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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 587973 times)
Ed
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« Reply #1935 on: July 06, 2010, 06:15:14 PM »

Used my new iPhone to video (in HD) my son's first school concert appearance with his band this evening. They played Greenday's Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Considering they are twelve years old and have only played together twice, I think they did remarkably well. If I can figure out how to upload it to youtube I'll post a link to it afro

Altogether, all the kids did amazingly well, from the choir (who succeeded in giving me goosebumps) to the the kid who sang a solo of 'If I Were A Rich Man' from Fiddler on the Roof. When I was at school there were no cool kids who played musical instruments or sang, and it was considered uncool to have lessons, but then guitar lessons weren't available like they are now. Back then it was trumpet, piano, violin or recorder. Horizons have thankfully expanded a great deal in the meantime, though there were a few girls sawing their way through torturous violin solos tonight, and the ubiquitous (what's the collective noun for a bunch of people playing recorders?) howl/drone of recorders. What a pointless instrument - why do people bother to even try to learn how to play them? They sound horrible, even when played in tune. You can't get a job playing one, you'll never be asked to play one in a band, and nobody, but nobody will ever ask you to play it for their or anybody else's listening pleasure. Why, oh why, do they even exist?
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« Reply #1936 on: July 07, 2010, 02:48:57 AM »

Ed, it swells your chest and brings a lump to your throat to see your offspring performing music to an audience doesn't it? My son played clarinet and sometimes saxaphone for the Chester Schools Concert Band from when he was 11 to leaving school at 18. With that band he travelled the world and made life long friends. A few members changed from bumbling scaredycat screechers to professional players. One girl, who started on that pointless recorder, became the principal flautest at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and has appeared on TV at the Proms. You never know where these things lead.

One problem is that son's band won the MacDonalds Child of the Year (in the group award), which was great but on the coach journey from Chester to London and back they had to call in every McDonalds on the way and were heartily sick of the same same taste by the time they were halfway back.

Geoff
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« Reply #1937 on: July 07, 2010, 03:01:19 AM »

Ed, I'm sorry to say you can get a job playing the recorder. Ever since the explosion of early music specialists in the seventies, there have been authentic Renaissance and Baroque groups who tour the world, are major recording artists, and make a very comfortable living out of the instrument. To be fair, a handmade top of the range recorder sounds nothing like the plastic screechers used in schools, but it's still essentially the same instrument.

When I was at school, you might be able to find a purely classical guitar teacher, but nobody encouraged anybody to play anything other than strictly classical music. A bunch of us used to bring acoustic guitars into school and sing 'Streets of London' and 'Killing me Softly' during break sometimes, but that was as far as it went. It wasn't encouraged, and we'd certainly never have been asked to perform in the school concerts, where parents had to sit through the absolutely dire school orchestra playing ghastly simplified arrangements of BAD music, and the school choir singing dull music reasonably well. Quite how any of us managed to become musicians after all of that is down to out-of-school musical activities, because nothing in-school would have made you want to continue.
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« Reply #1938 on: July 07, 2010, 04:14:51 AM »

When I was at school in Australia, I did some sort of test (can't remember for the life of me what it was about) but the results suggested I had a natural aptitude for music, so got the chance to learn an instrument (only a select few from my school had this chance).  I wanted to use the tuba but I was too small Sad and they didn't have a saxophone, so I ended up with the trumpet.  I gave it up when I moved back here but nowadays I wish I'd kept it up.  Hmmm now I've remembered that little fact about the test I'll have to remember to tell my friends, who think my style of guitar-playing is, er, questionable  Wink
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« Reply #1939 on: July 07, 2010, 06:17:41 AM »

So, what are you doing with your old iPhone? It would make a pretty sweet prize for a doom flash challenge. Wink
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« Reply #1940 on: July 07, 2010, 10:28:56 AM »

Yep, things have changed. This evening one of the lads I teach is playing in the school rock band at their school concert (alongside the choir and orchestra - although not all at the same time). Smoke On The Water, We Will Rock You, Superstition and others are all on the setlist!

Back in my day it was me and Ian Stevens on second clarinets wishing we'd practiced our Mozart a bit more!

Derek
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« Reply #1941 on: July 11, 2010, 07:07:05 PM »

I scarcely knew what to do with myself today. For the past 4 months, I've been entered in the Whittaker Prize contest. Having to complete a story every two weeks is quite an effort, and by the end, the pressure was getting to me a little. But it's all over now except for the posting of the final results. The waiting is going to be agony...
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« Reply #1942 on: July 12, 2010, 02:34:52 AM »

Tell you what, Pharo, it's much more fun judging the Whittaker than being an entrant. I've had a ball as the poetry judge this year, but entering in the last couple of years turned me into a right stress-head.
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« Reply #1943 on: July 12, 2010, 05:25:17 AM »

I haven't been able to use my own flipping internet connection and I have no idea why, so I've hopped onboard a neighbour's wi-fi signal, which is likely illegal but what the hell.  Actually, I don't think it is against the law, is it?  Since it's up to the person in charge of the network to protect it. 

Anyway!  I watched a whole load of films recently, including the new Star Trek - it was brilliant!  The version of Kirk, to me, seems like a pretty much perfect MC - smartmouthed, cocky, but backed up with brains and charisma.  I loved it!  And Karl Urban, who played Bones, was fantastic.  Watched a pretty gory film last night called Autopsy, which gave me an idea for a short story...what if a victim was actually more dangerous than the killer?  ie a worse killer?  I've seen this sort of thing done before, and I think it's an intriguing concept, "rife with possibilities", as they say.
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« Reply #1944 on: July 12, 2010, 03:08:58 PM »

Good luck with the Whittaker, Pharo. I didn't enter because I didn't think I could commit myself to the workload. It's a lot to take on, so anybody who makes it through to the end deserves a pat on the back at the very least.

Rev - be careful with that idea. It features pretty high on the list of "stories we see a lot of." Take a look here and see if it's along the lines of what you were thinking - http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelines/fiction-common-horror.shtml  afro
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« Reply #1945 on: July 13, 2010, 06:33:23 AM »

That's a cool list, Ed.  Mine's a little bit like the 'tables are turned one', I suppose, except the reader would be aware that the victim's a nutcase - I'm thinking along the lines of the Masters of Horror episode 'Pick Me Up'. in which a trucker picks up a hitch-hiker, and both are serial killers.  I'm thinking it's something I could sub to the Library's 'bad people' antho, if I get an actual solid idea to back it up   rolleyes

Found out recently that North Lincs council are putting a freeze on ALL jobs for the next few months, at least.  The good news is that everyone who's at the gallery is safe, and if anything, I might end up slightly better off being casual, because I might get the chance to work at other places, like the museum and theatre, if they end up being short-staffed because of the freeze.
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« Reply #1946 on: July 13, 2010, 09:04:01 AM »

Rev, have you read Serial by Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch? They wrote a horror novella based on exactly the premise you're considering using. They each created one of the two serial killers who came together in the book and wrote the opening parts independently, then traded the manuscript back and forth as each killer made the next move.

It's available for free as an e-book. I read it on my Kindle, but you can get the .pdf version to read with Acrobat Reader. Check out these sites:

http://hellnotes.com/serial-by-jack-kilborn-and-blake-crouch

http://www.jakonrath.com/freebies.htm

Note that Jack Kilborn is a pseudonym for JA Konrath. The story of his road to publishing success is one worth reading, and can be found in Wikipedia (and perhaps elsewhere): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JA_Konrath

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« Reply #1947 on: July 13, 2010, 03:20:04 PM »

Thanks Pharo, that's really interesting!
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« Reply #1948 on: July 13, 2010, 05:33:49 PM »

Tell you what, Pharo, it's much more fun judging the Whittaker than being an entrant.

Erm maybe it was for you as the poetry judge, somehow. I found being the 2009 fiction judge was very time and energy consuming even if I felt privileged and honoured. I hardly wrote a word of my own during those months and instead wrote crits of the stories, and had to justify my interpretation of the marking scheme. That wasn't a bad thing, quite the reverse, but it meant my novel and shorts didn't progress at all.

Would I do it again? Absolutely yes.

Geoff
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Ed
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« Reply #1949 on: July 13, 2010, 06:20:25 PM »

Ed, it swells your chest and brings a lump to your throat to see your offspring performing music to an audience doesn't it? My son played clarinet and sometimes saxaphone for the Chester Schools Concert Band from when he was 11 to leaving school at 18. With that band he travelled the world and made life long friends. A few members changed from bumbling scaredycat screechers to professional players. One girl, who started on that pointless recorder, became the principal flautest at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and has appeared on TV at the Proms. You never know where these things lead.

One problem is that son's band won the MacDonalds Child of the Year (in the group award), which was great but on the coach journey from Chester to London and back they had to call in every McDonalds on the way and were heartily sick of the same same taste by the time they were halfway back.

Geoff

Sorry - I meant to reply to you and Delph about this earlier, but forgot. Re the girl who became the principal flautist at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, why didn't she start out playing the flute? I can't imagine the recorder and the flute have much in common. Not any more than a penny whistle and a saxophone, anyway.

I never knew people could make a living out of playing recorder. Still can't imagine, TBH, but as a common, everyday instrument, you don't see much of it, and nor do you want to. If an average person happened to be at a friend's barbecue and somebody brought out an acoustic guitar and strummed away at it, they would probably sit back and enjoy it, whereas a recorder rendition would be likely to clear the place, I reckon. Horrid things.

Can't figure out a way to post the vid of the boy playing his guitar, because being an HD recording it's huge (300 megs) and youtube won't accept it. Windows moviemaker says it's too big for it to handle, too, which means I can't use it to make it smaller, so I'm stuck undecided
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