Friday, December 25, 2009

Vangelis.

I have been a great fan of A R Rahman. The story goes so far as to say that I was motivated to experiment (for lack of a good word to explain my endeavor) with sound because of his works. Everybody has an inspiration, and I always wondered who was A R Rahman's inspiration. It turns out its Vangelis. Vangelis is by and the far the best electronic instrumentalist ever (so far at least). In fact, after listening to Vangelis I even wonder if A R Rahman lifted a few tracks, some of A R Rahnman's scores resemble Vangelis's work so much that can pass for plagiarism!

I am particularly impressed by Vangelis's score of 1492. Amazing to think that it was composed so many years ago and still the sounds are almost unmatchable. I am in deep love with his theme score for 1492, unbelievable rendering of sound, finest mix of electronics with acoustic sounds and human choir, topped with a beautiful piano melody -- just plain brilliant. I would have already listened to it a hundred times now!



Vangelis is such a patron of electronic music that he wrote the forward for MIDI books. To be honest, I use synth 100% but I was never proud of it. I had no option -- that was my take. I always thought electronic music was a substitute. But after listening to his sounds and his explanations I am fairly convinced that electronic sounds is just the next step. I am more inclined to add electronic sound into a score without a second thought as to mudding it. Here is my crude attempt to use synth to create some sort of soul to the sound.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Me on piano

Here is a video of myself enjoying experimenting with piano and testing my iPod nano ...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Score.

I have been talking in my blog about music most of the time. Funny, that music takes so much of my time considering that I actually not even good at it, and in some sense much better at a few other things. Recently, I bought DigiDesign 003 control surface and have been trying to move my studio to use that as the center piece. I have been experimenting with Pro Tools LE 8 (oh yeah! I am moving to the next level) and am starting to actually love it. It reminds me of my shift from fancy UI editors to VIM.





Here is a compilation of my "mic-test" with Pro Tools LE. Most of them are re-recordings. Also a little video of myself playing a "tune" for my parents (cooked up on the fly of course).







Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Music: Back to music.

After a busy season of politics, I was spending most of my time acclimating myself to the new surroundings in Seattle - the rain, the snow, the traffic. In spite of tall he hurdles cast before me in the past 2 months I am starting to like this place, not quiet sure why, for what and for how long.

Today I ran into this age old composition by my favorite composer A R Rahman coriginally composed for Sony orchestra in China for the movie Lord of heaven and earth. I didn't know the song was done in 3 different languages. (The songs are mixed into Lord of the Rings because ARR was the composer for the theatrical version)







It would have been nice fun (and probably hectic) recording the same score in 3 completely different languages ! All the versions are not that bad, I still like the chinese version though :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ramble: Hats off to President elect. Obama

Well what can I say ! Sen. Obama -- as Obama himself put it "the skinny kid with a funny name" -- is the 44th elect president of United States of America. His victory by 3-4% (51% and counting) popular vote difference is testimonial to the campaign Obama ran. Coming from a situation where he was 20 points down in the primary to this moment is nothing short of amazingly amazing. Not to mention his limited experience (as compared to McCain or Hillary) in the political arena. From the word go, he was always about hope and change -- not in a preacher style but rather in a profoundly pragmatic way that is believable. His victory speech was unbelievably poised, reaching out even to the folks who did not vote for him, reminding humbly his supporters that this victory is theirs and it does not end here -- it rather begins here.

I was delighted about a couple of things today. One, Americans as a whole have said in one (as close as one gets) voice "we don't give a shit about the color of your skin". People from all walks of life and all shades of skins were cheering for Obama alike. It was great to at last see it in visual what we young people knew in our hearts -- the days of discrimination on petty things is long dead. Second, Obama took this moment which symbolizes a historical change in his cool stride ! Not a word was uttered about how great a moment it is for the African Americans ! Rather he stressed on the importance of uniting this nation (in his famous words "there is no red state or blues state -- there is the united states") and even took a shot at impacting the world !

It was my greatest pleasure following Sen. now elect president Obama through the past 4 months or so. I really enjoyed it and I believe even learned a good deal from this man. Now, I have to find something else to do after getting home instead of watching MSNBC and FOX through the dead of the night ! Hmmm .. !

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ramble: John McCain is the best

John McCain is the best when it comes to lighter side of life. Barack Obama is fairly hopeless and a no competition on this department. Here is the ultimate testament to his sense of humor. Showing up on SNL just before election -- that's courageous.





He did an appearance way back in August, just before Obama was nominated as the democratic nominee. This was awesome too.



McCain brings down the house at Al smith dinner. It was truly great standup stuff (for a politician).






Obama fought back (as always) but on this count he was no match for McCain.



Ramble: Good luck to Obama.

It is no secret that I am a fan of Obama. I have been following his progress in the 2008 campaign since the late primary season, and I have to tell you -- this guy has got something. I couldn't put a finger on it and say this is it -- may be his quixotic thinking, his stand for the middle class, his diverse background, his steadiness with principles, his bottom up change philosophy -- I don't know. This guy is certainly different and I (as a co-quixotic variant) sincerely believe he will make a change for the middle class. Even if he doesn't achieve anything in the political arena, I am sure he will be a great example for the generations to come. Everything he did in his campaign for presidency was admirable, the way he dismantled the Clinton political machine, the way he handled economic downturn, the way he dusted off criticism, the way he raised money and the way he executed his campaign plan. Most memorable event for me is the first debate, the way he stood his ground against bantering from McCain -- showed his deep determination.

No matter what is the outcome of this election, he will be remembered dearly by folks like me. Good luck Sen. Obama. It is was a great experience watching you campaign for the past few months. Go ahead and seal the victory !


Friday, October 24, 2008

Ramble: MSNBC Vs FOX

I am poor guy (I make way less than $250K a year, I am no rich "plumber Joe"), so I watch MSNBC which comes with the cheap cable from Comcast. It is a well known fact the MSNBC is a Democrat channel and FOX is a Republican channel. My understanding was that you will be upbeat about Obama or McCain depending on which channel you watch regularly, conversly you will not be able to stand the nonsense from any of the channels depending on which candidate you are in love with. I am Obama fan (I am a foreign national, hence a "fan").

I am currently staying at a hotel which has full cable (I am not paying for it). Out of curiosity I started watching FOX news full time. I was expecting to see complete verbal lash out on Obama from "experts" from the Republican party, and a few democrats showing up to defend Obama (you see the reverse in MSNBC). But interestingly thats not what is happening. FOX is having a tough time getting people to come in with eulogy for McCain and especially Sarah Palin. It ranges from fanatic support to reserved support to serious doubt to outright disagreement from registered republicans. Very often you see fanatic republicans (no matter what I am supporting republican candidates) figting with more easy going republicans to convince their peers especially on issues relating to Sarah Palin.

I have a gut feeling "bradley effect" is simply not going to be there and Obama is going to sail through. Probably Obama's biggest headache now is his running mate Joe Biden's excessive honest and loose tounge rather than the repubicans. I am eagerly waiting for the count down to reach zero.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ramble: Obama folks

I was watching Michael Obama on Larry King tonight, I then realized I have become a fan of Obama folks. Like I said before in my blog, even if I opt to only believe 50% of what I read/hear about Barack Obama, his wife Michael Obama and his family, Obama folks are very impressive. Both Barack Obama and Michael Obama are highly accomplished individuals who came from very average family background, struggled through top colleges on scholarships/loans and have a strong desire to use their abilities for the greater good. I firmly believe that leadership skill evolves. Leaders must form their opinions and believes from life experience. I just don't believe in Bush sort of leaders who started their career as executives of oil companies -- their opinions are preset not evolved.

Here are some of my favorite videos.

You can call it publicity stunt, but it feels a little too natural to buy into that (marketing to the public of course but with honesty, what do you expect he is running for the president)




Bunch of interesting shots -- peek into Obama life at different stages.



A short family interview -- felt it was very honest portrayal, no jazz just truth.



A little cooking video ...