Thursday, January 30, 2014

Coldest spot in the nation?

I quote from the Newark (Ohio) Advocate:

"At midnight Tuesday, the Newark-Heath Airport recorded 19 degrees below zero, making it the coldest spot in the nation at that moment, according to National Weather Service reports at the time.  It even beat Alaska, which is experiencing unseasonably warm weather this week."


"But that distinction--recorded by local automated tracking equipment--proved short-lived and was not able to be confirmed.  'We don't have any way of tracking the coldest part of the country, hour by hour,' said meterologist Mike Kurz, of the NWS in Wilmington."

That is to say, you'll have to take our word for it.  Well, if Newark, Ohio was the coldest spot in the nation at that particular moment, we were likely colder out here in the country.  (We're not far from Newark.)  It's possible that, for a moment, I was living in the coldest part of the country.

I may even have been outside.  I don't remember.  Probably not.  Garbage can hauling was the next evening.  Likely, I was nice and toasty indoors.

Anyway, there you (more or less) have it.


Monday, January 27, 2014

2013 Suite (Lee Hartsfeld, 2014)

Welcome to my newest composition, mostly made up of things I wrote 20 or so years ago.  Exceptions: Mars Rock (improvised) and Blog Gone (semi-ad-libbed).  You'll hear some of the built-in voices (strings, mainly) of my Magix Music Maker 2014, which I'd love more if it wasn't set up to "loop" everything.  Some of this suite was mixed on my Sonar X2 program, and all editing was done on my Magix Audio Cleaning Lab MX.  How did I find time to go to the bathroom?  Good question.

2013 Suite, of course, is my musical tribute to 2012.  I mean, 2013.  The big challenge was finding events that didn't involve war, guns, or natural disasters, but I somehow managed to: Bridgegate, the Nuclear Option, the new Pope, the stand-up comic intelligentsia (Hey, who wants to listen to actual smart people?), and... Rachel Maddow?  Yes, Rachel.  I had a nice string quartet and couldn't figure out what to title it, so I call it "Rachel Maddow."  Someone who made my 2013 so much less aggravating than it would have been, TV-wise.

And there's the self-explanatory Blog Gone.  No, my blog isn't gone, but it's not the same blog it was.  (I hate to keep reminding it.)  Mars Rock refers to a meteorite discovered (?) in 2013 (or maybe that's the year it hit our planet?) which tells scientists much about the early Martian surface.

The learning-curve contrast between my Magix composing software and the Sonar X-2 is surreal.  After two sessions on the Magix, I was mixing MIDI and audio tracks together and exporting them as WAVE files.  After two X-2 sessions, I was still struggling to figure out what, if anything, the on-line instructions had in common with the actual software, detail-wise.  Cleverly hidden menus, an Alice-in-Wonderland layout, and features that refuse to work with whatever PC you happen to own--these are the charms of X2.

The sounds you hear are the excellent tones of my Casio WK-3800, plus select, built-in patches on the Magix Music Maker 2014.  At last, I have violin sounds that sound reasonably like violins.  The Magix's packaged sounds run the gamut from awful to impressive.  Download 2013 Suite today--you'll (possibly) be glad you did!  I (can possibly) guarantee it.

Click here to hear: 2013 Suite (Lee Hartsfeld)

Another Year, Another Trip Around the Sun
Mars Rock
Busting the Filibuster
The Stand-up Comic Intelligentsia
Reshaping the Vatican
Rachel Maddow
Blog Gone

Composed and played by Lee Hartsfeld, using the Casio WK-3800, Magix Music Maker 2014, Sonar X2, and Magix Audio Cleaning Lab MX.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunday gospel selection, from 1908

Me, "live" at the Casio WK-3800.  This is easier to play on a real/actual piano, but it came out okay, regardless.  You may notice me speeding up a bit on the chorus, and that's the result of me starting over, with the flubbed portion edited out. These things happen; we bear with them and try to become better people.  This is a marvelous, old-fashioned anthem that would sound cool with a choir, except that nobody does this kind of stuff anymore.  As far as I know, anyway.  I found no images for composer De Loss Smith, but here's the man who gave us the words:

Charles R. Scoville (1869-1937). Image courtesy of The Cyber Hymnal, the best website in the world.



Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday update

Yes, it's Sunday.  Of that you can be sure.  Even if you're reading this sometime after Sunday, it was still Sunday when I typed this.  It's cold today, but not as coooooolllllllllld as it will be on Tuesday.  "Coooooolllllllllld," of course, means plenty frigid.  I'd quote the weather report for Tuesday, but I'm still unable to accept it.  Emotionally, that is, not intellectually.  I'm sure the forecast is correct, but a part of me can't fully take it in.  I just know it will be "cold" plus extra o's and l's.

Our church is still doing Christmas carols, so I'm still playing carols for extra music.  Here's one I played for this morning's prelude: Listen, Lordlings, Come Unto Me.  Old French carol--16th century, I think my carol book says.  (It's not handy at the moment.)  I fell in love with it while practicing it.  The file is me (times 3) on my Casio WK-3800--piano, organ, and orchestral horn.  It sort of sounds like MIDI, but it's me, live.

By the way, if I can ever figure out how to get my Box files to work with an mp3-player widget, I'll start putting up virtual players for individual files.  So far, no go.  I'll insert code for a player, host the mp3 at Box, but the player just sits there, doing (and playing) nothing.

Cats must be fed.  Food for the furry beasts at once!