Jump (The Bailout Bash)


Elizabeth and I teamed up again to work on our audio pieces for Comm Lab this week.  Although we did record audio from the streets of NY together for last week’s assignment, we decided not to use any of it and instead decided to choose a pressing socio-political theme of the current economic “crisis.”  I took photos and recorded audio from an anti-bailout protest on Wall Street last month.  We were particularly attracted to some snippets from a speech given by the charismatic looking gentleman pictured above.  We also used samples of other protesters chanting slogans, and put everything over a beat that I composed.  In some amazing coincidence, almost all of our samples fit over the beats at 109 BPM.  Only one sample of chanting protesters had to be slightly stretched in Audacity to fit the tempo.

Download the MP3 or the AIFF.

The danceable audio anger that resulted from our musical collaborations reminds me a little bit of the Muppets doing N.W.A. And for further musical explorations relating to pigs, I suggest NIN’s Piggy and March of the Pigs.

Elizabeth describes more of our process in her blog:

We used several applications to make the piece. We cut up the audio in Fission, a commercial software for simple cutting. It is really usable. The beats were composed in iDrum…. We used Audacity to change the length of some of the audio pieces so that they all had the same beat. Then we assembled the song in Garage Band.


Protest Against the Bush Bailout on Wall Street

My audio slideshow of the protest on Wall Street on September 25, 2008.

Protest Against the Bush Bailout on Wall Street from lee-sean on Vimeo.

Also on YouTube and Blip.tv. Photos on Flickr.



EndBailouts.org established 24 hours after bailout plan was announced

A group of outraged American businesspeople and academics from Arizona, New York, and California are taking a stand against the proposed $1 trillion plan to use taxpayer dollars to absorb bad debts from private corporations.

EndBailouts.org, the volunteer advocacy group they formed 24 hours after the announcement from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, has launched an online resource and petition as a means to give a voice and support to Americans who oppose the bailout plan.

“Don’t give our children more debt and our creditors more power over us,” says Stacy Seger, an Arizona schoolteacher who helped launch the movement. “Don’t be afraid to speak out against these unprecedented government moves.”

The group circulates the petition online and on foot, planning to deliver it in person to Congress.  Public demonstrations are planned to draw more people to the issue.  EndBailouts.org is reaching out to combine efforts other taxpayer advocacy groups, and will provide information to taxpayers through online and other media channels.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with an EndBailouts.org representative, please call Nicholas DiBiase at 480-734-9983 or email ActNow[at]EndBailouts[dot]org.

Community Activism: Battling the 88 Greenwich Board & Management Company

Ok, so here’s the deal. Residents in my building, Greenwich Club Residences, have been trying to get our management company to removed plastic lock boxes from the Sirius Radio control units in the common areas of our building. When I first moved in, we had access to control the radios, as these radios in the common areas were offered as an amenity in the building and mentioned in the sales brochure. Here is a letter I submitted to the newly elected condo board today:

Dear Greenwich Club Residences Board:

I would like to bring up my concerns regarding the locking of the Sirius radio control units in the Billiards and Harbor Rooms. I am aware that other residents, including Serina Fojas and Jason Perkal, have also voiced similar concerns about how the situation has been handled. Echoing the sentiments made by above-mentioned residents, I would also like to suggest to the Board that the lock boxes be removed from the Sirius Radio units immediately. I believe that more proportional measures could have been taken to address the issues of excessive volume and channel selection on the Sirius controllers.

The lack of user-controllability of the radio units makes a mockery of the sales pitch promising “individual receivers capable of adjusting the music to the requests of residents” (from 88 Greenwich 5 Star Hotel brochure). To the best of my knowledge, I have not received an amendment to the offering plan that reflects a change to this amenity. In any case, I do not wish to engage in a petty battle over legalistic semantics and fine print, as this is a question of principle. I believe that this issue is best resolved through a spirit of civility and robust community consultation. I do not believe that this happened when the plastic enclosures were placed on the control units without notification.

The real issue is not so much that of plastic boxes over the radio controls, but the unilateral paternalism that characterized the handling of the issue. If excessive music volume is indeed an issue, there are other ways to deal with it short of locking the units. There are volume-limiting devices that can be installed, or perhaps the only volume controls, but not the channel controls should be blocked off. Or perhaps the units should be set on a station that only plays instrumental music, as to be minimally intrusive to the residents enjoying the space. These are just a few ideas to consider. I look forward to further dialogue about how to best address this issue.


Lee-Sean Huang