Ray Brown – Ailfionn

14524433_950494784044_6364227867519199736_o-1

Some records just carry you away to some place terrible and beautiful. A place you don’t necessarily want to be. They reminds you of the love you worked so hard to forget. The bells and whistles dragged behind heart break’s gnarly appendages. Some records grow inside you. The more you listen the bigger and heavier they get. Ray Brown‘s album Canyon is one. That record saved me this Autumn, I swear to God. Some things are impossible. Like escaping yourself. You have to slip your soul out of it’s socket and break out of the straight jacket of yourself. Music can do that. Change you. Ray’s new record is just as good. It’s beautiful and ugly and the most honest thing you’ve ever heard in your life. It breaks my fucking heart.

 

Advertisements

The Cheap and Easy Guide to making and releasing a Podcast, 2014 edition

podcast-headphones

Podcasts are internet radio shows. Anyone with a computer can make one and publish it to a potentially enormous audience, for less than 100 dollars / euros a year.

After a decade releasing podcasts, here’s the simplest, cheapest and most flexible way I’ve found to distribute one. It’s not free but it’s inexpensive. Podcasting can certainly be done for free, but you’ll pay in time and effort later on, especially if your show takes off.

The beauty of this method is that you can actually host multiple podcasts and an essentially unlimited audience from the same website (without any additional cost). You don’t need to worry about bandwidth or additional fees. This is my current workflow, and once it’s all set up, it only takes about five minutes to put out a new podcast episode.

Note: The following guide assumes you’re using a Mac. It’s just as easy on Windows / Linux, but the software for recording, tagging etc is different. If you’re using windows, just use the substitute software MP3 Tag for Tagr, and CDEX for MAX.

The Guide

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 17.25.12

1) Record and edit your first episode

You can do this directly through your laptop in Garageband (free), or on Reaper (reasonable), or Adobe Audition / Logic (expensive). Or you can use an external recorder, or even in a pinch a smartphone. For more details about a decent recording setup see here. Export your final show as a WAV.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 17.26.10

2) Convert your episode to MP3

I’d suggest using the free OSX conversion programme MAX. It’ll make smaller higher quality MP3’s than say Audition, Garageband or Reaper. In MAX, go to preferences -> formats -> MP3/ and set encoder quality to portable.
Now click on File -> Convert files and find your episode. Encode your WAV file to MP3.

3) Create a graphic for the podcast.

There are any number of ways to design a logo. Probably the simplest is to use a logo design app like Logo Design Studio Lite (3 dollars on the OSX app store). You’ll need a 1400 * 1400 pixel JPG graphic to use for itunes etc. You can upscale one from a smaller resolution, provided it’s the right aspect ratio (i.e.: provided it’s square). You can do this with Preview in OSX. Save a smaller version for your website and episode art (say 500 * 500 pixels).

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 17.25.46

4) Tag your MP3

I’d suggest using the OSX tagging programme TAGR. It’s 10 euro from the iTunes app store. You can drag your episode art into the box on the bottom left of TAGR (marked ‘artwork’, see image above). This will be the art that appears on smartphones and MP3 players when listeners play the programme. Enter the name of the episode and programme and all other relevant details. Save the file.

5) Set up an account at wordpress.com

Lots of people will suggest buying your own webspace and installing wordpress from wordpress.org, or some other blog software. You can do this, but I’d recommend against it unless you’re a professional web developer. WordPress.org is easy to install, but difficult to keep secure from hackers, and time consuming to maintain. WordPress.com is cheaper and more than good enough for podcast hosting.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 17.28.20

6) Purchase a domain name & space upgrade

Go to the wordpress store – your link will be something like https://YOURACCOUNT.wordpress.com/wp-admin/paid-upgrades.php

It’s 15 euro for registration and mapping.

It’s 40 euro for a 25 gig upgrade, enough for well over three hundred, two hour long podcasts.

7) Make your first WordPress post

Make your first post with an audio file attached. To do this, upload the audio file in wordpress’s media uploader, and then paste it into the body of the post.

Don’t forget to name your post. E.g.: ‘Great Podcast – Episode 1 – The Beginning’. Now create a tag in WordPress for your podcast, which you can add in the Tags box, on the bottom right. This tag can be anything, usually the name of your programme: But make sure it’s all one word.

Now when you go to https://YOURACCOUNT.wordpress.com/tag/YOURTAG – you’ll see all the episodes of the podcast.

Copy the link to the tag RSS feed, which should be – https://YOURACCOUNT.wordpress.com/tag/YOURTAG/feed

9) Make a Feedburner Feed

Go to Feedburner.com and ‘burn’ a new feed, using the RSS feed you copied from your wordpress tag above. Give the new feed the name of your podcast and go through all the set up on the feedburner site. The resulting feedburner feed is the feed you’ll submit to itunes etc.

14) Create a graphic for your podcast

You’ll need a 1400 * 1400 pixel graphic to use for iTunes, which you again upload directly to WordPress, and link via your feedburner settings. If you don’t have one big enough, just expand an existing image, no ones looking at it in that definition on itunes away. Check the feed is working by viewing it on feedburner.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 17.48.56

15) Submit your podcast feed to iTunes

You can do this here. You’ll need iTunes installed for this to work, and you’ll need at least one episode already in the feed to have it approved. Approval usually takes a couple of days to a week. Make sure not to include profanity in the podcast name or description as this will get your feed rejected. If your show is explicit, tag it as explicit at this stage (and in Feedburner).

16) Making Additional Episodes

Be sure to include the relevant tag every time you make a new post. Each new post, correctly tagged and with an audio file attached, will become a podcast episode. The name of the post will be the name of the episode in iTunes and in the podcast RSS feed on Feedburner.

17) Publicise

Submit your Feedburner RSS feed to Stitcher and any other third party podcast lists you’d like. Stick your show up on Facebook etc.

Low cost Psychotherapy in Ireland

the-cure-of-folly
The Cure of Folly, by Hieronymus Bosch

Due to the large number of counselling and psychotherapy courses in Ireland, particularly in Dublin, lots of low cost counselling services are available. Research shows that suicidal teens in particular have a low awareness of available resources, and despite ongoing mental health campaigns, low cost counselling in Ireland has low visibility. As I’m currently training as a psychotherapist, I thought I’d take this opportunity to collate some available resources. These are services which offer free or low cost counselling (usually between 15 and 40 euro), most often from student counsellor / psychotherapists.

Generally speaking (specific conditions and disorders aside) all therapies are roughly equal in efficacy. That is to say it shouldn’t make a huge difference which theoretical orientation your therapist follows (say Freudian, or cognitive behavioural or person centred or whatever).  Don’t worry too much about the terminology – the difference between counsellor, therapist, counselling psychologist, psychoanalyst etc, is likely to be much less in practice than you might imagine from reading the theories behind these approaches.

That said, the ‘real relationship’ between counsellor and client really is important. Which means you really should go shopping. Therapists hate this, but you have my permission to try out as many as you need until you find someone you feel you can trust / relate to. It’s all too easy to get locked into a feeling of obligation to a therapist, rather than admitting they’re not right for you. That said, the opposite is also true. Clients frequently (usually even) feel better after a couple of sessions, and want to quit there and then, because the work is hard. If you can help it, don’t do this. It’s called flight into health, and it’s just a way of avoiding the deeper issues that resulted in the symptoms that made you seek help in the first place. Find someone you can work with, build a trusting relationship, bring real feelings into the room. It will be worth it.

All the following services are staffed by student psychotherapists, usually with a least two years academic work towards a diploma in psychotherapy, as regulated by the Irish Association For Counselling & Psychotherapy. I provide no warranty or recommendation – or guarantee of the services listed. I’m just pulling this together from resources on the web. This, again, is totally incomplete. The magic words to google are “low cost counselling”, and there are lots of alternatives available.

Low Cost Counselling Services

Tivoli Institute
Cost: 15 – 25 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Object Relations, Psychodynamic
Location: Dublin or Galway
Availability: Weekday and weekend (late evenings available)
Number: (01) 2809178 (Dublin) or (086) 405 3413 (Galway), 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday-Friday.

Village Counselling Service
Cost:  5 – 30 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Choice Theory, Person Centred
Location: Killinarden, Tallaght
Number: 01-466-4205 / 087-904-9497, Monday to Friday 8.00am-10.00pm and Saturday 8.00am-6.00pm

PCI College
Cost: 15 – 25 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Person Centred, Family Systems
Location: Clondalkin, Dublin
Number: 076 6024 244. 10 and 3 Monday to Friday

The Counselling Centre Cork
Cost: 30 to 40 euro (reduced, 60 euro full price)
Theoretical Orientation: Humanistic / Person Centred
Location: Cork

Target Counselling
Cost: ?
Availability: Monday – Friday 9:30am – 1:30pm, Monday – Thursday 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Holy Trinity School, Newbrook Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 13.
Contact: 01 867 0279, jean@targeteducation.net.

Portlaoise Family Resource Centre
Cost:  ?
Contact: 057 86 86151, online form
Location: Portlaoise Family Resource Centre , Harpurs Lane, Knockmay, Portlaoise, Co.Laois

Tree of Life Counselling Service
Cost: ?
Location: Malahide, Lusk
Contact: 01 8283992

Liberties Counselling Service
Cost: 10 – 40 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Person Centred
Contact: 01-4736491, info@libertiescounselling.com
Availability:  on Mondays and Wednesdays between 9am and 5pm and Thursday
Location: Liberties Counselling, 11, Meath Street, Dublin 8

The Invisible Tourguide – Behind The Tour Guide – A Documentary

ipodLast September, infamous documentary auteur Cloff ‘Leather Britches’ Chuffbunting, spent two weeks in the company of Professor Byron Frump. Two weeks that were to prove infinitely memorable, not just for Professor Byron Frump, but for our world. This documentary was the result. If you’ve ever wondered what motivates the man so many of us have grown to admire, and perhaps even love, or pondered the life of the unpleasantly rich and desperately famous, ‘Behind The Tour Guide’ will feed your mawkish obsession.

Download: Behind the Tour Guide
Continue reading “The Invisible Tourguide – Behind The Tour Guide – A Documentary”

The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 5 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 2

This week Byron returns to Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, at Collins Barracks.

barracks

Download: Episode 5 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 2

Continue reading “The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 5 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 2”

The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 4 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 1

This week Byron introduces you to Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, at Collins Barracks.

museum

Download: Episode 4 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 1

Continue reading “The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 4 – Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Part 1”

The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 3 – Dublin’s Trinity College

tcd

This week Byron introduces you to Dublin’s the Provost, Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin.

Download: Episode 3 – Dublin’s Trinity College

Continue reading “The Invisible Tourguide – Episode 3 – Dublin’s Trinity College”