Tag Archives: new videos

New York – Two Harlems and Timbales


Come to Spanish Harlem and take a cultural bath!

This is a brief slice of the two of NYC’s neighborhoods, their people and cultures.

Enjoy the show,
Leo
~ History and Background ~
Harlem is known internationally as the Black Mecca of the world, but Harlem has been home to many races and ethnic groups including the Dutch, Irish, German, Italian, and Jewish. Harlem was originally settled by the Dutch in 1658, but was largely farmland and undeveloped territory for approximately 200 years. As New York’s population grew, residential and commercial expansion moved northward, and development of the Harlem territory was expanded.

Hundreds of tenement apartment buildings were built in 1904 anticipating the masses from lower Manhattan to occupy them. Unfortunately for the developers, the IRT subway not only made Harlem available to those from downtown, but also made Washington Heights, the Bronx and other northern points accessible. Developers over speculated and many houses went unsold. Real estate agent and entrepreneur Phillip A. Payton approached several Harlem landlords with the proposition that he would fill their empty or partially occupied properties with Black tenants. The idea was accepted and Payton began moving Black families into buildings of Central Harlem in the 1930’s .

Blacks continued to pour into Harlem from points in lower Manhattan, the American South and the Caribbean. Blacks migrated in record numbers from the south to northern cities in search of opportunities and increased wages.

Considered a stronghold of Latino pride, Spanish Harlem evolved from an immigrant enclave to a multi-cultural treasure trove of sights, sounds, tastes and cultural expressions. The heartbeat of the “Nuyorican” soul, Spanish Harlem is the birthplace of many of Latin music’s most favored artists, such as Tito Puente, Eddie & Charlie Palmieri, Ray Barretto and the home of others from international composer Rafael Hernandez to the great Machito. The popular feminist poet Julia De Burgos lived here while “youngblood” graffiti artist of chalk on the street verses, James de la Vega has a storefront from where he sells his visual wares.

Come to Spanish Harlem and take a cultural bath.

Las Llamadas Parade- Desfile de las llamadas 2013


“The Llamadas Parade” is a festival that takes place every year in Montevideo in February, during the carnival season in Uruguay. It is part of the official competition of carnival groups of the Uruguayan capital. For two nights around 40 black and lubolos ensembles (known as “extras”) parade through the Southern (Barrio Sur) and (Barrio Palermo) Palermo neighborhood streets. It is one of the purest expressions of Afro-Uruguayan culture.
Carnival Week is considered the annual national festival of Uruguay. While Carnaval is celebrated throughout the country with parades and events in major cities of the interior, the main activities are featured in the capital of Montevideo.
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El desfile de llamadas es una fiesta popular que se realiza todos los años en Montevideo en el mes de febrero, durante la época de carnaval en Uruguay. Forma parte del concurso oficial de agrupaciones carnavalescas de la capital uruguaya. Durante dos noches desfilan unas 40 sociedades de negros y lubolos (conocidas como “comparsas”) por calles de los barrios Sur y Palermo. Constituye una de las más puras manifestaciones de la cultura afro-uruguaya.

 

Pianoforte


The art of piano making and art paintings  Music: Dexter Britain :: http://www.dexterbritain.co.uk

Snowy Moods


Shot from early morning to midday on December 26, 2012

After a major snowstorm over December’s holidays, I got up early on Dec 26, and armed with everything I thought was needed, decided to go do some video shooting around the Blue Hills area. The Sun hadn’t come out yet, and the sky was still laden with storm clouds.  It was cold! My plan called for shooting macro and closeups framing the striking looks when snow embraces plants and trees. And so, I did for a while.

As the morning progressed, the sky cleared up and the sun made its shy appearance. The crystals formed on branches and bushes began glistening and sparkling and all trees appeared to be colored with golden hues. The scenery changed totally and my plan changed accordingly. I switched from closeups to long shots, and began panning to capture the beauty of the colors. Whatever eventually showed up in film, wasn’t quite the spectacle that my eyes saw (and my brain remembers). So, here’s my humble rendition of a glorious, cold, beautiful morning after the storm.

Enjoy,

Leo

Styrofoam Anagrams


Just learning new graphics and techniques to display powerful messages. Always wanted to do more in this area, but fell short. Once I invested the time and begun seeing the interactions, colors and messaging, it made some sense. Tried a variety of looks and graphics to see how they display and what impact they may convey. The subjects covered are real. The thoughts, opinions and selected anagrams are my responsibility [and I stand by them 🙂 ]
Hope you enjoy the experiment,

Leo

An·a·gram = An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once.
Current events and newsworthy personalities are involved in this mish-mash.

Music: Styrofoam by The fashion slaves :: http://www.thefashionslaves.com Free download

Plasma nightmare


Let the images tell the tale… This piece is left to your imagination = interpretation.

Music: Metamorphosis 4 – Composer Philip Glass – Played by Branka Parlic

Photography: Bob Merco :: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobmerco/ ; Leo Bar :: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leobar-pixinmotion/

A very different and difficult piece to produce. It contains at times 6-7 video tracks plus 2 audio tracks. Time consuming and took forever to render once all the clips were in place. I tried to give it a grainy, dreamy look, used a lot of diffusion, coloring with blue and orange when appropriate. This piece contains segments using blue screen (chroma key) and superimposition of composites.

Hope you enjoy (?) this nightmare and if not, at least enjoy the beautiful piano composition and playing.
Leo

Blooming desert


After reviewing the more than 500 stills taken and crying over the unreadable memory card with more than 4 Gigs of video lost, here’s the second piece on the Arizona desert. I concentrated on showing the brief time during which the desert explodes in color. Every plant, cactus, tree and shrub blooms for a period varying from 7 to 15 days. And then goes into the process of creating its fruits and seeds to allow them to procreate and spread their species. Birds, rodents, bees, insects and wind aid the desert plants to spread their seed and pollen, while attempting to exist, live and grow in an extreme climate.

In this piece I paid special attention to show the contrast of color and nature of some very unusual flowers emanating from huge saguaro cacti and other times from puny shrubs. Every plant flaunts its own version of excitement and compete to attract the organism or element that will disseminate their species.

Split screens, animations, and paintings were included to create a multimedia sensory effect. All other credits can be found at the end of the video

When the desert blooms in May-June it's a spectacle like no other. Every plant and tree that appeared to be sleeping and shriveled, explodes in a multicolored palette as if in competition with each other. Stills and video were recorded in May-June, 2012 in the State of Arizona – Here are some of the locales: Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Papago Park, Desert Botanical Gardens and Cave Creek.
Enjoy the flora (and fauna),

Leo

Tango a la Loca


Continuing with the series of tangos, this piece features Juan D’Arienzo and his Orchestra playing “Loca” from a 1970’s Argentinian TV program. Together with superb dancing and great photography by Graciela Pierre (see credits) this production came together smoothly. The challenge was to synchronize the music (re-sampled) with the video portions and the dance. After a few failures and out of sync renderings, it all came together. I’ve tried to construct this piece in the same style of the band beat leading the dancers and using the power of the 2-4 beat to accentuate and cut the scenes.
~
Juan D’Arienzo is known as “El Rey del Compás” (King of the Beat). Departing from other orchestras of the golden age, D’Arienzo returned to the 2-4 feel that characterized music of the old guard, but he used more modern arrangements and instrumentation. His popular group produced hundreds of recordings.

In 1949 D’Arienzo said: “From my point of view, tango is, above all, rhythm, nerve, strength and character. Early tango, that of the old stream (guardia vieja), had all that, and we must try not to ever lose it. Because we forgot that, Argentine tango entered into a crisis some years ago. Putting aside modesty, I did all was possible to make it reappear. Furthermore, I tried to rescue for tango music its masculine strength, which it had been losing through successive circumstances. In that way in my interpretations I stamped the rhythm, the nerve, the strength and the character which distinguished it in the music world and which it had been losing for the above reasons. Luckily, that crisis was temporary, and today tango has been re-established, our tango, with the vitality of its best times. My major pride is to have contributed to that renaissance of our popular music.”

D’Arienzo, at the end of his career, dug-in his own style; of course, without knowing it and without even thinking of it. People saw him making faces in front of the musicians and the singers; they saw him with fondness, there was something of nostalgia and something of mockery. Of course, the orchestra beat was leading the dancers’ feet. And the dancers’ feet still follow the beat when D’Arienzo´s records are played back and his figure keeps on raising a great fondness.
(Some excerpts from TodoTango.com; Wikipedia.com)

I hope you enjoy my interpretation of the “King of the Beat” and his band playing “Loca”.
Leo

I’ll Be Heading your way ?


While reviewing some classic art and paintings I ran into a scene of David and Goliath (or Goliath’s head in David’s grasp). From that powerful image an idea began circling in my head about doing something related to “old masters”, illusions (as I’d done in the past) and some image prestidigitation.

What followed was a search for as many beheading scenes as I could find that would somehow lend themselves to manipulation (based on backgrounds, colors, size). From then on it was trial-error-trial-eureka!

In this small production I have used just about all techniques available (and a lot of new ones learned) of the NLE (Non-linear editor) Vegas Pro that I usually work with. Among other effects, I have used masks, both positive and negative, Vignetting, cookie cutter, 3D camera moves, multi-track layering, transparencies and some others I have by forgotten…

Paintings used are by: Artemisia Gentileschi; Francesco Barberini; Bartolomeo Bettera; Anthonie Palamedesz; MIchelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio; Pieter Claesz; Peter Paul Reubens; Jan Miense Molenaer (not in the shown order)
Music: Sparrow – Adam Hurst (remix by Leo Bar) You may learn more about this musician ::

Enjoy the slicing,
Leo

Las LLamadas 2012 – Carnaval Uruguay


This is a joyful, colorful event that takes place at the beginning of carnival and continues throughout (40 days). Its roots are African – Bantu, yet all Uruguayans take part in this unique popular celebration.

The main attractions of Uruguayan Carnival include two colorful parades called Desfile de Carnival (Carnival Parade) and Desfile de Llamadas (Calls Parade, a candombe-summoning parade). In this production I am showing the Calls Parade and all of its representative elements.

The ‘Calls’ groups, basically formed by drummers playing the tamboril, perform candombe rhythmic figures. Revelers also wear their festival clothing. Each group has its own theme. Women wearing elegant, bright dresses are called vedettes and provide the sensual touch to parades.
European archetypes (Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbina) merge with African ancestral elements (the Old Mother or Mama Vieja, the Medicine Man or Gramillero and the Magician or Escobero) in the local version of the festival. As a manifestation of Uruguayan culture and a growing tourist attraction, Uruguayan Carnival is currently receiving important governmental support.
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Special thanks to the following http://www.flickr.com members for sharing their beautiful photography: L.A. Shooter (Leo Alvarez); Adriana Cabrera Esteve; Fotoguay

Enjoy the show,

Leo