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October 31, 07
A new video distribution site called Flix55
is soliciting clips for inclusion for some possible TV airtime, based on the number of votes received. Apparently, there are even cash incentives for folks who manage to get their favorite clips nominated (not quite sure how that works yet, besides the "incentive" part - something to do with adding friends as "cash buddies" who are supposed to help promote your video). Sounds somewhat dubious, but i guess that's one way to quickly market a new video site. In any case, someone from Flix55 recently asked if i would upload my video interview with Classical Accordionist Lidia Kaminska
, which has been getting a lot of viewership on YouTube
Here's the video
- if you feel moved to (possibly) help promote Classical Musicians on Internet video sites and possibly TV, please cast your votes by pressing the "play" button!
**NOTE: it appears that there's no way to vote or rate the video from the embedded file. To do so, i think you have to view the video directly from the Flix55 website. Again, if you feel so-moved (and i hope you do!), click on this URL
to jump to the Flix55 page with my clip and rate accordingly.
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Gramophone Review for "Romantic Flute" CD with Jeff Khaner
Check this out! Jeff just sent me this review from the November issue of Gramophone as an image file - not bad, eh?
I can't find the CD on Amazon yet, but i've seen it listed on a UK online retailer called Crotchet Classic Value
. I'll be sure to post a note when it's available state-side.
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October 26, 07
Folding Keyboards - yes, the ones for Flying Pianists
Just got wind of this from Gizmodo
These are pictures of the VAX-77 from Texas-based Infinite Response
. Unfortunately, as Gizmodo pointed out, these babies only have 77 keys, and i seriously doubt that they sport weighted action (well, they mention "measured keyweight" on the IR website, but that sounds dubiously light...) Nevertheless, at only 25 pounds, it may be something for consideration for keyboardists who have to struggle with airline checked luggage restrictions
Now all they need are shoulder straps!
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October 24, 07
Way of the Wikipedia, Part 2
I just came across this Reuters article
a few days ago, with an irresistable intro-hook paragraph:
"They say if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. But these days, it seems you haven't really made it unless you have that most prized of status symbols - your very own page on Wikipedia."
A few lines down, it points out the fact that unlike social networks sites like MySpace and Facebook, Wikipedia does NOT allow you to post articles about yourself. (Wikipedia
, in case you're not familiar, is the world's largest online encyclopedia that's open for anyone - yes, anyone
- to submit and edit articles to.)
Of course, naďve moi didn't initially realize that when i plopped over to Wikipedia
a few weeks ago, signed up for a free account and promptly started to Copy-Paste my biography
into the Wikipedia article framework. At first, all looked fine - but then when i tried to test the article and refresh the page, a glaring banner had suddenly appeared along the top, announcing itself as the "CorenSearchBot
" or something to that effect, warning that the text i had inserted had been directly copied from an external source (uh, yeah
...like, my own
website?). Well, i tried changing a few lines around, omitting sundry details, and re-pasted the edited biography -
No go. Man, that search bot was tough to fool!!
I then studied a few other biographical articles within Wikipedia to get a flavor of the language style required and came up with a fairly decent draft.
Moments later - and i really mean, MOMENTS! - several new angry banners began appearing all over my article like neon parking tickets on a Philadelphia street, declaring that the piece was in imminent danger of being summarily deleted and banned from the Wikipedia universe. Several administrators angrily demanded to know if i was the self-styled author of the subject under question. I answered affirmatively, and tried to defend the new 'neutral' tone of the writing. Several more mentions of auto-biographical violations were thrust upon me, and it started to look pretty bleak for yours truly to retain even a micron of Wikipedia real estate...
Well, i think an apologetic stance helped somewhat, and even a plea for help as i really
had no idea what was going on, and felt badly that i was evidently in the virtual equivalent of tresspassing in a library with muddy shoes on. Fortunately, several other authors began chiming in and checking out some of my reference sources - an absolute requirement, by the way, to have a prayer of hope to be considered "notable" enough for inclusion in the world's largest online encyclopedia. The Wikipedia gatekeepers looked kindly on my references, and even spent a good deal of their own time cleaning up the text and adding footnotes and proper text alignments and the like. The key was to immediately keep 'hands off' of directly editing the body of the article - i was free to submit reference, media, and text suggestions within the discussion page, but directly authoring my own article was a "no no".
Therein lies the key. You cannot author your own article, but certainly a hired press agent can do so on your behalf (as i'm 99.99% sure most of the uber-popular classical musicians' articles are authored by). Otherwise, you will need to rely on your own notoriety and the kindness of fans and strangers. Newspaper and magazine articles are an absolute necessity to substantiate any portion of your article, so the more you can have on hand (Publication name, article author, date of article, and - if possible - page number and/or URL link) the better equipped you'll be to keep your virtual stake in the Wikipedia ground. This can make things very difficult for unreviewed musicians and composers, but then again it creates incentive to get out in the public light and let your local publications know about it as much and as often as possible until something
gets written about you.
After several trips to the Wikipedia I.C.U. and much discussion between administrators, it looks like Hugh Sung
has at least a decent foothold in Wiki-posterity for now. i'm not quite sure how "prized" this is as a "status symbol", but it's certainly neat to have seen the process from the inside out.
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October 23, 07
A Nice Student Recital Review
This may be the very first time i've ever had a performance in one of the Student Recitals at Curtis reviewed, thanks to a new blog called Chamber Music Today
Many thanks to Dr. McNair for the insightful review not only of Elena Urioste
's wonderful performance, but of the background to the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor as well. Be sure to check out the references to my Tablet PC in performance!
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October 22, 07
The Death of Knowledge
i just received word that the beloved online music library , IMSLP.org
(International Music Score Library Project), has been shut down by a "cease and desist" order from Universal Edition. This was a unique open-source destination for finding rare scores, available as free PDF downloads. i found this testimony from the site's creator to be particularly moving as one compelling reason why such sites NEED to exist:
"I originally conceived of this project after visiting a certain country a few years ago. In what is one of the largest bookstores there, I discovered less than ten orchestral scores. As a musician and music lover, I find unacceptable the fact that such a wonderful thing as music can be so inaccessible in certain regions of the world. I believe that access to our culture and the Arts is a fundamental right of every human being, and not simply a privilege. Therefore, I had created IMSLP with the intention that music, which is in the public domain, should be freely accessible to every single person."
It is appalling that commercial interests should kill the open dissemination of art when it offers no viable option of its own accord. As another extreme example of the difficulty of getting scores, a violinist friend of mine just came across a hard-to-find copy of Ravel's "Kaddisch" Hebrew melody for Violin and Piano. The 4-page score cost him almost THIRTY-THREE-FREAKIN' DOLLARS. With outrageous prices like these, is it any wonder that classical music scores are becoming hard to find in physical libraries?
The IMSLP Forums
are still open - feel free to stop by and express your outrage, condolences, and support.
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October 20, 07
Murphy visits the Sungs (as in, Murphy's Law)
Figures...just when we're getting ready to knock out our very last debt (besides the house), ol' Murphy strolls along for a visit and attempts to take over the spare sofabed - or at least, in this instance, the furnace!
During a sudden chill a few days ago, we couldn't get our pilot light to stay on. Fortunately we have a friend who used to work in the commercial heating and air systems industry, so he was able to stop by to take a quick look at the problem. UN
-fortunately, he shook his head when he saw just how old our furnace actually was - probably close to 25 or 30 years old - and that we desperately needed to replace it, especially given the possibility of carbon monoxide leakage with systems this old.
Well, if that wasn't bad enough,a few days later i had to go in for some dental work to fix my back right molar which had broken in half. The first dentist had assured me no root canal was necessary, just a crown to fix the break. But when i signed in at the dental office, they immediately proceeded to bill me for a root canal. I insisted that the examining dentist told me that wasn't necessary, so they amended the bill - only to discover that once i sat down in the examining chair, the root canal specialist adamantly declared that yes, indeed, a root canal was absolutely necessary.
Sigh. Tack on another $500 to a $350 crown.
Thankfully, we now have Murphy-repellent
in the form of a budget and a fledgling emergency fund. Thanks to some leftover from Kyungmi's big bonus, we have enough to cover both the costs of the new furnace AND my extra dental work, WITHOUT GOING INTO FURTHER DEBT!! A year ago we would've piled the emergency expenses onto our credit cards. THIS time, we're able to simply pay cash. Now is that awesome or what??
Next article: our tale of two contractors.
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October 18, 07
Mailbag Q&A: Digitizing Music Scores
Every once in a while i get these terrific questions from folks who either visit this website or who have seen one of my videos on Blip.tv
. Here's one that gives me an opportunity to summarize some of the technologies that i use on a daily basis as a paperless musician:
I'm an amateur pianoplayer and also a computerfreak like you. Some time
ago I also dreamed about playing the notes from a tablet-pc and than I saw
your youtube-Video... It seems, that you already have scanned much music
scores, haven't you? My question: How do you digitize the paper best and
can you send me an pdf-example of that technique (Chopin would be nice...
I'm so glad you came across my YouTube video
! Sorry for the delayed response - work has been really crazy for me lately!
There are several ways of getting digitized scores into computers like tablet pc's - the first place would be to check out online vendors like www.EveryNote.com
- you can also purchase CD libraries of scores from CD Sheet Music
. For examples on the image quality, check out my blog article here:
You can also download a large number of scanned scores from www.imslp.org
, an online archive of public domain works. Quality will vary from score to score, but for the most part everything i've downloaded so far has been very legible and representative of the quality you can expect from scanning your own scores.
I've been using a digital document camera scanner, but the model is no longer being manufactured. If i hear of any comparable models that can replace what i've been using, i'll be sure to post an article about it. An option you might want to try is to purchase a copy stand holder for digital cameras and use a digital camera to scan pages by taking pictures of them.
You'll need to have a high resolution digital camera for this operation. A program you might want to use in conjunction with this operation is called Snapter
Early versions of the program were buggy, but i've read that the more recent versions are getting better. Haven't tried the recent version myself yet, as my camera doesn't produce high enough resolutions for the pictures, but i'll be sure to try it once i upgrade my camera.
Hope all this information helps. Feel free to email me if you have any further thoughts or questions.
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October 17, 07
I oughtta be in pictures...
Now THIS was a real head-spinner -
What in the world was my name doing on a NY Times movie review page??
Upon further investigation (ie, clicking the link) it turns out that i make a cameo (i assume) in a film called, "Aaron Rosand: Celebrating a Life in Music".
I write "assume" because for some reason i can't open the link properly in my browser. Anyone catch the preview of the film? How does my hair look? Does my leg keep jumping around too much? Is my tie on straight?
LOL - somehow i don't think the Paparazzi will be hounding me on the PATCO high speed line anytime soon...congratulations to my esteemed colleague Aaron Rosand
on the release of this new film!
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October 16, 07
Daily Inspiration for the Practice Room
If you haven't seen this yet, then you really must spend some time over at Dr. Chris Foley's Collaborative Piano blog
and his excellent new series of articles titled "31 Days to Better Practicing"
. Dr. Foley is a master pedagogue with the gift of breaking down materials into bite-sized components, and this series is no exception. Reading through the suggestions ranging from setting a regular practice schedule and warmup exercise ideas, to establishing short, medium and long-term practical goals for your music is sure to inspire you to more constructive and artistically infused practice sessions (and let's face it - at some level EVERYONE hates to practice, especially yours truly!)
Some of my personal favorites (so far) from the series-in-progress include:
Practice Links - A nice collection of tips, tricks and articles from several authors with topics ranging from 'why we need to practice scales' to '5 quick and easy memory tricks', among others.
More Practice Links" - Chris has collected a number of great essays and articles on practicing from various online resources here. Be sure to check out his link for finding interesting piano repertoire via Pianopedia!
5 Things to Remember About Fingerings - effective fingering strategies is a personal passion of mine, and Chris does a great job of outlining the reasons for taking this step seriously right from the beginning.
Keep up the great work, Chris! A definite "must-read" for musicians at every level!
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October 15, 07
Greg Stepanich on Classical Musicians in the Video BlogosphereGreg Stepanich from PalmBeachPost.com
writes in his Oct. 12th post about the innovative ways classical musicians and institutions are marketing themselves, including an increasing wave of internet videos being used to educate and market classical music. Mr. Stepanich very kindly highlights the blog of "yours truly" as being "one of the most consistently interesting blogs out there..." (Why, thank you!) and points out my video interview with soprano Jacquelyn Familant
where she talks about the importance of self-marketing. He also mentions my link to Charles Griffin's website
and notes that Charlie is making PDF's of his scores directly available for purchase via PayPal. There's also a terrific reference to the Lynn University Conservatory of Music
making their master class and rehearsal videos available for viewing thanks to BandDirector.com
. We should see more conservatories following this model, a la shades of iTunes University!
Many thanks to Mr. Stepanich for recognizing the efforts of musicians trying to find innovative ways to share their art in a visual society!
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October 13, 07
Running with David Toub on Amie Street
i'm not a professional runner by any wild stretch of the imagination, but at least i've come to the point where i can actually enjoy my runs, particularly when i have great music to inspire me into that peculiar frame of mind that i can only describe as "the zone". i suppose this is the point where runners' endorphins kick in to produce that special "high" that makes you feel like you're flying over the road. i've always had a particular affinity for electronica for my runs, music that provides a steady accompaniment to the breathing and heartbeat rhythms as my body struggles to overcome the first mile of sluggishness and my mind gradually stops fussing about how i feel and settles itself into the delicious zen of the pavement.
With that in mind, i'm getting inspired to crank my MP3 runs up to the next level by adding tracks from post-minimalist composer David Toub.
Close to a year ago (November 2006) i performed one of David's works - "objects" - as part of Sequenza 21's first ever live recital for contemporary art music
. The original MIDI rendition of "objects" is now available on Amie Street, a terrific work for marimba, piano, and electronic organ - the hypnotic sonic blend would make for a perfect running companion!
Be sure to check out David's other Amie Street offerings, including some fascinating minimalist meditations for solo organ:
Minimalism, to me, is a bit like those old stereoscopic posters, where you let your mind's eye drift over the collage of patterns until a three-dimensional picture gradually emerges into view. Perfect for running music, i'd say - see you on the street, David!
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Classical Music selections on Amie Street
While Amie Street
is carving out a terrific niche for independent and alternative rock bands, i wanted to draw some attention to some of the Classical Music selections i found notable as a way of both introduction to new Amie Street listeners and as encouragement to my Classical Music colleagues to consider contributing more tracks to this fledgling new distribution website.
(Ok, i'm afraid that embedding these player files from AmieStreet.com might "break" those of you viewing this site with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, so hopefully y'all will just defect over to Mozilla's Firefox Web Browser
Here's a little summary of some of the worthwhile Classical Music tracks that can be had for almost nothing on Amie Street:
The Ingrooves Symphony Orchestra
has a pleasant selection of albums for folks new to classical music. You can't go wrong with building a nice, inexpensive beginner library of Easter, Christmas, and miscellaneous selections for orchestra and solo piano with the albums below:
Beethoven for Beginners
Birds and Flowers
Easter Spectacular (though i think their "Messiah" selections are waaaay too slow and pedantic...)
A Classical Christmas - very staid interpretations of traditional hymns and choruses for the Christmas holiday season
I enjoy interesting transcriptions of all kinds - here's something that works pretty well, i think:
Bill Furner - guitar improvisation with synthesized orchestra background based on Chopin Nocturne No. 2
i've got to learn more about composer Kobi Arad
(i suspect he's also a pianist, given the high level of pianism chops in these recordings) - he's got an incredibly eclectic mix of hip hop, lounge, jazz, classical and contemporary classical compositions compiled over several albums. Really remarkable stuff here, if i may say so!
Experimental works for Orchestra and voice, string quartet, piano and tape by Kobi Arad
Lush romantic and jazzy tracks featuring piano and string quintet by Kobi Arad - album titled "Ancient Novice"
Some inventive "re-compositions" by Kobi Arad - this one of Messiaen's "Les Corps Glorieux":
...and this one of Anton Webern's "Immer Schmerz":
My good friend Charles Griffin
has several albums of his works up. Of note:
Vernacular Dances and other Chamber works (i set his Vernacular Dances to visualizations for my Visual Recital). Be sure to check out the last track "The Persistence of Past Chemistries", a neat percussion chamber work!
From the Faraway Nearby: Homage to Georgia O' Keefe - Walter Cosand and i premiered the 2 piano version of this work (listen here and here), but this is the original setting for 2 guitars. Beautiful and haunting renditions wonderfully performed.
Feel free to drop me a note if you post anything up on Amie Street and i'll do my best to give your material a listen and a review!
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October 12, 07
The Debt Snowball Avalancheth
Kyungmi picked up an amazing bonus from work today. Six months ago, i would've bolted for the nearest music store or eBay listing for Tablet PC's and snagged a few expensive toys - but now, after five months of working our Debt Snowball
patiently, diligently, and intensely, my first thought was actually to use the windfall to knock out the second-to-last debt and take a huge bite out of the last remaining one, the home equity loan that threatened to become a new member of the family with its own bedroom! Now how's that
for a change of heart?
i'm re-reading the first article i wrote
at the start of this financial fight for freedom, and i'm almost chuckling at the memory of the fear that swept over me when i realized just how big the financial hole was at the time:
I just finished the very first step of Dave's plan: writing out my first monthly budget. Even though all my finances are recorded in Quicken, this was still a very painful, brain-numbing exercise. Bad news is that the debt i tried so hard to ignore actually is turning out to be a much bigger troll under the bridge than i had realized...
...and now, fast forward to today, when i called the loan officer to pay off the balance early on our back windows' installation (real
physical windows, not the blue-screen-of-death
kind - last time we will EVER finance home improvements, btw!!) - what a pleasant surprise to learn that instead of the stated remaining balance of $5,805.85, the early
payoff amount was actually only $3,274.27! i guess the larger amount was the balance if i kept paying minimum amounts for the remainder of the loan's life for the next 5 years or so, with the smaller amount reflecting the immediate savings sans accrued interest. Once i heard that, i fired up my Nuvi GPS and drove straight to their office to hand them a check and be done with this once and for all. The lady at the desk smiled as she printed out the payoff receipt and said, "If there's anything that we can do to help you finance something in the future - "
"NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!" i laughed, shaking my head and throwing up my hands in defense. "We're just about to start attacking our last big debt and plan to be completely
debt free!! NO MORE DEBTS FOR US!!"
The lady did a double-take. i must've sounded like a cult zealot!
"Gee...that sounds like a good idea...", she said wistfully.
By the time this month is up, i hope to have put a mighty blow to the troll under our fiscal bridge - close to half of that monster will be hacked away right off the bat! With no other little debts diluting our financial muscle, we'll be able to throw everything we have to whittle that beast down fairly quickly. Incidentally, one of the most amazing things about this debt snowball has been seeing how money that once was so scarce is now virtually pouring in from all directions! Learning to set up a monthly budget has helped us put a tight reign on every single dollar that comes in, instead of having money flow through our fingers like loose sand. i might be overly optimistic, but perhaps in another 5 or 6 months (?) we might actually be done with ALL of our debts (except the house)...wow, i can almost smell that day coming!
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October 11, 07
New Amie Street Player/Store Widget
i've just added a neat new sidebar widget
that plays previews of my track offerings on AmieStreet.com
- tracks can be purchased directly from the widget and then heard in their entirety. Setup was a little tricksy tricksy - it involved extracting a bit of code from AmieStreet's own artist promo flash player code that looks like this:
For the "playlist URL" in the widget settings, you want to extract the following code portion (look for "playlist_url=") -
"artistId__9685" refers to my Chopin album ID number.
I've set the player to start automatically when my blog page is opened. If this gets too annoying, please let me know and i'll turn the "auto-play" off. I'll try to get more selections uploaded soon so that regular readers aren't bored to tears. Please support classical music on music distro sites like AmieStreet.com and purchase a few tracks! (As of this writing, they're still really cheap - $0.13 per track - so let's see if we can't get the stock price inched up a bit, eh? Many thanks!!)
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October 10, 07
More Portals for Podcasts
Earlier today i received happy news that InstantEncore.com
has just added my blog's RSS feed to their News section. Pickings are a little slim at the moment, but hey! this site's just a few weeks old! Already it's easy to see how nicely their strategy to be a comprehensive Classical Music portal for news, podcasts, concerts, recordings and streaming media is coming together. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, and promises a wealth of consumer-friendly access to the rich world of Classical Music activities.
" section is still blank, and i've put in a request to have my video podcasts from Blip.tv
added to their "Podcast
" page. Hopefully we'll see some more legs for some of my video and audio material.
Special thanks to Evan, Margo and the entire InstantEncore.com team! Keep up the great work!
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October 08, 07
Stock Market Music on Amie Street
i first encountered Amie Street through composer Charles B. Griffin's website a while back. At first i thought it was just another basic MP3 upload site for artists to promote their own tracks, with a curious pricing scheme that allowed newer tracks to be free and popular ones to range in price, up to 99 cents. To be honest, i didn't spend much time exploring around and soon forgot about the Amie Street concept.
Fast forward to this past Saturday. My oldest son now owns my beloved video iPod, so i'm stuck with either listening to MP3's through my (bulky) Samsung i730 PDA phone or with my dinky little Lexar MP3 player that came as a 'bonus' with my Bose Q3 headphone purchase. Well, i've been finally getting back into running and needed to quickly find some music for "exerci-nsperation" for Saturday's run. Being bereft of my iPod has made me a virtual iTunes orphan since i can't easily port over DRM-trapped tracks to any of my other devices, so i tried to think of some other options. i started revisiting AmieStreet.com and had my "aha!" moment when i finally understood how really, really cool this site is!
AmieStreet.com works as a virtual "stock market" for music. As i stated above, new tracks get introduced for free. The more popular a track becomes by the number of downloads, the higher it starts to rise in price. The cool part here is that if you download a track - either when it's brand new and available as a free download, or at any price point as it climbs in popularity - and then write up a recommendation for the track, you will have the opportunity to accumulate purchasing "credits" as the track (hopefully) rises in value. Say for example, you download a classical music track - oh, perhaps like the Chopin "Raindrop" Prelude in D-flat major (hint hint) while it's available as a free download. If you really love it and feel inspired to write up a recommendation for it, you'll "lock in" your "purchase price" - in this case, $0. If the track climbs in value, say to 55 cents, then you will be rewarded that amount to apply to any purchase within your Amie Street account. If the track is only available for a price, then you will need to purchase it first before writing a recommendation. Your received credit will become the difference between your purchase price and the final price (up to 99 cents, i believe) whenever you decide to "cash in" your credit for the track.
i don't know about you, but i find this utterly ingenious! By this system, listeners are rewarded for exploring and sharing their discoveries, and artists are given a viable tool to promote their work while still retaining full rights to their material. From what i can tell from my initial foray, AmieStreet has a $5.00 "storage fee" for each track. i'm assuming that once enough sales come in to cover that fee, then the artist will start receiving 70% of the proceeds above that amount.
i'm just dabbling with this for now, but i'll keep everyone posted as i upload more tracks for sale. You can visit my Amie Street "store" at http://amiestreet.com/hughsungpianist (banners soon to follow here on the site). Oh, and if you're curious as to what i ended up running to on Saturday:
Junkie XL - Music from SSX Blur -
Be sure to check out my recommendations for two of Charlie's works, " The Lawrence Tree" and " Oriental Poppies". See you on Amie Street!
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October 06, 07
Black Coffee Economy
It's funny - coffee seems to be such an important aspect of more areas of my life than i previously realized! When i first started dieting several years ago, i was shocked to discover how many calories were being packed in with each loaded spoonful of sugar and cream! i used to throw in 5 packs of sugar for each cup of joe, stirred into a california blond with loads of cream. Upon cutting down the sugar and cream intake, i was able to manage my weight much more effectively.
As many of my current readers may know, i've been on a fiscal diet since May. Coffee, again, turns out to be a major budgetary factor. Getting 3 cups of Starbucks a day at $1.50 - $3 a pop depending on the extravagance of the drink, that quickly adds up to a whopping $90-180 a month! Alas, i had to say "farewell" to my beloved daily Starbucks fix
, and have since been drinking budget brands at home and these Korean instant coffee packs at work.
Well, now we come to the present day. i just received the results of my blood work for my Term Life insurance application, and my wife is shaking her head at me...turns out that in addition to slightly elevated cholesterol, my blood sugar is inching up as well. Looks like i'll be taking my coffee black from now on...
...welcome to my new black coffee economy...sigh...
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October 05, 07
October 04, 07
Tech Support: Pedal Turning Too Many Pages at a Time
Here's an interesting tech support question that came up while i was getting ready for my rehearsal with Midori yesterday - a friend of mine was inspired to get his own Tablet PC (a Toshiba model, i believe) via eBay and a page turning pedal from PedalPax to put together a digital music reading/annotating system similar to what i have. Upon receiving the used Tablet PC, installing PDF Annotator and waiting for his PedalPax pedal to arrive, he was finding that pressing the hardware button for page turns was advancing 2 or 3 pages at a time. At first i thought it might've been a damaged button on the unit and advised him to disable the page turning function associated with it. After receiving the pedal, however, the multiple page turns continued to be a problem. He was so exasperated that he gave me a call without realizing that i was about to start rehearsing in a few minutes.
At first i was pretty perplexed. A hardware button malfunction might've been one thing, but to have a USB pedal coming up with the same bug? Highly unlikely. Then the answer came to me in a flash - you can adjust the keyboard key delay and repeat speed within Windows (to get to the Keyboard settings, in the Windows XP Tablet PC edition press 'Start' on the Start Menu Bar, select 'Control Panel' - make sure you have the Classic View option set - then click on the 'Keyboard' icon). My friend must've had his delay setting much too early and his repeat rate much too fast. By setting both options towards their opposing values, that would solve the mystery multiple page advances by hardware button or pedal device, since both basically function as alternate keyboard entry devices.
i just called my friend and got confirmation that this solution seems to be working so far (hopefully it won't revert to sudden multiple page turns during the middle of a concert!). Oh, and by the way - he reports that the PedalPax pedal unit tends to be very squeaky underfoot, probably because of the type of material comprising the buttons.
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October 03, 07
October 02, 07
Way of the Wikipedia, Part 1
Just got home from an exhausting recording session in Baltimore, but i wanted to post this before i crash for the evening: H now stands for Hugh Sung in the Wikipedia!
For those of you who might not be familiar, www.Wikipedia.org is one of the largest (if not the largest) online encyclopedias on the internet that anyone can contribute to. That being said, one cannot simply write up self-promoting articles and expect them to be left in the Wikipedia repository willy-nilly - that lesson was learned the hard way by yours truly! With the open-source medium comes an amazing crack team of administrative editors and correction "bots" that are virtually instantaneous in their oversight of anything that enters the Wikipedia domain - in fact, if i recall this correctly, approximately 5,000 articles actually get deleted from the Wikipedia each day because of inappropriate or uncompliant content.
I'll get more into the tale of my Wikipedia journey when i'm less starved for sleep, but for now let me extend warm thanks to wiki-admins GoodDamon, Timotab, and especially ArielGold for their patience with me as i stumbled around in wiki-newness!
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InstantEncore.com - a New Classical Music Portal
A dear friend of mine from Curtis - Margo Drakos, cellist with the San Diego Symphony and faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music - has been busy launching an exciting new Classical Music site called InstantEncore.com with high ambitions to become THE portal for artists, audiences, and presenters - sort of the YouTube of Classical Music, according to venture capitalist William Stensrud. The site is young, but already there's an impressive roster of top artists in the field with recordings and podcasts available for download. Videos will be forthcoming soon, and you may very well start seeing episodes of Music Meets Tech there (at least, that would be neat, wouldn't it?) One really cool feature that seems to be built into the site is the ability to create your own custom 'home page' where you can keep track of your favorite artists' concert schedule, recording activities, and the like.
Here's the 'official' blurb about InstantEncore.com
from Margo, but please don't take my word for it - visit the site for yourself and have a peek at the future of Classical Music marketing!
InstantEncore.com is the new digital classical music community designed to provide audiences with the resources to easily find and enjoy live classical music anywhere and anytime. InstantEncore.com makes it simple for visitors to find concert information, download music, enjoy concert video and audio streaming, and access Podcasts and pre-concert talks. Customers can customize their homepage to follow their favorite cities, venues, artists, ensembles, conductors, and composers and sign up for Inside Scoop: email alerts about new digital content from their favorites. There is no subscription fee to login and enjoy InstantEncore. For audience members, a special bonus: an Instant Encore! Take the concert home with you for free - Organizations may provide their concertgoers with a unique card entering your hall that allows the audience member to download the concert they attended for free! For organizations, this provides a special opportunity to obtain meaningful corporate sponsorship. A corporate sponsor logo is featured on the download card and a click-through advertisement is positioned next to the concert event listing and in the digital music store. InstantEncore.com a digital destination designed to keep the audience of today while creating the audience of tomorrow!
SPECIFICS FOR ORGANIZATIONS:
1) Increase your Ticket Sales! Add more value to your concert seats with a complimentary digital download of a concert
2) Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities: Offer valuable advertising opportunities to corporations through our services
3) Personal Thank-You Gifts to Friends! Design digital download packages of your music for donors, friends, special events and as part of education outreach
4) Expand your Brand: locally, nationally, and around the world!
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October 01, 07
The Kelvin Grout International Piano Accompanists' Competition
I just received an email message from Kelvin Grout
, a pianist based in the Netherlands, announcing the Kelvin Grout International Piano Accompanists' Competition
in Amsterdam September 8th to the 13th, 2008. Entry forms will be available from October 15th of this year, and the top prize is a whopping 10,000 Euros! From what i can tell from the announcement page, this competition seems to be aimed primarily for accompanists who work with vocal literature - no mention of any collaborative instrumental categories. Mr. Grout, who is celebrating his 50th year as a professional pianist in 2007, is also working on a book and DVD film, both titled "Behind the Notes"
, and both scheduled to be released simultaneously with the start of the competition.
Competitions for soloists abound - those for accompanists are almost unheard of, so this is a rare and wondrous treat for those who "work in the shadows"! Best wishes to Mr. Grout and the patrons of this new competition!
tags: Kelvin, Grout,, accompanist,, lieder,, vocal,, competition,, Amsterdam,, Netherlands
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