Sunday, May 29, 2011

Video: Falla--Danza ritual del fuego

Manuel de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance from the ballet El amor brujo, arranged for solo piano by the composer. (I also added a few parts to the arrangement based on the original orchestral score).

Over the years I've learned quite a bit of Spanish (and Spanish-flavored) music by big composers (Albéniz, Granados, Ginastera) and lesser-known composers (Halffter, Soler, Nin-Culmell). This bias is no doubt inherited in part from my old teacher, Douglas Voice. But I never learned anything by Manuel de Falla, who was one of Douglas' favorites (I think). That's what inspired me to find and learn something by Falla for last year's ConcArt recital.

A couple of things to note in the video. First, I tried a new camera angle: "wide bass", and it doesn't quite work. It's shooting into the light, so the subject (me!) is too dark. I did what I could in editing, but it's still visually kind of ugly. I think I'll try again, though, with an accent light coming from the bass side of the piano. The problem is, I like to keep the exact same lighting for all camera angles so it looks like they were shot simultaneously. Some experimentation will certainly be needed. The composition of the angle is poor, too. The manual focus on my camera is flexible for still shots, but not very convenient for video. It's much easier (and I get better results) using autofocus. But it means I need to keep the subject in the autofocus sweetspot.

The second thing to note is the return of video cats. Kashmir made his acting debut in my Mozart video and was quite a hit among YouTube commenters. Here he makes two appearances. Shiner also makes a very brief appearance. I tried to delay the scene change to give him more camera time, but I just couldn't get it to work.

Ritual Fire Dance is an exciting, dynamic piece. But as usual, I find it hard to capture that in the video/recording.

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