Hacking

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I’ve been trying to do some Win32-related hacking in GTK. I got a couple theme patches for notebook rendering approved, and I’ve got a patch up for review that fixes an issue with windows not receiving enough expose events when they’re being resized. Now I’m trying to understand and fix some issues related to modality and transience of windows. That’s a pretty difficult bug though. Somehow I’ve managed to get Windows XP to have multiple titlebars highlighted as though the windows are focused, although only one of them is focused in the taskbar. I hate Windows.

I’ve also been fooling around with Ruby a little bit, and I installed Rails yesterday. I was initially deceived by its inclusion in Ubuntu’s apt repository. Apparently if you want to use Rails on Linux, it’s easier to just install RubyGems and install Rails and its dependencies through gem. The instructions on the RubyGems site was a little bit inaccurate for installation to your home directory, though. You need to make some environment variable adjustments:

export GEM_HOME=$PREFIX/lib/ruby/gems/1.8
export RUBYLIB=$PREFIX/lib/ruby:$PREFIX/local/lib/site_ruby/1.8

There are some problems with using the version of Rails that’s included in Ubuntu’s apt. Like missing very important features, like ActiveRecord and Initializer.

Benefit Recital

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Last night I played in a benefit recital for Valentina Mengjesi, an Albanian woman who lives around here and who has breast cancer but not much money to pay for the medical expenses. I have never met her, but she is a friend of some friends of mine, Amela Koci (who is a very close friend) and Tonda Sykes.

The concert went well. It consisted of the Corelli Christmas Concerto, Beethoven Op. 18/6 string quartet in B-flat, Vaughan Williams Rhosymedre, Mozart Horn Quintet K.407, and Saent-Saens Romance in F. Brian Brown played horn, Arthur Busby and Amela Koci played violins, Paul Palmer and I played viola, and Amirosh Issa was the cellist. At the end Amela’s husband Gjergji joined Brian for a horn duo, but I forgot the name of the composer.

Raconteurs CDs

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So, as I last reported I had ordered some live CDs of the Raconteurs from some of their live shows in the UK but the package was open and empty when it arrived. So I talked to the company, Concert Live, about it and they were kind enough to send me a replacement set. I just received that today, and I’m very happy.

Music and stuff

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I got a DVD a couple weeks ago of Alexander Markov performing the Paganini 24 caprices for solo violin. I saw this years ago on a bootleg VHS when I was at Peabody, and I blogged about it on Advogato. Apparently there were a number of people who wanted to see it, because I had four or five different people email me since that time asking me how to get the video. Some offered to pay me to make them a copy of the bootleg of the video, but it wasn’t mine.

I watched the whole thing, and it’s the same one that I saw back then. It’s sort of cheesily done, and it looks like the director/editor got some video editing software and wanted to try all the goofy effects out. It’s like when you open GIMP for the first time and you think it’s a good idea to try to use all the pre-built effects or something. So, the DVD is pretty funny to watch because it’s so bad. But Markov’s playing is very good, and it’s nice to see (when you can actually see.. there’s a whole section where they thought it would be a good idea to just shoot his shadow) and hear.

I got my Aluminium CD in the mail. It’s sort of an orchestral arrangement (supposedly avant garde, not not really in my opinion) of White Stripes music, which sounds sort of dumb but ended up working pretty well. At least, better than any other orchestral version of rock music I’ve ever heard. I think they tend to have more tunes than the bands that I have previously heard orchestral arrangements of.

I also ordered a set of CDs of live concerts of The Raconteurs from their UK shows, and I was really looking forward to getting those. Well, it turns out that the package was really poorly sealed or something because it opened up during transit and all the CDs spilled out of it and an empty package was delivered to me. I’m really sort of pissed about that. I contacted the company that sent it, hoping they’ll send me
another set. I feel like it is sort of their fault for not packaging it very well. I’m not really sure how else to deal with this right now, but I noticed that the shipment was insured.. although not for as much as I paid for it, so that is a little worrying.

Germany Invaded

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We all remember when Germany was invaded by a giant insect not too long ago. Well, it looks like this time it’s Flying Spaghetti Monsters!

Quartet

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So, we ended up not reading Faure or Schumann or Mahler today. Instead we did the second movement of the Dvorak quartet that I don’t love that much. We’re going to meet on Saturday to read through the new music instead. I can’t wait! I’m very excited about it.

Peanuts

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I got this from Lesley today. Maybe this is why I’m not married yet. :)

New music

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Finally our new quartet music came in the other day, so on Thursday my group is going to read through something new and fun. We ordered both piano quartets by Faure, and the Mahler piano quartet. Maybe something else too, but I forgot. It will be a welcome change for me, because we’ve been working on Dvorak Op.23 and I’m not really all that excited by that piece.

I also just ordered the Bruch Eight Pieces, Op.83 for viola, clarinet, and piano. I am performing that in a recital next month for a doctoral student’s recital I think. It should be a lot of fun, I think. I played the Bruch Double Concerto for viola and clarinet when I was in school, and I liked it a lot. It’s a very nice piece that is still not very well known for some reason.

Mozart Concerto

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I went to Dallas Symphony last night to hear their concertmaster,
Emanuel Borok, play the third Mozart violin concerto. They also did
Rachmaninov’s second symphony and Mannheim Rocket by Corigliano.
It was overall a really great concert, but I went there especially for
the Mozart and I was not disappointed. Borok really played well, I
thought, and the orchestra sounded very good. I had heard that he also
has written his own cadenzas for all the Mozart concerti, so I was
looking forward to hearing that. The the first two cadenzas were
nothing out of the ordinary I think.. especially the first one I thought
was very sensible and traditional. In the last movement, however, the
cadenzas were completely surprising! It didn’t sound really
Mozartian, I’m not really sure what it was.. I guess just very Borok, I
don’t know. It’s hard to describe here. But I definitely enjoyed it.
He just totally threw me for a loop for that last movement, because
especially after the previous ones I did not see that coming.

I had never heard the Corigliano before. It was okay, but nothing to
write much about. And so, I guess I won’t. The best part was before it
started some lady behind me asked if this was that Christmas music
thing, by which she meant Mannheim Steamroller. heh :)

Killer Teddy Bear

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RELEASE OF ANY TEDDY BEARS into the fish hatchery water IS NOT PERMITTED!

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