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Ishani O'Connor

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As a society why are we so disparaging of amateurs? Amateur musicians, artists, cooks etc.

I think that we can use enthusiasts to guide and help beginners in a much more open and flexible way. Children who are starting out on a musical instrument can sometimes feel intimidated by a professional but to see an amateur musician play purely for the joy of it and make mistakes and not be perfect could be very helpful to them. Has anyone experienced this and could this collaboration be helpful?

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    May 13 2014: There is a great difference between making mistakes in our professional/artistic performance and some amateur trying to imitate professionals.

    My friend who was a young musician once was jamming with the old, super advanced "cats". He was so nervous that he could not help but played some wrong notes... The old musician who played next to him whispered "Hey kid, stop shacking - we do not make mistakes - it's Jazz!"

    I learned a great deal from that evening - in Jazz the wrong note means Challange, therefore, we have to create new
    ways to make it sound like it is meant to be - by inventing new harmony and even developing a various melody for that note/sound, and we must do all that without missing the groove! Our success " depends on our talent, good skills and training. That is how we often discover something new! It is very rewarding.

    I took this as my lesson for my life, "there are no mistakes" - it is Life, just find new harmonious ways out of your troubles.

    Here is a little special treat for you - lots of improvisation and inspiration but not for money : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCmm8P-89Sg

    Vera Nova
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      May 14 2014: Is that you singing, Vera?

      Congratulations and many thanks for sharing!

      Just a view other artists I know managed to transfer me where this song of yours lead me too. Kate Bush, Secret Garden, Humpe & Humpe (probably unknown in the US), Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan.

      Quite a nice place to be at, so thank you very much indeed!
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        May 14 2014: Am I so glad you like it :) Yes, I sang it and actually composed and arranged the whole balad, played all synthesizers and "sang" the "chorale" parts on the background (improvised the whole stuff). I was lucky to play with a couple of those worldclass musicians who were very interested in my unusual music and played almost for free.. they were excited to be involved in something new, something they never heard before. (The leadguitar is old Grant Geissman, and the drums by M. Jackson's drummer, and I was for sure blessed by the legendary guitar player Eric Gale..he was going to produce my music himself but was already deadly ill...)

        Well, public does not know about my music. A couple of days ago I published a few songs on youtube.. I can defenately survive without any public and will stay happy without its opinions.

        Here is a couple of old classic Swing Era songs (old jazz/blues) just for you:)


        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN7b7o0jaOs

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN7b7o0jaOs

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USXJjM8l4QI
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          May 14 2014: May I be your groupie?

          :o)

          I do not faint, nor scream nor stalk and never ask for autographs - pinky promise!

          But seriously, you shouldn't be on TED when you could be - should be - on tour singing for the world!

          You talked about those 'super advanced cats', and I liked this expression very much, but there are only a view cats which can sing, and even less than a view cats that can smile. And most of those who do smile, vanish!

          You smile in your voice, Vera, while singing in unique yet wonderfully familiar ways!

          I am glad to be able to say this, because we haven't resolved our hypothetical framework yet of being the only two people on this planet, which brings me into the advantageous position not being counted as part of any 'public' but just me, thus, my opinion has to care about your survival as well as your level of happiness!

          :o)

          The good thing is that I don't have to fake my deep respect for your talent in singing, because there is no need for it.

          It may well be that you 'survive without any public' yet I can assure you, that most of the public looks pretty pale already.

          So as a loyal groupie I have done the best I could on Youtube to push you towards the opening page to turn your tunes run viral. :o)

          Could you imagine yourself to become a famous singer? Would it match your interest to work with similar advanced cats and tomcats for joy and for a living, for a while or two?

          To me it would be nice to imagine your talent in good and professional company!

          So once again I will put on my imaginary hat and trench-coat to stare over the edge of my half-empty whiskey glass into thick layers of cigarette smoke at the bar at the end of the universe while the jukebox plays your smiles ... just for me! :o)

          Thank you!
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        May 14 2014: Lejan, you're a dear soul. I'm just surviving "human civilization" because i did not choose to be born here.. Some years ago when I just started to do some "gigs"or shows, the clubs/ restaurants complained that the customers always stopped eating/ordering while I was singing because they just stared at me..they pinched or grabbed me after my show to make sure that I'm "real". In those recording studious they tried to make me sound like someone else and make my music sound as some wellknown fake.. the photographers chased me but only to "adjust" me to their magazine's standards, the art publisher pushed me to paint what he thought could be easily sold..the list was endless. Professionals were not ready for me, but I was probably the most successful in terms of being noticed among successful musicians, artists, actors I knew. I was only "famous" for refusing any offered "deals". I've met a few outstanding people who were asking me the same quuestion - what's wrong with you? you're a megastar,but no one knows. I'm too real for that showbiz, I'm not made to please the audience - too much of an introvert . I could not compromise under any circumstances, the most flattering offers made me ill. I was bitter for years hating myself. I'm now very sure that I did not miss a thing. Sinse I was very young I was a little wonderer, an authentic little philosopher. I'm coming back to my tiny philosophicall self. I have survived as my self just by being quiet - it's a "miracle".

        P.S. This is fantastic that you believe some people would enjoy my performance from "another existence".. without any promotional "campaign" I'm working on my whole musical right now - having one great sound engineer and a couple of musicians, the rest is my work. Will be happy to let you know when it's done.
        Thank you for your kindness I do not have much of it.
        Blessings.
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          May 14 2014: I didn't choose to be born here either, or when I did, I can't remember it anymore, yet it sounds somehow hard when I hear you saying it. Don't you like to be here, to be alive? I thought you do, thats why I put you on the list of volunteers for the cleaning up after the party ... :o)

          The rest of your comment I understand, totally, as you are a musician, not a product, but 'showbiz' as industrialized complex around music got nothing to do with the idea of music, at least in my simple understanding.

          By a chain of coincidences I once landed in a Jam Session of people who met to share their joy for music, together. They brought their instruments, a view beer, talked a bit, played a bit, jammed a bit, and it became my personal understanding what music is about. One of those calm moments of joyful insight. Many of those musicians seemed to be introverts, but that didn't matter.

          To be 'on tour' singing for the world doesn't mean anymore to be physically out there, although I have to admit that just for curiosity reasons I would have visited your concert in Germany and since I heard you smiling, because since and thanks to the Internet, the music industrial complex is loosing its grip on the individual artist.

          Many musicians are finding new ways to produce and to market their music in their very own ways, and this on all levels of talents, from amateurs to 'Mega-Star' as you modestly described yourself on youtube already ... :o)

          No pinching, no marketing strings attached! Just you and your team of Vera's little helpers.

          So once again I am trying to seed the idea in your mind to take a closer look at what crowd funding platforms could do for you, your ideas and your dreams.

          Especially on music, kickstarter is currently hosting 29,260 projects, which you can find right here: https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/categories/music

          My brother who is more and deeper into music than I am just recently told me, that in Germany a trend has settled, ...
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          May 14 2014: ... that people are very much willing to pay 99 Euro cent (1,36 Dollar) to download a song from the Internet instead of downloading them illegally. And many indication arise, that the multitude in available music recovers from the egalitarianism of the music industrial complex.

          And the good news to you is, Vera, you don't need to sing in German to make more than just me to be your virtual groupie in central Europe! :o)

          So please do let all of us know, here on TED and elsewhere, when your musical is done and where we can either back it as crowd funder or buy it as musical enthusiasts.

          I assume you got to need at least a view bucks to be able to regain your land to start your other project over again. :o)

          If you need any assistance in cover design, desktop publishing or digital arts later, let me know and yes, this offer comes in the same currency than the music you offered here: 'not for money'.

          And if you are using MIDI files and in need for some synthetic strings, I may be able to help out too, as just recently I started to experiment with an incredibly realistic sounding software plug-in, which left me speechless since what is digitally possible today.

          LA Scoring Strings Demos
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-fEMXSEL68
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          May 14 2014: Especially uploaded for you, my very first trial on this software:

          http://youtu.be/tJy9kKl3EOM

          You can borrow my virtual hat and trench-coat, of course ... :o)
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        May 15 2014: Lejan, what kind of software (machinery) have you used ? Did you perform the lovely string piece by yourself, just like very happy Vivaldi ? This time you're guilty of doing it great.

        http://youtu.be/tJy9kKl3EOM

        You can borrow my virtual hat and trench-coat, of course ... :o) Please guide me with this.

        To make sure that we are in tune with the Topic - it's extremelly helpful these days for someone who cannot hire a whole orchestra or some very pricy musicians to create his own music even a new style--- to use sensative technology in stead. I mean, sometimes I feel that my keybords are like the most sensative musicians under my fingers.

        When we do something innovative we are not amateur though we have to make mistakes- we are pioneers.. All innovators of all sorts in arts and music were a little sloppy, not perfect, the followers could be much more smooth technically but the very pioneer remains authentic forever.


        Oh well, music is my life no matter what I do or where I am.

        P.S. "a Megastar" is Eric Gale's idea. My non-profit org secretary comes to check on our non-profit bills and stuff and plays with my computer once in a while. I showed her my new youtube "events" and she "participated" sending her comments to the public, that is why it looks liike they're mine. She thinks that I'm more an idiot that a megastar, because she says I sould be a billionaire by now and start building for everyone a greenhouse, as I have promised.
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          May 15 2014: .

          Hardware:

          - iMac computer 3,4 GHz Intel Core i7
          - Mac OS X Version 10.7.5 (Lion)

          Software

          - Ableton Live 9 Intro from Ableton (Midi Composer/Recording Studio Software)
          https://www.ableton.com/

          - Kontakt 5 Player from Native Instruments (Sample Library / Midi interface)
          http://www.native-instruments.com

          - LA Scoring Strings 1.0 (Sample Library)
          http://audiobro.com/

          All the software is also available for Windows computers and the Kontakt 5 Player is compatible with many other Midi Composer/Recording Studio Software as well.

          LA Scoring Strings is available in version 2.5 now which is even more advanced than version 1.0.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBqQqVQ-yU8&list=UUCAL1Uu6jd98kUItzo5ISUA

          To be continued ...
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          May 15 2014: We are 'in tune with the Topic' from my side since 1975 when I was 6 and watching my father soldering his DIY electrical organ at our kitchen table ... :o)

          And although I was not allowed to touch anything, being known in our family as the one who breaks stuff, I was all exited and couldn't wait for him to finish, which took precisely 2.5793 billion child years.

          At that age I didn't like classical music I was exposed too, yet I always loved strings and piano for their beautiful sounds. And this organ promised both of those instruments alongside many others. Yet when it finally was finished and playing, I was quite disappointed, because only flutes and the spinett kept their promise to some degree but no other instrument did.

          Strings sounded like 'bumblebees on speed' and the piano like ... like something I don't know what ... :o)

          In my mid twenties I tried again and got myself a synthesizer and a good midi keyboard which at that time already used sample based sound synthesis and thereby came much closer to both originals. But a lot of realism was still missing.

          Then and by chance I was once able to play on a concert grand from Steinway, which spoiled my former expectations for simulations to infinite levels and to get one of those originals kept itself stubbornly out of my budget I was willing to spent on this just hobby.

          I can play the piano and was considered highly talented by my teacher who was a retired concert pianist, yet she never understood my motivation and bored me to death meanwhile I caused her hair to loose even more pigmentation.

          I am no musician, never was, but I love to experiment with sound and instruments. It is boring to me to play music other people composed and leave this to the talented people, which then I adore and deeply enjoy. I just do my own 'noise' which seems to want to come out in irregular waves every now and then.
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          May 15 2014: In 2012 I started to experiment again with music on computers and the first time ever I found a Steinway sound library which my ears couldn't tell apart anymore from an original one.

          The technology has become that advanced, and the processing power that cheap, that even piano string-resonance can be computed in real-time. Like to play in the Scala of Milano? No problem, just load her 'echo-characteristic' in a convolution reverb plug-in and you'll have it.

          Amazing! Put it on surround sound, close your eyes and you hear from a totally different location.

          Then I stumbled across LA scoring strings and was hooked again. To my ears and knowledge the most realistic sounding software available at the moment.

          And even though I would like to take credits of being guilty, I can't, because the only thing I did in the sample I uploaded for you was some minor MIDI editing, because the file I downloaded from the Internet was a single blob of notes and not separated in single instrument tracks.

          Free MIDI files often come without 'dynamics' information attached and so was the one I found and I expected Vivaldi to sound as if cooked for 48 hours in an endless see of boredom in my first trial. Yet, it didn't and this is what thrilled me and left me smiling in awe at that day.

          The plug-in itself comes with a bazillion possibilities for fine-tuning on its own, of which I didn't touch a single one.

          So all I did was to copy the same MIDI file multiple times and erased in each copy certain notes of which I only assumed they did not belong to a specific string ensemble within the whole orchestral setup. By this I was able to assign to each of those separated pattern a certain variation of string samples, to add a broader variety to it. That was all and done in less than 30 minutes, with me still at the beginning of understanding how the plug-in works.
          The overall speed I changed as well a bit, because it didn't sound right the way it was, by which Vivaldi would probably kill me. :)
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          May 15 2014: Wow, you really got me going on this topic ... sorry for that! :o)

          I am undecided if I would or should agree with your secretary about you, but I am certain that none of our views matter in relation to your love to music.

          As an outsider and from what you told me about you, I was just counting 1 + 1 and that it could become 2, thats all and not important if you choice makes it another value which is of value to you.

          I really like your view on pioneers! Because only by this rule I was able to work in research.:o)

          The 'virtual hat and trench-coat' you'll find right-hand side right behind the little counter in the wardrobe of 'the bar at the end of the universe' where I left it for you. You cant miss it, neither the wardrobe nor the bar in your imagination. The location is also clear - at the end of the universe, THIS universe, to be precise - and you'll find it also.

          My greetings to Joe, the bartender, if he is on duty if you get there ... ;o)

          I like your idea about greenhouses, do you have a specific concept in mind?

          Personally I love those:

          http://indulgy.com/post/PQbCHUrmW1/geodesic-dome-green-house

          Based on the fantastic concept of geodesic domes by Richard Buckminster Fuller. Elegant, resource efficient, highly stable and easier to build than one would think... :o)

          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL919FC3C22FE4116C

          Potatoes to me please ... ;o)
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          May 15 2014: Ah, see, I forget to mention that I don't have a MIDI keyboard at the moment, which I lend to a friend whose daughter is having piano lessons and which is reason why I used another persons MIDI file and not my own creations to experiment with, because I can not 'play' on a virtual computer keyboard nor can I compose anything but drum pattern with the mouse.

          If I would be able to compete against Vivaldi even with full equipment? I don't think so ... :o)


          Yet here is someone knowing what he is doing in terms of composing for stings as well as how to use the software for it ...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv399Pd4S1w
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        May 15 2014: Vivaldi's "work seems to have been written in haste: the string parts are simple, the music of the first three movements is repeated in the next three, and not all the text is set." ( from Wikipedia) I suppose he'd not kill you for your experimental version of his style:)

        "He died during the night of 27/28 July 1741, aged 63,[42] of "internal infection", in a house owned by the widow of a Viennese saddlemaker. On 28 July he was buried in a simple grave in a burial ground that was owned by the public hospital fund. Vivaldi's funeral took place at St. Stephen's Cathedral..no music was performed on that occasion. The cost of his funeral with a 'Kleingeläut' was 19 Gulden 45 Kreuzer which was rather expensive for the lowest class of burials." "Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias.. " It's a terribly written article but a couple of spots do make sense.

        Vivaldi's work was asleep till early 20thCentury.

        Human-made fashions take over human minds and taste for some months, and sometimes for centuries, in philosophy- for millennia. More comments below..
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        May 15 2014: Lejan, would you like to start a new thread or something? There is no Reply link under your latest comments..

        I have some thoughts regarding tech help in music and other media. When you listen to a real orchestra you can recognize the conductor. When you listen to a piano or violin you recognoze a musician. This unique charachter that tech devices may only sample from great performance or instruments or voice, is getting repeated over and over again for a "new" artificial "masterpiece" in recording studios... public would not even know where those sounds have been stolen from

        Once upon a time this young musician made me laugh to death! when he made-up a song in rap style - "He stole this tune and he looped it and he looped it - and it's so stuopid, stuopid.. (stupid)"

        It was his super description of a contemporary music-making process..

        Just want to say - No Danger for an original live person who is Able to perform music in his/her own vivid way/harmoniously / rhythmically ..I hope I make some sense.

        I'll try to find you in the corner of that universe. But you better create one on your own - it would be easier to find and visit you.
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      May 14 2014: Lovely music and voice.
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        May 15 2014: What did you like, Fritzie? You did not say.
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          May 15 2014: Not being a musician myself, I don't have the language to describe to a musician what I like in her voice. I like a melodic, is it called lyrical(?) voice. Your voice has an interesting combination of strength and restraint.

          I like the sort of voice that can fit with jazz standards.

          I experiment with the hammered dulcimer and a tonal drum, both of which have sounds I love but I cannot describe to you why, because the impact is emotional rather than analytical. I like to leave some things that way.
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        May 15 2014: Fritzie, you might not even guess how right you are - to be "analytical" or technical in music is like trying to slice the wind with some knife.
        I'm grateful for your thoughtful comment "Your voice has an interest combination of strength and restraint." No one could say this so plainly and so clearly as you did - and yes, it is my forever "golden rule" the most invincible strength is brewing from grace and majestic Calmness. I remember reading Stanislavski An Actor Prepares , he is telling us - screaming is your failure to act, any loud scream is your worst weakness. (unfortunately all our postmodern culture is based on screaming, whoever screams louder gets all the attention)

        You do have very perceptive ears, Fritzie. Thank you:)
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          May 15 2014: I don't believe that screaming is very effective other than as a disruption, with the exception that some people do prefer it in vocal music. I also think people tune out people who talk excessively.

          I conjecture that some of us have a different sensitivity of ears, of eyes, and even of taste buds. There could be a genetic basis, but also our leanings are probably affected by how noisy our baseline environment is.

          For example, I went to a gallery show yesterday in which the featured artist was an outstanding colorist. I found her work extremely striking and well composed, but I could not hang such work in my home. It would be too bright for my eyes. I know your college training is in fine art, so you probably know what I mean when I say I lean to the colors of the Spanish still life (like Melendez).

          In food some people favor the very spicy, some the very bland, and some in between.
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      May 16 2014: It makes me feel sorry at times for posthumous recognized talent when earlier appreciation could have made for less troubled times for those people. May this be because of changing fashions you mentioned, general public awareness, or simply because an individual is way ahead of its time.

      At the same time I am against hype and personalized cultism around talent, as to my understanding this isn't helpful to talent either. So I am lucky not to be endangered by both extremes. :o)

      On creativity, inspiration and who 'steals' from whom, however, we could open a separate thread all on itself and with a multitude in views, believes and interpretations.

      In my understanding creativity and talent only reveals what is already there and just hidden in front of us and to our perception. If our concept of infinity is true, of which I think it is, at least in mathematical terms, then there is nothing we can do or create which conceptional essence wasn't there before.

      However, if this was true, it doesn't seem to take away our joy and pleasure within the process of revealing, which is good and just the way the human nature has evolved. 'Being first' seems to remain of high importance to many of us ever since, even in fields where we can never be certain ... :o)

      This is why I am highly against the very modern idea of 'intellectual property' which is nothing but a shallow incarnation of this childish urge.

      No you can't think that, because I thought that before you ... no mental trespassing here anymore ... lol

      Hopefully just a temporary fashion ... :o)

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