The much anticipated Noise Maps version 2 was released by our favorite government agency, DEFRA, last week. This version includes a noise source filter (road, rail, industry and air) – which ‘kind of’ works – and day and night switch. The maps spread beyond London to ‘agglomerations’ of over 250,000 people…everyone else will have to wait until 2012  for round two  – or make do with pdf of ‘major roads’ and airports.

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bourbonese qualk 1989

Some time ago, well, many years ago, we (bourbonese qualk) were asked to provide some unique material to be broadcast on a French radio show by Tristan Koreya. We put together a collage of work in progress at the time (1989 ?). The result was a snapshot of half finished tracks linked together in typical qualk fashion i.e. semi-randomly. Some of the music made it onto various releases in a slightly more polished form, others didn’t, thank god.  most of the music is Miles Miles and I (where was Owen?) with a focus on twangy guitar tunes and Arabic doodles – The quality is patchy and some of it over-indulgent, sketchy and in need of severe editing, some of it kind-of works – bear in mind, this was intended as a one-off never to be heard again broadcast. Tristan has posted MP3s of the show on His blog ‘nostalgie de la boue‘ which brings a snapshot of the time, and all the accompanying ghosts, back to life:

bourbonese qualk unreleased broadcast 1989

Ubuntu is the Linux distro ‘for human beings’. This means it’s easy to install, maintain and use by ‘real people’ for everyday tasks. It’s available free and supported on an open source license by a global community of developers (and commercially supported by Canonical Ubuntu’s founders). In practice it’s a joy to use – lightweight, responsive with an uncluttered GUI, it genuinely works ‘out of the box’ on even the most obscure hardware (almost), and, importantly, doesn’t further line the pockets of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. I’ve been using Ubuntu for about a year with the aim of eventually liberating myself from the tyranny of Windows and OSX – yet however good the OS is, it’s only as useful as the software that runs on it. I would like to see a free, open-source professional set of music tools running on a freeopen-source professional platform; The latest version of Ubuntu (8.04 Long Term Support) has just been released so it’s a good time to review the feasibility of music making with open source only software. Most of the applications detailed here are bundled with Ubuntu Studio a ‘multimedia’ dreivative of Ubuntu – or can be installed separately via Synaptic Package Manager.

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