►In case you need a rescue – TestDisk

by Squirrel ~ September 14th, 2013

Just a quick post to help anyone who might be in this situation and doesn’t know what to do and also doesn’t have the 500+ Euro to spend hiring professional data recovery services. My wife recently had that SD-card which died directly while being used in her Android-phone and had photos and videos on it of our baby which obviously she had no backup and they would be lost forever, so she asked me for help. After some research I found the free (GNU) software called Testdisk, which allows lots of different kind of data recovery. I tried it out and was astonished: it not only detected the completely lost partition table (normal partitioning tools and harddisk-repair tools I tried had all failed), but it also restored it and almost all data was recovered without any problems! I highly recommend it to anyone who has a memory card, harddisk or any other storage medium which is not readable or recoverable with normal tools. The program also works in a very careful way, in case it is not able to restore, you still can take the medium to the professional, it won’t mess up anything more than it just is.

Good luck! You might need a little patience until understanding exactly how to work with it – at least the selection and recovery process of the files it finds is a little confusing, but there’s a high chance it will succeed.

On another note: this blog isn’t dead, ok?! You might think that because of no new posts for the last months, but it’s just been complicated to find time to write anything on here, between being a father, a husband, my full-time job, my music and everything else…. I promise I will try to post a bit more often from now on…

►A very strategical method for practicing new music

by Squirrel ~ February 21st, 2013

Today, I’d like to share with my readers a text written by american classical guitarist and music teacher Louis Gehring in which he describes very precisely an interesting alternative approach to learning new repertoire on your instrument (a method focused on a phrase-to-phrase-approach as opposed to the more common “step-by-step-improvement on the whole piece”). Don’t get me wrong: all good musicians will learn a new piece dividing it into as small and as much phrases as necessary to musically understand and technically master all of them so to eventually be able to play the whole piece without sectioning. But what normally happens is, that you get to learn all of these phrases more or less at the same pace, some difficult ones might take longer, but anyway, when you’re at the point starting to practice performance, for example, you normally have all phrases more or less perfect. And here is where this method is different, come and read on (in the beginning of the text you probably won’t see anything new, but still is very well written. Step 3 is where it gets interesting.):

Step 1: ANALYSIS
Divide the piece first into main sections, and then subdivide these sections into phrases. The phrase is the basic musical and expressive unit of any piece, and therefore should also be used as the basic learning unit.
Step 2: FINGERING
Mark all of the fingerings for both hands. Since left hand fingering is included in most editions (but should, nonetheless, be carefully examined for possible improvements), this will entail more work on right hand fingering. Careful consideration should be given to finding the easiest possible fingering with the best musical effect. It is important to practice a given passage with the same fingering each time in order to learn more quickly and to produce an accurate, consistent performance.
Step 3: PRACTICE
Begin practice, starting with the first phrase only, carefully avoiding any mistakes. Study should begin by using the metronome set at approximately one half the future performance tempo (this initial speed will depend greatly on the difficulty of the composition). When playing at this speed is mastered with appropriate dynamics, articulations, and timbre, the metronome should be moved up one notch. After this speed is mastered, then one more notch, etc.
When the player has achieved three fourths of the performance tempo, he should go on to the next phrase in the same manner, and so on. After a section has been learned with this method, the whole section should be practiced with three metronome speeds: slow, medium, and fast (the performance tempo). This is the way the section will be studied from now on in order to maintain and perfect it.
Step 4: MEMORIZATION
Using the above method, memorization can quickly take place, again using this phrase by phrase approach.
Step 5: PRACTICE PHRASES OUT OF CONTEXT
After the entire work has been learned thoroughly and memorized, phrases should be practised out of the context of the piece (this is especially useful for compositions that do not lend themselves to easy division into phrases, e.g., fugal writing). Practice the last phrase of the piece (or of a major section) by memory, then the next to the last, and so on, moving from the end forward. Practice similar phrases together so that there will be no confusion under the pressure of public performance.
Step 6: ADDITIONAL TECHNIQUES
Practice without looking at the fingerboard.
Study away from the instrument by mentally recalling all movements of the hands (left hand positions, bar chords, fingerings; and right hand strokes, fingerings, string changes).

►The Alternative Music Lounge: John Surman

by Squirrel ~ January 5th, 2013

Sometimes, it just strikes you: how come I’ve never heard anything at all about this great musician until now? Have I been living hiding somewhere on a deserted musical island or what? But then again, I don’t consider myself that ignorant, I mean, I know quite a few musicians, bands and composers from lots of different genres, even way back in musical history. And still, if it wasn’t for my mom suggesting me to have a listen, I might as well never have discovered the music of John Surman.

So, let’s talk a little more about this John Surman. He actually is from the same generation as my mother (little coincidence hehe), so has been a musician for a long time and achieved great things, another reason I’m so “upset” about not having heard of him before. I mean, how is it possible, some south korean girls band launches a video that you can’t even listen to until the end for being so impossibly bad (this didn’t even happen to me with Lady Gaga, so go figure…), but it has 16 million views in a week and everyone talks about it. And who talks about real great musicians like John Surman? Anyway, back to focus: he especially plays saxophone and bass clarinet and has been playing in lots of different projects with many other great musicians (just to name a few: Dave Holland, Richard Galliano, John McLaughlin, John Taylor, Jack DeJohnette) and although his main genre is located somewhere between Jazz and Ambient / Fusion, he does not limit himself to this, his compositions and performances cover a large spectrum of inspiration, from English folk music, Choral and church music to songs of John Dowland. He also has written music for quite a few movies and dance performances.

But well, if you want to know more about his biography, read on over here.

Wait, while you’re reading, have a listen to some of his tracks:

Winter Wish

 

Portrait of Romantic!

 

Whistman’s Wood

 

Enjoy! :)

 


About this series:

One of the ideas I have for this blog is to start periodic post series about a few interesting topics. Like one post a week or a month, about the same topic but always bringing you new (or classic but little known) musical discoveries.
This series that I gave the name “The Alternative Music Lounge” is about presenting you bands and projects that I like a lot or respect much because of the quality of their music although they haven’t made it into the so called “main stream” and therefore probably will remain unknown for many people.
Whatever might be the reasons for this (sometimes their creations are just too good, too unique, lacking any “commercial characteristics”, othertimes it’s just another case of being disregarded by the music industry, we all know what’s usual to happen…), I think the’re more people out there who might like their music but just didn’t have a chance to discover it yet, so I hope these publications of mine might be helpful.
By the way, if you’re a musician and think I might like your music and would like to propose your creations for being featured in a post of this series, you’re welcome to comment this post or any other future post of this series, stating your project’s name, a link to where I can listen to some tracks and a way to contact you.
I promise to try and listen to everyone’s tracks and respond, even if I happen to not accept the proposal.

 

 

►Forever Love

by Squirrel ~ November 4th, 2012

On the 25th of October, after a long and a quite anxious wait on a very rainy day, at 19:45, my wife gave birth to our first son.

He was born perfectly healthy and beautiful, eyes wide open and crying on the first second, with 3205 g and 49.2 cm, we called him Pedro Jacinto and immediately fell in love with him.

Now it’s been one week that we left the Hospital and it has been a great adventure, absolutely fantastic, and everything is going well, despite all the little moments of tension / worries and lack of sleep.

I know this is not really adequate on here, but it is such a special and unique moment in your life, it simply has to be shared.

Becoming a father definitely changes you for the better and makes you more complete.

P.S.: I don’t publish a foto of him, because for several reasons I believe it is a bad idea, afterall you never know who is around on the internet…

P.S.2: the title of this post was borrowed from the name of a song by Bezegol, that I have known for some time and really like the lyrics, here they are:

Still remember like it was today,
On my nerves till the nurse came and say:
“your baby’s born everything is o.k.,
Momma’s good you will see them right away.”
Standing next to the door i wait,
Any second its a minute late,
And i wait, and i wait, always wait for you,
To give you my love, and my love is true.
Letting you know i’m always on your side,
No matter the loops that my life goes by.
You know sometimes don’t go like we planned,
But what i need is you to understand,
That dad is doing all the best he can,
So you may grow and be proud of him.
There’s no god in the sky’s above,
Coz for you i have forever love.

What may come in your life for you to conquer…
The quest is to remain stronger.
Watch your steps, don’t get mislead.
The everyday battles are the ones you make your own bed,
Son! i never wanna see you on the run.
From times we together please pay attention.
And listen to the story of my life,
I know its hard past but from me you know it right. aight!
Forever love, keeping our relation tight,
Life struggle. you can count on me on to fight.
Whenever you may need me son, you know that ll be there,
Whatever may be the problem son, you know that i don’t care.
More then a shinning star,your are the light that i see,
I want you to know that you are everything to me.
No mountain high enough, no god up above.
Sincerely yours your father, son.
Forever love.

►The Alternative Music Lounge: Chill Out special edition

by Squirrel ~ September 17th, 2012

It’s been a while that I have been thinking of doing a special edition dedicated to Chill Out music, after all, it’s one of the main objectives of this site / blog, to specialize on Chill Out music. So, here are several listening suggestions, from the classics to some less well known projects, I didn’t organize them in any particular order. I hope it gives you a starting point for further exploring the world of Chill Out.

Moby – Porcelain

 

Massive Attack – Teardrop

 

Zero7 – In the Waiting Line

 

Air – Universal Traveler

 

Nightmares On Wax – Passion

 

Chris Coco – Starlight

 

St. Germain – Rose Rouge

 

Mr Scruff – Music Takes Me Up  (Ft. Alice Russel)

 

Triangle Sun – Buddha

 

Groove Armada – At The River

 

 


About this series:

One of the ideas I have for this blog is to start periodic post series about a few interesting topics. Like one post a week or a month, about the same topic but always bringing you new (or classic but little known) musical discoveries.
This series that I gave the name “The Alternative Music Lounge” is about presenting you bands and projects that I like a lot or respect much because of the quality of their music although they haven’t made it into the so called “main stream” and therefore probably will remain unknown for many people.
Whatever might be the reasons for this (sometimes their creations are just too good, too unique, lacking any “commercial characteristics”, othertimes it’s just another case of being disregarded by the music industry, we all know what’s usual to happen…), I think the’re more people out there who might like their music but just didn’t have a chance to discover it yet, so I hope these publications of mine might be helpful.
By the way, if you’re a musician and think I might like your music and would like to propose your creations for being featured in a post of this series, you’re welcome to comment this post or any other future post of this series, stating your project’s name, a link to where I can listen to some tracks and a way to contact you.
I promise to try and listen to everyone’s tracks and respond, even if I happen to not accept the proposal.

 

►Google’s latest Doodle: Star Trek

by Squirrel ~ September 8th, 2012

Today is the 46th anniversary of Star Trek. Although I’ve always been a big fan of the Star Trek Universe, I didn’t know that, so it really was a surprise to open Google and see their latest Doodle about Star Trek. Which is funny and cute, actually. So, I couldn’t resist to take a screenshot and write a blog post, so that none of my readers should miss it :)

Star Trek Google Doodle

Star Trek Google Doodle

As usual, the Doodle is interactive, so you can explore the scenary and actually “go on a mission” (including the famous transporter which beams the onto some weird planet far away with a strange creature on it that you have to defeat…)

Other elements of the picture make play some of the characteristic sounds from the original series.

For those not familiar with the Star Trek Universe, here are some links:

http://epguides.com/StarTrek/

http://www.imdb.com/find?q=star+trek&s=all

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek

http://www.startrek.com/

 

 

Now, go check out the Doodle live on Google’s startpage.

 

 

 

 

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