Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The band really is getting back together

Thursday, 7 March, 2013

So last year my friends and I finally got together and had a group practice session for our nascent band. We’ve scheduled a second session in a couple of weeks’ time and we’re learning our parts for our second song (I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers).

So at lunch today we were discussing various related things, like what name we should call our band, and what other songs we should stick on our list of easy songs to learn while we’re starting out. And we started to realise that all of our musical tastes have very little overlap. There were three of us there (out of five) with iPhones/iPads chock full of music, and we could not find even one song that all three of us had on our devices.

One of us would call out something like “The Beatles!” and another would go, “Yes, of course!” and the third would go, “I don’t have any Beatles”. And then someone said “R.E.M.” and one would say “Yes!” and the third would say “no”. And so on. Billy Joel. Beethoven. U2. Blur. Muse. Enya. Mozart. Sinatra. Everything we tried, at most two of us had.

And then there were the other two guys in the room, one who is mainly into prog rock, which none of the rest of us are, and the other… well, he listed some of his favourite artists, which included Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Chopin, Scriabin, and some Polish composer I’ve never heard of. This guy took eclectic, cut the ends off, threw away the middle, and glued the two ends together. Seriously.

So in trying to come up with a list of more songs we could start learning, everything that someone suggested, most of the others had never heard of. We were amazed by the fact that we’ve all been friends for years, yet there seems to be virtually no overlap at all between any of our musical tastes. And we’re trying to form a band.

The good thing is that we bring a huge variety of enormously different music into this project, and we will all be expanding our musical knowledge.

Drum dynamics

Thursday, 28 February, 2013

Cold SweatTonight my drum teacher started teaching me about dynamics. Accented notes, ghost notes, and so on. We spent some time on technique for the various different volume levels, practising to make sure there was an obvious differentiation in loudness when I played the different types of notes. He’s been running me through a program which he’s developing for his second book, and testing out the new material on me to make sure it’s not too advanced for someone at my level. He said this was the stuff he was most worried about, as it’s tricky to learn for the first time.

I did find it a bit tricky, but I think with a week to practise before my next lesson I might manage this material. The shown bars are a groove from James Brown’s Cold Sweat. This is the sort of level I’m at now. I can look at this music and have a good attempt at playing it. Not very well, but it’s not impossible and I can probably master it given a week of practice.


Saturday, 26 January, 2013

I’m back from three and a bit days in Tokyo. Most of it was business, with meetings and stuff, but I got some time off to do some sightseeing. And there are a lot of sights to see in Tokyo. Here’s a photo from each day.

22/365 View from Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo

Tuesday I arrived after sunset. This was the view from my hotel room window in Shinagawa.

23/365 Tokyo parking

Wednesday I went to Shimomaruko for business meetings at Canon Inc. headquarters. Shimomaruko has a much smaller “village” feel than skyscraper feel, with detached houses and little fruit stalls and stuff in the streets.

24/365 Meiji Jingu Garden

Thursday I had a few hours free before meetings to tour Meiji Jingu, the major Shinto shrine in Tokyo.

25/365 Akihabara Electric Town

Friday I went to the National Museum, and spent some time in Akihabara, which is the major electronics retail area. It’s insane!

Four very different flavours of Tokyo in four days.

Fish & Chips & Riesling

Friday, 18 January, 2013

Friday night, dinner out. We went to Garfish at Crows Nest, a really good seafood place about 15 minutes walk away. The weather was really hot (new record all-time high temperature for Sydney at 45.8°C), so I opted for the beach feel with the simple fish & chips from the menu that includes a lot more fancy stuff than that. It’s really good fish & chips. And the wine was Brindabella Hills 2011 Riesling, from the Canberra wine district. Really nice, lemony, a bit of residual bubble, and a bare hint of the usual riesling stoniness. It went really well with the fish on a hot night.

18/365 Fish & Chips & Riesling

Morning swim, with satellite dish

Thursday, 17 January, 2013

The swimming pool at my work, with a view to the main satellite dish which I believe is used by Foxtel to uplink subscription TV broadcasts to their satellite. I went for a swim this morning. The pool is only 12 metres long, so I did 84 laps for a total of 1008 metres.

17/365 Dish in pool

The other end of the line

Wednesday, 16 January, 2013

And this is the other end of my daily train commute: Wollstonecraft station near my home. Much nicer than the underground station at Macquarie Park.

Trivia: My suburb, Wollstonecraft, is named after Edward Wollstonecraft, who settled the region after fleeing England to escape from the controversial notoriety of being related to his early 19th century feminist aunt, Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

16/365 The other end

The Station

Tuesday, 15 January, 2013

I catch the train home from work here every (working) day. It’s a fairly new station, opened in 2008. Before that I used to catch a bus to and from work. The train cut about 30 minutes off the trip in each direction.

15/365 Macquarie Park Station

Door to another time?

Monday, 14 January, 2013

Monday morning, so I thought I’d take a picture at work. I work in the same building as Foxtel has some of its offices. They seem to split them up by channel. So for example the ground floor houses the Weather Channel and Nickelodeon, both of which have signs and other stuff proclaiming them (such as the giant Spongebob Squarepants by the door). On the first floor there is this mysterious door off the lift lobby, with no other labels. I presume that behind it lurks either the BBC or Sci-Fi channel.

14/365 TARDIS door

I didn’t blog Saturday’s and Sunday’s photos, but if you want you can see them by clicking.

El Karim

Friday, 11 January, 2013

My wife and I usually go out for dinner on Friday nights. Tonight we went to El Karim, our favourite Lebanese restaurant. These are the felafels. Delicious as usual! You can see (most of) the rest of the dinner if you wish. (That one omits the fried halloumi, which we’d polished off already.)

11/365 Felafels at El Karim

Red and Green

Thursday, 10 January, 2013

Lazy today, so I just took a macro of some tomatoes that were sitting in our fruit bowl. (I was going to type “vegetable bowl”, but then I remembered the pedantry of the Internet… We actually have a fruit bowl for apples, bananas, peaches, apricots, etc., and an adjacent tomato bowl, since we always have tomatoes.)

10/365 Red and Green