Saturday, December 30, 2006

Slow Motion Photography

This video is mostly about breaking things in slow motion. The level of detail is mesmerizing.

Slow Motion Compilation

See also Super Slow Motion Video Clips

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Mandelbrot Set

There is great beauty in mathematics. The Mandelbrot set is just one example.

The Mandelbrot Set

Fractal Links
Infinite Zoom
Fractal Art of Paul DeCelle
Hidden Dimension Galleries

Friday, December 22, 2006

37 Cellos

A Cello Rondo-Ethan Winer

Tired of Mousing Around?

Perhaps, this is a glimpse into our future.

Multi-Touch Interaction Experiments

Monday, December 11, 2006

Glass Music

You can make art out of glass, or you can make art with glass. For the former, see The Art of Glass Blowing. For the latter, see the videos below.

William Zeitler-Glass Armonica

The glass armonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin. This video is an excerpt from a History Channel documentary about Benjamin Franklin.

Glass Armonica-From the History Channel

Of course, you don't have to use a glass armonica. The following video features a true virtuoso on a simple collection of wine glasses.

Glass Music

There's more than one way to get sound from a glass vessel. You can caress it gently, or simply hit it with a stick. Here's an example of some music achieved with the less gentle approach.

Glass as Percussion, Vivaldi

See also: The Art Of Glass Blowing

Glass Music Links
The Glass Armonica
William Zeitler, The Music and Magic of the Glass Armonica
Glass Armonica at the National Music Museum

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Controversial Video

I enjoy early music and have an early music blog, (Lutes, Viols and Other Ancient Instruments) so I have subscribed to a lute email list. Most of the emails discuss technical aspects of lutes and lute playing, but a few days ago, I received an email with a link to the following video. I thought it was interesting, but didn't think much about it. I made the mistake of not watching the whole thing.

Well, this is the sort of thing that can excite passionate opinions in the early music community. It features music from "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme", a comedie-ballet first presented in 1670 at the court of King Louis XIV. The text is by Moliere and the music is by Jean-Baptiste Lully.

If you watch the video, you will notice that it doesn't accurately reproduce the atmosphere of the the court of King Louis XIV. The treatment is quite modern, hence the controversy. Now, there is a poll being taken of the members of the lute list. Some hate it, others love it. I have grown to like it, and have given it a respectable four on a scale of one to five. If the performance was authentic, I would have likely given it higher marks, but I have to admit that it has its own unique charm.

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, (The Bourgeois Gentleman) Jean Marie Bigard

What do you think? Do you like the fusion of historical and modern culture, or does it seem inappropriate? I invite you to rank it on a scale of one to five and to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Related Links
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
Jean-Baptiste Lully

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Art of Glass Blowing

Some artists use paint and canvas, others use clay or stone. My preferred medium is sound. What compels some to choose molten liquid? I don't know. It all sounds very hot and dangerous to me.

You have to admire people who take sand, heat it until it resembles magma and then form it into a delicate work of art. As you will see, glass blowing takes a lot of training and skill. Most of us will never get a chance to try this ourselves. I don't mind. I'm happy to just watch the videos.

Alex Petrakis-Glass Blowing

Glass Cat

Dawson Kellog-Rhapsody in Glass-Part 1

Dawson Kellog-Rhapsody in Glass-Part 2

Dawson Kellog-Rhapsody in Glass-Part 3

Dawson Kellog-Rhapsody in Glass-Part 4

Glass Blowing Links
Glass blowing, instructional videos at Expert Village

Coming Soon! Glass Music Videos

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Origami, a Curious Blend of Art and Science

I have been posting a lot about music lately, so I thought I'd switch gears. Origami has fascinated me for a long time, but I've never really learned much about it. Well, I thought this would be a good time to start.

I was surprised to find a large supply of origami videos on line. It is much more popular than I imagined. Some artists are now using computers to help design their "sculptures" with amazing results. If origami sounds like a dull subject to you, these videos will likely change your mind.

Origami Documentary Trailer

Robert Lang on Origami

Portrait of an Origami Master

Origami Links
Robert J. Lang Origami
Eric's Origami Page

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Microtonal Music Videos

Microtonal music is any music that uses a tuning other than the standard twelve note equal temperament that we are used to. This type of music is growing in popularity. I am pleased that there are now some good videos available to demonstrate some of the forms that this varied music can take.

Microtonal music is usually made with computers or retunable electronic keyboards, but it's also possible to use acoustic instruments.

This first video features two pianos that have been retuned so that they can play in a tuning with seventeen equally spaced notes to the octave instead of the usual twelve. I admire the way these two performers work together to produce music that would be impossible on a single piano.

It's almost an hour long, so you may want to grab some popcorn.

Seventeen Note Piano Project, Phase 2

This next video features a microtonal variation on the C minor scale. (The A and D notes are each thirty cents flat.)

A Scream From Lebanon

Additional Information

For program notes on the Seventeen Tone Piano Project visit

For more information on microtonal music, visit my blog Daniel Thompson Microtonal Composer.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guitars Playing Lute Music

Lutes used to be extremely popular. Now they have been almost completely replaced by guitars. Guitars clearly have some advantages over lutes. They are usually easier to tune and play. They are also easier to make. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that it is often easier to find lute music played on guitars than on the original lutes.

I don't believe, however, that a guitar is a proper replacement for a lute. There is a substantial difference in sound. It seems that most composers for lute have taken the peculiarities of the lute into consideration and their music reflects this. As a result, I find that lute music played on a lute usually sounds much better than the same music performed on guitar.

This collection of videos is a good opportunity to hear some fine lute music played on guitar. If you wish, you can compare this to my collection of lute videos.

Please don't think I'm criticising guitars or guitar players. I am a guitarist myself and have attempted some of the lute repertoire. I think it is great that guitarists are playing lute music. I really enjoy these videos. There's just something special about lute music played on actual lutes.

Bach Double on the Classical Guitar

Peo Kindgren Plays Dowland

Peo Kindgren Plays Dowland's Frog Galliard

Peo Kindgren Plays Dowland's Sir John Smith His Almain

Francisco Burgos Plays Alman by Robert Johnson

Peo Kindren Plays Bach Prelude


Bach Prelude

Aaron Brock Plays Bach

Bach Suite 3 for Lute-Prelude

Bach Lute Suite No. 1 in E Minor, Allemande

Menuet by Silvius Leopold Weiss

See also Lute Videos and the article Lutes Verses Guitars.

More Lute Videos

The lute has been getting a lot of attention lately, thanks to Sting's new cd, "Songs from the Labyrinth", a collection of lute songs by John Dowland. See Sting Plays the Lute. It's nice to see the lute regain a small portion of its former glory.

If you have heard Sting's lute music, you may find that you want to hear more. I hope you will enjoy these videos.

Toccata No. 7 by Kapsberger, Played by He Chin

A Port, Played by Jacopo Gianninoto

Pavana Milan

Here's Jan Akkerman discussing the lute as the video plays.

Galliard by Janna, Played by Jan Akkerman

Courante by Janna, Played by Jan Akkerman

See also Guitars Playing Lute Music.

Lute Links

The Lute Society
A Brief History of the Lute
Silvius Leopold Weiss
The Lutecast

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Viol Videos

Almost everyone knows about the violin family, which includes violins, violas and cellos, but many people are not aware of the somewhat similar viol family.

The viols are older than the violins and used to be very popular. They are a charming set of instruments with a pleasant sound. They were, however, quieter and easily overpowered when played with other instruments. They just couldn't compete with the louder violin family and eventually became very rare, except for the double bass which is still regularly played today.

The viols are making a small comeback. Their charm is undeniable and their soft gentle tone actually seems like an advantage in our increasingly loud and hectic world. Besides, we can now turn up the volume on viol recordings if we wish.

The first video can serve as a brief introduction to viols. This is a viola da gamba. It is kind of like a cello but if you look closely you may notice some differences.

"Chanty" Thomas Mace

The viola da gamba has frets and is held between the legs. The viola da gamba also usually has six strings instead of four for a cello (although this one has seven).

This next video will highlight an unique playing style of viols.

Sonata by Carl Friedrich Abel

Did you notice how she held the bow from behind instead of from the front? She also used a lot of fast arpeggios. The viols are tuned more like guitars than violins so they are well suited to playing the arpeggiated chords that are a common feature in viol music.

This next video is of a baryton, an unusual viol like instrument.


This next instrument is a pardessus de viole, kind of a hybrid between a violin and a viol.

Pardessus de Viole

See also Lutes,Viols and Other Ancient Instruments.

Other Early Music Videos
Sting Plays the Lute
More Lute Videos
Guitars Playing Lute Music
A Controversial Video

Welcome to My Video Blog!

There's a ton of free videos on the Internet. So why would you want to pay any attention to this particular video blog?

Well, the truth is you might not want to. This blog is not designed for a general audience, there's already plenty of sites for that.

This blog is designed to only include videos that have cultural or educational value. I will focus on the arts, history, science, nature, and mathematics.

I plan on including some special features. I hope to provide multiple tools to help you find the type of video that you are looking for, even if it isn't located on my site.

In addition to the videos, I plan on providing useful descriptions and links to sites that provide supplemental information on the topics presented. I hope this blog will be entertaining, but I also intend it to be educational.

This blog isn't for everyone, but I hope it will provide an enjoyable and rewarding experience for some.

I welcome your comments. As of 11/4/06 this blog is brand new, by leaving comments, you can help me to better design this site and choose the kind of content that will be most valuable to my visitors.

Friday, November 03, 2006

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