Sunday, July 27, 2008

Aussie Adventures Blog #3

I’ve added some audio (which should be playing now)
To stop it continually looping, click the little grey square below the D in the word AUDIO at the top of the audio player.
(took me ages to find it & I'm a big boy!)

Recently I visited Surfers Paradise, I was struck by its skyscrapers & the general lack of charm this famous tourist trap had on this day. It all looked rather seedy to me with tourists and locals, filling in the school holidays on this rainy afternoon. Shopping for the classic Aussie kitsch gifts of t-shirts, didgeridoos, beer mugs and boomerangs.

Walked around checking the area out, plenty of women with the Arabian face shawls on, and lots of different languages being spoken. I wandered into a gaming arcade, not somewhere that I usually frequent. Allot of people, on noisey games, shooting things, bashing things, father and son, both shooting people on the same game, I thinks, yeah this is where people get their mass shooting ideas (Columbine and others), The only games I could relate too was the drum game (below), and a modern version of kids hopscotch.

Another 10 year old boy hitting fake rabbits, with a wooden mallet as they come out of their burrows, with a face full of anger! Oh what a crazy society some of us live in! I ended up taking movies and photo’s of the people and reflections in the various distorted mirrors around this arcade.

Fingers made for playing baritone Sax.

In the late afternoon with the weather clearing after heavy rain, I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering and taking photo’s of buildings

Spotted these high rise buildings, joined by this massive video screen.

I could sense this amazing sunset coming, I enjoy watching nature unfold its beauty, with time to drink it in! This is my version of bliss.

Speaking to the people at the bloggers “meetup” meeting, I found that most of them are "twittering"....I’d looked at it before, and decided to re-try it ….so far, I find it a total waste of time! ..... already a master in this area anyway.......

The Brisbane Arts Festival 08 had a street party. I took in the Racecourse Road event, where I had some raw sugar cane juice with ginger & lime & also a Hungarian “Langos” fried bread. The bloke selling them was a real character with a hat from Thailand. A real multi national event.

Would you buy food from this guy, I did!

Come to think of it, he reminds me of my father!

Took a Tai Chi class in Brisbane, well attended, its great to be able travel and relax doing exactly the same 108 moves of the Tai Chi set with a whole bunch of people I've never met before. A visiting American practioner told us all, how Tai Chi had prevented surgery on his neck bones...its amazing how soft yet powerful things like Tai Chi can be!

Visited a very small saxophone shop and tested some mouthpieces, none of which were overall, any better than my current set up, he had no Soprano's for me to try and although helpful, nothing I tried had any magic and screamed, yes this I gotta have! I tested only three, one metal (an Otto Link, which felt soft and dead, hard to blow on the bottom range) I quickly put that one aside. The other two had parts of there sounds better than my existing set up, but my current set up, especially the ease and full sound of the bottom notes, I couldn't improve on. I tried a Meyer Richie Cole, Medium, tip opening 5, face length 5 (this was good up top, fat sound on the high notes), but hard work and no volume down the bottom, I also tried a Shanty Runyon custom mouthpiece.

A very small, dark mouthpiece, interesting sound very sharp and slightly raspy, good volume right through the range, didn't care for the edge in it. This one had what was called a splitter, a thin steel insert allot like a spark plug feeler gauge, that fitted into the actual chamber facing away from the reed, a bit of a gimmick I thought & the sound sort of electronic, not my cup of tea!

I took my naked lady Conn into the repair shop 2 doors down from the sax shop, for an opinion on her current playing condition, he said, she's in good condition, although a repad would be worth doing.....he quoted $750-800 Aus. My last repad was $250 in NZ, so I'll stick with NZ prices and wait till she really needs a refresh.

Stopped to busk at Roma Street Station. Nice tile floors and walls, a real echo chamber, so I went past the ticket clerks and set up in a clear area, after about 10 minutes one of the Queensland Rail officials came and told me (in a friendly manner) to go outside the area, which I did, & busked for another 15 minutes, then the police came.... (same friendly manner) & told me to move outside onto the street, so I packed up for the day, after only 30 minutes playing, I netted $21.55 which was my best ever. I need to find a good patch and develop my busking chops!

Later in the week I revisited and stopped to have another chat with Graham Pawling the blind Saxophone busker in the Queens street Mall. Finding out how he cut his own lawns and uses his computer. His advice was to busk outside the Commonwealth bank, I'll let you know how I go with this one!

The Queensland State library, very impressive building & complex, I went to the Talbot Family exhibition "Just Gorgeous Sheet Music"

I spent the rest of the time, till closing in the Music Library on level 3. Found the Saxophone section...and time dissappeared!

I will have to return another day, I asked about there CD collection..... only having to register (which is free then, can view, even printing & listen to anything in the catalogue) This is a huge resource. (I may not get out alive)

I haven’t even looked at the Museum and Art gallery’s yet, still to visit the "Picasso and His Collection" exhibition.
Will report on this in the next "Aussie Adventures Blog"

I also attended an exhibition and symposium at the QSL, discussing Artists books, which was brilliant....
Reminding me how unusual and fabulous my fathers collection of Artist books is one of em!

Leaving the Libray, outside the Museum, is a huge corridor, a concrete passageway with massive whales suspended from the ceiling & whale song being broadcast in the space…..

What else could I the sax out and blew some sounds. A few people came thru, tossing coins into my case. An official came by and said "Your not Busking are you, ....I’d shut the case”!.......

& off I heads into the night........

Must thank Dom & Cathy for this house sitting opportunity, he's even letting me use his brand new Rode Podcaster mic.

Ah's a tough life...being a busker, house sitter, and pets guardian.......

But....someone's gotta do it!

Stay safe, till the next blog B good!

Cheers from the land of limitless opportunities....

As the Wallaby rugby team showed us last weekend.


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