Yay, the bees are here! The bees arrived today and are sitting in our entryway until tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will warm up and we can get them in their new homes. We'll keep you all updated as we go. It's going to be a great year!
Saludos a todos!
This time last year I was working hard on the content of Comida Latina, and on this Cinco de Mayo, I'm back at it. I'm adding 8 new fully illustrated pages to the second edition of Comida Latina. I'm pleased to include Paella de Tomás, Rosa's Enchiladas Verdes, and my version of Mallorca, a Peruvian Sweet Bread.
As a self published author, I'm purchasing the books upfront and it's a tremendous expense all at once. Your online order of the 2nd edition will help offset my upfront costs, and in return, come late June, you'll get the books you order plus a surprise illustrated recipe art print as thanks for your support.
Remember this is a wonderful gift item for the foodie, traveler or art enthusiast in your life!
Or, wait until my amazon payment account is verified to place your order.
Thanks everyone, I'm very excited about this next chapter of Comida Latina!
A week after the kickstarter for Fritz has ended. Just a quick update for you.
We have received payment from Amazon Payments for the project, and are starting to acquire parts for the production run. Several thousand servo motors, about 50 pounds of various fastener hardware, several hundred boxes for shipping, etc. It's always kind of funny dealing with stuff in quantity. We've started the process on tooling for some parts. I will give an update on when I know the schedule for that for sure.
Leslie and I worked on the assembly instruction video today. We'll have that ready for the early open source release this month. I've been pinged by a few people asking when that will be. We're shooting for mid May, maybe a bit later. We definitely will have it out in May. There are some minor things to finalize, drawings for how to form the control wires on the eyes, interface documentatation for the software, etc. Thanks for your patience on this.
For tonight's update, a little eye candy: I shot a quick bit of video today of the laser cutting some Fritz parts. The laser running is always pretty cool to watch. It is just getting started on a set. The first part cut in the top left corner of the bed is the front faceplate which is what you see being cut here. The full set of parts takes about 10 minutes to cut with our 90 Watt laser. That loud noise you hear in the video is the blower pulling out the smoke. The laser itself makes very little noise.
Thanks to all Fritzites. Have a great week.
We love our European backers! We have added Berlin, Paris and Rome advance screenings of "Wish I Was Here!"
You can pledge for one ticket, two tickets, or a meet and greet to have a drink and spend some extra time with Zach before we watch the film. These are three different reward levels for each screening, so please make sure you pick the right reward.
If you have already pledged for a different screening, you can switch to one of the new screenings by going to "Manage Your Pledge" on our page and choosing the reward for the city you would prefer.
We can't wait to bring this movie to you!
We also subtitled our Kickstarter video in Français, Italiano, and Deutsch for some of our international friends:
Dear Backers and Friends,
Karelian Soundscapes is at last underway! You know that feeling of knowing just where you are on the map or globe? Right now that feeling tells me that I'm a few hundred yards away from Lake Onega in Russia. These last months of preparation have been extremely busy: I finished my master's thesis, graduated with my Master's Degree in Composition, had my first orchestral premier, and I got everything ready for this trip, including the very arduous visa process. It got VERY close in the end, but I did get my visa which will in fact be good for three years. All the effort was worth it.
The trip to Petrozavodsk
I left Salt Lake City on Tuesday, and flew all day and all night to arrive in St. Petersburg Wednesday afternoon. On the long overseas flight, a very kind Russian sailor named Nikita carried on a very interesting conversation with me in Russian, which helped jumpstart my Russian speaking. I immediately threw myself at the mercy of my ability to get around in Russia, taking a bus from the airport to the nearest metro station, and from there transferring lines until I reached the Ladozhskii Train Station, where I caught my first break and waited until 11pm, when the train left for Petrozavodsk. I slept very soundly and arrived in Petrozavodsk at 6:40 am on Thursday, eventually getting settled in my apartment.
Thursday, May 2nd
As soon as I could I had a walk around with my recorder, trying to get the hang of things. I discovered that it picks up EVERYTHING, which means I've got to stay stationary to get really good samples. Also, just in the few days since I've arrived, Lake Onega is 'opening up' as they say, from the winter ice, and so there has been an uncharacteristic amount of wind. I've got a good windscreen for my recorder but it is no match for some of this wind. Fortunately it is calming down the last few days! In the evening on Thursday I stopped by the local branch of my church here in Petrozavodsk and happened to arrive at the same time as several American serving here. After the last day of having been all on my own in Russia it was a welcome meeting. After that I visited the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, where they were having their one of their Easter week services. (The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates holidays by the old calendar, so Christmas is in January and Easter in May). Afterwards I was invited to attend the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, more on that later! I closed the evening by walking along the bank of the Onega, where I met some college age Russian students with whom I had a great time and who were very interested in my project. They even sang me some of the Karelian songs they learned in school, particularly one about Petroskoi, the Karelian name for Petrozavodsk.
Friday, May 3rd
Part of moving temporary to another country is getting all the ducks in a row, I've got my phone working here and I've got an internet connection now fixed in my apartment. Other things like getting my money changed and my registration done have been hard since the Russians have had their first ever sort of spring break this year from May 1-5, so many things including banks have been closed. The highlight today was meeting at last with the author of my invitation to Russia, Natalia Mihaelova. She is the director the Folklore-Ethnographic Theater for Kizhi, an ensemble that tries to recreate Karelian cultural and musical events for the museum. What I learned at this first meeting is that Natalia and her husband Zhenya are pretty much world-class authorities on Karelian instruments, music and culture. They have in fact literally written the book about it. They've got a huge collection of all sorts of materials concerning Karelian music and of field recordings of Karelian songs and instruments. Every year they go together on an expedition to find people who know old songs so that they can record them and teach them to the ensemble. I just could not have ended up in touch with a better person for my project!
Natalia has set up everything so that I get to spend almost a week living on the island before many tourists start coming. I'll be there starting next Wednesday. They're going to put me to work proofreading the tour guide's english scripts. They said they've got a man on the island who knows some bylina (sung legends), as well as a girl who is a virtuoso at the kantele (Finnish harp) and both are excited to meet with me. Igor Hutter the bell ringer is also waiting for me there on the island.
Also on Thursday I stopped by a small exhibition hall that happend to have some very interesting exhibits of modern art by young Russian artists. I asked around and now I've got a meeting for next Tuesday with the artistic director to see about opportunities for collaboration! I also had some refreshment at the Strange Place Cafe, a wonderful little place right next to the aforementioned exhibition hall full of old antiques are quirky decorations. "Why Strange?" the menu asks. "Because nobody else will be strange!"
Saturday, May 4th
Today I really wandered a lot around the city and caught some breaks in the wind to get some good recordings. I've decided that at least one of the movements of Karelian Soundscapes will feature the sounds of water, and I'm fairly certain that another movement will use the sounds of traffic. Also, I've been, um, 'testing the resonance' of various objects to see if I can sort of build up a collection of interesting sounds that way - railings, poles, anything that I can use to make a noise! Sort of me 'playing' the city as my instrument. Finally Saturday evening I went to the Easter Vigil at the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, or at least the first four hours of it. I didn't realize that it would go pretty much all night! It started at 11 pm, with the church very dark and lit only by the candles placed in front of the icons. at first a single bell rang slowly for about twenty minutes. A number of somber prayers were read by a priest and corresponding refrains sung by the choir from the loft. Suddenly, the lights of the church were all lit, and out from the iconostasis (or veil) burst the priests of the church, carrying candles or icons on poles and looking for all the world like a phalanx of angels. They stormed out into the night, with the congregation following, circling the church. At last they finished and the doors of the church were reopened and the priests shouted "Xristos Voskrese! (Christ is Risen!)" to which the thousand or so faithful responded, "Vo Istinu Voskrese! (Truly Risen!)" Then....oh then! The bells rang. The first time I've really heard them GO AT IT here in Russia this time around. And this is at midnight, mind you! It was wonderful. More prayers and reading of the scriptures followed, including multi-lingual readings of John 1:1, including in English. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Each of the Priests got a turn to come out and proclaim to the congregation that Christ is Risen, and each time the affirmation was shouted back. Around 2:45 am they started to serve the Eucharist and I excused myself, since the services were likely to last until dawn! I'm really glad I went. Every great Russian composer has been influenced by the liturgy of the Orthodox church in some way, and this is an opportunity I am very glad to have had.
Sunday, May 5th
Today I went to the services of the branch of my own church here in Petrozavodsk. It was a wonderful reunion with those that I had known here eight years ago, also it turns out that one of the brothers happens to have been schoolmates with Alexander Beloborodov, the composer with whom I was originally going to have worked back when this project was going to be a Fulbright thing. Now it is much more likely I'll be able to get a meeting with him! He is perhaps Karelia's most decorated living composer.
Natalia Mihaelova had told me that on Easter Sunday anyone can go ring the bells of the cathedral, and 'it is considered that your sins are forgiven.' Well, all day I didn't hear the bells ringing, but I happened to be walking by on the way to a dinner appointment when I saw some activity in the bell tower, and the bells started to ring. I asked if anyone could go ring the bells and went up when the answer was yes. Up, up, up the round stairs and through several low corridors. There they were! The closest I've ever been to the bells. The sound was engulfing in a physical way. The largest bell is almost an arms span across. Sure enough, I got a turn to ring the bells, although it was so loud that I wasn't able to explain to the girl holding my camera that I wanted a video. Turns out her name is Ksenya and she works with the bells. She told me to stop by! So I don't think that will be the last time I'm up in the tower at Alexander Nevski.
After my dinner appointment I accompanied my hosts, an American couple serving here, to the evening services at the cathedral. It was like a shortened version of last night, but included some wonderful singing and bell ringing. As I was walking home, it suddenly started to rain quite hard. I hurried home and changed for rain, hoping to get some recordings in the rain. I ran outside into the rain, but I couldn't find my key, so I ran back inside to find it. A few moments later the rain stopped! I got some nice traffic recordings anyway. I also went and sat on the north side of the Onega embankment, where ducks and seagulls were having a conference.
I've been so excited to be here I haven't really wanted to sit still. That means I haven't yet processed through most of the recordings yet, or started to compose. Don't worry, next week's update will include be more multi-media. I think that spending most of the week on the small island of Kizhi will have the effect of slowing things down. I look forward to composing on the island!
More photos are being added daily to my Facebook page in the Karelian Soundscapes gallery.
Thank you all for making this trip possible! Shortly before leaving I found a journal entry I made over 10 years ago about how someday I wanted to travel to Russia as a composer. I'd forgotten how long this has been a dream of mine. I wouldn't be living the dream without your support! Thank you! I appreciate any comments, questions or feedback you might have!
Wow!!!! Baseball fans will never cease to amaze me. The HalfLiner got funded in just half a week. Thank you all so much for your fervent support of the project; because of you, this becomes a reality. A few quick notes:
I've heard from several folks who are wanting to add extra goodies to their reward selection. If you'd like to add items to your pledge, add the following amounts to your pledge and be sure to remind me of what you wanted added when you fill out the backer survey at the end of May!
$35 for the poster set
$20 for the new shirt
$10 for an original scorebook
$8 for the button set
Here's a detail from the book...
The best part of reaching the goal early is that it means I can start working with the printer right away on getting these things on the press. I was working on getting the files press ready this evening, and I thought I'd show you guys the size difference in this grid vs. the original Eephus scorebook (original scorebook in orange) There's a lot more room to work in the HalfLiner, which was one of my top goals for the scorebook.
Sorry for our long silence - things have been very busy over here with school and work and travel but things are indeed coming along! We recently got our test presses, and they have been approved and are back at Brooklyn Phono being pressed. The packages have all been die-cut and are currently en route to me, and i'll begin printing as soon as they arrive. In the mean time we are finishing up the artwork, and figuring out the book layouts.
The reward prints will also get finished in the next week or two!
We've also got some other exciting news which we haven't announced anywhere yet: We'll be doing a quick little tour in support of the record once its finished! In late august we will be taking off from NYC and heading south, west, and then back up the far coast. All the cities we'd like to stop at are listed below. Many of the dates are not booked yet, so if you know anyone who might be able to help with a show please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philadelpiha, PA // Pittsburgh, PA // Cleveland, OH // Columbus, OH // Louisville, KY // Nashville, TN // Birmingham, AL // Memphis, TN // Little Rock, AR // Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX // Austin, TX // Lubbock, TX // Santa Fe, NM // Flagstaff, AZ // Santa Cruz, CA // San Francisco, CA // Berkeley, CA // Ashland, OR // Eugene, OR // Portland, OR // Olympia, WA // Seattle, WA // Vancouver, BC
We hope we'll get to see most of you at one of these shows!
Thanks all, we'll be in touch again soon.
Greetings interwebbers of the universe! Just in case you've been living under a rock in a cave on the moon; thanks to all of you beautiful backers and pleasant pledgers; we achieved our Kick Starter goal! Here at Hulgreen Productions, we've been laboring away on your rewards. In fact, you may have been noticing some "thank you's" cluttering up your news feed and Twitterverse. It really means the world to us that you're so committed to bringing back "The Bang & Bump Show".
If you pledged an amount that gets you a DVD, boy are you in for a treat! They're all done and loaded with some outstanding never-before-seen or heard bonus features.
Tees, posters, DVDs, credits, and other rewards will be delivered on schedule as listed on our Kick Starter rewards page.
We can never say thank you enough, and rather than just have you keep reading it over and over; how about we SHOW you! Jerome and I are so excited with our new equipment that we decided to test it out just for you! So without further hesitation...
Thank you all so much! And stay tuned for more updates and news!
Dave Hulteen, Jr.
My dear backers --
Мои уважаемые "поддерживатели" проекта --
I hope this one reaches you fine. As you might have guessed the current phase of our campaign is not very encouraging, which says... nothing.
We’ve got a great deal of help today from the artist's widow and trustee of his estate, my friend Irene Bakhchanyan.
Irene offers her own rewards for our donors.
- In a $500.00 tier donation - a unique hand made "collatypia" (artist's proprietary term for his only technique - a mixture of collage and frottage ). Image size approximately 2-13/16 x 4-11/16, a sample image is attached. Needless to say that all images are originals.
- In a $1,000.00 tier - an artist's book with appr. 12-20 images made in the same "collatypia" technique. All images are unique. All books are originals. Sample image are attached.
Those of you who have already made $500.00 or $1,000.00 pledge are automatically "upgraded" to receive these rewards.
And finally, no matter how big or small is your contribution I love you all. Thank you!
Be good! And please SPREAD THE WORD!
Very truly yours
Как вы, вероятно, заметили нынешняя фаза нашей кампании не особенно удачна.
Что... ни о чем не говорит.
Сегодня мы получили существенную помощь от вдовы художника Ирина Бахчанян.
Ирина предлагает свои собственные награды тем, кто поддерживает наш проект.
И мы ей очень благодарны.
- тем, кто делает/или уже сделал вклад в $500.00 уникальная авторская "коллатипия" (термин самого Вагрича Бахчаняна для описания уникального способа работы - смесь коллажа и фроттажа). Размер работы 2-13/16 x 4-11/16 дюйма. Каждая работа уникальна. Два образца работ прилагаются.
- тем, кто делает/или сделал вклад в $1,000.00 уникальная авторская книжка с 12-20 иллюстрациями сделанными в той же технике коллатипии. В приложении образцы.
Не в зависимости от того, насколько большой или маленький вклад вы сделали я вас всех люблю. Спасибо!
И самое главное: поделитесь нашим проектом с друзьями.