Friday, September 30, 2016

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 27th September 2016

Since a trip to Europe last Christmas, I've banging on to any one who'll listen about the cortado. A simple enough concept - an espresso shot with the same amount of warm milk - but somehow this just isn't a thing in Australia. That said, given that the rest of the world has only recently discovered that the flat white exists, I'll just chalk this one up to regional differences.

While running errands across town, I was reunited with the cortado courtesy of a small coffee shop embedded directly into the entrance of Gold Hawk Road Station. It was a joyous experience, even if I've chosen to memorialise this with a rather bad photograph. 

It really was a great coffee though.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 26th September 2016

Despite all the changes going on at present, mostly I've just been getting on with things since arriving in London. I buy groceries, cook meals, even the odd bit of dry cleaning. But every now and then I'm caught off guard by something distinct to our new home, something that you just wouldn't come across back in Sydney. 

Like this can, for example. This is a can for Tate Modern's house lager, featuring an illustration by Peter Saville, who amongst other things designed most of the record covers for Factory Records. No matter how many times I think about this, I still smile every time.

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 25th September 2016

This is the Ikea at Tottenham. We walked here from Finsbury Park. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I took this photo as we made our approach, mostly out of relief.

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 24th September 2016

This is the back of a pavilion set up for designjunction, part of the London Design Festival. Inside the pavilion were all manner of expensive treasures to enthral people and make their lives better. I took plenty of pictures of such things, but many of these were reference shots for the purposes of looking something up later. 

There was something about the lines in this shot that interested me; everything's just a little out of whack, and the vectors in the two foreground structures don't lead you anywhere interesting. It's all kind of a mess, but then you see the polite little signs reminding you were the fire exits are.

What I like most about scenes like this is you're not supposed to look at it, let alone think about it too deeply. No one wants to consider the idea that a fire may break out inside, but if it did, and you were looking at the right part of the walls, well, you'd know what to do.

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 23rd September 2016

Drifting on the Thames out the front of Tate Modern is a giant cube adorned with (what looks like) illustrations. Atop the cube is a lone figure, still and unmoving as the cube's barge moves slowly with the tide. It's beautiful, and I have no idea why it's there.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 22nd September 2016

In the two days I've spent in Finsbury Park, this sign has loomed above ominously as I head into the Tube. At first I thought the sign was a relic of long-passed neon glory days, but standing beneath it is a living, breathing bowling alley - Rowans Tenpin Bowl.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 21st September 2016

Being from Australia, I know that hurling stones at other countries' tabloid newspapers is not exactly a fair sport. However there's something distinctly English about seeing the headlines of every newspaper dominated by the divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. 

I've spent most of my first 24 hours in the UK staring at my laptop and getting my head around things. All the while this photo, with its unfortunately placed crease, stared back at me. For what it's worth, also today Tony Blair decided he should be involved in less scrupulous business interests, and the Labor Party decided its members should adhere to stronger social media standards so that they can stop being so damned mean.

For those playing at home, the bakery that supplied the chocolate croissant does a pretty solid flat white. The croissant itself was also pretty tasty, and I can see many more of these in my future. Good news for blood sugar levels.

Still, it's sad for Angelina and Brad, isn't it?

Daniel used to live in Sydney but now he lives in London: 20th September 2016

Some very good friends of mine are posting a photo a day on Tumblr in order to document their journeys living overseas. Always being one to jump on a bandwagon, I thought I would also give this a shot.

Historically, declaring to do something for a sustained period of time has mixed results for me. What makes me think this might work this time is a genuine desire to take better pictures. Another has generously helped in this cause by providing me some sweet prime lenses to play around with.

The image above was taken with one of said lenses, immediately reminding me that there's a reason people use these primarily for portraiture. This is the view out of window where my partner and I are currently residing. I'm still getting my head around living somewhere with less trees and much more brickwork, but there is a quite sizeable park nearby - so that equation can be balanced after I recalibrate from being jetlagged and work out what day it is.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Not So Topical

Some 18 months ago I said I would record a bunch of tracks within a month and release them immediately after that - I even published one of these tracks as a proof of concept, like this would somehow inspire me to actually do the thing I said I would do.

Somehow, perhaps predictably, this didn't happen as expected. However, after finishing the recordings I'd started last February, the resulting pieces of music were put on to Bandcamp under the banner of Topical. At this point, the music longer reflected any sort of commentary about anything happening at the time the project started, rather than a self-deprecating jab at the speed with which I finish things.

But it's done now, and you can listen to it above because the internet is good like that. And now that I've written a post that honours the completion something I've previous said I'd do, maybe I can properly move on to something else.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

A Month Off

Last year I took part in Weeklybeats, a year-long challenge to produce a new piece of music every week for all of 2014. While the results varied wildly, I was proud that I was able to get a new track online each week (with one exception, which I conveniently don't count, due to technical difficulties).

Since the end of 2014 I've found myself distracted with a whole new set of crazy schemes, but I found I've missed the routine of trying to quickly produce a track to Weeklybeats' local Monday morning deadline. I've thought about continuing the tradition off my own steam, but I just haven't been able to make it stick. And to be honest, the drive just hasn't been there. Something to do with the combination of said deadline, and an inbuilt competitive streak.

Whilst listening to All Songs Considered a few weeks back I heard about the RPM Challenge, which seeks to have people write and record an album's worth of material (10 tracks or 35 minutes) during the month of February. Being one to overcommit myself, I thought to give it a shot, but I've decided to make the process slightly easier on myself. I'm simply going to write a bunch of tunes, commit them to my hard drive, and then release them come March. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Recently Historic

Study for Rage Against The Machine, 2015.

Opening this Thursday at Gaffa in the Sydney CBD is Recently Historic: Australian Electronic Arts in Western Sydney #2, featuring recent work by myself and a whole bunch of people I used to go to university with. While a description like that may read like a reclaiming of one's glory days, the broader context ties into research by the show's curator, Monica Brooks, into the Bachelor of Electronic Arts at the University of Western Sydney. Now for what it's worth, I studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts, but that's a whole other story.

Sometimes a good idea is just a good idea.

The New Year is usually a good time to give yourself a series of lofty goals that aren't well-enough defined. In 2015 I've decided to give myself several of these, figuring that surely at least one of them will stick.

One of these goals involves being all milennial and starting to use the blog again. After a couple of years of not updating, coupled with the death of RSS services (or at least Google Reader, I'm sure there are others that people still like), I'm sure there are fewer than ever people to shout into void at, but let's give this a shot.

Other goals are more pragmatic (and apparently really obvious), like "reading more". I could just write this as "use the internet less so you can read more", but I don't think that really addresses the issue. I already know I'm easily distracted; I feel that my aim overall is to better channel these distractions.

In thinking about this, a friend involved in the International Librarians Network pointed me towards this list of ways to build a reading habit. First on the slate is this:
Set times. You should have a few set times during every day when you’ll read for at least 5-10 minutes. These are times that you will read no matter what — triggers that happen each day...
I am terrible at sticking to a routine, and I can usually dismiss advice like this out of hand, but there's something about reading this list at this moment in space and time that is completely resonant for me. So let's see if I can be a little more structured about things, and maybe in 2015 I can get a few more things done. Either that, or I'll see you in another two years.