Montag, 29. Juni 2009

Oslo is hotter than you think!

Dear visitors!
You should properly prepare for Oslo before you come. This picture shows you what happens to you if you expect this to be a cold city in summer:

(Frank and Verena from the QE group, in case you haven't recognized them :-) )

Samstag, 27. Juni 2009

Beach days

I spent a few great days with my mother, mostly relaxing and swimming at the beaches of some of the islands just opposite Oslo. Here are a few snapshots - they were all made without a flash, check out the time in the lower right corner (you may need to click on the images to be able to read it).

Getting later...

This one features my mum:

And here's a midnight shot of the two of us, taken with automatic release but without flash!

The darkest is actually 1am, not 12... and no, it doesn't really get 100% dark these days, but it gets quite dark - for half an hour or so.

This one is from yesterday; at the beach again, this time equipped with one of these Norwegian disposable grills. These are scampi on the grill in this picture, and they were really delicious.

... but not all the fish or meat that you get in Norway is so great... although I can't say that I actually tried that one yet:

If you look closely, you can see that it says "Hvalbiff" - well yeah, that's whale meat. They do eat some strange things here. I'm still shocked by Frank's Lutefisk description.

Mittwoch, 17. Juni 2009

Sonntag, 14. Juni 2009

It's hot

or at least warm. And it was really warm yesterday. It's nice to be in Oslo on a sunny day!

Stay tuned for the next really exciting post... ;-)

Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2009

It's cold

this is like March... but our language teacher said that this is perfectly normal June weather. I'm trying to stay warm by turning on the heater (in June, damnit!) and listening to Regina Spektor, mainly the "Begin To Hope" and "Soviet Kitsch" albums (thanks Rene!). (Favorites: us, fidelity, Samson). Regina, if you read this, could you please make a short trip from Hultsfred, Sweden, to Oslo on your tour? Thanks! :-)

Mittwoch, 10. Juni 2009

Buddy Rich's Secret Weapon

About time to post something about drumming again:

When I was around 15, I attended a 1-week workshop where Jojo Mayer taught us all kinds of crazy things. He made a real effort to get everything across, from his unbelievable foot technique to... well, you name it, the guy can do everything. Anyway, while we all practiced a lot during that week, of course you need to put more time into it - and so at least I never managed to make the "one handed roll" work. This is one out of two common techniques for playing fast strokes with one hand, the other one involves the rim of the drum.

Recently, some 20 years later, I stumbled over it again on youtube. Jojo now (maybe also back then? I don't remember) calls it "Buddy Rich's Secret Weapon" because, apparently, this is how Buddy called it. I think it's what Buddy uses on his left hand in this video, right at the beginning. This video is quite impressive, by the way.

Now check out Jojo showing it off. This video starts with his foot technique, and he shows the one-handed roll at 1:18. At 1:34 you can see (or rather hear) the limit of how fast one hand can really go... I don't believe anybody can play faster than that (without using both ends of the stick).

So, of course this is only a gimmick - this is why I never practiced it, but now I felt like getting started, just for the fun of it. It's also one of things that you can nicely do on the side while watching TV (or, in my case, your landlady's DVDs with Norwegian subtitles :) ). I found this video of a guy who's teaching it very well, although I admit that, just because of the way he acts, my first thought was "heck, this guy is too young to teach me!" :-)

Seriously though, this guy has it all down, and teaches it very well. He calls himself "masterofmoeller" because he's can also do the Moeller technique very well - he shows this in a couple of his other videos. That's another technique that I can't really use well - just a little bit. Many years ago, I spent countless hours in front of a Jim Chapin video tape - which, as you can see here, is annoying ... so I can do it a bit, but by no means as good as the "masterofmoeller", and above all I never managed to really apply it, which he does very beautifully in this video. Check this guy's videos out if you want to learn some hand technique.

Anyway, I'm practicing this now whenever I watch a DVD, and I can already see some initial progress. It actually feels quite natural to me because half of the motion is how I play doubles anyway, so now it's just a matter of filling the missing link in the movement...