Week 160 (Variac Panel)

Some things take longer than others.  A little more than two years ago I advertised that the studio would be using Variac transformers instead of more modern technologies.  This was not a “retro at all costs” decision (though Variacs can be used to provide a really, really great dimming system), but due to the the fact that the pre-eminent lighting control company refused to sell us the very reasonable and very standard system that virtually every other studio employs, and instead would only quote us a package that cost 200% more than it should have.  Their absolute unreasonableness caused us to design them out of the main studio, albeit at an extraordinary expense of time.   Our proven ability to design around them led to a very easy negotiation the next time around when it came to outfitting the Annex.  Go figure.  But now, the variable transformers that we procured in 2008 are finally now being installed:

The design is ultra-green (in my book), as follows…

Continue reading “Week 160 (Variac Panel)”

The importance of art education

Last week the church I attend highlighted The Arena Culture, an editorial by David Brooks which considers a new book All Things Shining.  David Brooks writes:

For the past hundred years or so, we have lived in a secular age. That does not mean that people aren’t religious. It means there is no shared set of values we all absorb as preconscious assumptions. In our world, individuals have to find or create their own meaning.

This, Dreyfus and Kelly argue, has led to a pervasive sadness. Individuals are usually not capable of creating their own lives from the ground up. So modern life is marked by frequent feelings of indecision and anxiety. People often lack the foundations upon which to make the most important choices.

Brooks puts his finger on a very important subject—the relationships between truth, meaning, and reality—but when he wields his rhetorical hammer, it is his logical fingers, rather than the target, he manages to strike.  As a parent, as a church-goer, and as a board member of a Montessori school, I have been on my own little journey of self-discovery, and I have had a chance to re-evaluate many of the truths I thought I had settled the first time I made my way to self and adulthood. Continue reading “The importance of art education”

A spiritual beginning to 2011

I think we all look for auspicious signs around the time of the New Year–signs of good fortune to come, signs of disasters to avoid, signs of hope. Indeed, there are many rituals from many cultures intended to tilt the cosmic game in one’s own favor.  For the start of 2011, I did nothing more profound nor bizarre than to turn my radio dial to 91.5 WUNC as I drove down to Pittsboro to check on the latest progress of my construction project.  Suddenly I found myself listening in on a conversation with John McLaughlin about spirituality in music.  Having seen John and his band play in Raleigh just a few months ago at the Lincoln Theater, hearing him talk about A Love Supreme was like music to my ears.  And I’m still jazzing strong about his latest release, To The One, which was nominated for a Grammy award last year, and which totally deserves to win it this year. Continue reading “A spiritual beginning to 2011”

Week 157 (QR Terminations)

It’s now time to shine a little light on the work of our intrepid wiring crew.  It was back in May [Week 122] when the wiring team first started pulling analog signal wires through our conduits, which connect the Control Room to the wall panels.  A week later [Week 123] they begin pulling our digital, video, and networking cables, connecting the non-analog interfaces of those same panels with the QR.  The analog cables were all terminated in mid-November [Week 149].  This week, 34 weeks after the first pull, the job of terminating the cables began in earnest:

And continued… Continue reading “Week 157 (QR Terminations)”

Week 156 (Finishing the Music Room Floor)

The last month of blog postings ([1]. [2], [3], [4]) have all had one theme in common: work is progressing, even if you cannot really see it.  Then Christmas came, and one of the most highly visible features of the studio was suddenly finished:

Tung Oil, the finish, is known even to Wikipedia for its ability to accentuate the natural beauty of wood and to bring out the greatest contrast in grain coloration.  But even if a picture is worth a thousand words, to really understand the nature of the finish and materials, check out the following animated gif (which is not animated on this page so as not to distract too much from the blog):

Continue reading “Week 156 (Finishing the Music Room Floor)”