Tuesday 2 September 2014
Maybe this should be my ‘-ing’ week? I might break out of my verbial prision but tonight I’ve been doing some practise, musing on learning music and thinking on some ideas that apply more widely.
Some key principles were:
- Take a chance and try some things that are too hard for you
- You can play all the right notes in the right order but the timing is what makes it music; think about the phrases rather than the notes
- Don’t ignore the wobbly bits. Sometimes it is worth isolating a tricky section, perhaps even just the transition between a couple of chords and working over it until they don’t feel like the scariest part of the song anymore.
Finally and most importantly, take time to enjoy what you can do. I found a recording of Cold Duck Time (one of the songs from last night’s jam) by Poncho Sanchez. While I was pleased with how I’d nailed it at the previous session, I didn’t really get it to fly last night on the upright bass. This evening though it came together, even though the Sanchez version is in an entirely different key (almost as far away as you can get without coming home again). On the bass end of things, it is pretty repetitive but, to compensate, has a groove a mile deep, so I just revelled in the joy of playing along.
Next time that gets called, I think I should be ready and, if not, then I’m just back round the circle to trying things that are on the hard side; one day they will get assimilated into what feels easy.
Monday 1 September 2014
First and foremost, spreading is a pun on the fact that I’m off to another jazz jam at the Red Lion in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell this evening (kick off around 8pm… time to load the car). Double bass tonight, I think.
However, it would be fair to say that I’m spreading myself around this week, with a couple of get togethers with the String Project group and also a rehearsal with Peter and the Wulf (with a gig due on 13 September – more details on that when I have them).
Time to get my motor running and head out on the highway, looking for adventure and whatever comes my way.
Sunday 31 August 2014
On Wednesday last week, we visited the National Trust property of Westwood Manor.
Westwood Manor Entrance
I probably should have changed from my 50mm lens to my 18-55mm as I couldn’t get far enough away from the building to get a decent overall shot at 50mm. However, I was pleased with the colour and composition of this shot, although it isn’t quite as dramatic as a similar view shown in a painting displayed inside. That features the same path but superimposing two different perspectives.
As with many NT properties, it is also a tenanted residence so it was requested not to take photos inside but it is worth a visit if passing (but check the opening times as they are quite limited).
Saturday 30 August 2014
Firepit at The Blackberries Camping Park
We’re safely back from a few days camping between Bath and Bradford-on-Avon at the Blackberries Camping Park. The weather was changeable but not enough to stop us get good value from our National Trust membership (four places in three days) nor to prevent us managing to use our rented firepit each day. A pleasant break and, yes, a few more photos to add to my backlog!
Friday 29 August 2014
Salvia ‘Summer Jewel Red’
This is recent addition to our garden: Salvia ‘Summer Jewel Red’. We’ve had Salvia growing for some years but a blue flowered variety; very pretty but, in mid / late summer we need a few more splashes of vivid colour.
It remains to be seen how this establishes itself but it has plenty of time to put down roots before the winter and Jane managed to get several decent looking clumps from the one pot, spread out to different location, so we have hedged our bets about where it will thrive. We’ll enjoy it for this season and wait to hopefully see it light up the garden next summer.
Thursday 28 August 2014
I might be wrong but have I noticed a new font on Flickr? It looks subtley different to me. Digging deeper, it appears to be a font called Proxima Nova. Perhaps it has been there for months but I like it.
Maybe I should think about the fonts on my own site (mainly Droid Sans) although perhaps I should take a look at my server logs first and figure out how many people actually visit the site as opposed to just picking up the news feed somewhere (at which point, I’m just delivering text; fonts are likely to get rendered by the news reader).
Wednesday 27 August 2014
What am I enjoying about the new Mac? Apart from the start up speed I’m definitely a fan of the light weight of the whole thing, which feels about half that of my previous laptop. Having drawn extensively on the portability of laptop, taking it with me to and from work and to numerous meetings, that was one of the key factors in my decision.
Things like RAM, storage and CPU speed are important but don’t underestimate the value of portability!