Friday, January 30, 2009

Tan Dun: Internet Symphony "Eroica"

A few weeks ago, in our Leeds Met VC's daily reflection he pointed to the project Internet Symphony, where composer Tan Dun invited musicians to upload a video of themselves playing an instrument as part of a virtual performance of that symphony, with the instrumentalists participating through their video. I found that idea very interesting and planned to do my own contribution there, using computer instruments and synthesizers for this performance. This would not be eligible for the competition, as they only want solo instruments. But I could always extract a solo instrument from the whole score.

The deadline for submissions was this Wednesday. I had somehow thought that it would be Friday, 30.1. but since my entry would not be eligible anyway, it did not matter. And today in the morning I completed the MIDI rendition and recorded a few videos. Stitched them together, not a really creative or original video... I tried to record myself when editing, but that proved not feasible, as I made many "typos" and mistakes on the music keyboard. So I only recorded the PC screen, with different parts of info showing. Surely one could have done a better job...

Well, here it is, my first music video:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Newcastle

This Thursday an event took place in Newcastle, organised by the Yorkshire Universities organisation: we visited the Technology Centre of Procter and Gamble, to see how they deal with innovation and academic relations.

I drove up with the car. It was foggy, but the visibility was quite good - several 100 m, and traffic was ok. It took me about 2 1/2 hours each way. The landscape along the motorway looked very mysterious, the bare trees disappearing in the fog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Event: IgniteNorth

On Thursday evening, the first IgniteNorth event took place at the Old Broadcasting House in Leeds. Short presentations (nl more than 5 minutes each) were given by speakers from a wide variety of tehcnology backgrounds - very interesting!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Travel: Vorarlberg - Student PhD Conformation Vivas

On Sunday, I left for a short travel to Austria: The Leeds Met International Faculty has PhD students in Austria who have enrolled in the new "European PhD" program. In this program, their thesis will be supervised by people from both the UK and their home country. My contribuytion to this supervision is to provide "German language", as these students can write their thesis in their mother language.

Unfortunately the hotel had no internet, so I was not able to send updates However, I have tried something new: TwitPic which allows to send pictures to Twitter. On the left side of this blog here is an automatically updatd list of the latest pictures. I learned about TwitPic after the reports on the news about last week's airplane water landing in NY.

The travel was ok. I went with KLM from Leeds through Amsterdam, then further on to Zurich. The train ride to Dornbirn was easy: a fast train (EC) to Bregenz, then a local train to Dornbirn. On the way back it was more complicated: There were many small segments, as at the time when I wanted to be at the airport, no direct train was scheduled. The fastest route to Zurich Airport (Kloten) goes close to Lake Konstanz. But I chose a more southern route: through Buchs and Sargans. I had hoped to see a few nice mountains in snow. However, it rained on Tuesday, and the clouds were hanging very low, so I had no mountain visibility. But the ride was still enjoyable: very scenic railway along the Walensee and the Zurichsee.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Leeds Met VC, Prof. Simon Lee, resigns

Today in the daily reflection of our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simon Lee, he placed a news bomb in the last sentence of the first paragraph: "... I have decided, as the chair of governors, Ninian Watt, announces today, that this is to be my last academic year here." I was hired here at Leeds Met under his leadership, and I will surely miss him. He has brought great momentum and dynamism to the university and has initiated the transformation of Leeds Met into Leeds Carnegie University. His departure now feels like the end of an era.

I wish him very well in whatever new endeavour he will be engaged in!

(It is very interesting to see the kind of anonymous backstabbing that some members of staff display in their replies to the Times Higher Education article on this...)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

The new year is already a few days old... I started the year off with a cold. On 1. January my voice was completely gone, probably an effect from the quite chilly weather. I had spent the christmas holidays with my family in Germany, but came back before the New Year.

Now I had to skip the first few days of work, due to slight temperature. I even went to the GP (for non-UK people: this is the General Practitioner, my "Hausarzt") who recommended me to get a good rest and avoid making other people sick.

But tomorrow, Thursday, I will go back to work. I had many plans for things to be done during those days off, but I was unfortunately unable to do them. Maybe I will find some time during the ntext months.

To all of you who read this blog: best wishes for a happy, healthy, and successful New Year 2009!