Hello my friends. This one is more of a short film than a music video – and for that I have to thank and apologize-to many inspiring chums who gave me innumerable clever ideas for it, and are also much better at making images and movies.

This is my first time using the instrumentation involved, and also my first time using my new (wonderfully inexpensive) graphics tablet – so you will I hope pardon the inexpert use of both. On the other hand, managing to say something philosophically true and important clearly in any medium is always a good result – so thank you infinitely for all your enablements!

I especially want to thank Joe Salina and Jennifer Linton – I was fortunate to sit for them both as a model as they taught their students hard won wisdom about visual storytelling, storyboarding and animation, (and soaked up many lovely insights from my position on the stand, as the day’s sentient bowl of fruit) – and also the joyously unstoppable Andrew (Rewfoe) Foerster, whose output (every bit loaded with wit, authentic humour and great heart) ceaselessly amazes, instructs and inspires me.

The (three and a half minute) film will speak for itself, despite my embarrassingly clunky technique. The tools used are described below (and there are links so you can get them for yourself, free – yay!)

Enjoy! (And yes, full screen and volume are once again mandatory)

I mentioned the joy of free virtual instruments with my last music video – but I wasn’t able to share the sound or fun of the coolest plug-in of all, because it arrived too late for me to be able to use it in the last tune.

The BBC Symphony orchestra and Spitfire Audio labs have a whole series of really superb symphony packages, all sampled from professional instrumentalists at the top of their craft, and recorded beautifully with the ambiance of a real concert hall.

The professional version of this digital orchestra is a thousand dollars – but they also have a basic version – Discover – which is available for either $49, if you want it right the heck now, or absolutely free if you can wait two weeks for your authorization code. Kids, students, starving artists – rejoice!

I knew the upper balcony of Massey Hall very well as a kid, at the end of the tenure of Victor Felbrill, and the very start of Andrew Davis’ long career with the TSO – and listened to superb classical on penny weighted record players also (and I’ll still trade monophonic for Sir Malcolm Sargent conducting, any day – though Deutsche Gramophone microphones are also a distinct pleasure).

As a crazy adult, I enjoy clumsily playing instruments from the percussion, woodwind, brass and plucked string families, but though I’ve often dreamed of rendering my musical ideas with the tone colours of an orchestra, I never thought I’d get a chance – and really not that someone would make it feel almost easy to do so. The instruments are arranged visually by sections, just as they are traditionally seated on stage – there are very nifty options for expression and the sonic images are in most cases superb (though I’ll admit I could find no satisfaction in the clarinet – I love the subtlety of expression of the real beast too much). All the same – this one is insanely fun and empowering.

Also – up near the top of the list of super-cool imaginary and yet very useful synthesizers is ODIN2 – which appears in the upper register in this tune, and can be yours for free from the folks at WaveWarden (open source).

Odin2 will be especially fun for fans of modular and old analog beasts – you can swap out modules and patch like a madman – whee!

Enjoy the pleasure of creation, my friends. As frustrating as an art problem can be (very) – we must never forget that it is a great human blessing to be capable of such frustration!

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I am always curious about what you are thinking

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