Along with the wonderful new year 2013, I am releasing a new version of Happy Birthday. With this song I decided to participate in the Happy Birthday Contest organized by the Free Music Archive. Based on the jazz harmonies of my last Happy Birthday version, I composed a new melody and new lyrics for the song in order to render my composition completely Royalty-free (this was one condition for participating in the contest). After some recording and mixing, the final Happy Birthday version for the contest is ready to hit the world’s ears :) . This time, I performed the full recording using Linux with Ardour2 for the audio recording/mixing and Hydrogen for the drums. This is the first recording with my new James Tyler Varix JTV-59 (in combination with my Line6 Pod Xt Live).

Here is some background information on the contest taken from the FMA website:

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are challenging songwriters everywhere to unseat “Happy Birthday to You” from it’s cultural throne by composing possible replacements. The Birthday Song Contest seeks a few new Happy Birthday songs that are simple and catchy, with great earworm potential that can be sung in restaurants, bowling alleys, and even in TV shows and movies – free of charge.

The song “Happy Birthday To You” is the most recognizable song in the English language, but it can cost independent filmmakers an estimated $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and it will remain under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. This is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. It’s time to shake (or at least unsettle) “Happy Birthday” from it’s fortified cultural throne, and replace it with a melody that the children can sing without fear of being served.

Update: The contest is over, my song did not make it, but congratulations to the winners :) !

January 1, 2013 Music, My Life

Wonderful! I recently baught a copy of the amazing book Sweet Gratitude which contains a huge variety of raw desserts. The recipes are just great. One of the first recipes I tried was the pomegranate cheese cake. I really was suprised by the great craem cheese like texture. A marvelous cake!

December 26, 2012 My Life

We had beautiful weather outside here in Bremen today :-) ! In the past days I got an idea for making chocolate ice cream. Using a mixer you can generally make nice sorbet ice creams by simply taking frozen fruits (e.g., a mixture of red fruits) with some spices (e.g., cinnamon and a bit of lemon juice), Xylit for sweetening and mixing them up. Mjami :-) . Now, making chocolate ice cream I made a first try today using frozen banana slices. The recipe is fairly straight forward (for one portion):

  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • 2 tea spoons of raw chocolate powder
  • 2 tea spoons of Xylit
  • some almonds (optional)
  • 1 table spoon of Goji berries (=extra does of antioxidants)

For a first try, it was really tasty! I think the next time I’ll add some coconut cream to add some (raw) fats and which will make the taste come out smoother and which will also render the texture more creamy.

August 12, 2012 Food, My Life

On the way to the perfect raw chocolate… for my latest experiment, I made raw chocolate with different kinds of healthy sweeteners:

For the experiment, we were three people to judge the quality of the sweetener between 0 (awful) and 10 (awesome). The outcome is interesting. Marple syrup and agave syrup seem to be the best, closely followed by Xylitol. Stevia is ok (here I used dried and grinded Stevia), however, its sweetnes does not seem to get a full and round taste. Its taste is rather sharp and if used too much, it can be disturbing. Maybe it would be better with fresh stevia? Molasses has not been judged well, as it comes a long with a very strong taste and not so much sweetness.

For my last chocolate preparations I was using Xylitol (with a bit of stevia) as it seems to be healthywise (especially for the teath) the most advantageous sweetener. One downside during the experiments was that its crystals did not melt in the chocolate. Blending chocolate and Xylitol together at a high speed before pouring them into the molds has proven to be helpful. I like the final outcome :) .

Here is the final result of the average score along with standard deviation indicated by the error bars:

Experiment for different healthy chocolate sweeteners

February 29, 2012 Food, My Life

One of this weekend’s highlights: My first self-made raw chocolate! The good things are that it’s healthy (sic! unheated, raw chocolate is a very rich source of anti-oxidants, including flavonoids and many minerals), super tasty, fun to do, and fairly easy! Miammmm! Try googling some recipies. I’m still experimenting with the sweetener, Xylitol (sweet & good for your teeth!) seems to be a very good option, but the taste does not convince me yet… I still need to experiment 😉 . Agave syrup is the safe way to go for now. Here some pictures of the final result…


January 29, 2012 Food, My Life

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