Or, “2019: what a time to be alive”.
Life outpaced my speed in writing the “Catching Up” posts, so another semester has elapsed and the last of those is stuck back at the end of last spring. Therefore, I’ll briefly summarize both the summer and the fall in this post (before moving on to more recent events), so as to avoid falling further behind.
The short version is that I interned at Google in Mountain View, stayed at the illustrious HackerHome nearby, and put together some tracks.
To elaborate a little:
Google was cool. The campus is, in fact, super nice. I worked on the Assistant team and had a lot of fun on an exploratory project. (Relatedly, I now know a considerable fraction of the Assistant’s “tell me a joke” responses by heart, as I often used that query when testing…)
HackerHome was great. That was my first time staying in such an arrangement. I shared a room with three others, which wasn’t always ideal wrt. sleep, and unoccupied bathrooms were sometimes scarce. Quibbles aside, I met a number of excellent people there, with whom I enjoyed a fulsome plethora of misadventures. Overall, I definitely think the opportunities to socialize and meet cool people outweighted the lack of personal space, and staying there was a worthwhile experience.
Additionally, I took advantage of Google’s excellent music rooms to record some tracks. I similarly benefitted from various mailing lists (through which I secured a semihollow guitar and cute MIDI keyboard on the cheap) and group guitar lessons. I set myself the goal of putting together one song per week. In chronological order, these are:
- Shopping (without vocals)
- Happy Birthday (without vocals)
- Implausibly Intense (at this point, I got an actual mic and audio interface.)
- Run Don’t Walk
- Things Are Gonna Be Fine
- Sunset Beach
- Ready To Wait
- hello, world
- I Got It Bad
- We Put A Man On The Moon
To clarify, I think these are generally terrible… but I also think they improved some over time, and I actually like a couple despite their (numerous) faults. Namely, Run Don’t Walk, Sunset Beach, and Doghouse. Among the weirder tracks in that set, I ended up liking hello, world and We Put A Man On The Moon, which are unique among the rest in their use of samples.
Also: I started taking actual 1-on-1 guitar lessons! This turned out to be a Good Idea™, and it’s something I eventually resumed in the fall.
In the fall, I took a bunch of classes:
- Fundamentals of Music Processing (21M.387)
- Electronic Music Composition I (21M.361)
- Operating System Engineering (6.828)
- Writing in Tonal Forms I (21M.303)
- Advanced Seminar in Music (21M.500)
- Chamber Music Society (21M.445)
I’m happy to report that I sincerely enjoyed all of these classes. In terms of class satisfaction/engagement, this was probably my best semester yet. As you may have noticed, this schedule is a bit 21M-heavy; relatedly, I finally got around to declaring a double major.
Aside from classes, I continued work on RISC-V semantics and started working on ConcertCue.
I created various tracks over the semester for 21M.361. Here are a few:
- Your Call
- Midi-worlds Interpretation
- Modern Halloween (A Ghost)
- And my magnum opus (or some kind of opus, anyway), 204
Aside from those, I created Limbo (with Emma’s help on lyrics) after returning from my internship, but before the semester began.
I auditioned for some stuff at the beginning of the semester, which was scary and worth it. I ended up playing in a jazz combo with a great group of guys, which was an awesome experience.
The semester concluded with a failed trip to Six Flags, several days of goofing around New England with Emma, and then a final exam.
Winter break happened. It was nice. Got to catch up with my folks, hang out with old pals, visit my favorite restaurants, and so forth. Also, I got my wisdom teeth removed (all four were impacted), and just now shed the last of the stitches from that.
I also worked on a new track while at home; here it is, sans vocals.
And now it’s IAP. I’m taking Intro to Quantum Computing, and plan to take a course on applied category theory that starts next week. In the meantime, I think I accidentally released (or provoked?) the scourge of board games onto unsuspecting Randomites with the curse of IAP free time. Other developments TBD.
I’m planning to intern this summer, and then stick around another year to do a Master’s. After that, who knows what the future holds?
Slightly more short term, I reiterate my vague goal of updating this site more. Certainly, I should get around to updating some of the other pages; as of this writing, the home page claims I’m a junior, there aren’t any projects listed for 2018, and I have yet to add work on ConcertCue to the research page.
RIP. Until next time,