Solo piano

Zuleikha had her first solo piano performance today at the Jugend- und Kulturzentrum (JuKuZ) Mörfelden:

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Zuleikha in concert, February 2017

It wasn’t her first gig this year – there was an earlier one where she played the horn in the school’s “Brass & Co” Jazz band, but the first one for this year where she was alone on stage.

And it was a good one. Congratulations again, Schätzchen!

Thanks for reading & viewing.

An interesting story

Read the interview with Markus Schmidt, one of the makers of the Calf Plugins, at LibreMusicProduction.

Warning: some strong language is used – tho in this case it even seems appropriate; you will understand after reading.

His band from that time, Jammin’Inc* is also a good tip. You may download and use all that stuff, as it’s under a CC license. As are the Calf Plugins and everything else Markus is using now (except that Debian and other software is of course GPL).

Getting a bit more active with music again

Music was my first love”

sang John Miles back in 1976, when I was just 19. And he was so right (and I even played that song with one of the bands I performed with). And what do you do during long and cold winter days and nights, when you don’t even want to think about going out with a camera? Right – I remembered music.

And so I read a lot; I had a bit of catching up to do since I last dealt with making or even recording some music. I stayed with free and open source software of course, and Linux has a lot of wonderful tools to get creative these days. I ended up with configuring the repositories of KXStudio on my machine, so I can still use Debian. And for Zuleikha, who started composing and writing her own first songs, I installed Ubuntu Studio on Mitchie’s old Lenovo Thinkpad SL500. And there are other guys making cool stuff like for instance AVLinux – their user manual alone is worth a look if you want to get up to this stuff real quick.

Mitchie’s old machine has only a Celeron, and 2GB of main memory – so it’s not the machine for some samples of Grand Pianos I downloaded lately (one Yamaha C5, ca. 2GB, and one Steinway, ca. 5GB). I guess it would struggle hard if you put up some audio and midi tracks in Ardour with it, but for Zuleikha it’s nice to start arranging and composing with MuseScore. So today a USB type AB cable arrived, and I hooked up the machine to Zuleikha’s Yamaha YDP-142R piano:

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Mobile Ubuntu Studio

It all started when Zuleikha got some nice and easy pieces from her piano teacher, like this one:

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Bluestone Alley, by Congfei Wei

I downloaded some free scores and tablatures for the guitar, and let’s see – maybe we’ll get some microphone to even record the small one playing her horn (and/or her friend Yuma, who’s perfect on her recorder)…

Of course I’ll also document this with the camera. Cannot wait. 🙂 So, with a bit of fantasy and dedication, winter is actually good for something.

As always, thanks for reading.

An awesome video production

In contrast to yesterday’s obituary, here’s another piece for guitar:

Silvius Leopold Weiss – ” Fantasie”, guitar Asya Selyutina

Like the title says, this is from Sylvius Leopold Weiss (see English and German Wikipedia pages), and the performing artist is Asya Selyutina.

Interesting how different an instrument can be. Anyway, here I liked everything, especially the camera and sound work. Awesome performance on this Baroque piece (which is some 300 years old) as well. And she plays a guitar hand-made by Peter Barton.

Oh, and in case you play the guitar yourselves, find the score with tabs, and midi as well as Guitar Pro files here. And yesterday’s Tango is here. Thanks go to Christian Liang for these.

Thanks for viewing and reading.

R.I.P. Roland

On October 29th last year, one of the world’s best guitar players, composers, and arrangers died – Roland Dyens (see English and German Wikipedia pages in case you didn’t know him).

Here he’s performing one of his better known own compositions:

Roland Dyens, playing his “Tango en Skai”

Also listen to his interpretations and arrangements of Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunesia“, and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “A Felicidade“, the latter of which is now played by countless guitarrists around the world.

And if you play the guitar yourself, read this very good analysis of “his style of arranging and performing” (45 page PDF) by Michelle Birch.

R.I.P. Maestro.

A week in photos

Wow; it’s a week already since I’ve posted some photos, and a rather busy and fast one it was. So I didn’t take and upload as many pictures as usual, and most of them (in fact all except one) are in black & white.

Like this one here, of Tuna our cat. Tried some Ilford HP5+ film emulation on her, but without the grain:

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The only colour photo I took and actually uploaded to Flickr was taken during a short cigarette break on the company’s roof garden. I was there with my colleague Arno and saw some other colleague (never seen him before), reading a book in the already setting sun. Looked like this:

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Then, two days ago, this:

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Zuleikha was just finishing her homework in normal room light, and from a comparison of more or less standard outputs of different raw converters which I did last weekend, I decided that for black & white, Olympus Viewer 3 gave the best results.

Also in black & white, and taken yesterday during a concert at Zuleikha’s school, Herr Koch on his Flügelhorn (they played “Feels so good” from Chuck Mangione, and indeed that felt and sounded very nice!):

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I also tried to take some of Zuleikha’s friend Yuma who was excellent like always, but my photos weren’t. Guess I’ll have to ask and to invite them for a photo session in good light and in a controlled environment.

And finally, a few moments ago I took another cat portrait of Tuna, this time with bounced flash and guessed exposure (which was a bit too high this time, but I could correct it in post):

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I cropped this one, and set the aspect ratio to 3:2 to get closer to a 135 “small” film (Kleinbildfilm) look. My aperture was f/2 here, so it’s about the same as a picture taken on 135 film with an aperture of f/4, concerning the depth of field.

As always, thanks for reading.

Two photos from Sunday, and two from today

On Sunday, my colleague Gertrud invited us to a concert in which she performed. It was also the 90th anniversary of her band, the “Mandolinenorchester Winkel 1926“. Here are two photos I took:

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It was a bit dark in the Brentanoscheune, so I took that first photo with my 40-150mm lens at ISO 6400. The light was a bit unforgiving for portraiture as well, so I converted it to black & white.

This next one was taken with my 25mm/1.4 lens at ISO 4000, while the Mayor held his speech:

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This shows the whole band, and it was a nice concert they gave – so thanks again for the invitation, Gertrud! We enjoyed it very much.

This morning when I came to work, I read Ming Thein’s blog for a few minutes (this article in case you’re interested), and then I decided to take a photo of my work place:

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But the real nice light was outside, so I opened my window to take this, hand-held at 1/6th of a second:

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As always, thanks for reading.