Nostalgia department: in 1963, my Mother & Step-Father took me to the Dayton (Ohio) Philharmonic Orchestra (on a school night!), my first experience with live classical music. I distinctly remember the part where the musicians “tuned up” their instruments, thinking that was part of the work which was subsequently performed: Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring). It was to be my introduction to “classical” music and it was memorable. Of course, I knew nothing of its history, that it was a riot causing sensation when it premiered (as a ballet) 50 years before in Paris, that it was to become one of the most monumental and influential musical works of the 20th Century, I just thought all classical music must be AWESOME! Two takes on the work:
Leonard Bernstein & the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (probably from the 1960s), a treat to watch Bernstein conduct:
And, interestingly, Stravinsky wrote a version for piano (2 performers, 4 hands, 1 piano) which was published about a year before the Orchestral/Ballet version (one can only imagine what it was like to hear Stravinsky and Claude Debussy performing it to an unsuspecting audience in 1912). Here is a stunning performance by Dutch Brothers Lucas & Arthur Jussen:
Ray Harryhausen’s least favorite film? I edited the film down to less than 1/2 of its original length and gave it the QUAD-o-RAMA treatment, now you can absorb the essence of the film in 10 minutes of cacophonous glory.
Since 1975, Nikon has hosted the Small World Photography Competition, a showcase for the heros of Microphotography (both still and motion). The video above highlights some of the astounding work in the “Motion” category from this years competition (2018). If you want to go really deep, you can view over 40 years of amazing images and movies from the archives.
Standard time lapse clouds with a simple displacement map effect applied. The displacement map is a blurred version of the same clouds with a horizontal and/or vertical shift. More of these experiments can be found in my opArt loop collection on Vimeo.
As an exercise, I re-edited this Lost World wannabe mini-epic film from my childhood. I was able to truncate the running time to about 25 minutes (from 78 minutes). Then I decided to divide the film into 4 equal parts and display them simultaneously: the miracle of QUAD-o-RAMA !! Now, you can absorb the essence of the film in about 6 minutes. You’re welcome !
Despite being nearly totally deaf, Beethoven managed to compose what has been termed the Mount Everest of piano literature, completing the work in 1818 at age 48. It’s a massive work, containing generous amounts of Beethovian turbulence, a moving (& bluesy) slow section lasting almost 20 minutes and…, a fugue!
I offer Yuja Wang’s incredibly focused performance at Carnegie Hall in May 2016.
In My Head is a sort of autobiographical rumination, constructed of ephemera I have collected throughout my life (photographs, home movies, letters, writings, clips from favorite movies growing up, etc, whatever & whatnot … you know, stuff). It began with my postcard collection, then my movie poster collection, then it got sentimental & nostalgic. Although deeply personal, I must warn viewers that I am a very unreliable narrator.
“My name is Yoyoka Soma. I am 8 year old Japanese drummer.” … “The drum was the first instrument in which I felt an interest in my life.” … “My dream is to be the best drummer in the world.” Pure joy. Makes me smile every time I watch it.
Somewhere between a cello and a violin there is the viola, and wow, here’s a soulful performance that showcases that oft neglected instrument. Of course I’ve heard the orchestral score, the 10 pieces transcribed for solo piano, seen the ballet, but this take really nails the robust and moving score by Sergei Prokofiev. Performed by Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Da Sol Kim (piano).
Behold this awesome video from NASA created from data provided by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO).