Archive for August 2009


Independence Day distractions

Ukraine turned 18 today, and the center of Kyiv filled up with crowds looking for a good time. There was music, costumes, and a lineup of armored vehicles. But we found our eyes drawn to something else. Call us shallow, but we couldn’t stop looking at the astounding shoes on display in this city. So Nora and Molly started snapping pictures. Below, in slide show format, we present some of Kyiv’s finest footwear.

The gang’s all here!



We’re paying more than we should for an apartment in Kyiv, and the reason is that this place came with a piano.pianopic

It’s made by Blüthner, an old German company based in Leipzig.  Since Leipzig ended up in East Germany after World War II, Blüthner became the supplier of good-quality pianos to the Soviet Union.  Hence its presence in Kyiv.

The piano players of the family, Brigid and Molly, aren’t here yet (sigh), and I’ve been dying to know how the thing really sounds.  Well, yesterday a new friend named Jim Schwartz came by and started playing some pieces from memory.

jim_playingI think it sounds pretty nice!

But don’t just take my word for it.

Click on the “play” button to listen.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

New media experiment

I’ve been intrigued by the possibilities of narrated slide shows.   Radio doesn’t seem to translate very well to the web, at least not as naturally as text and images.  Video has been successful, but that takes a lot of time to do well, and requires expensive equipment. It may be more feasible for an independent audio producer to marry sound and narration to photos. The combination can be an effective way to tell stories.

Here’s my first attempt. It has no narration, just sound with pictures.   It only took a few hours to put together. What do you think?  Does this have potential?

Moving in

Greetings from vulitsya Pushkins’ka, in the heart of Kyiv!