Friday, August 30, 2013

Side Yard Productions

    Well, I'm still no self-starter on the computer. Anything I learn about the little beast, and eventually get how to romp away with on it, I learn from Marianne. She's as fiercely capable with the technology of the Net as she is with the kitchen, the garden and yard, alternative medicine and so forth, and this is good because the lad who was to make a tiny film about the piano fingering for a journalist is still busy about something else, so MT has been investigating the possibilities on the Dell and the Philips and tells me that both Picassa and Google Plus provide small film-making facilities that can off-ramp to You Tube. As she has, from long ago, enormous credits in stage experience, not only as an actor and musician, she will bring no little skill to the production side of things.
    She's already begun by changing the desktop. We had, for months, Chris Rowat's lovely photo of Tatlayoko Lake, then for a bit a study of the famous Orange Bridge that connects Nelson with the North Shore and the road to  Kaslo, and now we have a stunning shot, hers, of the yard on the west side of our house, looking north past the bergamot and lavender and other flowers over the hedge to the lake shore. The photo is taken from one of the chairs sitting in this location for summer socializing.
    I'm reminded of the day in 1982, also in August, when she asked how one applied for a job as a literary agent. Three months later she was sending, with a small covering letter of her own concocting, the first three chapters of my novel to John Paul II. The rest is history, culminating with his canonization, now scheduled for the end of April.
    Communications technology has been much revolutionized since the early 80s, and now writers, teachers, performers can send anything to anyone anywhere in the world where there is a computer. It's so democratic that the receiver doesn't even have to own one. He only needs a public library, a cafe, a friend that can lend him a keyboard, and he's got his hands on whatever is aimed at him.
    So now MT presides over this experiment in music instruction. The sketch of a harmony scale that was initially thought of for a journalist's private viewing is now in preparation for the world wide application of You Tube.


    Less than 24 hours later, Madame producer and I sauntered into our local music store and laid hands on a Shure microphone that will plug into a USB port. I sound so knowledgeable only because I was eves dropping on the conversation between MT and Rylan Kuen, the store's enormously knowledgeable - and funny - counterman.
    Hello World! Are you ready to rock?
    Hello Mystical Body. Are you ready to be taken back to the liturgy Saint Francis of Assisi brought from France to the Roman Church?


    And now the room is rearranged. Gone the old eight-foot folding table that everything sat on, replaced with a real computer desk, just given us by neighbour Lynn, who is moving to smaller quarters in Vancouver. Then there is a separate set of shelves for other parts of the equipment, and the two pieces are set up at right angles so all the connecting wires and related devices are visible. I'll have to learn more about doing things for myself. Thus back to my cadet days, when I was taught how to run the radios they used in tanks.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Short Film Career

    My film career went as soon as it came. Antonio and I will continue to talk about his magnum opus, but my little part, small as it was to be, is still too big for a music methods researcher not quite into the full swing of being able to demonstrate his findings. The final patterns are substantially in place, but my fingers are too far from being able to rattle them off as I know I must for the skeptics. Our culture is by no means rich with philosophers. As Maritain said long ago, few have the mental talons to be able to seize an idea. And besides: this is Nelson, and there are a number of actors around here who can play the part as well as I can, and none of them in danger of being distracted by my pressures of the moment.
    I'm glad I know something about Christopher Columbus. Over and over again, as I've come up with yet again a brilliant bit of structural understanding I cannot find in theory books, because they have forgotten that music is a child of mathematics, I remember that he really was a nut case, according to all the known facts of ocean navigation and the real distance between known continents. History in the hands of some has inclined to abuse the Dominican experts at the court of Spain, preferring to forget that they really did know what they were talking about: India was simply too far for the navigational abilities of 1492. But the sea dog from Genoa had an intuition, something that always, eventually, defeats an only apparent science.
    Unlike Columbus, I have not kept two logs, one of which is a false journal, conceived to deceive his restless crews  and save him from mutiny. But I have constantly failed to see all the complications of my process of discovery, simply because, like South America, what was there was hitherto unknown. Thus, I could agree to take a part in the film and devote a fair amount of time to dealing with the role and the process.
    The role was tempting because it would have given me a chance, as designed by Antonio once he saw the inside of the cathedral, to swank out a little on Gregorian chant, that poor aborted foetus of the vast majority of modern bishops, traitors to the plain stipulations of Vatican Two and facilitators for possibly the ugliest worship music the Church as ever known. Just a little chant, mind you. This was a cameo of cameo appearances, possibly a portent of greater things to come, but for the moment only a taste.
    But I was becoming a man divided, wanting to be helpful with film and seeing a small window on behalf of real liturgy, yet at the same time racking up other film and media contacts who just might facilitate the more foundational opportunities of what I must insist is the most intelligent and genuinely musical set of studies ever offered to student of the piano and organ. And still, of course, not myself caught up in the deftness that would make the pros take notice.
    And speaking of pros, Shawn and I yesterday ran into Antonio downtown, I think just going home from the gym at the Civic complex. The film goes forward. He takes it all in his stride.
    And this weekend the Alberta Three do my Bluebell song at the Fort Edmonton Storytelling Festival's Twenty-fifth Anniversary. The universe continues to unfold.