My Russian-speaking audience will enjoy this impromptu performance by Becky of the well-known New Year’s song, which she literally learned in an hour or so prior to going to her New Year’s party. Those of you who do not speak Russian may still be able to appreciate the fact that Becky started playing guitar only a few months ago.
My eldest daughter seems to be the primary source of material for my blog lately. At her request, I am putting up another of her drama class projects, so that it is publicized to my considerably larger audience.
The assignment was to select 3 words that either described the person, evoked a specific emotion or simply had a certain meaning, and then display them in a 10-second video-clip in some creative way. Becky’s pick was technically 4 words – but who’s counting? – and her presentation idea was to actually perform the action somewhat opposite to the words being shown.
Here’s how it turned out.
Uncredited editing by yours truly.
I don’t want to provide the name of this little performance out of concern for what type of future Google searches it may attract. You’ll understand.
This is something Becky did for a graded Drama class project at school a while ago. We decided to take a video cut for posterity.
Becky and Kimmy returned to the Old Bridge skating rink soon after we came back to the area. The rink traditionally stages a holiday skating show for all of the student skaters and their coaches. Our girls signed up for a number together, which I am happy to present to my audience.
A few weeks ago Natasha scored free tickets to participate in a taping of a UK food channel show “Market Kitchen”. She invited a couple of girlfriends and spent half a day in a studio listening to chef’s presentations and tasting their creations. She says it was a lot of fun.
Her TV appearance consisted of one two-second-long close-up plus dozens of fleeting moments where she could be prominently seen in the background. I finally got around to making a short clip of that.
I currently do not possess recording equipment to transfer a Sky+ program into portable digital format. Instead, I resorted to the incredibly inventive trick of positioning a camcorder in front of the TV. That – and my lack of willpower to go to extra lengths – accounts for the far from ideal sound.
In lieu of any other content that I can provide at the moment, here is a recent masterpiece from my budding artist offspring, a music-video-ish interpretation of the immortal Shakespeare’s play by Becky and her friends.
As with her poem, Becky decided that my vast audience offers a chance for better publicity than her own blog readership. Therefore, posted with full author’s consent.
This little project has been years in the making.
When I worked on the movie about our first Paris trip, in 2002, the well-known Russian pop song (called “Walking about Paris”) was the obvious choice for an opening segment. Unfortunately, I realized that we did not tape a single scene related to the song lyrics then. Making a separate music video for the song became an item on my “someday” list.
A couple of visits to Paris later, in May of 2007, we finally got to taping necessary footage. Becky was enlisted as a principal camera-person and, during our wanderings about the city, she recorded Natasha and me walking around various sights.
Still, I did not get into the mood for movie-making for almost two years afterwards. But Natasha kept prodding me, and I eventually produced a reasonable piece of work, offered for your discerning appreciation herewith.
I dream of being in Paris and being in love.
I see you standing by a café.
I know a little French, so I say Hello and walk with you.
Noon. Summer. We walk about Paris.
I’d like to get to know you better,
So let’s sit down at a café.
But I only have five coins in my pocket.
Undeterred, like a true Frenchman, I tell the waiter to mail the bill to me.
When there is no money, there is no love.
I better go to Syktyvkar (a town on Russian periphery, chosen here because of the rhyme),
So that I can save up.
It snowed here last night. For no more than an hour, and melted instantaneously, but it was a huge surprise nonetheless.
While Becky boldly went where her parents have never gone before, – she is on a school trip to Iceland, – Kimmy required extra attention than normal during her half-term break. So Natasha enrolled her in a three-day theater workshop, brought her to see a Russian circus troupe and commandeered half of the living room for continuous work on the summer vacation scrapbook. They also sang together, with Kimmy learning songs that she did not know the words to before. That obviously necessitated a session of videotaping. Here is one performance.
For my non-Russian-speaking audience, the song is called “A True Friend” and is basically about friendship.
One of the gifts that Becky received this year for her birthday was a recording studio experience (idea by Mom, funding by Grandma and Grandpa). She enlisted a couple of her friends as a personal gallery and went the other day to record three songs of her choice. I have to say that she somewhat erred in regards to picking songs commensurate with her vocal range, but she had a blast nonetheless. Below are a few outtakes from the occasion.
Note: YouTube screwed up the first 8 seconds of video in their “conversion” process, and I don’t have the willpower to try again.
Besides giving everybody a chance to see my girls enjoy an exotic – for us – pursuit, I also aimed at illustrating the quick-changing weather with this clip. Alas, compressed diminished quality of the video made that less discernible. Just smile at the sight of the girls ahorse, then…
P.S. I know I should not be, but I am slightly disappointed with my first attempt of posting a video on YouTube. A half-gig DVD-quality .AVI file took ages to upload, but I specifically went with that because I expected YouTube’s internal compression to degrade quality. Yet, it turned out worse than I expected. I should try something like mpeg4 next time to see how it compares… Also, YouTube required me to come up with “tags”, and then suggested some stupid “related” videos based on that. I guess, the Volga Boatmen Song is always perfectly related
It took me several days to figure out a good way to post locally stored streaming videos on my website. Trust me, every blogging software puts limitations on what you can transparently do, and what appears to be a simple task with embedding YouTube video becomes a lot less simple when you want to refrain from going to other sites for the components of the embedded object. And then, with .flv format, various containers behave in a different way, not necessarily the way you’d like them to. But I must be boring you.
In any case, I arrived at a reasonable solution (futher tinkering expected), and now feel empowered to start posting various video clips from our on-going recordings.
I do lack ready material at the moment though (other songs from Becky’s choir performance will be posted later this week). So, for the next number, at Becky’s request, I am posting the video that she and her friend made at their recent trip to the movies a couple of weeks ago. As it goes with such videos, the quality is on the lowish side…
It has not been a great week, as we all fluctuated between unwell and well states. Natasha took through Tuesday to recover from Sunday’s malady, but was feeling fine and went for her badminton session on Wednesday. I was back in office on Tuesday, but continue to have a peculiar relationship with food intake, and have not even deigned to go to gym. Becky went to school on Tuesday, but had to be taken out late in the morning, and then spent all Wednesday in bed. And Kimmy suddenly developed a fever on Wednesday night, taking her turn of staying home…
But by the end of today, we were all more or less in decent shape and attended a concert at Becky’s school. She sings in two different choirs and participated in four numbers. Three of those were absolutely fantastic and I offer you here the one that I liked the most. Enjoy!