Es wird scho glei dumpa – Merry Christmas from Austria

Download brass quartet sheet music: Es wird scho glei dumpa.

Here’s what it sounds like when played on a piano:

The Story Behind

I like Christmas. Especially the couple of weeks before Christmas eve. It’s getting dark and cold, but there’s candles and everything is lit in vibrant colors, we cuddle, drink tea and sing our favorite Christmas carols. At the some time everybody is busy shopping or trying to finish whatever they need to get done before the year ends, but we usually still find time to spend with friends and family. It’s a confusing but beautiful time. I tried to capture this weird feeling of enchantment mixed with numbing haste by arranging and reharmonizing the Austrian Christmas carol “Es wird scho glei dumpa” for brass quartet.

Word of advice if you want to play it with your band: The second half of the piece could be callenging and needs practicing.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Repairing of Haraldbaumgartner.com

A couple of years back I did a website for a friend of mine, which I blogged about in The Making of Haraldbaumgartner.com. We did a couple of updates since then, but there haven’t been any changes over the past three years or so. Moreover I neglected updating the software behind the website, so it was still running off Joomla version 1.7.

About a week ago the provider disabled PHP 5.6, which Joomla 1.7 depended on, so the website was broken. It also meant that there was no path for automated upgrades any more.

After some brainstorming I had found my solution: I decided to recreate the setup that the provider had disabled (Apache, PHP5.6, mysql) in VirtualBox. All I had to do is to

  1. Download an Ubuntu 18.04 iso
  2. Install Ubuntu in VirtualBox and then in Ubuntu install Apache and mysql.
  3. Add some PHP 5.6 repository and install PHP 5.6
  4. Copy the mysql database over to my VirtualBox Ubuntu Server as well as all the files via FTP

Tada, the website was up and running again on my local machine:

With this in place I could restore all the stuff I nedded and migrate to Joomla 3.9. Finally http://www.haraldbaumgartner.com/ is back online! On the way there I also fixed all the file permissions, so that in the future Joomla would be able to update automatically.

Dilemma

When I look outside the window, I see the sun setting. It is setting faster than usual. That’s because it’s the window of an airplane and we are flying east.

This morning, before getting to the airport, I was woken up by the sound of my phone’s alarm. I turned it off and went ahead with bad habit: I checked the news. The headline: “Limiting temperature increase to 1.5 °C unrealistic, is global worming unstoppable?”

There you go, my dilemma in two short episodes. I am surrounded by information about global warming and still I rock an off-the-charts-carbon-footprint lifestyle. Travel is just so much fun and too affordable. Plus my job requires me to go places. Actually most of my carbon footprint comes from work related travel. Would quieting my job be the right thing to do? Wouldn’t just somebody else take my position and do the same traveling instead? Should I stop going on vacation too-far-away at all? What’s too far? Is there a way to compensate for what I am doing to our planet? When I’ll look back at this dilemma in a couple of years, will I hate myself for not being more decisive on the issue? Will it still be there, or will we have found ways to deal with it? Will regulators have come up with smart solutions?

And most importantly: Chicken or Pasta? Uh, dinner is about to be served. What a welcome distraction, let’s just postpone dealing with the issue.

Airplane Sunset

Kayaking

We just traveled Canada for three weeks and there’s one thing that became clear to me: I need a Kayak! The whole concept of hiking on water resonates with me on so many levels.

Getting from A to B at a steady pace while enjoying beautiful landscapes is pure pleasure to me. Kayaking has all of that, plus it lets me experience lakes and rivers in an almost meditative fashion. My favorite book is Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and I think that my fascination with water plays a role in that.

Last weekend we did a day-long Kayaking trip from Ebensee to Gmunden. Makes you feel like Huck for a day …

Don’t Forget Your… V2. 0

Some years ago I posted a list of things you and I should not forget to bring when traveling.

Turns out it’s pretty outdated by now, who needs an mp3 player these days, so here’s an update:

Clothing

– Undergarments
– Socks
– Shorts
– Trousers
– Evening Attire
– Swimming
– Bathing Suit
– Boggles
– Ear plugs
– Towels
– Jacket
– Lid
– Gloves

Shoes

– Black shoes
– Sporty shoes
– Running Shoes
– Thongs
– Flip Flops

Wallet

– Money
– ATM card
– Credit Card
– E-Card
– Driver’s License

Toiletries

– Teeth brush
– Toothpaste
– Shaver
– Shaving Cream
– After Shave
– Floss
– Shower Gel
– Deo
– Swiss Army Knife
– Towels
– Sun Screen
– Electric Hair Trimmer

Drugs

– Imodium
– Mexalen
– Paspertine

Electronics

– Power Adapter
– Mobile Phone
– Camera
– Tripod
– Memory Card
– Battery
– Laptop + Charger
– E-Book Reader
– Tablet
– USB Charger
– USB Cables (C, Micro, Lightning, …)

Misc

– Passport
– Guide
– Business Card
– Maps (e.g., Offline Google Maps)
– Infos: Flight, Hotel, Visa
– Presents
– Sun Glasses
– Water Bottle

Double-Check

– Passport
– Mobile Phone
– Wallet
– Camera
– Sun Glasses

Here’s the list as pdf.

30 Sound Bites for 30 Days

Another 30 Days Challenge! I’ll record small snippets of music / sound every day for 30 days and will upload them to soundcloud.

Some background information:

  • 1: Composed by me when my project at work suffered a huge setback, which was also kind of a relieve at the same time.
  • 2: Composed by me when trying to see the positive side of aforementioned setback.
  • 3: Recorded during a random band rehearsal.
  • 4: Composed by me when realizing that if management doesn’t want to listen, I shouldn’t care either.
  • 5: Composed by me after learning that my sister was pregnant! Feeling happy and queer at the same time.
  • 6: Composed by me with some of my roots in Jazz in mind.
  • 7: Cover song – Teardrop.
  • 8: Composed by me with a G as rhythmic constant.
  • 9: Composed by me as a byproduct of 8.
  • 10: Variation on Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor.
  • 11: Composed by me in 2008 while in Los Angeles.
  • 12: Composed by me after listening to and playing some Boogies.
  • 13: Recorded during a rehearsal for the drummer’s entrance examination at Johannes Bruckner University Linz.
  • 14: Birds in the City – With the US leaving the Paris Climate Agreement this seemed worthy a recording.
  • 15: Composed by me after listening to some Monk tunes.
  • 16: Composed by me with the goal in mind that the left hand should play the melody.
  • 17: Composed by me with the goal in mind to write something in E Major.
  • 18: Composed by me with the goal in mind to write something that could pass as Jazz ballad.
  • 19: Composed by me with the goal to create some variations of the same harmonic material.
  • 20: Transcription – Album version Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau’s “The Old Shade Tree
  • 21: Composed by me with the goal to let off some steam.
  • 22: Composed by me with nothing but the form ABA in mind
  • 23: 8th note improvisation over blues in F, trying not to default back to the F blues scale too often.
  • 24: Composed by me by trying to “phase around” right and left hand.
  • 25: Composed by me by shifting a #11 motive in whole tones. It’s funny how the same thing can be perceived as light-footed (at the beginning) or menacing (at the end).
  • 26: Composed by me by overdubbing some vocal percussion.
  • 27: Composed by me with Dave Grusin in Mind
  • 28: Composed by me with the constraint that the C-G-G Ostinato (heard in the second half) should work over the whole tune.
  • 29: Johann Sebastian Bach – Prelude in C Sharp, Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Buch 1, BWV 848. I still can’t decide whether I like the “Dah-Dap-Dah-Dap” phrasing (first half) or the “Dap-Dah-Dap-Dah” phrasing (second half) better. I found recordings from renown artists both ways. The first phrasing feels better suited for Bach to me, while the second has more groove.
  • 30: Composed by me with the goal to write a good night / good bye song.

Holiday Project: Philips Hue Goes System Tray

Every year around Christmas I start a little DIY project, that most of the time involves some programming and some real hardware (e.g., TI chronos: My watch controls my bedroom lights). With most light bulbs in my apartment being Philips Hue light bulbs, I decided I wanted to be able to control them from my PC. So this Christmas I created “Hue System Tray”, a tiny program that lives in the system tray and lets me check the status of my hue lights as well as control them.

Hue System TrayInstead of using Java, which I’ve used for most of my GUI programs (e.g., jdotxt), I did this little project in C++ using Qt. The only down-side is that Philips does not offer a C++ SDK. To keep things simple I decided not to implement a full-blown SDK myself. At this point in time the program basically makes hard-coded RESTful API calls to the Hue bridge directly. It would of course be much nicer if the list of rooms would be populated automatically from the list of rooms stored on the bridge and if all API calls were derived automatically. But hey, holiday time is limited ;)

This was my first encounter with Qt and a rather pleasant one I have to say. The signals and slots mechanism is rather intuitive, it features a nice collection of libraries (e.g., for networking or for parsing JSON), the documentation is good and the learning curve is not too steep. Actually I found programming Java for Android apps more difficult. Also deploying my program to another machine was not too difficult, once I had figured out which dlls to carry over.

I will probably have to do some more C++ coding at work in the near future, so I hope that dusting off my C++ skills and Qt will come in handy.

My PhD Thesis

My PhD Thesis entitled “Mutual Coupling Compensation & Realization Aspects of Array Design for FMCW MIMO Radars” is available for check out from the JKU library. Here some of the steps that lead up to the completion:

PhD Thesis Step 1: Informal Submission
PhD Thesis Step 2: Collecting ECTS
PhD Thesis Step 3: A Date
PhD Thesis Step 4: Thesis Submission
PhD Thesis Step 5: All Set for the Final Date
PhD Thesis Step 6: 48 hours
PhD Thesis Step 7: The Official Decree