51 episodes

A freeform, wide-ranging podcast by writer and composer Simo Sakari Aaltonen on any topics foremost on his mind at the time of recording. The seasons are also collected in book form. Some favourite topics include creativity and all the arts — music, films, screenplays, fiction, poetry, comics, games, comedy, and everything in between. Messages from listeners welcomed for possible inclusion in an episode. Note that sending a recording for inclusion in an episode of this podcast implicitly gives permission to do so.

What Now with Simo Simo Sakari Aaltonen

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

A freeform, wide-ranging podcast by writer and composer Simo Sakari Aaltonen on any topics foremost on his mind at the time of recording. The seasons are also collected in book form. Some favourite topics include creativity and all the arts — music, films, screenplays, fiction, poetry, comics, games, comedy, and everything in between. Messages from listeners welcomed for possible inclusion in an episode. Note that sending a recording for inclusion in an episode of this podcast implicitly gives permission to do so.

    4.4 Winter, First World Poems, and Finding Life Again

    4.4 Winter, First World Poems, and Finding Life Again

    “Winter Is Here” (@ 0:27) — My tribute joke to Norm Macdonald — A reason why many old poems no longer play — First world problems — Hundreds of poetry readings from 1923 to the 1950s — Listening to some during morning exercise (5 to 6 a.m.) — Wordsworth, John Donne — Donne’s “The Sun Rising” (1633) — Raging at the sun — Determines the comings and goings of lovers — Casts an imperious eye — How privileged? — A natural phenomenon an adult should be able to accept — Painstakingly, by hand, maybe with a quill and ink — “Saucy pedantic wretch” — Spinning creative wheels — Picture the scene — Waking up — How dare the sun shine when it pleases? — Guy ranting at the window — Undercutting everything I just said — Ponderous readings and readers — One early 20th century style of reading poetry — Quivery voice — This type of tone — “Wherefore must this orb of yellow” — Where did this style come from? — A product of a particular section of civilisation — Johan Huizinga — Play can very well include seriousness, whereas seriousness excludes play — Now there are all kinds of approaches — A short, immature vignette — Lost or not? — Right person or not? — Not difficult to tell — Do you end up letting go of your greatest aspirations? — Does your world get ever narrower? — Kick down the fence — Find life again — “Some thoughts from the Twilight Zone.” — The Twilight Zone largely grew out of the creations of Ray Bradbury — Discussed often in Blu-ray commentaries — Rod Serling — The Ray Bradbury Theater — Glad things worked out the way they did — The world is richer for it — Stephen Sondheim — An episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm — Officer Krupke — Krup you

    • 13 min
    4.3 Misuse of Language, Harmful Thoughts, and Winds That Come and Go

    4.3 Misuse of Language, Harmful Thoughts, and Winds That Come and Go

    So many of our problems come from misuse of language — “What is the meaning of life?” — Not possible without language — Like the memory of a wind that came and went — Questions of self-worth — At some point in the past — Need to be responsible with language — Any idea can potentially live forever — Self-defeating and other-defeating ideas — Ruthless — Mosquitoes — Getting rid of deeply seated thoughts — “A high standard” — Nonsense thinking about perfection — Emotional self-abuse — Physical effects — No difference — Another basic flaw — “Failure” and “success” can only apply to a process that has come to a conclusion — Aiming at the Moon — All part of the journey there — The only real failures — Our ways of abusing language are multiplying — An imaginative exercise — If you want to suffer more — Come up with new levels of gradation re: failure — A destructive type of thinking — Better ways — Pierre Estève: “Time is on our side.”

    • 10 min
    4.2 Room, a Repeat, and Norm Macdonald

    4.2 Room, a Repeat, and Norm Macdonald

    An illustration — Something I and Pierre talked about — Silence, negative space, and room — Tight vs. looser editing — Exact same background music ("Fresh Start") — Postponing some topics — Great losses recently — An uncle, a friend, Dean Stockwell — The passing of Norm Macdonald — He was the first outside my personal circle to have an impact on this podcast — Early in season 1 — Norm's encouraging tweet — Messaging — Sent him my books — The prospect of doing a podcast with him — Amazing amount of appearances on podcasts etc. — Kept his cancer secret — He's hugely important — Free — A good soul — Feeling of freedom and space — Two different energies people can create — Dave Chappelle — His last Netflix special — Thoughts get stirred around — Not telling others what to think — Narrow path of only currently approved thoughts and opinions — Religious — Authentically what he was — His way of being — Relaxed — No rush — Pauses — Natural pacing — Unlike many other performers — Breathing naturally — Same kind of calm as with David Lynch — Patron saint of this podcast

    • 10 min
    4.1 Welcome Aboard, a Look Back, and a Look Forward

    4.1 Welcome Aboard, a Look Back, and a Look Forward

    "Season 4 Theme" (@ 0:00) — Welcome — "Fresh Start" (@ 0:33) — New cover art and theme tune — Looking back on season 3 — Discussions with David Lee Homb and Pierre Estève — Great feedback — All music in my own episodes is by me — No ready-made elements — Hardcover books — An Iceland Symphony — Short episodes — Introductory episode — Original idea and secret hope — Chris Stevens in Northern Exposure — Pierre's music — His and David's generosity — David's first book of poetry Awake, I Dream — Future plans — Next steps with An Iceland Symphony — Book of short stories later this year — Catching up with transcriptions — Season 3 book of transcripts — Including full transcripts of the discussions with David and Pierre — A million other things — Welcome aboard — Good wishes

    • 6 min
    3.14 A Discussion with Pierre Estève — Part 2

    3.14 A Discussion with Pierre Estève — Part 2

    Atlantis II: "Rainbow Bridge" (@ 0:00) — Cahors — Avignon — Nature and wild places — Dragon Lore II: "Sanctuary" (@ 2:02) — Listening — Sound is a miracle — Field recordings — Studies — Learning — Your own voice — Confidence — The best way to learn — Pleasure in the doing — Teachers — David Lynch — Rules vs. principles — John Cage: Silence (1961) — Freedom — Atlantis: The Lost Tales: "Spitzberg" (@ 12:20) — The way Mr. Lynch learned screenwriting — Restrictive rules — Surprises — Changes in mood — Season 3 of Twin Peaks — Current reading and films — Many interests — Edward Bernays — Rules of propaganda — Short film Propaganda — Noam Chomsky — Poetry — Technical things — Janine Benyus and biomimicry — Ken Loach — Lars von Trier — Also some Hollywood movies — Dracula: "Flying Over the Mountains" (@ 20:50) — Koyaanisqatsi (1982) — Baraka (1992) — Story told without words — Director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass — Collaborations — Not an effort but a joy — Stéphane Picq — Early computer music — Cryo's Dune (1992) — Atlantis: The Lost Tales: "Crystal Winds" (@ 27:30) — Instrument collection — Ireland, Turkey, Indonesia… — Male and female voices — Atlantis II: "The River" (@ 30:44) — Studies in singing, conducting, composing, and more — Alyssa Landry and Gaëlle Zydian — The end of Atlantis II — Two flutes — Atlantis II: "Child" (@ 34:12) — Invisible links that music can reveal — Utopias and new worlds — Architecture — A full ecosystem — The flying ships — Great musical challenge — Pythagore / Pythagoras — Atlantis: The Lost Tales: "Awakening" (@ 39:19) — Atlantis II: "Tepec" (@ 41:41) — Caves in Southern France — Stalactica — Isturitz and Oxocelhaya — Prehistoric — Concretions — MADe In series — Bamboo — Metal — Stone — Lithophones — Senses — Bamboo: "Flowering Mystery" (@ 47:39) — Longevity — Tuned stalactites — Perfect fifth — Cave paintings — Elegance — Essence — Engravings — Animating images — The impulse to do art — Bows — Communing — Spirits — Atlantis Evolution: "Worlds Beyond" (@ 55:19) — Relief paintings — Places chosen by sound — Echolocation — Resonance — Iégor Reznikoff — Reverberation — Fundamental — Resonant frequency — Atlantis Evolution: "Ancient Shells" (@ 1:03:05) — The spirit — World music — Earlier attitudes to music — Béla Bartók — Debussy and the Javanese gamelan at the World Fair in Paris — Tchaikovsky, the celeste, and "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" — Obscura: "Temptacium" (@ 1:09:57) — Will our music last? — Political problem — Atlantis II: "Highlands" (@ 1:12:26) — Gregorian chant — Songs like "Greensleeves" or "Scarborough Fair" — Cultural links — Prejudices — Clarity and elegance — Language that lasts — Negative space — Ray Bradbury: "The Lake" — Simplicity vs. complexity — Obscura: "Lux Perpetua part 2" (@ 1:18:13) — Silence and space — Atlantis II: "The Tower in the Well" (@ 1:20:26) — What does or can art do? — Art is both given and received — Positive and negative impact — Atlantis Evolution: "Memories of Atlantis" (@ 1:23:06) — New approach — When are you happiest? — Atlantis: The Lost Tales: "La Lune" (@ 1:25:51)

    • 1 hr 31 min
    3.13 A Discussion with Pierre Estève — Part 1

    3.13 A Discussion with Pierre Estève — Part 1

    Atlantis: The Lost Tales: "Sunriders" special remix (@ 0:00) — Introduction — Welcome — Composer and artist — Sound experimentation — Recording company Shooting Star — Non-profit organisation Art Science 21 — Crossroads of art, science, and sustainability — Bandcamp page — Website — Something special coming — Vangelis — Music and friendship — Closer relationship — YouTube — Huge instrument collection — Flowers of Change — A special project — Collaborative — Forests of flowers — From recycled plastic bottles — Interactive — Light and sound — Like a video game — Evolving — Augmented reality — Grenoble, France — Flowers of Change, Flowers of the Anthropocene — Changes — Transhumanism — Science, nature, and biomimicry — Immersive experiences — Mix of music and sound effects — Generative music — More composed parts — The forest in Atlantis 4 and the Flowers of Change forest — Atlantis Evolution: "Quiet Stream" (@ 12:50) — Sound design — All part of the same thing — Tuning sound effects — Ron Jones and his music for Star Trek: The Next Generation — Atlantis Evolution soundtrack — Ambient sounds and music — Field recordings — Canarias (Canary Islands) — One of the possible locations for Atlantis — Greece — Atlantis Evolution: "Pillars of Heracles" (@ 19:03) — Atlantis: The Lost Tales: "Muria" (@ 20:51, featuring Alyssa Landry) — The water considered as an instrument — The rhythm of the waves — Catching the essence — Opera — Everything counts — Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone — Once Upon a Time in the West — Fitting scene to music — With the music removed — Only the meaningful sounds — Freedom from realism — Field of Dreams example — When you're an artist — Atlantis II: "Rhea's Garden" (@ 27:05)

    • 31 min

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