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Author: joe

Saturday, 06 May, 2006 - 22:55

I've just started a new web site called Don Chihuahua, which will eventually explain itself, but suffice to say for now that it is about performing music, and is as much fictional as it is factual. Today, I thought I'd officially launch, with a recording dedicated to my father, whose birthday would have been today.

Listen: Bach - Prelude mp3

Duration: 2:30; Size: 2MB

Categories: don chihuahua, music, dad, recording, podcast, J.S. Bach, guitar,
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Free and not so free

Author: joe

Sunday, 09 October, 2005 - 14:32

This morning I was deeply excited by a couple of news items I read from Slashdot and Boing Boing, only to run into a mixed experience of glee and disappointment.

Slashdot reported that the British Library has made available one of Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks on their website, alongside 13 others works from Jane Austin, Lewis Carroll and the Lindisfarne Gospels. This is exactly what libraries should be doing with the Internet...

However, when Boing Boing reported that some of Dylan Thomas's poetry was avilable online, namely a reading of "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" and the entire collection of the Caedmon recordings as free mp3 downloads, I ran into huge disappointment.

The first link is a page which, to be fair, does allow you hear Thomas reading his most famous poem, though only in a swf file which you therefore can't download and listen to on whatever music player you choose, and therefore it's only available for as long as choose to maintain the page.

The second link to the Caedmon collection is at, which means that the mp3 downloads are free only insomuch as you're prepared to be a premium subscriber to Salon. This twists the definition of free to a new level.

Thomas died in 1953, so while all of his texts are therefore out of copyright, other media forms such as recordings can still be controlled by copyright owners. Thomas' reading of his own poetry is one of the greatest experiences lovers of poetry and language can enjoy. So the $6 it costs to join salon for a month is almost certainly worth paying for the collection, if not for salon's other content ;)

Categories: poetry, dylan thomas, literature, recording, free,
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