Tagged: scott w. gray

New Year, New Focus

detail of silk-screen by todd stewart of bree, ree

Happy new year to Fauna Corporation readers!

2012 is upon us and I’m going to be posting to Fauna Corporation again, albeit with a slightly different focus.

Going forward, I will be sharing the things that I create (text, photos, sketches, music), the things that inspire me — and hopefully, you — to create (others’ work, links, quotes, ideas, cool creative executions), and the tools I use to create (hardware, software, apps, etc).

The evolving digital narratives are all around us, and we participate in them each day with the smart phones, tablets, laptops and other digital hardware that have become seamless extensions of us.

Rather than focusing on digital advertising, multimedia journalism, or any other specific industry, this little blog will simply throw some light on the creativity that results from our ever-expanding, ever present, digital means.

I haven’t posted very much over the last long while because I’ve been reeling from a series of personal tragedies. A close friend, my brother, my father and my mother all passed away within the span of the last two years, and frankly, I’ve struggled to just hold it together. Blogging, and more expressly, sharing what I am thinking about, has been far from my mind.

But, as I have said, 2012 is upon us, and times have changed.

Hopefully this new Fauna Corporation focus offers something to you. And hopefully you’ll share the fruits of your own creative channels.

Take good care in 2012.

Urban Audio on Montreal Sound Map

Van Horne Overpass with Crickets : Play Overpass with Crickets

I’ve been adding some audio up to the Montreal Sound Map lately.

I live in an area that is flanked by several overpasses, and I’m very interested in how they cut through Montreal and change the surrounding neighbourhoods. I also think they are an interesting audio source because they offer surprises – they are not just endless streams of cars – life has a way of reclaiming the space.

For example, I recorded the crickets you can hear above between waves of cars at rush hour on St-Laurent.

The Montreal Sound Map is worth spending some time with, as it presents the city in a way we seldom stop to appreciate. To hear my additions, click on the “Van Horne Overpass at St-Laurent”, and “Rockland Overpass” contributions (more to come, obviously).

Photos from the World Science Fiction Convention Masquerade in Montreal

Last week, I was able to get access to the Fan Photo area of the 67th World Science Fiction Convention’s Masquerade, here in Montreal. Most importantly for this freelance writer, I got access without having to pay the full one-day membership of $95 (nor the $275 full-convention membership) in order to take the photos you see in the audio slideshow below.

I guess Sci-Fi Convention Masquerades are fairly mainstream now, but despite my life-long love of science fiction, this was the first one I had visited.

I found it to be a fascinating combination of small community homeyness (ie: everyone knowing each others’ first names) and large-scale operation (ie: professional photographers, stage managers and security personnel controlling the action).

Also fascinating was the fact I was asked the same question four times:

“Um…Are you supposed to be here?”

There wasn’t any audio from the event that I felt was compelling enough to add to the slideshow. So instead, I wrote a simple musical piece that I hope implies Sci-Fi, and you can hear that looping in the piece below.

Also, the term “Pocket Universe” is a Sci-Fi term I thought was appropriate for my experience at the event:

“A universe or reality completely separate from ours which is much smaller, may have different natural laws, and may be artificially created.”

I really enjoyed shooting these photos and being present behind the scenes of the 67th World Science Fiction Convention. My apologies in advance to the obviously talented costumed participants who are unnamed in my piece: there was no way to keep track of who wore what, with the program I was given.

I hope the following quick and dirty audio slideshow offers you a sense of the experience (remember to turn on your speakers!).

Let me know your thoughts.

How to Build a Guitar – In Four (Expert) Steps

My recent visit to the Montreal Guitar Show inspired me to think more about how guitars are mass-produced and where the craft of luthiership differs.

Because of this, I met up with Mike Kennedy and Jeremy Clark of Mile End Guitars, who each craft guitars by hand under their own company names (Indian Hill Guitars and 52 Instrument Company, respectively).

The guys at Mile End Guitars were good enough to talk to me about luthiership and to take me through the process of how guitars are made – when guitars are made from scratch. I created the following Audio Slideshow to share the experience with you. Remember to turn your speakers on!

Note: If the slideshow images seem a little small, I suggest watching it in full-screen mode (click the box with four outward-facing arrows on the lower right of the player).

Let me know what you think.

Cross Post – Weird Bruins Trades & Play a Song In B-Flat Major

orange lilythe cross post helix as represented by tangled lily stamens

Just a heads-up that I posted about the Bruins’ recent trades, shipping Aaron Ward to the Hurricanes (for nobody, basically) and their pick-up of Derek Morris. You can read my analysis of these trades on Black, White & Gold.

I also put up a post on Urban Camouflage about the In B Flat project, which carries a series of YouTube videos (all tuned to B Flat Major) that allow users to create their own ambient musical pieces from triggering the videos in whatever order they choose.

Check them out!

Audio Slideshow From 2009 Montreal Guitar Show

Last week I attended the 2009 Montreal Guitar Show, which was put on in conjunction with the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The Montreal show is well-regarded, being an invite-only event, and attracting some of the finest luthiers in North America and abroad.

Despite being a guitarist for about 20 years, I had never attended a guitar show. What I discovered (and I mean this in a good sense) is that guitar shows are basically Guitar Porn – hundreds of truly beautiful instruments, polished and buffed, and laid out suggestively for the hungry hands of the paying / playing public.

I had a great time walking around, talking to luthiers and capturing the sites and sounds of the event. Below is a short Audio Slideshow I created to share the experience with you.

Let me know your thoughts.

Cross Post – Waits, Beck, Smith and Recchi

cross post
the cross post helix as represented by playground equipment

Just a quick note to say that I’ve put up a post on Black, White and Gold about the Bruins’ recent Free Agent signings, and two posts on Urban Camouflage – the first about Elliott Smith’s car, which is for sale in Austin, Texas, and the second about Beck’s new initiative to interview people he digs, starting with Tom Waits.

Cross Post – Bruins Options for Next Season

As mentioned earlier, I maintain a blog that follows my favourite NHL club, the Boston Bruins.

The NHL’s Free-Agency period begins on Wednesday, so I thought I’d post here to let people know I’ve written a piece on the Bruins’ options, with regard to Restricted- and Unrestricted Free Agents, trade rumours and the team’s options going into the 2009-2010 season.

The piece can be seen on Black, White and Gold, and is current as of this writing. There was a time (ie: pre-salary cap) when dozens of players would be dealt before you could post that they were being shopped, but “today’s NHL” follows a more careful, complicated path where teams need to jettison players as they add new ones. It’s like watching billionaires play Jenga.

Enjoy the post. Let me know your thoughts.

The End of the Line: Closing the Outremont Switching Station

Over the last few years we’ve seen a steep decline in the number of trains using the switching yards that lie just north of our house. The University of Montreal purchased the land and are in the process of changing it over to be part of the University’s facilities.

Below is an audio-slideshow – this is the first in a series I will be doing, documenting the changes to the switching yards and the neighbourhoods adjoining them.

Let me know what you think, or if you have suggestions for subsequent pieces.

Bruins Posts on Black, White and Gold

Through the 2008-2009 NHL Season I maintained a blog about the Boston Bruins, a team I’ve followed since I was about 8 years old. I had always wanted to write about my beloved B’s, so I started the blog primarily to talk about what it is like to be a Bruins fan here Montreal, and I posted as the team enjoyed a remarkable season.

I thought I would mention it here, because otherwise it is just an item in the blogroll. Also, its the off-season, so we’re all jonesing for a bit of hockey info.

You can have a read of Black White and Gold right here.

Have a look around and leave a comment if you have something to say. I’ll also be posting here about pieces there, I imagine.

Music Posts on Urban Camouflage

sit on the artA great deal of my writing has been focused on music and the audio arts, so I thought I would put up a post here about Urban Camouflage – the blog that I’ve used to collect the majority of my music writing over the years.

There was a considerable gap between late 2007 and early 2009 as I was busy with other writing outlets, but as I’ll be updating Urban Camo more regularly, I thought I’d post here to draw your attention to the blog. Check it out, and let me know your thoughts.