Welcome

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FB_IMG_1489709578951Enjoy original music, photos, and thoughts on the creative process by Miranda Pennington. Hit play on one of the audio widgets, take a look around and relax.

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The Mamma Ouija Project

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Experimental elctro-acoustic music. Downloads are free on Bandcamp. If you value this music, please consider entering a donation amount when you download. Thank you!


Click here for my song making journal on building these songs from start to finish and listen to a song evolve with the audio examples. Solo acoustic music is on the homepage.

Me and Papaw on Instagram

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Instagram is my jam! I work as my papaw’s daily care giver. He has dementia and needs help with a lot of every day stuff. Luckily, he loves music as much as I do and I spend a lot of time singing and playing guitar for him. Some of those moments get caught on video

and posted to Instagram.

Photos on Flickr

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Check out my photo galleries on Flickr.

The best way to view them on Android phones is to install the Flickr app because images don’t scale full screen in the browser. I’m working on a fix though.

Testing Minolta 28-70 2.8

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Testing out my new (old) Minolta 28-70 2.8. I’m not too sure if I like it though. I recently lost my very similar Tamron 28-75 2.8 and wanted to try something different when I replaced it because though the Tammy was a very good lens in many respects, I was also kind of bored with it compared to my vintage lenses. This Minolta lens was a high end pro lens released in 1993 and manufactured until sometime in the early 2000s, so I suppose that’s technically vintage but it’s still the youngest lens in my small but growing collection. (Shout out to friends and family for all the donations!)

I’m not a pixel peeper. Ultra sharpness and non-existent flare are not the most important things to me. I like vintage lenses because they are all so unique and impart their own feel to an image that’s hard to define and impossible to create in post. In terms of artistic feel, this Mino seems to deliver, but it has some serious drawbacks.

The focus is even slower than my other 90s era Minolta AF lenses, especially in low light, and just that alone greatly detracts from it’s usability. The only reason I even want a fast mid range zoom is because it’s versatile enough to get a range of candid, impromptu, shots in a wide range of settings. Quite frankly 28-70 is not really wide enough for great landscapes and not really long enough for great portraits, but it’s close enough to both ends to do quite a bit when you don’t want to change lenses a lot while on vacation, covering an event, or in the front row at a concert. However, there’s no sense lugging a huge lens like this around if it can’t perform in low light.

Another big draw back is the minimum focus distance is really, really, bad. I knew from reading the specs before I bought it that it was long, but once I gave it a try I saw how badly that might effect it in use. I don’t think you can get decent subject separation on indoor shots with this lens because you can’t get close enough to the subject. That’s a bummer because one of the main reasons I went for the Mino was the great bokeh (for a zoom anyway.)

Lastly, the images seem to haze pretty badly when the subject is backlit at all, and I’m not talking about an extreme “shooting into high sun” backlit either. The hazing could definitely be used for artistic effect, but it’s also super annoying when photographing nature. I need to shoot with it a little more to see if that problem is as bad as it seemed with my first few test shots though.

So, I don’t know… This classic Minolta lens seem to produce what I think of as more exciting and artistic images straight out of camera than my Tamron did, but I don’t think it’s going to be nearly as reliable or versatile. I guess you can’t have it all for what little I can afford. Lol. So, I might be returning this lens pretty soon or I may use it for a few months and then sell it. I need to test it more.

I’m still really hoping to acquire a Mino AF 85mm 1.4 or the 100mm as well as a Mino 17-35 to round out my collection of auto focus lenses, but that will probably have to wait till next year.

Feelin’ the Wind – Victory (maybe?)

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Nope. I have not fallen off the face of the earth or found myself in horrible car accident. I just haven’t posted anything lately because my progress on this song has been so incrementally slow the last couple weeks that it didn’t seem worth it. Continue reading

Steady Pace – Feeiln’ the Wind Progress Report

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I’ve been wanting to get to this progress report for a few days but I just haven’t had time. In fact, I haven’t even listened to this for a couple days, so I’ve kinda lost track of what all I did with it this week or what it sounds like. I remember I built up the break a little and I recorded the vocals yet again.

I am so glad that I decided to track the vocals again. Continue reading

Feelin’ the Wind – Finally a wee bit o’ progress

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*Side note. I used to have a very good command over punctuation and grammar but it’s been so long since I was in school that I can’t remember the rules. Sorry.*

Well, as the title implies I did work on the song a little bit this week but not much. I think I re-tracked the vocals about a week ago but I didn’t get around to listening to them or chopping and lining them up until this week. All in all, not a whole lot has changed about the song. Ignore how bright and airy it sounds. I’ve struggled a lot with that in the overall mix with every song I’ve made so far. I plan to bounce down each track and strip out most of the FX I’ve thrown in along the way so I can get more of a clean slate and work without taxing my processor with the double duty of running the synths/samplers along with the FX at the same time. I didn’t even set up the buses as I went along this time or write out and color my labels properly, so it’s a big mess that’s gonna take some time to clean up. Continue reading

Weekly Song Round Up (Or why there’s no progress this week.)

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Well, there’s no audio clip with this week’s progress report… and that is because I did not make any significant progress on “Feelin’ the Wind.” Two solid weeks of making very little progress. – And why is that? Well, I’ve been pretty ill for the past couple weeks and had some other things I couldn’t not do, so something had to give. Last weekend I had a short set at the OE and this weekend I’m playing piano on a friend’s album.

Continue reading

Isadora and the Fridge

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Isadora takes a peek inside papaw's ancient Frigidaire. (For new followers: my grandfather has dementia and I work as his care taker.) I'm pretty sure that before he developed dementia he was obsessive compulsive, (and well, I guess he still is. He's just not as good at OCD as he used to be.) For him, everything has to look exactly the same all the time. If anything is ever out of place or moved even a few inches from where it usually is, he panics. He has spent his entire life refusing to spend money on anything that's not absolutely essential and he's never discarded anything that was originally costly. Because of this, his home is rather spartan, but does contain an interesting collection of old, well preserved, weird stuff. : #antique #vintage #blackandwhite #fridgidaire #refrigerator #dementiacare #phonepic

A post shared by Miranda Pennington (@mamma_ouija_miranda_pennington) on

 

Chris Brewer at the Oregon Express

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(See these photos on Flickr)

Got a few great pictures of Chris Brewer on Saturday at the Oregon Express. Usually, I think my concert photos aren’t very good, but I’m very happy with the ones I got of Chris this past Saturday at the gig we shared with Dave Berry. I’m especially happy about Continue reading