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Chaos
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TripToy



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:45 pm    Post subject:  Chaos
Subject description: Random structure and placement.
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What is your opinion of creating music based more from chaos, random decisions and placement, volume, dynamics, etc. vs more structured, organised music?

And what place do you think it has in todays society? Musician or Consumer.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:32 am    Post subject: Re: Chaos
Subject description: Random structure and placement.
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TripToy wrote:
What is your opinion of creating music based more from chaos, random decisions and placement, volume, dynamics, etc. vs more structured, organised music?


Complete chaos is not music. Structured chaos is more like it. Very Happy
That said, seemingly random parameters can be quite expressive and quite musical.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I started using generative loops, algorithmic patches and random elements in my music about a year ago and now I am trying to combine the experience I gained with a more structured way of composing!

The great thing about it, is you never really know what you're going to get, the box of chocolate effect. A nasty side effect from using a lot of chaotic ways of generating music to me, is that after a while the fact that it's generative becomes audible and the whole composition loses strength or appeal (, or that word I can't seem to think of...)

What I am trying to say is that chaos, etcetera are perfect elements in music, but the dosage should be looked after. Using it in a creative and thus structured way can give you beautiful results and night sessions behind your computer with a lot of headaches.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
And what place do you think it has in todays society? Musician or Consumer.


Well, unfortunately, most of "society" as far as I can tell does not tolerate experimental electronic music in any way shape or form. The folks on electro-music and other forums like it are the minority. That pretty much is the reality. That being said, create the music you love, algorithmic or chaotic, and you will bring great pleasure to the few of us who really DO enjoy the stuff. So the answer in my opinion is musician, maybe consumer in 20 years.

Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: inspire, create, and resolve. Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Understood! Musicians maybe consumer in 20 years. But, if I innovate something now and it brings me no initial profit, and it becomes mainstream or popular years down the road. I will have the pleasure of knowing that it was ME that started it all.


Sometimes money isn't worth anything. Sometimes having the pleasure of accomplishing a goal is worth more than all the gold in the world.

In a nutshell. I actually see music as open source. We all contribute to a greater whole. We are all working towards something bigger, better and brighter. My compositions are a result of the greatest classical music artist. Without them, we couldn't compose the way we do.

As a result. What I was getting to is. Chaotic composition, in my opinion, is a contribution to the musician community to benefit and excel us as musicians. We learn and progress through example which results in inspiration and innovative ideas.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: Chaos
Subject description: Random structure and placement.
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TripToy wrote:
What is your opinion of creating music based more from chaos, random decisions and placement, volume, dynamics, etc. vs more structured, organised music?

And what place do you think it has in todays society? Musician or Consumer.


The idea is not new, e.g. check Luigi Russolo. There is an interesting record from 1960 where the painter Karel Appel tries to apply his painting techniques on music, aptly named 'Musique Barbare'. The process was put on film and cut to an interesting documentary. Still, these and the many other early examples involve intuitive human decisions for the overall structure.

There is a definition of chaos as 'a deterministic structure that is too complex for the human mind to grasp'. Which is not absolute randomness, where an event principally cannot be deduced as anything else but a sheer miracle. But this is basically a philosophic subject.

Development of musical styles is influenced by experiments. My opinion is that experimenting with chaos, etc., doesn't always need to produce terrific results, as experiments may fail. A record company would not want you to experiment too much, as they care about sales and those should not fail. Probably most experimenting is best seen as a learning process, eventually leading to a final personal style. Now and then something quite agreeable pops up, but you just never know when.
Also, I don't think there really is much difference between experimenting with an electric guitar, a church organ, metal dustbins and heavy chains, etc., or chaotic algorithms producing electronic sounds or soundscapes.

I think the only time one needs to keep consumer taste in mind is when one is hired by a record company with the explicit deal to make them lots of money (or you want to make a quick buck yourself).
Consumers are passive; they make a choice from what is available somewhere, but never actively strive for something not available by starting to invent things. So, if it is not you who makes it available, how can consumers make their purchase decisions?

So, my opinion is that musicians should to some extend do experiments and forget about consumers while experimenting.

/Rob
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Chaos
Subject description: Random structure and placement.
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Rob wrote:

There is a definition of chaos as 'a deterministic structure that is too complex for the human mind to grasp'. Which is not absolute randomness, where an event principally cannot be deduced as anything else but a sheer miracle. But this is basically a philosophic subject.


That's not avery good definition. One could easily imagine a structure that would be too complex to understand yet which would still generate a highly predictable output.

To me that sounds more like the sort of definition you aply to a system you don't understand and fear is truely random if you are afraid of truely random things.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Probably very OT, but...

It is quite common to use random ( or rather reasonably random values within a set range ) to modulate/change/morph or for adding midi performance data to melodic ( as well as non melodic ) synth parts.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

While it is a nice idea that great new melodies magically pop into the heads of traditional composers via some creative, cosmic continuum. More likely, is that most composition is the result of randomly trying things within certain limits, till you come up with something that a) sounds good and b) doesn’t sound like an existing piece.

I think machines are better at random.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

g2ian wrote:
While it is a nice idea that great new melodies magically pop into the heads of traditional composers via some creative, cosmic continuum. More likely, is that most composition is the result of randomly trying things within certain limits, till you come up with something that a) sounds good and b) doesn’t sound like an existing piece.

I think machines are better at random.


Coming up fast with tranformations of given melodic content is indeed a matter both of training and instinct. It isn´t neccessarily a matter of random when developing transformations/variations though.

And yes, truly random content is probably for machines only. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Chaos
Subject description: Random structure and placement.
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Kassen wrote:
Rob wrote:

There is a definition of chaos as 'a deterministic structure that is too complex for the human mind to grasp'. Which is not absolute randomness, where an event principally cannot be deduced as anything else but a sheer miracle. But this is basically a philosophic subject.


That's not avery good definition. One could easily imagine a structure that would be too complex to understand yet which would still generate a highly predictable output.

To me that sounds more like the sort of definition you aply to a system you don't understand and fear is truely random if you are afraid of truely random things.


Indeed, both definitions indicate a certain inability of the human mind, and are so quite weak definitions. Meaning it says little about the matter, but much more about how some (but probably not all) humans relate to the matter at hand. And both definitions may indeed generate the fear in a human of not being able to cope with matters at hand. And both definitions say nothing about the output, just as they say so little about the matter itself.

For any system itself, its output is not chaotic, instead it is determined by the system. That is why it is so hard to build true randomness generators, and it is often better to speak about pseudorandomness. Even when quantum noise is taken for the 'source of uncertainty', the quantum noise used is merely a recording of something generated outside the system, and so is only input to the system.

A probable disadvantage of true randomness is that it might lack character. Character is as tricky to define as chaos, as character assumes a more or less recurring emotional response based on an associative process in the human mind. But true randomness will produce truely random associations, or maybe no associations at all. Which will make it difficult for the mind to assign it a specific character.
In contrast, the deterministic outputs of many 'chaotic systems' often exhibit a specific character that 'in essence', but not necessarily 'in form', recurres when the system is rerun. And that is of musical interest; it can be used in compositions.

To be able to use 'chaotic systems' for musical purposes it would be handy if one could sort of predict the output. The point here is that one needs skills to deduce output from a system 'by hand', no matter if it is complex or not. But assuming that one has the skills, it will most probably still take time to handle the matter. Now, if that time is estimated to exceed more than an average human lifespan dedicated solely to this matter at hand, the system might appear quite chaotic to many. Though the output of the system itself may be simple. E.g. like 42.
I think it is better to cheat a little here, like 'experimenting' with 'chaotic formulas' and wait what comes out. Then keep the stuff that one likes and drop the stuff that seems unuseable or store it for a later occasion. So, simply run those algorithms, always record them while they are running and burn them on a CD. And maybe later take some samples from the recording and use the samples in a composition.

Btw, if one is afraid of truely random things one can be assured. By either telling them how it is or selling them some talisman for good money. I guess this needs no further explanation. Wink

Slightly OT:
A friend of mine, Stig Petterson, once tried to explain to me '3D quaternions', but it turned out I lack the sort of imagination to grasp that kind of stuff. Still, there is some imho beautiful output from his hand online at http://www.varberg.se/~sea0336b/index.html. I guess those kind of graphic fractal pictures are quite OT here, but just to support Kassen's remark on output, which I know is for Stig quite predictable in his mind. Though personally I lack the math skills and imagination to predict it.

To go on topic again:
Using chaotic systems (in the sense described by the advocates of the Chaos Theory) for music may require some imagination from the audience (the consumers) to appreciate it. Like much of the popular electronic music from the seventies was based on the fact that many people could easily dream away on the layers of thick synth sounds coming from the wall of knobs and flashing lights. Which could mean that 'chaos music' could be differently perceived and received in a different setting, by the same audience. An example is film scores, I think there is some 'chaos music' used in some film scores. But the focus of the audience is primarily drawn by the visual imagery and the plot, and the score is not listened to in the same way as a CD in the livingroom at home. Still, take a way the soundtrack and there is a whole different movie. And take away the visual imagery and the music score becomes a whole different thing.

There is also an undeniable link between a few musical genres and certain substances. So who knows, perhaps in some short time a yet still unknown substance will become 'en vogue', and this substance will give people the true belief that 'chaos music' is definitely 'the thing'. Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Chaos
Subject description: Random structure and placement.
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Rob wrote:

The idea is not new, e.g. check Luigi Russolo.

... or aleatoric music.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Anyways, we will now announce MachineForComposingMusic ( MCM )
http://www.fexia.com/machineComposeMusic.html

Enjoy!

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Check out this page too:
http://www.fexia.com/syntheticMusician.html

And pay attention to this section:

Quote:
I am creating a large class which is a general purpose Machine Listening Centre, which contains quite a lots of subcentres which themselves consist of lower level Midi Listeners and Audio Listeners. And the centres also route results from these low-levels one to others which can help eachother with their theories of music analysis. These are things like beat tracking, texture analysis, key/scale induction, phrase-finding and segmentations. A whole bunch of things really. The overall centre is easy to reconfigure and will supply a general purpose machine listening class which will be usefull for other projects. Can plug it in, tweak some properties and it can supply lots of different theories and analysis about what it is "hearing". Midi And Audio is input. Audio analysis is a set of different FFT based statistical information.

Results are posted to the MachineListening Result Centre as Perception Objects. Timestamped objects with name, sender, some result (an object - eg float. symbol. interger, whatever really), strength and decay rates. This centre is then accessable to other things. Control, behaviour, perception, motivation systems.



Very cool!

Why isn´t this smart guy a member here?? Shocked

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Anyways, we will now announce MachineForComposingMusic ( MCM )

at first glance it looks like an updated version of those applications of the 80's by Dr.T's and others.
see A Short History of Intelligent Instruments but maybe I'm wrong (if it's not MIDI only)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just you download it and play around with it.

And there is always the MidiFucker

http://www.fexia.com/MidiFucker.html

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

And there is always the MidiFucker

Quote:
the music of Midi Fucker is combining the performance expression of hundreds and hundreds of musicians throughout the world and then processing it though the musical (machine) expression of the computer algorithms contained within.

scaringly impressive Cool

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Understood! Musicians maybe consumer in 20 years. But, if I innovate something now and it brings me no initial profit, and it becomes mainstream or popular years down the road. I will have the pleasure of knowing that it was ME that started it all.


OK, yes, and I applaud you in doing so and I would probably be one of the guys purchasing your recording as I support the music and it's artists 100% Very Happy

I have done research in these areas you speak of and here is an excerpt of a research paper I wrote six months ago from the music researchers point of view. I compose electronic myself but am a better engineer than musician. Shocked


The Early Years of Music Technology

“Music as we know it today-in all of its many-faceted, genre-bending splendor would not exist without technology. The explosive development of new music ideas and materials during the last hundred years is a direct result of explorations with electronic instruments and recording technologies” (Holmes, 2002) All technologies developed over periods of many years, notable improvements are made through the diligent exploration of researchers, inventors, and engineers. This is no less true for music technology as it is for any other technology. These historical accounts are what inspire the modern researcher to continue forward on similar and sometimes wildly different paths to developing exciting new music technologies. This researcher austerely believes that experimental electronic music composing and performance is the test bed, and the preferred musical genre, by which many new ideas can be developed in electronic instrument design. Through time, as history shows, these experimental musical structures evolve into more “standard” musical forms. It is this initial beginning or birth of a new musical instruments creation that experimental forms of music are applied. Fortunately for many, various forms of electronic experimental music still exist although mostly within academic circles and distributed by special, small, record labels on the internet. The emergence of the affordable home project studio is starting to change this and more sonically interesting music genres are starting to appear on more music distribution channels. In the book “Electronic and Experimental Music” the author continues to say “This book is about new musical ideas and the parallel growth of electronic musical instruments. It is about music that exists because of the use of electronics rather than music that simply uses electronics. Rock music, pop music, jazz, rap, movie music, house, techno, drum and bass, and other genres of music use electricity, but they are not the kinds of electronic music discussed between these covers. Here you will find the work of engineers and composers, tinkerers and performers, pocket-protector geeks and new music pioneers. These are the people who always had something different in mind when it comes to music. They share a desire to disrupt the musical norm and to fiddle with the expectations of the human experience. Their music space is one in which aural reality is recontextualized by new sounds, new rules for playing sounds, and new demands for listening.” (Holmes, 2002) They are sometimes referred to as the “soldering musicians”. It is the freedom of music expression that allows for the freedom of creative instrument design. The two are closely linked. “The evolution of musical expression intertwines with the development of the musical instrument” (Roads, 1996)

Written By "State Machine" December 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just wanted to throw in my view about chaos.

The way I see it, chaos os often used to describe something that is hard or practically impossible to predict, even though the mathematical basis is known. Mandelbrot equations are a good example of this. They are simple and known, but their results are hard to predict (which in this case means calculating the result, since mandelbrot images aren't seen in nature).

A more real-world example is a the 2d path of a ball that is dropped onto two planes that are slanted towards each other (bouncing back and forth), or cross-FM between two oscillators on the G2, which behaves erratically at times.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:32 am    Post subject: mcm Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, Machine for Composing Music is kind of in that tradtion of 80s AC software, and perhaps stuck in the 80s because it is Midi only, but if the Midi is driving some good instruments then I think thats fine. You can for example route this Midi into a Max patch and have MCM controlling its digital sound generation.

It isn't (very) intelligent, as there are no clever composition rules that automatically assist in the construction of its music, but in the Laurie Speigel article she is quite open about that term. MCM isnt an instrument, as its not real-time.

and its now free !!

-------
"the music of Midi Fucker is combining the performance expression of hundreds and hundreds of musicians throughout the world and then processing it though the musical (machine) expression of the computer algorithms contained within."

its only does this because Midi can capture (some) musical peformance expression. So in that sense a midi file contains the musical expression of the musician who produced the midi file. And since midi fucker is extracting segments of music from different midi files it finds on the net, then messing thm up and sticking them together it I guess it is doing that. I sometimes read that statement at think its sounds a bit exagerated but perhaps it isnt. Alot of the time midi fucker creates completely awfull music, but it can soon evolve into something pretty good. But I quite like that, it has a compositional development which goes from bad to good music. (depending on your taste I suppose)


And "The Synthetic Musician" is going to take a long, long time to make. And it may not work that well either. Just dont know yet. A "Spectacular Failure" perhaps. Confused

,,,,,,
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

Why isn´t this smart guy a member here?? Shocked



Hmm, seems like Paul Webb is a member here after all. Very Happy

welcome

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
And what place do you think it (chaos, random music) has in todays society? Musician or Consumer.


This begs the question: "What place do you think music of any kind has in today's society?"

Music consumers tend to be conservative in their choices -- most are fearful of listening to music that might appear "uncool" to their peers. Indeed, my parents and my kids are equally conservative despite the different preferred genres.

One of the challenges in today's society is that music is everywhere and people are conditioned to tune it out. People only value music that serves as accompaniment to something else: a movie, a dance, a party, a church service, a drive, shopping, eating, riding in elevators... Music that is designed for listening is viewed with disdain: "What good is it?" This is where classical and experimental music are similar. Palestrina motets and 'noodles' may both seem irrelevant to some consumers.

"Avante-garde" music's place in society was often to challenge (or offend/provoke) conventional thinking. "Our knobs go up to 11" may be one of the most incisive commentaries on the modern art scene. People are so bombarded with bizarre images and sounds that there seems to be little that one can do to provoke anyone. Perhaps we need knobs that go up to '12' now.

I am not altogether sure of chaos/aleatoric music's role in society. I like to listen to such music because it often inspires and challenges me. While the music I perform and compose tends to be "written out" I do incorporate some random elements. Often a musical work that I hear will provide seeds for my own work.

As far as the public, I think experimental music has a better chance of gaining a larger audience if it is done in conjunction with something else...

For example, people may not want to sit in a concert hall to hear my stuff however they might enjoy picnicing outdoors while I am playing ... or they might enjoy a performance with visual elements -- dancers or some kind of video. I think people are more accepting of music that accompanies something.

I think that we may be past the point of merely "upsetting the status quo with unconventional music" and we, as electro-musicians, can be forward-looking and find new venues for our work.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject: Nice Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some realy intelligent people on this forum. I appreciate everyones answers, ideas and opinions. I'd like to put in more feedback at this moment, but I just got off work and need to run away again.

But before I go, Im sure some of you have seen my website. Ive been leaning towards more visual appeal to go with my music. Just havent had time to develope a video or anything completely yet.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If a music piece doesn't have a good structure, it seems that it's not sticking into your memory, which means that people will forget about it. It won't be "good music" then, compositionally.

I started thinking about what my personal favourite pieces of music are, and the all tracks that came to my mind have a very clear structure, it's like they became something visual in my mind. Even though most of my music collection is chaotic/experimental stuff, still it seems that those structured pieces give me the most pleasure.

But if I think of structure/form itself, it becomes so boring. Then it just becomes AABA or ABAC etc. If I would have to make music using that form, I would find that very boring. But then if I don't do it, it becomes too formless. It's a dilemma. How do you people make music using forms? Do you make a form before you make the actual music? Or does the form come automatically? And why do you make a form in the first place? That's somehing I'm not familar with yet...
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Alexander



Joined: Apr 22, 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I try and visualize layers of form, there's always a popular form somewhere in it, it could be a metrical thing or an overall compositional choice.

I for instance, have four or five tracks of audio and try and find parts in there that are either loopable, fitting a certain part of the composition (intro, groove, suggestion, melody, etcetera) or mixable with another track/part/phrase.

I mostly end up with a structure after doing the above and the rest is reshaping and editing it till it fits a version you have in mind.

Remember that chaos can become very non chaotic when organized properly in a repetitive form, it works for everything in a composition, from makin choices in wether to use something once or repeating them to overall changes in sound and use of them.

Very interesting thread this, it made me think about the whole topic in general a lot, getting a lot of fresh inspiration here, hooray!

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