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Music Science and nature Travel and places

A musical journey over the Moon with Clair de Lune

This visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from global elevation maps and image mosaics by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. It was created to accompany a performance of Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune by the National Symphony Orchestra Pops, led by conductor Emil de Cou, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, on June 1 and 2, 2018, as part of a celebration of NASA’s 60th anniversary.

Clair de Lune (moonlight in French) was published in 1905, as the third of four movements in the composer’s Suite Bergamasque, and unlike the other parts of this work, Clair is quiet, contemplative, and slightly melancholy, evoking the feeling of a solitary walk through a moonlit garden.

The visuals were composed like a nature documentary, with clean cuts and a mostly stationary virtual camera. The viewer follows the Sun throughout a lunar day, seeing sunrises and then sunsets over prominent features on the Moon. The sprawling ray system surrounding Copernicus crater, for example, is revealed beneath receding shadows at sunrise and later slips back into darkness as night encroaches.

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4655

Clair de Lune 4K Version – Moon Images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter – YouTube
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Music

Starting my week with rhythmic inspiration from Emancipator

I came across music by Emancipator in one of my Spotify playlists. I started to dig into some of the albums, and I really enjoy this music for general background music, as well as for work. A great starting point is this Spotify playlist:

Here’s some more information about Douglas Appling, aka Emancipator, in his YouTube About page:

A sleeping giant of the electronic music world, Douglas Appling – more commonly known as Emancipator – has quietly established himself as a mainstay in the electronic music scene since the release of his debut album, Soon It Will Be Cold Enough in 2006. Classically-trained as a violinist from an early age, Appling’s organic approach to electronic music production draws inspiration from a wide range of international cultures and musical genres, culminating in a refreshingly authentic brand of electronic music that has infiltrated global consciousness.

One of my favourite albums so far is “Soon It Will Be Cold Enough“:

I’m still working through Emancipator’s albums, though, and I’m really enjoying the music. As is the case with an artist who just seems to produce so much great music, it’s difficult to pick out favourites. “Ocelot” from “Seven Seas” is a good one though:

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Jesse Gardner
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Music People

Enjoying 9 Dead Alive by Rodrigo y Gabriela

One of our many, many Slack channels at Automattic is one that focuses on great soundtracks, and other instrumental music. We usually share movie, TV, and game soundtracks in the channel.

The other day, I mentioned how I’d love to find more music like Cody Francis’ “Mountain Air” –

I really enjoy this track, but none of Francis’ other music on Spotify seems to be quite as good. One of my colleagues suggested another option – Rodrigo y Gabriela, an awesome guitar duo.

I dove into a recent album, 9 Dead Alive, and it’s terrific! Check this out:

I love how you can watch artists perform, and it adds a new dimension to their music. Here’s the duo playing “The Soundmaker” live:

If you’re interested in some of their story, it’s also worth listening to their 2014 Spotify Sessions performance where they both play, and are interviewed about their work:

The reason why Rodrigo y Gabriela came up in a channel about soundtracks is that they also performed for Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides“:

Now that I know this, I think I need to listen to that soundtrack again! I also think that this music could be great running music (I’ll try it as an alternative to my usual podcasts).

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Jefferson Santos
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Books Events and Life Film Music Podcasts Television

Keeping track of my media diet

This idea of tracking my media diet really appeals to me:

Just like last year, I kept track of almost everything I read, watched, listened to, and experienced in my media diet posts.

Jason Kottke

I follow a few people who do this too, sometimes pretty publicly. I’m not sure that I’d want to share everything I consume, but I do like the thought of capturing, and aggregating everything.

I’m just not too sure how to pull it all together, if I were to do this.

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Music

My favourite song today is Like Gold

Although it’s not the first time I’ve listened to Vance Joy’s song “Like Gold“, it stands out for me today. I like how the track progresses, and carries you along to the end. I really enjoy it.

I found a live performance in Portland, that I also enjoyed:

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Paulette Wooten
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Events and Life Food and Drink Music

This song goes well with the smell of apples and cinnamon

My wife baked an apple crumble for us this cold and rainy afternoon. As the smell of apples and cinnamon filled it apartment, this song, Mountain Air by Cody Francis, was playing on Spotify:

As song and smell pairings go, this is a good one!

Update: Here’s what that smell was all about:

Categories
Events and Life Music

Discovering Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist

It’s a pretty chilly, rainy weekend so we’ve had a pretty laid back weekend at home with our kids.

My wife and I re-watched the sci-fi classic, Serenity, for the nth time (still awesome after 13 years).

Afterwards, I switched over to some music and, instead of picking a favourite playlist, I opted for the Discovery Weekly playlist on Spotify. I haven’t listened to it before, and I wish I had done so earlier.

I don’t know any of the music we’re listening, but I’m enjoying most of it. I guess that’s the idea. 😊

Categories
Mindsets Music

Great Spotify playlist to relax and unwind with

I really like this Relax & Unwind playlist on Spotify. Aside for it’s obvious purpose, I like it as a general purpose/background music/atmosphere playlist:

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Clem Onojeghuo