditation, Q&A sessions with beginners, and much more, check out AudioDharma. You can search for it in your podcast app to subscribe, or go to the website and browse for specific lectures.
Rob loves talking about this stuff, so if you want to hear more, figure out a way to let us know and maybe we’ll do more like this episode.
/ Side note
51:00 – Totally switching gears, Alex needed to vent about his quest to find an auto part that no one had.
We’ll be back with Alex Monroe, part 2: New Music in a couple of weeks!