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Sunday, February 26, 2006

White Night Again!
Tonight the city of Torino decided to host another White Night (An evening where all the shops and stores stay open until 3:00AM).
We did two shows tonight, one at 7:00 and another at 11:00PM. They were our best shows yet. You would think that after 18 shows we would be tight. It was also our largest crowds. People are waiting in line for an 45 minutes to go through security to get into the Piazza.
The first photo is a shot of the line to get on the bus. These people were going to be waiting a very long time.
The second shot is of the crowds out on the street.
The third photo is of our stage for our final night.
It's amazing to see families out walking around at 3:00AM. People of all ages are roaming.
Young groups of teenagers are running around and yet there is no violence. They may be drunk, loud and obnoxious but, no one is fighting.
We returned to the apartment around 4:30 and the streets were still packed with people.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Torino sidewalks
Torino is filled with miles of sidewalks that are covered. These walk ways were designed for the royalty of Torino so they could walk the city and not get wet.
On rainy days you can travel most of the downtown area covered. Some of the sidewalks are made of marble. Although it's beautiful it is also very slippery. So of the stores that have basements have windows on the sidewalk and you can look between your feet and see displays under the sidewalk. Those Plexiglas sections are even more slippery than the marble.

My First Game
Today, I finally got to go to an Olympic event. It was the Men's 15000 Meter.
On the way there we passed the Olympic Village. You have to have security clearance to get in. If you don't you can't come with a half mile of the village. It's like the Green Zone. You have to have full have a security check performed weeks ago.
We had to have that just for the sponsor village.
Security here is very tight. There are different divisions of police all over the town.
Just to get into the Track Oval for the Men's race we had to go through security. It was raining and they won't allow large umbrellas into the Oval. small foldup ones are okay. I had a small carabiner on my belt. I had to leave it with the police at the security check point, same with the umbrella. However, people are very honest about picking up only their own belongings after the event.
The Dutch were out in force for the speed skating.
They are crazy about their skaters. The guy in the orange is your typical Dutch Olympic fan. They all dress up like they are at some post Burning Man party, but all in orange. The stadium was very orange. One of the Dutch skaters set a new world record that day. The Oval exploded in cheers and celebration. One thing I've noticed about Dutch and Italians, they don't like to wait in lines. If they get the chance they will cut right in front of you. I was in line to buy some snacks during a break. I was surrounded by orange and people constantly trying to cut in front of you. I had to give this old lady the elbow because she won't get behind me.

Milwaukee in the house!!
Guys like this are all over the place.
It doesn't matter what country they are from, they're all alike.
I don't think these guys are really into the games, they probably don't even go to a single game. They are here to trade pins.
The back pocket of their vests are loaded with hundreds of pins.
These guys are from Milwaukee. You'll probably find their pins on ebay.

Poets on Ice
This is going on the cover of the, "Poets, Live in Torino DVD"

Friday, February 24, 2006

No Show... Rain Rain, Instead, Men's 15000m @ at the Oval
I'll have photos tomorrow.
My first Olympic event. After being here almost a month, I finally get to see an Olympic event.
Coming up next month Winter Music Conference Miami, Spring Break, M3 and Remix Hotel..

Thursday, February 23, 2006
In the main theatre, guests can watch two different movies at the same time. Lay back in the seats and watch the movies. Individual speakers are built into the chairs. 10 stories high there is projection on the ceiling.
I don't know what this lizard looking thing is all about, but it has some interesting symbolism.

Museo Nazionale del Cinema
Sean and I took a trip to the National Cinema museum here in Torino.
Torino had the first movie studio in Europe.
The Museum is filled with old projectors starting around the 1700's.
The whole progression of image projection is covered by the installation.
(Even Balinese shadow puppets before then).
Projection images were commonly used by spiritualist and traveling fairs.
A Priest in the 1600's conceived the idea of using light based art to engage the congregation.
Today we are seeing the same thing happen in the AV worship industry. Full HD mixing stations with 10K projectors and DMX controlled light show are common in some of the larger churches around the US.
Pictured above are a series of Magic Boxes, viewed at traveling fairs. Guest would pay a half pence and look through box.
I guess that would have been my job in those days.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

vj suite setup
Here is how it all works.
On my setup, pictured on top, I have the Numark 3 rack monitors, motion dive console and UC33 controller.
The UC33 controller, is controlling Arkaos on the PC, the PR-80 (transition and speed control) and Arkaos on the 17" mac.
motion dive console is controlling motion dive on the 15" mac.
The fade to black knob on my V4 is controlling the fade to black on the Edirol HD mixer and another V4 via midi.
On top of the rackcase is the CG-8, UM-550 recieving MIDI from all the poets and distributing the midi from my UC33.
Below the UM-550 I have the Soundcraft compact 4 sending audio out of the PR-80 to the front of house. We have 2 minute clips from contributing musicians that have been downloaded from the web to the PR-80. Shorter clips are being triggered in arkaos and motion dive via Ableton Live and MIDI.
We are recording all the shows on the JVC HHD and then burning DVD's at the end of the night.
The PR-80 at the bottom of the rack is being sent to the HD mixer on the SD bus, firewire to the PC laptop via Arkaos and another firewire cable is sending it to the 17"mac via Arkaos.
My V4 goes directly into the HD mixer's SD bus. Along with the submixer that Sean is working. We also have a live cam (Sony PD-150) going into the HD mixer as well and then all SD channels are being scaled to HD via the internal scaling on the HD mixer.
We then send everything out VGA to VGA to CAT5 converters and then to a DA for the 8 projectors.
Sean is mixing with 4 DVD players and Motion dive.
He loads the titles of the contributing artists into motion dive and brings them in at the end of the triggered artists.
We can also route some of our SD signals via the 4x4 matrix router.
All of the mix also goes out to the Poets, 10" preview monitors, glasses screens and buildings.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

stage shots Feb. 15th
-Sean Cooper, Chico
-VJ Culture
-Front of stage
-Shot from backstage
Photos curtesy of NBC

stage shots Feb. 15th
Some how I managed to erase all the photos on my camera. I thought I had dumped them on to my desktop but, this morning they are not there.
These photos are curtsey of NBC.
From top to bottom.
-Ed Mclary the Magnetic Poets Drummer
-All the poets on stage with Chico Freeman and Carol Luna
-Julian Smedley on keys and Ableton Live

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cancelled show SNOW!!!!
It started to rain in the early afternoon. By early evening it was snowing hard. We cancelled the show and had an evening to our to just hang out.
The snow was very slushy but it didn't stop people from going out.

building projection at the Piazza
Here is a photo of the screens on the right side of the stage. Two 10K projectors are double stacked to hit the building behind the screens.

White Night from our Apartment
Another photo of White Night.
This was shot from our apartment window. The streets were crazy...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

White Night
Tonight is White Night, all the stores stay open until 3:00AM and there is music in the streets until 5:00AM. It's a huge party. The streets are packed with people. I find it amazing that even though everyone is partying and drinking no one is fighting.
If this were to happen in the states, there would be fights breaking out every where. The police would be chasing people and in riot gear. Even though it was noisy everyone seemed to be having a good time. The city just announced that they are going to do it again next weekend. I guess they did pretty well in sales last night.
Pictured above. The Buses were packed with people. (Think Tokyo at rush hour). Also, pictured above, our stage during our show. We had a good turn out last night. We did a 7:00PM show and another one at 11:00PM. We had some local musicians join us. I really liked the style they brought to the show. Bongos and acoustically guitar, with a Italian folk twist.

Projectors on Ice
For the first 10 shows they would kick everybody off the ice rink and bring the projectors out on the ice so we could do our show. We hated the fact that all these people would have to leave the ice, it would kill the energy. We fought with the city and the director of the Piazza to find a way to keep the rink open. Finally, they agreed and regardless of how dangerous it is to have people skating around projectors on the ice, the energy of our shows are much better.
Pictured above... This would never happen in the states.
Ice, beginner skaters and $6000.00 projectors sitting on top of a IKEA shelf. It's a recipe for disaster.
I'm glad they're not my projectors.
Each night they have to find 4 volunteers to be a human shield between the skaters and the projectors.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Architectural Features
Torino is filled with amazing architecture. This photo is just an example of some of the details on the buildings around town.
In my neighborhood the streets are cobblestone and very narrow.
Just a few blocks away are remains from the Roman era. The civic workers lay the cobblestone in the same way they did hundreds of years ago. (except they have trucks to bring them the bricks instead of horses).

Old Ladies and Fur Coats...
Looking at the photo doesn't say much. Looks like a crowded cafe, but here's the skinny.
Every morning I go into these little cafes they are packed with old ladies in fur coats standing around the bar. You can barely squeeze past them to place an order. I didn't understand it at first, but the price for drinking your cappuccino at the bar and sitting down are different. It costs a more to have a seat. Oh Yeah, you are only suppose to have cappuccino for breakfast. Un Cafe at night... Silly American!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Working on stage
Press in Canadian paper about one of our collaborators.

Today was such a nice day we opened up the stage during our rehearsal.
Each day we arrive at the stage around 1:00. We download new clips off the web and begin the integration of the audio and video into the evening show. I have been going around town and shooting new footage and then processing it in FCP and After Effects. I also get a 2 minute reel from NBC of the previous days highlights. I cut that up and bring it into the show that night as well. So from 1:00 to 6:30PM everyday we are feverishly working to get the show ready by 7:00PM.

Panasonic LED Screen
Before and after our show Eurosport has live coverage of the games on the big Panasonic LED screen.
The other night we delayed our show so the screen could provide the live coverage of the Men's speed skating competition.
Italy won the gold and the Piazza exploded with cheers.
Imagine if we had taken over the screen just before the competition finished.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Our stage from a distance
So here is a shot of our stage from a distance and the other shot is our crowd outside the Piazza.
That's me stage right. With our costumes I kinda look like Simon Le Bon, that and with the eye liner and all...

Actually, that is Duran Duran. After our show last night someone came up to us and offered us tickets to see Duran Duran at the Medal Plaza. Tickets were given out in Dec. to the locals. The shot of the crowd goes from the Medal Plaza all the way to Piazza San Carlos two blocks away. Another huge LED wall has a live feed of the show. Over 50,000 people are partying and hanging out every night. The Music was so loud last night that my ears are still ringing.
Being 10ft away from our drummer every night can take a toll on the eardrums. Anyone in the music business should have professional earplugs.
I got mine from It includes a hearing test.... What!!

Where's a bat when you need one
Nancy on the ice before our show.

Pins are every where!!
All over the Piazza you find this characters selling and collecting Olympic pins. No matter what country they are from, they look the same.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

We have rain predicted in the forecast
If it rains hard, we are screwed...
Cables are everywhere.
Photo above is just one of 7 piles of cables.

The Rack
1 of 3 modules for the video side of our show.
See the nest of cables next to the rack. They are all over the stage.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Make a Wish Foundation
Two days ago the Magnetic Poets did a performance for some of the kids from the "Make a Wish Foundation", it was my favorite show so far.
(Make a Wish Foundation visit for more info) It was a short jam and because of our connection to the projector I only brought a laptop and a DV camera. (Firewire in via Arkaos). Just simply putting the faces and names of the kids on the screen made them very happy. The parents, GE execs and kids all joined in the jam. We gave them instruments to play and allowed them to play with the MIDI wands and Air FXs.