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Nov 16, 2010

Live Recording of Rinat Shaham Carmen, authentic instruments

Baden Baden, Germany: an orchestra of period instrument specialists assembled to perform Bizet's "Carmen" starring New York based Mezzo: Rinat Shaham, who is defining the role for her generation.


Oct 22, 2010

Live Video, New York Chamber Music Festival 2010, George Crumb, flute and percussion

Filmed during the New York Chamber Music Festival George Crumb's "Idyll for the Misbegotten" for flute and percussion was performed by Patricia Zuber, her husband Greg Zuber and guests.

This video still looks classy, using the un-manned camera for a wide shot to cut to while the other camera moves between subjects.
Need Video? NYvideo.US

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Sep 7, 2010

"Gasp!" a film in production.

New York based Thiago Da Costa is producing and directing a short film called GASP!
The team is currently fund-raising through a site called IndieGogo.

 You can make tax-deductible donations to the project and win prizes for your donations by going to the following link:
"I think anyone who participated could say that this was not an easy project" says Thiago, "a labor of love sounds great on paper but it means nothing unless everyone is willing to give everything they have to make it work. I can categorically say that there was not a single person, on any day of the shoot who did not give it their all and I think that the fruits of such difficult labor will be extraordinary".

For more info on the film, go to:

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Aug 27, 2010

New York's Rinat Shaham sings to 100,000 Israelis

New York's favorite Mezzo-Soprano, Rinat Shaham, has just returned from five Months on the road, singing her repertoire in Japan, Germany and Israel.
"I'm so happy to be back at home in New York for a few weeks" says Shaham.
"Five Months is a long time to live out of a suitcase, especially across two seasons of weather".
Videos of Shaham on youtube have been viewed by millions, with live footage ranging back to 2005.
Here's a look at her performance of Carmen, televised live in Israel, performed to an outdoor audience of 100,000 people.

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Jul 2, 2010

Do you know if your child is drowning? Read about the instinctive response to drowning.

Thanks to Eric Russell for this information that is saving lives even as you read:
Drowning is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like what you'd expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help

1.Except in rare circumstances, drowning victims are physiologically unable to call for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.

2.Victims' mouths sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of victims are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the victims' mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

3.Drowning victims cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

4.Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot control their arm movements. Victims who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching for rescue equipment.

5.From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. These drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

Keep an eye on your kids in the water, make them swim between the flags, if you suspect a problem yell for help and point, get the lifeguard's attention asap.


May 16, 2010

Naughty Crow steals chicken bones, close up footage

Shot on a kodak zi8


Apr 6, 2010

Toronto Falls in Love with New York Mezzo's Carmen

CHRISTOPHER HOILE writes: (Opera News 2010 )

For its latest staging of Bizet's Carmen, Canadian Opera Company brought back the physical production it unveiled in 2005 but brought in a new director, Justin Way, and a new lighting designer, Aaron Black. The results (seen Jan. 27) were literally and psychologically darker than one remembered. Michael Yeargan's sets and François St-Aubin's costumes had relocated the action to 1940s Latin America, where the banana republic atmosphere had given the opera an undesirable satiric edge. Black's lighting counteracted the design's colorful gaiety by frequently backlighting the singers or bathing them in ominous Goyaesque shadows. This reinforced Way's approach, which kept the work's tragic outcome in view from the very start.
Under Way's direction, Israeli-born mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham gave the most nuanced performance of the title role this reviewer has ever seen. Shaham has the ideal voice for Carmen — lush and velvety in its lower register, full and gleaming on top. Shaham's Carmen was not an unthinking force of nature but a flawed human being caught in a trap of her own making. Shaham easily conjured up Carmen's pantherine intensity, locking eyes with Don José as if sealing both his doom and hers. She gave Carmen a subtle layer of self-awareness. This Carmen knew too well that she was struggling against her love for Don José because it entailed her own loss of freedom. Thus, Carmen's frequent reversals of attitude in Act II became a sign not of capriciousness but of acute inner torment that culminated in the exquisitely sung card scene of Act III. Here, Carmen's revelation of her life's central contradiction — a longing for absolute liberty versus a belief in fate — created a profound emotional impact.

Watch more videos of Shaham
None of the others principals attained Shaham's perfect blend of singing and acting. Soprano Jessica Muirhead sang Micaela with great beauty, but her natural poise made her seem less a peasant girl than an aristocrat in disguise. Bryan Hymel has a powerful tenor with a rapid vibrato that suits the French repertoire, but his acting was too generic to be involving. Bass-baritone Paul Gay was an oddly wooden Escamillo whose lowest notes lacked resonance.

Under the energetic twenty-nine-year-old Scottish conductor Rory Macdonald, the COC Orchestra played with precision and spirit, fully bringing out the vibrant orchestral colors and lively dance rhythms of Bizet's score. In the end one felt exhilarated finally to have seen, in Rinat Shaham, a singer who embodied so completely the beauty, passion and complexity of this iconic character.

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Feb 27, 2010

Inwood New York, after the Feb 2010 snow storm

We picked our way through the fallen branches:

Music by Peter Bucknell and Kurt Severtson, Live 2004


Jan 9, 2010

How to make the best Hot Chocolate on Earth

To make One Cup:
  1. 1 Big-ass Cup of milk (add cream if you have no guilt)
  2. Warm in a pot, don't boil
  3. Add stuff: fresh mint, or cinnamon, paprika, fresh grated ginger
  4. Teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of honey
  5. Drop in a few pieces of your fav chocky (break it up first )
  6. Mix till melted
  7. pour in a cup
  8. Add scoop of icecream
  9. Add dollup of cream
  10. Grate some chocolate over the top
  11. Give a taste to your friend,
  12. Take it away immediately and enjoy


New York's Horse and Carriage debate continues

New York City's Health Department has proposed rules for horses that carry tourists that they would get 5 weeks of job-protected vacation...also, good news for the steeds, carriage drivers and their passengers would no longer be allowed to light up under regulations that could take effect as early as March.
"Just like cabdrivers, they shouldn't be smoking," declared Daniel Kass, the Health Department's acting assistant commissioner for environmental health.

Horse drivers will soon face the same restrictions as cab drivers: No cellphones, no texting, no music players and no cameras.

Horse owners will also have to supply thermometers so drivers can take readings after every trip and enter them into a log book.
When temperatures drop below 18 or above 90, the horses would get the day off to eat and stand still, and think about galloping in a green field with buttercups and clouds..

Councilman Tony Avella back in 2008 introduced new legislation attempting to ban the use of horses from pulling carriages around both the city and in central park.

Horse and carriage drivers tend not to want their comments on record, but the ones that do talk to the press usually refer to the fact that horses have been beasts of burden for thousands of years, and they are very happy to be working and interacting.

The last accident, a few years ago, resulting in the death of a horse: "Smoothie", involved a street musician startling the horse with his drum. (the horse was also a music critic). The ASPCA has backed the proposed ban, which is a telling factor in the ban's future success

Animal rights spokesmen usually draw the publics' attention to the unavailability of water for the horses and the cramped stables (all of which have passed inspection). In particular though is the worry that horses have to deal with careless car drivers whom more often than not are chatting on cell phones.

Carolyn Daly, a professional public relations woman, has been speaking on behalf of the horse and carriage association, but I spoke to the drivers and owners themselves who all seem to agree that the horses are are living a decent lifestyle.

More Politics News>

Jan 8, 2010

Rinat Shaham and Luca Pisaroni sing beautiful Mozart Duet in Paris Production of Cosi

A fan of Rinat Shaham, New York's own Mezzo Soprano Star of the opera world has posted this rehearsal video from the most recent Paris production of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte.
Sublime as always, worth the 5 minutes to listen:

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Daisy Martinez, chef, New Book out now: "Daisy, morning noon and night"

"Daisy's authentic recipes are easy to make, easy to eat, and sure to please."
-- Rachael Ray

Food Network star Daisy Martinez has written a great recipe book: Daisy morning noon and night.
Watch this 2 minute video, made by the New York Video Service: (NYvideo.US )