29 March 2020 – 20:39 GMT – 1°C Mostly Clear – Co. Dublin, Ireland
It’s that kind of day. Cleaned some windows. Watched the news on TV while my wife visited with a public health nurse to learn about injecting our daughter, in case she needs the help later in her treatment.
I’ve been practising social distancing. I think the best defence is to behave as if you’re infectious and do not want to infect anyone else.
Fascinating catch-up TV about Eel Pie Island. As often as I walked past it while doing Thames Walks, I had no idea just how important it was to the music of the 1960s.
And right after that, another music program. As much as I have enjoyed The Beatles Sgt Pepper album over the years, I had no idea that the technology behind Sgt Pepper was so innovative and revolutionary. A huge collection of calliope rolls cleverly repurposed and sampled, for example. The BBC 50th anniversary program said that it took 55 hours to make Strawberry Fields Forever. While not on the album, along with Penny Lane, it was recorded in the same creative phase. Explore the technology for yourself at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tb97f
The movie Barry Lyndon had indoor scenes recorded in candle light. That required the creation of lenses with apertures of 0.8. Which meant depths of fields in millimetres which in turn meant keeping very fine control of focussing.
The movie 1917 has an incredibly long introductory panning shot. Some nine minutes. It recreated many feelings and emotions associated with the organised chaos of war not previously portrayed in a cinema setting. Excellent movie too.
What got me thinking about these was the recent Rotterdam philharmonic virtual performance of Ode to Joy. We have a 3ms lag through our amplifier when we push the sound from our TV to other speakers in the room. I wondered how the orchestra synchronised themselves across the internet, a medium full of time delaying obstacles.
And that’s the point. When the novel technology works seamlessly, we are in awe. And sometimes, the first awe is perpetual despite, like Swiss watches, the many imitators that follow and refine and improve the products.