Autumn and Winter – The Concert Season

Now that the evenings are getting darker again, I spontaniously went to Digs/BEAR for a concert of 2/3 Harakiri to open the concert season. When I first saw them about two years ago at Verstedhallen, I was blown away by the intense stage-presence of the singer. Since then I have seen him a couple of times in various combinations at the Sunday-Jam-Session at Antikvariatet (of which he is the owner).
The setting at Digs/BEAR worked really well. They were playing inside the big front-window facing the street, much to the confusion of some passing pedestrians.

2/3 Harakiri @ Digs/BEAR      2/3 Harakiri @ Digs/BEAR
2/3 Harakiri @ Digs/BEAR

Saturday on a Sunday @ Antikvariatet

The first thing you see when you enter Antikvariatet is a relatively normal cosy pub. Only when you pass through the hall, which looks like it just leads to the rest-rooms, you’ll discover the back-room which is a very curious blend of library, living-room, and bar. This is where last Sunday’s concert and open-mic night took place.
First Edvardsen & Sønn, a really talented and entertaining duo of father and son (or son an father 😉 ), were playing the Blues. Later, the stage was open to anyone interested. And there were plenty! As each of them only played two or three songs, there was a great variety in styles. For the last songs, the singer got a mix of rather surprised musicians on stage. Together they performed an amazing interpretation of the classic ‘I Shall be Released’ (video below).

Edvardsen & Sønn   Lørdag på Søndag @ Antikvariatet
Lørdag på Søndag @ Antikvariatet   Lørdag på Søndag @ Antikvariatet
Lørdag på Søndag @ Antikvariatet   Lørdag på Søndag @ Antikvariatet


Back to the mc-17 Remote Control

After the Maker Faire, I went back to the Graupner mc-17 remote control.

The arduino library from tronixstuff for the KTM-S1201 LCD which is also using a mPD7225 controller was a good starting point. But to get the LCD up and running, it took quite a bit of fiddling and logic sniffing.

Logic Pirate attached to the mc17 LCD Logic Pirate
Open Logic Sniffer for mc17 LCD

mc17 LCD mapping of bytes and bitsOnce the controller allowed me to switch on individual segments of the LCD, I needed to adapt my implementation to this specific display, as it offers remote control specific elements unusual for normal LCDs. With a proper mapping of bits and bytes to their respective LCD elements, it was easy to implement the usual alpha-numerical characters. Each of the digits is controlled by a word / two bytes. For each byte, one bit is used to control one of the additional symbols like colons, dots, or remote controls specific texts.



Trondheim Maker Faire 2014 was great!

Thanks to all those organisers who made this awesome event possible!

After we set up our stand in the morning, we were busy until the very end. There was constant buzz of kids around, who wanted to try the ROV and steer it into one of the bucket-caves we set up in the pool. Just around closing time a managed to have a quick tour of the other stands. So nice to see all this creativity around, reminds me of the Chaos Communication Camp in 2011.
Our Stand at the Maker Faire Trondheim 2014 Our Pool
RaspiTeensyROV in the Pool RaspiTeensyROV "Schematics"

Heading out to the after-party now 🙂

PS: talking about the Chaos Communication Camp, who from Trondheim region would be interested in going there next year? I set up an etherpad here:

The Tiny Biosphere

Tiny Biosphere (side)As a little biology experiment, I picked random things from the forest behind the house and put them into two small plastic aquariums and sealed everything airtight with silicone. I paced this biosphere on the window and installed a RaspberryPi with PiCam NoIR above it. This was in late March and ever since (with a few brief pauses doe to lack of space on the sd card) the Raspberry took a photo from above every 15 minutes.

Using mencoder and handbrake I compiled a time-lapse video of the past months. It is amazing how alive these plants are and how long the balance in this isolated environment remains stable. (Don’t be fooled by the brownish appearance, this is just due to the colour shift of the infra red camera. The plants are still nearly as green as in the picture above.)

Red Velvet @ Hoff-Art with “Spring Breakup” and “Susie Asado”

Through the P-Magazin, a local events guide for Darmstadt, I discovered a new concert venue. The Hoff-Art Theater is well hidden in a former car garage in a backyard centrally located in Martinsviertel. They managed to squeeze a bar into the tiny entry room, from there you enter a cosy little amphi theatre with a red velvet curtain (hence the event name). The space in front of the curtain was just enough to fit all four members of the two bands, “Spring Breakup” from Yukon/Newfoundland, Canada and “Susie Asado” from Berlin, Germany.

Being in such a tiny and personal venue led to a very jam session like atmosphere, with a lot of communication between the bands and the audience. I especially loved “Spring Breakup” for their twisted humour (most lyrics about breakups and others unusual aspects of relationships) and their rough folky sound; banjo and ukulele work together very well. Also the instruments of “Susie Asado”, ukulele/guitar and violin, fit nicely and their experimental style of using the instruments created amazing results. The sometimes slightly bizarre and surrealistic lyrics of “Susie Asado” created an intriguing atmosphere. It was interesting to see, how she was using lyrics almost like an instrument (Tintenlumpenhand) switching languages mid sentence.
All-through the evening I enjoyed the lack of any percussion instruments (the knocking on a ukulele or violin aside), as these are usually over emphasized for my taste. A lot of music would sound better without a drum set, sorry. Also the relatively short set per band were nice. More bands with shorter sets offer more diversity for me.


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It was really great concert evening and I will definitely visit that venue again!