Last night a group of us from work went to see an encore presentation of the
1927 silent movie Metropolis. I had heard it was good, but my
expectations regarding an 80-year-old science fiction movie were quite low.
I based this on what I knew of fifties an sixties sci-fi. Was I ever in for
The film was brilliant. There was a bit of comic overacting that is
typical to the times, but the scenery, visual and special effects, and
overall design were staggering. In many cases, as good as or better than
what would be in movies from the sixties. The format is 4-to-3; it actually
predates widescreen. The story was also significantly ahead of its time, I
Then there was the live band. Hats off to these guys, who played for over
two hours straight. It wasn't the original score, but it was very
appropriate. The music was a much more modern than the movie, but it
definitely brought the "sci-fi" feel to it. It was perfectly coordinated
with the picture. The band consisted of keyboards (one was a "bass"
keyboard), electric guitar, bass clarinet and flute, and percussion. The
sound was jazzy-industrial, a great fit.
In conclusion: awesome.
The theatre was packed. Quite literally every seat was taken. The
presenter of the movie noted this, pointing out that there is never that
kind of attendance or enthusiasm for a modern film. So, they will be doing
this kind of thing more often. The next silent film is supposed to be in
Later in the evening they showed Re-animator. It was well made,
but not my thing.
] | posted @ 13:30 | link
After literally months of procrastination and more visits to the store than
even the most difficult customers, I finally bought the last thing I'm
really missing from my apartment: a piano.
The unit I purchased is what I feel is the best electric piano Roland
produces, the HP207. It has their best technology. The sound is, frankly,
For the longest time, I really wanted a real acoustic piano. My thinking
changed after the fourth-or-so visit to the shop, when I seriously started
considering the higher end Rolands. The key is that this simulates not an
upright piano, but a grand. And it really does. It even lets you tune
settings like the angle of the lid and the length of the piano's body. The
advantage of this unit over the ones that cost less is the excellent
additional sound system right below the keyboard (near the player's knees),
as well as a simulated ivory/wood finish to the keys. The advantage over the
more expensive units, besides the price, is that the control panel actually
makes sense and is a lot more friendly.
Roland samples their sounds from a real Steinway & Sons grand piano.
Apparently, they don't interpolate, everything is sampled individually, and
all harmonics, string, and damper side-effects are accounted for and
adjustable! The key action simulates the weight and behaviour of a grand
piano very convincingly, even the feel of the escapement as the key reaches
the end of its run.
I spent an hour this evening playing on this instrument. Having grown up
on mostly electric pianos, it revealed all of the same shortcomings I have
when I play acoustic; too much pedaling, improper balance between the two
hands, that sort of thing. The only thing missing on this unit compared to a
real grand piano is the feel of the vibration of the key when you a deep
note; it's there, but not as pronounced.
All in all, having tried twenty-or-so different pianos, this is the only
one that fits just right. It's the balance of practicality and playability.
] | posted @ 23:28 | link
Wow, I can't believe I've gone so long without writing anything here! I
guess it's been a busy year, and Facebook covers the need to express myself
from time to time.
But for more important things I want to keep track of, this is still the
Today's news is that I finally went ahead and bought the necessary
equipment to make my own beer at home. I also got a kit of The Brew House's
Red Ale. Last time I tried the finished product I was quite impressed with
it. Hopefully, my batch will turn into something passable as well.
In the meantime, the wine from last September is just starting to mellow
out to perfection. Fun stuff, this brewing.
] | posted @ 22:53 | link