February 2010

Post Snowpocalypse; The Whole Story

February 27, 2010 14:40

YET AGAIN, A COMPUTER GLITCH PREVENTS READERS FROM READING MY ENTIRE BLOG AND FROM ADDING OR READING COMMENTS. HERE IS A DUPLICATE OF MY BLOG. I HOPE THIS ONE DOESN'T BREAK DOWN. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. PAULINE

We seldom get snow where I live (near Washington DC), and when we do, the accumulation is usually very small. The temperature generally hovers around the freezing point, so the snow melts during the day and freezes at night, leaving the roads and pavements icy and dangerous. Not a pretty picture.

This winer has been different. We had two snowstorms within a week of each other, and the accumulation ranged from about 24 to 36 inches. The city was all but shut down. For about a week I had no students, but had something fun to keep me busy: the snow.

The snow is usually prettiest while it's falling, when it is still pristine. I like to go out on my covered balcony and photograph the snow during these times, and I had plenty of opportunities to do that recently. When the snow stopped falling, I went out for a walk with my camera and took lots of photos because I seldom see anything like this. When I was indoors, I had fun working on my pictures with Adobe Photoshop Elements. I recently got PSE 8, and my previous version was PSE 2, so there were a lot of new things to learn. I converted many of my photos to the black and white format, and I had a lot to learn about working in this genre, too. I kept busy working, learning, and enjoying it all.

I'm posting some of my photos here, and you can see more of them here.

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

These lacy looking branches hung right over a power cable. If they actually fell on the cable, the electrical current could be cut off. That disaster didn't happen here, but it may have happened elsewhere because I was without electricity and heat for about two days.

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

Some closeups

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

In this area, we seldom get to see snow on spruce trees.

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 


 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

The snow had a high water content and was very dense. It dragged down some of the branches on this spruce. Nearby, another spruce was felled by the wet snow.

A few days after the second storm, snow ploughs came by and pushed the snow into big mounds, covering pavements and parts of streets. Then things got ugly. The mounds of snow gradually changed color from white to mottled gray to mottled black -- vivid evidence of vehicle emissions. I'm glad I have my photos to remind me of prettier sights right near my home.

 

 

 

 

 

2 replies | Archive link


Post Snowpocalypse TAKE TWO

February 26, 2010 06:49

Another computer glitch.  To see the complete version of POST SNOWPOCALYPSE, including comments, look here.

Archive link


Post Snowpocalypse

February 25, 2010 02:46

YET AGAIN, A COMPUTER GLITCH PREVENTS READERS FROM READING MY ENTIRE BLOG AND FROM ADDING OR READING COMMENTS. PLEASE CLICK ON MY NAME AT THE TOP OF MY BLOG, AND YOU WILL BE TAKEN TO MY COMPLETE. I'D LIKE YOU TO BE ABLE TO SEE MY PHOTOS. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. PAULINE

We seldom get snow where I live (near Washington DC), and when we do, the accumulation is usually very small. The temperature generally hovers around the freezing point, so the snow melts during the day and freezes at night, leaving the roads and pavements icy and dangerous. Not a pretty picture.

This winer has been different. We had two snowstorms within a week of each other, and the accumulation ranged from about 24 to 36 inches. The city was all but shut down. For about a week I had no students, but had something fun to keep me busy: the snow.

The snow is usually prettiest while it's falling, when it is still pristine. I like to go out on my covered balcony and photograph the snow during these times, and I had plenty of opportunities to do that recently. When the snow stopped falling, I went out for a walk with my camera and took lots of photos because I seldom see anything like this. When I was indoors, I had fun working on my pictures with Adobe Photoshop Elements. I recently got PSE 8, and my previous version was PSE 2, so there were a lot of new things to learn. I converted many of my photos to the black and white format, and I had a lot to learn about working in this genre, too. I kept busy working, learning, and enjoying it all.

I'm posting some of my photos here, and you can see more of them here.

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

These lacy looking branches hung right over a power cable. If they actually fell on the cable, the electrical current could be cut off. That disaster didn't happen here, but it may have happened elsewhere because I was without electricity and heat for about two days.

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

Some closeups

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

In this area, we seldom get to see snow on spruce trees.

 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 


 

From Snow, winter 2009-2010

 

The snow had a high water content and was very dense. It dragged down some of the branches on this spruce. Nearby, another spruce was felled by the wet snow.

A few days after the second storm, snow ploughs came by and pushed the snow into big mounds, covering pavements and parts of streets. Then things got ugly. The mounds of snow gradually changed color from white to mottled gray to mottled black -- vivid evidence of vehicle emissions. I'm glad I have my photos to remind me of prettier sights right near my home.

 

 

 

 

 

2 replies | Archive link


Beauty in Snowmageddon

February 13, 2010 22:51

Greetings from Snowmageddon.

Here on the East Coast of the US, we've had two big snowstorms in the past week, and they nearly immobilized all people and suspended all activities. I've lived in this area all my life, and I've never seen anything like this.

The snow is usually prettiest when it's falling. Later it melts and refreezes, and people, pets, and vehicles leave their marks. During the past week, when the snow was falling, I kept going out on my covered balcony and taking photos. I'll post some of them later.

One night, when the wind reached gale force, I went to the entrance to my condo building and looked outside. The only illumination came from a small outdoor lamp. I saw something I've never seen before, a scene so intense with beauty that it was almost religious. The wind had sculpted the now into beautiful, long, gently curving dunes. I have seen sand dunes like this, but never snow dunes. The snow was completely pristine and untrammeled. As I watched and my eyes accommodated, I saw gentle gradations of white that followed the long smooth curves of snow. The only sound was the wind. I was alone with the elemental forces of Nature. I stood there for a long time, watching, listening, and absorbing.

When I couldn't stand the cold, I went inside. There I discovered that I could still see the snow dunes through a window of my home. The view was different because I was above ground level. I looked down onto the dunes and found new patterns of light and shadow along the sinuous crests and soft, round valleys. I was transfigured by the unexpected beauty, and I watched it all night.

When the sun was just coming up over the horizon, the view changed. All of the snow looked blue, and the gentle crests and hollows showed subtle gradations of the color blue. It looked like the landscape of a dream.

When the sun was fully up in a cloudless sky, the light was strong and direct, almost harsh in comparison to what I had been watching for hours. The sight of the dunes was all but obliterated by the strong light.

Shortly afterwards, a crew of workmen came with their snow shovels and cleared the sidewalk.

The awe inspirng beauty of the snow dunes at night vanished like a dream. The beauty was unexpected and ephemeral, making it all the more precious to me.

6 replies | Archive link


I Love Live Music

February 10, 2010 17:11

I know that when small groups, at least small groups of folk musicians, record a piece of music in the studio, they generally don't do it by playing together. One person at a time records his or her track, listening to the other musicians' tracks on headphones. This seemed strange to me, so I asked one performer about it. Her response was a fervent defense of this recording method. She said that you really do sound better when you play this way. She sings and plays the guitar, and she records her singing and her guitar playing separately. I was skeptical about that because I believe that singing and playing flow from the same feelings at the same time. The performer insisted that the results are better when she records voice and guitar separately.

I've heard other opinions on the subject. One time at a folk festival I heard a group of musicians playing live together. I have some of their studio recordings, and I enjoy listening to them, but hearing them in person was more exciting. When the group had finished their set, one of the musicians said, "This has been so much fun. We so rarely get to play together.  We play one at a time in the recording studio." `

Emmylou Harris has commented on the same subject. If you listen hard, you can hear her voice very softly during a break between songs on the recording "Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 2." She says something like, "Years ago, I was sitting in the living room making music with friends, and I decided that music and making music are what my life is about. I think over the years we've all gotten a little too technical, a little too hung up on playing perfectly, and we've lost the feel of the living room. Right now, I feel we've got the living room back in our music."

By sheer coincidence, the subject of this weekend's vote was live music played by one of today's artists vs. favorite recordings from the past vs. new recordings. Several people, including me, said that we love live concerts, but we are also glad that we have recordings to listen.

Just for fun, I'll show you a performance that I could not possibly have heard live, but that I love hearing on a recording.

1 reply | Archive link


Grammy Award Winners, Classical Music, 2010, TAKE TWO

February 2, 2010 22:56

Please look at my blog on the Grammy award winners for 2009.  It is on the Top Blogs list.  The text and the link to the complete article have disappeared.  To read my blog, you can click on my name, click on the blog title, or click here.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Pauline

Archive link


Grammy Award Winners, 2009, Classical Music

February 1, 2010 13:44

The Grammy award winners for 2009 have just been announced. Here are some of the award winning classical music albums. For complete details, see the Grammy site. The nominees are interesting, and they are listed on the same site.

Best classical album: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Best orchestral performance: Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé, James Levine, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Best opera recording: Britten: Billy Budd, Daniel Harding, conductor; London Symphony Orchestra; Gentlemen of the London Symphony Chorus

Best instrumental soloist performance (without orchestra): Sharon Isbin (guitarist), Journey to the New World

Best classical vocal performance: Renee Fleming, Verismo Arias

Best classical contemporary composition: Higdon, Jennifer, Percussion Concerto

Best classical crossover album: Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace, Yo Yo Ma

Best engineered album, classical: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Best producer of the year, classical: Steven Epstein (5 recordings)

Best Chamber Music Prformace: Intimate Letters, Emerson String quartet

Best instrumental soloist(s) performance (with orchestra): Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor; Evgeny Kissin (Philharmonia Orchestra)

Best Choral Performance: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

 

4 replies | Archive link


More entries: January 2010

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