The Road To Rooster Walk: Lyle Divinsky Of The Motet Talks Songwriting

first_img“All of a sudden there’s a song – there in your hotel room playing your guitar – and you write it, and two or three years later it will come true. It keeps you on your toes.”These words, spoken by Townes Van Zandt, support a popular notion of the songwriter in American popular culture: A rambling man, on the road with a band, playing venues both squalid and splendid, creating songs from thin air with little more than a beat up guitar, bottle of booze and hotel notepad. And there’s no doubt that countless great tunes have been written in such a manner. But there’s another question worth asking: In 2017, are most songs written that way?To find out, we spoke with six songwriters who will be at the ninth annual Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival over Memorial Day weekend (May 25-28) in Martinsville, Va. These six artists: Paul Hoffman (Greensky Bluegrass), Anders Osborne, Andrew Marlin (Mandolin Orange), Lyle Divinksy (The Motet), Marcus King, and Wood Robinson (Mipso) bring different backgrounds, hometowns, experience levels and genres to the craft of songwriting. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they write songs in different manners.Read on to learn about the unique process that Colorado-based band The Motet uses to create the songs you know and love. You can also catch Lyle with the Motet when they hit Fool’s Paradise this weekend!Editor’s Note: This is the first story in a six-part “Road to Rooster Walk” series about the craft and process of songwriting. When lead vocalist and hype-man-extraordinaire Lyle Divinsky got approached about joining The Motet a year and a half ago, his audition had little to do with stage presence or singing ability. Those were skills the band had already verified. Instead, Divinky’s tryout was largely about putting lyrics to a pair of instrumental songs the band had already demoed . . . before he’d met a single member of the group.“It was kind of a fun challenge to know that this was my audition for the band, to write for them, and to know that and to just get excited about how much fun their music was,” Divinsky said. “The Truth’ was the first song that I wrote and that one, I wrote most of it in three hours of sitting down. And then took, I think, a day or two to just kind of sit with it, make sure it was exactly what I wanted and just kind of fine tune a couple things. And then, ‘Fool No More’ was the second song that I wrote, and that one was pretty quick, as well. That one might have even been just a day.”When possible, Divinsky prefers to write from his in-home studio, where he’ll set up shop at his computer (which features basic recording software), a notepad, pen, and his phone. He’ll set the phone’s timer for three hours and then toss it across the room, “because I feel like three hours is about the amount of time that I can work productively without needing a full-on break.”When things are flowing freely, it can be a speedy process.“My favorite times are the ones where I sit down with a song, and like an hour-and-a-half later, the whole song’s written down, and I’m already recording the background harmonies to it,” he said.Like Anders Osborne, Divinsky is adamant in his goal to write something every day, even if that something isn’t a fully realized song or concept. He uses the voice recording app on his smartphone, or a small notepad that he carries in his pocket, to capture lyrical snippets or potential song ideas. These get transferred into a larger notebook or computer file, though when he heads into the studio with instrumental tracks waiting, he tries his best not to fall back on the lyrics he’s already started.“I like to go into it with a completely blank slate, because I think that gives me the chance to really interact with the song and see what can come of it,” Divinsky said. “But then if I’m having a hard time catching something, I’ll start going through hook lines, start going through lyrics that I’ve written, little poems and whatnot. You can get turned on by even just a word from one of those, and then that can send you off in the right direction.”Before joining The Motet, he wrote both lyrics and the music to go with them. But now, with a longstanding band of amazing musicians by his side, the job description has changed. And he loves it.“The melodies aren’t necessarily complete (when the song arrives to me). They’ll give me instrumentals and whatnot – drum, guitar, keys – the skeleton demo version of what they’re coming up with. And then I’ll put the song over it,” he said. “They give the foundation, and I kind of paint in the branches and the leaves and everything like that.”Divinksy is equally comfortable writing on the computer or with pen and paper. When he gets stuck on a song, he’s found that switching from computer to paper, or vice versa, can get him back on track. Thanks to his in-home studio, when he sends a potential song back to the band, it’s far more than an email with typed out verses and choruses.“Whenever I send my ideas back to the guys, it’s usually a fully realized (audio track), just so they can kind of hear it in the context that I intend it to be,” he said. “You know, sometimes it works super well, super quick.”Songwriters who influence Lyle: Bill Withers (“I think that he’s able to capture grandiose emotions in very simple words. So he’s a hero of mine for that.”) Lowell George, John Prine, Stevie Wonder.Song: “The Truth”Next Week on the Road to Rooster Walk: Greensky Bluegrasslast_img read more

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Golden Race gains ISO certification

first_img Share Share Golden Race’s virtual sports products get Swedish certification June 18, 2020 The industry wakes up to virtual sports potential June 26, 2020 Submit Related Articles Virtual sports and betting technologies provider Golden Race has continued to uphold transparency after being awarded the ISO 2700:2013 certification – strengthening the firm’s IT security profile.The accreditation, issued by the internationally accredited testing lab and inspection body Quinel, ensures Information Security Management System compliance with the standard of ISO 27001:2013.“This is another great step in reassuring our commitment with the highest international quality standards in information security,” explained Martin Wachter, Golden Race’s CEO & Founder.“We are very proud of obtaining such an important certification, as a reaffirmation for the trust that our partners, customers and workers have on us.”ISO 27001:2013 will allow Golden Race to manage the security of third party information such as financial and legal assets as well as personal details.It demonstrates that Golden Race has endorsed ‘best software practices, encrypted communications, strong backup systems and processes to avoid the know-how to be stolen’.Golden Race hopes that with the new accreditation, it can continue ‘its path to ensure honesty, transparency and other best practices while minimising security threats in every business area’. Golden Race continues LatAm expansion through Universal Soft May 26, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more

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Texas Hold ’em poker solved by computer

first_imgCard sharks, beware. A new program cannot be beaten at a variety of poker called heads-up limit Texas Hold ’em—at least in a human lifetime—a team of computer scientists reports. Researchers had previously developed unbeatable algorithms for other games such as checkers, but the new work marks the first time scientists have found such an algorithm for—or “solved”—a complex game in which some information about the state of the game (i.e., the cards in his opponent’s hand) remains hidden from the player. The program has yielded insights that could help players improve their game, and the general approach may have real-world usefulness in security and health care applications.Because of the hidden information and the luck of the draw, the program won’t necessarily win every hand, explains computer scientist Michael Bowling of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who led the study. But on average the program is so good that a human would have no chance of ever edging ahead of it, even if the two played 60 million hands. So “for all purposes that anyone would ever care about, we’ve solved the game,” Bowling says.Some games are easier to solve than others. For example, in tic-tac-toe even a child can learn to force a draw every time. In contrast, it took computer scientists years and plenty of computing power to solve checkers. And either of those games is much simpler than poker for a number of reasons. In both tic-tac-toe and checkers, both players have full knowledge of the state of the game at every turn. In poker, players cannot see each other’s cards. And unlike tic-tac-toe and checkers, poker involves luck, betting, and bluffing, factors that make it impossible to find a strategy that guarantees a win or a draw on every hand.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In fact, poker is so complicated that Bowling and colleagues decided to study only a relatively specialized version called heads-up limit Texas Hold ’em. In it, only two players compete and the size of bets is limited. To begin, each player places a bet and is dealt two cards. Three cards—the flop—are then laid face-up in the middle of the table. Then two more cards are played face-up on the table. Each player then tries to make the best five-card hand—say, three of a kind—from his own cards and those on the table. After each round of cards, a player can check, bet, match his opponent’s bet, raise that bet, or fold. During each round of betting, a player must at least match his opponent’s bet to stay in the game. In the end, if no one folds, the better hand wins the pot.The researchers developed their strategy by pitting the computer against itself in a series of training rounds. After playing itself, the computer examined its moves to see if making different choices would have improved its result. It then calculated its “regret” for not doing so—a mathematical measure of how much it lost because of its imperfect move. As the computer “practiced” against itself, it improved its strategies, and its regrets gradually diminished. In a solved game, those regrets would be zero because each move would be perfect. After training their algorithm, the computer’s regrets were so close to zero that the game couldn’t be beaten in a human lifetime, the researchers report online today in Science.In this way the computer calculated a vast table of strategies for each possible action in a game. For every hand, the computer can look up whether it should fold or bet. Given the same hand, the program will not always take the same action, but instead will bet a certain fraction of the time and fold a certain fraction of the time. The program can even bluff—given a weak hand, the program will usually fold, but occasionally bet. Bluffing, it turns out, has a mathematical basis and can be optimized just as other actions can.Technically, the not-quite-zero value of the regret function the researchers achieved means that the game hasn’t been exactly solved and that an even better program could be found. But the strategy is so good that it’s essentially pointless to keep looking for a better algorithm, says computer scientist Murray Campbell of IBM’s  Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, who did not work on the program. In poker, “you can never get the exact, perfect solution, but you can get so close that nobody could ever tell the difference.”Phil Laak, a professional poker player based in Los Angeles, California, who has played against an earlier program from Bowling’s group, says that programs like this one are useful tools for professionals. Such programs, he says, can only improve the game and not, as some might worry, take the joy out of it. “Poker somehow grabs the imagination, and it has a romance attached to it that I think will forever exist,” he said.In fact, the program may already be providing insights into the game. The program plays a larger range of hands than professional players do, making bets with weak hands that professional players tend to fold. It has also confirmed the conventional wisdom that the dealer in each round holds an advantage. But although the new strategy can never lose, it may not maximize winnings in all situations. When playing a weak player, the strategy will be too conservative to rake in the biggest possible winnings.Although the study of poker may seem like just fun and games, advances in game theory can have real-world applications in areas such as airport security, coast guard patrols, and health care, in which people must make decisions using the limited information available to them. “I think this is an exciting step that this paper makes, and I think it’s part of a broader development” in such algorithms, says Vincent Conitzer, a computer scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “More and more we’re able to apply them directly to real-life games, whether they be poker or these kinds of strategic situations that come up in security.”last_img read more

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