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Status Updates posted by Mystified

  1. This is about 30 minutes of a 53-minute show performed live at the Central Library in Saint Louis, MO. Music and video by Thomas Park. Special thanks to the Saint Louis Public Library, and especially Joe Schwartz, and to those able and willing to attend. Thanks also to Hunter Dragon and Osvaldo Cibils for allowing me to use some of their sounds (some sounds also by Thomas Park), and to poetess Amanda Wells for furnishing her vocal talents.


  2. Music and photography by Thomas Park. The music, recorded live in 2018, is a live looping remix of mystified albums "Numinous Transmissions" (with Daniel Barbiero) and "Scattered Mist". Pictures taken 10/2018. 2018 Self-Released




    Introducing-- the Mixplant web application. Mixplant is a free web-based app that lets you generate random mixing consoles using sounds I have harvested or created. Simply go to the webpage, enter your name-- and a page opens with a randomly-created mixing console. You can use the console for anything you like. The sounds are public domain, so if you create a piece, it’s yours to keep. You can even use Mixplant for live shows. Note that the app now works best in Firefox or Edge, where you can control the volume of the embedded players. Chrome does not offer that function.:





    That’s where it’s all at, I am told-- ‘Big Data’. I have been learning to code to gain access to it, and the world increasingly revolves around it.

    The trouble is-- Is it accurate? Can we trust it?

    The fact is, nearly every database has some degree of error. Some have quite a bit of built-in-error. Those that do not admit to this are not being honest with their users.

    There is a popular reference database, for example, that was designed for startup businesspeople and advertising. It shows the economic conditions and spending patterns of over 290 million Americans.

    Unfortunately, nearly every entry in the database is flawed. Some have out-of-date information-- dating back to the last Census, over 8 years ago. Some do not explain where their data comes from.

    This database does not explain the potential built-in errors, nor does it reveal in detail its sources. I believe that all public databases should include detail about and disclaimers concerning possible inaccuracies.

    If a person made a major economic decision based on this database, they would risk taking losses. This because the database is flawed, and because nowhere on the databases’ website does it list or explain these flaws.

    When data has errors, problems are bound to occur. As long as we refer to data as a reality grounded in “probability”, we are ok. As soon as we use databases as justifications for action, we have to be careful.

    What if, for example, a study that suggested that many cancer cases occurred in a certain city turned out to use data from a Census that was from a decade ago? What if this affected the ill-timed or ill-placed construction of anti-cancer centers, or training and/or deployment of doctors?

    I have used perhaps a half-dozen databases in my SQL training this year. All have been helpful, and all have been full of errors. And that’s ok, as long as I am using them as probabilities, as aids towards understanding. If I am treating the data, however, as though it is objectively true, and making decisions based on it-- that’s when problems begin.

    Imagine relocating a business only to find that your new location is not lucrative for your industry. Imagine being denied a spot in a class, or for a loan, due to data that is inaccurate, or of date, or unfair to use. Imagine taking a trip to a spot and finding it to be nothing like what was promised.

    In a culture, in a society, that holds big data to be truth, and information to be money-- remember, please, to be careful and selective about how data is used. True objectivity is hard to achieve, whether you are a consumer, a small business owner, or a large corporation.

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. Mystified


      Every now and then I think-- "What is beyond digital?"

    3. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      Beyond digital is genetics and molecular domains, such as string theory, etc. I highly recommend Rudy Rucker's book, "Mind Tools". Its old, but a nice stroll through what the world looks like using numbers and data. 


    4. Mystified


      Thanks, Jack.

  5. Google Advanced Search: When you run a search on Google, it gives you this option, but I am sharing a direct link: https://www.google.com/advanced_search. Note that you can choose the type of domain to select (i.e. .com, .gov, .edu, and so forth). You can be very specific about certain terms appearing in the page. You can decide what license the page is-- so you could search for creative commons or public domain content. Try it out-- and share this information. Search in a smart way!

    Additionally, in the "Tools" section for normal searches, you can search for material that is from a recent period-- ie anything posted, to things posted within a certain number of hours.

    1. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      Very handy! They offer extensions for the Image search too. You can search by size, resolution and even license.

    2. Mystified


      Indeed, and thanks for that additional info..

  6. Can we do something nice, with-- live looping of modern orchestral loops? Try "Frequency 5":



    “Global Free Audio”

    If you have trouble with “Fake News” sites, or know someone who does, this free web application could be very helpful. In it, you have two main options. The first option asks you for two search terms and gives you a list of links to “real” and widely-accepted network reports on those topics. The second option searches through cc-licensed audio for various types of audio media that fit your search terms. Both methods help to combat the menace “fake news”, with all of its disinformation and associated advertising, malware, and so forth.


  8. Even the biggest FB Group spammers can't compete against:



    Who really abuses the system are people whose beliefs are hard to discern and have no conscience for methods.


    1. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      What the Post also doesn't want to say, is there is a solution. To make it illegal to violate people's privacy, as it used to be. 

    2. Mystified


      Interesting. Lol. That might cut into social media profits, I suppose.

      This weekend I plan on whipping up a python search engine portal designed to help avoid fake news sites.

    3. Mystified


      In response to the "Fake News" incidents and resulting purge at Facebook, I have written a python program to help people to find topical news from sources that are generally deemed reliable-- so they can avoid all of the fake stories, ads, malware and so forth associated with many of these bogus 'news ' sites. I plan to develop my code into a free web app, but for now the python version is available here:
  9. I want to be quite clear about something. Trying to react to and provide alternatives to a failing paradigm is not in essence revolutionary, or seditious in any way. It is trying to make things work when a system begins to fail. There is a big difference, and I am sure people can see that. If big oil and coal are failing us, they need to be replaced. That is not a revolutionary statement, rather one made by necessity. If Cold War ideology is no longer functional, and causes more problems than it helps, it has, by need, to go. If you think about what parts of your life no longer work as they should, it is then ok, I feel, to take action to make changes until you are all right again.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      IMO, the chasm is a form of resistance. People won't adopt something till it does something better, easily.

    3. Mystified


      So that a more supportive system has to be "magically implemented". Lordy.

    4. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      Generally, it takes a lot of marketing.


    In 2018, Thomas Park began using original python code to create programs that assist searching in and utilizing The Internet Archive. The Archive was of great help during Thomas’ career as a musician. He discovered much interesting material there, and adopted as a goal to share that material with as many people as possible.

    Thomas’ first related web application was the “Internet Archive Playlist Generator and DJ Database Tool”. This tool can be used to harvest playlists of .mp3s from the Archive, based on collection name and up to two search terms. DJs and listeners alike can encue and appreciate lengthy sets of music assembled using particular attributes. Users can also add track links to a personal DJ Database of up to 3000 links, and can search and refine this set of links to export if desired.

    A second application, “Global Free Audio”, enables users to access audio based on topic, rather than political orientation. A goal with this program was to help expose people to diverse points of view. A second option at the website enables users to search for news by topic while avoiding spammy ‘Fake News’ sites.

    An application that began as an experiment became increasingly popular-- the “Thomas Park Audio Explorer”. The audio explorer serves track to users from very large playlists of cc-music, helping them to discover new artists and works. The user can download the tracks or playlists, and can continue browsing for as long as they wish.

    More recently, Thomas has created, “Mixplant”, a free web application that enables a user to mix industrial sound loops in real time. Mixplant is ideal for live performances or just for fun. Sounds are selected randomly, so no two sessions are the same.

    Thomas is grateful, both to the Launchcode program for helping him to learn Python, to his wife for putting up with his abstract periods, and to all who have encouraged him.

    Whether for casual listening, djing a show, pondering political subjects, creating a live performance, or for whatever purpose, he hopes that people will enjoy using his applications to explore, promote and enjoy the free cc-licensed culture available online.


  11. A Free Suite of Python-Powered Web Apps Help DJs, musicians, and others with media needs:



  12. Thanks to Subterranean Books for letting me engage in my longest live jam ever-- nearly two hours. Here is most of the second hour, recorded live at the event. Among other sounds, the voice of local poetess Amanda Wells can be heard at points in the mix. 2018 Community Audio



    1. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      Nice! I am playing my first bookstore show next month. 


    2. Mystified
  13. "Dronal Tap"-- The Documentary: A short history of live looping performance in the MidWest USA:


  14. This is a part of a live performance by Thomas Park, in his live looping style. The piece is "Amalgamated Materials". It was created using one of Thomas' live mixing consoles.



  15. The REAL, gritty, no-held-punches story of mystified's music career:




    It has been my plan, for the reasonable present, to post a total of 3 live performances. I posted one show from the Julia Davis Library, and a second from the Kismet Creative Center. Here I am posting a final show-- it is the last, the longest, and possibly the strongest. It is called “Transmission Ghosts”. It was recorded live in my home studio, in one take, with no edits, on 6/2/2018. I hope that you will enjoy the music:




    Here we have a set of experimental videos designed to accompany live performances by Thomas Park. All of the audio in this release was recorded live, and in real time. The videos were assembled later. All of this material is free and in the public domain:



    1. Jack Hertz
    2. Mystified


      Thanks, Jack! I am trying to get more and more gigs like this.

    3. Jack Hertz
  18. Artists-- I have offered many of my works to the public domain-- here is a call for you to do the same-- if you believe in free culture: https://ia601504.us.archive.org/27/items/ThomasParkBenchmarkHub/23_Various_Artworks_In_The_Public_Domain.pdf

  19. On 5/17/2018, Thomas Park performed his first public live music gig. The performance was sparsely attended, but Thomas did manage to obtain a nice recording of the set. Thomas used 4 different live mixing consoles while performing his pieces.


  20. I have started visiting a site called "Electronic Cottage". It's Hal McGee's brainchild-- a resurrection of a project he began back in the '80's, which was dedicated to DIY and hometaper culture.
    I was immediately overwhelmed by what was too much to take in at once. A lot of parallels could be drawn between this scene and my early days as mystified.
    A main parallel involves what I would call a "distancing of the audience".
    Because a lot of home recording happens essentially without an audience (and involves just the artist(s)), it happens without restraint-- and without critique.
    As a result, it is often glorious, free, and, well- somewhat trashy and disposable. Fun stuff that parodies itself endlessly, recursively.
    I think again about where I am today in regards to archiving my work, and the sheer abundance of material from earlier eras that is not altogether different.
    A formidable challenge-- perhaps even a quixotic task-- to make as complete a record as possible?
    1. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      There's an interview with me about Poison Plant Music, my 1980s label, in one of those issues. I wish someone would digitize all of them so I can read it. I don't have the issue anymore.

      There's are lot of parallels between the 80s home-taper movement and the more recent Creative Commons movement. What has been collectively coined as "Bedroom Artists", have a much more diverse view of the music landscape because they don't have to consider if the work will appease the label, radio, and audience. IMO, this is the difference between entertainment and art. 

    2. Mystified


      Excellent thoughts. Thanks.

  21. Artists-- make my (mainly) retired status into a time to celebrate-- why not use some of my raw material or other resources? Here's how:



    Artists-- it’s sad to consider-- but if you die, or, rather, when you die-- how will you be remembered? Who will take care of your artistic creations? How will they be presented?

    I have created a free pdf with some thoughts on this matter:


    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      IF it is all for personal growth, do we need to archive it? More and more I am feeling like there's no reason to publish anymore. Music has become more like cooking, today. We can talk about techniques and flavors, but its for dinner. Not for selling. 

    3. Mystified


      One great thing about this topic is-- because it's up to is, it really IS our choice. Reflexively. If we choose not to publish, then we don't have to go through that process, but there is no access or public record. If we want to, we do-- and there it is.

      I really wouldn't want to pressure artists who don't want to share or archive their work to do so-- only to emphasize that that might be their decision and their labor.

    4. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      That's a very important point. Most commercial artists become trapped by their success. The audience always wants more of the same. They will not follow the artist down the rabbit hole. This kind of contention has ruined a lot of artists music for me, especially in the Ambient genre. If an artist is not reaching, I get bored with their work.

      I used to wonder about what legacy I would leave. But Is gave up on the idea because it felt like a distraction from making music. 


    This is a remix by Thomas Park of Rolling Calf Sinfonette's classic Webbed Hand Records release, "Don't Mind If I Do". The original release was full of warm, friendly-sounding plunderphonics. The remix release takes the original sounds and brings them up to date, into a more industrial, dystopian present: