Archive

Archive for the ‘ollas’ Category

2018

January 23rd, 2019 No comments

Goodbye 2018, hello 2019. Some delay in writing this, only justifiable by the bliss I am nowadays feeling. And also by too much traveling. Here I go once again, with the list of items that made my life more or less meaningful during this past 2018.

Categories: ollas, year in review Tags:

Thoughts on my first Burning Man

September 9th, 2018 No comments

Ok, so here’s my Burning Man post. Please, ignore it if your feed is already filled with people in the desert, mutant vehicles, and other annoying BM stuff. I would like to share some of the thoughts about my first experience in this unique event. Tl;dr: I had a blast. If you haven’t been to BM and have a chance to go, go. If you have been, isn’t it sad that it’s so full of white/privileged people?

Pros:
* Largest art museum I’ve been. Its location (in the middle of a vast desert with unpredictable weather) and its extended length (8 days if you stay for the whole thing) are part of the experience. After a few days there, every feeling is amplified, and any connection you make, any food you eat, any installation you go, any music you dance, any event you attend, will be enhanced times a hundred without the need of drugs. Among other things: I cried, I laughed, I danced, I sang, I performed, I mourned, I felt happy, I felt sad, and I fell in love.
* It’s actually two museums: one by day and one by night. Extremely different, yet both mind-blowing beyond words.
* Not having a capitalist economy makes you challenge the way we currently live in our societies. There’s something highly liberating about going out without money, knowing that you’ll offer and be offered everything needed: food, drinks, music, and other tangible and non-tangible goods.
* As a straight white cis-male in the top of the privilege pyramid I will never fully understand this, but: living somewhere where *everyone is welcome* is truly remarkable. No matter what you do, who you are, what’s your race, gender, religion, sexuality, aspirations, kinks, drugs, etc, you’ll always be welcome in any event without being judged (as long as you respect others, of course). It was so beautiful to see that a society like this may be actually possible.
* Likely, the cleanest event I’ve been by far. Generally, people really care about not leaving trace.
* One of my favorite moments: in the middle of the desert, around 1am, surrounded by an amazing Rodin-like sculpture of a man thinking with a large illuminated ball on top of his head, next to a 17th century porch-like vehicle, and in front of this large steamboat vehicle where 3 highly talented musicians were performing the most fascinating blue-grass/balkan music I’ve ever heard. All in the middle of a surreal dust storm.

Cons:
* It was hard for me to stop thinking about how only a small percentage of the US/world population, basically the most privileged, made it to BM. Besides being rare to interact with/see people of color, most white people I talked to had lives that the vast majority outside BM would only dream of. I tried to keep a low budget to go to this event, and yet I ended up paying way too much money between the food, the transportation, the ticket, the camping tent, the camp itself, the lights, the batteries, etc. No wonder why the only families I saw there with their kids were white: it’s a financial undertaking to get to BM, at least when you go for the first time when you’re likely to over-pack.
* Around 60% of the times I overheard a conversation, it was about drugs. Often times with a very “broh-y” tone. “Oh broh, yesterday I did shrooms.” “Oh broh, acid is way cleaner than mushrooms.” “Oh broh, yesterday I did ketamine with molly and a micro-dose of LSD, broh.” I’m fine with people doing whatever drugs they want, but this showing off was honestly annoying, and reinforced the notion of BM being a gathering of 70k white people doing crazy amounts of drugs in the desert (which is not really true, for the most part).
* I saw several white people with native American costumes that made me feel quite uncomfortable. Cultural appropriation is real in BM.
* While the whole event is extremely clean, I still saw people peeing in the desert, porta-potties full of cans/bottles/other non-decompostable material, and other small pieces of trash in the desert, especially during the last two days.
* A lot of bullshit in the established vocabulary: the “real world” is apparently the BM, and the “default world” is the rest of the world. Made up names like “Gentleman” are common and used by people (aka Playa Names). Or MOOP, Matter Out of Place, which is essentially trash. I mean, is there really anything out of place in the universe? Or, the other way around, isn’t the crazy carbon footprint left in BM by the thousands of cars and the massive fires also out of place?
* Fucking dust. Really, it’s not only terrible for your skin, but also for your lungs. So shocking to see so many people (including kids) not wearing masks during the few storms we had.
* Way too much EDM.
* Way too many techies (me included) :D

Again, I had a blast, and I was able to ignore several of the “cons” (e.g., almost every time I go to a metal show I also reflect on how very little POC —or women, for that matter— are in the audience, and yet I usually have a great time). Not sure if I’ll go back to BM, but it was certainly a beautiful experience that I wish everyone, at least once, would experience.

Finally, I’m extremely grateful for everyone who helped me survive (and live!) all of this. Especially Luisca, Kata, Susie, the people at Camposanto, Playa Choir, and Pandora. You’re all titans.

Categories: ollas Tags:

2017

December 31st, 2017 No comments

The year of the shit. Not only politically –both in the US, Spain, and Europe in general–, but personally in terms of my decision to end my long term relationship. In any case, here’s the list of points that would more or less sum up my year that I’m happy to see go:

  • So much snow in Tahoe :)
  • Skiing in Vail for my sister’s birthday
  • Arkaen plays at Slim’s, opening for the former Scorpions guitar player, Uli Jon Roth
  • I give a talk at CCRMA, Stanford, about Pandora’s Deep Learning Research
  • Disseminating Backpropagation with an XOR gate
  • Arkaen show at Brick’n’Mortar (Rick’n’Morty)
  • Amazing trip to Yosemite with Nat
  • Mom visits the Bay
  • New official video of La Bossa d’Urina of El Tiempo
  • Obsessed with Bloodborne
  • I am a keynote speaker at the Deep Learning for Audio workshop at IJCCN, Alaska (PDF)
  • Chris Cornell dies and I cover Show Me How to Live
  • Trip to Lisbon, Algarve, and Sevilla (Justin and Amalia’s wedding!)
  • Multiple visits by sister to the bay area
  • Paper on multi-label music genre classification accepted to ISMIR (and won best presentation!)
  • Wedding of Brian & Liane in upstate NY
  • Bolsa and Anna come to California and we record the second album of La Bossa d’Urina
  • Paper accepted on multimodal cold-start music recommendation to RecSys, Como, Italy
  • Arkaen at the Great American Music Hall
  • Open Mic World Tour in the Bary Area with La Bossa d’Urina
  • Los Pandejos at the UC Theatre
  • I get a new electric violin and I make a cover of Nutshell by Alice in Chains
  • Our journal paper on Hierarchical Structure Analysis finally published
  • I get promoted: Senior Data Scientist \m/
  • Littlefinger, my new American Strat, is born
  • Arkaen at Red Hat
  • Celebrating my grandpa’s 90th birthday in Barcelona
  • Presenting our work on Large-scale Music Recommendation at the Seminar in Deep Learning for Audio in Vienna
  • Drums and percussion and effects recording at Nautilus, Barcelona, for our second album of La Bossa d’Urina
  • Catalonia votes in a referendum (I write about it) and they declare the republic and the whole thing goes out of hand
  • Toughest break up with Nat
  • Thanksgiving with sister in Colorado
  • Paper accepted on Audio Ad Quality Prediction for WSDM 2018, Los Angeles, CA
  • Presenting our work with Jordi Pons at the workshop of Machine Learning for Audio at NIPS, Long Beach, CA
  • I’m a panelist in the same workshop (first time doing such a thing!)
  • New official video of La Bossa d’Urina of Es Difícil, by our titanest friend at NomasDF Productions
  • Cover of The Tourist by Radiohead
  • My green card doesn’t arrive and can’t leave the US for the holidays: I go to Princeton (for Christmas) and NYC (for new year’s) instead

Happy new year titanics. I really hope it gets better this time.

Categories: ollas Tags:

2016

December 31st, 2016 No comments

Years are starting to pass by at high speeds. Not light speed, not hyperloop speed, but maybe high-speed-trains speed. My first year in Oakland is waiving goodbye, and while crazy shit has happened in the world this year, I certainly can’t complain of who and what is around me. I feel extremely privileged and thankful for having had the opportunity to be on this fast-paced ride that only stops once. Let’s keep moving.

List of things that gave meaning to this little (highly probably simulated) life:

  • Cover of Time Travelers by Riverside
  • Performance with Los Pandejos at the Pandora Music Analyst Fest
  • I join Arkaen, a new metal band from Concord that will save the world
  • My music structure analysis algorithms make it to the new Harmonix Music VR game by the developers of Rock Band
  • First time skiing in Tahoe like a real white male in his 30s who works in tech
  • Dagstuhl Seminar in Germany
  • Nathalie studies in Oxford and I visit her and it is more magical than Hogwarts
  • Trip to Barcelona to do some tourism
  • La Bossa d’Urina Aznar Spring World Tour 2016
  • Organized the BISH Bash at Pandora (Los Pandejos also play there)
  • Mom visits the Bay Area!
  • I start, finish, and get obsessed with Infinite Jest
  • Freak Kitchen features the cover I made a few years ago in their page
  • Pliny The Elder becomes my favorite beer
  • Jordan Rudess invites me to his backstage room to talk and play with some of his newest toys
  • We record our first demo with Arkaen
  • James Hetfield suddenly shows up in a Corrosion of Conformity show and reminds me how awesome the Bay Area is
  • Cover of England by The National (for Natis)
  • One of my dreams come true: cover of The Beginning and The End by Anathema WITH JORDAN RUDESS
  • Cover of Anna Molly by Incubus with some of the titans of Sargon
  • Cover of The Last Goodbye (The Hobbit) with the titans Andy Feehan et al.
  • ICML in NYC: organized the Music Discovery Workshop
  • Cover of Mother by Pink Floyd with the titan Alek Darson
  • I buy a second-hand Mesa/Boogie Mark-III
  • Nat comes back from Oxford and is ready to take over Berkeley
  • Another Winter in Lima
  • First time surfing (in Miraflores!)
  • ISMIR in NYC: presented this paper and organized the JAM session.
  • Cover of the Dragon Ball intro with The Only Deer Alive
  • First Arkaen show
  • Sister visits me in Oakland
  • I give a long talk at the Stanford Biostat Seminar about deep learning and music
  • Los Pandejos Show @ Pandora Performs (The Fillmore)
  • Cover of The Pretender by Foo Fighters with the titans Alek Darson et al.
  • Post-Trump election anti-depression concert by Los Pandejos
  • Thanksgiving in Miami with Natis’ family, sister, mom, and Eliseu (first intra family encounters are a success!)
  • I give a talk at the Seminar of Music Knowledge Extraction using Machine Learning at UPF, Barcelona
  • NIPS in Barcelona
  • Another dream comes true this year: Venga Monjas Videoclip for La Bossa d’Urina (EPIC)
  • La Bossa d’Urina La Vida Secreta d’en Follet Tortuga Winter World Tour 2016 (most extensive World Tour we’ve made so far)
  • Natis is among the top two students in her Torts class, because she is the titanest (congrats!)
  • Christmas and New Years Eve in Barcelona

Happy 2017 titanics!

Categories: ollas Tags:

2015

January 1st, 2016 No comments

What a year! So many travels, milestones and events. Some extremely good. Some pretty damn bad. But hey, we’re still here, making and producing noise, and listing all of these things that sum up my year so that people in the future understand how stupid and silly some humans were during the 10s.

  • La Bossa d’Urina goes on its fifth World Tour. This time I sing without a voice.
  • My grandma dies, which dramatically enlarges the range of pain I thought I could ever endure. I miss her so much.
  • My sister moves to Colorado to finish her undergrad at CU Boulder (vamos!).
  • I become a Doctor. My dissertation is here. And the video of my defense is here (thanks to Dad and Lesa to come all the way from Barcelona!).
  • I play with my friend, the titan, Ramón Rodriguez, from The New Raemon, in NYC (see a little video). After the show, he decides that he would produce and publish the first La Bossa d’Urina album. Woah.
  • I really miss my grandma.
  • I publish the Music Structure Analysis Framework (MSAF).
  • I become a consultant to Cord Worldwide for a project that will last around 3 months.
  • Venga Monja in NYC (titan).
  • Cover of Beyond the Pale, which took so long to put together (but I’m so happy with the results!).
  • We record an EP with my metal band Midnight Blue (listen to it here!).
  • I visit my sister in Colorado and I fall in love with Boulder.
  • It’s commencement time, and my mom comes all the way from Barcelona to New York to see me with these fancy clothes.
  • Natishrimp gets accepted to Oxford University (woah!).
  • Cover of The Eldar by Blind Guardian with the titanest Eren Başbuğ.
  • I switch to terminal vim because Mans comes to visit and he always inspires me (it was so great to see him, his son, and his wife). Life as a coder is even better.
  • We perform for the first and last time with Midnight Blue in Manhattan, you can watch the video made by Nomasdf Productions here (eternal thanks RAFANG!).
  • I go to Barcelona to record the first album of La Bossa d’Urina, with my dearest friend Daniel Bolsa, with my titanic friend Ramón Rodriguez as the producer, with Cydonia Records as the record label, with Lluís Cots as the sound technician, with Núria and Xavi as the fucking awesome hosts, and with so many other amazing titans who make this shit happen.
  • We move to Oakland because I become a Data Scientist at Pandora (woah!). It’s so hard to leave NYC, though.
  • Our neighbors and landlord are the best.
  • Natishrimp moves to Oxford for 9 months.
  • Working at Pandora is awesome.
  • So many titans get married in NYC (three weddings in less than a month). Congratulations!
  • La Bossa d’Urina has a new website. And a bandcamp.
  • ISMIR in Málaga is fantastic. We present this stuff. I am the chair of the Jam Session, which turns out to be a really fun event (at least for me!). Since I’m in Europe, I visit Natis, family, and friends (Oxford is beautiful!).
  • My dad buys a house in Canovelles. Congrats!
  • My hack of Meshuggahme wins the Best Demo Hack at the Pandora Hackathon!
  • Our first album of La Bossa d’Urina is released, and it comes with a mind-blowing video that was made by Nomasdf Productions (you’re the best RAFANG).
  • It’s been over a year since the last time I ate meat in the US. Pretty easy so far. And feeling (a tiny tiny tiny) better about the environment. Alright.
  • Thanksgiving in Colorado should become a tradition now that my sister has been accepted to a Master’s program in CU Boulder!
  • My grandma is deeply missed.
  • Christmas in Miami with Natishrimp’s family.
  • First New Year’s Eve in San Francisco is beautiful.
Categories: ollas Tags:

Leaving New York

August 29th, 2015 No comments

After five years, I just moved out of New York. This titanic city, which is of course the best city in the world, has absorbed me since day one with her cold, angry, and greedy embrace. As a good New Yorker I’ve become to love and hate this concrete jungle, and before I start to desperately miss her (which in a way I already do), I wanted to list a few unique moments/things/thoughts she’s offered throughout these past years when I could call this crazy place home.

  • Having a 24h deli in virtually every corner of every block of every neighbor of every borough is one of the main reasons why NY is fantastic.
  • My aversion towards AC turns into profound adoration after the summer of 2010.
  • I realize that New Jersey is a dark, hidden place where no New Yorker ever wants to go (but when you go it’s actually pretty nice).
  • Central Park makes you want to run. Its main loop is the perfect run in all possible ways.
  • My hearing ability significantly decreases thanks to subway trains and fire trucks.
  • People who walk slowly / stand on the left side of escalators / hold train doors are deplorable humans and should leave the city.
  • The Book of Mormon is perfect and can’t be topped.
  • The fear of missing out is real.
  • An amazing Peruvian girl at an average Peruvian restaurant at the West Village starts talking to me and ends up becoming my partner in life.
  • Javier Bardem buys me a beer at Arlene’s Grocery Karaoke after singing The Trooper.
  • Brooklyn is the best place on Earth (at least during summer).
  • Segregation in the city is pretty fucked up and makes you sad and upset.
  • I run my first half marathon in Brooklyn. I run two more afterwards, including the NYC one. Running across Times Square is epic.
  • Many friends move at least once a year within the city. I manage to live in “just” three different apartments during these five years.
  • I see some Mad Men cast singing at a really small and underground live band Karaoke in the Lower East Side. Littlefinger / Carccetti is also there, drinking, smiling, thinking about his next move to take over the world.
  • Brooklyn rooftop parties staring at the Manhattan skyline remind me I am extremely privileged. And of my happiness.
  • Now I am a world expert on bedbugs, so I understand that they are, by far, the most terrible creatures of this universe (after humans).
  • Monthly Music Hackathons are the best thing you can do in the city if you are into music technology and coding.
  • I walk from my apartment to Prospect Park to see Robert Plant singing Led Zeppelin songs. Yes: Robert Fucking Plant.
  • East Coast beaches are terrible.
  • New York Pizza is fantastic.

You will be deeply missed. Bay Area, here I go. I’m excited.

Categories: new york, ollas Tags:

2014

January 2nd, 2015 No comments

The perception of the amount of time a year lasts follows an inverted exponential curve that depends on your age. Thus, for me this year lasted half the time 2013 lasted. Nevertheless, 2014 has been full of things that I will chronologically list such that my dysfunctional memory does not need to store them anymore:

  • I start the year at the Hospital because a monkey bit me in Mexico
  • Cover of Ending Theme (by Pain Of Salvation)
  • Midnight Blue is my new metal band. I’m the vocalist and it’s a lot of fun
  • The Longest Winter in NY
  • I present the 2D-FMC method at NEMISIG 2014 in Columbia University
  • iPython Notebook is the new best thing as a developer
  • I switch back to MacVim and I become much happier
  • The Old School comes to NY and we spend The Best Week Ever (thanks for organizing it Nat! :*)
  • Playing with Eren Başbuğ and Alek Darson at Berklee College
  • Cover of Harvest (by Opeth)
  • We leave our beautiful apartment in Brooklyn and go to Europe for a month
  • Dublin for a day: beer, whiskey, jetlag, and leprechauns
  • Presented the 2D-FMC method at ICASSP 2014
  • Barcelona at the speed of light: crazy ISMIR deadline, and Thin Bag of Urine World Tour 2014
  • We move to Lima, Perú, for 2.5 months
  • I watch the World Cup for the first time in my life (and people in Peru are crazy about it)
  • I start writing my PhD Dissertation
  • Cover of Trains (by Porcupine Tree)
  • The food in Perú is extremely good, and Isabel’s cuisine is probably the best in the world
  • We visit Cusco and the Sacred Valley (including Machu Picchu) and it is probably the most beautiful place in the world
  • We go back to Brooklyn and find a nice apartment in the heart of Crown Heights
  • Teaching C Programming again
  • I collaborate with Ractica and we publish this song, which is awesome
  • International cover of The Trooper by Iron Maiden
  • When everything is out of the moving boxes and the apartment looks like home, Bedbugs arrive
  • ISMIR in Taipei. The best conference. So many papers this year (one of them wins the best poster award :))
  • International cover of Thriller by Michael Jackson
  • We stop eating meat in the US
  • The epic moment comes: I submit my PhD Dissertation
  • We spend the Holidays in Barcelona with Nat, family, and friends

Happy 2015 everyone titanics!

Categories: ollas Tags:

A vegades

January 31st, 2014 1 comment

… I a vegades no ens en sortim.

Categories: ollas Tags:

2013

January 1st, 2014 No comments

2013 came a few months ago… aaaaand it’s gone. So here you have the list of things that gave some sort of meaning to my life in the past year.

Happy new year Titanics!

Categories: ollas Tags:

Sonder

January 2nd, 2013 No comments

Qué lindo es vivir no?

Categories: ollas Tags: