Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Last Notes From Whitney 2014 -- And The FIRST DESERT BROADCASTS


The Mt. Whitney web cam this morning, Nov 19th, taken from my laptop in my bedroom.



Hello everyone,

I've returned, for the moment, from my Mt. Whitney attempt the other day and am happy to be back.  The attempt was indeed another failed one, but as always I'm still determined to succeed, and I will.  Even more importantly, I somehow salvaged the week by then initiating my very first successful live ambient music broadcasts from the deserts near Whitney in the days that followed the summit attempt.  Not sure how many of you are aware of this but, that was a MAJOR victory in-and-of itself.  Basically, no one else has ever done it.  So I'm now going to update you on what went down during that little 1-week excursion by pasting all of my facebook posts here that were posted to all of my friends and fans during the trip.  They explain what happened even better than if I tried to recall everything right here, after the fact.

The posts are below and will go in chronological order, from top to bottom, each one dated at it's header.  If you haven't read them yet, try to read them to the bottom because the last post has my next goal for this project.  I won't post anymore blog entries until after that.

Also, to see and here all of the successful broadcasts I made from out there over the last week, just visit the same Whitney event page that I started with, here https://new.livestream.com/DeanDeBenedictisRelatedEvents/LiveOnMtWhitney.  They are all there, listed as players from the most recent broadcast down to the first one.  Just click play on any of them, but remember it was only the last 3 sessions (the first 3 listed at the top of the page) that involved successfully performed ambient music on location.  And most of the music is towards the end of each broadcast.

Lastly, I'd like to ask you again to please continue showing faith, enthusiasm and encouragement towards this project, and even interest if you can, regardless of the multitude of failed summit attempts I've had in the Cascade and Sierra mountain ranges.  This project really isn't easy to do, and it's about more than just those mountains.  It's even about more than an individual's determination.  It involves music creation in places where people have never imagined creating it, let alone actually doing it. That is the meaning of this project, not just famous mountains. The plan was always to do this in lots of cool locations, some of which have absolutely nothing to do with mountains.  This project was always intended to be greater than something based in any one type of location.  It's something that melds art, philosophy and adventure as well as other inherent qualities that naturally cross.

If you are looking to simply follow climbers who conquer/climb/surmount famous mountains, there are people and blogs that would be far more suitable.  Here are a couple of links to them.  If they interest you more than what I'm doing, then I encourage you to stop wasting your time with me and hit them up: http://www.andyonthemountain.com and http://englishdailaojeda.blogspot.com/2011/05/9a-and-9b-for-chris-in-same-day.html and http://climbhigh.edublogs.org and https://www.rmiguides.com/blog/location/13/mount_rainier.

But I would definitely love it if you decide that what I'm doing here, not just on mountains but all over the country, is intriguing enough to stick with and follow.  In some form, somehow, it's breaking new ground, and I would love it if you joined me.





Okay, so my Facebook posts over the last week's adventures are below, chronologically from top to bottom.  The top one is the first post of the trip, and the bottom one is what I entered on returning the day before yesterday.





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A GREEN LIGHT FOR THE MT. WHITNEY BROADCAST:
So, that big storm is gone and all of my prep for colder-weather-than-originally-planned is done. I'm already on my way to Lone Pine so it looks like this will probably go down; in two days I will likely be making live ambient music at the top of Mt. Whitney and broadcasting it online for you to check out. Join me for this special experiment on Livestream.com. It will be in early afternoon sometime this coming Wednesday, November 12th. The link to see and hear the Livestream broadcast is below. You don't have to be a member, just go to the page and if I'm broadcasting you will see it. Will start around 1pm Pacific and go for a couple of hours or more, depending on how much I'm diggin' the vibes, or if brutal Whitney kicks me the heck off the mountain.

Also I may broadcast part of the climb as well, which will be sometime mid-day tomorrow - Tuesday. Check the Livestream page at that time and I'll post about it here also.
If nothing else, don't miss the performance at the summit on early afternoon Wednesday. I will post continuous updates here on Facebook, so if I get up the mountain and I have to turn back for any reason, you will be alerted about the cancellation right there on the spot. But it really does look like a GO this time so let's be hopeful. See you up there! (So to speak)
The page where you can see these broadcasts:
https://new.livestream.com/DeanDeBenedictis…/LiveOnMtWhitney
The blog where you can read about it, with a brand new entry:
http://summitmusicproject.blogspot.com/



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Okay folks, I'm live right now on live stream to broadcast some of my Mt. Whitney climb during sunset. Wait exactly 1 minute and then Go to the following link and hit play on the top player you see appear, not the two or three below that. The first thing you see on this player will be my shoe,by hat will indicate the proper feed to click on. I will pointed to my shoes and speak for a little while, so click on that one. Also letting you know in advance there may be some trouble with the connection a little bit.https://new.livestream.com/accounts/7466481/LiveOnMtWhitney


Fellow climbers like Leslie Riser were as surprised as I was by the sudden bad weather.



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ATTENTION FANS, READ ENTIRE POST:
In about 15 minutes I will be performing and broadcasting some live ambient music from Mt. Whitney trail. It's about 2:30 pm Pacific right now.
I'm sorry about the MIA yesterday. More went wrong than I had planned on, everything from AT&T not providing the signal they had promised (main reason for my MIA), to the climate totally kicking my ass because I've been in LA far far too long. It was indeed a failed attempt and now another winter storm has rolled in so Mt. Whitney is probably off limits until next Summer. Disappointing I know but I'm getting used to that, and as long as you don't give up on me, I won't give up on it. I suppose this project is still in it's trial-and-error beta phase, but I MUST be getting close to victory. There's just no way it can be far after having come so far already, and after having learned so much.
I want to thank all of you who have shown me and my projects undying support. You make it worth while.
To those who still "just don't get it": some of you may not take music very seriously at all. That's cool I suppose. But I take music seriously enough to risk my safety climbing a high mountain for a specific brand of inspiration. That's a good part of what this project is about.
For now:
I will find out what went wrong with AT&T's "promise" and then in a week or two I will probably try broadcasting a session from the top of Mt. Baldy or something. And in the meantime, I was able to get a signal at a low position on the Whitney trail, so I'm still here and I will broadcast some live ambient music from here in about 15 minutes. Just go to that same Whitney event page to check it out (below). It will probably only last about an hour. (The summit would have been a few hours, according to planned, but that will have to be next year.)
ALSO IMPORTANT:
to make up for this failed attempt, tomorrow I will broadcast more live ambient music, but this time from Death Valley, CA, which is on the way back from Whitney. And it will be for a good chunk of the day because I will plan on broadcasting 3 different sets from 3 different important areas of Death Valley: Devil's Playground, the dunes, and Zabrisky Point. Each set should take about an hour, at 3 different times of day, and it will be warmer--awesome.  I will make an announcement on here before each set starts, so you know to tune in. Look for that tomorrow, Friday.
AND/BUT YES for now here's the link to the ambient drone set I'm about to play in 15 min on the Whitney trial. Tune in.


They were also extremely encouraging about the project.  Most are.


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Dean De Benedictis
UNBELIEVABLE.
I was seconds away from that broadcast on the mountain but once I hit the LIVE button the Macbook Air crashed and said it was out of juice at %41. "That type of thing isn't supposed to happen on a Mac!!! Right?" SO aggravating, because I announced it to you minutes before that happened, with no way to alert you again, and it was suppose to be my make-up session. I think fellow hikers on the trail must have heard me screaming in anger from miles away. I could see it on some of the faces I passed as I ran down the mountain with a 50-pound pack on just to try and salvage this massive botch.
And well apparently that wouldn't have mattered anyway because I came all the way off the mountain to do a twilight session for you but I can't get a decent signal even here, and whenever I do get a signal the Livestream app doesn't fully respond to it. So the light is gone and that's it for the day. AT&T totally exaggerated the truth about their Mifi signal coverage, and Livestream's app has bugs.
Some preverbal heads are going to roll when I get back. And I'll have my revenge on all of these companies WHEN I FRIGGIN' SUCCEED!!! ;)) VENGEANCE IS MINE, COORPORATE AMERICA PEDDLING TECHNOLOGY THAT I USE TO ENRICH MY LIFE!!!! ;))
Meantime my apologies yet again. I feel like I've lost almost all of my followers over stuff like this through the years, and now maybe even the few remaining ones I had left. This project is already hard enough for people to understand without all of the failure, so this is definitely one of the lowest points in it's history, and probably mine for that matter.
But hey yeah sure, I'll shake it off and move on and try to earn more followers as I progress. It just really really really scares me when something like this happens after I've advertised it to more than 10,000 people. That's right, more than 10. And I ask you, what else was I supposed to do? Climb Mt. Whitney just to test the equipment before I advertised it, and then climb it again? I had to come out here and try, it's the only way to trial-and-error this thing into existence. It's THE FIRST TIME ANYONE HAS EVER ATTEMPTED TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS.
And I just want to remind you again, this is the type of production that most people would never attempt without an entire team. If I could afford one, time OR money wise, I would do it.
Please just have faith. That's all I ask. I'll get this web channel rolling, from the summits as well. I promise that, and the reason I promise is because I will die trying if I have to, so there really is no reason why it shouldn't eventually happen under those circumstances.
Right now I'm going to go into Lone Pine and figure out if I can fix this signal problem before tomorrow in Death Valley. If I can't, I will let you know by tomorrow morning because I'm going to drive into Death Valley tonight JUST TO TEST THE DAMN SIGNAL!!!! If it works, than tomorrow you will see and hear all of this aggravation instantly turn into fun and the sharing of meaningful artistic solitude. I promise you, that's all I've been seeking from this in the first place. Talk soon.



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Okay so here's the deal:
I spent all day today driving around the extremely massive Death Valley, trying to get a signal at any of the popular locations of interest here, but I couldn't get a single one. I tried the Dunes, Zabriskie Point, Devil's Golfcourse and Badwater. Nothing. AT&T was basically pulling my chain. Mifi is simply a cell-phone hotspot modem, which they had told me was something better.
The only parts of the park that had a signal were two random hotspots during the drive. I finally tried to salvage the day by broadcasting from one of those two hotspots, hiking to a mini canyon by the road, but I couldn't get Livestream to work in time for twilight because the signal was too weak. My apologies to anyone who might have been tuning into my rage when I was trying to troubleshoot. ;)) I kind of flipped out a bit, ;)) yet again. ;)) And well, it turned out that that one was mostly my error. ;)) Whoops. I didn't realize I was supposed to downgrade my quality to the lowest setting when trying to transmit from this remote a location. I figured it out too late.
Sorry again about the whole mix up. But again most of this wasn't me. Aside from the fact that all of my software flipped out on me as soon as it felt clean alpine air, the signal issue was a bit of a sham. Unfortunately I suppose we aren't quite at the level of technological advancement that these big companies want us to believe we're at. They probably want our business to fund-and-thus-justify developing that technology to a point where it will finally be what they say it is--an Internet signal you can get just about anywhere but outer space. This is what they promised me, and they even showed me a map that backed it up. Now it turns out they were just trying to make another sale. I hope the money goes towards developing this product, quickly. If you look at the attached map, located on the AT&T site, you will see that the hotspot they are guaranteeing (marked in red) all the way from Lone Pine to Whitney summit is totally incorrect. This is according to my obvious experience now, which you guys are practically witnesses to. So just be aware of this if any of you are thinking of getting a hotspot mobile device. It’s no different than a cell phone, no matter what they tell you.
And/but whatever, right? Onward? Oh well? C'est la vie and shizznit? It is what it is. Even though I'm still going to chew their heads off and try to get a discount for all the inconvenience and rip-off sales pitches those jerks handed me! ;))
In another sense, this is actually good news to musicians; Once people can get solid Internet absolutely everywhere, there will no longer be a need to buy music. Between sites like Youtube and Bandcamp and Soundcloud, people will have all the music they could ever need, wherever and whenever they want it, just by opening they're browser. So as much as I would love to have solid internet everywhere, thus allowing me to broadcast to you from wherever I want, I will at least relish the last little bit of value this limit holds for artists like us--a whole 20 cents a year! (just kidding, even though it's still pretty bad.)
Lastly, since I finally have this weak-signal problem licked, I'm going to attempt to broadcast to you ONE MORE TIME from the Alabama Hills tomorrow morning. The Alabama Hills are really cool rock formations outside of Lone Pine, that also include a great view of Mt. Whitney in the back. Sometime in late morning-to-midday I will climb up in there and try to broadcast an ambient session for a couple of hours for you. I feel like you guys have been so good about this that you deserve at least that. Look for it. I will post a notice on here once it's up-and-running-FOR-SURE-ONLY.
So, originally I was actually going to head back up the trail to Whitney summit tomorrow and attempt it again, because even though the weather is colder now the next three days are supposed to be clear. But I'm realizing there's no point in putting myself through that until a broadcasting pattern is completely handled and established with this rig. I think I'm just going to get used to doing this decently before tackling something kind of dangerous like Whitney with it. Let's just make sure these broadcasts are working at all first.
Look for my notice about the Alabama Hills tomorrow morning. I will alert you when I'm live----and this time I won't bother you until I'm positive that I REALLY AM live. Really. ;))





Badwater at Death Valley, where I did create some music but didn't broadcast it.  Wasn't sure when I would make it back there so I made some there and at Devil's Golf Course.




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OKAY EVERYONE: go to the following url right now and experience some live ambient music at the Alabama Hills near Mt. Whitney! I'll explain more later. Will start in roughly 5 minutes and will play 2-3 hours.
https://new.livestream.com/DeanDeBenedictis…/LiveOnMtWhitney


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At my first session in the Alabama Hills, and my first broadcast ever.


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Apparently most of you couldn't get a signal during yesterday's broadcast from the Alabama Hills near Mt. Whitney. My apologies: it looks like Livestream is fairly new technology just like everything else, and their software is very very touchy with certain bandwidths. HOWEVER, I'm going to try again for you today one more time--live ambient music in the Alabama Hills. I tested the signal this morning and everything looks copasetic. All working. I will test one more time when I'm on location and then I'll let you all know once I'm sure. This broadcast will take place around noon, one more time in the Alabama Hills near Mt. Whitney, a place with expressive rock formations. Should last about an hour. Turns out that that's all the time I have on a Macbook Air when it's being worked this much. So stay tuned here for that.
Meantime if you want to check out the broadcast that most of you missed yesterday, just go to the same Whitney event page on Livestream and click the first player you see, at the top. That was how the session went down, and it was a good one, so shame you couldn't catch it. Lots of talking on it so if you want to skip that, go to the end for the music performance. Note: the talking is very faint so crank it if you want to here that part.




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At my first session in the Alabama Hills, and my first broadcast ever.


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Dean De Benedictis
LOL sorry for confusion, but I'm LIVE right now. Alabama Hills will have to be tomorrow. More complications but that's cool; I'm doing the dry LakeBed at Owens Valley for twilight right now. About a little less than an hour of ambience. To see and hear it, go to the following page and HIT THE PLAY BOTTON ON THE TOP PLAYER WINDOW.





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Don't forget to tune in tomorrow morning sometime just after 9am for my final session out here. Then I'm going home. If you missed today, it was good, and I'm sorry for the schedule mixup but I promise you those were just beginning-phase sessions. I know I haven't kept to my schedule so far and I may seem like the boy who cried wolf now or whatever, but I just ironed out a lot of kinks that couldn't be seen before, and now I'm pretty sure I have it. You will dig it if you join me. And if it was audible from your end, you caught a good one today. These are the very first sessions I'm doing out here live, so there is simply some chaos that I can't predict. Please try to remember that. With or without Mt. Whitney, these are going to be great initiate broadcasts.


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At my first session in the Alabama Hills, and my first broadcast ever.


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Dean De Benedictis shared a link.
Posted by Dean De Benedictis · November 16 · Edited
LAST NOTE FROM THE WHITNEY AREA:
Big apologies to the public for a botched Mt. Whitney attempt; I summited it before and will again soon. AND / HOWEVER over the last 2 days I've successfully broadcasted 2 live ambient music sessions from the desert just below Whitney and I will be doing one more tomorrow morning at Mobius Arch rock formation in the Alabama Hills between 9-10am Pacific. These are some of the first outdoor ambient performances I'VE EVER BROADCASTED. You should check this last one out before I pack it up and head back (for now).

The music is cinematic (kind of reminiscent of a movie score) and broadcasting it has inspired some ideas that I wouldn't otherwise think of. After two days of chaotic broadcast attempts out here (sorry about that too) I think I might finally have it down now, one last time for the month.

Tune in and see; should start between 9-10am Pacific at the below link. Will post here the moment I'm live.

Whitney:
Unfortunately Mt. Whitney is not an option for the moment until it warms up at the top and gets fresh snow fall. Very dangerous at this moment because it's the shoulder of winter with nothing but ice near the top and lot's of steepness. May attempt it when the snow comes but if still too cold to function may have to wait for Summer. But yeah, will be doing very cool locations before that anyway and will post about 'em.

Also doing Mt. Baldy soon outside of LA. Will post that when the time comes.

Here's the link for tomorrow morning's performance between 9-10am Pacific. "Please, Please, forget it not. I want you too remember." -Patrice Rushin (kind of)

https://new.livestream.com/DeanDeBenedictisRelatedEvents/LiveOnMtWhitney

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Dean De Benedictis
I'm live at Mobius Arch Near Mt. Whitney right now for about an hour. It's an awesome view and an awesome spot. Last one for now. Go to the following link and click the player at the top to join me:
https://new.livestream.com/DeanDeBenedictis…/LiveOnMtWhitney





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PAAA HA HA HAAAAA!!!!! Umm nice!!! Okay well, the moment the power went off earlier I had the best laugh I've had in--days?
I'm still happy with what I've done so far though, and I'm happy to be done.  Finally got a signal to post this followup just now.
I'd like to thank you all again for joining me on that small christening ambient excursion on-and-near Mt. Whitney. The next goal for this project is to do a session at Cirque Du Soleil while being suspended under a broom, 2 girls in bikinis, an elephant and a guy holding us all up with an icepick pointed down.
In all seriousness: for this particular outdoor broadcasting project my next goal will be to do a live-session-TEST with an established music friend, at Joshua Tree National Park. If you like Joshua Tree, and ambient music, you will love that performance when it happens. Give me at least a week or two to recover though.  And yes, that will be a TEST session, to finalize all of the kinks and methods so that this happens NO MORE. Arrrrr! The culprit here has been lack of new protocol as much as it's been equipment failures and mismatches. I hope to nail it all in Josh Tree with my friend, who will be along for the ride. Stay tuned for that before long. And meantime I will post one last entry about this last week on the blog, and I'll post the link here tomorrow.
Lastly, if you want to hear that great 6-minute piece I played at the Mobius Arch today, just go back to the event page and click the top player and go to the very end of the video, where I finally was able to start. And sure, lateness getting started is one of the first issues I plan on fixing for next time.