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Greetings from Vienna, #46

November 4th, 2004


(This was written on Wednesday, but not sent until Thursday. So the election stuff is much out of date. Sorry.)


In this issue:


Greetings from Vienna (New City)
Part the Forty-Sixth: Eeny, Meeny, Mineny, Moe[2]

Er, we just had elections in the States. How do I know this? The morning news on Austrian radio today (Wednesday, mid-morning; around 5 am EST) talked about Ohio, with occasional references to Arizona and Iowa. I decided to go to the internet cafe later to grab lots of news stories about the election (and the coming lawsuits). I'm still digesting all of this information, but it seems like it may be a good time to not being in 24-hour news/analysis mode, which I would be if I were in the States right now.

Back around issues #18 and #19, around the time of the Austrian presidential elections, I promised to talk a bit about this very election that just happened (and is still happening). But I don't think I need to. Americans of all stripes (and I note with just a hint of irony that few non-US people would want to be called "American" when the subject of this election comes up) are probably tired of the talking, and just want to know who will be (re)taking the oath of office in January. People outside of the States, if the media in Austria is any example, are probably also tired of the talking, though they are certainly not as evenly polarized as the American electorate.

And though it is a circus, and that circus is well on its way in mutating from quadrennial[3] to 24/7[4], we don't have riots--unlike elections in many countries (developed ones, even; ok, France, which has riots when government scientists miss pay raises or a new McDonalds goes up on the Champs Élysée), and things will get worked out, though the winners might complain almost as much as the losers. As fellow immigrant Yakov Smirnov says: "America, what a country!"

In the Studio
So we spent last Wednesday and Thursday in the studio recording the next Liechtenthaler Quartett album. Hmm, I should mention that by "we", I mean the actual musicians in the Quartett: Volker, Eva, Karin, and Wiltrud, and Volker's wife Christine, who's a featured vocalist. I was support staff for Tobias, as well as cook (spaghetti), and photographer. As there were two babies on hand, Christine was the other support person (when not recording), and actually did the majority of the baby support.

Due to their aggressive recording schedule (16 songs in two days), as well as having a setup in the studio that matched their regular performances:
I was unable to take any "action" shots, except through the studio window, which isn't great for details (or light): IMG_3096_liechtenthaler_quartett
So I ended up popping in during rehearsals:
or setups:

Occasionally, the two babies will both get mom time:
which meant that I got to do online stuff (the studio has a fast internet connection and an open hotspot[5]) until they starting
playing or go listen to edits:

By the second day, the babies were in the recording booth:
even as the adults begin to drop out:
IMG_5711_karinLN_tobiasXSL_wiltrudH_volkerS_rolandB IMG_5712_rolandB_karinLN_tobiasXSL_wiltrudH

We know that the end was near when instruments began to drop out, too, as we see Eva:
and her broken flute (cracked head joint, actually).

We wrapped up around 8 pm on Thursday, with about half the songs in final form. Volker and Wiltrud will go back towards the end of the month and finalized the rest of the tracks. In the meantime, I'm organizing my pictures of the recording session and hope that one or more of them will end up on the cd. I will try to send updates on the status of the cd, though you can also check out the official Liechtenthaler Quartett site at: for more info. (Buy cds, support Karin.)

If you are interesting in what the rest of the studio looks like, you go to the site of Tonstudio Baumann at:

Tobias: Double Plus Good[6]
Survived first recording session. Good. Had cough but seems to be fine now. Plus Good. Survived visit of cousins (second cousins? children of Karin's first cousins), including photo session. Double Plus Good. To see cute (second) cousins photo, go to: If you miss it: Double Plus Un-Good.


That's all for this week.

Bis Bald
- Paul, Tobias (who is sleeping restlessly while I'm carrying him in the Snugli®, and Karin (who is in the bath and waiting for me to wake Tobias up so he can get his bath)



[1] "On the record": to be positively identified with something one says. Often used to by reporters to describe whether a piece of information comes from a named person--that person going "on the record", or if it's unofficial--"off the record." Comes from legal terminology. In German: "orotokolliert sein" or "dokumentiert haben".

[2] "Eeny, meeny, mineny, moe": start of an English nursery rhyme when someone is try to pick out something amongst several choices. The current version (with spelling variation) is:

Eeny, meeny, mineny, moe
Catch a Tiger by the toe
If he hollers, let him go
Eeny, meeny, mineny, moe
And, I, pick, this, one, but, real-, -ly, this, o-, -ther, one, or, e-, ven, yet, a, no-, -ther, one...
(et cetera, ad nauseum).

[3] "Quadrennial": Every four years.

[4] "24/7": I read somewhere that the British English version of this is "7/24". I suppose that the British are much more proud of the fact of being available/open/working 7 days a week.

[5] "Hotspot": A place where someone get online wirelessly with their laptop or palmtop. (Instead of footnoting "palmtop", I invite the not yet informed reader to think of a "lap" (of the upper leg variety not the upper Arctic Circle/disgruntled Finn variety), then a "laptop", then a "palm", and then just imagine what a "palmtop" might be, and you'll be at least 50% right.

[6] "Double Plus Good": From "Newspeak", a variant of English created by George Orwell in his book 1984. Through "Newspeak", the Government (of Eurasia, I believe, not that it matters which government it is, which is the point, actually) tries to control people's thoughts by limiting the possible ways in which thoughts can be communicated or expressed. For example, there is no "bad", only "un-good". I would be interested in finding out what "Newspeak" turns into in translation, especially in German.



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