Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spam Roundup June, 2015

There's spam, and then there's spam so oddly written it's somewhat amusing. Here's a roundup of some of the "best" comments I received this month from spambots around the world.

Here's the windup...

- I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish, nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following unwell unquestionably come further fomerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often in side case you shield this hike. [I had no idea where this one was going. Hike?!]

- At this time I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming over again to read more news. [Oh, it's all about you, isn't it?]

The subject of the post -- Nomura tin friction
trucks, ca. 1960. Really, guys, not that exciting.

Lumbering Along and Along

What SEO magic keeps attracting spambots to my post, The Straco Layout Part 23 -- Lumbering along ? It really is just a short write-up about a small, vintage Japanese tin friction toy truck. Really. And yet...

- This will make people armless and they will back off. [Calm down. It's just a toy.]

- This is one time your parents won't thoughts you getting dirty! [Perish the thoughts!]

- Annotiviating discussion is worth comment. I believee that you need to publish mor about this subject. it may not be a tavco matter but generally people don't speak ab out these topics. [Tavco -- aren't they a natural gas company?]

Fastidiousness fades....

For the first time ever, I received not a single spam comment that used the word, "fastidious" (or even misused it for that matter). Is it the end of an era? It certainly isn't the end of the spam.

- it's perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I may I desire to counsel you few attention-grabbing issues or tips. [Well, which are they -- issues or tips?]

- whoah this weblog is great. i like studying your articles. STay up the great work! [I promise to stay it up.]

- I'm not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice [Not much of a writer, either.]

That's it for this month. Another annotiviating round of comments. Here's hoping all my fake readers stay up the great work!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Diabelli Project 098 - Piano Piece

The Diabelli Project is about offering my weekly flash-composition sketches freely to all. Like Antonio Diabelli's theme these sketches aren't great music. But perhaps (as in Diabelli's case) there's a Beethoven out there who can do great things with them.

This week's flash composition is another little piano piece -- but perhaps not quite as simple as last week's, perhaps. Although the piece has a 6/8 meter, only the right hand is truly in 6/8, with two strong pulses per measure (ONE two three FOUR five six). The left hand is actually in 3/4, with three strong beats per measure (ONE two THREE four FIVE six). It adds a certain amount of tension, I think -- but not too much. (click on image to enlarge)

If this piece were to continue, I'd probably add some additional metric ambiguity to it, so that coming back to this 6/8-3/4 pattern would provide a sense of resolution. But that's just me. As always, this sketch is freely available to any and all who'd like to use it. Just be sure to share the results.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

John Knowles Paine, Symphony No. 2 - American Masterwork

John Knowles Paine was one of the first American composers to break onto the international scene. Along with other members of the "Boston Six" (Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, George Chadwick, and Horatio Parker), he well-known in Europe as well as the U.S.

Paine's Symphony No. 2 in a major, op. 34 shows why his music was so well-regarded abroad. Although subtitled "In the Spring," this 1879 work isn't a strictly programmatic work. Instead of painting a detailed picture, or telling a story, the music simply presents impressions of what the movements claim to be about (Awakening of Nature, May-Night Fantasy, etc.)

The work reminds me quite strongly of Mendelssohn and Schumann symphonies. The orchestration is straight-forward like Mendelssohns, while the harmonic progressions owe more to Schumann with their lushness (and seem to echo Stephen Foster in places).

Also included are two shorter orchestral works: The Prelude to "Oedipus Tyrannus" and "Poseidon and Amphitrite." The latter, subtitled "An Ocean Fantasy" evokes the motion of the sea without being obvious about it.

JoAnn Falletta leads the Ulster Orchestra in straightforward no-nonsense performances of these works. Paine's symphony may not be as full-blooded as those of Brahms, but it holds up well by comparison. An important addition to the collection of American repertoire recordings.

John Knowles Paine: Orchestral Works 2
Symphony No. 2 in A major, Op. 34 "In the Spring"; Oedipus Tyrannus, Op. 35, Prelude; Poseidon and Amphitrite - An Ocean Fantasy, Op. 44
Ulster Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Naxos 8.559748

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Morton Feldman - Piano, Violin, Viola Cello

Late in his career Morton Feldman became fascinated with the extremes of duration. This 1987 work, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello comes from that period and clocks in at 75;13. It's not his longest work, the 6-hour 2nd String Quartet holds that honor. But its length does make some demands -- and has some effect -- on the listener (at least this one).

The work is in a single movement, and Bridge presents it on disc with a single track. So the only way to really listen to the work is start at the beginning, and follow through to the end -- just the way Feldman intended.

Texturally, the work is rather thin. Each instrument has a few notes they play, sometimes in conjunction with one or two others. These note clusters come and go in waves that aren't precisely timed, but have an inherent rhythm to them, like very slow breathing.

The music forced me to listen to it on Feldman's terms -- not mine. There are no easily discernible motifs, no recognizable sections or forms. The music simply... is. And once I became comfortable with that concept, I felt I could appreciate it. Like a mobile faintly stirred by a gentle breeze, the music seemed to slowly circle around itself, creating new patterns as different note clusters aligned. Ever changing, yet ever the same.

This music is very slow and very soft -- two of the most demanding aspects of performance. To maintain the focus and control this work requires for over an hour is an amazing feat -- and one that these soloists accomplish. I did have one quibble with the recording -- it seemed a little soft around the edges. But perhaps that was deliberate. The softness of the instrumental sound is in keeping with the ambiguity of the music.

An excellent addition to Bridge Record's survey of Morton Feldman's music.

Morton Feldman, Volume 5: Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
Aleck Karis, piano; Curtis Macomber, violin; Danielle Farina, viola; Christopher Finckel, cello
Bridge 9446

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lio and the Fourth Wall 10

Mark Tartulli has a long history of playing with he unseen conventions of the comic strip in Lio (see Lio and the Fourth Wall for other examples). The strip from March 23, 2015 certainly qualifies, I think, while also referencing "The Truman Show." (click on image to enlarge)

I don't have a lot to say about this example, save "well done."

Monday, June 22, 2015

Diabelli Project 096 - Piano Piece

The Diabelli Project is about offering my weekly flash-composition sketches freely to all. Like Antonio Diabelli's theme these sketches aren't great music. But perhaps (as in Diabelli's case) there's a Beethoven out there who can do great things with them.

This weeks flash composition represents a return to simplicity. I started out with a unison melody, and just kind of when from there. As you can see, harmony is introduced as the piece goes on, while still keeping things light and simple.

If I were ton continue this, I'd probably have the harmony become more complex, and start breaking up the melody into its component motifs. What would you do? This sketch, like all those part of the Diabelli Project are offered freely to one and all. If you do want to use any of this, go ahead -- no charge. All I ask is that you share the results. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Micro-improvements to the O-Gauge Zen Garden

The  Lionel microwave tower
was ideal for the small space
I had for it.
One of the challenges with my O-gauge Zen garden is its size. Most basic O-gauge layouts are at least 4' x 8' -- the standard size of a wood panel.

I'm not sure why my childhood layout was built on a 3' x 5' piece. Perhaps it was left over from some other home improvement job? But whatever the reason, it left very little space for track, and especially for scenery.

I'm not complaining. The bigger the layout, the bigger the time and money commitment. Having something very small suits my needs just fine. And I actually like the closeness of the layout. Like real-world industrial rail yards, real estate is at a premium and buildings are as close together as they can be. 

I'm always looking for ways to add to the layout, though. And right now, the only way to go is up. And so I started looking for tall, skinny things to add.

Now there are already a water tower and an aircraft beacon on the layout, so whatever I found had to complement rather than compete with those structures. At a recent train show, I found the ideal addition -- a microwave tower.

Lionel/MPC created the microwave tower in the 1970's. Not only is it tall with a small footprint, but it lights up as well. I placed it in a roughly diagonal line with the water tower and the beacon. The microwave tower is the shorter of the three, so visually there's a nice progression in height as one looks across the layout.

And because this is a relay tower, I was careful to orient it in a way that kept the parabolic reflectors parallel to the mountain. In the real world, having such a relay tower facing a mountain wouldn't make any sense (unless there was another tower at the base of it -- which isn't the case here).. 

It's a minor detail, but one that was important to me.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Alexandre Tansman - Music for Violin and Piano

I have to admit I was not familiar with the music of Alexandre Tansman before receiving this disc to review. But after listening to it, and reading about him, I definitely want to hear more.

 Alexandre Tansman was born in Poland and always maintained he was a Polish composer, though he spent virtually all of his life in France. During the Second World War, he emigrated to Hollywood (his score to "Paris Underground" was nominated for an Oscar in 1946). After the war he returned to France and continued to compose, though like many pre-war artists, Tansman's music was considered out of date.

This release presents a chronological survey of Tansman's music for violin and piano, beginning with his 1918 Romance and ending with his Fantaisie from 1963. The Romance is sweetly sentimental with Ravel-like harmonies. His Sonata No. 2, written around the same time is a more substantial work, though written in a similar post-romantic language as the Romance.

The Sonata quasi una fantasia (1924) and Sonatine No. 1 (1925) represent further development of Tansman's harmonic language, which owes much to Debussy and Ravel (although Tansman's jazz passages are more convincing than Ravel's). Tansman was invited to become a member of Les Six, but declined. To my ears, it sounds like he joined them in spirit, if not officially.

In the 1963 Fantasie, Tansman experiments with atonality without fully stepping over the line. While musicians of the 1960's may have considered this old-fashioned, taken on its own merits I found the Fantasie to be an engaging and enjoyable work.

Violinist Klaidi Sahatçi; and pianist Giorgio Koukl play these works with great sensitivity. Their expressiveness helps this music come alive. If you're a fan of French music of the 1920's, then Tansman's music will fit right into your collection.

Alexandre Tansman: Music for Violin and Piano
Klaidi Sahatçi, violin; Giorgio Koukl, piano
Naxos 8.573127

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Buxtehude's Membra Jesu beautifully performed

Buxtehude's 1680 work Membra Jesu Nostri Patientis Sanctissima is sometimes referred to as the "first Lutheran oratorio."  While the subject matter (like the Seven Last Words of Christ)
tie the parts together, the composition (to my ears) sounds more like seven discreet cantatas.

The text is a contemplation of seven members of Christ's body on the cross -- feet, knees, hands, side, breast, heard, and face -- and their spiritual significance and symbolism. Buxtehude's setting is generally somber and introspective, especially the solo arias.

The cantatas all follow the same general outline: Instrumental introduction, opening chorus, arias, closing chorus. But within this constrained framework there's a lot of variety. Some of the arias are for solo voice, but some are for three voices (and even those are varied in their combinations).
One can hear the inspiration for Bach's early sacred cantatas in these works. If you're a fan of those, you'll surely enjoy Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri.

The Duke Vespers Ensemble was recorded live in concert, and I think that makes this release even stronger. The natural acoustic of the Duke University Chapel seems right for Buxtehude's sacred work, providing enough ambient echo to fill the spaces between the notes. And the audience is exception -- nary a cough or a rustle throughout the recording!

Dieterich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri, BusWV 75
Duke Vespers Ensemble; Cappella Baroque; Brian Schmidt, diretor
MSR Classics MS 1530

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Parallel Frazz

The nice thing about the Sunday comics is that artists have a bigger space to play with (well, relatively bigger). Jef Mallet used the allotted area quite creatively in the March 15, 2015 sequence of his strip Frazz.

Here's the strip as it appeared. (click on image to enlarge)

Notice what Mallet did? Normally a Sunday section will have two rows of 3 or 4 panels that are read sequentially; top row left to right, then bottom row left to right. In this case, the top and bottom rows are united, showing two events that are occurring simultaneously in to specific locations; Mrs. Olsen's desk and Caulfield's desk.

In essence, the strip should be read like this:

Notice that the final panel uses the full space to unite the two threads into a conclusion with the punch line.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Diabelli Project 095 - Piece for Solo Vibraphone

The Diabelli Project is about offering my weekly flash-composition sketches freely to all. Like Antonio Diabelli's theme these sketches aren't great music. But perhaps (as in Diabelli's case) there's a Beethoven out there who can do great things with them.

This week's flash composition is a piece for solo vibraphone. It's an instrument I play myself, and it has a number of interesting possibilities. The ringing of the bars, for example, is controlled by a damper pedal (similar to that of a piano's). So you can strike several notes and have them ring together, or not as you choose.

In the sketch below, I have the right and left hands playing a duet, with marks indicating when the notes should be allowed to let ring. (click on image to enlarge).

What happens next? That's up to you. I offer this sketch, along with the others in this series, freely to on and all to use as they wish. Just be sure to share the results!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Carl Czerny Bel Canto Concertante - Unpretentious entertainment

Not all classical music scales the heights of artistic expression. Sometimes it's just meant to be entertaining -- like these virtuoso variations by Carl Czerny. These four works, written between 1828-1832, dazzle the ear with clever reworkings of some of the hottest tunes of the day.

The source material is musically appealing in its own right -- themes from Bellini's operas Norma and Il Pirata; motives from Auber's Fra Diavolo. The music from Pacini's opera Glie Arabi nelle Gallie may not be as familiar to modern audiences as Bellini's and Auber's but it's equally tuneful.

Czerny's goal isn't to plumb the depths of this material. Rather, the themes provide something familiar that the listener can hold onto as Czerny builds his variations around them: variations designed to show of the skill of the pianist to greatest effect.

Rosemary Tuck makes it all sound easy, running up and down the keyboard in a cascade of notes. At the same time, she makes sure the phrasing retains the lyrical nature of the themes.

These virtuoso variations have no pretensions -- they were written just to entertain, and that's exactly what they do. And sometimes, that's all I want out from a recording.

Carl Czerny: Bel Canto Concertante - Virtuoso Variations for Piano and Orchestra
Rosemary Tuck, piano; English Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, conductor
Naxos 8.573254

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Flaming Fire - Mary Queen of Scots and her World

Tenor and countertenor Ryland Angel and virginal player Dongsok Shin join the viol quartet Parthenia for a introspective look at the musical world of Mary, Queen of Scots. The well-balanced program includes selections native to 16th Century Scotland (both sacred and secular), music from the English court Mary may have heard during her imprisonment, and even some settings of Robert Burns. Although Burns may be a little anachronistic, his poetry perfectly captures the emotional state of the music, and the essence of the Scottish character of it.

There are some real treasures here, such as "The Third Time" by Thomas Tallis (the theme that Ralph Vaughan Williams would use for a set of variations centuries later). Some of the composers, such as William Byrd and Robert Johnson should be familiar to listeners who enjoy the English renaissance repertoire. Scottish composers such as John Black, James Lauder, and David Peebles may be less well-known, but their music is of comparable quality.

Don't expect jigs and reels with The Flaming Fire. This is, for the most part, a quiet and serene program. Not lugubrious, but there is a touch of melancholy in many of the selections. I found the program both evocative and restful, removed from the hurly-burly of daily life -- whether of this century or the 16th.

The Flaming Fire: Mary Queen of Scots and Her World
Parthenia; Ryland Angel; Dongsok Shin
MSR Classics 1490

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Phantom Insider - 5

 Writer Tony DePaul and artist Paul Ryan took a break from the current story arc in the Phantom comic strip. It's something that been a tradition of the strip since its inception back in 1936 to get new readers up to speed. For the original creator of the strip, Lee Falk, it was an opportunity to retell the Phantom's origin story. The strips that began "For those who came in late," told of the first Phantom (in the 1500's) who swore he and his descendants to fight for justice. The current Phantom is the 21st in that unbroken line. "Came in late," indeed!

DePaul and Ryan have used the convention for a slightly different purpose. They recap the current story line, which enables them to have longer story arcs than most adventure strips can manage these days because of shrinking panel size. Here's the most recent example from February, 2015 (click on images to enlarge).

The narrator who breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the reader is none other than Lee Falk (see: Phantom Insider for other examples). The creator of the Phantom worked on the strip until his death in 1999. It's a fitting tribute that he now recount the Phantom's adventures from inside the legendary comic he created.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Diabelli Project 094 - Piece for Solo Flute

The Diabelli Project is about offering my weekly flash-composition sketches freely to all. Like Antonio Diabelli's theme these sketches aren't great music. But perhaps (as in Diabelli's case) there's a Beethoven out there who can do great things with them.

This week's flash composition is a piece for solo flute. (click on image to enlarge) The very nature of flash composition (or flash writing) is that you only have a very short amount of time to create. And when it's done, it's done. I always get further into the music with a single line instrument -- less notes per measure. And I often have time to add expression marks. But not in this case. So here it is, without any phrasing or dynamics. I was tempted to put them in after the fact, but that would be cheating. The project is about presenting the actual results of the session. Clean-up is for later.

And there's no reason why you couldn't clean this up as well -- or even add to it. As with all the Diabelli Project sketches, I offer this to one and all to use as they wish. Just be sure to share the results!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Speed Bump - Togas and Tote Bags

I don't have a lot to say about this brilliant panel Dave Coverly created for his comic strip "Speed Bump." But having just finishing a week of on-air fundraising for WTJU, I found it particularly appropriate, and just had to share. (click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Martin Frost - Nordic Concertos

Martin Fröst presents an interesting program of Nordic clarinet concertos that covers a lot of ground with just four works. The two contemporary works were composed for Fröst and differ greatly in style. The two older works call out important Nordic composers, and also differ in style.

Anders Hillborg's 1998 Clarinet Concerto (Peacock Tales) is a multi-media performance piece, though it works well as strictly audio experience. Drama and contrast are what Hillborg's work is all about, from the extended cadenza for solo clarinet that opens the work through the rousing fun-house mirror jazz of the finale.

On a Distant Shore by Karin Rehnqvist takes a different approach. In this 2002 work, the clarinet and ensemble are two parts of the whole, working together. The work moves slowly through time, notes suspended in space. Towards the end the piece picks up, with bent notes moving into an animated section. Melody and harmony hop around like twittering birds, fast-moving yet ethereal.

Vagn Holmboe died just two years before Hillborg's concert was written, his neo-classical style makes his music seem much older. Holmboe, like Hindemith, developed his own tonal vocabulary that he consistently used throughout his career. In fact, his 1942 Concerto No. 3, Op. 21 reminded me very strongly of Hindemith, with perhaps a trace of Martinů and Bartók.

Clarinetist and composer Bernhard Crussell was active in the early part of the 19th Century. His 1830 Introduction, Theme and Variations on a Swedish Air, Op. 124 compares favorably to similar works by Weber. It may the slightest work on the program, but it does make a satisfying conclusion to it.

Martin Fröst shifts easily from work to work, playing each in a manner entirely appropriate to the style. Although he plays nimbly, though with very controlled tone. Even hopping around in the extreme high register (as it often has to do in the Hillborg), the clarinet's tone still sounded round and full, never shrill or screechy.

For those who are interested in discovering the full potential of the clarinet as a solo instrument, Nordic Concertos is an ideal place to start.

Nordic Concertos: Martin Fröst, clarinet
Music by Anders Hillborg; Vagn Holmboe; Karin Rehnquist; Bernhard Crusell
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen; Aalborg Symphony Orchestra - Owain Arwel Hughes; Swedish Chamber Orchestra - Petter Sundkvist; Östgöta Symphony Wind Ensemble - Arie van Beek

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Dora Pejačević - Works for Violin and Piano

Croatian composer Dora Pejačević was a fascinating figure. A member of the nobility, she started composing in 1897 when she was 12 years old. Although she was only 3 when she died in 1923, she left behind a body of work that's impressive for its quantity and quality.

This release focuses on a minor portion of her output, the works for violin and piano. As I listened to this disc, I was struck with the overarching beauty of Pejačević's melodies. Sometimes, as in the case of the Élégie in E-flat (1913) they were simple yet expressive tunes.

Many times, though, I heard distinctively Slavic turns of phrase. The 1917 Sonata in B-flat major, the "Slavic Sonata" is an obvious example. It reminded quite strongly of works by Joseph Suk and George Enescu with its exotic harmonies and evocative melodies.

Violinist Andreg Bielow and pianist Oliver Triendl give this music their best. Bielow's tone in the 1909 Sonata in D major is limpid and lyrical without sounding cloying. He and Triendl seem to be of one mind in their interpretations, making the performances (as well as the compositions) a joy to listen to.

Pejačević is remembered for introducing orchestral song to Croatian music. And while these works are neither orchestral nor songs, they all have melodies that sing. And do so in an utterly charming fashion. Now, to track down that recording of Pejačević's symphony...

Dora Pejačević: Works for Violin and Piano 
Sonata in D major, Op. 26; Canzonetta, Op. 8; Menuet, Op. 18; Romance, Op. 22; Elegie, Op. 34; Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 43 "Slavic"; Meditation, Op. 51 
Andrej Bielow, violin; Oliver Triendl, piano 
CPO 777 420-2

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Straco Express Layout, Part 46 - Calling All Cars!

Read all the installments of the Straco Express layout project here.

A while ago I became aware that Line Mar, the Japanese subsidiary of Louis Marx Co. didn't just put out a random assortment of inexpensive tin friction cars. They actually collected ten of them together and offered them as a set (see: Collecting and Collecting Information, Part 13).

A few items from those sets had made it onto the Straco Express Layout. The Pepco Power Co. truck (see Part 27), the NYC fire engine (see Part 31), the Central Coal and Coke Co. dump truck (see Part 32), and most recently, the GE courier van (see Part 38). Some of the vehicles in the set are quite rare, and quite desirable. There's a Coca-Cola truck, for example, that appeals to not only toy car collectors but Coke memorabilia collectors. And that overlap of interest keeps the prices ridiculously high (for me, that is).

I now have 60% of this Line Mar vehicle set.
In the set there were nine trucks and one sedan, a police cruiser. I had never seen the sedan offered for sale, so I was sure it was even rarer than the Coke truck. But it came up in a Canadian auction for a small amount of money (under $10), and I was lucky enough to win it.

The construction method is the same for these three vehicles. But
there are some differences.
It's an interesting piece, and one that's given me more information about the Line Mar set. The lithography and shape of the sedan suggest it's from the early 1950's. The vehicles in the set are made in a variety of ways, and the police car shares the same design as the dump truck and the fire engine.

The police cruiser (center) has some interesting difference from the
flanking dump truck and fire engine. Note the groove frame and the
additional tabs (circled in red).

The frame is crimped around the body shell to hold it in place, a decidedly labor-intensive practice. Later Line Mar would move to tab fasteners, which makes assembly quicker and easier.

Some details suggest to me that the police car may have been the first of the series. Comparing the chassis, I noticed that the sedan had stamped grooves for reinforcement. The fire truck and dump truck have smooth frames. That stamping is an extra step that was probably phased out to simplify manufacture (every step eliminated means more money to the bottom line).

And note the extra set of tabs on the police car frame. I removed the shell, and discovered that this was a band that helped hold the friction motor assembly in place. The other two have a different friction motor frame, which eliminated the need for the extra band.

The colors also suggest this was an early piece. My two Nomura police cars, which were made in the late 1950's/early 1960's sport a black and white livery. With the popularity of the TV show "Highway Patrol" (1955-1959), black and white cruisers became the norm -- and toy makers followed the trend.

The Nomura police cars (L, R) look to be from the late 1950's/early 1960's,
while the Line Mar sedan appears to be from the late 1940's/early 1950's.

The car fits well on the display layout, as you can see from the pictures.

I'm still keeping my eye out for the remaining four vehicles, but only at the right price. The roads are now completely filled, and going forward I'll need to remove something from the display before I can add something. I'm not in a hurry to acquire anything else -- unless it's really interesting, of course...

Total cost for the project:

Layout construction:
  • Pegboard: $4.95
  • Flathead Screws: $0.40
  • Molding: $2.49
  • SilClear: borrowed from a friend
  • Green Paint: left over from another project
  • Wood Screws: $3.60
  • Felt Pads: $1.99
Power Pack: $5.90
Small Houses: $3.00
Testor's Gray Paint for road: $1.29

Bandai Areo Station: $8.99
2 tinplate signs: $1.00
4 tinplate signs (with train) $5.99
Cragstan HO Light Tower $20.49

  • Two Japanese toy cars: $2.00
  • A.W. Livestock truck: $4.99
  • Taxi: $2.99
  • Ambulance: $2.99
  • Two Japanese patriotic cars: $6.99
  • Haji three-wheel sedan $3.00
  • Haji three-wheel tanker $5.00
  • 1950's sedan $2.99
  • LineMar Police Car $9.00
  • LineMar Pepco Truck $8.50
  • LineMar Bond Bread Van $8.00
  • LineMar Fire Engine $4.95
  • LineMar Dump Truck $12.99
  • LineMar GE Courier Car $10.98
  • Nomura Red Sedan $5.00
  • Nomura Police Car $2.52
  • Nomura lumber truck $3.48
  • 6 Namura vehicles $16.99
  • Orange Sedan $10.99
  • King Sedan $9.95
  • Indian Head logo sedan $4.99
  • Indian Head (?) convertible $18.00
  • Yellow/red Express truck $9.99
Total Project Cost: $218.37

Monday, June 01, 2015

Diabelli Project 093 - Piano Piece

The Diabelli Project is about offering my weekly flash-composition sketches freely to all. Like Antonio Diabelli's theme these sketches aren't great music. But perhaps (as in Diabelli's case) there's a Beethoven out there who can do great things with them.

Sometimes the results can be surprising. The whole idea of these flash composition exercises -- like flash prose -- is to spontaneously create under tightly controlled conditions. In the case of the Diabelli Project, I have about 10 minutes and a blank piece of paper. When the clock stops, I don't think -- I just write. On occasion, I have an idea of what type of piece I want to write or what motifs I want to use before hand. Not this time. When time ran out, I had this piano sketch. (click on image to enlarge)

It's quite different than last week's piano piece. And I'm not sure it's part of the same larger work. This one, I think, has a totally different character. But that's just my opinion. What's yours? As always, this sketch is available to any and all who'd like to use it in their own work. Just share the results!