Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Out with the old...

Today actually marks the end of NaNoWriMo, and I did not make it close to the finish point at all (10k/50k). On the flip side, in the brief time I did spend on it, I learnt a little bit about writing, that I do enjoy writing but it's not something I'm "passionate" about (observe the double quotes, I'm not a fan of the word passionate).

Also, I finally wrote down what has been going on in my mind for years, which is very nice.

I will probably finish the story down the line when I keep figuring things out. In the mean time, I have other pursuits that I do enjoy spending time on.

This month has been quite downhill, for out-of-work things, but they seem to have calmed down, let's see what the next month brings.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


A few months ago, I wrote a small python script to aid my ear training. Things that happened today and last night made me re-evaluate the point of such a script.

Firstly, I finished last night, an introductory book on music theory, and for some reason, my teacher spoke again about transcribing music to observe the nuances of recorded performances.

In essence, transcribing is not just identifying notes - it is much more, such as figuring out the jumps between notes by ear, as well as picking out how individual artists play a certain piece - for example, pick a jazz standard, and observe how the different greats play it.

Both the book and my teacher spoke at length about this, so I've now started transcribing stuff. Gonna be challenging :) And I'm moving on to the next book as well.


I just got informed today that Michael Garrick has passed away >.> Conversed with the gent a few times about the winter jazz course. Why? :(

Once again, feeling like numb and all. Sigh.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Old Rugged Cross

This is my 3rd take of "The Old Rugged Cross". Googled for bereavement songs and this was one that came up.

I'm going to sound like a dick, but fact is, this is probably a form of closure more for myself than anything else.

I dedicate this piece, to those who have left us and are forging a new world ahead of us. You are all missed.

What is life?

So, one of my classmates departed this morning. I'm feeling very numb and empty inside. Even though we were not at all close, nearly 4 years of studying together still forms certain bonds of camaraderie. Sad to say apart from yearly new year greetings, we hardly spoke.

RIP mate, I am certain you are missed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A* Path Finding in C++

So, I got curious this weekend and decided to code up an implementation of the A* Pathfinding Algorithm.

A nice ZIP file can be found here with the source code.

I followed the description found at Policy Almanac and it seemed to work perfectly. The main problems I had implementing the code were mostly race conditions (pain. in. the. rear. >.>) and making sure I didn't go over the bounds for my 2d array (segfaults! boo!).

Here's some example runs:




^^ Does not seem so optimal - at the start it should go directly to the right, instead of going down.


Heh, that was fun.

EDIT: It seems like I did not maintain a priorityQ for the lowest cost F for open nodes, darn.....
EDIT 2: Which doesn't make a difference since I'm only picking the lowest F for iterating on. The only issue is, efficiency. Or lack of, thereof :)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Saxophone Log, Life, Blah

Another month, another video. It's coming up to my one year anniversary soon, I'll be making a special video for that.

Most of today has been spent attempting to write for NaNoWriMo, only got 6k this week, from a target of 10k. Not good, but I'll see how it goes :)

Distant Worlds: Music of Final Fantasy

This evening, I was at the Royal Albert Hall attending a concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring music from Final Fantasy. This concert is titled: Distant Worlds.
An enjoyable evening is an understatement. Listening to a live orchestra playing the video game music I grew up with beings back fond memories and times I wish I could return to.
There were many highlights of the day, for example the Opera House song in Final Fantasy 3 (USA) was done with 3 opera singers, each playing the roles of Maria, Draco and Ralse.

For the encore, they did the full set of One Winged Angel, with Nobou Uematsu himself singing part of the chorus (the "sephiroth") part. I think the crowd was going wild here.
Another momentous favorite of mine, "Eyes On Me", was performed with a vocalist, Susan Calloway. Another uber awesome song was Kefka's theme song, Dancing Mad. And it was performed with a proper pipe organ, that is seemingly built into the concert hall!

It is amazing, and this time next year I hope to attend it again, but this time with a proper seating. I only heard about this about a month ago, and by luck the "chior" seats were available about then. If not, the tickets are sold about a year in advance, and are basically sold out on the spot.

This only gives me further inspiration to push my musical adventures. Onwards!!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Legere Signature - New packaging?

A bit over the top for a reed, I'd rather save a bit of £££ on the packaging to get it cheaper... plays similarly to my current reed.