Original Light

I posted a poem before, as best as I could remember it, about my youthful disappointment of certain things while getting my Ph.D.

I found the original version while digging through some boxes yesterday:

Looking for Quality
In all the
Right Places:
Institutions of Higher Learning.

We're fooled.
Mediocrity is the rule.
It is great to be bland.

The Ivory Tower,
Symbol of Truth,
Is made of
Painted Stone
And populated by ants.

Looking for Quality,
Role-Models, Truth, Heroes,
We are fooled by the sheen
Of the Ivory Tower.

You can't tell the
Difference, until
  You are
Stone, Ivory... What does it
Matter? It all
Crumbles sooner or later.

Forget the tower:
It's only reflecting.
Go for the
Original Light.

-- Stephen Hunter Willson

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.

Experimental Music #7 - Death March

This piece - Death March - was played through in real time.

It's mostly digital synths, layered up, and then recorded to a four-track analog tape recorder.

The thing I like about it is that it doesn't end! Every time it seems like it is about to end, it keeps going! Just like a real software death march! Excellent!

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.



A child shows you how to act:


(C) Stephen Clarke-Willson


(C) Stephen Clarke-Willson


(C) Stephen Clarke-Willson


(C) Stephen Clarke-Willson


(C) Stephen Clarke-Willson

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.

Experimental Music #6 - On the Virtual Trail

This piece was created in one pass when a manager I worked for at Northrop, Jim Reiss, loaned me a piece of equipment. I don't remember the model number but it was something like TX-601 or TX-106. This began my transition to digital equipment. I had my D-50 but I didn't really consider it that digital, because it had an overall warm sound to it. Technically, getting the D-50 would have been the start of my transition to the digital world.

But anyway, I layered all of my MIDI equipment together into one big stack (which was about four modules total), and then played this live in one pass.

When it was done, I thought, that sounds like "On the Trail" from The Grand Canyon Suite. I listened to my Tomita version of "On the Trail" and I couldn't really find this sound, but in my mind, it is still inspired by that piece, so I have renamed it for posting here as "On the Virtual Trail".

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Experimental Music #5 - Space Wine

Space Wine.

This one might be good to help you fall asleep.

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Experimental Music #4 - Dance with a Polygon

Dance with a Polygon

This was probably composed in the early 1990s on cheap analog equipment and recorded to a four track cassette tape machine. It's generally inspired by this album:

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Experimental Music #4 - Flight and Landing

The fun of the old analog equipment was all of the filtering you could do. You can do all that in modern digital equipment, of course, but somehow it sounds different, even when the exact analog filters are being modeled. I think the reason for that is that you can give all digital stuff a really hard edge, and so people do, and that's why most modern digital filters sound different from old analog filters - they are used differently.

Here's a tune with lots of slow filters.

Flight and Landing

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Experimental Music #3 - Soaring

This piece, Soaring, if you can stand to listen to it, is interesting for two reasons. One, it has lots of old school analog effects in the music. Secondly, it uses the 'bender' doo-dad which lets you play notes that don't exist on the keyboard.

Also, and this is true for everything in the Experimental Music series, it was performed straight into a four-track tape machine, without any planning. This required a fair amount of concentration. I had to remember everything I had done before. One benefit of that kind of concentration is mercifully short pieces of music.

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Hollywood: DreamWorks Sale—Why the Dream Didn't Work - Newsweek Periscope - MSNBC.com

Hollywood: DreamWorks Sale—Why the Dream Didn't Work - Newsweek Periscope - MSNBC.com:
"But perhaps the primary failure at DreamWorks was simply one of will. Of the three founders, only Katzenberg wanted to actually head a studio; now he is, at DreamWorks Animation. Spielberg's first love has always been directing, and he has spent the last year on sets making 'War of the Worlds' and 'Munich' back to back. And Geffen has always been upfront about his distaste for the movie business. What both men wanted, it seems in retrospect, was the power and freedom of owning a studio, not the burden of running one. And who can blame them? If you were Steven Spielberg, would you want to sit behind a desk, fretting about profit-and-loss statements? Didn't think so."

I had breakfast with Jeffrey Katzenberg on the morning of his last day with Disney. We met at the Penninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. The meeting was set up by Bill Block, an agent and my business partner at the time, and his boss at ICM at the time, Jim Wiatt. Wiatt was friends with Katzenberg from way-back. You could tell because he snatched a newspaper that was sticking out of Katzenberg's back pocket and hit him with it. Most people in Hollywood can't do that.

We talked a long time, by Hollywood standards, about the video game business. Over an hour I think.

Katzenberg said lots of things I won't repeat, but one worth repeating was that, as he was about to leave Disney, people were offering him incredible sums of money to start something. He said something about people offering to drive a Brinks truck up with a billion dollars in it.

And that's what happened. And Dreamworks SKG was founded.

And now it's sold, but Katzenberg gets to hold onto his first love, running an animation studio.

Which is good for us, because he was the powerhouse behind that run of great Disney animated hits, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Pocahontas would have been better if he had stayed around to re-edit the hell out of it, as he is prone to do. So we can look forward to more years of clever and funny and adult-tolerable animated films, with a higher proportion of potty-humor than the Pixar films.



Next Generation - Game Boss Shelley Day Jailed

Next Generation - Game Boss Shelley Day Jailed:
"Shelley Day, former boss of games publishers Hulabee and Humongous Entertainment has been sentenced to two years in prison for fraud."

Wow. I really liked her. I only met her once or twice when I worked at Cavedog but she seemed like a terrific person.