Photo by Michael Henry on Unsplash

In the last few weeks, a lot of musicians have decided to try out live streaming performances, in an attempt to keep their audiences engaged and generate income while locked down in quarantine. A niche activity pursued by a small number of performers until a month ago suddenly went mainstream out of necessity.

The rush in the adoption of this new medium correlates to the quality of the content released. Right now, whether it comes from big or small artists, live-streamed performances are pretty underwhelming. No one is even close to nailing this one yet.

Why are live music streams underwhelming?

The first explanation that we…

Those who work in something they don’t enjoy, even if they work all day, are unemployed. They betray themselves by taking poisoned and stolen bread to their homes.

— Facundo Cabral

This phrase is a quote from Facundo Cabral, a folk singer that lived an extraordinary life of profound pain and spiritual joy. For me, Cabral is one of the artists that captures South American popular wisdom, a way of seeing life that is hard to explain through the barrier of culture and language, and that can we can only fully understand through music.

In this short article, I want…

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Do you need a master?

When I went to music composition school, one of my teachers told me: -” You always seem to be trying to figure out things on your own. It would help if you had a master, all of us had a master”-

I’ve had many teachers and mentors throughout the years, but I never had a master. In other words, I didn’t have a musical role model to follow or a clear image of what kind of musician I could become.

This insulation happened not because I wanted to, as I did look for a role model, especially in the early…

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You are free to do as we tell you

Our general understanding is that we are free when we’re able to do what we want. Pursue your dreams, be yourself, follow your bliss, and Do-You are all maxims that correspond to this view of freedom. Today, we take this vision to an extreme. In our age of abundance and easy access to information, products, and services, getting what we want is easier than ever.

As a consequence, we’re supposed to be freer than any time in history. But this is not the case. …

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I’m a Chapman Stick player turned web developer. I’ve had a Wordpress site for my Electronic Prog-Rock music project since 2014, much before I started my career as a web developer in 2017. Since becoming a developer, I’ve wanted to rebuild the website but, a combination of time, lack of design chops, and a bit of ignorance of how to migrate all the plugin tools Wordpress provides delayed my project.

Preparing the release

A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing a new EP release after four years. While writing newsletters, emails, and preparing graphic material, I put out a video to build…

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The hegemonic mental space

There’s a characteristic of American mentality that has always caught my attention. It’s hard to point fingers at it because it lies deep beneath how Americans experience the world. When I bring it up to my peers, I usually get an awkward silence, followed by a stare that looks like I’m speaking some alien language. For a long time, I thought I was bringing up some kind of taboo. Later, I realized that my words were truly nonsense.

Why something so evident to me is, at the same time, so elusive to others? I realized that what I was describing…

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The truth behind the lies
Truth isn’t an idea you usually associate with conspiracy theories unless you are a conspiracy theorist. Society at large sees these theories and their violent call to action as a lack-of-truth and moral problem. As a consequence, the media, politicians, and mainstream intellectuals try to fight them with facts, reason, logical arguments, and moral condemnation, totally missing the point. Conspiracy theories actually reflect the truth, just not the kind you’re thinking of.

Naked ideology
Conspiracy theories are a mirror of the group that claims them as reality. As such, these are constructed with the same flawed…

Ugandan Knuckles — from

As a new web developer I keep hearing about “functional programming” (FP), and according to the biggest nerds on Medium it seems to be the future of web applications. Besides cryptocurrency and AI, functional programming is one of the hottest buzzword in tech. Like many of these hot terms, everyone is talking about it but few really understand what it means. To top it off, functional programming is surrounded by such a mystique of hardship and pain that it seems only the Super Saiyans of programming have the Ki to learn and master it.

This article is written with the…

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The rise of social norms

Social norms are created to limit or promote certain behaviors and arise because of historical needs and circumstances. These norms define what is acceptable through prohibitions and encouragement, and by defining our individual role in enforcing these rules. For example, the prohibition to eat a product in a specific date, to discuss sensitive subjects, to use or alter our bodies in particular ways, or to change our states of consciousness with certain substances are all forms of social norms in the form of interdiction. Norms can also take a more action-oriented form and promote socially ‘desirable’ behaviors, like encouraging people…

Part 3 of 3: Instrumentality, craft and community

“A black-and-white photo of a male singer holding a guitar with a keyboard player in the background” by Gonzalo Poblete on Unsplash

In this series of post I’ve tried to explain why so many coders are musicians, a possible relationship I found when transitioning from being a musician to developer. In the two previous posts I briefly explained my personal experience, long-term commitment as a trait of both musicians and coders (Part 1), the role of of abstract concepts, and the idea of music and code as languages (Part 2).

In this final post I’ll go into the social and bodily dimensions of coding and music, to try to explain this relationship further.


Francisco Rafart

Musician, web developer and weekend philosopher.

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