Librivox ‘n’ squirrels

Phil Ford

Just got back from EMP and am just way too tired to say anything about it. I will fill pages with trenchant insights, I promise, but for now I’m just in a coma. But long story short, EMP was cop show.

In the meantime, here’s a dude called MC Nutz doing a hiphop version of Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” poem. Not sure if that’s the same guy in the squirrel costume trying to breakdance. Don’t say I never did nothin for ya.

And here are more traditional readings, courtesy of Librivox. Librivox is a wonderful free-culture outpost I’ve just discovered. It provides free audio podcasts of books in the public domain, which basically means books written before 1923, although it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. The stated ultimate goal of Librivox is to record every book in the public domain. They operate In the same peer-managed way as Wikipedia, by relying on the contributions of unpaid volunteers. Now THIS is cop show. The readings vary widely in quality — basically, Librivox’s policy is, if you don’t like a reading, you can make one of your own. Interestingly, there’s almost no writing on music to be found anywhere on Librivox, so how about it, music geeks? Any good ideas? I want to do Berlioz’s Memoirs — there are a couple of public-domain translations in English, including what’s supposed to be a good abridged version by Katherine Boult, mother of Sir Adrian.

At some point I would love to write more about the larger context for Librivox — the free culture movement, cultural environmentalism (I term I just learned), and whatnot, but this was supposed to be a short undemanding post. So I will leave you with a comic book about copyright law by the guy who invented the term “cultural environmentalism.” That was probably the geekiest single sentence I’ve written since starting this blog. Here’s the link, and you can download the comix here.

***UPDATE*** There is an excellent Reason Magazine article on Librivox here.

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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6 Responses to Librivox ‘n’ squirrels

  1. Hugh says:

    hey thanks for the post, and I’m looking forward to the berlioz audio! btw, what does “Now THIS is cop show” mean?

  2. Phil Ford says:

    “Cop show” means “awesome,” only more so. Librivox is cop show. It is the Steve McQueen of literary websites. Which means that you, Hugh McGuire, founder of Librivox, are also cop show.

  3. maura says:

    aha! i was wondering where i knew your name from *all weekend,* and now i know. yes, the whole weekend was very very cop show.

  4. Phil Ford says:

    Hi Maura! I’m only now putting names with blogs, after the fact. Among musicologists I’m unusual for having a blog; in the EMP crowd, it’s not so unusual.

  5. gauche caviar says:

    perhaps you’ve seen this already? http://www.urbandictionary.com
    anyone can add a definition and there is not yet an entry for “cop show”

  6. Phil Ford says:

    Hello Gauche Caviar — if that is indeed your real name.

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