Kyle Rowland Music

The Racist

“It's not that I condone fascism or any 'ism' for that matter. Ism's, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an 'ism,' he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: 'I don't believe in The Beatles. I just believe in me.’” - Ferris Bueller



Ism’s are funny aren’t they? They really represent simplification - simplification that we as humans crave, given our limited cognitive capability.

Abstraction and generalization are powerful tools that we can use to understand the world around us, and the underlying realities that we are always having to deal with. They help us to create rules for ourselves, without knowing about or understanding all the specifics of every possible situation we might find ourselves in.

We create a problem for ourselves though - when we start to think that our abstractions and generalizations are the actual reality and not the rough map of the territory that they actually represent.

Human behavior is (ironically) especially hard for us to understand and therefore very ripe for generalization. When we generalize about behavior and when that generalization is so important to our thinking that we have to have a word for the concept - that’s when we start coming up with ism’s.

And this is where the problem lies - simplifying human belief and behavior into a single word and then assuming that we know when it applies is obviously frought with problems. Not the least of the problems being the fact that it’s really REALLY difficult to know what another person really believes. And it’s equally difficult to know the intentions behind a particular behavior.

It becomes really easy to assume we know what someone who is an “ism” thinks or believes - by attaching whatever meaning we want to the word.

A popular ISM that gets thrown around today is “racism”. This term is used to identify the belief that there are groups that can be generalized about be treated poorly based on certain superficial traits. This belief (and the accompanying action) is a terrible evil that has existed in the US and around the world for many many years.

It is the opposite of and is solved by “judging people according to the content of their character and not the color of their skin”.

Because of the slippery nature of ism’s an additional meaning has crept in. That is that it is acceptable to generalize and prejudge those with characteristics that haven’t put them in the crosshairs of the historical evil of racism.

The irony here, if it’s not clear, is that this is actually a racist belief in itself.

I saw a poignant example of this is in a dialogue I recently participated in on social media. A friend of mine who is in a group that has been generalized about and mistreated in the past, made generalizations about another group of people based solely on skin color. Presumably my friend felt justified in this - because historically the group that was being generalized about has been a majority and not on the receiving end of the same caliber of racially-related bad things.

The real problem here is that we can’t fix racial problems with more racism. We can only do it by judging people according to the content of their character. So if we’re interested in really solving this problem and not just passing it on to future generations, we need to make some choices to view people not by their superficial characteristics but by who they are as people.

-kyle

Badman Blackwood



My friend Kevin has some bad drum chops - you know - the good kind of bad...really good. :) Anyway he was fiddling around and shared some playing on Facebook. So naturally I felt compelled to take it and remix it.

Enjoy!

-kyle

Social Media Mogul

"Seek first to understand - then to be understood" - Covey



Social Media - communicating over the internet - has huge potential. Potential that we are really not tapping at all.

Beyond connecting, and sharing pictures of cats, it has the potential to allow us to share opinions and ideas, to learn from each other and to help us to grow as individuals and together as a society. It has such a vast potential because of how quickly our ideas can be shared - as quickly as we adjust our own thinking we are able to reach out to others and “try out” our new ideas.

Unfortunately due to a “baby with the bathwater” effect - there is a collective sense that we shouldn’t share ideas of substance on social media since they might offend someone and elicit a negative emotional reaction. Or as the kids call it, a flame.

Being the recipient of a flame is definitely a possibility - there are a number of negative, mean people out there. But, as with any human relationship, a certain degree of courage is required to refine your own opinions with the input and thoughts of others. It also requires a certain degree of skill - phrasing things in certain ways, giving an arrogant or self-centered tone, or just being mean, no matter how thoughtful your opinions are, are more likely to inspire flame.

And this really gets to the heart of what any aspiring Social Media Mogul needs to have at the center of sharing their opinions and gathering those of others. We have to remember that discussing things in text is more difficult than discussing things in person, because a large chunk of usual in-person interaction is done with body-language. I’m not sure what the actual ratio is - but it’s a lot. With text communication, one must be very careful to accurately and thoroughly communicate emotional content and anything that would have otherwise been implied with body language or facial expression.

This is difficult. REALLY difficult. But it is very possible.

Myself, now in my 30’s, I’ve been communicating this way since I was in middle school. Many of my early inter-personal relationships were developed over the social media of that time (things called BBS’s). I’m sure my parents thought I would be emotional stunted - and maybe I am - but what I was learning at that age was how to express myself as thoroughly as possible in text both emotionally and turning implicit thoughts into explicit text. I’ve since worked at companies where large portions of our communication were done over IM, email and other text communication forms.

I’ve seen people that did it well, and I’ve seen people who didn’t do it so well.

Some try to avoid it entirely while others embrace it.

But the important thing to take away is - is that it is a skill that requires practice. And there’s HUGE value to being good at it.

Being able to communicate globally, rapidly, and accurately allows us to share and sharpen ideas with a variety of perspectives that we would otherwise not have any access to. And it allows us to do this as fast as we are able to learn and adjust our own thinking. It’s really amazing.

I challenge you to develop this skill - to become a social media mogul. It will bring value and blessing into your life for years to come.


Papery Sophistication



The rain didn’t help the groggy, foggy sensation Ked was feeling. But as she usually did, she chose to appreciate it as the mechanism used to keep the area green and clean. And to be honest, even with the cold and the widespread gray, the sprinkling was really beautiful. The peaceful brush of the raindrops through the trees and the fresh scent of the accompanying wind really set a relaxed mood ­ if not exactly stimulating to mental faculties.

Anyway ­ that was what VisiCup was for. As Ked walked through the doors ­ ready to grab her morning mocha, she recalled the other reason she was feeling a little groggy - a very difficult, but very productive late night planning session for the center to provide food and temporary shelter for the homeless in town. The grogginess was matched by a certain excitement about the impact that it will make in the lives of so many people in the area.

Topher, Ked’s favorite Barista, greeted her heartily ­ but also with a certain look of concern in his eye.

After taking the order for her beverage, Topher began to explain the sentiment behind that look. He explained that Mr. Lode had been in an hour or so ago to get his morning coffee. He had been very excited to explain an evil plot that he was working to fulfill.

---

Mr. Lode was putting the final touches on this particular piece of equipment. This place he had been a steal ­- he purchased it for a small sum, but it would surely spell the end of that medler, Ked. It was hard to understand why everyone loved her the way they did. She was so smug. Sickening.

The smell of oil and ink sat thickly in the air. It was an elegant smell. The newspaper and its accompanying creative machinery came from a more elegant time. This papery sophistication has led to the rise and fall of many great men in its time. Certainly it would help him easily dispatch a marginally great medler.

---

Topher continued to explain that Mr. Lode had caught wind of Ked’s initiative to help the local homeless, and was seeking to use it to his advantage. After purchasing a defunct news paper printing facility, he was going to print and distribute stories about Ked using this initiative as a front to meeting her unrelated, nefarious ends.

And to make matters worse, the printing was due to start immediately ­- within hours the whole town would be seeing this lie, and being turned against Ked.

Thanking Topher for the mocha and the information, she grabbed her steaming cup of heaven and quickly left.

---

THERE! That’s it! ­ In his freshly pressed black suit, Mr. Lode almost squealed in delight standing atop a huge piece of machinery, as he tweaked the last fix that would allow him to begin printing. He felt a deep laugh welling up inside. As he laughed, he determined to need a side kick who would join him in this particular kind of revelry.

And then something slipped, he tripped and almost fell into the printing press. He pulled himself up and received a rather painful incision on his left arm ­- a protruding piece of sharp metal had caught him. He scolded it as if it were the most annoying, worst person he had ever known...and as chance would have it, Ked had snuck up on him and was tapping him on the shoulder.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m going to let everyone know that you’re stealing the money from your charity to build a new mall that will consist only of stores that sell SHOES AND HANDBAGS.”

“You know that’s a lie! ...not to mention slightly sexist”

“BUAHAHAHAHA!!!”

With that Ked punched Mr. Lode in the face. “I will never let you get away with this!!”

Flinching and stepping back he snarled, “Fortunately I’m more prepared for this encounter than the last ­- this “Laser” gun will render you unable to move, at which point I will tie you up and leave you in my office until the truth about you and your nefarious plots are spread across the whole town” ­while Lode was sermonizing with his new weapon pointed at Ked, the equipment they were standing on began to rumble curiously and somewhat emphatically.

Mr. Lode quickly looked down to see what was going on. Ked realized she was still holding her mocha. Not wanting to waste it, but realizing that these were extraordinary times, she took the opportunity to take the top off and throw it into Lode’s face. Momentarily stunned and before he could do anything else, Ked pushed him. He fell into the equipment.

As he made his way being dragged through the entire works, Lode seemed to become more and more compressed by the equipment as it was printing him as if he were a newspaper.

The equipment didn’t seem to have a taste for him, either, though -­ as he made his way through the machinery, things began to come crashing down. Ked ran out of the building.

When she had gotten out ­ she noticed Mr. Lode limping from one of the exits. With his facility burning and falling to pieces behind him and him seeming to be visibly re­inflating after his trip through the press, Ked walked up to him and suggested, “It looks like your story fell a little flat.”

The End

System One



We are complicated creatures. So much so - that we barely know how to operate ourselves.

This is especially true when it comes to thinking.

We think we know how to think.

We don’t. At least not without some practice - and then, even still, it’s far more of an art than a science from our limited perspective.

Coincidentally both my wife and I have been learning about how to think - my wife from a formal class she is taking and me from a new mentor I’ve been working with.

The big theme that we both have been coming face to face with over the last few months is the balance between explicit, conscious understanding and implicit, intuitive understanding.

I think we all understand this tension, generally. But it’s really amazing how it plays out - and the harmony that can arise from the interplay between the two.

When we begin doing things - we think that we can just do - with no explicit thought. We think intuition will carry us - and it’s a romantic, magical idea - because we, by definition, have no idea where we gain the insight necessary to do a thing.

We learn though - as we get older - that explicitly thinking through things can lead to higher predictability - which, superficially anyway, can lead us to believe that we are producing higher quality value.

Good things can happen, though, when we balance the linearity of the explicit with the “magical” non-linearity of the implicit. The speed and arbitrary insight of intuition can be focused into laser-like intensity with the predictability and the control of conscious deliberation.

This is what I’ve been learning with this song. I seem to repeatedly err on both sides of the equation - sometimes I try to feel through a thing - which leads to some meandering (as enjoyable as it may be) and a lot of self-doubt (not quite as enjoyable). And sometimes - I attempt to explicitly think things into being….which is impossible - and leads to a lot of energetic contact between my forehead and some proverbial brick-walls.

I just ask that you join me in pursuing whatever it is that you do - using our whole being - to strive to be like our creative, ingenious Father by (to steal the words of Oswald Chambers) being our Utmost for His Highest.

-kyle

Adventures of Ked



Lost in the memory of her recent victory, Ked strolled down Main Street. The slight smell of salt water in the air gave it a vibrance that was almost easy to miss. But having just spoiled one of Mr. Lode’s most evil plots ever puts a person more in tune with the beauty around her. And a mocha at The VisiCup, she thought, would be the icing on this particular cake.

Mr. Lode wasn’t all bad of course - most people aren’t - but he made it his mission in life to suck all the happiness out of Ked’s. It’s hard to figure why.

This most recent incident had had Ked very worried - since she had been brimming with excitement about the upcoming hydroplane races on the bay. Knowing this and of Ked’s love for sitting in VisiCup and enjoying the view of the bay, Mr. Lode had set up hundreds of small laser emitters around the outside of the bay - planning to dry the entire thing up.

He had definitely gotten what he deserved this time…

---

Ah - arriving at The VisiCup - the smell of fresh espresso tickled Ked’s nose before she even crossed the street in front of the shop.

After sitting down with her mocha and taking the first perfect, rich sip, she noticed someone she had thought she wouldn’t see for some time - Mr. Lode. Apparently the hospital is releasing patients sooner than it used to. Speaking of which - you couldn’t even see a mark on him. He was wearing a sleek black suit, a dark shirt and a subtle purple tie - and his hair was slicked back like he’d used some vile combination of baby oil and super glue. He definitely looked like an evil villain.

He chatted with Topher, the baristo, asking him about his family - Topher asked jokingly about his pursuit of world domination. If he only knew.

Who was Mr. Lode trying to fool anyway, Ked thought. In order not to ruin the glow of victory she was experiencing - she decided to look away and enjoy the beautiful day.

It had been only a second - - when she looked back it was gone. A quick glance out the front door confirmed that Mr. Lode was leaving with her mocha!

Oh well, Ked thought, I can get another. It’s still an amazing day.

Just then she saw Mr. Lode feel his pockets - it must have been an opportunistic mocha theft - it looks like Lode was in the process of paying Topher and had left his wallet at the register.

Ked slowly reached into her bag as Lode returned.

As he took a step toward the register their eyes met - fear quickly filled his face as Ked’s taser barbs cut through his suit and attached themselves to his flesh.

Leaving him twitching on the ground, Ked smuggly whispered, “maybe you should switch to decaf”.


The End

CrayCray



I am a geek to the proverbial core - I love computers and technology. When I started using computers, I played around on a number of different kinds - Apple 2s, Atari 800s, and in Highschool I had the luxury of using a 25MHz 386 … the one WITH the math coprocessor. Ok enough geeking out - sorry.

All that to say - my super-hot 386 had about 1.5 processing cores. One general purpose, and one specialized for math operations. And man did it do the jobs I asked it to, fast. Text based video games, compiling small software programs, downloading programs from BBS's (kind of like the internet only not). By today's standards I wasn't asking much of my computer - but by the standards of the day - it did things incredibly well. A lot of it blew my mind - and really served to feed my addiction to computing. Think of the genius that went in to creating this capability - totally CrayCray.

Move forward a few years - I'm currently writing this blog on a computer that has 12 actual compute cores, each of them with something called hyper-threading - a magical thing that makes even my running programs think I have 24 actual cores. Wow. I can process 24 things ACTUALLY independently. My computer can be calculating Pi to the 5 billionth digit, performing a web search, compiling my computer program and a bunch of other things AT THE SAME TIME.

Back in Highschool my awesome 386 could PRETEND to do multiple things at the same time - by doing some real quick switching behind the scenes. My current computer doesn't have to pretend. I can record and process more than 20 simultaneous tracks of audio on my computer without it even heating up. I am so thankful to those that make these kinds of things possible - and thankful for their genius…this is totally CrayCray!!!!

Now … if I wanted to spend a few more bucks - I know where I can buy a system that uses the same Xeon processor cores that are in my computer - but have done a lot of work to increase the number of cores available and make the cores cooperate and act as a single computer. These kinds of systems can be scaled up in excess of 1 MILLION cores (yes, my pinky is on the corner of my mouth right now). That's physical cores - if you add hyper-threading - that's a lot more than a million simultaneous things going on. It's hard to even imagine sometimes the problems we might solve with that kind of compute power. Digging through vast amounts of data to find patterns, running massive simulations, processing extreme quantities of media - the possibilities are endless. Again - so totally thankful to the brilliant minds that are opening these doors. It's simply CrayCray!!

Learning, adapting, discovering - these are all things that this kind of massive power will enable. And it's also something we pride ourselves on as a species. Coincidence?? I think not.

So far we're up to 1M+ independent, simultaneous tasks. While we're here let's go a step further.

Let's talk about a very special 3.5 pound computing device that's a little harder to get our hands on. This device has, on average, around 100 BILLION (yup - pinky up by the corner of my mouth again) independent processing units. It's architecture is highly specific to the problem it solves (but highly adaptable), with many specialized and redundant sub-systems. Whole portions of it can crash and still provide sufficient capability to the user. The engineering brilliance here far surpasses any of the other devices we've talked about. Yeah. The human brain. Totally CrayCray……and to go to the point of my previous post - it drips with the passion, ingenuity and brilliance of its creator.

This work of art and capability leaves me totally speechless when I think about it.

Understanding our similarity to our Creator, but relative weakness - understanding the love he would show to us with all he has created and given us - just makes me want to love him and worship him more.

So if things seem bleak or boring - or if your place in the universe seems unclear. Or if you just feel driven to reach out to the Lord Jesus. Just remember that he has a vast imagination that is constantly on display - and that imagination is matched only by his love for you. Which………..is absolutely CrayCray.

-Kyle

Dissonant Details

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson



Sometimes we can carry two positions that seem to be mutually exclusive. But opinions are funny - even if they sound inconsistent it doesn't mean that they are. And feeling like we might be carrying inconsistent positions creates an uncomfortable tension that we become hungry to resolve.

However, having the habit of quickly giving into this tension - treating consistency blindly as a trump card - can be a prison. It can keep us from exploring new ideas and it can force us into buying deeply into a bad position, without all the facts.

The basic problem is that we never have all the facts - we are limited creatures - limited in pereception and limited in understanding and limited in retention.

So - allowing ourselves to *not* be slaves to consistency is really an act of humility - it says we are more interested in the truth rather than in making believe that we see, know and understand everything perfectly.

It also has practical implications - it means that we can seek truth on multiple dimensions, it means that we don't get locked in to one position simply because it appears to contradict another on the surface.

One area where this kind of cognitive dissonance can get the better of us is in relation to our understanding of the origins of the universe. Today there are (at least) two factions that believe that they are at odds with each other simply because their positions superficially contradict. We have one side that is very interested in discovering the mechanics of the origins of the universe and we have another side that is very interested in knowing the one who conducted those mechanics. Both believe that because of the facts in their hands that the other side is contradicted and therefore, wrong. However neither side actually has enough information to make this case - one side has the Biblical account that is well known for being sparse on the technical details of the mechanics. And the other side has observation - which has the unfortunate limitation of being confined by our finite human perception and understanding.

The unfortunate thing here is that there are probably countless sets of specific details (including the actual reality) that would reconcile these camps, but because of our pride - we want to pretend like we already know everything and that if our two views appear to contradict, then one is wrong.

Greater humility would buy us two things:

1) The observations of some of the brightest minds on the planet - while they seem at times to contradict the things God has told us also simultaneously speak to His power and how amazing he actually is (think of the elegance of DNA and how it transmits characteristics between generations or the sheer size of the universe). Leveraging this greater understanding of God and the things he has done can help us to worship him more deeply.

2) The divine revelation in Genesis, while it at times can appear to contradict our observations, also reveals a compassionate creator that loves us and wants us close to him - so much that he would endure the torture of crucifixion. Following his guidance here and in the rest of the Biblical revelation is the only way we get to have our "happy ending" - living with him beyond the end of time.

So you can see - the fact that these two accounts can look like a contradiction on the surface can make us blind to two separate blessings that Jesus has for us.

The general solution is really to be able to live in the tension of an apparent contradiction - to give up on "foolish consistency" and use the energy that we would have spent on trying to appear consistent on actually figuring things out.

So....can we muster the humility to live in this tension and others like it - can we accept the fact that we don't know everything and even if we did we wouldn't be able to understand it?

If so, we can enjoy the irony of continually uncovering and understanding more about life, the universe, and God Himself..........if only we aren't bothered by Dissonant Details.

-Kyle

Amateur Providence

Providence - (noun) - the protective care of God



Control is grand isn't it - we seem to be wired to be more at ease with things when we are in control (at least I am :) ). When our life is going the way we want it to go - when people are acting the way we want them to act - we are super happy.

The unfortunate part of this is that there is really very little we are actually able to control. In fact the only things that we can directly control are the actions that we take - whether we are initiating or reacting, we only really control our actions. And even that is in question sometimes.

If that situation weren't grim enough - controlling things in a way that has them turning out for good is actually a pretty complicated endeavor. Complicated because the information that we need to make sure things turn out right is almost always outside of our reach.

So when we take it upon ourselves to do God's job for him - to be "Amateur Providences" - we are *really* setting ourselves up for failure. It's a tempting proposition - to control things so that people don't get hurt - so that what I view as the ultimate good comes to everyone around me, including myself. With all the ugliness in the world - all the pain and all the suffering - it is more tempting than ever. But it's still as hopeless a goal…

Fortunately - we can call the Professional. :) Not only does he have the ultimate good in mind for all of us - he's solved all the problems for us that really matter.

So - when we can put down our control-everything-like-God hobby - even when its confusing and painful - the better, happier, and more at peace we will be.

Make no mistake - this is a discipline that goes counter to our default impulses. ...as with anything worth doing - it takes effort.

So can you do it - can you hang up moonlighting as the Almighty - and trust him with the lives of your friends and family, with the details of the world around you - and with your own being?

-Kyle

Early Bird

"Life isn't always fair...anyone who says differently is selling something" - The Dread Pirate Roberts



If you've been around for any amount of time - you know this is true. Life isn't fair - disappointing things happen.

You can spend time and effort preparing for a business presentation that no one wants to see. You can devote energy to writing a book that is reviewed poorly. People we care for can move away...the list goes on.

Something that tends to get connected to our level of disappointment is our ability to add value to the people around us. That is to say - when we find ourselves disappointed - we often find ourselves lacking the emotional energy we depend on to be productive.

I believe this is what separates the greats from the merely good-enoughs. The greats have high output not only when they have emotion carrying them along, but they more importantly have high output when they are emotionally dry, disappointed, or otherwise uninspired.

Said another way - we are all great - choosing to show that greatness is a matter of doing the little things when we don't really feel like it.

The really interesting thing here is that - when we do this - the inspiration tends to follow - which increases our output - which creates more inspiration - in, what Brian Smith calls, a virtuous circle.

So the real key is - when disappointment comes our way - it shouldn't be a deciding factor on how we act. We should act based on a rational assessment of what we are capable of doing and what needs to be done - not on our emotional state at the time of the decision.

The title of this track is "Early Bird" because I *tried* to do just this (it's really difficult isn't it) - I had a week or so of time where the disappointments came frequently as an inability to sleep past 2:30 or so in the morning. Through bleary eyes I tried to make the best of this particular disappointment by producing this song.

I am very happy with it - and I hope that you enjoy it and that it encourages you to forget about how you feel - and just put your all into whatever it is you do!!

-Kyle

Priority

Life is complicated. We're given a short amount of time - and there are a million things that we are hungry to get accomplished within that short time. We are hungry to seek out why we are here - we are wired to seek and show our affections to our Creator. We want to have meaningful relationships with people. We want to create. We want to procreate. We want to recreate. We want to learn.

All of us are bundles of these and many other impulses. Left unfocused or out of order these impulses can lead us to live lives varying from plain and useless to highly corrupt. Put in focus and ordered in-line with our original engineering - these impulses can lead to an outstanding, fun, productive and fulfilling time here on Earth. The corny metaphor that I hear a lot - but absolutely love - is the metaphor of the light - when light, which normally has no real impact on our physical world, is focused into a laser - it can cut through metal. So it is with our lives - if we are intentional and focused - our impact can be felt far more than if we are diffuse and unintentional.

So it is with thought that I give you "Priority" - may your lives be ordered, focused, and intentional so that you are cutting through the plain and the ordinary and living the extraordinary!!!

Enjoy!!
-Kyle

Bed Head

Photo by Rudolf Getel

Well I really hope you like this. Its genesis was different than those of some of my other tracks. I really like where it landed and I like it's groove - so hopefully it will put a smile on your face as well. :)

This tune actually started with my usual thing in mind - with trying to put together an energizing thing that would work with the trumpet to create the sound that was meandering through the back of my head at the time. Something that makes me laugh about this particular tune, though, is that I was also trying to imitate some of the techniques I've been hearing recently. Particularly things from dubstep - after you listen to this - that comment will probably make you laugh - so I didn't hit that mark in terms of directly imitating the style - but again, I like where it ended up anyway..

The other odd thing that happened as I was building things up - is that the track began to sound finished without what I usually think of as a typical melodic thing happening. So, as you will hear, the trumpet rides the pine on this one. Though I assure you it was enthusiastically supportive :).

Because this tune caught me in the middle of a huge move (I now have an indoor working space for music -- w00t!) it also had a longer than usual time to sit on the shelf and age. After a couple of months - I was listening to the track and the final element clicked in to place - which really served as a basis for the name of the track as well.

Again - I hope you enjoy!!

Happy Listening!!
-Kyle

Emergence

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This tune was a ton of fun to put together. It differed significantly from my usual way of working on a couple of major points. First of all, the track has and focuses on a lead vocal. Because of this there was a whole new dimension to the music. Some might view this as obvious - but I hadn't anticipated the new world of expression and art that this opened up. So this was really exciting.

Further - I had a writing partner! Mr. Scott Ruch wrote the vocal melody and the lyrics and performed the vocal part on the recording. This was really fun and interesting on a number of levels in itself - it was fun working with a good friend - but it also taught me a lot about the freshness and energy that can come through having just one other person to work a song out with.

And for a little bit of the story about how I found my collaborator....I had thought it would be interesting to make a song with my co-workers at my day job - maybe a fun tune with some clever inside jokes - maybe a company theme song or something. So I asked a few folks if they'd be interested in writing or singing for it.

Mr. Ruch took me up on it - and wrote some excellent lyrics that are far better than anything I had been imagining. Here's the story from his perspective...

"It was actually an experiment in using some of the ideas that the gentleman who owns the company I work for is always talking to us about. He's a big proponent of the "mastermind" principle, which is about the power of collective problem solving and collaboration. Kyle originally suggested something along the lines of a company theme song, but I thought it would be more creatively satisfying to come up with something that expresses some of those ideas without overtly referring to them or by using the terms directly. My own idea was that the mastermind is kind of like the concept of emergence (see Wikipedia) but not on the level of physical or societal phenomena; more of the level of synthesis of new ideas from competing or collaborating ones. I don't know if I got that across or if it's even a valid analogy, but it was an interesting and challenging exercise."

Fight Song

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V.....I......K.....I......N......G.....S!!!! Goooooo VIKINGS.....

Yeah this is a remix of my highschool's fightsong - enjoy!