February 3rd, 2013

Eva Cassidy

An era ago I was introduced to Eva Cassidy by Jim & Esther. Her singing was intensely beautiful and mesmerizing. Only later I found out she had died way, way too early, only 33, taken by aggressive melanoma. Fast forward to this morning. I hardly ever watch any TV, but on Sunday morning, I occasionally watch an interesting live music program called “Vrije Geluiden” (free sounds), broadcasted from the music theater in Amsterdam.

Today one of the guests was Dutch singer Margriet Sjoerdsma. She told us that she was taken by Eva’s sound and was later asked by author Johan Bakker to sing a few of Eva’s song on the presentation event of his book about Eva, which in turn inspired her to do a tribute CD. What was really touching and special was that Eva’s brother Dan was one of the band members, playing the violin. He was also interviewed.

Open this link please. If it complains about Silverlight, click left bottom on “Instellingen” (settings) and change to Flash. Unless you’re interested in Czech composer Janacek, skip to 17:10. The interview in Dutch starts at 21:40. Dan, a slow speaking kind fellow, joins in, in English of course, at 26:50.

Very, very touching. Dan gave Margriet Eva’s metronome as a present. What a gem.

March 31st, 2012

The birth of a book

Unfortunately not embeddable: http://vimeo.com/38681202. Beautiful!

March 31st, 2012

The Score Editor

Score editors have been around for ages. From what I’ve heard from my music teacher Encore is the editor, but for the occasional user it is a bit expensive with it’s $399 price tag. Then there is Overture, Finale, Sibelius, etcetera. And there is of course open source projects like MuseScore and NtEd, which you need if you’d happen to run i.e. Ubuntu.

Then I thought it should not be that insanely difficult to do score editing “google docs” style, web based, and with funky sharing options. Well, of course smarter people came up with that idea long ago. Noteflight is an online score editor, written in Flash. I’ve tried it a bit and it is pretty easy to get the hang of, especially once you get a grip of the keyboard shortcuts, which is true for all score editors. For me as a lousy student, the free version, limited to 10 scores and a few other limitations is fine, and for somebody who’d like to build a private or shared library the yearly $49 seems not entirely unreasonable to me.

February 22nd, 2012

The Game of Thrones

This is too funny a comic (and so true. The swearing on the last image made me chuckle too I admit)

March 4th, 2011

The Yeoman Warden

Only the English have this sense of humor. Laughed my pants off.

Thanks MsD!

February 17th, 2011

Locked in a Vegas Hotel Room

Violating the laws of nature. Playing God. Capturing stuff we are not suppose to see. Potentially opening up a wormhole in the fabric of time.

These are a few of the things I think about while shooting with a Phantom High Speed Digital Cinema camera. The above video is a bunch of test footage I shot to get familiar with the new “Flex” version. I shot inside my Las Vegas Palms Casino hotel room between the hours of 2am and 6am. If you had a Phantom in your bedroom, you would stay up too!

Tom Guilmette is a professional camera man, and he got his hands on some cool high speed camera!

 

 

January 16th, 2011

The eBooks

I am a happy owner of a Sony PRS-600. The only thing against it is the glare on the touch screen. Other than that, is is a sleek, sturdy and smart design. Today, I might go for the nook as the separated LCD/touch makes it more readable, but it is not as well designed as Sony’s. Maybe the color version, but then, eInk really reads good.

Now I think if something is free, it is free, and if not, well, let it go or pay for it. In content, this is often translated in DRM. In layman’s terms this means the content is bound to a key stored in the reader. Different key, no luck. This is actually a flawed design. If my device cracks, I am out of luck. I might get new downloads of my purchases providing my new key, but maybe the store went out of business. Some DRM schemes even phone home once in a while and if the mother ship is gone or has decided your content needs to self destruct, bye bye content, If you think this is unlikely, or unthinkable business practice, do your research (Microsoft and Apple respectively).

So, any content I get will be decrypted. Not give away and thus steal from the author/publisher, but to ensure I can read it as long as I like, instead of as long as they like, thank you very much. Content that I cannot decrypt I will not, never, ever pay for. For the interested, let me just say it is doable as long as you are not afraid to use python and the command line. For my Ubuntu, I only needed to install tKinter, which Ubuntu’s software center did just fine. This nice toolkit will do all the heavy lifting for kindle (device and mobi), Barnes and Nobles epub, Adobe epub and a few others. Calibre then will convert almost any now freed format to unencrypted ePub.

ps: note that for the generation of the Barnes and Nobles decryption key, you need to have the buyers credit card number. Even more reason to only decrypt your OWN files.

November 30th, 2010

The book crossing

After the pleasure of having a (freed, as in not bound to say Amazon, can you say Kindle?) eReader, and enjoying heaps of legaly free books (free, as in free speach AND free beer), I ran into this other “free books” initiative I really, really like.

ShareIt is called Bookcrossing and it works like this. You have book. A real paper book. You like it, and you like to share it. Of course you can give it to a friend, but why not give it to the world? Go to the website, register the book, print a sticker with the following short explanation and a unique ID and leave it somewhere. Where? Anywhere! On the reading table of the dentists waiting room. In the hotel lobby. On a sunny day in the park. Free your book.

I’ve registered this book at BookCrossing.com so I can track its journey through the world. Please go to www.BookCrossing.com and enter this BCID: 123-456789 to let me know you found it. Then read it and/or pass it on for someone else to enjoy. Thank you!

And if you happen to stumble on a freed book, capture it, read it, register it and set it free again. Neat huh?

February 27th, 2010

The talent

What can I say? Discovered country-woman Janine Jansen a while ago and her performance is exceptional. If you like this, follow some of the youtube suggestions. There are hundreds of clips, some of the publishers.

May 15th, 2009

Now all torments disappear

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Both:
Nun verschwinden alle Plagen (Now all torments disappear)
Nun verschwindet Ach und Schmerz (Now grief and sorrow disappear)

Soprano:
Nun will ich nicht von dir lassen (Now I shall not abandon you)

Bass:
Und ich dich auch stets umfassen (And I also shall constantly embrace you)

Soprano:
Nun vergnüget sich mein Herz (Now my heart is content)

Bass:
Und kann voller Freude sagen (And filled with joy can say)

Both:
Nun verschwinden alle Plagen (Now all torments disappear)
Nun verschwindet Ach und Schmerz (Now grief and sorrow disappear)