Robert Dempster

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COVID-19 Stay Home South Africa

*** Welcome to my PMB blog, the umpteenth! ***

The Corona Diaries
Page 7
Now Level 5
The last day!

30 April 2020

COVID-19 Stay Home South Africa

During the late 20th century an honours student did a project with me that involved voice communication in real time via the Internet. He came up with an app that worked, but only within a limited context. At that time I was also keen to try and see whether we could produce a system that would allow musicians who were remote from each other to play the same score simultaneously via the Internet. That idea never got out of the door. It did however remain somewhere at the back of mind and resurfaced in 2015 when I wrote a blog (see the links included below) about a song that Edith sang during her youth. The blog also celebrated the life of her maternal grandfather, Charlie Hall.

The song was titled, "The Animal's German Band", and at the time I could not find any trace of it on the WWW. At the time I also thought it would be great if I could get Edith and her sisters to contribute to a recording of the Animal's German Band. But that was not all, they would also all make their contributions from their own homes via the Internet from wherever that happened to be, and I would then put it all together. It never got beyond Cathy producing the words, score and the music, and the two of us performing as a duo shortly after she had done that work (Thanks Cathy!).

Fast forward to 2020 and the COVID-19 Lockdown, and me thinking I would try again. So using a Whats-app group I challenged the extended family to contribute by submitting whatever via Whats-app as a means of family interaction, and as an activity that would probably give us a few laughs, and help us all to endure the lock-down. I also submitted the audio clip that Cathy and I produced in order to kick start the cultural fest. The link is on the 2015 blog page.

I then also thought I would revisit the never realised honours recording project by try and get Blanche, Cathy and Edith to all produce sound tracks of themselves singing the, "The Animals German Band". The three lasses were a good choice as they can sing, and would make their contributions from Perth (WA), Hermanus (WC) and KwaZulu-Natal respectively via the Internet. Well ....

So where to now ... Well I was probably going to let go of the idea until I saw the recording to the South African National Anthem produced via the Internet by South Africans artists scattered throughout the country. It was done to celebrate Freedom Day under the lock-down, and is worth a listen. The synchronization is amazing, and the URL is included below.

As for me? Well, I enlisted my local grand daughter who I know loves to sing, and sent her the backing tune and words for the Whistling Gypsy Rover, a song we had sung together before. The links are included below and serve as an ackowledgement. I also explained to her that she needed to use a cell phone with head phones to listen to the backing tune, while she recording herself singing the tune. Guess what, she did not, neitherv to me or the tune, and as a result her contribution was about 15% too fast. No problem, I used Audacity on my Ubuntu Linux box to stretch her contribution before mixing her track with mine and the backing music to produce Take 1. (URL below) I have to say that I was quite impressed with extent to which she kept in time with the ABSENT music for the first half of the recording. Of course that assessment is a bit rich, coming from someone who can apparently sing Happy Birthday quite happily to a tune no one has ever heard before.

As for me, ... Helpless waiting her Harlequin hovers nearby ...

Well we tried again with take 3 and it was not as good as the first attempt. So I gave it a twist for take 4 and that is where it will end.

A luta continua; a vitória é certa

Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a bicycle.

If you have any comments, corrections, suggestions or plain criticism, I would appreciate it if you would communicate the same to me.

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