Weeknotes 11

November 1, 2020
  • The halloween celebrations lasted all week at N-‘s nursery. We usually do something for halloween, because it’s also A-‘s birthday, so growing up it was always a big deal for her. Now with kids it’s also an excuse to have some silly fun. N- had his face painted most days this week. One attempt at painting a dinosaur didn’t last beyond a teary tantrum before we left the house. But the Spiderman and Hawaiian-shirt combo on Friday was a huge success!
  • I cooked a few new things this week:
    • A tofu and noodle bowl dish from Anna Jones’ A modern way to eat (h/t Tom). I used the Tofoo brand smoked tofu which was delicious. F- enjoyed eating a small piece too. Aw, babies.
    • A stir fry from the same book - the sauce (which includes maple syrup) will be very useful for lots of quick meals I think.
    • I improvised a sausage, bean and red cabbage casserole. I often make something like this but this time I added a good glass of red wine which made a big difference.
    • For A-‘s birthday I tried to help her homesickness by cooking some Colombian dishes. I made some empanadas based on this Jamie Oliver recipe. I used some pre-made filo pastry squares I picked up from Phoenicia. They were the highlight. I tried to make Ajiaco, but I couldn’t find guascas or any of the typical potatoes, so it was just a chicken and sweetcorn soup. It was ok. Finally I attempted a HidaMari no-bake cheesecake but using some Colombian mora fruit puree. It was a bit of a sloppy disaster, but again, tasted ok.
  • I continued to play around with Tidalcycles. I got it talking to my Volca Keys via MIDI fairly easily, although I haven’t quite figured out how to send clock messages that the Volca understands. The keys doesn’t have a built-in arpeggiator, so I had a lot of fun creating arpeggios in tidal while sweeping the filters on the keys by hand. The keys is polyphonic, but the little keyboard makes it hard to play bass and lead lines at the same time. This is easy to achieve in tidal.

    I also played around with “humanising” drums using swingBy and gain patterns. I made this simple boom bap style beat

    using the following code

    setcps (90/60/4)
    d1 $ swingBy (1/32) 4
       $ sound "closedhat(8,8)"
       # gain "[0.7 0.5]*4"
    d2 $ sound "~ snare ~ snare"
    d3 $ sound "[kick ~ kick kick ~ ~ ~ kick kick ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ kick]"
       # gain "[1 0 0.7 0.6 0 0 0 0.7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.7]"

    The code for the kick pattern in particular is pretty literal so I’m going to work out if there’s a more idiomatic way of writing it. I’d also like to play with creating variations of the pattern.

  • It’s looking like we’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors with the kids this winter. N- is still enjoying climbing trees and exploring Hampstead Heath which is a good sign. I need some new boots and waterproof clothes.