K.L.'s Bog: A Diary of Artful Things

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Wed, July 1, 2020

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THERE'S "ASTROTERPH" ON THE FIELD:
My Music
Song number 5 finished
AUDIO RECORDING - ENGINEERING ICON

Last night I started and finished the mixed-master of the instrumental "Astroterph," as far as I can tell at the moment. I had forgotten that when I digitized the recording I had done so in mono as opposed to the rather limited stereo that the 1983 rehearsal was recorded in on the bombox that sat in that bedroom. Thus my mission last night was to first, enhance the overall sound, give it some dynamics, and, second, make it into simulated stereo.

To get the mock stereo I duplicated the one mono track several times then cut different spectrums from each individual track to limit each to one of just the low bass frequencies, the treble frequencies, or the mid-range frequencies. I then assigned each track to it's own spot on the stereo pan: all the way left, mostly left, middle, etc. One track which is the full frequency dynamic is all the way right, a little lower in volume, and has reverb added. The end result doesn't make for great stereo seperation, but there is a more vital sound and feel to it than what we started with.

And I'm 99% sure I am not going to go back in and tweak anything......

.....Well.... 90% sure, 75% at the lowest.

And, yes, I DO know that it's really spelled "AstroTurf." It's called: Poetic license.

July 2, 2020 addendum: I failed to mention that I used an earlier remaster of "Astroterph" as background music for a promotional trailer for a DV movie for a 2007 DTG production of the one-act, The Sandstorm, by Sean Huze.



WORKING ON SITE icon
WORKING FROM HOME icon
COVID-19
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In the circulation area in the main lobby of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library

No change in the work days for the rent-payer. Still working two days a week on-site at the library and usually three days off-site -- usually at home, and usually on the front terrace at my apartment. This week I'll only log two days working from home, Monday and today, since the University is observing Independence Day this Friday, so I have the day off as a paid holiday. Worked yesterday on site and will again tomorrow. Monday and today, I again suffered on that terrace.

As I look at the national and local developments with the pandemic, I don't think it's unreasonable to anticipate that I might be still working at home a considerable amount of my workweek into the cold weather that won't as easily permit my cozy little outside office space.
The same ol' same ol' at the work-from-home office space. But, today, some slightly different POVs for the camera angles.
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DOMESTICITY:
etectera

Some photography -- an attempt at "artsy photography," very certainly of an amateur class.
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Thu, July 2, 2020

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My Music
Song number ? in progress
Last night I sat down with the Yamaha keyboard and began to figure out the chords to that song I wrote in my head last year. The song is in G major, for anyone who is interested. I thought about putting it in G♯ (or, A♭, I'm never sure which key designation takes precedence). I may still put it in that key, whichever identifier is correct.

I'm also contemplating modulating (i.e.: changing) the key for a section of the song. I'm going to at least give that a try and see how I like it. Most likely I'll use a key transition chord (one that is in tune in both keys). The song could use a few extra chords between vocal phrases, too.

The name of the song, by the way, is "You Don't Know What You Want." Note that I have designated it here as Song #?, rather than Song #5. That's because this one will need guitars -- at least one acoustic guitar, if not more, and a player who can lay a decent electric guitar solo. This one will have to wait to be recorded when I can use other musicians more easily. So, I don't know the chronology of when this one gets recorded.

Sitting at my Yamaha PSR-180, finding the chords for "You Don't Know What You Want." I didn't bother to drag out the Williams Legato III keyboard since all I was doing was identifying the chords in the progression that I heard in my head last year when I was composing the song.
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JEFFERSON & ADAMS, by Howard Ginsberg -- at X*ACT: Xenia Area Community Theatre
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Amy Taint as Abigail Adams
-- also, our director
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Mike Taint as Thomas Jefferson
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K.L.Storer as John Adams

A few photographs were taken of the X*ACT staged reading of Howard Ginsberg's Jefferson & Adams, last Friday evening at Caesar Creek Vineyards.

Here are three, each featuring one of us three cast members.

The quality of the photos, especially of us two men, is not amazing, but, here are the photos, in any case.



Fri, July 3, 2020

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Sketch of Thmoas Jefferson, standing next to a desk, with the words: "'Crap, that's due tomorrow?' -- Thomnas Jefferson, July 3, 1776."



Big Heart emblem HEALTHWISE ICON HIKING ICON

After I was done working on-site yesterday at the rent-payer, I did a little hiking right there on campus at the Wright State University Biological Preserve, which is a little more than 200 acres of forestry, on the northeast side of campus, between the university and the Nutter Center.

There is a young meandering stream in that wooded area, and honestly, I was surprised to find many parts of it with low levels, considering that we've recently had a lot of rain.

Regardless, I got a nice hike in, and then when I got home to take my blood pressure, which I always do after any exercising, looking at my records of my BP, etc., I realized I had not hiked, or done any real exercise for two weeks! I also have realized that I haven't done any sort of weight lifting since early March. Boy do I need to eliminate these lapses!

Well, here are some photos from yesterday's hike:

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It's difficult, if not impossible, to tell, but the large green area in the lower left of this photo is the meandering stream reflecting the green from the tree leaves overhead.
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One of the paths out of the preserve that opens toward the Nutter Center.
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I hiked through the preserve and exited on the Nutter Center side, then walked around the forest, back to campus. ere is the preserve as seen from the side of the campus that Colonel Glenn Highway.
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View of the preserve from the nearest parking lot to it.
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The WSU Creative Arts Center (CAC), as I walked back around to my car. Some really great theatre instructors do and have taught within those walls, some of them being: Bruce Cromer, Jennifer Joplin, Joe Deer, Jake Lockwood, to name just a few that I know and all who greatly impress me.
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There's that place known as my rent-payer.



INDEPENDENCE DAY

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244 -- If we are to make 245 there's much to do -- November 3 is paramount'


Sun, July 5, 2020

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HOW I SPENT THE FOURTH OF JULY:
HIKING ICON
COVID-19

The plan was to hike at The Narrows Reserve in Beavercreek, a little over fifteen miles south of my place. I haven't hiked there in something like twenty-five or thirty years. However, when I got there, the parking lot was full. Even before COVID-19 that would have been my cue to abort, but there was no way I was going to risk hiking in a park that was packed so. Plus, there was literally no place to park legally.

I decided to try Sugarcreek Metropark in Bellbrook, another eight miles south. It's been even longer since I've been there; my last visit there was a family outing in the mid-70s. Where Sugarcreek wasn't a ghost-town by any means, yesterday, it wasn't packed either. I did cross paths with other hikers but the distancing was mostly followed.

I say "mostly followed" because there were a few times that distancing was challenging. I had a couple times when younger folk, twenty-somethings, did not keep the distance. Both times it was a guy and a gal, and both times it was the guy who ignored the protocol. I made sure to swiftly pass them both times. Another incident involved a small group of folk, perhaps family, who were gathered in a group at a turn in a path, blocking the pathway. When I approached they made no attempt to give me a safe distancing for passage. They didn't even in fact acknowledge that I was there. Fortunately, there was a small path right before the turn that bypassed it to the other side of the group. It was a little overgrown and there were a couple small branches laying across it but it was usable. As I emerged on the other side there was at least one member of the group who recognized what had just happened and apologized to me. The rest of the group still seemed oblivious. I think this says a lot about why this country is in the current dilemma concerning COVID-19.

Otherwise, the park was worth the visit and will be worth the future visits I'll make there. I hiked for at least two hours and did not cover all the trails. I think I may have covered about half, or maybe not even that much. I don't remember it being as elaborate or as developed in the 70s. Either I missed a lot of what there was to offer back then, or the park has been greatly developed in the last four decades, the latter not at all out of the question.

Later in the day, after the hike and then dinner, I hopped over to Young's Jersey Dairy, in my own "neck of the woods," for a vacation ice-cream cone. There, the coronavirus compliance problem was that almost no customers wore masks. There was myself, one other customer that I saw, and the Young's staff wearing masks. Again, I see this as pointing to why the U.S., and my particular area of Ohio, are not controlling COVID-19.

But I kept myself safe from these unwise people. And, here are some photos from my Fourth of July hiking day:

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When I left my apartment to drive to The Narrows I could have taken a direct route, primarily on a major highway. But, nah, I decided that a nice rural drive seemed the better way to go. Then the subsequent drive from The Narrows to Sugarcreek Metropark was just as much a country-roads drive.
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It may be kind of hard to tell here, but this is a very sharp turn in a path.
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As I trekked the slate shale creek banks I thought to myself that it'd be cool to run across a snake. Then I did. It was an aquatic snake of some sort. I think it's a Common Watersnake (aka: Nerodia sipedon).
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Not too terribly long after the snake encounter I came across several tadpoles that looked to be just on the brink of sprouting their legs. They were probably each about two to three inches long. Honestly, I would have thought that by July they'd have been frogs already. If you look closely, I think the third one indeed has its legs sprouting.
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My vacation ice-cream cone at Young's: a scoop of coffee on top, butter-pecan in the middle, and chocolate on the bottom, in a waffle cone.



Tue, July 7, 2020

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Picture of Ringo Starr in cncert, holding a mic to his moiyth as he sings, with the words surrounding him -- "Happy 8TH RINGO"


Wed, July 8, 2020

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PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon

As I gear up to delve into draft number 5 of the stage play manuscript, I decided I needed to add some things to the story bible up to at least the point in time when the play takes place, the early 80s. It's really simply so that I, or rather, the characters, can make a couple small, almost vague references, but I want there to feeling of depth for me as the writer as well as for there to be the safeguard of continuity for other works that will take place in this universe -- if there's ever a reference to these same things, or if they end up a part of a relevant plotline.

Of course, adding these entries, these facts, to the bible led to me seeing other things in the bible that needed attention -- several of those things being the addition of some minor characters who may, or may never, be a part of anything, or even mentioned. But, as I've argued before, it makes the universe more concrete, more real, to me, the author, the lord of that universe.

Actual opening of Final Draft and revising will be happening soon. Later today would be good, although it has occurred to me that I probably need to get on that damn 2019 tax return stuff, since the deadline is a week from today.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries


THE DIRECTOR CHANGED SOME SOUND NEEDS:
FutureFest 2020 at The Dayton PlayHouse.
SOUND DESIGNING ICON
In REHEARSAL icon
COVID-19

Last night I attended another of the virtual rehearsals, on Zoom, for Kevin Cirone's The Good Deli, one of the three FutureFest 2020 plays that will be presented via streaming, and, of course, for which I have done the soundwork.

I was able to play the sound cues for the cast, when they came up in the script. We mostly didn't play them as cues but stopped when we got to where they belonged and said, Okay, here's the sound of the audience laughing, or whatever the sound effect was. The sound will actually be added into the recorded performances after the fact, like with film or television productions.

As the title of this entry indicates, there were a couple changes made. A sound was cut, a sound was added. Really, since it's the self-same sound effect, what can really be said is that the sound was moved, from the middle of Act 1 to toward the end of Act 2. Director Debra Kent also slight tweaked the timing of a couple cues, as well. All of this is far more relevant to Jason Sheldon, who will edit together the DV movie that will stream.

My work for the show is over. There is another rehearsal tonight, again on Zoom. Then tomorrow night and Friday night the Zoom performances will be recorded. Then Jason will edit a final product from those performances, editing in the sound cues. The next time I see the work, ßit will be the final cut.

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The Zoom rehearsal on my screen. My sound cues, screen left, each opened in Quicktime. That is Ms. Kayla Graham in the Zoom screen on the right.
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If you're going to throw in sound cues, you gotta have the script open....
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....and you gotta follow along.



DUDE, YOU ONLY GOT A WEEK LEFT!:
Tax Time skull and bones ICON
COVID-19

Like mentioned above, that extension of the 2019 tax filing deadline that we were all given is just about to hit us. And as much as I'd like to work on either my play manuscript or on music tonight, I probably ought to start attacking that damend tax return.

July 15 is one week from today. I won't get onto the topic of how I have procrastinated despite the THREE-MONTH extension. But, hey, we know I am not alone, now am I?

I'm a little sad that I won't be filing as an actor for 2019, but, that's the way it goes.



Thu, July 9, 2020

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ODDS & SODS IN A CORNONAVIRUS WORLD:
On a Personal Note icon
COVID-19

WORKING FROM HOME icon
WORKING ON SITE icon
It's difficult to fathom but this is the 17th week that I have been mostly telecommuting into work. That's more than four months. I, the rest of my coworkers at the library, virtually everyone else from the WSU campus, and the significant population of the U.S., not to mention the rest of the world, has been working totally, or mostly from home for now more than one-third of 2020 -- those of us who have been lucky enough to stay gainfully employed.

There has been no change. As the rule, my workweek, now reduced to a 75% workweek, is three days at home, two days on campus. Occasionally that has to be changed up for one reason or another. Next week, for instance, I'll have to be on site, perhaps on a different day than my usual Tuesday or Thursday because a vendor will be stopping in to pick up a shipment of material I have ready for them. When the driver will be there is dependent on his schedule, not mine.

But as a general rule, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I am suffering at my home office on the front terrace of my apartment -- or torturously enduring the outdoors even more intensely in some horrible state park or like location surrounded by hideous forestry. Tuesdays and Thursdays I am roaming an empty, or an almost empty, library.

The university will be opening to some extent in late August. I suspect that I will still be logging work-from-home hours during the week until at least the end of 2020. For a few reasons, the most important being my desire to stay healthy, I am okay with that.


My Civic Duty, My VOTE
It was a little toasty and muggy out yesterday. Still I decided to not work inside. I took that portable desk out onto the terrace and worked from home in my usual "home office." I did, however, take care of one piece of business unrelated to my employment. I addressed an envelope that I then mailed. Inside that envelope was a request form for an absentee ballot for the November 3 general election.

Of course, I can't vote until closer to the election, but I wanted to request the ballot now. The main reason is to ensure I get the ballot in due time. If most people request close to Election Day there will be an overload that could cause some folk to not get their ballot in time. The more who do it earlier the better the chance that a backlog won't interfere with "voter turnout." Even if lots of people requested now, there is plenty of time for any backlog to be dealt with before election deadlines are looming.

And let's face it, with the amount of people who are resisting expert medical opinion about COVID-19, including many in government and even law enforcement, this pandemic is still going to be big-time current news in November. Keeping as many people as possible from having to vote in person on November 3 is probably going to be important.


My Music
I have to say I'm please that I've been actively into music again, maybe not up to my neck, but still, since last November, I've been in there. It feels good to be an active songwriter again, after mostly a long hiatus. I've written three new pieces in the last several months. As recent blog posts have revealed, I finally worked out the chords to one from last year, the one that I composed in my head. For the record, don't be too impressed about this "composing it in my head" stuff, what I composed in my head is not Mozart or Bach or anything. Also, I have a couple ideas bubbling up in my head. Plus, I've arranged and added to the composition of "The Death of the..." and "Memories of the Times Before" from all those years ago.

I believe I've already said this, but, I would not presume that I'm doing anything brilliant with the music, or any of my other artistic endeavors for that part. I'll just adopt the Kurt Vonnegut Jr. philosophy, which I'm also sure I've shared here before:

Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

The only thing is that I would love to be working with other musicians rather than doing it all by myself. I'd love to be working with an actual drummer, rather than using programmed drums from GarageBand. More importantly, a lot the music I want to get to needs guitar players. But right now, we are where we are.


      
also
      

Further on the "My Music" front -- I once heard a public speaker say, "If it's after midnight and it seems like a good idea, it isn't." Whether or not this was a good idea, or not, early, early early this morning, long after I should have gone to bed, I went on-line to Sweetwater and bought another bass guitar. I was really going for a Höfner violin body bass, now commonly called a "Beatle bass" since they were made so famous by McCartney. But the Höfner models in my price range aren't up to snuff. I'll get one when I can afford one worth having.

In the meantime, the bass I just ordered is a good buy. It's an Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst. Epiphone makes great quality guitars at a reasonable price. You five regulars may remember that the bass I bought at the end of last autum is an Epiphone Embassy Pro -- the modern remake of my Embassy Pro from my youth. I guess this makes me an "Epiphone guy." But I digress. Back to reasonable pricing, I got the bass, the hardshell case, a stand, and a strap, all for less than 600 bucks.

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A slightly different angle of me at my horrible home office.
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Addressing the envelope for my absentee ballot request form
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Ready for the mailbox.
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The Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst



Tax Time skull and bones ICON

NOPE ICON Animated Gif Clock from https://www.gifandgif.eu

Hard as it may be to believe, I did not get started on my 2019 tax filing last night as I had planned.

T-minus 6 days, and counting....



Fri, July 10, 2020

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MORE ON THE NEW BASS -- FLATWOUND STRINGS & FOOT PEDALS:
My Music
Portriat oriented photo of the Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst

Here is more regarding the Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst I ordered early in the morning, yesterday.

I believe I mentioned a while back in a blog entry that I wanted another bass so that I could have one with a much different, mellower sound to it. The biggest way to achieve that is by having a bass with flatwound strings rather than roundwound strings. The Embassy Pro came with roundwound strings, which is the standard for electric basses bought from the factory.

Roundwound strings have a brighter, more stinging tone to them. The best example of the roundwound sound is the sound that Yes's late Chris Squire got in his bass. Think of the heavy, prevalent sound of the bass work in "Roundabout," with that almost metallic clang in the notes. Squire, and most other progressive and heavy rock bassists, enhanced the bright, clangy attack of their sound further by using a pick rather than plucking the strings with their fingers, though even using one's fingers, the tone is brighter.

Flatwound bass strings produce a mellower, more "boomy" sound, even when the player uses a pick, though the click of the pick is often audible. Naturally, I'll use Paul McCartney as the quintessential example of the flatwound bass string sound. You can hear it in pretty much the entire Beatles catalogue, as well as most all of Paul's post-Beatle work. One recording that comes to mind as a strong example is "Come Together" off The Beatles' Abbey Road album, but I could also point to "I've Got a Feeling," "Hey Bulldog," or "Get on the Right Thing," to name just three more, and the latter song by Wings. Also, of course, I could point to any random ballad from the Beatles and post-Beatle eras of Paul's carrier. And if you want an example of Paul using roundwounds there's the Wings cut "Let Me Roll It."

The following article at Sweetwater.com elaborates on this issue: "Flatwound vs. Roundwound Bass Strings."

As I wrote in the blog yesterday, I was on the hunt for a Höfner violin bass, made so iconic by McCartney. Thusly, that would be the one I would use with flatwounds, for the obvious reason. My Epiphone Viola Bass is clearly the second-cousin in this concept, and actually the bass I had originally thought about buying, in the first place. So, after I verified that they would fit properly, later yesterday I also ordered a set of La Bella 760FHBB Beatle Bass Flatwound Bass Strings. The issue was that the Viola bass scale length at 30.5 inches and the scale length of the 760FHBB strings is 30 inches. The scale length of a guitar is calculated by measuring the distance from the front edge of the nut, where it butts against the end of the fingerboard, to the center of the twelfth fret (aka: the octave fret, the one with the two dots), then doubling that measurement. I wanted to be absolutely sure that the half-inch difference in the scale length would not present a problem. I didn't think it would but I wanted to be sure, so I talked with a Sweetwater sales rep and then put in the order. The strings are on backorder and will not make it to me until probably almost a week after the bass arrives. So we know I'll play with my new toy before it is at its optimum intended musical use.

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The recently recovered bass guitar foot pedals from the 1980s.
Top row (L-R): Boss BF-2 flanger, DOD Bi-FET preamp FX10, & DOD compressor FX80
Bottom row (L-R): DOD direct box 260 & DOD six-band graphic equalizer 660
On another, related "My Music" topic, some of you five who have been to this blog before may know that recently I at least began the task of finally completing the move into my apartment, which started in early 2012, *see June 10, 2020 blog entry. I can't say the task is complete, but the major bulk of the work is finished. A lot of "stuff" was pitched, but, also a lot of stuff that had been packed away in who-knows-what-box was found. In that found category are my foot pedals from my youthful days in a band. They're all over thirty years old now, clearly not state-of-the-art, and I haven't yet tried them out, but I suspect they still work and will be useful. The inventory of the pedals is:

Providing that the pedals function well, which I am reasonably confident they will, between having these out in the air and on the floor, and having a new bass out of the box and in my hands, it's pretty much guaranteed I'll be back to the music project soon. It was already on the front burner, anyway. And, really, the recent working out of the chords for "You Don't Know What You Want" points to me already being back on the project, despite that "You Don't Know What You Want" isn't likely to be recorded anytime soon because I want guitarists involved in recording that one.


Tax Time skull and bones ICON

Animated Gif Clock from https://www.gifandgif.eu NOPE ICON

T-minus 5 days, and counting....



Sun, July 12, 2020

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THE NEW BASS AND ACCOUTREMENT ARE ALMOST HOME:
My Music
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The Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst

Since this pandemic has had me mostly at home, I've changed the shipping address for any Fedex or UPS deliveries to me, from my work address to my home address. My standard practice had been to have them sent to work because I am guaranteed that they will be signed for, since I live alone and was not home most of the time. It kept away from the situation where something expensive was potentially left on my front door for hours, inviting the risk of theft. But since late March, I, like pretty much everyone else in America, have been home most of the time to receive packages.

But I have a weird workweek coming up where I will have some times that I have to be on-site, other than when I usually am, but when will be a play-it-by-ear call. I know I have to be on-site Monday morning, just in case, but as for the rest of the day and then the next couple days, it is up in the air. So I had the bass guitar and the other things I ordered along with it, shipped to work to assure I didn't have big shipping boxes with expansive stuff in them sitting on my front door stoop, calling attention to themselves.

Yesterday I discovered that FedEx had attempted to deliver them at work in the early afternoon (Saturday), but since the dock was closed for the weekend, they will deliver them on Monday. And I'll be on site to go grab the stuff from the dock.

So Monday I'll have the new Epiphone Viola bass, the Epiphone hardshell case for it, a new guitar stand, and a guitar strap. The only thing left for this ensemble are the flatwound bass strings, which will be coming by U.S. mail to my apartment in maybe about a week.


Tax Time skull and bones ICON

DONE


Wed, July 15, 2020

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PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon

Monday I waded back into the shallow end of revision, starting draft #5 by cleaning up some language thus making it more concise and beginning to tackle some of the exposition moments. I reworded some things and I cut some information on the decision that the audience doesn't need those details. But I've only just begun.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries


THE NEW BASS AND ACCOUTREMENT ARE HOME:
My Music
YaY!
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The Epiphone Viola Bass - Vintage Sunburst

The guitar case, the guitar stand, and the guitar strap were delivered on Monday. For some reason, the bass guitar itself didn't arrive until yesterday. It was kind of odd. All were shipped from the same place and all had the same delivery address, yet for some reason the package with the actual instrument in it got the status of "could not locate recipient" on Monday, when the other two were successfully received.

But it came yesterday. I had the entire order shipped to the rent-payer for the reasons I stated in the July 12 entry above. I have to say that when I got the text from FedEx that the guitar had been delivered, I took a little break from my desk in the office and headed to the dock. When I got the package back to my cubicle, you'd better believe that I opened it up to meet my latest girlfriend.

Thus far I haven't played with it a lot, but I did tune it up and play it some last night. It feels good, the neck and frets are a good fit for me, as has been the case with all my Epiphone basses. I am quite pleased. I can't wait for the flatwound bass strings to arrive so I can get them on the guitar and get it to its planned role as my more McCartney-esque bass.

BUMMER icon
Remember those vintage guitar foot pedals of mine that I found? Remember when I wrote this?: "They're all over thirty years old now, clearly not state-of-the-art, and I haven't yet tried them out, but I suspect they still work and will be useful. "Unfortunately, three of them are not functional. The Boss BF-2 flanger the DOD Bi-FET preamp FX10 and the DOD six-band graphic equalizer 660 are all a bust. I think one big mistake I made, all those years ago, was when I packed them. I didn't remove the 9-volt batteries, but instead left them connected. The male connection on the battery connector heads on all three devices came off, staying locked into the female connections on each battery.

They all have AC/DC current inputs so it seems logical that I can get some AC adapters. The interesting thing is that though the Boss flanger takes a 9-volt battery, the adaptor needs to be 12-volt. The design of the old Boss foot pedals had a buffer that took the 12Vs down to 9V. I tried using the 12V adaptors from both of my Yamaha keyboards, but I could get no power. It may be because they are not the correct type for the pedal -- and there are a lot of nuances to types of power adaptors, and I am woefully unfamiliar with them (read: "ignorant of").

Yeah, for anyone who actually knows me who may read this post, I'm not the one who fosters my image as a "tech guru." Believe me, I am far from it.

I have no 9V adopters so I could not check either DOD pedal that has the battery connector problem. The other powered DOD pedal, the compressor FX80 didn't have this battery connector issue and I was able to get power with a new battery. And the DOD direct box 260 doesn't take power, it's simply an audio impedance converter, so, though I haven't given it a drive around the track, I assume that it still functions. Although we can see how successful my last assumption about the pedals was.

I've done a little shopping on-line for AC adaptors but I haven't made my mind up about whether I want to bother. I've also gone to Sweetwater and window-shopped a few new pedals, mostly digital, of course. I'm finding some interesting things, including the newest model of the Boss flanger, replacements or the other two dead -- or at least coma-stricken -- pedals, and even a newer compressor, despite that the old one functions. Plus, I found a few other pedals that pique my interest, including a guitar synthesizer pedal that works with basses. So, my next move, in terms of the pedals, is up in the air.

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The stand, the strap, the case
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My Epiphone Viola Bass embraced by its case
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My Epiphone Viola Bass embraced by me
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And earlier in the day: When the package arrives, you really just can’t wait until you get it home to open it up. I mean, come on now!
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The family of K.L.Storer bass guitar siblings: setting in guitar stands are the Giannini acoustic/electric bass, the Epiphone Embassy Pro bass, and the newest addition to the family, the Epiphone Viola bass. On the far left, leaning against the lower shelves is my old Epiphone Embassy (1968) -- it needs a lot of work.
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This is what happens to a 9-volt battery connector head when it has had a battery attached to it for more than thirty years



Thu, July 16, 2020

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My Music
After a little consideration I decided I am going to try to salvage the three guitar foot pedals that are currently not functioning. I haven't ordered AC adaptors, however. I went on-line to Radio Shack* and ordered a packet of 9V battery snap connectors (the actual name for what I called "battery connector heads") as well as a packet of butt splice connectors, and we'll see if I can get the pedals up-and-running on 9V battery power.

I don't know that, even if I'm successful, it will preclude me from buying newer models of any or all of the pedals. However, I am keeping in mind that replacing all three with contemporary models would cost between $400 and $500, or more, as opposed to the $15.57 (including tax and shipping) that I spent at Radio Shack to mend the ailing pedals.

*) Yep, Radio Shack is still alive, both on-line and in brick-and-morter. However the closest store to me is in Eaton, Ohio, a good forty-five minute drive. The next closest is in Cincinnati, a good hour's drive. I ain't driving to Eaton or Cincy unless I'm more interested in the scenic route than saving the $5 shipping fee for the $9.50 purchase.



WORKING FROM HOME icon
COVID-19
I was "at work" out on that patio in front of my apartment yesterday, though I was having connectivity problems with my ISP so it wasn't the most productive day at the "home office." Been having this problem for a couple days. They need to get themselves together. Slowdowns and dropped connections just won't due. Probably is not isolated to my ISP, though. There are a lot of people out there telecomuting to work, shopping on line, streaming TV and movies, watching cat videos on YouTube, yadda, yadda, yadda. I still got some work done but the constant interruptions were cumbersome and frustrating.

No selfies of me from yesterday as I bore the sunshine and pleasant rural-ish setting that is my patio home office. But here are a few pics still relevant to my work day, or, well, more-or-less relevant:
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While I was outside, dealing with that familiar horrible nice weather and terrible pleasant setting, just behind me, in my bedroom, my new playmate, my viola bass guitar, was calling me to chuck work and come frolic with it.
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Yesterday there was this butterfly that was attracted to something in my space. I could not shoo it away. Every time I would swipe at it, it would take off then shortly flutter back and land on my laptop, or the desk, or my water bottle, or my arm. Weird.
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The squirrel is not from yesterday but from last Friday. It was in the tree in front of my apartment, which is only about six feet away from my patio. That squirrel, though clearly aware of me, and a bit wary, was not exactly timid, either. A few moments after I took this photo it had come within just a few feet of me. When I went for my phone to get another photo, I spooked it.



Mon, July 20, 2020

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ONCE AGAIN, WORKING EVEN MORE REMOTELY THAN "AT HOME":
WORKING FROM HOME icon
HIKING ICON
COVID-19

For the rent-payer, on Friday, I decided to work on a procedures document for the days work, which meant I didn't need to have access to the internet. That made it possible to go to a place where connectivity was spotty, at the very best, and mostly nonexistent. I went back to work remotely at John Bryan State Park as I did a few weeks ago.

And as I did those few weeks back, I really wanted to get some sun, put a little more of a tan on my arms and legs. But, the sun beating down on my MacBook Pro was overheating it to the point that the fan came on hard and stayed on. It seemed smart to move my picnic table back into the shade from where I had moved it.

Then later, of course, if I was at one of my favorite parks to hike, then when the workday was done there was only one clear course of action. I have to admit it was what I'd call a moderate hike, but still a decent bout of excercise.

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Not a much different set of pictures of me working in a remote office space at John Bryan than the last set at JB on June 19. Different part of the park, however.
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That spot in the shade to where I moved back my picnic table.
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Now begins the scenes from the after-work hike.
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As I've written before, I seem to always run across at least one person lazing in a hammock when I hike beside the Little Miami River at John Bryan.
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In the tradition of the Icelanders, someone has built aa abode for the woodland fairies.
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Another fairy home.
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Might as well stop by Young's Jersey Dairy on the way home. This time, a Brownie Monster. But, never again. The sugar intake was waaaay to rich.



Tue, July 21, 2020

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NEW EQUIPMENT AND NEW SOUNDS ON THE WAY:
My Music

I am still waiting for the La Bella 760FHBB Beatle Bass Flatwound Bass Strings I ordered from Sweetwater for my Viola bass. I haven't yet been notified that they have shipped and my credit card has yet to be charged, so I have no idea when they will finally arrive. The impatience to get that McCartney sound on the Viola bass in mounting. But I have other maintenance to do on that guitar along with changing the strings.

A few days back when I was running some practice exercises on the Viola bass, I was getting fret buzz on the eleventh fret of the D string. Fret buzz is, as it sounds, a buzzing when playing a note while fretting a string (i.e.: pushing it down in a fret area on the neck). It usually means that the bass guitar bridge, (well, any string instrument's bridge), is not properly adjusted and the string is setting down too close to the neck. Subsequently at least one fret gives you an unwanted buzzing from the string when fingering the fret space. I've researched exactly how to adjust the bridge, but I am going to hold off doing that until the flatwound strings arrive and I have replaced the current roundwounds with them. I might as well wait.

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Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal
TOYS ICON
Meanwhile, I have ordered a new foot pedal from Sweetwater, a Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal, which I am excited about. I'm looking forward to the direction in sound that this will enable me to move, for the rest of this current music project, as well as future ones.

This pedal is specifically for guitars and bass guitars but you bet your life I'll be hooking that bad boy up to my keyboards to see what can happen. I have a feeling there will be results that I utilize. I'm going to do some experiments with vocals, too. However, I'm not looking for some sort of auto-tune effect. I'm not interested in that. But there may be some cool sounds that can be found using the voice ran through the synthesizer pedal. There may be some great sounds generated that barely sound like a voice, or don't at all, and that possibility interests me a lot.

I also ordered two twin packs of D'Addario angled six-inch patch cords to daisy-chain my several foot pedals together. Any returning readers may remember I have some 9V battery snap connectors and some butt splice connectors on their way from Radio Shack, to replace the damaged snap connectors in my Boss BF-2 flanger pedal, DOD Bi-FET preamp FX10 pedal, and DOD six-band graphic equalizer pedal, all three being legacy equipment from my younger days in the late-70s into the 80s. I'm going the route of attempting repair before the option of replacement.

I'm also homing in on what will be Song #6. It's either going to be a new one that I have yet to write but that I have the bare beginnings of a concept for, or it will be a particular mid-tempo rock song I wrote in the mid-80s. I also realized that when I sweetened the sonics of my instrumental, "Astroterph," that was Song #5. So, now we are on to Song #6. Be prepared for me to report that the synthesizer pedal was used on this next one cool smile icon.



Wed, July 22, 2020

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DAYTON THEATRE GUILD AND THE DAYTON "VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY" EVENT:
COVID-19 VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
Dayton Theatre Guild
VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY
The Guild is participating in a facebook event on August 8, entitled Virtual Art in the City. I'll be producing a couple prerecorded videos for the event, including a tour of the DTG building. On August 8, we will do some live video of performances on facebook. I am not sure if it will be on the Dayton Theatre Guild facebook page or somewhere else, but that will be defined for me in the next few days. I am pretty sure we'll be going live using my iPhone, mostly because I am the DTG facebook administrator so I can easily log on as DTG.

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My "Kevin Smith" dolly truck
For the live stream on the 8th, I've rigged up a camera dolly, ala Kevin Smith, using a wheel chair on-site at the Guild. With some bungy cords, I mounted a solid platform on the seat of the chair, then one of my tripods on that, with my mount-clip for my phone attached to the tripod. The shots are not going to be as smooth as they would be were I using an actual dolly truck with hydraulic stabilizers, there will be a few slight jitter bumps as I move the dolly, but I'll not be getting the sort of shake and jitter that I would from simply doing hand-held shots.

I'll be using one of my HD DV movie cameras to shoot the prerecorded stuff. I also have a treasure trove of footage from when we first moved into the new building, and some footage of us leaving the old building, along with a big collection of stills of both. So we should be able to come up with something interesting.

Here is the event info:

A signature event of the Dayton Power & Light - DP&L Summer in the City, the Virtual Art in the City, a celebration of downtown Dayton’s great collection of visual and performing art, will be held online this year. Join us for the Virtual Art in the City, beginning Saturday, August 8, at noon.

*STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS*

Enjoy downtown Dayton’s VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS scene from your own home!

Featuring
  • Art Demos, Music, & Performances
  • Behind The Scenes with Dayton Artists
  • Interactive, At-Home Activities
  • Juried Art Show
  • Live-streamed Performances & Demos

Check out videos, photos, online galleries and markets, and live-streamed content on downtowndayton.org. Join us as we explore new and innovative ways to be creative together, while apart.

Thanks to our sponsors: Dayton Power & Light - DP&L and Dayton.com

Here's the Save the Date poster:

VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY - SAVE THE DATE


Thu, July 23, 2020

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THE NEW EQUIPMENT AND THE NEW SOUNDS -- TONIGHT!:
My Music

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Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal
Still waiting for the La Bella 760FHBB Beatle Bass Flatwound Bass Strings I ordered from Sweetwater for my Viola bass. The package is still on order. The 9V battery snap connectors and butt splice connectors, coming from Radio Shack, also have not shown up yet. But, in other, better news, my order of the Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal, as well as the two twin packs of D'Addario angled six-inch patch cords were delivered to the rent-payer yesterday. I just arrived on-site in the office, about to go on the clock. I'll have the goods in my hands, soon. I do have an appointment this evening, some business that needs attended to, but, I guarantee you I will be playing with the SY-1 this evening, before and after that appointment.

K.L. on Bass
K.L. on Keys
Song number 6 in progress
Last night I started working on the composition of Song #6. So now we know it's going to be the new one for which I've had a concept going on in my head for a little while, just a wisp of a concept, but enough to get me started.

After I had done some woodshed exercises on my bass, using the Viola bass last night, I came up with a bass riff, a run, to set under the verse sections. Then I sat down at the Williams Legato III keyboard to lay some chords over that riff. I don't have any other sections, yet, no chorus, no bridges, or any other changes. Those will come. The rest of the chords will not be matches to a bass riff, from this point forward the bass line will match the further chord progressions. But the bass line under the verses is essentially the foundation of the song.

I have the beginnings of the lyrics, just a few lines. Who knows if what has been written so far will even end up in the song. Some of you five regulars may remember that "Into the Blue Dawn," which I know that none of you have heard yet, had several sets of lyrics before I locked a set in.

Song #6 has the workshop title of "Identity," which I hope will still fit when I am finished writing the song, because I like that title, a lot.


Dayton Theatre Guild
VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY
VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
Tonight I will attend a production meeting, via Zoom, concerning the principal photography coming up this weekend, and shooting the streaming performances on August 8th, for the Virtual Art in the City event.



Fri, July 24, 2020

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THE NEW EQUIPMENT AND THE NEW SOUNDS HAD TO WAIT:
My Music
TOYS ICON
DELAYED
BUMMER icon
When I uploaded yesterday's blog post I was most excited and anticipated getting my new Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal into my possession when I got to work on campus yesterday. I was looking greatly forward to getting the SY-1 home, hooking it up and playing around.

Unfortunately, that didn't happened.

Shipping and Receiving was temporarily closed and it looked like I would not be able to get the synthesizer pedal, nor the two twin packs of D'Addario angled six-inch patch cords, into my hands until at least next week. Alas, there was no playtime for me with the SY-1 last night. I called S&R on campus and left a voice message asking when I might be able to get the package. Also yesterday, I spoke to a rep from Sweetwater about my order of La Bella 760FHBB Beatle Bass Flatwound Bass Strings, for my Viola bass, and they are still waiting for the order to be fulfilled at their plant.

I am happy to report that campus S&R called me this morning to say that the facility was now open and I could retrieve my package. Despite that today is a "work from home" day, I drove in to campus to get my goods! I'm also happy to report that the 9V battery snap connectors and butt splice connectors, ordered from Radio Shack also arrived in the U.S. mail today at the homestead. Foot pedals are about to enter my musical universe.

It be great to say that I've played with my new toy, but I need some ethical, adult responsibility from time to time in my life. As soon as this post is uploaded, I spend the rest of day, until late this afternoon, actually working from home for the rent-payer.

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My latest: the Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal, and the six-inch patch cords.
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The repair kit: 9V battery snap connectors and butt splice connectors.
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But it all has to be on hold for most of the rest of the day as I work for the rent-payer in my oppressive home office space.

Song number 6 in progress
Maybe I couldn't play with my new SY-1 last night, but I could work on the writing of Song #6, aka: "Identity." I got a really nice, funked-up drum beat going in GarageBand, which is going to work well and drive the song. I actually had a different, a really different, drum beat concept, but when this one materialized in my programming, I recognized it as taking the music where I wanted with a much stronger and more appropriate force.

I had to tweak that key bass line slightly, because of the drumming. I had to add a couple notes to the run, especially since I upped the tempo a little bit, taking it to 120 meters. I also wrote a chord progression for a musical bridge and chords for a chorus section. I may add another section, too.

I don't have the exact structure, yet. I want a whole set of lyrics first, but I have a reasonable idea of the structure. And this one has some key modulations. There are no augmented or diminished chords in it, at least not yet, but there is still a jazzy feel to the chord progressions, especially because of the key changes, but not solely because of them.

The direction this on is going pleases me and I am excited to work on it. Right now I am targeting this as the opening cut on the album. That was the concept I began with, that I wanted a song that both sonically and in terms of lyrical theme would be a strong opener. I am on the right track, I believe.


GETTING READY FOR THE ON-LINE ARTS EVENT:
Dayton Theatre Guild
VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY
VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

Last night I attended the Zoom production meeting for the August 8 Virtual Art in the City on-line event. We'll be meeting in the theatre tomorrow morning for the principal photography of both the introduction video and a tour of the building video. Because of the current COVID-19 sitation and the current Ohio face mask mandate, the committee has made the decision to live stream the August 8th performances via Zoom, with all the actors remote in their own homes, rather than have the actors in the mainstage area at the theatre being shot with an iPhone for a live facebook stream. So the Kevin-Smith rigged camera dolly won't be quit as necessary. I might utilize it tomorrow for something, maybe, maybe not. No worries though, now that I've figured it out, it's added to the arsenal for the future if not for this weekend.



Wed, July 29, 2020

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THE BASS GUITAR SYNTHESIZER, SOME GUITAR REPAIRS, AND SONG #6:
My Music
TOYS ICON
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My first session playing with the SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal

I've had the Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal since Friday, but I haven't sat down with it a whole lot just yet. Over the weekend, then Monday, I had DTG business to attend to that occupied pretty much my entire days -- see the entry below.

Friday evening I did play around with it for a couple hours and I have begun to get a handle on the potential it holds, but just barely have I. I haven't hooked it up to any of my keyboards yet, but I will do that, as I said I would. Also, as I said before, I'm going to see what I can do running vocals through it.

The only bass I ran it through on Friday was the Embassy Pro, I haven't tried it yet with the Viola Bass nor the Giannini. I want to wait before I do such with either, for different but more or less related reasons.

With the Viola bass I want to hold off until I have the La Bella 760FHBB Beatle Bass Flatwound Bass Strings on it as well having adjusted the bass guitar bridge. On that subject, I am happy to report that yesterday I got an email from Sweetwater informing me that the strings have finally shipped. The strings are coming through the U.S. Postal Service and the estimated delivery is Friday. The stuff is coming from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, which is a good 135 miles away, and with the current sabotage of the USPS being perpetrated by the current corrupt Postmaster General, I am skeptical I'll get the stuff any earlier than Monday, and I bet later in next week. But, as I like to say, I'll be just fine with being proved wrong about that.

As for the Giannini acoustic/electric bass, as I believe I've written here before, there are some pick-up problems that need addressed. There is an electrical ground hum when a sound chord is plugged in, and I have never been able to get volume on one of the two pick-ups. Fortunately, I have a nephew, Dave, (Dave, or David, Bernard, if you're interested) who is a guitarist and also both repairs and rebuilds guitars. I think it's possible he's built a couple almost from scratch, as well. I'll be dropping the Giannini off sometime soon for him to look at.

I did use the Giannini when I recorded "Icebergs," but I miked it rather than using the pick-ups. Fourteen years back, when I'd had it about a year or two, I also miked it for the closing theme, "Candice Leaves Corinth," for my short movie The Chorus for Candice.

So, once I have both the Viola and the Giannini in proper working order, I'll give them a try in the SY-1. I suspect that ultimately the pedal will be utilized with the Embassy as the rule, anyway.

I also haven't had time yet to repair the 9V battery snap clips on my Boss BF-2 flanger pedal, DOD Bi-FET preamp FX10 pedal, and DOD six-band graphic equalizer pedal. May be something that happens later today. Along with me getting in some woodshed time on my instruments and probably more play time with the SY-1.

*) I really ought to create a "Tools" icon. The "Toys" icon kind of doesn't fit here, at least not wholly.

Song number 6 in progress
There hasn't been much more done on the new song, "Identity" (aka: Song #6), except for mental work addressing structure, possible arrangement ideas, and other thoughts on where I might go with the further composition of the song. I've done nothing to further the lyrics, there are only two lines of the fist verse and a note with an idea for the next line or lines. Again, perhaps tonight as I am involved in all that other musical stuff, work on the song, musically or lyrically, or both, will be in the mix.


Above I mention that my nephew Dave is a guitarist. I have also approached him about laying some tracks for the current project. There's a strong chance that we'll start with "Identity."

PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon
There's been one pass through the whole manuscript for Draft #5. The bulk of the revising has been in Act 1:Scene 2. That is where I am most concerned about awkward exposition. I think I cleaned quite a bit up there but I would not feel confident that I am done. I also tightened up dialogue all through the play. I've just sent a copy of this first pass of Draft 5 to a couple people, unfortunately with a couple typos that weren't fixed until after the copies were sent. Isn't that always the way? Actually, they weren't typos; what they were. were legacy language from before the revision, where, in my haste to move on I missed changing or cutting particular words.

Along with again revisiting that part of A1:S2, I am sure to look more closely at Act 2 in the next pass. I'm sure "Draft #5" is good for a few more passes before I up the draft number.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries


THE GUILD IS GOOD TO GO:
Dayton Theatre Guild
VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY
VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON
Saturday, fellow boardmember Sarah Saunders and I shot the principal photography for the virtual tour for the Virtual Art in the City event. We also recorded the voice-overs for both the introduction, about-us DV movie and the virtual tour DV movie. Both VOs being Sarah. And, for the record, I was able to utilize my Kevin-Smith rigged camera dolly for the shoot.

The two of us then began the editing process on Sunday. First was the arduous task of sifting though all the footage I shot back when we first moved into the Wayne Avenus building through changing it from a gym club into a theatre space. There are also a lot of still photos of that, which I had taken as well. And we had a lot of archival Guild photos to also sift through, those mostly for the introduction DV movie.

We got a start on editing, at the theatre, at least getting the audio (the VO and the underscore music) for the introduction assembled. I finished that one at home Sunday evening. There's no footage in it, it's all a still photo slide show.

My Monday was all about putting together the virtual tour video. It was something like 14 hours for a six-minute DV movie. But now it's all done and uploaded to the Virtual Art in the City server. The next step will be the streaming Zoom performances on August 8, those for which I am not directly involved.

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My best imitation of Kevin Smith.
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Sarah in the greenroom, from the virtual tour DV movie.
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The virtual tour, open in Final Cut Pro X.



Thu, July 30, 2020

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AT LEAST SOMETHING MUSIC-RELATED WAS DONE LAST NIGHT:
My Music
Song number X in progress
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Last night, working a little more on the first draft of lyrics for "Identity."

Of all the possible music related action that might have been taken last night, the only one that was, was writing more of the song, "Identity." I finished the lyrics for the first stanza of the first verse and then wrote the second stanza. All, of course, of the first draft.

I also decided to add a musical bridge that goes into the verse sections, based on some of the verse chords. I think, too, I’m going to significantly alter the bass line under the verses. Originally the chords for the verses were written to lay over the bass run that was the impetus of the song. But for a couple reasons, I think I’ll compose a different bass line under the verse chords, at least when the lyrics are sung. First, it’ll add variety (which will be musically interesting), and just as importantly, if I ever have to sing this thing live, it would be a real bitch to attempt to sing the vocal melody while playing that original bass run. There are many musicians who could do it. If I ever will be one of those musicians, one of those performers, it won’t be any time soon.



Fri, July 31, 2020

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NEW STRINGS, NEW SOUND, NEW EXPERIENCES:
My Music
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So, with the flatwound strings, my Viola bass sounds like McCartney; now if only the player could sound like him!
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The "sliding" bridge on the Ep Viola bass.
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The Ep Viola bass tailpiece.

When I got home from work yesterday, the package containing my La Bella 760FHBB Beatle Bass Flatwound Bass Strings for my Epiphone Viola Bass was setting at my front door. The strings are now on the axe. They sound nice and have a good feel on the neck.

I did need to adjust the bass intonation, that action which, believe it or not, I didn't really know much about how to do. I'd looked up some articles and watched some videos on-line already, some that addressed this, but that was in search of how to deal with fret buzz. I had never adjusted intonation before. In the olden days, I always took my bass to a music store and had a tech do it.

One of the things I'd learned from these recent past readings was that with an Ep Viola bass, you want to change the strings one at a time because the bass guitar bridge isn't set into the guitar. It's loose on the guitar and held in place by the tension of the strings. If you take all the strings off, it's possible and quite likely you'll lose the location of the bridge on the face of the guitar, and unless there's a wear spot, it might be a real chore to find that spot again. So, at least I got that right.

One error, though a pretty slight one, that I made was that when I changed the first string, which was the G string, the highest pitch string but the one on the bottom of the neck, also identified as "string #1," I inadvertently grabbed the D (#2) flatwound string and used that to replace the old roundwound G string. Got it all tensioned up and tuned to G. Then I switched out the E (#4) string; all went well. Then I went back to switch out the D string and discovered my error. The use of the D as a G wasn't a problem; it hadn't been on the neck long enough for damage because of too much tension. The possible problem would be that I'd cut the excess length from the top of the string, where it goes into the machine head tuner at the top of the neck -- the knobs the musician turns to tune the strings. As the D string's tuner sets further up the neck than the G string's does, the D string needs to be a little bit longer. My new D string now was at the length for the G string. Fortunately there was still enough length at the top of the D string and it still fit.

Another error, again, minor, occurred when I adjusted the intonation. After changing the strings the guitar was slightly sharp at the twelfth frets (the octave) from the open strings. I remembered that I'd read in a thread at a knowledge-base group that one user suggested to adjust the tailpiece on an Ep Viola first. That might be all that was needed. I had no success doing that. I'd get one string into the proper intonation then when I got another into such, the first one would be off again.

I turned to adjusting the bridge. But I wasn't sure exactly how that would work. I went on-line and found a few articles again, and quite a few YouTube videos, but the videos were not dealing with this loose, "sliding" bridge on the Ep Viola bass. Then I remembered that I'd seen a video, titled "Epiphone Viola Bass Guitar" at the YouTube channel, Dave's World of Fun Stuff, where the dude, Dave, was setting up said bass for someone. I viewed it again and sure enough, Dave showed how to adjust the bridge. It is just as simple as nudging the bridge up or down on the guitar, while there is enough tension on the strings to keep it snug. I was very okay discovering it was that DOH!-obvious rather than to have found, after the fact, that I'd done something detrimental. I am happy to report that I was able to get the intonation set for the Viola! It plays well and sounds great. I am getting both the sound and the feel that I'd hoped for and expected.

Boss Sy-1 Guitar Synthesizer icon
K.L. on Bass
As I wrote in an earlier post that I would, now that I had the Ep Viola bass up-and-running, I hooked it into the Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal and played around some. I'm still getting a feel for the pedal. There's a lot to master, a lot to learn, to familiarize one's self with. I'm trying to find a way to use it in "Identity" (aka: Song #6), but I haven't yet discovered how to utilize it in the song. I also, of course, still will try the pedal with my Williams piano as well as both the Yamaha keyboards. Still plan to run a vocal mic though it, too.

What's next? Several things. As for those pedals that need the new 9V battery snap clips, I hope to get to those this weekend. Also this weekend, I'll drop off the Giannini hollow-body acoustic/electric bass with my nephew for him to work on the ground hum and the pick-up volume problems. Plus, there's still finishing the composition of "Identity," and then, of course, recording it. Then it's what song from the past to I reach back and pull up (I have a few titles in mind). Then what new ideas for songs get attention first?

New roundwound strings for my Epiphone Viola bass guitar
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The La Bella 760FHBB Beatle Bass Flatwound Bass Strings.
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Removing the roundwound A string.
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Installing the flatwound A string.
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Checking the intonation.
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Gettin' tips from Dave's World of Fun Stuff on YouTube.
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Adjusting the bridge on the Viola bass.
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Playing around with the Viola bass and the SY-1 guitar synthesizer.
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And when you're done, you wipe down the instrument to rid the body and strings of the oils from your hands.


BACK TO 100% FTE:
WORKING ON SITE icon
COVID-19
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Back in the library stacks, and wearing the mask because now there's a chance of running into others in the building.

This week marks my first week back at 100% full-time employment, though, I took Monday off as a vacation day, then was off sick on Tuesday, when I was scheduled to be on-site on campus -- I was in my bed, instead. Yesterday, though, I was in the building for a full day. One difference lately is that now there are more other people on-site than there have been, though not significantly more. But I am not all alone in my on-site work spaces as much as I have been in the past during these weird times we are in.

Also as I expected it would be, even after the university opens up for the fall semester, and correspondingly, the library opens back up to the public, I will still work remotely from home three days a week. I wager this will be the case through the end of the calendar year, or close to it.

Today is a work-on-the-apartment-patio day. Monday I plan a work-in-a-park day. I'll use the hotspot on my iPhone to be on-line.



Sun, Aug 2, 2020

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GETTIN' A FUNKY GROOVE ON:
My Music
K.L. on Bass
K.L. on Keys
Song number 6 in progress

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Recording the proof of concept demo.

Friday evening I recorded a "proof of concept" demo, (for lack of a better term), of the part of "Identity" that is musically formed around my initial bass riff. It was to find if the chord progression I've composed to be over that riff will work. It does. The demo track consists of the drum kit part, (played by "Darcy," via GarageBand), the bass run, and those piano chords.

I have to say that listening to this little 1:56 demo, I do believe I have a great groove going with a bass run that I am ecstatic about. It's really a mostly a scale, but I think it's clever and catchy, and married with "Darcy's" funky, upbeat cadence, I got a jam going on. I also have to say that it took a bit of practice for me to play the riff in repeats for almost two minutes -- the length for which I have thus far programed "Darcy's" drums. I will absolutely have to practice that run. a lot. Actually, it serves as a pretty good practice piece anyway.

It's also clear that unless I improve greatly as a player —- perhaps decades'-worth of improvement -- I won't be able to sing anything interesting while playing the run. So I either simple-up the bass line during the vocal sections, or, if I ever happen to perform this song live, (who knows?), someone else will have to be on bass.

The piano section, the chords, is not difficult at all. I haven't added any left-hand action to the piano part yet, and I admit that I am greatly out of practice at utilizing my left hand, as well. I never really was exceptionally good at it, anyway. I have not one moment of formal training on the keyboard -- my mother did try to talk me into lessons as a child but I didn't think it was cool...(regrets). But, the chord progression works quite well. I may be wrong about this, but I am 99% sure that the bass run is in the key of C major and the chord progression is in the relative key of A minor, which gives the song a really funky jazz feel. I haven't sat down to figure it out, but I think one other section, which is not on the demo, is in E major, and the chorus section, also not on the demo, is in another key. I'd like to say that this one is strongly in the vein of Steely Dan, but I would never be so presumptuous. Perhaps it's vaguely in the vein of Steely Dan, but that would be about as close I could ever get.

Currently, I am in love with what I have so far for Song #6 and I really want to put this little demo of that riff out into the world, 'cause I think it's such a great little groove. However, you five regulars may remember that I’ve decided to hold off putting any more music out publically until the project is done. so I will resist the temptation with the "Identity" proof of concept demo. But 
I will probably send it to a few close friends. I have thus shared some of the other stuff that I haven’t made public.

There's nothing new on the lyrics except that I may take what I'd written as verse stanzas and make them lyrics for the chorus. Listening to the demo has given me new ideas for the verse lyrics, in all of meter, cadence, and content.

This one is still the number one contender to open the album.


MORE OF THE NEW ("TEMPORARY"*) NORM:
WORKING FROM HOME icon
COVID-19

Friday was a nice, breezy, mostly-sunny day. I sat in the shade of the tree infront of my apartment and spent the day verifying that the students at my university had proper access to the on-line journals too which the library spends a significant amount of money for subscriptions. Sunny, with a nice breeze. Pretty good day at work. As long as the weather will permit it, this will be my home-office environment, when it's not in a park somewhere. This aspect is the one thing I'll miss when this crap is finally behind us.

*I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT IT'S NOT TEMPORARY!

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Back to the home office on my apartment's front patio.
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My "Big Party Mix" iTunes playlist.
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A little lunch "at the office."



ONE WEEK FROM YESTERDAY:
Dayton Theatre Guild
VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY

The Dayton Virtual Art in the City event is six days away.

Just want to remind that The Guild has a couple DV movies that will be a part of this as well as four live streaming Zoom performances throughout the day.

The login information will be available through a facebook event at our facebook page.

The videos will be available at: www.downtowndayton.org/2020aitc/.



Mon, Aug 3, 2020

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A MORE FORMED "IDENTITY":
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My Music
Song number 6 in progress

Yesterday was super-productive for my work on the new song, "Identity." I wrote the words for four verses of a potential six verses and I reassigned what had originally been the first two verses as the chorus lyrics.

I also sat down and constructed the structure, the order of each musical section, then programmed the changes for our drummer "Darcy" in GarageBand. Then I sat at the Williams Legato III keyboard, accompanied by Darcy on my laptop, and ran through the song quite a few times. It works quite well. There's a nice flow to the song and Darcy's drumming is spot on what is needed.

On the other side of the coin is a dilemma. Obviously, the drum part is covering the whole song from the start to the end. With all the sections assembled in the correct order, the song currently comes in at 9:30. That length is not an absolute deal-breaker, but I am also not 100% on board with it. I may think about cutting verses number five and six, since those words aren't yet written. That would likely mean revising the fourth verse since I'm not sure it has the feel of a concluding verse. There are two separate bridge sections, both that repeat a few times during the song; some of those instances may get cut. It's easy to trim a good two minutes off the song, and that may happen. I'll record another demo at the current 9:30, just to get a sense of it at this length and see if it feels too long.

Boss Sy-1 Guitar Synthesizer icon
No time was logged, yesterday, on either Epiphone bass, neither the Embassy Pro nor the Viola -- (I'd dropped the Giannini off for some repair work). But, along with working on "Identity" on the Legato III, I also later ran it through the Boss SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal to see if I'd get a decent result. I got some interesting effects out of this setup. I'll have to explore it more, just like with the basses, but there's a lot of intriguing potential.

In fact, I came across a setting that will work well for "Identity." It's a subtle use of the effects pedal, rather than something outlandish, and it'll most likely be in the finished recording. The question right now is will it be a second piano part or will it be the main one. The effects on it are subtle enough for this piano sound to be the only piano on the song. We shall see. I'll probably use it for this 9:30 demo I'll record soon.

And, no, I still have not repaired the 9V battery snap clips on my Boss BF-2 flanger pedal, DOD Bi-FET preamp FX10 pedal, and DOD six-band graphic equalizer pedal. Don't rush me!
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Sitting under the roof hang, watching the drizzling rain, feeling the cool day, writing lyrics: not a bad Sunday afternoon.
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Running the chord progressions for the whole song, playing along with the programmed drum part that's on my laptop.
The notation of the song's structure.



Tue, Aug 4, 2020

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IN MEMORIUM -- Megan Betts (22), Monica Brickhouse (39), Nicholas  Cummer (25), Beatrice Warren Curtis (36), Derrick Fudge (57), Thomas McNichols (25), Lois Ogelsby (27), Siad Seleh (38), Logan Turner (30) -- AUGUST 4, 2019, 8:04 pm, The Oregon District, dayton, Ohio

DAYTON STRONG


stay tuned for a link in this spot to the new K.L.'S FINE ARTS VITA
Meanwhile, click here for K.L.'s up-to-date résumé




Wed, Aug 5, 2020

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COVID-19 INFORMATION LINKS





NO 9:30 DEMO:
My Music
Song number 6 in progress

I changed my mind about doing a demo at the 9:30 time length for "Identity." 9:30 was just too long for the song. Monday night I trimmed off almost exactly the two minutes I'd guessed I would. I nixed writing verses 5 or 6, and I cut those several bridges, as I said I was considering. I also found that I needed to cut half the chorus stanza. I'm using the first half. The words are better in the first half. I actually now have "chorus a" and "chorus b" lyrics, with a slight alteration the lyrics for each. They both show up twice in the song, *(see below).

After I figured out the new structure, with the cuts, I went into GarageBand and deleted the unnecessary sections of "Darcy's" drumming, and added some where they were now needed. The song comes in now at almost exactly 7:30, 7:44 if you count the die-off of the last cymbal crash, which I guess we should. The new section structure is:

"Identity" sections structure -- *{number of measures}

  • drum intro {2}
  • bass intro {4}
  • chord intro (verse chords) {8}
  • verse 1 {16}
  • verse bridge {8}
  • verse 2 {16}
  • bridge {12}
  • chorus a {12}
  • rest {1}
  • verse 3 {16}
  • verse bridge {8}
  • verse 4 {16}
  • bridge {12}
  • chorus b {12}
  • rest {1}
  • solo section (verse chords) {16}
  • chorus a {12}
  • chorus b {12}
  • rest {1}
  • solo drums {2}
  • bass & drums {4}
  • chord finale (verse chords) {16}
  • ending (1st 4 chords of bridge) {1}
Though Monday evening I did record the new drum arrangement on the Tascam DP-03 8 track digital portastudio recorder, I didn't lay anything else. I need to practice the piano part, and I've only began to work out what I'll do with my left hand. I'd like to work out something that I have to really woodshed. In rehearsing last night, I started to work in better use of the left hand, but it's on the easy, simple side of rudimentary right now, and I intend to make it more elaborate, at least relative to what it is right now. I'm not looking to emulate Elton John, Keith Emerson, or some such, but I want something better, more interesting than what it is at this moment.

It was difficult to practice the piano chords on the Legato III with the drum recording on the Tascam, because I am not yet familiar enough with the new structure of the sections. Just because I arranged that structure does not mean it's committed to memory as of yet. For the moment it's easier to play the drum track in GarageBand on the laptop because I can see each section labelled if I keep an eye on the GB program, so I know where I'm at in the song. Though I will say, that last night, I was depending on this guidance a little less.

As for a bass line, save for the the original bass run, I haven't written anything else yet. That will wait until I have laid the piano track and have it to play against.

xxxx
xxxx
xxxx
Rehearsing "Identity" on the Legato III, working in some left-hand action.

K.L. on Bass
Boss Sy-1 Guitar Synthesizer icon
I did log time on the basses both Monday night and last night, the Embassy Pro Monday, the Viola last night. I practiced the "Identity" bass riff as well as some other exercises and some bass work from songs from way back when. Some of that work from "way back when" is certainly fodder to be resurrected for this project, one of them is pretty much a lock, in fact.

More than half the time I was running the basses through the SY-1 synth pedal, still exploring my latest tool and discovering potential. Of course, I've been looking for sound that will complement "Identity", and I'm zeroing in on some settings. I'm trying out effects for these other songs from the past, as well.


On another note, concerning the whole project: as I've listen lately to the five "finished" recordings, I'm leaning toward going back in at some point and making another pass at remastering most of them, at least three of them, maybe all of them.



VIRTUAL ART IN THE CITY
Noon-8:00 pm
AT: Downtown Dayton Partnership: www.downtowndayton.org/2020aitc
and DDP facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/680181032564570

A signature event of the Dayton Power & Light - DP&L Summer in the City, the Virtual Art in the City, a celebration of downtown Dayton’s great collection of visual and performing art, will be held online this year. Join us for the Virtual Art in the City, beginning Saturday, August 8, at noon.

Enjoy downtown Dayton’s VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS scene from your own home!

Featuring
  • Art Demos, Music, & Performances
  • Behind The Scenes with Dayton Artists
  • Interactive, At-Home Activities
  • Juried Art Show
  • Live-streamed Performances & Demos
  • Dayton Theatre Guild
    Don't miss the DTG videos and live streams during this event.

Check out videos, photos, online galleries and markets, and live-streamed content on downtowndayton.org. Join us as we explore new and innovative ways to be creative together, while apart.

Thanks to our sponsors: Dayton Power & Light - DP&L and Dayton.com



email me at KL_Storer@yahoo.com. www.facebook.com/klstorer; Instagram - KL_Storer; Twitter @klstorer






Dayton Theatre Guild
Stay tuned for audition information
for early 2021 productions





PROMOTIONS:

BE OR NOT, a movie by K.L.Storer. Starring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts. Director of photography, Fred Boomer



Still for sale, 'STILL ME' on DVD, http://brookwoodfilms.com/buy.html
As an actor I was privileged to have a small roll in this multi-award winning, very touching, most poignant short film. I was further privileged to accept the award, on behalf of Beth McElhenny, for Best Family Film at the 2008 Secret City Film Festival in Oakridge, Tennessee. The film has won awards far more than that one time. Click on the image to go to the official site and see the successes, thus far.



AND NOW, TO PROMOTE SOME THEATRE....

THE COMING ATTRACTIONS AT MY HOME THEATRE, THE DAYTON THEATRE GUILD

We'll be ba ck after this Intermission'



THE EARLY 2021
DAYTON THEATRE GUILD SEASON

ANNOUNCEMENT:

Our intermission will end in February of 2021.

Details on season roster and ticket information will follow soon!

Stay tuned and STAY SAFE!



The Dayton Theatre Guild
at the
Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape
430 Wayne Ave.
Dayton, Ohio  45410
937-278-5993

www.daytontheatreguild.org

Dayton Theatre Guild Social Media - facebook ("Dayton Theatre Guild") - Instagram ("thedaytontheatreguild") - twitter ("@DaytnTheatreGld")



And, if you live close by or will be visiting soon, check out these other theatres in the greater Dayton Ohio area for their upcoming or current productions:

  • Beavercreek Community Theatre
  • Bespoke Theatre *(facebook page) -- Dayton
  • The Black Box Improv Theatre -- Dayton
  • Brookville Community Theatre
  • Caesar's Ford Theatre, Inc -- Xenia
  • Cedarville University -- Cedarville
  • Clark State Community College Theatre Program -- Springfield
  • Dare to Defy Productions -- Dayton
  • Dayton Playhouse
  • Encore Theater Company -- Dayton
  • Epiphany Players Drama Ministry -- Dayton
  • Human Race Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • Lebanon Theatre Company -- Lebanon
  • La Comedia Dinner Theatre -- Springboro
  • The Magnolia Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • The Playground Theatre -- Dayton
  • Sinclair Community College Theatre -- Dayton
  • Springboro Community Theatre
  • Springfield Civic Theatre
  • Springfield StageWorks
  • Tipp City Players Community Theatre
  • Town Hall Theatre -- Centerville
  • Troy Civic Theatre -- Troy
  • Undercroft Players -- Dayton
  • University of Dayton *U.D. link is here, but it seems difficult to find the season at the site
  • Victoria Theatre Association -- Dayton
  • Wright State University -- Beavercreek
  • X*ACT: Xenia Area Community Theater
  • Yellow Springs Center Stage -- Yellow Springs
  • Young at Heart Players -- Dayton
  • tHe Zoot Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • KNOW OF A LOCAL THEATRE COMPANY THAT SHOULD
    BE ADDED? LET ME KNOW AT KL_Storer@yahoo.com

    That is, one within a 60 minute
    drive from the Dayton, Ohio area




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