Computer Aided Composing

An account of my recent doings at Musical Keys with a photographic interlude.

INTRODUCTION

A few sessions back at Musical Keys, an event run for autistic people that I am a regular attender of, I switched from using Scratch to using a different package called Reaper. This Saturday just gone I reached a point at which I feel that my work on Reaper is now worth talking about. Also I have some good pictures that I can slip in as part of the back story.

SCRATCH AND REAPER

Scratch enables one to play notes on various musical instruments and also has some saved sound loops for variation. Effectively therefore Scratch enables one to play music and sounds but not really to create anything beyond the framework within which to do so. Reaper is both less and more – less in that it has no versions of musical instruments, more in that is really all about combining different recorded sounds into a larger whole, and therefore has much more of a creative element to it. 

BEFORE SATURDAY’S SESSION

I had spent one session assessing the available sound segments, working out which ones I liked and which of those combined well together, and a second session combining shorter segments into longer ones by putting together segments that would or could naturally flow together, but at the start of Saturday what I actually had was a set of useful components that I could start to think about assembling into proper length pieces…

INTERLUDE –  WALK TO THE SCOUT HUT

I had decided to lengthen my walk to the venue by taking in a stretch of the Great Ouse before rejoining the regular walking route to Gaywood by way of Seven Sisters and the Vancouver Garden, and a quick sampling of the air outside my flat convinced me of the need to don an extra jumper – it was cold, as some of the photos will make very plain. I had also allowed myself time for a visit to Gaywood library, since I would naturally pass very close to it. It may have been cold, but the birds were out in force, especially near the Great Ouse.

lapwings and a gulllapwings and gullsFlying lapwingswimming birdBlackbirdsBlackbird

Leaving the river by way of Hardings Pits I headed for the South Gate and thence Seven Sisters and the parkland areas…

framed magpieKL signSouthgatestarlingsthree birds

Among other things the walk through the parkland provided me with absolute proof of how cold it was – gulls walking on water. 

Gull walking on waterGull walking on water 2Gull walking on water 3rooksBlackbird II

DECEMBER 9TH AT MUSICAL KEYS

John, who usually supervises the sessions was not feeling well, so having driven the equipment over he spent the afternoon sat in his car, while his assistant Kirsten took charge of the sessions. 

Once I had opened up Reaper, checked and adjusted the speaker volume (at least 99% of the time it is set too loud for me and I have to reduce it, often considerably – on this occasion it had been set to 70% of full volume and I reduced that to 35%) it was time to put my plan of exploring options for combining various elements to make a larger whole into practice. Before moving on here is a photo I took at the end of the session.

Reaper

The piece that I called Organ and Strings was one of three background sounds that I used in the bigger pieces, the others being the drum and brass backgrounds. “Ensemble” and “Composite” as those names suggest were medium sized components, while “Horizontal” and “All in” were the two large scale components that I combined to make the final full size pieces. The two big pieces (12 and 16 minutes long respectively) were comprised of “Horizontal”-“All-in”‘-“Horizontal” and “Horizontal”-“All-in”-“Horizontal”-“All-in” respectively. By the time I had listened to the 16 minute piece at the end it was pretty much the end of the session. The next session is on January 6th and I shall work out some way to build on what I have already created. 

 

Links, Pics and a Thunderclap

Some links to excellent pieces by autistic writers, especially on the subject of Judith Newman’s book To Siri With Love. Details of a thunderclap on the subject of driven grouse shooting and some of my own photos.

INTRODUCTION

I have had a busy few days imaging for James and Sons’ final auction of the year (takes place on Wednesday – click here to view on online catalogue), so it is only today that I have time for another post. Before getting into the main meat of today’s post there is a small matter of an…

APOLOGY

Some of you may have noticed snowflakes falling across pictures on this blog (as I did today, when I accessed it at the library to get a picture I needed for something I was doing). I am aware that some of my followers have sensory issues that make this sort of thing unwelcome, and I have changed my settings so that those snowflakes will not appear again. I apologise to any who were inconvenienced by this ‘seasonal’ addition of WordPress’s.

SOME AUTISM RELATED PIECES

I will start this section by stating that most of the pieces I link to here were drawn to my attention by Eve Reiland at americanbadassactivists. Another excellent source of good material by autistic people is Laina, both in her own right at thesilentwaveblog and via her specialist sharing blog Lainascollection.

My first links concern the representation of autistic people in the media:

The remaining links in this section all related to…

#BOYCOTTTOSIRI

The title of this section refers to the backlash by the autistic community against Judith Newman’s book To Siri With Love. Although they make unpleasant reading, because of what they reveal about the book, I urge you to follow up the links I give, all of which, save one, are to pieces about this book written by autistic people. The exception, which ends this section, is to an alternative reading list, and was also created by an autistic person. 

I start with what is actually last piece I read about this issue, “An Autistic’s Thoughts On To Siri, With Love by Judith Newman” which was posted on writeabledreams.

My next offering, by Susie Rodarme is titled “AN OPEN LETTER TO HARPERCOLLINS ABOUT TO SIRI WITH LOVE“, and was published on bookriot.com

Next, courtesy of goodreads.com comes Kaelan Rhywiol’s review of the book – it is a superbly written take down of the book.

Next we turn to autistichoya and “Why we must #BoycottToSiri / An open letter to Judith Newman“. 

The last specific #BoycottToSiri piece to which I link is Eve’s as yet unanswered closing challenge to the author “Judith Newman | Stop The BS and Evolve into an Actual Autistic Ally #boycotttosiri” 

I end this section with a link to a post on huxtales simply titled “The Essential Autistic Reading List“.

A THUNDERCLAP

To take part in a thunderclap you have to be on at least one of facebook, twitter and/ or tumblr. I am on the first two named, and as such have contributed approximately 5,500 connections to this thunderclap calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting. If like me (see here for a previous piece on this subject) you hold those who take pleasure in shooting at birds in utter contempt, and you are on one of the three networks mentioned please add your voice to thunderclap – more details below:

GrouseThunderclap.jpg

PICTURES

Lights, Tower StreetLight chainsLights, Broad StreetStarVancouver ArchLit up treeBlack headed gullGullsB7ackbirdBlackb1rd

Bus window 1
This network of cracks were in the upstairs front window of an X29 bus – when it is a double decker I invariably sit upstairs, and the best seat is the front window seat on the side opposite the driver.

LeafRMCSquirrel

Olympics 50p.jpg
I needed this 50p for my bus fare, so I could not keep it until a better opportunity to photograph it arose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Autism Pledge And Minimalist Personal Cards

My #TheAutisticUnion pledge and my new cards.

INTRODUCTION

Just a quick post to keep things rolling…

AN AUTISM PLEDGE

This, courtesy of Eve Reiland at AmericanBadassActivists,  is #TheAutisticUnion Pledge:

pledgeautisticunion

Every individual pledge has been published on this site, including as of yesterday mine. Mine has also been reblogged on FireBrightStarSoul for which many thanks. I reproduce it below as well:

#TheAutisticUnion Pledge |Thomas Sutcliffe

ThomasSutcliffeI pledge . . .

I pledge to always uphold the principles of #TheAutisticUnion pledge. I believe firmly in every one of the ten points of this pledge.

As someone who is both autistic and branch secretary of the National Autistic Society West Norfolk branch, I am doing my bit to ensure that autistic people are involved in the running of their own welfare/ support organisations.

You can find out more about me on my blog, http://aspi.blog and also on my London transport themed website www.londontu.be.

MINIMALIST PERSONAL CARDS

Vistaprint gave me a £10 voucher off my next purchase, with a use-by date as a reward for using them to make my 2018 wall calendars, so I used it to create a card which contains some information about me on one side and a sample photograph on the other. I collected them from the delivery office on Austin Street this morning (delivery was attempted yesterday while I was out), and they have come out superbly.

FrontBack

International Charter of Autists Rights & THE 10 POINTS OF Âû (The Autistic Union)

This is a must read document, courtesy of Eve Reiland (nee Hinson) at americanbadassactivists

American Badass Activists

Note: The International Charter of Autists Rights has been officially adopted at AmericanBadassActivists.org. Please support, share and help educate others on Autists Rights.


THE 10 POINTS OF Âû (The Autistic Union)
  1. I am Autistic. [or] I support those who are Autistic.
  2. I embrace my Autism as a very significant part of my identity.
  3. I embrace those who would sacrifice to protect all Autistic life.
  4. I embrace the belief that Autism does not need any “curing”.
  5. I embrace the self-advocacy goal of “Everything about us, with us”.
  6. I embrace the definition of Autism as a neuro-social difference.
  7. I embrace measures directed at protecting Autistics from attack.
  8. I embrace a person-centred approach to all Autism issues.
  9. I embrace rigorous scientific approaches to co-occurring conditions.
  10. I embrace Autistics leading their own welfare organisations.

1. THE RIGHT TO LIFE 

We will prevent eugenic elimination of autistic people by opposing pre-natal testing for autism.

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Downham Market Community Fair

An account of running the NAS West Norfolk stall at the Downham Market Community Fair on Saturday.

INTRODUCTION

NAS West Norfolk were invited to run a stall at the Downham Market Community Fair, which took place on Saturday, with stalls setting up from 9AM and the event itself running from 10AM to 2PM. This post is my account from my perspective running the NASWN stall on the day. There will be plenty of photographs. I have stated elsewhere that while it is not ideal to have a stall covered by only one person if NAS West Norfolk are going to have only one person running the stall that person should be me.

Community Fair

GETTING THERE

I travelled to Downham Market by train (£3 return when making the journey at the weekend), selecting the 7:54AM, which would see me arrive at the station at about 8:10AM. I saw sufficiently much to take the eye as I walked through the town that I shall be putting up a separate post about that. I arrived outside the Town Hall at 8:35AM, giving me plenty of time to take some photographs of the outside of the building.

Town Hall Exterior 5Info board 2Info board 1Detail 5Town Hall Exterior 4Detail 4Town Hall Exterior 3Foundation stoneDetail 3Detail 2Detail 1Main doorTown Hall Exterior 2Town Hall Exterior 1Carr panelAdvertisingWindowDetail 6

THE NASWN STALL

As arranged the person bringing the stall and some new leaflets arrived at 9AM, and the setup was swiftly accomplished. This was the first occasion in which the aspi.blog calendars for 2018 were on public display.

Stall
The stall – new leaflets/flyers, calendars and the display board.
Calendars
A close up of the calendars.

AROUND THE HALL

Obviously, being in sole charge of the stall I did not have much opportunity for moving about once the event was underway, but I did get sufficient pictures from a combination of the occasions on which I did move about and those taken from the stall to give a feel for the event. We start with some general pictures of the inside of the building.

Whole Hall
Two shots showing views of the hall

Hall

Parapet
This parapet is presumably the front of an upstairs seating area.
Artwork 2
The last two shots in this selection feature artwork on the walls just outside the hall.

Artwork 1

Moving on to inidviudal stalls, I got pictures of the Downham Market Horticultural Society stall, the RBL stall, and various others. The most impressive stall of the day was that being run by the King’s Lynn and District Astronomy Society. They had a big screen displaying some very impressive slides as well their display board. The Cats Protection group had a stall, that like the NASWN stall was being run by a single person. 

Sue Ryder 2Cats ProtectionDownham Market HortiRBLRBL modelsBannerSue RyderRotary

These are all the pictures of stalls other than the Astronomy Society one that I got, and it is to that group that I now turn:

Astronomy 1
Two shots of the KLADAS stall

Astronomy 2

Astronomy 3
The remainder are of slides that caught my attention.

Astronomy 4Astronomy 5Astronomy 6Astronomy 7Astronomy 8Astronomy 9

THE NAS WEST NORFOLK STALL

The event was not massively attended, but I did see quite a few people at the NASWN stall, and the experience was overwhelmingly positive. My calendars impressed a few people but not sufficiently for any to sell. From an NASWN perspective, the main point of the day of course was to improve understanding of autism and to publicise the existence of our group. We succeeded as well as could have been hoped for in both regards, with a number of the new leaflets being taken, and quite a few people leaving the event better informed about autism than they had been before it started. I also got to explain about the rainbow coloured infinity symbol, and the fact that it is a symbol chosen by autistic people to represent the autistic spectrum. I consider that this event was a good use of a significant part of my Saturday. To finish, here is our stall for a second time:

Stall
The stall – new leaflets/flyers, calendars and the display board.

 

 

Ageing With Autism

An account of the Ageing With Autism conference that took place in Norwich on Wednesday.

INTRODUCTION

The title of this post is the same as the event in Norwich on Wednesday at which I was running a stall for NAS West Norfolk. This post tells the story of that day.

THE PRELIMINARIES

This event was organised by ASD Helping Hands, and they invited us to have a stall there, which we accepted. The intention was that I and our branch chair would jointly run the stall. Other factors intervened, meaning that the branch chair could run me over to Norwich with the stuff for the stall, see me set up and then depart, leaving me to travel back by bus. Fortunately someone else very well known to us was able to take the stall stuff back in their car (although not heavy, the display board even when folded and bagged is bulky and awkward – it would have been very difficult taking it back to King’s Lynn on the bus). This meant that I would be running the stall on my own. Having only one person to run the stall was not ideal, but in the context of people who might run an NAS West Norfolk stall if the stall has to be run by a single person I am the right person to it, since at least that does mean the we have an autistic person present (the NAS in NAS West Norfolk stands for National Autistic Society after all).

GETTING THERE

I had arranged to meet the branch chair on Winston Churchill Drive, near her son’s school (as a single male I did not wish to be seen loitering directly outside a school!), which meant a longish walk (I was not paying a bus fare for a journey of that length). I travelled by way of The Walks, the path on from there in between the two academies, various back roads in Gaywood which led in the general direction of Gaywood Park, and then through Gaywood Park to the latest point at which I could join the main road, which I then followed to the roundabout opposite the entrance to the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and then walked on to Winston Churchill Drive to await the branch chair. Here is a map that is posted opposite where I waited:

Map

The journey from there to Norwich was uneventful, but having located King Street we discovered that it was blocked halfway along its length, so I took the stall stuff and made my way to the venue while the car was parked. Setting the stall up did not take very long, and I was ready for action.

AT THE EVENT

I talked to various people through the day and also picked up information from other stalls at the event. The first person I spoke to was Daphne Rowlands of Children’s Autism Services, who came over not long after I had set up. During an early quiet period I walked round the room looking at the stalls, which were run by (in no particular order):

As well as all these organisations, a number of ordinary folk attending the conference came over to speak to me, and we may or may not hear more from them. The last session of the conference ended at 3:00, and at 3:30, with no one having come to my stall for several minutes I decided it was time to pack up (in theory I could have stayed another hour). After accompanying the person who would be temporarily looking after the stall stuff to her car and helping her to load I took the opportunity of being in Norwich to visit the Millennium Library before catching the bus home. I arrived home somewhat more than 11 hours after setting off. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are the photographs I took at the event (and a couple taken later in the day).

Agenda
The agenda for the conference.
Thomas
My personal sheet, attached to the NASWN notice board
Acrostic
The NASWN acrostic
Allotment 1
The first of two pieces about our allotment

Allotment 2

NASWN
The whole NASWN stall.

alphaASD helping handsRespectrumRespectrum2StallsStalls2Stalls3Fish pic

Carpet Pattern 2
The patterns in the carpet caught my attention (based on fingerprints?)

Carpet patternCarpet patternsCarpet

Milestone
An unusual signpost in Norwich

Trees in Transistion V

The fifth installment in “Trees in Transistion”.

INTRODUCTION

This post will have a longer preamble than is usual for posts in this series because I have not posted much (except a reblog of an excellent post by Anna) in recent days. On Tuesday and today I have been busy at work, while yesterday I was in Norwich running a stall at a conference organised by ASD Helping Hands, titled “Ageing with Autism”. This means that the tree pics you see in this post are a little bit out of date. I hope to have time for some serious posting over the weekend. For the moment, welcome to the fifth installment in my series “Trees in Transistion”.

TREES TO THE FORE