This and That

Random bits of my life

Opera Paradiso

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 24, 2016

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Opera Paradiso, a melange of cinema clips and opera performances, was performed last night (June 23, 2016) in Sultan’s Pool, Jerusalem, as part of the annual Israeli Opera Festival. Soloists from the Israel Opera Company performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. I am an opera lover and I was delighted to be offered a free ticket at the last minute. The photo above shows a very young Helen Bonham Carter looking at the Duomo in Florence in A Room with a View.

Some of the film clips were obvious choices, like this scene from Amadeus during the “Queen of the Night” aria.

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Others were more unusual, like Bend It Like Beckham, Quantum of Solace, or the Israeli comedy, The Policeman, below.

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Funny how Windows errors look funnier on a big screen. This was taken about half an hour before the performance. The venue was almost full, which was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know how popular opera is in this country.

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Festival of Light 2016: Purple Route

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 15, 2016

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This year the Festival of Light included a route into the center of Jerusalem. This is not the first time that there have been installations outside the Old City. The first Festival of Light included the City Hall (Iriya). In the photo above, the central Post Office is lit by colored lights that are activated by hitting the mailboxes across the street. This is shown in the video below.

Eiffel Tower, by Luminarie De Cagna, Italy.

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Love Jerusalem is an elaborate ad for the “Friends of Zion” museum, but it’s cleverly done. A video follows the photo.

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Balls of Light, by Siddhartha (Israel) didn’t knock my socks off but it was a brilliant piece of marketing–after hiking around the Old City for a couple hours, most people would welcome the opportunity to sit down at one of the restaurants or cafes in Nahalat Shiva.

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Festival of Light 2016: Photos from the Red Route

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 15, 2016

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The photos above and below are of the installation at the Church of the Dormition. A woman in an elaborate costume sang opera (sounded like Puccini) in front of the church, which was lit by projections. A lot of people liked it but I honestly didn’t enjoy it. The alley behind the church is extremely narrow and it became a bottleneck with crowds of people standing and shooting videos and phone pics. The scale was bizarre–you could either view the woman on a small raised platform or the church, but not both, because of the small viewing area.

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Reflection of Co-existence,” by Cochavi & Klein, Israel.

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Northern Lights,” by Aleksandra Stratimirovic, Sweden.

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Festival of Light 2016: Sakhror and Cat

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 7, 2016

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I thought Sakhror, by an Israeli group of interdisciplinary artists called Fugara, was very cool.

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Why the cat? It had more personality than the Lamps of Muristan….

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Festival of Light 2016: Large Fire Tornado

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 7, 2016

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The Large Fire Tornado should appeal to the pyromaniac in all of us.:-) It was created by Ivo Schoofs and “Kinetic Humor”, from the Netherlands.

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My video below shows the countdown and the fire rising inside the structure.

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Festival of Light 2016: Crystallized

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 2, 2016

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Crystallized, by French artists, Jonathan Richer and David Chanel, was great fun to photograph. It is the second last work on the blue trail, in the covered Cardo.

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I set this video to play the thirty seconds I shot of “Crystallized,” pointing the camera through the end of one of the tubes.

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Festival of Light 2016: Live Music

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 2, 2016

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The Festival of Light almost always has a few live musical acts, which are often not noted on the maps or list of exhibits, so running into them is a matter of serendipity. The fellow above was playing an inverted steel drum, which I believe is a Hang (took me a few tries to track that one down!). If you want to know what it sounds like, scroll down to the video I’ve embedded at the end of this post. This musician wasn’t listed among the artists, so I have no idea what his name is. He appeared in the middle of the blue route.

Guitarist at the beginning of the blue route:

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Pyromania’s “Illuminated Orchestra,” going for a stroll along the Armenian Quarter road.

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Digeridoo player at the beginning of the red trail. I took this photo very quickly, so I didn’t notice the ultra-orthodox family watching the musician.

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Here’s a video with four short clips of the Hang drummer, “Crystalized” (blue trail), “Globoscope” (green trail), and an un-named installation on the red trail, with Eimear Quinn singing “The Voice”.

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Festival of Light 2016: Fountain

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 1, 2016

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If you haven’t been to this year’s Festival of Light in the Old City (and Nahalat Shiva), you still have tonight and tomorrow. The fountain outside Jaffa Gate was wonderful. It’s worth watching the performance all the way through an entire cycle–only about 7 minutes.

The installation is called, “A Moment with Water Fountains,” by Latvian artists Diana Civle, Janis Petersons, and Marcis Gulbis. If you’re viewing the fountain from the “front”, where all the people are, you will have to find a good angle where you aren’t blocked by trees, people’s heads, and the ubiquitous cellphones. But you can hear the music more easily from the side of the fountain that is closest to Jaffa Gate.

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If you don’t mind being further from the sound, the ramparts of the Tower of David (ground level, just outside the wall) are never crowded and there’s only one tree blocking the view.

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During the finale, the water forms a grey wall and pictures are projected onto the water. The projections are more vivid from the “back” of the fountain than the front:

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Here’s a video I took of the fountain. The first half is from the front and the second half from the back (on the following night). Sorry about the wind noise in the second segment–I was planning only to take still photos, so I didn’t bring a directional mike and I don’t have a “dead cat.”

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M2V 2016: More Photos

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 31, 2016

These photos were taken at Kefar Nahum, on of the Mountain-to-Valley Relay Race exchange stations. In the New Testament, Kefar Nahum is called Capernaum, and is a popular pilgrimage spot for Christian tourists. This is the walkway that leads to the docks for the boats that take tourists around the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).

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Franciscan monastery:

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Greek Orthodox monastery:

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The relay exchange station:

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Sun rising over fields near Kishon, the starting point of my last run.

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All the way to Kansas! Photos during runs were taken with my LG G3. Other photos were with the DSLR. Since I was traveling by car, I didn’t need to worry about the weight of hauling a heavy camera on top of the gear, clothes, shoes, etc.

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Mountain-to-Valley (Har Le-Emek) 2016

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 31, 2016

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Har Le-Emek is a 215-kilometer relay race that I ran on May 18-19 with the Cisco Cloud Runners, an 8-man team (yes, that’s correct; you have to have 2 women and 6 men to be considered a “mixed” team). I ran 25 kilometers total in three segments. The route began in Tel Hai and ended in Timrat. We ran around the clock, for nearly 24 hours. In the photo above, I’m smiling because I’m nearly at the end of my final segment! I tend to feel a bit fed up at the end of a relay race because it’s tough to run all day and night with almost no sleep and hardly any food. I’ve got my GPS watch (Garmin Forerunner 220) on my left wrist and the magnetic chip on my right. I was finishing close to Gevat.

Here’s the finish line at Timrat:

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My first segment, from Netura, was bloody hot! I started around 12:30 p.m., there was no shade, and the sun was bouncing off the dusty roads (below). I had a water backpack but I still suffered from the heat and had to walk a little bit.

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The scenery is beautiful up north. That’s the main reason I do these runs, to see parts of the country I’ve never seen before, running through fields and forests.

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Here are my two team-mates who work in the Netanya office–Golan on the left in the red and Eyal on the right. Although we’ve been on the same team for a year, this was the first time I met them. We were in a car of four for the run. They were great company! I always tell people that we’ve never met before because by the time I cross the finish line, they’re already home and sitting down to lunch.:-)  Golan is a strong and fast runner. Eyal is good with long distances (he runs ~50 km a week).

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Here’s a video of last year’s race. I ran last year but I’m not in the video (hey, there were some 8,000 runners!) It gives you an idea of the scenery and terrain.

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