Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stradivarius Violin perhaps not, but it is the real me!

Dec 2, 2007 10:27 PM

Stradivarius Violin perhaps not, but it is the real me!

Idea conceived while driving in car with my daughter to the video store.
-- Self portrait with violin.

I know I won't be as good at a self-portrait as some of the other
clowns on flickr :-)), but hey, it seems like a fun endeavor!

First, turn on the radio, Sunday afternoon, 4:50pm

WQED, 89.3; Pittsburgh Symphony, hosted by Jim Cunningham
Sir Andrew Davis conducts Beethoven's Coriolan Overture,
Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, and, with soloist
Joshua Bell, the Brahms Violin Concerto, and Feast During a Play
(Davis "It's eat and drink for tomorrow we shall die; but the
composer is saying we can't afford to eat and drink -- a serious piece")

Before I begin, I listen to the conclusion of the Brahms Violin
Concerto, the Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and
a Vivaldi Trumpet Concerto. Then, when the final piece comes on,
Feast During a Play, commence (around 5:20pm)

Problem: lighting, I'll have to make due with non-studio lights

2 minutes: fetch violin from storage location.

1 minute: threaten to play violin for daughter. She laughs out loud:
"Not here you won't" :) She knows me very well!

1 minutes: Dismantle violin from case

8 minutes: play violin (my attempts therein.)
First, since I used to know how to play the guitar,
I pluck some of my old tunes with the violin resting on my knee.
-- tune from Deliverance
-- Yankee Doodle
Second, attempt to use the bow, never had one lesson (I need a

5 minutes: idea! Record the procedure and the time it takes for each
step in a photographers journal

4 minutes: Fetch camera and tripod, setup tripod (my cat looks at me
like I'm assembling some sort of large cat-toy for him to play with,
that could be a problem :) While setting up the tri-pod, my Cat,
Mr. Punky Kitten, starts to play with the violin case, with the violin unsecured,
must avert disaster!

Now I listen to beautiful birds singing in the introduction of the
broadcast of Music from Chautauqua, hosted by Ed Simone. A warbler - I
believe a common yellowthroat, ad a Thrush, I love bird songs!!
Then the wonderful Roman Carnival by Berlioz!

15 minutes: Lighting -- I try for indirect light, there I am with paper and tape,
trying to provide the right ambiance, ugh, I'm not good at this!
I find most of the time is spent setting up the lighting.

10 minutes: Setting up the shot -- Angle, zoom, camera mode.
This all takes time! And then the batteries are dead. I have to
replace them, and of course that means taking off the tripod mount :(

Beethoven Symphony number 7, first movement

20 minutes: taking photos, fun!
My daughter comes down to witness my lunacy. As a joke she desperately tries
to put her fingers behind my head, but of course she is not
anxious be to be in the photograph.

Second movement, third and forth movements of Symphony # 7,
I decide to view the photos...
Review photos always takes so much time. I usually agonize over a
whole set or batch of photos as to which are the best. The quality of
each shot based on so many factors brings a bitter sweet slowness to
the process of selection. Perhaps if I did a mosaic of some sort..

Of course while this is going on, I am simultaneously cooking her
dinner. Spaghetti!

The Beethoven Symphony was superb! The energy in that last movement
is like a small child after eating chocolate, a burst of energy
ensues. I've got that feeling now, I type frantically these words, run
back to stir the dinner, than

Next up: Handel's Judas Maccabeus.
The wonder of Classical Music, is that you can always find some composition
that is so beautiful, and that you've never heard before. There seems
to be a limitless, almost infinite wealth of music, always new, always
fresh, and often surprising!

Now I look inside the violin.
Inscribed inside: antonius stradiuarius cremonentus
Faciebat anno 1723
Yet there seems to be glue protruding from the cracks,
This can't be genuine.

I type this into google, and it responds back:
Did you mean: antonius stradivarius cremonensis
I select this link:

Bottom line: "Don’t expect your find to be genuine. The odds against finding the real thing are slim to none. Nevertheless, you might have a decent violin, and if you can play the instrument, that will be its own reward."

Time of upload 9:55pm
Well it has been about 5 hours in the making :) And well worth it just for the fun of it!
And I never got to see that video.
Have a great week!

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