Youtube and copyright claims

Wow. YouTube has done it again. I uploaded a little guitar study by Napoléon Coste and YouTube claims somebody has copyright on it. Coste lived between 1805 and 1883, so well beyond the span of any copyright claim and they cannot possibly claim arrangement rights for such a simple piece of music -or can they. Wow again.

The video is here:

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flav posterised

a change of airs

Madrid was good. With some limitations -very bad sleep and a rather bad back, a back pain that suddnely attacked me a couple of days before travelling over; on the day it happened I could hardly walk. Went to a doctor (and a doctor came to me, as one of my guitar pupils is a doctor and something big at UCLH). Was prescribed a few alarming painkillers and given some exercises to do.

Once there, tramping around the city with my sister and her troops was fun -up to a point when my back would say no and I had to cut the walking short. Walking a little bit seemed to make it better but walking for long periods of time made it quite painful again. So, I didn't do much in the way of long outings -one day we went to Alcalá de Henares and paid respects to Miguel de Cervantes who was born there and took the inevitable picture at the bench with Quijote and Sancho Panza.

One evening my sister took me to see Cirque Du Soleil. Enjoyed that enormously. Every aspect of it was interesting so that it wasn't just an acrobatic exhibition.

The journey back reminded me of my routine bus trip to school on the 393; children screaming, too little space.

Arrival was a disaster. As I was so tired and with a sore back.. that's how it happened. Pick up the suitcases at Baggage Claim and walk out to catch the bus to the train station... and realise I've left my rucksack (with macbook with my whole working life in it, ipad, a lot of other stuff) somewhere inside the airport or the plane. There ensued two frantic, stressful hours trying to find whether it'd been found -airline said no, lost property said no. Finally I spoke to this young guy (amazing hairstyle) at Customer Services who, instead of phoning people in there, went himself to check out and ... found it. A cleaner had picked it up. Phew.

Arrived home a few hours later than I anticipated, past 11 pm. Slept fitfully and stressed, woke up at 4: something when I had to get up at 6. Today, my first teaching day back at the more stressful of my two schools, was a long, long day.

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One more day in Madrid. So far, a bit limited due to that back pain that I got, suddenly and enormously painful, a few days before travelling, but I saw my sister and her troops, saw a bit more of Madrid, greeted the New Year in Sol (not the star... just the centre of Madrid) and saw a couple of things that I wanted to but never had the chance. One was very simple: a visit to Alcalá de Henares, pay respects to Miguel de Cervantes and stroll around a beautiful town steeped in history. The other one was going to see Cirque du Soleil, which was an amazing spectacle. I kept thinking their rehearsals must be brutal.

Have to be careful as back still hurting and the rest of the week as I return will be frantically busy -couldn't afford to give up an entire week's teaching and instead crammed it all in those three days. Obviously can't afford to decide I'm not feeling well enough to do that teaching. In any case I didn't come here to do tourism but to spend Christmas and NYE with my sister who is based four thousand miles away in Venezuela. I could hardly afford to come but I'm very glad I did.

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anathem, analemma

small aftermath

Had, overall, a very good week-end -albeit under the shadow of the recent events and the further uncertainty and fear they bring.

On Friday our local music shop had their Christmas party, a small affair but an interesting one for me, meeting local music teachers and exchanging impressions with them.

On Saturday it was [profile] andyravensable's birthday, with DJ'ing by Psyche and [personal profile] dancefloorlandmine. It was an excellent party and there will be photos of it at some stage.

On Sunday there was Natasha's Gluhwein xmas party which, again, was a lovely gathering. Didn't stay till very late as I have to get up at such an unconscionable hour on Mondays..

... which is where I am at the moment, thinking about the day and the week ahead and what may come next.

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in theory...

I just got the email from the ABRSM about my Grade 8 Music Theory pupil 's exam result. He passed with a Distinction with 94 (that's 94/100). Quite reasonable, I would say very very well done, James/ Wojciech! (well, he is not on DW/LJ but still..). Quite chuffed about this. This music teaching thing is a rather erratic and precarious way of making a living but it does have its rewards.

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some things on a Sunday

Showered, breakfasted, caffeinated and waiting for the first of three pupils having lessons today. The Met Office says it's going ot be sunny today but the sky is standard issue battleship grey today.

Went to a goth club in Camden Town, 'No Tears', organised by Cavey Nik of Dead & Buried. A good time with friends -different petals of the wenn diagram of the london goth world. A strange counterpoint (for me) with the latin club upstairs, occasionally pumping out salsa amdst a barrage of what people really listen to in those countries (like my original Venezuela) which is no longer salsa but that abomination, reggeton (sp?) which is a sort of latin hip hop with very bland music and, most often, extremely offensive, misogynistic, violent words. But the occasional bursts of salsa made me think of how I hated that music when it was the mainstream in the working class neighbourhood in West Caracas where I was growing up, incapable of dancing it, etc and which I now I see of one of the symptoms of social alienation of young Flavio. Have I outgrown that? I feel much more at home now, or did until three years ago. Odd how those things work. May elaborate on this at a later point as it has for me lots of contradictions and questions about myself.

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I've had this account in Mastodon for a while. So far, I have one follower. I don't know anybody there but also I don't know anybody who uses it. In case you want to go there, I'm @fflavio there, or I'm not entirely clear on how it works, it seems to function in a similar way, in terms of distributed server, to, what was it called, 'Diaspora'*. Anyway, I'm there...

* and it seems to be pretty quiet overall, although not quite dead on the water like Diaspora.

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week-end things

I thought I'd have a quiet week-end. In some ways it was but it still was full of social. On Friday I met with the folks of the u.c.s.m (that's uk.comp.sys.mac if you are old enough to have used the old Usenet) to have our annual dinner in Merkato, a remarkably cheap and good Ethiopian restaurant in Cally Road. This whole thing started about twenty years ago when there was an Apple expo at the Design Centre in Islington. 'Oh, yeah, they have computers' we said. 'What do we do now?' 'Let's go for dinner at this Ethiopian place I know...' somebody said. And of course Apple Expos are very much a thing of the past but we have been meeting for that dinner in Merkato ever since.

On Saturday I only had a couple of lessons (this is a sign that I shouldn't do so much social, I can't afford it) and then there was a double birthday with the Goths at an Italian place in Green Lanes. The decor was amazing (which I always find alarming), the company was excellent, the food was.. ok and either a few people left without paying or the restaurant made a few 'mistakes' as I'm told that there appeared a £100+ shortfall in the bill when everybody had paid (I had indeed paid and left by then). My friends are now talking of always splitting that sort of bill equally so that cannot happen, in which case I won't be able to come to their events, as I'm always skint, always go for the cheapest thing in the menu and would not want (could not afford to!) pay for the rivers of wine, mountains of anitpasti that the others were having.

Yesterday (Sunday) a friend playing in a band (AlterRed) texted me to say she'd put me on the guest list for a band concert at Kolis/The Lounge in Archway, so I went. I'm glad I did, it was a very good gig by the bands I saw, but very few people.

Now, back in the real world....

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of the morning rituals of the flavio

Ah, it's no longer 6:00 am. It was when I got up. The usual routine on a school day: phone alarm rings, I snooze it but do get up. Check email, etc while I swallow the pills that that young doctor prescribed me when she said 'no salami, no cheese' and I replied 'you mean, life without parmigiano and mozzarella?'. She didn't look happy but I probably looked more unhappy when she said no cheese. Brush teeth, a six or seven minute operation in which I get to believe in karma, getting to pay as I do for all the years I thought that scraping a toothbrush across my teeth for ten seconds was brushing my teeth. Shower -I finally replaced the faulty shower bar so I can enjoy warm showers instead of that test of character of early morning cold shower; I don't need my character tested.

Ok, so change into the clothes I'll wear for school, a milder version of what I would wear any other time except without the silly boots or the belt with studs and instead wearing a tie. Make an arepa for breakfast (see Wikipedia for arepa), see whether I have some mozzarella left (see above), make coffee (the most important bit of the whole ritual) and serve some orange juice.

Once on the street, hope that the 393 bus is not too packed, too full of screaming children and schoolboys listening to music or watching things on their phones at full tinny volume without headphones... this is not the best part of the morning ritual and I'm kind of grateful that it only has to take place twice in the week.

Once in school, sign in (twice), then spend the ensuing twenty five minutes getting the classroom in a state that I can actually teach in it. It is the drumkit room and is used for other things so it is usually a tangle of cables, amps and other gear in s state that would not be too dissimilar to that if a hurricane had swept through. Then I'll have to hope that the first pupil remembers their lesson time or I'll have to find where in the school they are and fish them out of wherever it is.

Teaching music is not a bad thing, it is certainly better than many other possibilities, for sure better than destitution or playing in Underground stations (I did that for three years back then) but it comes with an assortment of small and not so small annoyances -it is certainly not what I thought I'd be signing in for when I started studying music all those years ago, but hey. Yes, it is better than many alternatives.

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