Archive for September 2010

Jutze 52 #39 – Parker’s Piece, 2 am

This instrumental piece was recorded using the keyboard of my computer. I did correct and modify a few notes here and there. But the main parts were recorded late at night in Cambridge, England, after I had experimented with synthesizer sounds and the idea of writing an instrumental with harmonic layers rather than clear melodies. Or something like that.

#39 Parker’s Piece, 2 am

Planet Earth Role Playing

This is my entry for White Elephant Music Club‘s Skultar challenge. It’s about sword and sorcery (which I know nothing about). And role-playing (which I know almost nothing about).

Jutze 52 #38 – My Heart Will Stay With You

This song took a couple of surprising turns. I started out with the last line of the lyrics and worked my way to the beginning. The acoustic guitar plays a reduced version of the original picking pattern, giving the track more space. I had intended to included at least two verses, but given the mood I barely managed to fit one into 52 seconds. I used a lot of reverb, possibly way too much. Experimenting with sound effects I arrived at the weird version of the guitar tracks you can hear in the background by applying a denoiser.

#38 My Heart Will Stay With You

I can hear you breathing, lying by my side
I can sleep no longer in the middle of the night
I know I don’t belong here; I have to start anew
But when I leave tomorrow my heart will stay with you

When I leave tomorrow my heart will stay with you

(words and music by Johannes Schult)

Jutze 52 #37 – Team Slater

This song was inspired by the season finale of Community. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that Community is totally awesome. If you’ve seen the last episode this song will make perfectly sense to you. If not, well, go watch Community!

I recorded this song in two takes with my digicam. It’s the last one I recorded while waiting for my new computer, so next week’s track will have a better production. As for future Community fan songs, I just had the idea to write a heavy metal meets glee homage to the episode “Modern Warfare”…

#37 Team Slater

No left-wing tendencies, a firm grip on life
A grown-up character, math power +5
Statistical knowledge along with a steady income
Attractive looks and then some
Go Slater, go! I’m on Team Slater
Go Slater, go! Winger plus Slater
Go Slater, go!

She’s the one who’s serious; she’s overcome her fear
She’s very much experienced – the decision should be clear
Go Slater, go! I’m on Team Slater
Go Slater, go! Bring Conan back
Team Slater

(words and music by Johannes Schult)

Richard Shindell live in Twickenham

Last Sunday, Richard Shindell played at the Twickenham Folk Club (upstairs in the Cabbage Patch Pub). It was the third time I saw him live. This time around Richard’s music was augmented by the very tasteful electric guitar playing of Marc Shulman.

I won’t bother you with boring details (keeping that for the Shindell mailing list). Among my personal highlights were a fantastic version of “Fishing”, the groovy new “Stray Cow Blues”, the 3/4-and-yet-no-waltz taxi drive meets folk song masterpiece “The Last Fare of the Day”, and finally “Wisteria”, the achingly beautiful song about a nostalgic encounter with a place from one’s past. It doesn’t get better than this! The timeless story of “Reunion Hill” and the soothing darkness of “Nora” deserve a mention, as well.

Both musicians were in excellent shape. I loved how the whole gig was not a preprogrammed set but a dynamic journey through Richard’s repertoire (along with a couple of cover songs in between). Concert stables like “Transit” were thus played along with requests like “Nora” and “Confession”, the latter featuring very good impromptu arrangements by Marc Shulman. Richard kept telling stories in between songs, which added to the already rewarding concert experience. I really hope he’ll be back in Europe next year or so.

Marc Shulman and Richard Shindell

  1. The Kenworth of My Dreams
  2. You Stay Here
  3. Transit
  4. The Last Fare of the Day
  5. She Belongs to Me
  6. Fishing
  7. Nora
  8. A Change Is Gonna Come
  9. Confession
  10. Stray Cow Blues
  11. Wisteria
  12. Satellites
  13. Get Up Clara
  14. There Goes Mavis
  15. A Summer Wind, a Cotton Dress
  16. Reunion Hill
  17. Arrowhead
  18. One Man’s Arkansas

Jutze 52 #36 – Funnel Cloud

This is a remnant from the time when my computer broke down. At first, I imagined the lead melody being played by a violin. But only on the piano did I find a proper way to continue the tune. This little piece of music is possibly a filler. But it’s one you can use to meditate on life and sound quality.

#36 Funnel Cloud

Practical tips for statisticians (part 8): centering variables using Stata and SPSS

My current research requires meta-analytic procedures where variables that contain another variable’s mean come in very handy. Centering Variables is also something very reasonable to do when analysing regressions with an interaction term between a continuous variable and a dummy variable.

Centering variables sounds like an easy task. It is if you use Stata but I found it surprisingly difficult in SPSS (unless you enter the means by hand, which is error-prone and impractible for repeated analyses). Here’s how you can calculated a variable which contains the mean of another variable (which can then easily be centered or used in whatever way one wants to).

Let dres be the variable of interest. The new variable containing the mean of dres (for all obversations) will be named dresavg. I also show how to create a variable containing the number of observations (ntotal). cdres will be the centered variable.

Stata 10


. egen dresavg = mean(dres)

and you’re done! You could also use summarize and generate commands:

. sum dres
. gen dresavg = r(mean)

If you want a variable that contains the total number of observations you can use

. gen ntotal = _N

or with the more flexible egen command (e.g., handy when dres has missings)

. egen ntotal = count(dres)

There are plenty ways to generate various variables containing sample statistics. As for the centered variable, use

. gen cdres = dres - dresavg

or without even generating the variable containing the mean:

. sum dres
. gen cdres = dres - r(mean)

PASW 18 (SPSS, you know)

Beware, long syntax ahead. Before you despair, there’s a simpler (but less flexible) solution below. The complicated approach starts with exporting the variable mean into a new data set. This data set is then merged with the master data set; a variable containing the mean for every observation will be attached. Continue reading ‘Practical tips for statisticians (part 8): centering variables using Stata and SPSS’ »