Saturday, December 22, 2012

saxuality - Sax picture - Naurunappula

saxuality - hauskat kuvat - Naurunappula

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Analysis on the Finnish Parliamentary Election

The recent Parliament Election in Finland has been created some wild items in European newspapers and also in NY Times:

Finland’s Turn to Right Sends Shivers Through Euro Zone

The parties who lost most in the election have been most active in "informing" and feeding misinformation to foreign media. Perhaps the following analysis will shed some light?

Analysis on the Finnish Parliamentary Election
The grand victor of the elections was the Perussuomalaiset (True Finns) party, which gained a landslide victory - 39 representatives as it previously had 5, almost octupling its representatives.

Finnish Foreign Policy - Studies in Foreign Politics

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Finnish Winter War Remembered [YouTube]

Seventy years ago today, March 13, 1940, ended the Winter war started by Soviet Russia unprovoked. (Music: Finlandia by Jean Sibelius).

It takes two to tango and play flute

Juliette Hurel and Benoit Fromanger co-operating.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Making of the New SOTW Logo – Part 1

This is from Kim Pelletier, the resident Sax on the Web artist.
(Earlier Sax on the Web logos.)

With Sax On The Web’s 10 year anniversary behind us and now with its recent upgrade and new look, I decided that it’s time for a new logo. I have been pondering on this for quite some time and by now have a clear idea of what I want for the new SOTW logo.

I want the saxophone bigger among other things – his name is “Buddy” by the way – While his name has remained unknown for many years, Buddy, the main character and my other saxophone characters are certainly not unfamiliar to the SOTW community.

So for this new rendition of the SOTW logo, I thought I’d do something special and give you the making of the logo from the rough sketch on paper to the pixels on your screen.


~ Kim

So it all starts here, where I set-up the font, font size and come-up with an interesting and visually pleasing placement of the “Sax On The Web” and the “by Harri Rautiainen” typography in Photoshop – At this point, the colours are not important, I’ll change that later. I just want a quick layout of the text that I will print on paper in grey scale.

Here is the printout on the light table. Placing a blank sheet of paper on top, I will quickly outline the right edge of the right-most letters to indicate where the logotype ends. Then I draw a sketch of Buddy...

Okay, a very simplified sketch of Buddy

Once I’m satisfied with the placement – this is of course approximate – I proceed to draw the general shape of the body and the distinctive saxophone bell.

When I’m happy with that, I’m adding the details, keys, rods, pearls, eye, mouth and… sunglasses! That’s because saxophonists are cool and they hang out at this cool place called SOTW but Buddy is a saxophone, so of course he’s got to be the coolest.

Turning the light table on again, I position the arms in an attractive way with the blue pencil (That’s what animation cartoonists use. It’s easy to erase and a whole lot less messier than graphite pencil) Then I draw the hands. Buddy’s right hand (down) will be partly hidden by a talk-bubble but I still draw it anyway.

Once I’m pleased, I will draw over the arms and hands, and clarify details that are difficult to see in red pencil.

Now, on a new blank sheet of paper the final sketch is ready to be cleaned with black, permanent ink – this delicate operation requires assurance and is not recommended after drinking 3 espressos – If I mess-up I could always liquid-paper-it-out, but it isn’t very practical since I wouldn’t see through it on the light table.

The other option is to start over but no worries, that’s not going to happen.

I begin to clean up the arms first, exaggerating a little bit on the thickness of the line. This will be useful when I get to the thick-and-thin part. I’ll get to that part later but the general rule goes that arms, hands, legs and under the feet have to be thicker. That contributes to set-in the character in space and makes for a more dynamic character.

Once the arms are done, I clean up the rest of the saxophone, outlining the front-most shapes to the shapes behind and so on. For now I’m doing a simple clean line to get the line out down, making sure to close every lines that joins to another.

In this case, there are little imperfections in the line out, but nothing that can’t be fixed into the next step; the thick-and-thin – Simply put, that consists of going over the lines to make them thicker in some places and thinner in others – There are a certain set of pre-established cartooning rules to follow, like what I said about the arms and legs earlier, and a set of self-established rules that I’ve developed over time, setting a style for my saxophone cartoons characters.

Finally, Buddy is ready to be scanned and digitally coloured. We’ll see that in part 2 of The Making of the New SOTW Logo.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sax on the Web Forum upgrade

Update (Jan-16-10) As a new feature there is now Sax on the Web Forum Portal

Or you can go directly to the SOTW Forum
The Sax on the Web article site is still there.

Hope you'll like it,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Improvisation Basics 5: The Right Notes At The Right Time

I routinely review Sax on the Web older contents checking out link changes and other things which may have changed over time. It was my pleasure to rediscover Andew Campbell's article "The Right Notes At The Right Time" from 2007. Previously we took a look of Teaching Improvisation to Adult students, Blues Chord Progressions and Blues Scales.

Why do solos based on Blues scales sometimes sound great, but other times sound terrible?

It’s all about playing “Blues Notes” at the right time and in the right place.

Andy uses the great Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s solo on “Kidney Stew” as a practical example so, that we can learn a simple and workable method to accomplish the same feat in our own solos.

Although the blues scale, or any scale for that matter, might fit a certain chord or progression, you also have to know when and where to play those notes.

Most of us eventually work this out through a lot of trial and error and lots of listening, but it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Let's look at the melody (head) first:

Then Andy is laying out the theory background for creating a solo.
Enter Mr. Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson with his solo:

Andy goes on analyzing Vinson's solo piece by piece very masterfully. If this is something you want learn more, take a look of the entire article.

Andrew Campbell lives in Sydney Australia, where he plays and teaches. He has been a regular SOTW Forum contributor, under the alias of "Dog Pants", since 2001. Andrew hopes that this lesson will encourage other players to explore both Eddie Vinson and the many other great Blues Sax players.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Field Marshal Mannerheim and Finland's Independence

This photograph is in the Public domain

On December 6th Finland celebrates her 92nd Independence Day. This week seventy years ago Soviet Russia attacked Finland without declaring a war. This widely condemned aggression became known as the Finnish Winter War. Mannerheim's role was paramount for tiny Finland in getting her independence in 1917 and maintaining it during the WWII when fighting against a giant but brutal super nation. Marshal Mannerheim served also as the President of Republic in 1944-46.

A Finnish author wrote a novel "My grandma and Mannerheim". My junction with Mannerheim and Finnish military history happened several times during the past decade when participating in Otava jazz camp and Happy Jazz Festival. The camp accommodation is in Otava Junior College's dormitory where Field Marshal's headquarters were located during the months of the Winter War. Mannerheim's humble office is still maintained in the dormitory as a small scale museum. From 1941 the Army HQ was again located in St. Michael.

Otava is nowadays a borough in the town of St. Michael in Finland. I was directed to a blog by three young St. Michael authors: Mannerheim Darkroom: The statue issue. Apparently there was a fuzz in the town about fairly recent relocation of Mannerheim's statue to a more visible location. I could not help writing a few personal comments.
Happy Independence Day,

Monday, November 30, 2009

Charlie Andrews - BBQ Smoking Hot

Charlie Andrews
was a fine gentleman from the Southern USA, and a friend of the Sax on the Web.

Charlie A, was a professional sax player and teacher since the early 1950’s. He was well known for his products that solved the sticky pad problem for saxophonists.

Mr. Andrews also introduced his BBQ mouthpiece product line. Kim Pelletier helped him by designing the cartoon above.

Charlie passed away four years ago, and was missed by many friends and business associates.