Categories
Music

Seán Maquire, Fidil agus Píb Uillinne, 1959

I called to see my Dad yesterday, and he told me he has resurrected his old Pioneer record player. I have many memories of this device sitting in the corner of the “good room” at home, and after the needle and the rubber band that drives the player were replaced it works really well.

Seán Maquire (McQuire) recorded an album of songs in 1959, which my dad still has in his collection. Here’s twenty seconds of music from that album.

I have to confess I’m not familiar with Seán’s music at all, but an online search found a Wikipedia page about Seán McQuire which shows his birth surname as Maquire. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 77.

I’ll have to figure out how to properly record those vinyl records to digital format. Suggestions? It used to be simple to record things with an AUX or 3.5mm cable to a tape recorder, but Mac laptops and Android phones are more problematic. Maybe I’ll have to dig out my old desktop PC with its numerous audio sockets…

Want more? Enjoy the following …

Categories
Music

Building the MP3mobile

Apart from hoarding driver CDs and diskettes in 1999 I also printed out a huge number of pro-Linux news articles. One of those was this page on building an MP3 player for a car called The MP3mobile.

Over the years I had grappled with the idea of adding an MP3 player to whatever my current car was but never really got anywhere but the MP3mobile was the initial source of inspiration for this idea.

The furthest I ever got with the idea was using a portable MP3 CD player but that didn’t work too well:

  1. Bumps in the road caused skips.
  2. Irish roads are bumpy.
  3. More skips.

It’s funny now to see what the MP3mobile can do, but back then this was highly impressive.

The final result is immensely wonderful, and impresses the hell out of most hackerish people (like me). Non-computer people just wonder why you havn’t got a CD player. But, with my setup (based on RedHat Linux 5.0) I can do these things:

* NFS mount my car from my laptop (there’s a loose 10-base-T cable behind the drivers seat) and squirt new tunes into it.

* Hook up my GSM-modem to the car (so you can telnet into it and run emacs at 60mph 🙂 ).

* Hook up a GPS unit, so you could finger the car and find out exactly where a car full of computer equipment suitable for stealing is located.

* Compile as I go round bends.

* Coredump as I change gear 🙂

None of these things can be done with an autochanger. Sorry, but you lose 🙂

Future plans include:

* 418Mhz low-power radio link to allow me to upgrade the software when the car is in the garage 30m or so from the flat.
* Link into the car’s engine management to monitor boost pressure, etc
* Voice-command of the music functions.

The machine ran off a Pentium 166MMX CPU, and had a 2.5″ laptop drive with a massive 2.1GB of storage space.

It all seems so quaint and obsolete now doesn’t it? That may well be how your current state of the art tech appears in another twenty years!

In the time since then the rise of smart phones led to miniaturisation, better screens and power efficient computers. A few years later a Raspberry Pi or Android phone would have been a suitable replacement for the device. And later still Android Auto or Car Play would make the job of playing your own media even easier.

If you use an Android phone, then your car stereo could run Linux, at least through Android Auto as your phone has a Linux kernel!

Categories
Music

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played by London Concertante

London Concertante in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. March 2022

We haven’t been to a concert in a long time. Last night I went to St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral in the heart of Cork City to listen to London Concertante.

My son has shown a huge interest in music over the course of lockdown. He started with an electronic keyboard, and then on to other instruments. I know Matt would be delighted to hear he has expressed an interest in learning the saxophone too.

Anyway, we heard that there would be a classical concert in the Cathedral so we had to go. It was an amazing night. I’ll admit I don’t know much about classical music. I recognise the most popular compositions everyone else recognises. But despite that it was a feast for the ears.

In the video above they play Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons. I can’t imagine there’s anyone reading this who won’t recognise this fabulous piece of music.

PS. I shared this video on Facebook too and received a copyright strike. Luckily, I could dispute it without penalty and it was not muted “in 74 territories”.

Categories
Music

Keep Yourself Alive (Long Lost Re-Take)

I just heard this edit of Queen’s Keep Yourself Alive for the first time and I love it. It’s longer than the original and definitely worth listening to if you know the original.

Apparently it was recorded in 1975 as a possible radio edit according to this post but it was finally released in 1991 by Hollywood Records.

This acetate first was thought to be from circa 1972. But some years ago in an interview Brian confirmed that in 1975 it was re-recorded as new version for a possibly new release. Interestingly, the “long” track is refered to as a “long lost retake” on the hollywood version.

I’d love to know what other material is in the Queen vaults waiting to be heard..

Categories
Games

The Bohemian Rhapsody Roller Coaster

Just last week I installed OpenRCT2 so I’m glad Youtube showed me this fabulous roller coaster synchronised with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody!

Categories
C64

Retrograde Music

This tweet reminded me that Retrograde had great loading music.

I don’t think I’ve ever listened to the whole tune and the odd stops are jarring but it’s worth it. Steve Rowlands was a master on the C64.

Categories
Music

Queen – Open your eyes look touch and feel

This is a forty five minute remix of Queen music that just blows me away.

Categories
C64

Prodigy in Wonderland XIII

The death yesterday of Keith Flint left many shocked and reaching for their CD collections but I remembered that one of their songs was featured in a Commodore 64 demo.

Censor Design sampled Prodigy’s “Smack my Bitch Up” and used it as the sound track to the final part of their excellent demo Wonderland XIII. Click play on the video above to see it in action. It’s really amazing!

It’s worth watching the whole video but if the embedded version above doesn’t load at 7:33 then load it from here instead or here’s another video of the music played back by two SID chips which IMO sounds even better!

For those at the back who don’t know, the C64 was released in the early 80s but developers made it work magic and do things thought impossible, such as in this case playing sampled sound!

Edit (2019-03-22): Here’s a version of Voodoo People from Bad Boy by Samar Productions. Amazing what the SID can do!


Categories
C64

From Rio to Waterfalls

Follow along from “I Go To Rio” to “Ritmo De La Noche” to “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” by Coldplay. I had no idea Ritmo De La Noche had such a history!

Of course there’s a C64 version! Maduplec of BUDS/NATO/Crest fame created a SID version of Ritmo De La Noche for his 1992 Glober demo. Every time I hear that song I think of that demo. I couldn’t find it on Youtube so you’ll just have to fire up an emulator to watch the spinning globe but here’s the SID tune!

Categories
Music

Bo-Meme-Ean Rhapsody (Queen Fan Video)

OK, this is just wonderful. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen in memes. Article 13 would have a field day. I don’t expect this video to stay up for very long so watch it as soon as you can!