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Humanist Archives: Oct. 30, 2019, 7:51 a.m. Humanist 33.360 - software for classical languages; conceptual music

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 360.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

    [1]    From: Bridget Almas 
           Subject: Announcement: Alpheios 3.0 (33)

    [2]    From: David Berry 
           Subject: Conceptual Music (77)

        Date: 2019-10-30 07:35:56+00:00
        From: Bridget Almas 
        Subject: Announcement: Alpheios 3.0

We are very pleased to announce that Alpheios 3.0 is now available.

Alpheios provides free, open-source software for studying the world's
classical languages and literatures, currently including Latin, Greek,
Arabic and Persian.

With this release the user interface has been completely refreshed and
new features include the Alpheios Toolbar, User Word Lists, Latin Usage
Examples and Persistent Options Configuration. Various other small
enhancements and bug fixes are included. Full details are available in
the release notes at http://www.alpheios.net/pages/v3/release-notes/ and
a full set of Tutorials at http://www.alpheios.net/pages/tutorials/.

As always, you can use Alpheios on any website in your desktop via the
Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser extensions. The new Alpheios Mobile
Reader interface provides access to all Alpheios functionality on mobile
devices for a core set of Latin and Greek texts. And you can add
Alpheios directly to your site via the Alpheios Embedded Library.

We are grateful to all of the providers of open source tools and
services on which Alpheios is built. In particular with this release we
would like to thank the Packard Humanities Institute for making their
concordance service available for the Latin Usage Examples feature and
the Perseus Digital Library for their open access library of Greek and
Latin texts.

Bridget Almas

The Alpheios Project, Ltd.


        Date: 2019-10-29 11:13:33+00:00
        From: David Berry 
        Subject: Conceptual Music

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to use this opportunity to draw colleagues attention to a sonic
research project utilising what we call "conceptual music". For this project
I've been working with a new collaborator, Barnaby Thorn, and the output has
been released by Truant Recordings on cassette format on 4 October 2019. 
This work emerged as part of a British Academy funded Research Fellowship 
exploring the Idea of a University in a Digital Age and this
sonic work was one of the first outputs of the project which explored conceptual
change over time. A monograph is to be published in 2020.

Prof. Wolfgang Ernst (Hu-Berlin, Germany) wrote the following about the sonic

The "physical" edition of MYTHOLOGIES turns the critical analysis of the
contemporary media condition, which David Berry and Barnaby Thorn make in the
accompanying text "Reflections of a Damaged Life", into a material argument.
Nothing can be a better comment on "cloud" computing, and the algorithmicized
daily environment, than the "hardware irony" of a recording of sonic signals on
analogue tape. Even more ironical, though, is the fact such audio cassette tapes
have been used in early personal digital computing - the legendary Commodore
"Datasette". In terms of a very material media ecology, the "return" of the
cassette tape, nowadays, is limited by the resource of ferroxyd for magnetizing
the plastic tape (for which most tape duplicating machines in tape music
editions have been constructed), with only one factory left which produces such
raw material - while the alternative with better dynamics in signal recording,
the chrome tape, is blocked for environmental reasons. Media "retromania",
therefore, is not simply about nostalgia for "dead media".

This work is what Berry and Thorn call "conceptual music" - which is not about
indexical traces (such as the sound of smart phones) nor "program music" (like
Ottorino Respighi's classical composition Fontane di Roma), but more about
diagrammatic isomorphies. Dealing with, for example, the "new Metaphysics" in
a developing critical discourse on "deep" machine learning, and renewed
Artificial Intelligence. Predictively (and in the sense of the accompanying
MYTHOLOGIES text) they argue for opening the "black box" of "deep" layers in
computational media, understanding artificial neural nets, both in terms of
electronics, and of brain modelling.

MYTHOLOGIES presents the contradictions of contemporary society through the
dialectics of conceptual music and the materialities of media forms.

For those who are interested, you can listen to the release on band camp,
Spotify and Apple Music:



There is also the cassette version available here:


If you have any questions about the release or the wider project please feel
free to email me directly.



David M. Berry
Professor of Digital Humanities
School of Media, Film and Music
University of Sussex

T: +44(0)1273 87557
Internal Extension: 7557

Silverstone 316
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 8PP

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Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)

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