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May 20, 2020:

THE RETURN OF TRAFFIC

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I have noticed over the last two weeks that when I take the freeway to the mail place (just two stops) it’s gone from having almost no cars to more cars daily but still not impeding the flow of traffic to today, when it was actually rush hour-style traffic.  I don’t get it.  Who are these people, where are they going, since nothing is open and why is it bumper-to-bumper all of a sudden, like overnight?  The was at 4:45 yesterday.  It makes no sense to me – people aren’t coming home from work, they have nowhere to go, and yet hundreds of cars were on that freeway yesterday.  That’s the one part of getting back to normal that I don’t look forward to and apparently I don’t have to look forward to it since it seems to have arrived.  Add to that, the long line of folks at the mail place, still returning packages to Amazon, and I just want to kind of hit everyone in the eyeball.

Yesterday was a very busy day from the time I got up at nine after six hours of sleep, to just one hour ago.  Most of that was spent working on the big group number.  We were all hoping that somehow magically it would be easy, but it’s anything but.  The first part of the morning was spent in a Zoom meeting with our six singers.  But prior to that, Richard Allen sent me two new accompaniment tracks for the singers – one with click and plunks and one with just plunks.  And I did one with a guide vocal singing all the parts.  We left the choice up to them as to which would be best for them, but I spent thirty minutes going over every line, every entrance, and every rhythm.  Then I asked them to listen to my guide vocal just so they’d be really clear.

Then throughout the day, I got the videos.  We synched up five of them, including Daniel Bellusci’s lead vocal and I think with some finessing that it’s finally going to work pretty well.  The trio is easier, and I’ll hear that today at some point.  We’re still waiting on the final two people for the bigger group number and hopefully I’ll have those in the morning.  Then Richard will mix all of it, then we’ll do a Zoom finessing the mix session, hopefully today – then we can get everything to Hartley Powers and she’ll marry the audio to the videos and that’s going to be the tell – we’re hoping it will all work well, and it should if all our calculations are correct.

Aside from that, I had tuna sandwiches for the meal, as planned, I also did some other work in between getting the videos, and then at four-thirty I saw that the DHL package that should have been delivered the day before, had been delivered, so I went to retrieve it and, as you know, was surprised by the amount of cars on the freeway.

Once back home, it was more stuff with the videos and listening to the track as all the audios got added.  And at some point, I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the first half of Fritz Lang’s The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, his final film, I believe.  I’m fond of it and even had a Blu-ray of it but one without an English dub or subtitles.  This one has both.  I think the transfer is pretty much the same.  Contrast is great but I can’t really find much of a trace of grain, even in the opticals, which is the sure sign that there’s been grain removal.  There’s some detail but it’s just smooth-looking.  As to the film, it was a low-budget affair, but I like Mr. Lang and there’s just something appealing about even his low-budget stuff.  I’ll finish it up this evening.

I didn’t finish it because I kept getting interrupted with video arrivals and texts and other stuff.  At ten-thirty, I went for my little drive – once again, gas has gone up another four cents – outrageous.  Finally, I listened to some music and interesting music it was – Sandy Wilson’s aborted version of Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin – he lost the rights to Harold Prince, who didn’t care for the Wilson score and turned to Kander and Ebb and the rest is history.  The Wilson score is fascinating – some of the music is eerily similar in certain ways – mostly because it has the Kurt Weill style. There are certainly some appealing songs, but they’re ultimately too lightweight and in The Boy Friend mold.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up and get the final two videos, and the final video for the trio, and then I’m hoping we can mix both and get to Hartley for the real test of how this will work.  Other than that, I’ll eat (think today is homemade burrito day – I have beans, cheese, and onions), I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, and then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow I’ll be getting a desperately needed haircut, otherwise it’s more of the same and that goes for Friday and the weekend.  Friday we have our long Zoom rehearsals session, which goes from two to five.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, get the final two videos for the group number and the final video for the trio, then hopefully have a mix session for both, eat, hopefully pick up packages, do whatever needs doing, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, not so happy about the return of traffic.

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