Monday, November 3, 2008

Two Trails at Brandywine Creek


So, after numerous weeks/months of being too worn out from partying the night before working, I actually got back on the trails on Saturday!

I decided to head over to the park that is closest to my location, that being Brandywine Creek State Park, which is about a 10 minute drive from where I live. The falls leaves were out in splendid color, and the air was brisk, but with a nice bright sun. Perfect for a quick hike in the woods! I decided to do two trails, the Indian Spring and the Hidden Pond (at 1.9 and 2.0 miles, respectively). I know the deadline for completing all the trails is fast approaching, and now the majority of the trails left for me are a good 2 hour drive from home, so it's going to take a little more pre-planning and dedicated timing to get them done- even if i have to do them in the snow!


Both the Indian Spring and the Hidden Pond start at the visitor center and cross some of the same terrain before splitting off, then coming together again from different directions, allowing you to experience the same areas from different angles. I finished the Hidden Pond loop first, which brought me back to the Visitors Center (good thing, too, because I totally missed where the Trail Challenge punch was and had to get mine done by the nice folks at the Visitor's Center.)


Then, I continued on and did the same beginning portion for the Indian Spring Loop, which allowed me to take on the rather steep (yet, quite beautiful!) hill overlooking the river. I found the punch for this one soon after, and now have just the Rocky Run trail to do at a later date.




Now, you won't see this view from any of the Trail Challenge trails, but it's worht a short drive up the hill to see this:


Till the next Trail,


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sampling, Copyrights, Drum'n'bass and MySpace

So, as the Philadelphia Phillies were wrapping up their amazing win over the Tampa Bay Ray's last night, I grabbed the digitial camera and captured the last minute of the game on video.

I got the last 3 strikes, the crazy celebration, the replay and the pure elated madness of it all. In typical, Tim fashion, I drop this into my PC, cut it up, drop some effects on it and dig up an incredible tune by Future Sound of London to serve as the soundtrack. It's a cool 5 minute piece and fits perfectly with the build-up, suspense and then emotional release of the situation.

After finishing the video, I upload it to Myspace only to see a message appear that it has not been made public, but rather witheld because of a copyright violation and that my upload privledges on MySpace have been revoked.

I need to read a page-long explanation of the official MySpace copyright rules and mark a checkbox to get my upload privledges back, and need to submit a Protest Form if I believe my video has been blocked in error.

Per the explanation from MySpace, my video was blocked due to a copyright flag from the musical group Dead Can Dance.

Weird, since I've certainly heard of Dead Can Dance...I own plenty of Dead Can Dance albums, but certainly did not use any Dead Can Dance track in my Phillies video!

So, I complete and submit the Copyright Protest Form, then instantly switch over to YouTube and upload the exact same video on their site (succesfully!) and then post that video on my Myspace.

Issue Resolved.

However, 6 hours later, MySpace returns to me with a message that my Protest Form submission has been denied and that the video has been permanently removed, and that my entire MySpace account may, in fact, be in jeopardy.

Odd, seeing that my given reason for the protest was (and I quote): "The stated copyright protected track was not present anywhere in the uploaded video in question."

Investigation Continues.

I'm sure you've guessed it by now...given the genre and general sub-culture of the music I grew up with and continue to listen to.

That's right, The Future Sound of London used a sample of Dead Can Dance's "Dawn of the Iconoclast" track as core elements in their 1992 track "Papua New Guinea".

So here I am, trying to share a video of my own creation for zero-profit whatsoever, and I'm getting hassled while FSOL has made untold thousands of dollars of profit on their "Papua New Guinea" track, which is arguabley their most recognizable and most famous track on their discography.

To quote FSOL:

"In this day and age there's a creative use of sampling and a non-creative use", says Cobain. "That's what I think is so good about 'Papua New Guinea' — I think it's familiar but it's also totally exotic.

If it was only totally exotic I don't think it would have been so successful, whereas the final product proved to be fast food for hungry dancefloors. You see, in those days there was very much a fast food mentality. There was so much stuff pommeling the raving, dancing masses that sometimes there needed to be something a little bit familiar.

If you're going to take somebody on a journey, there should be something familiar, so to a certain degree we were all playing the game of getting something familiar and then warping it.

The whole ethos of that was you can travel far and wide and be very exotic without going anywhere. We could sit and sample the sounds that had been collected for documentaries and use them in a different way. That was the revolution of sampling. It was an amazing time.

"What an incredible thing, to be able to pull together all these weird sources, to take a Dead Can Dance sample, put it against a Papua New Guinea nature documentary with some tribal percussion and bring it to some dance beats that were lying around.

It was fantastic. You had punks and bohemians and ravers and poets and romantics all gathered in the same space, and that was before the music industry got hold of it and the greed of the people who were making it ruined it.

At that point it ended up being as negative as everything else — it was as lazy as jazz, as lazy as rock, as lazy as indie eventually, and that's where it is now, but for a while it was revolutionary."

The sampling arguement is tired.
MySpace is now involved.

Times have changed.

Here's my Video: