Monday, June 10, 2013

Raga Hamir - Vocal recital

My children PNK and Richa, had their yearly Classical Vocal and Kathak recital the past weekend. The video posted above is a composition of their Guru, Ms. Swagata Chakraborthy, of Raag Hamir (Raag Hameer). PNK, my triplets are part of this group. So, I can claim that almost one third of the voice in this video is my KID'S :-)

A very difficult and challenging composition for children of this age (10-12 years) and they sang it so so so effortlessly.. I was so elated with joy. My My My..I'm so totally proud of my children. Especially, when I hear the finale Tarana and the "Madhuban Mein Radhika" part...I just can't help but clap clap. There were some very difficult tongue twisters in the end..the children loved that part. They were so exited to learn that part.

Starting with Aaroh and Aavroh and then the Swarmalika, followed by the lakshangeet. The Lakshangeet, shows one the form of the Raag. Every Raag has this form. It makes a kind of figure in your mind. The Lakshangeet gives that to the listener. This was followed by the Bandish. Then the tempo picks up and they sing the famous "Madhuban mein radhika naache re" based on this raag so beautifully, followed by that amazin amazing TARANA recital.

A highlight this year, some gem of instrumentalists played this year...all little kids..You can see the flutist in this video. The tabla was rendered by a 7 year old boy... The boy who is fifth from the left is a very good sitarist!! He accompanied the Men's group in their Raag Recital. Amazing amazing talent here..people. Especially makes it awesome coz, these are small children.

A milestone for me this year was, with this video I stepped into the world of Video editing and Sound editing. There was a lot of noise and static in the sound of this video. Since the stage was very wide and if I went to the end of the hall to make the recording...I would have caught a lot of talk from people, I set up the camera a little closer to the stage...that meant a wider angle lens 24-70mm, so was worried of the distortion. The stage was very very poorly lit.

The curtain in the back was a shocking blue colored vinyl tarp...It was such a horrible color. I edited the video first in photoshop.. to mellow down that color. There were gaps in the curtain showing the backstage..I cleaned that up .. then fixed some more color. Then I rendered the video and brought it to Adobe Premiere Pro for further editing.

My first experience with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition. These are 2 beasts...When I came back that night..I immediately tried opening the clip on Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the Video and the sound..but, was totally lost. Took me a day to understand the settings and the way we start a project. I thought it would be easy to understand that I'm comfortable with Photoshop. Totally frustrating too..The sound editing or sound cleaning doesn't work so good in Adobe Premiere pro. One needs to go to Adobe Audition to really do a better job of cleaning the sound..but, as I opened the clip in Audition..I realized that's another beast!!!!

A whole new world of technology, subject and information. Its a long road of learning ahead.

So, in between the struggles of learning a new software..I've managed to clean up the sound a little bit and make a decent color correction and lighting of this video...luckily the characters are standing in one, not much action going on here.

If Photoshop-ing is technical enough, Video editing is painfully more. And, It takes forever to render videos. Say, after exporting the document, you realize, you need to make another change, there goes few more hours, just to render that change. I'm sure there must be settings that will make it faster...( of hand I can think of one, rendering the video of lesser quality will surely make it faster.), but, don't know them as of now. Totally new vocabulary, new elements to edit. A virgin territory for me. Will keep me occupied the next few weeks to learn some of it.

And that also for 5 programs during the 4 hour long event, Recording the event in video and stills too.. OMG!! One tiring..knee shaking task. I have to confess I was nervous, very nervous and instantly TIRED! Then, to realize that I will have to edit these videos because the lighting on the stage was not right. The sound system also was very noisy. So, I do feel like I want to take off this week.. :-)

My children dressed in Bengali Style Sarees in this video..(I learned that also now!!) for a folk song rendered after the vocal. Changing costumes for 4 children..making sure there will be no costume malfunction on the stage...The amount of safety pins and hair pins to hold stuff..WOW!!!

Can't wait to edit the Kathak and other Dance videos showing the triplets and Richa too :-).

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