Friday, March 10, 2017

The Jackdaw of Rheims from Ingoldsby Legends - Janette Miller

The Jackdaw of Rheims from The Ingoldsby Legends by Thomas Ingoldsby/Richard Barham

The Jackdaw of Rheims is about a cheeky jackdaw who steals a cardinal's ring and is made a saint.

The Ingoldsby Legends is a collection of myths, legends, ghost stories and poetry written supposedly by Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor, actually a pen-name of an English clergyman named Richard Harris Barham. The legends were first printed during 1837 as a regular series in the magazine Bentley's Miscellany and later in New Monthly Magazine. The legends were illustrated by John Leech, George Cruikshank, and Sir John Tenniel. They proved immensely popular and were compiled into books published in  1842 . They remained popular during the 19th century but have since become little known.

This poem was very popular in my youth around 1950 and all little girls and boys learnt it but sadly now seems to have slipped off the table so on impulse I decided to make  a simple version using images of a bygone age, all nicely out of copyright, so that at least there is one example on YouTube.

 I thought this would take  a couple of hours at the most. All I needed was to quickly record the 9 minute poem, add a few out of copyright images and an out of copy right piece of music. I chose the Intermezzo  2 from the opera Jewels of the Madonna by Wolf Ferarri, all nicely out of copyright.  I had a very old 45rpm  1959 record that would do. I checked to see if I could find the owner but after all these years the company and orchestra had vanished. I added a clause to the notes to say I was willing to remove this music if required. Of course video editing took longer than expected but for me simple does not mean sloppy  and the audio editing took a bit to make it fit so a couple of hours became a couple of days and so I decided to put it up only to find that the YouTube algorithms had posted a Copyright Dispute notice!

This is one of those notices one does not want to see as they are time consuming. It is also annoying when you find out that it is not the music that is in dispute but the arrangement. It seems as the algorithm was confusing 4 secs of my voice with an arrangement by someone else!  I do not do monetization on my videos. I come from the school that finds this vulgar. I sometimes get huge views for my videos, 20,300 for The Daffodils by Wordsworth, and this dispute would mean that this company would take all my royalties so I had to file a dispute and this can take up to a month to settle. In the meantime I had to take down my Jackdaw Video.

This copyright algorithm theft is a problem and the only way to stop it is to make sure you own every second of your video and that meant writing out the entire score of the Intermezzo! I do not mind doing this but first I had to find the sheet music and the score and actually write it out as a Midi. I enjoy this as it is so fascinating but I am in the middle of another big project and this was not what I had in mind. Still it had to be done for peace of mind.

In the meantime I put up a version with no background music and today if you want views the musical accompaniment is essential. I got just 21 views from this version which I have now taken down. Below shows how I did it using Garageband which has a wonderful Midi application. This took about three nights to do as it is quite long.

I was not happy with the way I spoke the first few stanzas so I re-recorded and set about mixing. I used a modern arrangement and I think it sounds fun. My new fully owned Jackdaw was ready for YouTube. This actually takes quite a long time to put up and render because I use Premier Pro for editing and the first export to QuickTime Movie at full quality can take a couple of hours and so can the render down to MP4 that YouTube requires. The upload to YouTube takes a few moments.

I just thought I should check on the outcome of my dispute which was still a few weeks away only to find YouTube had caved in. The dispute label was off and I could have used the old symphonic version but I prefer my new one! See below - no dispute.

This is a really good story for children to act out so I have made a sound only file that anybody can use  and here it is via tumbler The Jackdaw of Rheims - soundtrack Janette Miller

To make my job even longer I have a 1843 copy of The Ingoldsby Legends that I used as a script and for images and blow me if the old leather cover fell off in my hands. I am a skilled bookbinder but today I have no equipment. To repair the book in the correct traditional manner which I can do  was no longer an option but I was lucky. The break was one I could repair if the book is just meant to be looked at. This took another couple of hours.

So there you are! Hopefully this will help to keep this attractive piece of literature alive for a few more years and children can again enjoy this charming fairy tale.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Takapuna's Future Auckland Council Survey 2017

Takapuna's Future  Auckland Council Survey 2017

Took part in an Auckland City Survey about the future of Takapuna yesterday. Don't do surveys usually but felt it was a civic responsibility. It was about the future of Takapuna and what the Council could do better.
Takapuna's attraction was that is was a fresh 'seasidy' small town with a relaxed holiday atmosphere rather like the small 'seasidy' towns one encounters in LA. The clean unspoiled beach and the attractive main street with palms and small restaurants adding to the ambiance. Parking then was easy. This has all gone.
Where does one start? All councils to date have worked on the premise that if it is green open space then cover it with concrete. Tennis club will possibly go same way and croquet and golf clubs too. Also the trees in Hurstmere Road appear to be under threat. Population Growth was the answer and population growth is what the area has got. The snag is that access to the area has not been provided. If you live there and do not need to park you are OK but the open spaces are now few and getting fewer! Soon none will be left. All this is progress.
What all councils seem to forget is that if you force people into cramped living conditions small flats, no gardens then they have to live on the streets and go out to public spaces for recreation so it is vitally important to protect all open public spaces. I was asked what cities did I think worked and I replied London, Paris , New York all of which have huge public parks in the centre of their cities. Can you imagine Central Park, or Hyde Park and Regents Park built over?
Strangely Christchurch today is an example of good city planning. The earthquake has demolished vast areas of unfortunate buildings and because of liquefaction cannot be built upon again so vast areas of Christchurch have been opened up. One cannot do this now in Takapuna which is an over built mess.
I find parking in Takapuna impossible so now I rarely go there. Dogs on beach make life unpleasant too. It is sad I used to shop and walk regularly in Takapuna now I take the ferry to Auckland and shop in Queen St which will be nice too one day! Car parking in Takapuna is impossible and a journey by Public Transport from my house would be one hour there and one hour back plus a long walk. By car it takes 10 minutes but the bus would go via Sydney to get there!The powers that be have made a mess of Takapuna. Too many people crammed in and not enough space to serve them let alone attract outside visitors.
I was asked for suggestions and I replied very good architects and a courageous council who was not in the hands of greedy property developers. Growth in population is not possible until social infrastructure is up to the task of serving those who are already here.