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I made this advent calendar last year for my pupils. They're all slideshows made using software called Aquasoft, and it started out simply and innocently enough, until they started to get longer and longer, and by about December 12th it was taking up all my waking hours, no lesson notes being written, and I was trapped in the realisation that I couldn't stop doing it now that I'd started, I was committed to it until the 25th!
This year my teaching load has gone up from 25 to 40 and I send out more detailed notes, so I'm not making another one of these! However, I thought I'd like to share them with you, and here's the first one:
I got completely obsessed with Casals' playing of it when I had finished making that one. I found a (rather bad) you-tube video of him playing it on United Nations day after something like 14 years' silence, at the age of 90-something. And I really hadn't expected that of Joan Baez - I love the instrumental-sounding bit towards the end.Feg wrote:Beautiful Now I can't get the Carol of the Birds out of my head!
I'm really enjoying this aural advent calendar!
btw the answers to last week's Jumbled Songs come up in two days so get working them out!
Looks awful (transitions are all black, and I've lost the original so I can't edit it - this is last year's copy)
Sounds awful - I just played it on a keyboard, and although I am sure there was no phantom typist in the room when I recorded it, I seem to be able to hear typing!
Should of course be sung, but I don't think there's ever been a nice recording made of it.
But it's a lovely song. I have to say that, it's my baby. I was teaching on long-term supply in Liverpool in 1989, and was meant to get together a carol service, and I'd just written it for the two youngest years to learn - then the boss cancelled the carol service so we never did it. The music's on Score Exchange somewhere, it's dead easy to sing and there's an easy obbligato wind part (flute or clarinet)
Hope you enjoy it
LOLGill the Piano wrote:The Rector where I was playing the organ one Christmas asked if I had the music to We Will Rock You. I was rummaging under Q for Queen before I twigged what he meant...
Sorry this one's late; there'll be two in one go.
Jumbled Songs, the solutions (haven't you solved them yet?)
Nice bit of Howard Goodall in the middle of this lot
This was one of my favourites out of all the ones I made, as the Tannenbaum section turned out just magical (help from John Rutter)
December 12th Carols from the New World
I love both these recordings. I've done the Huron Carol with kids in school many times, but never sounded like this. ("Ostinato" is the answer they give to every question you ask, once you've taught them the word). My kids also sang La Peregrinacion, not in Spanish, though
Once I got going with it, most of my waking hours when I wasn't actually teaching. I didn't even write up lesson notes or anything. I hardly did any cooking. Each one took between 8 and 12 hours. I onlyh started about two days before the start of December last year, so many of them were made on the day before they're labelled for.Gill the Piano wrote:Posting a letter for 3p....those were the days!
This calendar is brilliant Gizzy; however long did it take you to do????????
It seemed like such a nice idea at the time, and of course the Walking in the Air one took next to no time. But aFter about the first 8, I suddenly realised that I was committed to do this and couldn't stop if I wanted to. I had to produce about 24 of these things! I used to lie awake worrying about what the next one could be about - but somehow the ideas came up. Until about midway I based them all on Clipart, and I spent ages trawling through Google images. Most of them when I look at them now make me break out into a cold sweat when I remember working under that sort of pressure. Pity I can't apply the same thing to composing...
As I got better at it, it seemed to take more time, not less, as I was learning to do new things, and in the last one (you'll have to wait for it!) I was timing things at a quarter of a second.
I hope you like word games, because I did another jumbled tunes thing which comes up tomorrow. I found some fabulous music on my travels - some of it is in tomorrow's, plus a couple of pictures which took me hours to put together. All I'll say is look out for Messrs Cameron & Osborne. For that one I also enlisted the help of Mr. William Tunstall-Pedoe's Anagram Genius program (yes, he really is called Pedoe, though maybe he pronounces it P'doo). Again you get about five days to work out the answers though you get help from the tunes.
Most of them only need to title slightly modified, but one or two have had to be slightly edited and then re-uploaded, since I learned how to get rid of the black transitions (except for We Will Rock You as I seemed to have accidentally deleted the original). I just didn't want them all to go to waste.
Harry Secombe is very special to me; he looked like my Dad when he was young, and he looked like my Dad again when he was old, and he was a most unexpected kind of singer - amazing warmth. Plus of course my current husband used to do non-stop goon show impressions when we were at school. I was weird enough to think that was attractive and endearing. You get one more quick burst of Harry before this series is done.
On Saturday we went to the 90th birthday party of my mother-in-law who is a wonderful role model (still has a sense of silliness and humour) and now a real matriarch figure. One of Robin's cousins came up and said how much she'd enjoyed the advent calendar when I sent it to them all last year, and asked when was I going to do another...
Gizzy in Cambridge (-4 this morning, zero right now)
I really enjoyed making this one, especially the one featuring messrs Cameron and Osborne (you'll have to watch it to see what I mean)
Gizzy, quite relieved only to get them one at a time these days
I had quite a lot of fun with this - breathing-in-and-out effect in Silent Night, and gradual splitting up in This Little Babe. Not to mention several (increasingly blurred) pictures of my ex in a long white surplice
The Monkey's Carol by Charles Villiers Stanford
I loved making this one. I found loads of photos and pictures from Victorian and Edwardian times on the internet and "tinted" them, and I found out more than I ever dreamed on the subject of organ grinders.
I used to sing it, which makes me a bit nostalgic for my poor old voice.
Gizzy, still grinding 'em out.
Last year I put this one out on December 20 as it was the start of Hanukkah. I looked at the calendar and found that this year's Hanukkah FINISHED three days ago.
However, it's quite a nice one - took me ages to make, you'll see why when you see it, though the music and the pictures didn't take long to find
20 December Angels are Everywhere
This was something I composed in 2002, but there's never been a recording with voices. I'm quite pleased with it, though not with the recoirding
Gizzy, confidently expecting the world will still be here by the end of the 21st
This is a song written by two friends of mine, and entered for a carol competition last year (didn'y win unfortunately). I was partocularly proud of this slideshow.
I know the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance isns't actually associated with the Solstice, but I won't tell anyone if you don't
Gizzy in a very dark Cambridge