Redferno was a tune I wrote in 2006 combining a riff taught to me by Reece Tunbridge with the euphemism for coitus interruptus I heard from a girlfriend at uni. I think Reece might've been inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughan's Mary Had A Little Lamb.

The above version wasn't the original draft, it's already lost most of the lyrics to the dub treatment. The below version is the remixed one which appears on my YOUR album from 2007.

Oceandrift now adrift

Oceandrift is an interesting collaboration I've been involved with through the Ninja Tune forum.

About a year ago Kelp put forward this idea to develop a project where people remixed the previous track, so it would chart a daisy chain as producers picked apart and reassembled sounds and added new elements.

When I remixed my section last year it was the first remix I'd done in ages and, aside from being philosophical about my role, it was a bug that bit me and I started developing my project to remix parks and playgrounds in Leeton -- which will be out next month.

Over the years the Ninja Tune forum has seen a variety of these types of remix compilations, from seven-minute mixes of selected artists to remix competitions where the winner would offer a track and judge the responses (actually, this was about a decade ago and I wish there were more of them) to another one where people got the previous bar and created a four-bar contribution, which overlapped with the last bar and you passed your last bar along to the next producer.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to listening to the result of this remix project now the compilation is online. The Oceandrift is now adrift! Kelp paid to have the whole thing mastered and, judging by what I've heard of my track, the engineer did a great job. So please, have a listen and consider making a financial contribution.

And you can hear a bit of my track in this video too :)

Or hear clips from the Ocean Drift album via the following.

Eyes on the back of my helmet

I'm getting ready for spring, although it's the eve of the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere.

While I'm not convinced the swooping magpies will be put off by the eyeball stickers, Abre Ojos' work looks great :)

Some of the drivers on the roads around here make me wish I really did have eyes in the back of my helmet though.

Rediscovering the theremin

Years ago I bought a theremin because it seemed like a good idea.

When it arrived I was disappointed to discover it's almost as difficult to play as a violin. I experimented with gating it and triggering it with drums and then it got packed away.

Then the other day I was writing a list of ideas for the 2013 Leeton Art Deco Festival and I'd included the theremin, as it was invented in the 1920s.

Since I've been experimenting with putting different signals through different guitar pedals, I plugged in the theremin and found some pleasing sounds. Have a listen :)

All hail the king

Awesome! Here's a first look at the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad. I saw this and heard the slide guitar from the opening music in my head!

Great local story

How wide is this widescreen?! This film is great, offering an overview of innovative Australian farming techniques from Boree Creek with the wit and wisdom of a couple of my mates.

Better branding through poetry

These are my notes for a presentation of CUVPRP201A Make A Simple Creative Work as part of my assessment for a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment TAE40110.

Anyone know the poem that starts "There once was a man from Nantucket"?

It's okay, we don't need to recite it. I'm just seeing if you're familiar with the limerick format.

Limericks are often humourous poems, sometimes in ways that would make you blush. There's a clever limerick about limericks that goes:
The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical
Limiericks are characterised by a five-line format with a strict AABBA rhyme scheme:
From a rhythmic point of view, lines 1, 2 and 5 have a silent accent at the end, making 4 accents per line. Lines 3 and 4 combined also have 4 accents, making four lines with an overall total of 16 accents (i.e. foot tapping "beats" ). This is why limericks can be sung to sixteen bars of 3/4 music. Reading, or reciting, naturally follows the faster rhythm of 6/8 time, making eight bars of two triplets per bar. A triplet represents a "foot" of 3 syllables.

These rules are somewhat flexible and it seems you can be excused for breaking them if you do so for a laugh, like:
There was a young man from Japan
Whose limericks never would scan.
When asked why this was,
He replied "It's because
I always try to fit as many syllables into the last line as ever I possibly can.
Thinking of things from Japan, a somewhat similar poetry format is the haiku.

Haiku, like limericks, are short poems based on a rhyme structure. However, haiku use three-line stanzas of up to 17 syllables, arranged in a 5/7/5 format.

It's been written that the genius of haiku using an economy of words to paint a multi-tiered painting, without "telling all". Or as Matsuo Bashō puts it, "The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of."

While I don't read a lot of haiku, I've always been enamoured with the economy of these poetic styles. So, to demonstrate a haiku, I'll share one of mine:

Thoughts are like fishes
in the subconscious they swim
awaiting a line

This isn't a proper haiku in many ways because the Japanese origins of the format focus on subjects of nature but there is a sense of contrasting images to display meaning in the analogy. However, I think the format is a great way of practicing language use, which is a skill for other styles for other styles of writing that focus on economy and a sense of praising the transcendental. Like branding slogans.

There are many memorable marketing slogans used to promote brands, with Nike's Just Do It or Coke's The Real Thing or Toyota's Oh What A Feeling among a few that come to mind.

I think the skills required to develop this style of tagline to the brand are similar to those used in writing poetry. You need to be economic in your use of language but, like an artist, you must also choose the right words to convey a meaning which is both reassuring without revealing too much to not be open to all sorts of aspirational interpretations.

You must choose words which denote and connote appropriate meaning and a thesaurus will assist.

Once you begin the process, however, it will require commitment. Where people like myself often write poems for amusement, undertaking the work of summarising the flavour of a brand will mean collaborating.

You must also be prepared to allow others to shape your work. You'll need to research the response it generates and ensure the information you're trying to communicate is being understood.

And, furthermore, you'll need to ensure that those you're working with share the same vision. Feedback from these key people will be required to successfully craft a brand tagline. There's an English proverb success has many fathers, failure is an orphan that I think is worth reflecting on.

In short, short format poetry is a great way to develop skills for language use and a great exercise to start thinking about taglines, like those used in branding. These summaries can convey a lot of meaning, through both denotative and connotative language -- both the literal meaning and the inferred meaning.

Poetry is valuable in many ways and I think Harrison Young explains this best:
Poetry is full of metaphor, and metaphor is where one thing means another, it is saying two things at once. And this to my mind is like reality, there are often two aspects. Or more.