Modulo what? 30 August 2010

When you’re not trying to actually name your own band, names are cheap and easy. The Ring Tones. Hz. DJ Dev Null. The Upgrades. The Downgrades. Autoload. Curb.

But when it came time to pick a name for this new music project thingy I was up to, I drew a blank. Cricket And The Tumbleweeds was pretty much the state of things. I toyed around with a couple of rough drafts (The Rough Drafts! shouts my mind) but nothing really clicked.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the contemporary way of launching a music project is to martial a plan that would rival the invasion of Normandy. Remember the bad old days when all you had to do was get picked up by a label and they putatively did all the rest? Yeah. Good times. *sniff* Now you have to [blah blah blah, tedious list of administrative tasks mercifully deleted], all of which is very complex and requires planning, and planning requires extrapolation, and extrapolation gives rise to contingencies, and eventually you figure, “I have a foolproof plan for musical domination unless, of course, the world continues to occur in which case, forget it.”

Which pretty much sums us all up: except for the world, we’re set.

~ + ~

Modulo is a kind of curious word that enjoys rather ambiguous usage. In mathematics it is fairly well defined, more or less, but it’s been co-opted by other disciplines and its meaning has kind of…wandered. The usage that most catches my ear is the one that means except for variations explained or caused by. For example, “I’ll be there in 20 minutes, modulo traffic.” Or, “We should be able to enjoy a nice quiet dinner…modulo dog.”

A tidy and clever construct, that. I’m a sucker for tidy, clever constructs.

And since mundi is the whole world, modulo mundi is the all-purpose comprehensive disclaimer.

So, we’re all set and everything is worked out and it’s all going to work exactly according to all of our exceedingly clever plans…modulo mundi.