Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another kind of tango..

I did grow up with tango, the Finnish one. I remember we were talking about tango but now afterwards I can hardly understand when I did hear it. There was radio but as child I did not have control over the buttons and the family was not interested in dance music. My uncles did build instruments and had a village orchestra but I can not remember any tangos -The Hungarian dance nr 5 of Brahms was my favorite. But still I have the feeling of being surrounded by tango all my life and I know all the old singers, composers to be known.

My tango life was activated first when I at age of 17 started to attend the Saturday dance nights. Then I could hear four or six tango songs per night - the rest of evening we had other kind of music. This is a rule even for the Finnish Tango festival - Tangomarkkinat - orchestra plays songs in sets of two; two waltz, jive, chachacha, samba, foxtrot, tango, polka, humppa, and so on ...... and then once again! During a dance evening the tango is just one sort of dance among 12-14 other ones!

I have collected some aspects of Finnish tango to an exhibition on my YouTube site. The feature video is a modern tango and the couple is dancing as it is appreciated nowadays.

One of the playlist is about Darya och Månskensorkester (Darya and Moonlight orchestra). It is a retro group using cloths from 50’s and singing the music from same period. The interesting thing is that this is taking place in Stockholm Sweden (not in Finland) and people queue up to get in to their club evening! Background images are from a club evening last spring. Many of the members in orchestra has partly Finnish background so they can sing the songs in right language!

You will find the old singers in the other playlist and the last song on that list is la Cumparsita. There you get the finnish flavour strong and clear!  Here you  one more - In the clip text you get a translation and some information in English. In comments people appreciate the pictures giving the right feeling.   (If you can not stand the music turn it off and look the pictures!)

Sometimes I am really longing for dancing these old tango songs but the idea of ladies leading in tango is not so popular. Other danses are quite ok for ladies to lead!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Me and my tools : VLC player

Today I use VLC player to watch my videos. It is kind to show all the file formats I use and has the basic functions supporting my learning. I use mostly the arrows on the left/right to watch slow motion or the rapid version.

If I need to repeat many times a section I mark the start and end points and let the player repeat the interesting section as long time as needed.  When the repetition is going on I can change the speed with arrows on left/right or in playback speed box. There I can also change the speed with small adjustments.

But be careful to watch the videos only in slow motion - my brain adapted very soon to the new  speed and I lost the effect of clear observation. 
Today I use a lot of rapid motion too! It keeps me busy and alert. My brain learns to keep track of the fast movements and get used to the new *normal speed*.  When watching a normal one again the feeling is unstressed and comfortable!

It is also easier to understand and follow the dynamics within a whole dance when the speed is 1,5 or 2 times faster to normal.

You find here a short video of obtions mentioned.

DoubleArrows: Make it slower 67%, 50% or make it faster
Red dot: two clicks - a small film is created
Camera: one click - a picture is taken (using a lot of this option)
Repetition: hit the left to start, wait and hit the right one. When both are red repeating goes on and on and on.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Checking the steps, my own and others

For several years ago I noticed how sensitive my ears became for everyday sounds because of tango training. I started to correct my steps when not hitting the ground at same time with my walking companion. Small differences became unbearable.

The last months music training has focused my attention to steps even more and one morning when walking through a park to my office I suddenly lost the voices and heard only all the steps behind me and on the other side of the hedge, the air was filled by steps of different weight, length, intensity. It was to me a surprisingly different auditive moment!

These moments in everyday life let me monitor how I am gaining capabilities to catch new details or pick a layer of details in the world of sounds. How my musicality is growing! as well as an indication for a new connection to my surroundings.

When riding a buss and listening music I have noticed I follow the people around - curiously checking if they can go with my music!
        ... and it seems I am not alone!