TDC636 Introducing a Fictisious Country – Kneesupland

Kneesupland. Gateway to the South.

Kneesupland is located in the east end of Margate (pro. Margit), near the end of the Kentish gyratory. It marks the bifurcation of the bus terminus and the old tramway, although much was destroyed after the Great Sewerage Leak of 1956. It emerged as a popular holiday resort, resounding to the slogan: “Don’t forget your bucket and spade and cossies and all”.

Bucketnspade

Early postcard. “Wendy and a friend”.

Origins

There are two theories regarding the name of Kneesupland. The first was that the town was named after the romantic hero, Thomas Knees, who after raiding and marauding in the north, brought back wealth and prosperity to the region through sales of flat hats and whippets.

The second notion was that the town was named after a local woman, Pint-a-Guinness-a-day-Flo, who started dancing in a new way in 1917. Typically, this involved standing in a large circle with your arms around the person next to you and kicking your knees up. Any location was good for a right old knees-up, and most homes had a piano (pro. piana; Cockney slang. old joanna), so many a knees-up sprung-up in front parlours of the day.

Flo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flo with her father Water Grasmeder circa 1918.

FloNVi

 

 

 

 

 

Flo (right) and grand daughter DS106-er Viv Rolfe (left) circa 1982 at a knees-up.

Viral

By 1920 knees-up was reported to have gone viral, with Rispanna and Justine Bieber doing knees-ups in their latest videos. But the knees-up didn’t stop there. Following the dance craze was an entire new style of musicianship, orchestration and instrumentation. The development of the “melody spoon” in the late 1920’s, fuelled an entirely new music genre which was to last well into the next millenium and beyond. Below is an early example of “B flat melody spoon”, and you can see the evidence of lasting damage from rampant spoon-playing and tea-time Uri Geller impressions at the dining table, with several indentations to the shaft.

kneesup1

 

 

 

 

 

B flat melody spoon, silver-plated- circa 1967, reportedly belonging to DS106-er Viv Rolfe.

Choreography

The simplicity of the knees-up is often misconstrued, and it has many qualities that distinguishes it from any other dance form. As Hermes Pan once commented:

The knees-up utilizes contrast that keeps the audience interested. At no time are people watching inclined to zone out and go down the pub.

kneesup

Example of a right old knees-up.

The dance refines the best of angular, curvilinear, consonance and dissonance. Highly ordered, the knees elevate asynchronously in ambidextural discondibularity in time with the contrasting off-beat motifs of the music.

As someone once said:

Use your knees to express your emotions. What are you trying to portray? A simple romance? Relationships to someone in the past? Rheumatism?

Dancing is destroyed. Somebody must do something!

By the 1950’s, dancing as we knew it was utterly destroyed. Dancing was broken. The knees-up took over the dance floors and extended its influence in other areas. Hollywood embraced the knees-up, and the knees-up became part of cultural identity across Europe.

Kneesup (Left) Fred Astaire with his 1946 Oscar-winning knees-up routine. (Right) Elite knees-up ceremonial unit in Greece.

Best of Cockney-Fusion

Much music epitomises the knees up, none more so than the genre of Cockney Fusion.

Dahn to Margit (YouTube Video by Chas n Dave)

Knees-Up-Medley (SoundCloud by DS106-er)

 

The Future

The future certainly looks bright for Kneesupland. The old sewerage works have now been turned into a shopping centre, and the tram and train lines are now cycle paths. Thanks to the musical and dancing heritage, the area is leading Margate’s bid for City of Culture in 2017. Such local efforts are giving rise to a clean out of the dead pigeons from the fountain in the town centre, planting of petunias in the cemetery, and re-grouting of the toilets near the Station Road dry cleaners.

Long live Kneesupland.

Kneesupdeckchairs

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn about art.

And possibly biggest DS106 challenge so far!

TDC607 – create an exciting movie trailer to accompany your blog.

I’ve been determined for several weeks to master iMovie, having lost my old PC and all the cool video editing software I used to use. iMovie has driven me mad for ages, and complains about not having the right plugins, but somehow it seemed to work. After a few failed attempts, the forums told me that it goes wrong some times and you have to rebuild everything, and that was fine. It didn’t like incorporating pictures initially but finally seemed to work.

Purely coincidentally I’d been working on this for weeks, and it just happened to time right with a movie-related daily create. LOL.

Method:
1) Soundtrack. The first task was to create the musical sound track to accompany the voice over. Used Garageband. Downloaded “Tara’s Theme” and snipped and edited the MP3 to match the original audio as near as possible. This was amazing and I realised how the music was absolutely vital to set the mood, and needed to be perfectly orchestrated to match the tensions in the dialogue. There was lots of snipping, fading in and out of passages of music, and altering the dynamics. But this was the canvas on which everything else was to sit and I loved doing this bit.

2) Voiceover. This was mainly done in one take with the addition of the final phrase which caused endless problems. Vivien Leigh had seriously left the building, and many versions later I turned from Julie Andrews to Micky Mouse. I think the final version is something of the latter. Synchronising the voiceover to the video was tricky – sometimes using two computers and eventually playing the original clip and just going for it. Actually, I think sometimes the humour is in how it doesn’t synch.

3) Acting. It certainly does help to stand up and get into the part. I think you have to be much more dramatic than you think you will eventually sound. Just prey that the neighbours aren’t listening.

4) Sound track done, saved as MP3. However, using iMovies it automatically synchs to your Garageband project file. This did corrupt once and I had to do a bit again, but it mostly worked.

5) Images. Still images were created in good old Fireworks.

6) Video project. Created in iMovie. Tested my patience, had to rebuild several times but finally worked. Lacked some functionality but OK for basic video, pictures, sound and transitions. Able to share directly to YouTube.

So there. An exciting movie trailer to accompany my BLOG! vivrolfe.com!

DS106 More dancing, this time in my most favourite movie ever.

More animated giffery

And why not. A dull Sunday evening and not much happing in the world. It seemed like a good time for some Jungle Book! Feel free to sing along.

[Method. Once again, thanks to John J for the audio coding available on his blog. Clip grabbed by MPEG Streamclip. Did seem to loose a bit of quality. Then just generally buggered around in Fireworks 🙂 ]

 

 

stan_shimmy

CLICK ON IMAGE TO STOP AND START SOUND.

DS106 Dancing Jim Assignment

Dancing Jim All Over the World Assignment

Like the elusive Pimpernell, dancing Jim may crop up anywhere at any time thanks to J Johnston’s assignment. Due to popular demand from #byzantiumbooks, there was only one thing to possibly do with the static Tabloid cover.

The only way this could be better is if Jim was dancing on the cover photo! Great job!

TabloidCover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here you are. [Method – template of Jim downloaded from 106, Fireworks file created and saved as an animated gif first (I keep forgetting that), and the Tabloid cover copied across 10 frames to match Jim’s grooving. Publish. Have lols].

TabloidCoverGif

Animated gif of Stan’s Shimmy with Sound

DS106 YEY Thanks John Johnson!

Following on from my previous post about the Newport Jazz Festival (on right now in Newport US, and I’m NOT there, and that just isn’t fair), I decided to celebrate with a delightful shimmy by Stan Getz at the start of his “The Dolphin” recording. Of course I cheated by creating a Flash animation with sound.

But now, there is a new improved version with stain removers. Thanks to the genius of John’s coding, eejots like me can now animate gifs to sound!! This way, the music only plays when you CLICK ON THE IMAGE. (Check out John’s blog for the coding).

[Method – MPEG streamclip to produce PNG files. Open files in Fireworks. Add 24 STATES to image 1 (and then copy forward and backward sequence into the empty states). Choose a frame rate for a most delicious shimmy. Select LOOP. Export Wizard for ANIMATED GIF and nearly 1 MG of loveliness].

 

stan_shimmy

CLICK ON IMAGE TO STOP AND START SOUND.

Stan’s Shimmy in Honour of Newport Jazz

DS106 Not-really-an-assignment

Those clever folks at DS106 are putting sounds to their animated gifs now. And aside from that  I can hardly believe that one year ago today I was at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island. An absolute dream and mind blowing experience, and endless list of great jazz names.

In celebration!

In celebration of the fact, and also to celebrate one of the most fantastic saxophone players of all time – Stan Getz – here is Stan in a delicious cardigan doing a delicious shimmy at the start of “The Dolphin”.

[Method – video was extracted into MPEG Streamclip and trimmed. PNG Images put into Flash. Groovy music by Barry Manilow trimmed in Garageband and imported into Flash. OK. OK. I know that I can’t really put animated gifs to music, but maybe one day).

StansShimmy (CLICK TO OPEN IN NEW WINDOW)

 

Newport Jazz Festival 2012

 Dr John, Newport Jazz 2012. Photo by me!

For more photos, go to my Picassa gallery.

 

Gnational Anthem Daily Create TDC569

DS106 Video yourself singing a verse of your national anthem as fast as you can.

I was informed by reliable sources, reliably, in a reliable manner, that our English National Anthem was indeed a mediaeval tune originally played on lutes and sackbuts. After an in depth and precise programme of research I can confirm that my reliable source was unreliable, and the anthem was originally indeed based on an old English knees-up.

I can also confirm when looking up sackbut on the internet, one has to be exceeding careful.

I therefore decided to take our dear anthem back to its roots and to explore its heritage. I think you will agree that the counterpunctual electro-plated harmonies in the rhythmic sections really bring out the nuances of the tune.

This recording features:

Banjo ukelele (not any old common old uke)
B flat melody spoons
Clarionette
The old Joanna