Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer's Really Over

We're back from a week's vacation in Grand Marais with my father and stepmother, visiting from California.

I made a video -- my first -- using Apple iMove, and uploaded it to a brand-spanking-new YouTube account. The video is our family vacation, in the form of a music video for Jonathan Coulton's song "Summer's Over" (Thing a Week #51).

Here is the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSVuCYOYYKM

I find Mr. Coulton's lyrics to be simple but beautiful; the song has been stuck in my head for the last few weeks.

Summer’s over
You’re going back to school
I’m staying here
Where else would I go?

Watch the leaves turn
Close up the swimming pool
Winter comes in
Sooner than you know

Nights get cold
And the flowers let go
Bide their time
Under the snow
As they go down they say

Summer’s over
Because it has to be
Just like before
Around and around

It’s a circle
Bringing you back to me
Stay where I am
I’m lost and found

When you go
You come back again
Close the door
The cold’s getting in
As I go down I say

I recorded a lot more still photos and a bunch of nifty audio on this trip. Most of you won't be interested in my raw home movies of kids waving, or my endless still shots of the kids walking down dirt roads. You might even think I'm a bit off my rocker for taking so many pictures of dying flowers. (It was all to fit in with the song lyrics, but I'll spare you the outtakes).

I also recorded several hours worth of water, wind, and people sounds. I took my Sony digital recorder to various spots along the Lake Superior shore at Grand Marais, and also recorded at Munising Falls and upper and lower Tahquamenon Falls. I've got a lot of water sounds, wind sounds, footfalls, boats, boardwalks, and stairs. Some of this material will eventually make it into podcasts. In particular, the William Hope Hodgson novel The House on the Borderland features a waterfall, so that should be very cool! There are also lots of other Hodgson stories set on ships, and Lake Superior will just have to serve as a stand-in for the Sargasso Sea.

Finally, I'm trying to get some recordings of my father playing ukulele and/or banjolele and singing. I picked up a summer cold and my voice is shot this week, but I might try accompanying him on guitar or tenor ukulele, or maybe I'll try to track the parts separately and add a bass or guitar parts later.

We had an ambitious recording project in mind when we headed up north, but it started to seem too much like work, and I could not figure out how to do true stereo recording using the Boss portable studio he brought with him. Consequently, we're going to have to try to complete something a little more modest before he leaves at the end of the week. It is a busy week for me -- my son Isaac is starting high school, I'm back at work after a week away, and as usual I have far more projects planned than time to finish them!