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Lightplay 016 – Music and Power

+++From iTunes to Spotify, software shapes our relationshipwith music. Is it time to wrest back control?+++ Let’s start with the positive. By the year 2022 computers have become so powerful, scripting libraries so extensive, cloud servers so cheap, and worldwide distribution so frictionless that there are tens of thousands of folks both with and without computer science degrees who are spending their lives making powerful, useful, and maybe best of all specific software for you and me. If you haven’t thought to notice the world of boutique software, I bet you use it nonetheless. So many apps on our phones… Read More »Lightplay 016 – Music and Power

Lightplay 015 – Espresso

Dear Reader — What does it mean to be a self? Where does the self end and the world of not-me begin? Is identity … an illusion? I imagine a three-panel comic, each frame zooming in on the face of a very confused man: me, Jasper, your loyal if intermittent correspondent, head-scratchily toiling over another installment of Lightplay, my newsletter about home cooking, the writing life, and—apparently—intractable philosophical questions. Welcome to your late summer Lightplay! Please stay; I promise not to get too worked up over eternal questions of life. — — — — — — — — — —… Read More »Lightplay 015 – Espresso

Lightplay 14 – Utopian Proposals

What follows is an installment of Lightplay, my email newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox, subscribe here. Dear Reader — Hello and welcome back to Lightplay, the big email of your faithful if intermittent correspondent Jasper Luna Nighthawk. (Who was until recently named Jasper Nighthawk Henderson.) I’m delighted to return to your inbox, and I hope that wherever you’re reading these words, you and your family and friends are safe and doing okay. Happy Mother’s Day! Here in Los Angeles, I’m spurred to write again by the blossoming jacarandas. Every May and June, these Brazilian trees produce luscious,… Read More »Lightplay 14 – Utopian Proposals

Lightplay 13 – Chronos, Nomads, Fruit

Dear Reader — Greetings on another Sunday in the interminable present from which 2020 is apparently fashioned. Will the year ever end? Will the final six weeks somehow outdo in chaos and pestilence the preceding forty-eight? This morning I received one of the golden tickets of 2020: another negative COVID test result. I hope you, too are staying COVID-safe and -lucky. Now is no time to get lax in our dodging of the virus. If you recall back to August’s Lightplay 09 – the Strangest Summer, guest epidemiologist Erin Graves Quansah warned that “as the pandemic goes on, those who… Read More »Lightplay 13 – Chronos, Nomads, Fruit

Lightplay 12 – the Lost Travelogue

What follows is an installment of Lightplay, my email newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox, subscribe here. Dear Reader — I hope this letter finds you well in health and spirit. Here in Los Angeles, the morning is cool and the air clear. Late fall! Today, I’m thinking about travel. Partly, this is because I’ve been receiving short, photo-laden daily emails from a man currently walking the 500km Tōkaidō pilgrimage route in Japan. (More info here.) Maybe it’s also due to a seasonal fear-of-holidays, an atavistic terror at the big feelings I and others will surely have. And,… Read More »Lightplay 12 – the Lost Travelogue

Lightplay 11 – Rainbow

What follows is an installment of Lightplay, my email newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox, subscribe here. Dear Reader — I hope that this Sunday you’ve had space to exhale, relax, and take stock. I know I have. The election is over. Thank you, each of you who helped rebuke this band of would-be authoritarians, be it by voting, volunteering, giving money, protesting, having hard conversations, and never going along with the worst of it. We did it. I am going to keep this letter short. There will be plenty of time to explore what it all means.… Read More »Lightplay 11 – Rainbow

Lightplay 10 – American Trip

What follows is an installment of Lightplay, my email newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox, subscribe here. Dear Reader — What a Sunday to find myself back in your inboxes! The first of November, 2020. Two days from a true fulcrum of history. I hope that you are well, that you have been able to sleep, and that you and your families are safe. Welcome to the tenth edition of Lightplay. Four years ago, I gave my presidential endorsement in the the form of a series of Star Wars-themed collages. Although the election didn’t go the way I… Read More »Lightplay 10 – American Trip