I found this cool tool called Wordie that allows you to create a typographic poster of words you put in it. It also allows you to put in a URL of your website to create a word poster of your website. Very cool.
I was thinking that I could use this to create a self-motivational poster using Dr. Stephen Covey’s ideas of roles. In his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he talks about planning your day/week/month using the roles of your life such as Father, Employee, Husband, Church-goer etc. This allows you to plug in an activity in each of your role areas ensuring you don’t give one short shrift, like say Husband. ”Bring home flowers!”
Here’s something that I made today. I’ll probably make other ones that make me focus on my goals and ways of being, example “Loving kindness.”
I’m also planning on using this with some of my music students to help motivate them to practice more.
Wow. There’s so many books in this space of marketing and I usually read to find the one idea that will make a difference. This book is unique in that it really lays out a whole philosophy on how to approach all things communication. Highly recommended.
So I’ve just found out that my iPad interactive iBook, Play Piano For Kids, has been launched in 32 countries around the world at the Apple iTunes store. Yeah!!!
This project has been on my mind for close to 5 years, and only in the last few months has it been a burning priority. With Apple’s January 19, 2012 announcement of their new free software iBook Author, I finally knew I could create this.
So what’s the deal with iBook Author? There’s a lot of pros as well as cons to this software. On the positive side, it is really quite easy to start laying out beautiful pages. If you’ve used any of Apple’s other products like Keynote or Pages, then this should be very familiar.
Drawing objects and placing type is the same as Pages. In fact it seems like they started with Pages and then added some additional functionality. The use of Widgets for interactivity is pretty simple, but somewhat limited.
Because my book is aimed at young pre-literate children, I would have loved an easy way to have the kids touch the animated character (a penguin named Pontus) so he could do things like giggle or jump or whatever.
Page thumbnails on the left and the page canvas on the right
Using the widget, I could only add pre-made videos either from iMovie or exported from Flash or even Keynote presentations. By using a combination of these software packages, I could achieve a simplistic animation style that was both compelling (for young pre-reading kids) and not too detail oriented that I would get bogged down in production.
You can see the intro video I made which shows a few examples of the different animation techniques.
Here’s an animation that was created in a combination of iMovie and Flash.
Back in the early 1990′s, I made a trip to Thailand to visit my father’s relatives. It was the first time I was back since I was 6 years old when I came for a 2 week visit. All I had remembered was the heat, the humidity and the rain as we were there in rainy season. This time, I was there in the beautiful month of September and the air was much drier. I had recently relocated to Hong Kong to join MTV-Asia as one of their first VJ’s for their new satellite channel on Star TV. Being just 2 hours flying time away was too irresistible and within a month I was there.
My uncle Janjai, the third eldest, but clearly the leader of the family, decided that I must go see the north of the country and so we set off in a small beat up BMW with 2 of my other my uncles on a week-long road trip to the northern city of Chiang Mai from busy, bustling Bangkok. Not speaking any Thai, I had no idea where they were taking me, only that it was to see the country of my roots.
Our first day included stopping in and seeing the great temples and ruins along the way. I especially remember Ayutthaya, with it’s many beautiful Buddhas and temple ruins.
Lunch was at a roadside restaurant beside a river under a canopy of trees. Simple yet beautiful. My Uncle said that this river ran through the entire country and on to Vietnam. The rice server stood by us with a silver serving bowl and heaped serving after serving of lovely hot steaming jasmine rice to cool the flames of the red hot chili peppers. I remember saying to myself, “I will never forget this moment as my senses are so alive. My mouth as on fire!” It’s no wonder Thailand is a Buddhist country. I never felt so “in the present moment.” You could say that chili peppers are a meditation device.
We reached the small town of Phitsanulouk by early evening. The town is almost exactly halfway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The skies were turning dark and we were hungry. We checked into a reasonable hotel and ventured out looking for something to eat.
In the center of the town was a large open air restaurant. It spanned across the street and on either side were tables with customer and waiters running back and forth. All were ordering variations of the same thing: Flying Morning Glory. What the heck is that? And just then a waiter took a tray and ran up a ramp to the top of a tractor trailer where large English words were emblazoned: “Flying Morning Glory.”
The waiter yelled out something like “Ready!” The cook standing street-side with a roaring flame and huge wok, scooped up a bunch of green vegetables and flung them across the street above our heads to the waiter high on the top of the truck. The waiter caught the goods and came running down the ramp to the serve another customer the specialty, hot, fresh and recently airborne. Flying Morning Glory.
Recently, I went out to dinner with my Dad and my son in Queens, New York where there is a pocket of authentic Thai restaurants and groceries. This is nowhere near as abundant as Los Angeles, but there are some tasty places. We went to the now “discovered,” Sripraphai Restaurant, which even boasts Zagat ratings and a large crowd of mostly non-Thais. My Dad spoke a few words in Thai and somehow we were whisked past the crowds and seated in a large spacious dining room. When I first came to this restaurant back in the late 90’s, there was only one tiny storefront with plastic chairs and tablecloths. Now, almost a decade and a half later, there’s 3 storefronts with modern decor, wine list and even a garden. We quickly ordered and I asked for the “pad pak boong fai deng” which is listed as “Thai Watercress” on the menu.
And suddenly…I was transported back to the roadside table in Phitsanulouk with the flying morning glory.
I wrote music for this theater production of an original play by Matthew Maguire. It opens this weekend in NYC at the Lion Theater on Theater Row. An outbreak is spreading and scientists are racing to save the world whilst dealing with their own troubled relationships. The play is smart, witty, fast and very disconcerting. What’s scary is how plausible this is!
Imagine Mozart’s opera The Marriage Of Figaro was reborn in a dark Brazilian jazz bar in the streets of Brooklyn and you get a little idea of what this track was inspired by.
I created this track as part of the soundtrack for the new production of the theatrical play (as in no singing – this is the play that Mozart was inspired by from a French writer named Beaumarchais) opening on November 9, 2011 at Fordham University’s Mainstage at Pope Auditorium, Lincoln Center, NYC.