Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Peter Schmid Quartet Plays Swing Left

Today's post is from the Things Which Get Lost In The Shuffle Department

Two years ago I composed a piece called Swing Left.  It was recorded by the Peter Schmid Quartet at the criminally out-moded Aphrodita Japonica Recording Studio.  AJRS is a crowded little room with inadequate sound isolation.  If you take your headphones off you can hear the Metro Gold Line trains whizz by every few minutes.  But hey, when you're a failed composer you take what you can get.

Back then, on August 16, 2012 to be exact, I uploaded Swing Left.  I even created a link to it on the Peter Schmid page.  For reasons lost in the mists of time, I never posted an announcement of Swing Left here on Mixed Meters.

Fast forward to today.  It's almost the end of the month and Mixed Meters is still two posts short of our very modest Three Posts Per Month goal.  So . . .

Click here to hear The Peter Schmid Quartet Plays Swing Left - © 2012 & 2014 by David Ocker - 253 Seconds

There's also a piece called Swing Right.  I might post that someday.  It was never finished to my satisfaction.  Once a long period time passes I forget why I was dissatisfied and the piece becomes completed by default.  Maybe I was waiting to share Swing Left with Swing Right at the same time.

The phrases "Swing Left" and "Swing Right" were intended as political references.  All the Peter Schmid pieces have more or less political titles.  Our country does a good job of swinging to the right.  It's been an awful long time since we've swung back the other direction.

The Ocker Scale, which features the voice of Leslie Harris, is another piece I never finished to my satisfaction.   I posted it online after waiting about two years.  By then I had pretty much forgotten why I was dissatisfied.

There's a moral to this story somewhere.  On second thought ... no there's not.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The New Point and Shoot In My Pocket

On this blog I've often referred to the camera I carry with me nearly all the time as "the point 'n shoot in my pocket".  I've always worried that the phrase had an element of sexual innuendo to it.   No one has ever mentioned being offended by any oblique phallic reference, so I guess it's all in my mind.  Probably no one read those posts.

The camera in question was introduced to Mixed Meters' three readers back in August 2007 after I received it as a gift from an anonymous admirer.  That post was called The New Point and Shoot In My Pocket.

This post is has the exact same title.  Can you guess why?

First, let's detour briefly into the world of sexual innuendo.  An alert Mixed Meters' contributor, Michael of Oakland, was amused by this book cover because it suggested male genitalia rather than a rocket ship.  I just don't see what he's talking about.  Do you?

A recent article on Alternet, 19 Best Double-Entendre Songs That Are Really About Sex, details the same supposed phenomena in the world of popular music.  People must have dirty minds.  Number seven on the list, Keep on Churnin' by Wynonie Harris, has always been a Mixed Meters fave.  Maybe that's because I grew up in Iowa where there are many farms.

Anyway, I was talking about cameras.

The new Point 'n Shoot In My Pocket is a Lumix, made by Panasonic.  It's a little bigger than my old one.  Every man wants something bigger in his pocket as he ages.  That's probably why they invented Viagra.

This camera was also a gift from my anonymous admirer, given as an early birthday present.  Thanks, Leslie.

Seven years ago I posted a picture of the new camera taken with the old one.  I wanted to do the same thing this time.  I felt it would be best to show it in animated format.

Nothing phallic about that.  Nope.

The photographic capabilities of this camera far exceed my previous one.  It's going to take me quite a while to learn to use it properly.  In my first evening I crashed it twice trying to set up the wi-fi link.

Leslie snapped the very first shot with the new beast, taking my picture.  I intended to smile.  Instead I was completely surprised by the aggressive focus lights and bright flash. The full-size shot focused too directly on my nose hair so I reduced the resolution.

And here's the second shot.  I took this one completely by accident at full 30x optical zoom from about the same position.  It shows the base of the television set behind my left shoulder.  The little patch of in-focus grid is the window screen.

Regular readers should expect my pictures here on Mixed Meters and on its sister blog Mixed Messages (and also my videos on YouTube) to improve somewhat more than this last picture might suggest.

BTW, over my right shoulder are two pieces of art featuring my face.  The top one is called Blood, Sweat and Tones by Robert Jacobs.   The bottom one, a sketch by the artist Spark, shows me composing music while seated at Starbucks.

Click this link to read all Mixed Meters posts which are labeled "penis".  You'll find such classics as "Celebrate Leslie's Birthday With Penis Fencing" and "Mozart's Penis versus Schoenberg's Penis".