Divertimento Spring Concert

It’s that time again! I’m very pleased to say that I will be playing in the Spring Concert of the Divertimento Orchestra, April 28th and 29th, 2017. We’re playing three pieces:

Halifax Harbour by Elizabeth Raum
As part of the Canada 150 celebration, we will be playing this fun piece (with a great cello part 😉 ) by Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum. Shhhh! Rumour has it that depending on the night, you might see her in the audience.
Tres Danzas Españolas by Enrique Granados
Enrique Granados was born the 27th of July 1867, 150 years ago. The three pieces that we’ll be playing are orchestral arrangements (by J. Lamote de Grignon) of three of the “12 Danzas Españolas” a piano work published in 1890. There’s a strong Spanish feel and some great solo playing (not by me <g>).
Symphony No. 3 in Eb, Op. 97 “Rhenish” by Robert Schumann
This Schumann Symphony is big, deep music, with complexities that you probably don’t hear on the first listen through. It really wasn’t until I’d played the cello part in context that I felt like I understood it. Very cool!

All and all, it should be an excellent show. And given my recent health issues, I’m particularly glad that I’ll be able to participate. By all means, come and give us a listen.

Here’s the poster for the show. Feel free to print this out and post it wherever people might see it. We love playing for a full house!

Poster for the Spring 2017 show

Never use iTunes to hold your own music.

(This is an old post from July 25, 2016, recovered via the Wayback Machine…)

For pity’s sake:

Mangled iTunes Match example

This is ridiculous. I’ve been trying to use iTunes to make my music (that is, the music I created) available on all my devices for *years*. No matter how many times I’ve tried it, and how many times I think it might, just *might* have worked this time, I always end up with the bullshit you see above: multiple copies, some local, some in the cloud, some that claim they’re in the cloud but you can’t download them, you name it.

It’s impossible to tell what is causing the failures or how you could fix them. You can’t even just go look at what is in the cloud, except through the lens of how it has been sync’ed to one of your iTunes libraries and that seems to *never* be correct.

Somebody, please tell me about alternatives that work.

Yes, the 9.7″ iPad Pro is the iPad you want.

(This is an old post from June 9, 2016, recovered via the Wayback Machine…)

If you’re looking for a tablet because you draw stuff for a living, then there’s no doubt the 12ʺ iPad Pro is the tool you want. It’s fast, the Pencil is as responsive a tool as you could ask for, and it has all the benefits of being part of the iOS ecosystem. And I can say this as someone who also owns a MS Surface Pro.

The thing is though, if you’re actually in it because you want an iPad, you’re better off going with the 9.7ʺ. It’s almost exactly as fast as the 12ʺ, but its weight and form factor make it a tool that you will carry around with you all the time. By contrast, as Deb said, the 12ʺ is something you’d “always be worrying about bending”. It’s just too unwieldy to be anything but something you put in a laptop bag when you’re not using it.

The other side of the question is whether an iPad Air would be just as good as your main iPad. All I can say to that is, if you want that to be true, do not try the iPad Pro. The Air is a great device, but the Pro really is materially faster. Really, with the lighter weight iOS running on it, the iPad Pro feels like it’s faster than my MBP for many tasks. It’s definitely the best way to read Notes email now.

And speaking of which, I did indeed put the IBM security package on it, so I can now read my Notes mail and calendar, and get access to VPN, etc. To give you some idea of how much faster this is than my old iPad. My first gen iPad Mini took about 2 hours to install all the software. The Pro took just under 10 minutes. Very nice.

Anyway, the iPad Pro is too expensive to be an impulse buy. I was lucky enough to have my wonderful wife Deb give me permission to get one as an early Father’s Day gift. Thanks, love. It’s awesome.

iPad Pro with keyboard

Divertimento Spring Concert

(This is an old post from March 29, 2016, recovered via the Wayback Machine…)

Please join me and the other members of the Divertimento Orchestra for a wonderful Spring concert:

Donizetti! – Overture to Don Pasquale
An exciting, rip-roaring overture with some brutally fast playing.

Beethoven — Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 “Pastorale”
This is a deeply moving, powerful Symphony that paints beautiful images, from a shepherd tending a flock, to a ferocious thunderstorm. The more I play this piece, the more I discover in it.

Grieg — Symphonic Dances, Op. 64
Originally written for piano duet, and then orchestra, this is a cycle of four pieces founded on Norwegian folk dance melodies.

The concert dates are:

April 22 & 23, 2016 at 8 p.m.
L’Eglise St. Thomas d’Aquin
1244 Kilborn Avenue

Tickets prices are:

$20 for adults
$10 for Students and Seniors
$5 for kids under 13
Free for kids under 6

I hope to see you there.

Context driven parsing

I thought I’d record this here, because it’s such a great example of why context is important when recognizing text…

Consider this:

Text that looks like "13 Dec"

I suspect almost anyone who sees that image would parse it as a date, that is “13 December”. Of course, once you see it in context, at least the Tim Horton’s regulars would know it said “Black Decaf”.

A Tim Horton's Coffee -- Black; Decaf

Ad astra per aspera