Music to the Rescue!

The third weekly challenge in the "Creativity: Music to My Ears" MOOC I'm taking was to brainstorm and document a series of 100+ ideas as to how music might address some social or personal problem. I chose to do so around the theme of "Make Congress Work Better." You can download a full-size PDF here: Download Make Congress Work Better), and view an image below:

Make Congress Work Better

Avalon: Sounds and Sights

As I explained in my last post, I’m taking a MOOC at Stanford, entitled “Creativity: Music to My Ears.” Each week we have to tackle a “Challenge.” This week’s was focused on developing skills in observing and capturing details from your environment, in line with the idea that creativity starts with paying attention.

Our particular task was to find a place to capture all of the sounds heard over a half hour, and organize them into a mind map, and (optionally) into a soundtrack / video.

I chose to visit the nearby Avalon Park & Preserve, a stunningly beautiful place, sponsored into existance some years back by a local businessman (with a worldwide reputation), whose son was tragically killed in the prime of his life.

Here’s the mindmap, in which I adapted a taxonomy of sounds developed by Berni Krause (see his TED Talk here):

Sounds of Avalon

You can download a full-size PDF with live links here:  Download Sounds of Avalon.

And here’s the “soundtrack” video I made on the day:

Sounds and Sights: Avalon from Richard Edward Bravman on Vimeo.



I'm taking an online course, "Creativity: Music to my Ears," taught by Tina Seelig of Stanford. The first week's assignment: create the cover art for "the album of your life." Here's my effort…

CD Oil Final

   CD Back

For extra credit, we were challenged to whip up a playlist to put inside. Mine can be found here:



Anniversary Gift

I worked from our place in Carmel Valley for ten days in late August, returning to NY last weekend, sad to leave it, and Ellie, behind. Our plan was for her to follow a few days later. Fate intervened however, when a business trip back to the west coast had to be organized at the last minute… a clear message from God. Result: a very nice long anniversary (35th!) weekend in paradise with my loving bride.