Sunday, February 23, 2020

ASIFA Central Notes - 22 February 2020

So IAD is coming in October, we have up to 15 international participants, a deadline of 1 June 2020, and what are the rambling notes to that effect?

Wooden Denture Day 2020 - Saturday group chat Google land, beginning at 3pm and running to about 3:45pm.  22 February 2020

Present: Jim and Brad, Deanna and Gretchen, Mike Long, Josh, Christine Veras, Steve Leeper in between storyboard discussions,
Think in terms of the Swiss IAD project, a 50 minute epic with various styles and stories linked by a common thread.

Great Recreation of an animation that was lost
In the past the through line was the poster…
Maybe a line connects us
To this day, a spoken word piece, poetry jam the Mi

To this day Shane Koyzan

Think of a project that represents the region, but can be expanded to represent the interests of ASIFA internationally.

Food, music. Art - what is regional to us in the midwest? Tater tot hot dish?
Well, that brings up - Memories of food
While 2 minutes is short, it is also 4 tv commercials - the 2 minute limit is a strict limit, so if 120 seconds for ASIFA Central is the limit, and there are a dozen participants, that means each one will only get a 10 second spot to get the thought across.

Think of a Pot Luck - Pick Your Poison - MOVEABLE FEAST

A List of Notions
Theme and structure - In the past, we have used the poster, and this time we can go of on our own with the interconnection.  (We don’t have access to the poster as yet)
We create a through-line (Steve L) - maybe it’s a literal line... Steve thinks of a film To This Day, Shane Koyzan (above)  - spoken word artist, poetry jam - but the through line is provided by the spoken piece.  Covers the gamut - it doesn’t matter, as long as the artist sticks to the soundtrack.
What’s it like to live in the midwest? (We’ll include Texas/Brazil in this - we are an extended family, this ASIFA central)
Potholes -  Corn Cars and Cows...
The questions asked and we see the animated response.
At the end, the spoken and read words - a la Norman McLaren and the end of “Neighbors”
Recipes from the home land
Tater tot hot dish.... the food and how it’s made
Break it down into sequences - if we can get 12 sequences into the 2 minutes - 10 seconds each
Is there a common recipe?  Corn?

Is a shared canvas a possibility - food to a dinner – and each one creates

With the ending being a long buffet of the individual sequences - can we run with a theme of a particular food?

5pm on March 7th - bring the ideas to THE TABLE!!!!  Remember - It’s a hard two minute limit.

Distinctive, yet universal - so the local and the international ideas are satisfied!!!!

Steve: there is a poem by Christine Rosetti - what can I bring?
There is a wonderful spirit to that - at the end, we are serving up the film

Get links to applicable animation and poetry and add to the document -

Check out ASMR Korean animations
(an FYI for the benefit of your humble typist)  ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) - noun - a feeling of well-being combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound.
"ASMR is triggered by things like whispering voices, paper tearing, and scalp massage"

(Check out Brad’s link to Swiss 50 minute piece) - (he has sent the link in an earlier email)

Again, back to food, 10 seconds each, straight visuals…?
Coney dogs, Moveable feast, shared feast, potluck

Corgi Christmas Feast (ASMR)

Brazilian Animation, recreation of “O Kaiser”

Georges Schwizgebel sequence at 50:50 video starts at 25min.
PW: H****
(Shared by Brad on the email)

Turntable fun with Audio Technica

The 1923 acoustic Victor recording of Alfred Cortot performing Weber's  "Invitation to the Waltz" seemed nearly incomprehensible at 78 rpm.  Tried it at 65 rpm.  I can hear the tune now!  Oh how the engineers compressed material "back in the day."  This was take #5, according to the matrix.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Because EVERY DAY is McCay Day!

Found an Edison recording from 1909 with selections from the operetta "Little Nemo" by Victor Herbert's.  Of course it just HAD to be blended with McCay's animation from 1911!!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Hey, I'm trying to sleep here!

     Well, the latest reverie was me being inserted into an intervention led by Nick Nolte and a Keanu Reeves-ish counselor for a suicidal Gary Busey.
     Nolte tells Busey, "Hey, you've got all your fans to think about - they loved you in...." and he turns to me and says, "Quick! A Gary Busey movie!" and nobody can think of one, including Busey...
     Nolte gets Busey's gun, we all run out into the night and end up over a bridge where Nolte accidentally shoots the gun into the dark, and says, "Oh that's harmless," and immediately there are sirens, an upended vat of red paint is mistaken for blood, and a crowd of people run out into the street and onto the bridge.
     Then, a block away, a deserted building explodes, and we surround Nolte, still holding the gun, afraid to toss it because of all the witnesses, and unwilling to hide it in his pants because the barrel is still hot from the firing.
     Then someone yells "CUT!," and Sparrow demands to be let out.  
     So much for retirement.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Puttering with Logos ....

                                                   (c) 2020 The Animating Apothecary

Or for the giffies out there....

Monday, February 03, 2020

The Mystery of the Elusive CDs

Animation for the Ear  (public domain music discussion series)

The other thing I have noticed is the challenge in tracking down copyright pathways or possible bootlegged material, and whether such can still serve a purpose.  What can be the value of public domain material performed in anonymity, sandwiched between material where licenses to perform have apparently never been procured?

Over 20 years ago, I found a four-CD set entitled Classics for Children, featuring music "As Performed By The World's Greatest Orchestra's" (sic).  The (sic) was my first red flag.  The listing of selections was my second - The Lion King, Pocahontas, Cinderella, Pinocchio, Aladdin were among the cover listings.  The images on the cover were generic, cartoony animals, with no artist identification.

         It had no booklet, no "listing of Orchestras, Soloists, and Conductors" as promised on the backside.  But most tellingly, it had no mention anywhere of Disney or any licensing agreement with the Disney company.  My third red flag.

The "suites" on each CD are certainly Disney material - The Lion King Symphonic Suite, Beauty and the Beast Symphonic Suite, all broken into sub-category descriptions of the songs included - The Circle of Life, Whistle While You Work, and so on.

After each "suite" are some standard public domain musical pieces - William Tell Overture, Nutcracker Suite, Swan Lake, In the Hall of the Mountain King.  Nicely performed, but again, no credit to an orchestra, soloist, or conductor.  And there was still that troubling apostrophe "s" on the cover for a plural of orchestra.

The discs themselves were colorfully produced and the sound balanced, but no credit to composers or mention of Disney.

There were some names mentioned on the back of the box - GSC Music, Michele Audio Corporation, Entertainment Distributing, and Jerry Ward Design.  The latter two mentioned Oregon as an apparent home base.  It was even assigned a catalogue number - 15245.  EDI claimed © of 1996, and Michele Audio Corporation claimed a (P) of 1996.

And, so, the exploration began.  Twenty three years had passed since these discs were issued, on the edge of the internet explosion.  What sort of online footprint could be found?

To sum it up, extremely little about any of the parties could be uncovered (as of my initial searches).  The image above is the Google location for an empty building representing the only physical address for any of the sites, and it isn’t in Oregon.

Ultimately, I’m not really interested in getting access to Disney rights to their music - far from it.  If, however, it can be determined that these performances of public domain symphonic pieces has been gleaned from Indian, Chinese, or Korean orchestras (none are named) or from areas that don’t share copyright concerns with the rest of the planet, well, that’s one nice piece from Swan Lake I’d love to use...
Stay tuned!

My Favorite Columbia Recordings These Days...

Animation for the Ear  (public domain music discussion series) - with Jim Middleton

First of all, what does public domain (PD) look like, if you are dealing with early recorded material?  In 2019, the magic year for PD was 1923.  This year, it’s .... do the math.... wait for it.... 1924!!!

        It can be a bit tricky to identify a year, since early 78rpms were cluttered with patent dates and no indication of when things were recorded.  However, Columbia recordings provide certain visual signals to their age.  It appears that in 1917, their studios were working overtime to fill dealer shelves with classical selections.  So if you see a record with the “banner label” on the left, you’re looking at material from 1917 to 1922.  These are acoustic recordings, so that means the fidelity is a bit “soft” (ok, absolutely archaic), but they can serve as a basis for projects - or “background” sounds.
For 1923 to 1925, Columbia used this “flag label” on the right for their recordings.  Again, these are all acoustic, as the company was preparing to switch to its electric systems in 1925 under a new “Viva-Tonal” label.  That material will have to wait for public domain status, but it’s coming quickly....until then, thrill with the notion of Rhapsody in Blue being public domain.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

More Public Domain 78rpm Recording Links on

All the links take you to, all are from the Animating Apothecary archive, built using Audacity as it fights with Windows 10.  All have a (cc) and share-alike status, and all are in the public domain. 

The acoustic nature of the selections is a limitation, but if you need background music for workprints or as a guide, help yourself!  More links will be built as they become available.  Also, check some earlier postings on this blog for other selections.  Even after a recent downsizing, there remain about 3000 78rpms and over 600 cylinders to remaster (drat the limitations of audio tape!). 

Many of these selections should sound very familiar...

Norwegian Dance #2 - Columbia release from 1924

A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture - HMV acoustic recording from 1911

St. Patrick's Day, performed by Maud Powell for Victor, ca 1904-06, acoustic

Coppelia Ballet #2 by Delibes, performed by the Cincinnati Symphony, 1917

Danse des Buffons, the Cincinnati Symphony, an acoustic 78rpm ca 1917

Madame Butterfly - orchestrated selections - acoustic recording from1917

An Uneasy Chair - testing formats

One is a direct output through Flash CS5, to check for video artifacts.  In general, I use Flash only to output jpgs which I then bring into a video editor for assembly (generally, Sony Vegas 15, now called Magix).  Here it shows that the bothersome artifacts remain in the Flash output codices....

                                                     (c) The Animating Apothecary 2020

And then, to check on the animated GIF function of the Flash CS5 system - slightly better results:
(c) The Animating Apothecary 2020

Step by step!