Seder-Masochist

Well that was exhausting. I recorded 3 Seders, 2 in Urbana IL and 1 in New York. One would have been enough, dayenu. I expect it’ll take months to go through all those hours of audio; that’s the masochism part. Here are the digital audio recorders the generous Kickstarter backers paid for:

Right before I flew to Urbana I was in Salem, MA, for a Sita screening and Q & A at the excellent Peabody Essex Museum. My friend Margo Burns met me there and snapped this photo in a nearby Salem churchyard:

Dayenu, dayenu, dayenu!

Share/Bookmark

Seder Masochism: Phase I

Behold, self-hating Children of Israel! I have a new Kickstarter project, which could become a new film.

Off The Hook

Last night I was a guest on 2600’s Off the Hook hacker radio show. I start ranting about copyright about 1/4 of the way in, and keep going until the end. Listen here.

Sita Sings the Blues – Uncut Narrator Interview

I’ve wanted to share this uncut interview file for a long time now. The main reason I’ve held back is I wanted Aseem, Bhavana and Manish to listen to the whole thing and be comfortable with having it out in the world. As far as I know, none of them did listen to the whole thing. Still, Manish was worried that it might attract more negative attention from batshit fundamentalists. So, I held on to it…. Now Manish is gone and all we have left are our memories (mine is extremely fallible), and recordings like this one. At his memorial yesterday Chris Dillon played an excerpt, and said it was like having a new conversation with Manish. The batshit fundamentalists are batshit no matter what; whether we speak or are silent, they will hate. I don’t want fear of them to deprive anyone of a conversation with Manish. Plus, as you can hear, Manish was quite a respectful and thoughtful Hindu – moreso than the few clips in SSTB may have revealed. So here you go, World:

Sita Sings the Blues – uncut narrator interview

Grief Memory

Copying Is Not Theft – Best!

At last, our “official” version of Copying Is Not Theft, with a fab new arrangement by Nik Phelps!

Sita Soundtrack now available!

You can buy it right now at CDBaby. Soon it will be at the Sita Merch Empire (where we’ll get more profit per sale), but with today’s snow it may take a while for the initial shipment of CDs to reach the order fulfillment warehouse.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/sitasingstheblues

In semi-related news, I mention the soundtrack on this podcast interview with the CommandLine. I was all worried about being inarticulate, but actually I said some smart stuff. Thanks to Thomas Gideon/cmdln for asking smart questions, making smart comments, and making a smart show.

Oh, and DC was fun! I spoke at American University. Great audience, great hosts. (And AU’s IP Law Clinic did all the initial legal research on the Annette Hanshaw songs I used in Sita Sings the Blues, for which I am forever grateful.) During my visit, everyone in DC was still talking about their weeks-past “snowpocalypse,” even though the snow was mostly melted, just some patches on the sides of the streets. I thought, “big deal, I wish we’d gotten more snow in New York.” Then I came back to New York just in time for a snowpocalypse here! I have a lot more sympathy for DC now.

Minute Meme #1: Copying Is Not Theft

UPDATE: high res video file now on archive.org.

This is a “draft” of our (my and QuestionCopyright.org‘s) first Minute Meme. A draft because the audio track is a placeholder, and we’re eager to hear what all you musicians out there can do with it. Also a draft because we need to make a fancier, more informative page than just this post here! But what is the Internet for, if not to hastily post creative work by the seat of your pants?

There are some blank credits at the end for “Arranged and Recorded by” and “Sound Design.” Any interested musicians/sound designers can re-release the whole thing with their own tracks and appropriate credits. Add and remove credits as needed (but don’t remove mine!). If you don’t add sound effects, cut out the “Sound Design” card; if you want to credit additional voices, add a card for them. I used the fonts Gill Sans and Gill Sans Ultra Bold. Be sure to keep the CC-BY-SA symbols on all the credits – you’ll be releasing your modifications under the same license.

Here are the lyrics:

Copying is not theft.
Stealing a thing leaves one less left
Copying it makes one thing more;
that’s what copying’s for.

Copying is not theft.
If I copy yours you have it too
One for me and one for you
That’s what copies can do

If I steal your bicycle
you have to take the bus,
but if I just copy it
there’s one for each of us!

Making more of a thing,
that is what we call “copying”
Sharing ideas with everyone
That’s why copying
is
FUN!

This track is 90 (or 180) beats per minute. The animation is 24 frames per second, with one beat every 8 frames.

Singing ‘n’ Signing

This is cool.

Copying n’est pas Theft

Because I’m in France:

Merci, Daphne!

To the Best of Our Knowledge

A segment on Sita Sings the Blues on NPR’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, starting around 13:30.

The King and I and Fagottron

The King and I has some great musical numbers, but overall it’s a pretty dang offensive and stupid movie. Luckily, it’s given a new life by Fagottron:

Fagottron is the same remix artist who gave us the stunning “Alice”:

Copying Isn’t Theft

UPDATE: can anyone arrange this as a show tune? I originally heard it in my head as a show tune, but I’m musically illiterate. See the growing links list of awesome covers here.

Feel free to remix, re-record, or otherwise re-make this song so I can animate to it.Full interview on Thirteen.org.

thru-you.com


This is inspired, and makes me love everyone. (Thank you for the tip, Eric!)

Watch me go on and on (and on) about copyright!

See me babble away on my current favorite subject, copyright and what’s wrong with it, over at questioncopyright.org. Here’s a sample:


Yes, the video is squished horizontally, because it was in DV format but uploaded on square pixels (I can’t wait until everyone just uses solid-state progressive-scan cameras). Also the audio is way compressed – it thoundth like I’m lithping. But the ideas come through.

This interview was conducted by Karl Fogel on November 6, 2008, at the Software Freedom Law Center in New York.

Rudresh Mahanthappa releases new albums, performs TONIGHT

home_pic.gif
Sita collaborator
and jazzman Rudresh Mahanthappa has just released some new albums! He writes,

The debut CD “Apti” of the Indo-Pak Coalition, my trio with Rez Abbasi on guitar and Dan Weiss on tabla, was released just a few weeks ago on the innova record label (http://www.innova.mu). We’re celebrating with shows tonight and tomorrow night. I haven’t performed as leader in New York since March so I hope that you can come.

Lots of show information after the fold:

Continue reading Rudresh Mahanthappa releases new albums, performs TONIGHT