121 seconds of Otis observing bees and ladybugs on lilacs

There are several large lilac bushes behind our house. I love lilacs, so this was a big factor when we were buying the house. They don’t always bloom very much—you get much better flowers when you keep the bushes cut way back—but the last couple of years have been real humdingers.

I’m told that a good lilac spring follows a particularly wet winter. Whatever the reason, the past two Mays have made our yard a perfumed purple paradise. Otis was as excited about the fauna as I was about the flora.

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a xylophone that I made for a final project in college

In addition to my non-performance music major, I graduated from Boston University with a minor in art history. (I’m fond of bragging about my prowess in selecting the most worthless major/minor combination possible.) As part of the requirements for my chosen minor, I took a class called Arts of Africa (CAS AH 215). Prof. Pilar Quezzaire-Belle gave us a choice for our final project: we could write a paper on some artifact or artwork we’d discussed earlier in the semester or build/sculpt/craft an object that (roughly) approximated something we’d seen over the course of the semester. Inspired by my friend Nate (who had taken the class several years prior and built a djembe for his final project), I took it upon myself to build a xylophone/marimba.

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100 seconds of crows cawing in a tree near our house

A bunch of crows hang out near our house in the early morning. Every day the 50-strong murder picks a new tree for their roosting/terrorizing. I don’t know why they have to make so much noise, but the whole scene is pretty unnerving. I’m usually out and about at this hour, walking the dog or walking to school and so I have to brave the crow gauntlet on a daily basis. A friend of ours, who lives around the corner, is often out at the same time and we like to trade stories about smart crow videos we’ve seen on YouTube. I’m not happy about the situation, but what am I going to do?

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a collection of sounds I’ve heard

I’ve kept a more-or-less daily photoblog for a little over eleven years now. At last count there were 3,414 posts. That’s a lot of days and a lot of (self-indulgent and artsy-fartsy) pictures! I’ve been thinking about ways to build on the idea and my latest brainstorm should have been obvious a long time ago: a soundblog. From time to time, I’ll come across an interesting and/or autobiographically significant sound and will be inspired to record it, either on my phone or—if I’m feeling particularly energetic—on the little Zoom recorder my wife bought several years ago.

A small and scattered assortment of audio files already resides on the various hard drives I have stashed around my house. These recordings have been patiently looking forward to a little attention, in some cases for several years, and now their wait is over. I also recently shelled out (a whopping $3.24!) for a fancy pants audio recording app on my phone and plan on capturing more of the things I hear.

I don’t know how this blog will evolve (aside from settling into predictable themes and inane/superfluous self-documentation), but I’m excited to find out!