Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Ventures in Video

Recently I've been learning a bit more about video editing.  In the past I've dabbled with (and continue to use) Adobe Premiere Elements, but recently gave Corel Video Studio a go and am very pleased with what I've been able to do with it so far.  I'm mostly an audio guy, so the tricks and workflow of video production are not native to me. I clearly have a long way to go and much to learn, but it's been pretty fun and I'll keep at it as long as there's always some music in the mix!

Here are two recent offerings:

Coming Home - my first attempt at an actual "lyric" video.  I also explored some other effects and played with motion.  (And of course I always have to qualify that the song itself is a work of fictional fantasy.  I haven't been to any of these places!)

Season of Change - this one was really interesting to do put together.  Not from any technical reason - I simply enjoyed the routine of taking a picture of this tree - a Pin Oak - every day for a few weeks.  I had a vague idea of the musical mood I wanted to convey.  On new year's eve I simply recorded the trumpet part in a single take, to my own pre-recorded piano track.  At the last minute I decided against flugelhorn and opted for the muted trumpet.  That fit the mood I was after.  Yes, it's just a tree losing its leaves over a period of time.  Nothing particularly spectacular.  But for me it was part of a process - a healing thing - and it helped in some small way.

Some other projects I'm working on:
  • A collection of new tunes to release (Spring 2014) - got a couple more to finish recording, but it's something I've been working on for a couple years now.  I always hate it when people say "this is some of my best work" - but in this case that's exactly what I feel inside.  I won't say more other than it's been a quite labor of love...
  • On March 15 I'm planning on performing some of the material from my new release live on Concert Window from my home studio.  The CD release will follow sometime in the Spring, so this will be a sort of pre-release showcase - and yet another new fun thing to try out! Other performances to follow...
  • Working on lots of new music with a group called The Lubians.  I can't begin to describe what an amazing group this is.  Much more to come on that when the time is right and definitely looking forward to performing live with this great group of friends...
  • I'm co-producing a new podcast with teacher and musician Bob Madar.  We're exploring the intersection of music, science and art.  We're currently deep into the production of our first season of episodes - going very well and something sort of new for both of us.
  • Several months ago I wrote a mini framework for creating lyric videos using nothing but HTML5 and jQuery.  It's really quite simple and sort of elegant.  Just the sort of tool the budding songwriter like myself needs!  It won't replace "real" video production tools, but for what it is, it will be a handy little tool to reach for in the tool box.
  • My Early Bird Jazz Band continues to be a source of joy and inspiration.  I lead this group twice a week and the kids are fantastic.  This year we're playing the NAMS Jazz Festival and looking forward to witnessing their musical growth.
  • Last October was another successful Halloween with Harry Potter concert - my third consecutive year guest conducting.  It was probably one of the smoothest so far.  Just learned that I'm to guest conduct again this February for the Children's concert - so the Harry Potter spell clearly still has me under it's power.  But any chance to be part of the Corvallis-OSU Symphony is a good one.
  • Gigs, gigs, gigs...The Svens, Creighton Lindsay, Dave Storrs & Friends (The Lubians and Sandbox), The Van Meyers, and others if you can believe it - dang I'm a lucky guy!
  • On May 2 I have the honor to join in with Halie Loren and band at the Majestic Theatre - looking forward to that!
Well, that's a smattering of what's going on.  I made a promise to myself that I'd blog a bit more.  I hope to at least double the number of posts I wrote last year - whew, only one more to go! :)