It was a dark and stormy night on Tuesday. I went to Sohwi to do a little field work for one of the plays I'm working on, and after finishing a cup of coffee I decided to check out Vakiopaine for some friends. Things looked fun already, with a police van parked in the front and a couple of officers talking to a staff member. I did find a number of friends from JYT in there, and they mentioned a slightly violent incident that was over already.
I ended up going to Freetime with Enni and a few of her twisted friends, and we stayed until closing time. It was particularly weird being the only guy in the company, but it was also a nice continuation of my earlier observation trip. Among other nice incidences, we talked about yoga and meditation, and came across a strange case of 23 synchronicity :)
One of these nice coincidences was a poster at Freetime telling about a gig by Waltari that would be on Thursday at the same place. I happen to be a big fan of them of many years, but I've never seen them live. It was a free promotional gig and I had nothing in the way :)
As I went to Freetime on Thursday, I was feeling a little reserved as I didn't have any friends with me. A nice surprise came in the form of Enni, Sanni, Jaakko and Mikko who were there already, and we had a great time waiting for the band to begin.
While Waltari was obviously plugging for its new album Blood Sample, they did a great work of playing lots of their earlier hits. It was an awesome experience of course, and the quality of playing and sound engineering probably helped a lot; some bands sound awful live, even if they make great studio pieces. There were absolutely no disappointments. I was particularly glad that, of the earlier non-hit songs, they mostly seemed to choose my favourites. For example, at the end of the first encore they played "The Beginning Song" from So Fine. Speaking of its title piece, there were no Angeli yoik singers around, but they let the audience do the background vocals :D Another nice adaptation was Move from the Yeah! Yeah! Die! Die! symphony, with synth strings and brasses making up for the lack of the orchestra and some heavy (pun intended) rearrangement of guitars.
We had a hilarious time for the rest of the night, meaning until about 7 am in the afterparty at Enni's place. There was plenty of time to sleep before JYT's pre-christmas party on Friday. One of the highlights there was when Sanni and I won the shittest performance award with a joint gig :) Many of the performances were actually really ingenious and well delivered, contributing to the general feeling of festivity there, but that was not the way to win it :)
We had to leave Kirjailijatalo before midnight. It may not come as a great surprise that we ended up in Freetime and Enni's place afterwards. It's been a heavy (pun intended) week and it's not long until the next JYT party which is on Monday, the premiere of Murtumia.
MIDI's up. Not that I'm actually using it yet. It was only yesterday
that I fired up my first MIDI connection, although I've had the synth
and the Tascam US-122 USB sound card for over a month. There hasn't
been a need, thanks to the nice builtin sequencer of the Korg, but now
I'm finding I want to synchronice a tracker piece with some synthy
stuff, and the best option seems to be converting the tracker module
into something MIDI.
I'm looking into software samplers then. IMHO it's a misnomer as it makes me think of digital recording, not playback, but that's what they are called apparently. Software that plays samples based on MIDI commands.
I actually wanted to mention the Tascam finally now that the latest ALSA tools got it working more smoothly than before. While the card was working fine from day 1, I had to manually give the firmware upload command each time it was connected, and it didn't always work. It was distinctly worse with the new 2.6.14 kernel, so I figured it had something to do with the kernel in any case. Well, with the updated alsa-tools it works just like it should with no intervention, with 2.6.14 as well.
Working on the soundtrack has reached a stage where I can afford to
slack off a little and watch some movies: Phone Booth and Signs. You
may have heard of this full-length action movie that takes place in
and around a phone booth in Manhattan, and it works pretty well, so
I'd call it a masterpiece of sorts.
Signs on the other hand was a little dumb. It has a nice message about synchronicity and faith, but the main story could be told in about 15 minutes. It's by far the worst of Shyamalan films I've seen. First of all, just because you have a weird story told in a minimalist naive style, doesn't make the end result somehow magically profound and impressive. Secondly, there is unnecessary weirdness that has little to do with the heart of the story. It's like trying to make science fiction by making a soap opera take place in the future -- which sadly is what Star Trek and its ilk often resort to. Pathetic.