Monday, June 6, 2016

Odds and Ends

I have a fussy job to do: each day in Madrid, I downloaded the day's photos to my laptop and created suitable folders for them in Photos, the Mac OS application. But now I am home, I realize that none of this will transfer over to my desktop! So I have to do it all over. Actually, I can do it a bit better because I know what I have so I can probably do better categories or something. For your information, in the ten days of the trip (two of which were entirely travel) I took 330 photos! There were quite a few that never made it to the blog, including all those from the last day. So today you will get a few odds and ends.

There are two big traffic roundabouts on the Paseo del Prado, each with a fountain. One is Cybeles and the other is Neptune. It is actually pretty hard to get a decent photo because you can't get very close due to the traffic. Here is Neptune from behind:

Click to enlarge

Here is a nifty building I saw walking along the Carrera de San Jeronimo:

This is the facade of the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, which faces on the same square as the Reina Sofía:

Just half a block from there is an excellent music store for guitarists with all those things that the Union Musical Española no longer bothers with: music scores, for example.

The proprietor, Angel, is a very nice fellow and I actually bought a couple of Brouwer scores and a new CD of a guitar concerto of his.

I didn't relate what I did on my last day. The first day I went to the Prado I bought a two day ticket as it seemed a good saving. So on Thursday, after their new Hieronymus Bosch exhibit had begun, I went back to use that second day and see the Bosch. Alas, there were big lineups. This is just to buy a ticket and it extended for the equivalent of two or three blocks:

Then you had to line up to actually enter the exhibit. I figured I was ahead of the game, so I just went to that second line. And encountered a museum employee who informed me that if I wanted to access the Bosch exhibit, I would have to buy a special ticket, which they might have told me. So I just glared at her and said "adios"! Standing in line for several hours is not my idea of a good time. Besides, I saw their Bosch years ago (I told myself). On the other hand, despite the best efforts of Jesse Jackson back in the 80s, ("hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go") which were pretty successful in US colleges, apparently there are lots of people who still believe that there is such a thing as Western Civilization and are prepared to stand in line all day just to look at some samples.

But I decided otherwise, at least on this occasion so, after fortifying myself with a second light breakfast:

I decided to check out another museum, quite highly recommended in some guide books: the Museo de América. It did involve a 15 minute cab ride as it is a lot further out. Nice building:

This museum is devoted to artifacts from the former Spanish empire and includes both pre-Columbian and colonial artworks. The building itself is spectacular with this extraordinary boveda ceiling:

I took a lot of photos, but because of the glass cases, they didn't turn out very clear. Here is gold jewelry from what is now part of Panama:

Just to show the variety, here is a Tinglit carving from the Pacific Northwest:

And they have one of the very few remaining Aztec codices, the Codex Tudela, a 16th century pictorial codex:

Not to mention one of the earliest depictions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, this is from the mid-18th century:

The admission was only 3 Euros, which made up a bit for the two taxi fares, there and back.

What would be a good musical envoi? Nothing pre-Columbian as, despite what they tell you, we have absolutely no idea what pre-Columbian music sounded like. But how about something Latin American? This is my recording of Carora, a vals venezolano by Antonio Lauro:


Christine Lacroix said...

Really enjoyed your performance of the Carora. Would it be possible to have one link on your blog where we could find all of your performances?

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks! Yes, I thought it came out quite well. I am trying to figure out a good way to distribute both my guitar recordings and my own compositions. I may just do a YouTube channel. Or I might start a record company! I haven't decided. But this is the reason I haven't already responded to your request for an easy way to access my performances. I guess I need some marketing advice! Not my strong point.

Marc Puckett said...

I'm not clear if you are trying to monetize your videos (what an expression!) or simply provide a convenient platform for viewing them. Vimeo allows the video producer to receive 'tips' (from $1 to $500) on each video, 15% of which goes to Vimeo.

You know, there are publishing ventures that will print a book on demand; I wonder if there are companies that do the same for audio works? it doesn't take much effort to burn a CD, after all-- probably more to arrange the shipping out than the burning itself.

Bryan Townsend said...

Hi Marc,

The prime need is for distribution, but I am also interested in some financial return. For one thing, I think I need to be in the professional, not vanity, category. These days everything is rather amorphous, though. One company that seems interesting is CD Baby, who take care of production and distribution. Or I could start my own record company. What concerns me there is the handling of sales both of physical CDs and streaming. Which leads to consideration of a service like iTunes or Spotify. Basically, I could use a consultation from someone who has expertise in this area. The actual production of commercial quality CDs is actually quite easy and there is a company nearby here in Mexico that can do it at a very reasonable price. I might just start there!

Marc Puckett said...

Have a friend who sells his two CDs on CD Baby-- they never were at the top of the charts, ha, but after all these years they are still available, and on Spotify, too, because (as I understand it) that's one of the things CD Baby does; I don't know about the other streaming services.

Bryan Townsend said...

Ah, that's good news that CD Baby can handle Spotify as well. I just have to get going on it!