The Caterwaul -- Keshlam's home page

"Music is music, no matter who makes it..." -- John Fisher

I listen to a wide variety of music, from electronic to classical to jazz to folk -- almost anything but Country/Western. And occasionally I attempt to perform.

(New!) Most recently, I was a chorus member in the MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players production of The Sorcerer. (Photos of the production are available, courtesy of Sheldon Brown, as is a review in The Tech.) First time I've been on stage in a dramatic production since elementary school. I had a lot of fun... but it soaked up a huge amount of time, between rehearsals, set painting/construction, and helping the lighting crew. I'd be interested in doing it again... but perhaps not immediately.

I probably wouldn't have attempted the G&S if it wasn't for my experience in folk music with the Walkabout Clearwater organization, as a baritone in our People's Chorus. Walkabout taught me a lot about performing in front of an audience of strangers -- and about balancing my voice against other performers, and learning and holding multipart harmonies. Walkabout also gave me the chance to learn more about sound engineering, both for the chorus and for our monthly coffeehouse.

I've started writing a few of my own songs, and doing occasional short solo performances, in a subgenre known as "Filk" Music. There are a fair number of filksingers and filksongs findable on the net, including the M.A.S.S. F.I.L.C. organization. The filk community is a great environment for developing those skills; everyone's there for the love of the music, and folks tend to be very supportive. Recently some of us have been trying to combine filk sensibilities with Walkabout's people's-chorus approach, and the resulting "O. K. Chorale" (based in Boston) has been rehearsing multi-part arrangements of filksongs just for fun... though we hope to start performing as a group some time soon.

Though I've played with many instruments over the years, I haven't practiced any of them seriously enough until recently. As a result, I tended to have only one or two songs that I can perform on each. But I've actually been starting to get halfway decent on Anglo concertina and percussion ("What do you call someone who isn't musical but likes to hang out with musicians?"). Other instruments I might be able to play without torturing them or the listener too horribly include piano accordion, Casio's "Digital Horn" (world's cheapest MIDI wind controller, with Gray-code fingering that only a programmer could love), and -- after some relearning -- keyboards.

I've got a design in progress for a MIDI'tina. More news as it comes closer to reality.


As an alumnus of the AX chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, I believe that we should all occasionally go out and do something for our communities. It's more efficient than waiting for the government to address these needs, and in addition to the emotional rewards it can be just plain fun. My work with Walkabout (above) is one example. But there are lots of other opportunities.

Don't complain about Windows NT...

NT is still Not There; in my experience it burns twice as much memory on a typical task, isn't as fast, doesn't network as well, and seems to be more prone to crashes both of core applications and the system itself.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has exactly as much mass-marketing skill as IBM has technical skill, and vice versa... with the result that once again, VHS has beat Beta. And most folks will never know what they're missing.

I'm still running OS/2 at home; I really like having a system that can run 24x7 for months at a time. And Linux may have reached the point where it has enough software and drivers to compete for non-expert users.

I'm sorry, but I can't provide OS/2 support to all you fine people on the Internet -- I'm overloaded as it is! But there is quite a lot of OS/2 information and assistance already available to you. The best starting point I know is still the Team OS/2 Home Page, which hasn't been maintained in a long time but still points to just about everything else OS/2 related. Also useful is PCMTAB Online, which provides info on hardware and drivers for OS/2.

The Caterwaul / Joe Kesselman / (sic!)