Day Two and Happy B’day John Coltrane

Crazy Time for Libran Musical Geniuses

Day Two of George Gershwin week which is me celebrating George’s (and my) birthday on 26th September. Today we also say happy birthday to John Coltrane.

Yesterday we started off with “I Got Rhythm” which was from the Gershwin musical “Crazy Girl”. This made a stage star of Ginger Rogers overnight, and also featured Ethel Merman on stage, and later Julie Garland featured in the movie of the same name. We stick with “Crazy Girl” and today’s tune is Coltrane playing “But Not for Me” which also came from the musical. I’m not quite sure what he is doing with the beautiful and poignant tune, but hey, who is going to argue.

“They’re writing songs of love, but not for me,
A lucky star’s above, but not for me”.




It Is George Gershwin Week!

Well I say so.

Why?  Because ever since I was young he was my favourite composer. His songs had magical harmonies. His brother Ira wrote most of his song lyrics of course which were also superb. Years and years later I found out we shared the same birthday – which is this week on the 26th September.

Of course George, like other great American songwriters notably Irvin Berlin were Eastern European immigrants. Imagine the impact that making that journey and then being immersed in American city life must have made. I think you can hear it all the way through George’s music.

The song for today!

Combining George of course and another musical phenomenon Stephan Grappelli. 10 years younger than George – and living to a grand old 99 years of age, I remember seeing Stephan when he was so old he had to sit down and play the violin. This was at the Sheffield Concert Hall around 1990. (He must have been in his 90’s!!!) He was also a fine jazz pianist.

Here it is – “Someone to Watch Over You” followed by the epic “I Got Rhythm”. 

I love “I Got Rhythm” and how easily you can transform into “The Muppet Theme”! It is the one signature tune I play at every jazz gig, and the most memorable performance was at my mate Robert’s funeral – a great jazz drummer – and he would definitely have approved at our loud rendition in the church at his funeral.

God bless you Robert, and all the other jazzers who have made my life and are no longer around.


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.

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!!


Headless. Legless. It is DS106!

And possibly legless at some point!

Kicking off Headless DS106. YEY! I thought I’d start with a more difficult than expected attempt to become headless. It is all in the background.

Headless DS106

[Method: using Fireworks, eraser tool to decapitate, cropping a section of the background and enlarging it].











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 🙂 ]