The process was quite fun — I never watched the film before scoring — I scored as I watched the film for the first time. This allowed for a very authentic sonic expression for the audience.
I'm very pleased with the results. I believe it's some of my best musical work to date.
While mostly obviously identify as a software engineer publicly, the majority of my time is not spent writing code always.
Because of this, the iPad Pro is my computer of choice for pleasurable computing — creative work, consumption, writing, email, and even getting things done.
I keep everything (Documents, Desktop, repos directory, Sublime Text configuration, etc) in iCloud Drive storage. For those who don't know, the location of this sacred directory is as follows:
cd '~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs'
Which, I always create a symlink to in my home directory:
ln -s '~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs' ~/iCloud
I still use Dropbox for a few things — specifically, my iTunes library, Game ROMs, and recorded video files (which I'm slowly migrating to Photo Library).
As a photographer, I keep all my edited photos (e.g. published JPEGs) in iCloud Photo Library, carefully organized, and they are automatically synced across all devices. This setup has worked great for me for years.
All "works in progress" are stored in Adobe Lightroom CC, which is accessible from any device, including my Windows PC, and is very pleasurable to work with. On the iPad Pro, moving sliders is lightning fast, with instant response time on the image preview — far faster than it is on any Mac. Syncing is also instant between the Mac and the iPad. I've seen no conflicts thus–far while using the software on multiple machines at the same time either.
It goes without saying, but Lightroom CC works great with the Apple Pencil.
Korg GADGET is my guilty pleasure when it comes to music production. While I can only do "real" music production with Ableton Live on my iMac (which has real analog synthesizers connected to it, as a studio machine, as well as the essential Ableton Push), KORG Gadget provides a very high–quality yet contained music–making experience that works on both the Mac and the iPad (and iPhone!).
Other than the software synth being of upmost quality and design, I find the design of Korg GADGET to be very well thought out — I can make music with a mouse/keyboard (or just an Apple Pencil) with it, unlike with Ableton.
This is for one reason, mainly, and it's something that I hope Ableton introduces in the near future (but I won't get my hopes up)… The Piano Roll in Korg GADGET allows you to hide all notes not within the scale you are currently working with. This makes working with it tremendously more pleasurable for me, and enables me to make great music without putting on my music theory hat too deeply (as I don't have scales memorized, nor their patterns, though I know the emotional landscapes of the various common scales very well).
Even if you use Ableton as your essential workflow suite, I still recommend picking up the Mac version of KORG Gadget, as it makes all the built–in synthesizers/samplers available as VSTs — and they are of extremely high quality and repute.
It goes without saying, but Korg GADGET works great with the Apple Pencil.
I use an array of applications for writing — if I'm writing a single blog post, I use iA Writer, which is by far my favorite Markdown editor for both MacOS and iOS.
For more intricate writing, I use the excellent Ulysses software, which is great for writing intricate documents and organizing partially–formed ideas.
Both of these software suites sync instantly between MacOS and iOS with iCloud Drive.
I've tried literally every app in the app store for taking notes. Some are better than others. Some fit other people's needs better than others. I won't get into that here — I'll just share what works best for me.
Notability is the best iPad app for hand-written notes. It doesn't transcribe them, it just does a superb job at capturing them smoothly and instantly, has reasonably constraining (in a good way) organizing capabilities, and has excellent excellent support for the Apple Pencil.
There is also a Mac client available, which allows you to access your notes from your MacOS machines. Very nice. Well worth the money.
This is where things get a little bit tricky… coding on the iPad is quite possible—pleasurable even—but running your code is a different story.
To interact with Git repositories, I utilize the excellent Working Copy app, which supports the new Files app API for exposing your git repos to other applications, such as and editor like…
Textastic. This is the best code editor that I've found for iOS, and I've tried them all. It supports editing files from the new Files API, has great code hilighting, and is the closest thing I've found to a Sublime Text experience for the iPad. It even supports loading your own custom TextMate themes into the app, which is excellent.
A close second is GoCoEdit, which appears to be a relatively new app that doesn't have much awareness around it. I plan to contribute to it's ecosystem, if I have some extra time over the next coming months.
I experimented briefly with a Google Pixelbook, and while I found it to be one of the best portable laptop computing experiences I have ever encountered, the software available for the device was heavily lacking — OneNote and Lightroom CC, for example, perform almost infinitely better on the iPad Pro than they do on the Pixelbook. I think this has more to do with the expected quality/market of the Android ecosystem than anything else.
As always, if you'd like a free lossless copy of this music, please reach out to me, and I'll happily send you the files for your private enjoyment.
I have a (somewhat) new album available, called Messengers Rising.
It was mostly inspired by a previous relationship of mine, as well as coping with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
You can stream it for free on all major services.
If anyone wants a lossless copy of the album, feel free to email me, and I'll send you a link in your preferred format.
I hope you enjoy it!
My life primarily revolves around creating things—digital things—for others to consume. This content is an embodiment of who I am, and is of great value to me (and hopefully others).
All of my work, including this post, is made available via services which could disappear at any moment, disable my account, lose my content, or become unable to charge my debit card.
Bus Factor: 1
None of these scenarios are really an issue if I am available to respond—but, what would happen if I am not? This could happen for any number of reasons, including the most unfortunate but inevitable one, and it could potentially happen at any moment, without any warning.
The reality of this possibility really set in when I unexpectedly spent two weeks in the hospital last year, without any warning, and was unable to work for a few months afterwards.
The only other person I know of that seemed to have an active interest in this concept is my late friend Aaron Swartz. He wrote a blog post titled If I get hit by a truck... in 2003, where he provided instructions on where to find his content if he was to no longer be available. Unfortunately, he took his own life in 2013—a tragic loss for all. However, all of his digital contributions to the world were not lost, and I'm sure that forethought and documentation contributed to this persistence.
So, this is my version of that blog post.
This concept of posthumous digital legacy is something that I've been exploring for a long time. I started a few projects in 2012 to experiment with the problem space, but kept hitting sustainability and UX roadblocks when it came to hosting other's content. At the end of the day, I realized that I don't believe many people actually care about this problem—so, I decided to simply solve it for myself.
My Digital Blackbox
But alas, for the rare but inevitable event that I either cease breath, or somehow become entirely unavailable for reasons beyond my control, I have created a digital blackbox—a portable archive of my digital content, hopefully hosted forever on archive.org. No matter what happens to me, ideally, my world should be enabled to live on forever, in some form or another.
The archive contains lossless archives of: kennethreitz.org essays, all published photography, music productions, and tweets. GitHub repositories (via git-bundles) and 500px (photography portfolio) may be added in the future.
I plan to update and re-issue this archive a few times a year.
So, when the worst does inevitably come to pass, you know where to find me :)
As you may or may not know, a primary personal focus of mine is on electronic music production. I have a deep love for analog synthesizers, drum machines, audio software, and the creation of music. Music is an excellent medium for crafting an image of certain facets of my inner world in a way that I am unable through other avenues, e.g. writing, code, and photography.
As Infinite State, I have been leisurely creating deeply-personal music that captures this wide spectrum of imagery over the past several years, a window of time which includes some very dramatic changes in my life (all for the best!). Nothing inspires the creative spirit more than non-insubstantial change!
Unmastered Impulses by Infinite State
Today, I'm happy to announce that I have released my first album, Unmastered Impulses, a sonic journal of my journey into bipolar mania.
I found it quite difficult to limit myself to the time-length of a physical Red Book CD, and a handful of excellent and important tracks (including one I consider to be my best work) had to be left out of this release, unfortunately. However, this is a blessing in disguise—it means that I'm already pretty far along with this album's successor!
Where to Get It
The album is intended to be completely free, and should be entirely available on all major streaming services and online music stores. Here are a few links to the most common ones:
- Unmastered Impulses on Spotify
- Unmastered Impulses on TIDAL
- Unmastered Impulses on SoundCloud (playlist)
- Unmastered Impulses on CD Baby (MP3, MP3-320, FLAC)
It has been published in 30+ other places as well, so if your preferred platform isn't listed here, simply searching for "Infinite State" should bring it right up. A few platforms have received the album but not made it available quite yet — but, it will be ubiquitously available within the next few weeks.
If you see a fee attached to procuring the music (e.g. Amazon MP3 — $9.49), it is set by the publisher, unfortunately. Know that the music is available elsewhere for free.
Attention is the only currency we have in life. If you take the time to listen to this music, I want you to know how much it means to me — thank you.
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