Mark Foley

Music commentator

Mark Foley is Assistant Professor of Double Bass and Electric Bass, and Principal Double Bass in the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

He has been a featured soloist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. He also has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Heidelberg Castle Opera Festival, the Binghamton Symphony, the Minnesota Opera and also performs extensively as a jazz artist.

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Commentary
8:20 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Musical Space: How To Turn Your House Into A Concert Venue

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Things are changing in the live music business. Clubs aren’t hiring live acts like they used to, and corporate integration has changed the concert scene into mainstream monotony. On the bright side, though, house concerts--musical events in private homes--are emerging as the hot, new venue.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Musical Space: Tubes Vs. Transistors

It was a good thing in the 1950s when transistors started replacing vacuum tubes. Tubes are fragile, hot, heavy, noisy, power-hungry, expensive and prone to hum. Transistors are cheap, clean, and efficient; they are what make portable audio possible. So if transistors are so good, why are audiophiles willing to pay five figures for a pair of monaural tube amps?

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Commentary
9:24 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Musical Space: The Dark Side of the Rainbow

Credit Jordan Kirtley

For the last 20 years or so people have been watching The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd’s album “Dark Side of the Moon.” They claim the two works have synchronicities that couldn’t have happened by accident. You know the kind of people I’m talking about. But I’m not here to dissuade them. In fact, I think that the practice known as “The Dark Side of the Rainbow” is a good thing.

A few of the coincidences are striking. For instance, the song “Money” begins precisely when Dorothy steps out of the black and white house into the colored world of Oz.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Musical Space: What Do Crickets Sound Like Slowed Down?

Credit Jordan Kirtley

Click the Listen button above to hear Mark Foley's examples.

Internet lore has it that the sound of crickets, when slowed down, sounds like humans singing. I think trying it is the only way to see if it’s true, so let’s give it a shot.

This is the sound of one cricket chirping: (Ex. 1)

If I slow this sound to one-tenth the speed, it sounds like this: (ex. 2)

Beautiful, but not very human-like to me; maybe more like a large bird.

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Commentary
11:03 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Musical Space: Neil Young’s Pono

Neil Young has always been terrifically outspoken how the music business can hurt music quality; he’s also been doing something about it.

Coming off a successful Kickstarter campaign, he’s developing a new music delivery service called Pono. Pono promises to bring higher quality digital recordings by avoiding over-compression and by using a much higher sampling rate and bit depth.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Musical Space: The 100th Anniversary Of Sun Ra's Arrival From Saturn

    

May 22 of this year is the 100th anniversary of the arrival to this planet of Sun Ra. As a piano player, composer and bandleader Sun Ra’s terrestrial incarnation was one of the true innovators in jazz; a bridge spanning the beginnings of big band jazz to a distant world that only exists now in Afrofuturist science fiction.

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Commentary
9:22 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Musical Space: The Value of Wu-Tang Clan’s New Album

    

Rap super-group Wu-Tang Clan have come up with a bold new marketing plan for their latest album, and it’s a doozey.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Musical Space: Record Store Day Is All About The Deep Find

Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, April 19.
Credit recordstoreday.com

    

April 19th is Record Store Day—an international celebration of vinyl records that caters to rabid fans and rabid collectors alike. The first Record Store Day was in 2007 and came with a hitch in the age of online shopping: The releases were only available at independent stores and you had to physically go to the store to get the records you wanted—if your store received those releases in your shipment.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Musical Space: Music Videos Can Be More Than About Watching

Credit http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

Its always bothered me how listening to music can be a very passive and linear experience. Lately I’ve been checking out some interactive music videos; these might help solve the problem. Interactive Music Videos are software-driven, using input from the listener to determine the course of the images.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Musical Space: When Are You Supposed To Clap?

As much as I love classical music, there’s one thing that bothers me about going to a symphony concert; it’s that awkward moment when the music stops and people don’t know if they should clap. Symphonies and sonatas are divided into movements; the question is whether there should be applause after each movement, or only after the whole piece.

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