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Old 04-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #226
MtMopar
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Great posting, I've been following along and love your adventures
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:42 PM   #227
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Made it to page 8 , Fine report .

If you plan to play in Yellowstone summer of 09 , I'll be there .
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #228
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If you plan to be in the sf bay area, I'll be there !!!
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:19 PM   #229
othalan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnymoto
I haven't looked at the electric ones, but have played a few of the acoustic which I didn't like. Intonation was really off on the ones I tried however might be fixed with getting the right gauge strings. Would probably have to match each string individually as well. Had an old Gibson 12-string I did that with, very touchy. Still, the mandolin is SO small compared to even the travel gtrs.
There are some travel guitars with fantastic intonation. Such as the one I use:

I have an "Emerald X5 Life" travel guitar made from Carbon Fiber by "Emerald Guitars" in Ireland. The web site:

http://emeraldlife.com/

The Emerald X5 stays in tune far better than any wood guitar I've played, is easier to change tunings (e.g. Standard tuning to DADGAD), and has fantastic intonation. Better intonation than my Goodall TROM even! The guitar is small enough to strap to my bike (the length is shorter than the width of the bike and panniers), and has traveled many thousands of miles with me.

The sound is unique, and very pleasing to listen to....but not at all what you are used to from a guitar. It has an almost bell-like quality. The sound is also surprisingly loud for a travel guitar, and can be played in a purely acoustic setting with no amplification if needed (and with a cooperative audience). I did not get an electrical pickup added because I expect to be in conditions where the guitar gets VERY wet at times, but I'm told the B-Band pickup which is available does an excellent job and is worth the extra cost.

Unfortunately, Alistair Hay (the company owner & guitar maker) is not making these guitars any more, except for an occasional special order. You can try placing an order, but the wait time may be very long.

A picture of the guitar, which is a custom made model to my specifications:


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Old 04-25-2009, 11:27 PM   #230
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First day of school! There’s a buzz in the rehearsal room before we get started as old friends reunite and new bonds are forged. This is my first time to work for the Sarasota Opera, but already I know at least a dozen people in the orchestra! It’s a kooky small world... Much like my colleagues in the Utah Festival Opera I visited over the summer, this orchestra comes from all over the country: Florida, New York, Texas, Idaho, California, and everywhere else. A bunch of freaks like me who choose to live “outside of the box,” for better or worse...



I can’t help but notice the young age of the personnel. This opera festival is unique in that it happens in the early spring (most “festivals” take place in the summer, during symphony orchestra’s off-season), which means that it takes musicians in unique life situations to be available to perform here for two-and-a-half months every spring. What I mean is that one can’t really have any other “real” job and play here. If you have a symphony job, obviously you can’t pick up and leave for two months in the middle of the season. And any sort of public school teacher or university professor wouldn’t be able to either, for the same reasons. Likewise, what spouse would be onboard with the significant other galavanting across the country for over two months? What if there are kids involved? No, it almost has to be “free” musicians (i.e. unemployed, or “self-employed” like me) who don’t have a singular contract holding them in place year-round. I think that explains the age: many of the musicians here are a year or two out of grad school and haven’t landed a full time music job yet, and/or haven’t fallen on the other side of the scale and decided to give up music and get a “real” job. This will make for some good parties, I bet! (There are plenty of musicians that are a bit older, some with kids, ect. in the orchestra, I’m just generalizing. Some of these other folks are more interesting in many ways, as you can imagine!)

Here are the books (we call them “parts”) that I’ll be living with for the next two-plus months:



L’Amico Fritz by Mascagni (“My Friend Fritz”), The Elixer of Love by Donizetti (one of the most popular light operas ever), and of course the big one, Tosca by Puccini (THE BEST opera ever written, IMHO). Not pictured is the monstrous part for Don Carlos by Verdi, a four hour behemoth that we’ll rehearse later.

I get busted taking a picture of my music stand for YFF’s by the music director/conductor/boss. Great. I tell them it’s for my family. Did I lie???



It may not be a “real” job, but we’re really working! Two rehearsals a day, six days a week until we start opening the first show, and then we have one rehearsal a day and usually a performance at night of something else, and eventually we get all four operas running in sequence, sometimes two performances a day.

BUT, we DO get a day off every week, and I intend to use them to the max. Most musicians use it to party it up the night before, sleep in, maybe lounge at the beach for a while, but not me! I brought a KTM out here and I intend to explore a new area of the country, damn it! I’m starting a Florida ’09 bucket list, and I think you’ll have fun watching!

I zoom out of town to the east, heading toward Myakka State Park, which I hear has lots of gators...

Just having ridden well over a thousand miles on pavement to get here, I jump at the chance to ride some dirt, even if it is only a few feet from the road. I get some funny looks from the motorists, it’s a busy road!



I’m gonna have to unplug these heated grips at some point, they’re burning my hands through my gloves when I’m at slow off-road speeds, but I’m still glad to have them at highway speed, hmmmm...

Naturally I take the back way, which isn’t even on my map, but I find a turn! No kidding, a real hairpin turn, in the middle of Florida! They do exist, but I think they’re endangered... Of course I have to ride it a few times to make sure I didn’t hallucinate.



Is that a motocross track? It looks like someone’s backyard, how cool is that?!? If you can’t find any good adventure riding, make some!



Getting close to Myakka.



I even manage to find a bit of sand/dirt/gravel. It’s not long and dead-ends at private property residences, but it’s something!





In the park.





They said these were the biggest fan boats in the world (I didn’t take the tour):



You can rent kayaks and paddle amongst the alligators... I’ll be back!



Didn't see any gators this time, but I wasn't really looking too hard. This place is famous for it's unusual vegetation, abundant bird life, and of course the 'gators, plus it's only about 45 min. away from Sarasota, so I'm sure I'll be back a time or two when I need some moto time.

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Old 04-26-2009, 12:22 AM   #231
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Hooray for updates!
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:37 AM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiacaid
There are some travel guitars with fantastic intonation. Such as the one I use:

I have an "Emerald X5 Life" travel guitar made from Carbon Fiber by "Emerald Guitars" in Ireland. The web site:

http://emeraldlife.com/


A picture of the guitar, which is a custom made model to my specifications:

Hey, that is cool! I like that you can see the carbon fiber weave inside with the flash!

I classical guitarist I know has a one-off honey-comb carbon fiber/wood hybrid made by a famous recently deceased classical guitar maker, but I haven't seen it in person yet. I'll try to get some pics for you, he says it sounds incredible.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:41 PM   #233
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Nice update Viola-ted... I mean Viola-tor.

You are gonna be a sand expert pretty soon, huh?
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:08 PM   #234
othalan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viola-tor
Hey, that is cool! I like that you can see the carbon fiber weave inside with the flash!

I classical guitarist I know has a one-off honey-comb carbon fiber/wood hybrid made by a famous recently deceased classical guitar maker, but I haven't seen it in person yet. I'll try to get some pics for you, he says it sounds incredible.
I'd love to see that, sounds like an incredible guitar! I'd guess that the wood does a fantastic job of making up for the one minor flaw of my carbon fiber guitar: the lack of resonance in the lower tones.

I was halfway tempted to get the guitar without any color so you see the carbon fiber weave all over, but I wanted the custom graphic (The white mountains on the front representing the Flatirons where I live)....that required a flat color, so I went with sky blue.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:09 AM   #235
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thanks for the great report

over the past few days, i read through your report from the beginning... thanks for such wonderful writing and pictures. it's great to see a real(ish) world take on a ride report, somewhat reminding the rest of us who have to work most of the year that the work can coexist with the "play" if you really try.

i'm a bit jealous of the fact that you can spend so much time riding, adventuring between jobs, but at least you're having fun doing it.

keep riding, keep playing... there's always more fun to be had.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #236
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great report. Thinking of you as I ride to rehearsal with my cheap wood guitar on my back- it's only five miles away from home though...
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:39 PM   #237
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Yo V,

I was just down in Florida for 5 days visiting my girlfriends retired parents. Damn, it's way too hot down there! Vermont is much more my natural clime. Anyway it was cool to ski on Sunday and find myself with a cocktail in hand by the big blue ocean on Monday.


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This guy was was pretty colorful. I thought it was a balloon at first but it was a Man-O-War. Nasty stings I was told.

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Thought we might find something interesting in this...

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Many of these by the beach:

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Annnnd...I had to roll the cherry red, white leather, convertible Jag down A1A. It needed the engine 'cleaned' out some after driven once ever other week at no more than 45 mph.

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Anyway, enjoy Flordia! And what say you swing through Vermont on your way home. I'm sure we could show you some great adventures up here. And it's on the way to Texas...
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:32 PM   #238
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We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this important announcement:

I'll be playing in Buena Vista Colorado this Sunday at 3:00, as a featured soloist! Telemann Viola Concerto on an all baroque concert with the Walden Chamber Music society. I'll be performing on Brown Sugar, my old woody viola... YFF's are invited.



They used a Peak Performance photo!

here's the web-site: http://www.waldenchambermusic.org/events.html
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:00 PM   #239
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Congratulations on finding a way to combine the passions in your life. Your comments around the life of a musician with a family certainly resonate in my extended family. One of my cousins made his living with various orchestras for a number of years (symphonies and musicals), he played with a brass group as well. Though he loved it, it took an emotional toll being away when his kids were very young - Christmas 1996 really hit hard as he was touring playing Andrew Lloyd Weber pieces on the east coast while his 4 year old and 1 year old were home here in BC wondering where dad was. He returned to life here as a high school music teacher/director and still is invited to play and/or conduct with various orchestras more locally based (though he took his senior band to FL a couple of weeks ago). The best part is that he will be my older son's grade 8 band teacher next year! Since he grew up in the Maritimes and didn't get to meet the West Coast side of the family til he was in his 20s, he's thrilled.
Wishing you all the best for success as you define it viola-ting your way around the country!
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:11 PM   #240
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And here I am stucK in California. Nuts! as they say.

Knock 'em dead!
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