Tag Archives: Mac OS X

Back to work

Back to work after almost two weeks of being on vacation ��� moving and a short trip up to the Redwoods for some performances.

The new house is the best part. We finally got DSL up and running today. Actually, Yingwen got the tech support call saying that it was finally fixed. I spent all day yesterday trying to get it to work, but it turns out that the problem was a faulty switch on SBC/Yahoo’s end. They replaced it today and walked Yingwen through the setup before I got home. Not bad! I just transferred her settings to the AirPort base station and life is back to normal.

Up in the Redwoods, we played tons of good music. I first had a chance to read down the Rossini duo for cello and bass, and that went pretty well. We then moved on to the Trout Quintet which was not bad, soon followed by the Dvorak Quintet which turned out to be a train wreck. I need to send these parts out ahead of time… 😉 Finally we wound down with a reading of the Brandenburg 4 and 5 concertos, which was sublime. Stellar musicianship on the part of my colleagues there, especially the first violinist and the pianist. That was the first time I had played any Bach ensemble with a piano instead of a harpsichord, but suprisingly the piano didn’t sound bad at all. I think it sounded fine, and really it shouldn’t matter what instrument is playing the continuo just so long as it can play all the notes and doesn’t sound too quiet or too loud.

And now that we’re all moved and life is back to normal, I’m looking foward to some regular practice again. I’ve been neglecting my scales and études, and want to spend more time working up some solo double bass pieces. I’m considering a heresy too ��� attempting to learn everything with the scortadura where you tune the G string on the bass up to an A, á la Edgar Meyer. I just am getting sick of swapping string sets and tuning up a whole step for solo pieces and then back down for orchestral all the time, and heck since I’m no longer a professional orchestral bassist then that kind of frees me up to do whatever the heck I want right?

The New Bach

This is a huge find – to discover a yet-unknown composition by J.S. Bach, simply amazing.

Bach composed the work for a soprano, to be accompanied by strings or a harpsichord, to mark the 52nd birthday of the duke of Saxony-Weimar, for whom he worked as a court organist, the foundation said.

A solo soprano was to sing a 12-verse poem beginning with the duke’s motto, Everything with God and Nothing Without Him, written by Johann Anton Mylius, it said.

The work was Bach’s only known strophic aria, in which several stanzas are set to the same music, and the precise date made it valuable to researchers studying the development of the German composer’s style, the foundation said.

And can I just mention how much I love the Translation Widget from the Tiger Dashboard? I was just sitting here on the couch with my laptop reading the news and I wanted to tell her about the story, but my Mandarin language skills have a ways to go for I can engage in any effective dialogue that is more complex than “Please pass the asparagus”. So just quickly hit F12, type in something translator-friendly, and we were finally able to talk abut discovering a Bach manuscript that was saved from a fire at some historic library in Germany.

Safari time

Dave Hyatt just mentioned a new release of Safari, v1.3. The update includes improvements in page load time and JavaScript performance, more standards support, and improvements in extensibility, compatibility, and security. Cool!

I was reading Hyatt’s blog this evening because of the engagement he’s taken with solving the acid2 test. Acid2 is a torture test for CSS rendering, and none of the current browsers got it right. Excellent to see both the rapid progress of solving acid2 and the new update in the meantime. I may switch back to Safari for a while…

Update: Well it indeed seems a bit faster. Rendering is a bit odd in the WordPress admin section though. Why does the Categories fieldset look too high? And the final g in the Save and Continue Editing button is kind of clipped.

Yet another update: The WordPress rendering stuff was easily fixed with some tinkering with the admin css file.

I Need More Details

Apple – iLife – GarageBand – Explore

While you’re recording Software Instrument performances, you can watch your performance unfold by viewing the tracks in full music notation. Fast on its feet, GarageBand generates notation in real time, instantly displaying notes, rests and other musical events.

Great news for those of you who read music (and maybe even better for those who%u2019d like to learn), notation view includes all common music notation symbols. That includes time signature, key and clef signs. GarageBand uses vertical lines to indicate divisions between measures. Automatic notation.

And Garageband lets you edit Software instrument recordings in music notation view. You can move, adjust or replace notes. Even edit pedal markings.

OK. Let me just say an emphatic yea! Now I can relate to this program on a much more familiar level. Seriously – of all the announcements today from Apple, this one knocked my socks off. But I need more details – can I do keyboard notation input? (i.e. compose notes via QWERTY keybaord shortcuts?) Are there a limit to the number of staves? How are slurs and ties handled?

There’s plenty of software out there that will do music notation well, and I particularly like Sibelius. Obviously this is going nowhere near Sibelius’ sophistication level in terms of notation, but I am very curious to know what a GarageBand user can expect in terms of notation. I guess I need to go down to the store and give it a test drive.

Also of worthy note here is the addition of Jam Pack 4: Symphony Orchestra. Very cool…

Supply and Demand

Yingwen put out an ad yesterday to advertise piano lessons. In one day, her schedule is almost full. Amazing! She’s on the phone as I write this, setting up schedule details. The phone has been ringing off the hook.

Since suddenly we are getting very busy trying to keep track of appointments and taking care of the kids, we set up iCal to subscribe automatically to each others’ calendars. Pretty damn easy to set up, and effective. We can see each others’ schedules updated every hour on our iCal clients or over the web.