Salsa Celtica

Salsa Celtica at the Arts Centre in Aberystwyth, people up and dancing from the very first song.  Ecstatic mixture of Latin and Celtic rhythms. 

YouTube documentary…

… from about a year ago, with a slightly different lineup.


Virgil & the Accelerators update

Virgil and the Accelerators have posted material into MySpace. You can hear clips, see photos and a current list of gigs.

They are truly hot, so if you have the chance to see them, do….and if not, buy their CD.  Cheers, guys!

very cool improvisational music

Please see Dan Barbiero’s MySpace page for some very cool improvisational music. He plays double bass, sometimes as ‘prepared bass’ where the sound is altered by the addition of other implements. More information can be found on his webpage.  You can hear Dan perform in the Washington DC area.

His music has depth of feeling and intellectual engagement. Hope you enoy!

What I’m listening to now … Bonobo

Bonobo‘s Animal Magic and Dial M for Monkey, often played at the Orangery, is entrancing – Brazilian jungle images, unseen animals playing in cool green leaves overhead while steam floats up from loam on the jungle floor, birds calling back and forth as people dance in the distance. (how I see it, anyway)

Bonobo is headed by Brighton musician, Simon Green. See photos of the band in concert on Flickr. Tracks have been on my playlist for a while, have a listen. 

Video of Pick Up

Computer animation of cowboys in London…don’t ask!

Video of Flutter

Won music video award.

 Bonobo concert at Club Babylon in Istanbul (Feb 08)

Description= Bonobo’s life perfomance in Turkey |Source=self-made |Date= 02/02/2008 |Location= Club Babylon Istanbul, Turkey |Author=Umut Işık  

Podcasting for Pedagogic Purposes SIG meeting

Yesterday, my colleague Julian and I went to the second meeting of the Podcasting for Pedagogic Purposes SIG at University of Hertfordshire in St Albans outside London. The SIG is making a significant contribution to the higher education sector by setting up means of sharing resources and examples of good practice in educational podcasting. 

  • SIG Blog about podcasting
  • SIG podcast – includes excellent how-to guides for using two free tools: Audacity for sound file editing and podOmatic for mounting the podcasts. We made podcasts during the session.
  • SIG Wiki with materials contributed by members

Here are some of my initial responses to the event. It was heartening to hear the message stressed that podcasting can be used most effectively for student-centred teaching that goes far beyond just recording lectures and posting them online.  A teacher-centred, transmission-style lecture isn’t going to be enhanced by merely posting a one-hour long audio or video file. although some students will still find it somewhat of an aid to revision (reviewing for exams). A typical length for a podcast from the examples given was between 5-10 minutes, no longer.

There are some things you can do to improve a podcast of even this one-way type of lecture – chopping into smaller, logical chunks and providing tags or some way for students to find just the bit they want, using a more dramatic speaking style, etc. Even more exciting, however, are the ways of using podcasting for two-way communication between teacher and students, among students, or even just among several different people who talk to each other ‘talk radio’ style within the podcast. The ‘magazine’ style examples were particularly effective.

A wide range of ideas and, even more importantly, examples were presented that made the case quite strongly. I particularly like the idea of using student-created podcasts for group or individual projects, reflective learning journals, and peer-to-peer mentoring. There was a hilarious video that was a student group project in which those obnoxious solicitor (lawyer) TV adverts were spoofed leading to a scienfitic explanation of rust (don’t ask!). There were also some nice examples of experienced students making podcasts to give incoming students tips on university life.

The materials, examples and ideas presented will make it easy for us to encourage academic staff to use this new technology in interesting, creative, and most importantly effective ways.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of ideas for my own podcasts…shifting from snapshots to sound bytes. Watch this space!

what I’m listening to now – playlist

Right now playing Shakti ‘What need have I for this…’ which is John McLaughlin from the 70’s in his Indian raga mode.  These cuts are really nice, especially with the violin played off against the guitar and tabla.  Although it is a different era, works well with the chillout stuff.

Other favourite recently is Bonobo’s album ‘Animal Magic’ which I still haven’t been able to acquire but which has several cuts on the playlist.  They often play this album at the Orangery, which is where I first heard it.  Very nice, especially while working or something.  I’m often listening with the headphones at the office these days. Fila Brazillia is also sounding good in the electronica vein.

Added the only track available on from Victor Wooten, almost had the chance to see him in Towson MD but it didn’t work out.  Nevermind.  Having seen the Flecktones on a number of occasions, it would have been nice.  Check out his track on ‘Liz and Opie’ it is good. Percussive bass.

Nothing else is in particular high rotation at the moment.  Sometimes dipping into the bebop still.  I like the way most of the jazz usually fits in with most of the electronica and other stuff on the playlist, which is always evolving.