Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cool IJO gig this weekend

Last year the Impressions in Jazz Orchestra tried something a bit different. Well, quite different! We assembled a small version of the orchestra (five horns, two strings, bass and drums) and let the audience tell us what to play. No rehearsal, and no idea until we hit the stage as to what was going to happen. And it worked! Everyone involved had a fab time. And so this coming Saturday we'll try it again!

"Whose Solo Is It This Time? - Explorations in audience-directed musical improvisation".

Saturday, January 23, 2010, 8 PM - National Arts Centre Fourth Stage

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Propeller Dance fun

I almost forgot to post my pics of our annual Community Day last November!

While our annual fundraising show is a big event each June, this one is far more informal, for family and friends to see what the various classes have been doing during their Fall sessions. Propeller Dance President David Scrimshaw has fine action photos at his Flickr account, so I'll just post some from my perspective.

Oh, and speaking of our June fundaraiser, did I mention that the group's LIFT show was voted Best Dance Performance of 2009 in Xpress Magazine? :)

My gear on the left, Mike Essoudry's (Thursday class) on the right.Mike taking in the show while he wait his group's turn:Jason Sonier (Saturday kids classes) with his assemblage:My gear. Yes, the laptop is a bit precarious up there, especially with dancers often flying around. Perhaps need to rethink that a bit.Missing (but joined in later) was Dominique St. Pierre. He does the music for the performing group, but due to his busy schedule I took on the task for the classes last Fall (and again for the Winter), while he still does most of the outside gigs. I do many of those as well, mainly because I have a more flexible schedule than the other musicians.

Oh, and while this was Community Day, it's still a fundraising event, and many munchies were donated to the cause. The front see-through bin holds my almost-famous chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Xmas tree stand hack

I hadn't had an Xmas tree in years, but since my nieces were coming to stay for a few days for the family holiday gathering I thought it'd be nice to put one up. I picked out a 5-footer from the Market, and brought it home in the trailer.

One problem, though. Since I'd not had a tree for a while I f course had not opened the box of decorations during that time. So as I sorted through the box I found the cup / holder part of my old tree stand, but not the support legs. Where the heck they went is now lost to time, but how was I going to put up my tree?

I could have gone to a local thrift store and found a complete stand, but that'd be too easy. But fashioning legs had a challenge, because the receiver for each legs was fairly small. What did I have that was narrow enough but strong? Drum sticks! :)

I sawed off some old hardwood sticks about six inches from the tip. The important part is that each tip was small enough to fit each receiver, but then flared out a bit so that there was enough wood to receive a wood screw up through a plywood base.

It worked, the tree stayed up, and the cats did not try to bring it down. :)

Friday, January 01, 2010

bikes on parade

The HPVOoO gang once again took part in the annual Help Santa Toy Parade here in Ottawa. This year things were a bit different, as the event was moved from Bank St. (due to concerns it might not be ready after a long season of construction), and it was also moved to the evening hours.

What was cool about this is that now everything could be lit up in festive fashion, and many of our bikes were festooned with LED xmas lights powered by inverters and small 12V batteries. We also had a quite a few kids from Richard's neighbourhood arrive on the various machines in his fleet, and they had a lot of fun.

The new route went from the War Museum to City Hall, via Wellington St. past Parliament Hill, the Elgin St. to Laurier. The turnout was amazing!

We had, of course, the main float vehicle (the tandem trike with trailer) towing a load of kids plus tree plus Frosty:And I was riding the Rainbow Chopper:And we had recumbents:And we had tallbikes: And we had pedal-electric pedi-cabs:
(All photos by Richard)

Many more photos at Richard's parade page.

And we also have video footage! Check out Lane's YouTube page.

And special mention for Charles Richer's amazing Gumby LED man!