forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
I promised I'd post new youtube videos here. I got a new intrument, a Xaphoon and proceeded to make a duet with my soprano sax.  I'm not very happy with it, so instead I made a "here's my new Xaphoon" video with some noodling.  If I get some time, I'll try the duet over.  Is this against my promise to post things that aren't perfect. I don't know.  I'm still allowed to have a line, no?

I haven't been making time for making videos.   A lot is just being busy with things, but mostly it's because I've been enjoying playing Overwatch a lot and haven't been making the youtube making a priority.  Though perhaps waiting until I really want to be doing it isn't the worst thing in the world.

I bought the Xaphoon as a possiblity for something to play in the rain for School of Honk

So what is a Xaphoon? It's a pocket saxophone. )
forgotten_aria: (koto bridges)
I had my very last koto lesson today. My teacher is moving to LA and social pressures are such that I want to put my energies into an instrument that is less controversial for a white person to perform.

My teacher was great, very patient. I got to perform after her rock band, Ten, a few years back, which was amazing getting to see us both perform. She often tours with people I know from taiko.

We played the song that I had been working on. I still can play it front to back, but our last run through was my best, and really fun. It's a piece called Okoto which had a wonderful mix of old and new influences. We had a little bit of time left, so at my request, she dug out the second to last song we had played and ended with that, which I really love that song. I loved that my last lesson was basically the privilege of playing duets with her. When I didn't throw off the flow, it was really really happy to hear the lovely music coming out of what we were playing.

She pointed out that it had been about 4 years. She thought I had learned very fast, where I thought I had learned slowly because I started out with half lessons and never really had enough time to practice, so I thank her for the compliment.

Also very appreciate to the koto academy for bringing my teacher up from New York City every month. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity.

I don't think I'll have the stomach to sell my koto for a little while. I really love the instrument for a variety of reasons.

I am really hoping this Korean company, http://www.supersoundintl.com/, that's making fiber carbon gayageum starts it's production run soon, so I can get me one of those and still have expressiveness of the transverse plucked harp mixed with the instrument being weird enough to have little attachment to cultural tradition. Though they seem much more focused on promoting their band right now, than getting the instruments produced and sold, which makes me fear the cost of production was much higher than the CEO was hoping.
forgotten_aria: (cello white)
I just wanted to say how cool Rocksmith 2014 is. This is a game that's like rock band but you use a real guitar. I decided I'm still not that good at making guitar hand prezels, so I'm going to focus on bass guitar instead. It's really good at getting me to practice because it feels like I'm playing real music (even though I'm not as good as it makes me feel I am.) It does a really good job of dynamic scalling, but that means you almost always feel on the edge of failing (but to counter that, you also feel like you're really playing.) I really want a DLC sale so I can buy a whole lot more songs that I know well, because they're the most fun.

It's super cool if you were ever thinking of buying it, do it!

Also, completely unrelated, I've ordered an acoutic/electric harp!
forgotten_aria: (cello white)
I'm very seriously considering putting myself on the wait list for a bali steel hand pan. (I'm still waffling a little bit, of course.) If I did, I would have to choose what scale I'd like to have made. They have a list of all their scales here but I think I've narrowed it down to three:

Gaku Joshi
F Bb C Eb F G Bb C Eb

Kokin Joshi
F Bb C Eb F F# Bb C Eb

(these are both common koto scales) (minus the F and F#)

D Minor
D A C D F G A C D

(which is more costly)
cut for the embeded scale videos )
forgotten_aria: (Default)
I won the kokyu auction on ebay! Yay! I found someone to sell me the parts it's missing. I'm still not sure if I should get the correct bow, but I think I should while I can still save on shipping.

This is the instrument I really think the violin part of "To Fly" should be played on.

(For those of you who are curious what the kokyu is: DRAT! the woman on youtube deleted her example.)
forgotten_aria: (Default)
Dear guqin, you are super sexy, but you sound kind of like a steel guitar. Could you and the guzheng have a child with your looks and her sound?

Thanks,
Cat
forgotten_aria: (cello white)
I just found this Chinese instrument, the guqin:



It's super sexy, sounds very much like a koto, is a bit smaller and is very affordable, in comparison. The only drawback is it's not Japanese, but that's ok.

I will have to ponder on this, especially since I want to save budget for my trip to LA in august, but... drool.
forgotten_aria: (cello white)
I'm still hung up on the koto harp. Since koto-man let me down and didn't come back to Boston before he sold it after a month of playing with me, I have to now consider my other options. The chinese version, which is clearly not Japanese and has many more strings, is much cheaper. The authentic Japanese versions are sort of more than I should be spending on yet another instrument that I won't actually master. However, my hope would be to get good enough to perform it as a filler between set changes at an ONE show, so authenticity is worth something to me. Plus the Japanese ones are just prettier looking.

[Poll #1370454]

Pictures, in case you're interested )
forgotten_aria: (Default)
Dealing with Mr. koto man has driven home the whole commincation mismatch thing. I want information. I want to know when and where he is on the whole koto sale thing. Does he have a date for coming home, did the sale in Montreal go through (he never told me he was in montreal, I got that by searching for other koto sales on the web.) He said last Friday:

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I have someone asking about the koto around here, but they haven't bought yet. I should be heading to Boston within the next week, I'll let you know what happens.

Should I email him today asking if he has a Boston return date now? Or is that too early, since the week isn't out?

I hate pestering people, but I also hate loosing an oppertunity because they just forgot about meor they otherwise lamed out. (I lost a job at irobot because of that.)

Feh. Also, I can't help but feel strung along or scammed. But who would scam on a koto? You scam on popular items. He's been saying, "one more week" for over a month now.

I'm still very torn too. I very much want the koto, but it's so large, I'm telling myself I shouldn't be sad if I loose it. Wonder if that will work.
forgotten_aria: (cello white)
I've suddenly decided I want a koto harp. Normally they're ~$1200 which is more than I can afford, but there is someone selling one for $400, which is also more than I should afford, but he said the price is negotiable... we'll see just how negotiable. (Translation, I'm offering way too little. He's likely to refuse, unless really desperate.)

Whee!!

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