Pedestrianism [226]

Greetings from my shed...

No running, no cycling, just walking.

Walking is freedom. My skateboard, my scooter, my bike, my motorbike, my car — are all prosthetics. The rhythm of walking dissolves concern and tunes the mind to fresh frequencies. Aimless or with purpose, any journey outside is exploration inside.

The last two emails I sent seemed to strike a cord. I appreciate the kind words. Thank you for the comments, replies and even a gift. Isolation feels a lot less isolated.

I’ve only been here ten years. But as I continue to discover my relationship with my village I often feel the shock of the newly seen.

I’ll wonder out to find a spot to read and this book is perfect for the moment. Thanks to @SimFin for sending me The Mezzanine by Nicolson Baker…

A short book with insane tangential footnotes. A Proustian, Zen, deep dive into physical actuality. But more than that… It’s fun.

“The neurons that do expire are the ones that made imitation possible. When you are capable of skillful imitation, the sweep of choices before you is too large; but when your brain loses its spare capacity, and along with it some agility, some joy in winging it, and the ambition to do things that don't suit it, then you finally have to settle down to do well the few things that your brain really can do well--the rest no longer seems pressing and distracting, because it is now permanently out of reach. The feeling that you are stupider than you were is what finally interests you in the really complex subjects of life: in change, in experience, in the ways other people have adjusted to disappointment and narrowed ability. You realize that you are no prodigy, your shoulders relax, and you begin to look around you, seeing local color unrivaled by blue glows of algebra and abstraction.” ~ Nicholson Baker

Click her name to see more intense imagery from photographer Alice Martins.

Most of my listening this week was spent catching up with the #AudioMo community. So many great pieces of audio.

I love the amount of skill and effort that Roger Overall put into his audio book.

Supporting subscribers will have seen this email from a couple of days ago where I link the 30 pieces of audio I made in June along with a list of the 30 microphones I used to make them. The rest of you can catch up with a version of it on my neglected blog.

Becoming a supporting subscriber costs about the same as one beer or a fancy coffee a month. It unlocks the archive and will sustain the production of this dispatch be it in audio, video or text.

I also listened to…

United States of conspiracy. A podcast from On The Media [audio] and…

How to hack the epistemic crisis is a podcast featuring Audrey Tang digital minister in charge of social innovation open government and youth engagement. (We need one of those.) Listen to the podcast if you’d like to hear how Taiwan eliminated Covid-19 with only 7 deaths. [audio]

While we are on audio things the new Zoom H8 is worth a passing glance. Looking like a cross between a sci-fi limpet mine and a G-Shock watch, it’s quite the beast.

Aimed at musicians, field recordists, sound designers and podcasters (so almost everyone) it will take all the original mic capsules and some funky new ones including a dedicated ambisonic unit.

It offers 12-track simultaneous recording up to 24-bit /96kHz WAV as well as MP3. There’s phantom power for four main XLR inputs, built in effects & limiting, plus physical gain knobs. The addition of a large colour LCD touchscreen and whole new user experience will excite many familiar with an ‘app’ based menu system. The $399 price point looks we might have a sub £400 recorder. Weirdly when I tried to chase up a UK price The UK url for Zoom Corp was gone.

I took my kids for a drive round London. Without having to leave home.
This is really beautiful. Thanks to @GiaGia for the link.

I hope you watched it. If you did you will know what I mean when I say round my way we called them ‘fun snaps’. There was more chance of being bought a box of those than the ones branded ‘Devil Bangers’.

I watched the film ‘You were never here’ Brutal, intense, traumatic.

It’s a psychological action thriller slow enough to pull you under and much deeper than it first seems. It’s a masterful assault on the senses especially the sound design.

Thanks to @Dakegra for linking me this…

And here’s some nice analogue looping.

A few long reads that kept me busy this week.

“WINE! Because these problems aren’t going to forget THEMSELVES!” ~  Comic Strip Mama

Thanks to my friends I’m now ready if there is a second wave. Or a slow week.

Of course there will be pretentious wine reviews aplenty as I drag these bottles out over the next few months. I know you don’t believe they will last that long but watch me*.

*[Hits stopwatch but feels thirsty.]

More links

Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors...disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.” ~ Rebecca Solnit

Next week looks a little like this week. But with some…. Wait for it… WORK! I’ll not tempt fate but I hope it happens as I just spent my last cash on some half price wine.

Thanks for putting up with all of this. I hope you learned something or maybe even had fun.

Have a great weekend.

Step out,