A Whale’s Lantern: Musical Collaboration Across a Network

Whales Lantern

For the last six months or so, I have been writing in and exploring around Mastodon, a federated social networking space that is free from corporate structure. Federated means there is no one central server or space where people are located. Instead, there are “instances” where people connect to and write from (instances are hosted by individuals and most instances have a theme). All instances can share across the larger Mastodon network. I know that will sound confusing. Upshot for me: it’s becoming a neat, creative, connected space that is more than just an alternative to Twitter.

In late September, someone in the Mastodon timeline put out a call for musicians to collaborate together for an album project.  They hoped to leverage the connected element of common interests into a music project. I took the plunge, and became part of what is now known as A Whale’s Lantern project — a collaboration of musicians who have made music through the Mastodon network.

While I didn’t know who I would be partnered with, as names were drawn randomly, it turns out I was paired with a friend from other connected spaces: Laura Ritchie. She’s a cellist and music teacher and wide-range thinker.

 

Yesterday, our “album” was released on Bandcamp. Laura and I worked on a song that I wrote called I Fall Apart (Like Stars in the Night) and the whole group of us, including some of who didn’t get time to finish their collaboration, are in the midst of writing up our reflections. Collaboratively, of course, and hopefully, it will be published in a Mastodon open journal called Kintsugi in the future.

Check out A Whale’s Lantern: Flight into the Nebula.

Peace (listening to the muse),
Kevin

In Kintsugi: The Writer’s Voices in the Reader’s Head

In the latest edition of the Kintsugi magazine — an online publishing experience of gathering writers across the Mastodon network — I wrote a piece for the third editing, thinking about the experience of reading in online spaces, and how the voices of writers inhabit my reading experiences.

Mastodon Mag Comics (art for my articles)

My piece is at pages 16 and 17, but you should read some of the other pieces there, too. I’m enjoying this writing experience, and how being within a networked space allows words to tumble into other stories and insights. I appreciate Erdal as curator and editor and cheerleader for this publishing venture.

Peace (sounds like),
Kevin

Writing in Federated Space: Kintsugi Magazine

Kinsugi Magazine

I’ve been spending more and more time, writing and making new connections in Mastodon, a federated social media space not run by some corporation intent on selling our data and invading our privacy for stockholders. It’s run and overseen by people. I donate to the Mastodon effort through Patreon. I’m appreciating the many connection points there, from music collaborations to daily writing to remix efforts. I am also greatly appreciating this new eMagazine that is designed in and of the Mastodon space.

It’s called Kintsugi. Here’s what its editor and Mastodon friend, Erdal O. writes about that word, Kintsugi, and the intent of the magazine:

Kintsugi borrows its name from the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery to give it a new lease of life. The philosophy behind this has its roots in the Wabi-Sabi tradition, which sees existence as  imperfect, incomplete and impermanent; instilling a sense of appreciation, acceptance and harmony in the way we live and interact with nature and people.

Kintsugi is a project organised and put together through social media, mainly the Mastodon network. The contributors have not met in person or face to face. Our aim here was to show that people can do good and put together something unique and different. We wanted to encourage others to come forward and do the same.

Here, we celebrate the diversity of people and ideas.  The Kintsugi magazine covers a diverse set of themes and ideas. We celebrate the value of goodness and and the broken lines in each one of us, akin to repaired pottery.

I was so intrigued by the first edition (now available in different format at Internet Archives) that I submitted a piece about “small writing” and added a few comics to the mix for the second edition. (My friend, Terry E., meanwhile, had some poems posted in the same edition.) I also sent in another piece for the third edition, whenever that comes out.

I love the open nature of this kind of publication — the way Erdal puts the call out via the open network and invites a variety of voices into the mix — and the range of articles and media in the magazine is a lovely experience. All for free. All in the open.

Peace (in federated space),
Kevin

Transmitting A Small Poem

In another media space (Mastodon), I have been writing “small poems” most days, little wanderings of tiny verse. Yesterday, this one — called Transmitting — stuck with me, so I decided to walk it out of that social media space and remake it as a digital poem with Lumen5.

This is the original (I have never tried the embed of Mastodon):

Meanwhile, my friend, Terry, shared with me two remixed of a small story I had written in that same space. The story was about watching a student overcome her fears and take on a high ropes course.

Terry re-interpreted the story as a video poem called Falling Up …

and then as a sound-ful Haiku Deck.


Falling Up – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Thanks, Terry.

Peace (in the mix),
Kevin