Bergen Interactive Music Conference

posted on: April 29, 2007

Previously, when I would join Alex for international music conferences, I was an active participant- engaged in the educational research and international implementations of curriculum and ideas. This year I took a less active approach, and only attended a few bits of the actual conference.

Even though my body wasn't quite ready to wake up for Alex's 8:30 am presentation, I made it and was happy to be there right up front cheering on my hubby.
Alex Presenting at BIMUC

Since I was already hanging out with the conference group, I joined them to see a performance dedicated to mid/high school students at Greig Hall, named after the famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
BIMUC Goes to Grieg Hall

We made our way into what must have been the basement of the hall where hundreds of students were already gathering.
Student Concert at Grieg

Sondre Lerche was the featured musician, who seems to be quite popular here in Norway. He's a great songwriter, and when he stopped the show to break up a fight happening in the audience among the students, I gained a lot of respect for him as an artist.
Sondre Lerche gives Student Concert

We followed with lunch at Macumba Cafe: Social Club..
Macumba Cafe Social Club

... loved the interior design, and the food was equally fabulous!
Macumba Cafe Social Club

The next day of the conference we joined the local Grieg Academy (college) students
for a presentation of traditional Indian music...
Presentation of Indian Musicians

As you can see, we were all very intrigued...
BIMUC Attendees and Grieg Students Listening to Indian Music

Music is one of those things that simply cannot be captured in an image alone, so I took a few video clips of their performance to share with you. The experience in person was very meditative and transcendent, which is hard to capture in a few seconds of video. In any case, click play to watch, and more importantly, listen...

Magne, who is an amazing music educator and innovator as well as the main organizer of this conference, is the person who brought all of these people together to share their music, as well as making it possible for Alex and I to attend.

After the performance, the group received traditional Norwegian fishing hats as a gift... which reminds me... I need to get a picture of Alex in his hat too. ;)
Indian Musicians don their Norwegian Hats

As they were putting their instruments away, I wanted to get a close up of this instrument. The intricacy of the carvings is absolutely amazing.
Traditional Indian Instrument

What I didn't blog about were the other research presentations and interesting ideas from the other conference presenters, but I figured that probably wasn't the most intriguing aspect for my blog readers, so hopefully what I did blog about was interesting to you. ;) If you are interested, and can read Norwegian, you can visit the BIMUC Blog.

Should my next post be about Bergenfest or sightseeing? You decide! Click on the poll below to vote!

Getting to Know Bergen

posted on: April 28, 2007

One of the nice things about traveling internationally for a conference is that we already have a relationship with local people who can introduce us to the best of the city or country we're visiting. Magne & Gisle have been very gracious hosts, especially amidst their responsibilities of running the conference and festival taking over Bergen right now.

The first delightful treat was attending the festival photographer, Paul Bernhard's private opening exhibition of musician's portraits from previous festivals, as well as hearing William Hut perform live on acoustic guitar. What a beautiful voice to hear in such an intimate space.

Paul Bernhard's Portrait Exhibition

William Hut

We followed with a dinner of garlic shrimp and mollusks..

Then we headed to the Logan Theatre for drinks with some of the conference participants...
Downtown Bergen
Logan Theatre Bar

and I wandered around looking for interesting things...
View from Logan Theatre BalconyLooking through the Green Room of the Logan Theatre

Just before we headed back to the hotel, I wanted to grab a snack to balance out the beer we drank and I thought it would be interesting to show you what the prices for some common things are like here in Norway. The USD is about 1/6th NOK... which means a Snicker's bar is about $3 US... when bad food is pricey, it definitely makes dieting easier!

Our First Day in Bergen

posted on: April 26, 2007

As you saw from the previous video, we arrived safely in Bergen on Tuesday. The drive into the city was our first real look at the landscape of Bergen, so of course I took some video to share that experience with you. At the end of the clip, you'll also see our swanky hotel room which has some really interesting features. ;) Click play to watch the video...

Unfortunately, our checked luggage didn't arrive with us in Bergen. I had a sneaky suspicion something was going to happen when we were in Chicago and had to switch airlines. Both Chicago and Amsterdam airports are so large that it would be easy for something to get lost in the mix. Well, since we didn't have a change of clothes (because it was more important to carry on my cameras and our laptops), we took the opportunity to do a little bit of local shopping! Any excuse to shop is fine by me!


The shoe shopping here is to die for! Alex pointed out these green shoes... but I don't need shoes... but I'd really like some green shoes... but I like them both so much I can't decide and I can really only afford one pair!! The mule with the sprial design could be dressy or casual, but I wouldn't be able to work or hike in them. The slide that looks like a leaf would be a great casual shoe and could probably even stay on when hiking, but might not work as a dressy shoe.. but I don't dress up very often. Soo... what do you think I should get? Then the trick will be finding the shoe in my size... which may mean that I end up with neither!

As we were walking through the mall we heard some singing and found this middle school (?) girls choir near the information desk... so I stopped to listen. ;)

Click play to watch a very short excerpt...

To finish off our first day in Bergen, we ate at a local pizza chain called Peppe's.
The pizza was delicious, and very filling for the price, which was the perfect way to finish our first day in Bergen. ;)

Looking out the window of Peppes Pizza
Stars & Stripes Pizza

Trip to Norway

posted on: April 25, 2007

The traveling started around 10:30 am Monday in Terre Haute, Indiana and ended at around 10:30 am Tuesday in Bergen, Norway. Once you factor out the 6 hour time difference, that's about 19 hours of travel... which I've condensed into an 8.5 minute video of various clips. We had connecting flights in Chicago and Amsterdam, which are both HUGE airports - so the video shows a little bit of what it's like getting around those airports. You'll also see for a fraction of a second that our Amsterdam flight departed at 4:20.. too funny, I bet some air traffic controller set that schedule for kicks. You'll also get to see the sunset and sunrise over the clouds of the Atlantic Ocean, the flight attendant who set off an alarm in the Indy airport, Dan acting like a snake, Alex stopping to check out his favorite food, and some arial views of Amsterdam and Bergen.

I want to give a special thank you to Dan who was so generous to take us to the Indy airport in the middle of his workday. Thank you Dan!!!

Click play to watch the youtube video of our Trip to Norway...

Getting Ready for Norway

posted on: April 23, 2007

Since Alex and I have been so busy lately, we've hardly had any time to really talk about what we'll be doing while we're in Norway. The reason for the trip is because my husband is giving a keynote presentation for the Bergen Interactive Music Conference. The conference is also held in conjunction with Bergenfest, an international music festival for indie rock and electronic music. I've been told that I'll have backstage access to the festival, which could lend itself to some pretty interesting photo opportunities. ;)

Here's a little map to show you where in the world we'll be... notice direction #18? Google maps crack me up!

Here's what the weather will be like... looks like I'll need some sweaters and an umbrella...

In order to charge our laptops and camera batteries, we'll need to take our adapter that looks like this...

And here's a video preview of the hotel we'll be staying in for the first week...

I'd say we're pretty ready to go. I had an ambitious list of things I wanted to get done before Norway and even though I put in 80 hours of work this week, I wasn't able to finish them all, so I'm going to try to get some things done while I'm in Norway... but previous travel experiences have taught me that may be an unrealistic expectation as well. If you're waiting for me to finish a project, I thank you so much for your patience and understanding!! Once I get back from this trip I will be able to spend a lot more time completing unfinished projects. My goal is to eventually hire and train someone to take care of the things that I'm really picky about and put the most time into - which is pretty much everything that happens to the images after they are captured in the camera! Unfortunately that won't be able to happen for a while yet since last year's prices were too low to support an additional employee, but it's definitely in the works for the future- especially since it would mean that I could shoot more if I had someone I trusted handling more of the back end that I obsess over.

Keep your eyes open for updates from Norway!! I can't wait to share this trip with you!

Starbucks Gift Card Winner!!

posted on: April 20, 2007

Thank you to everyone who gave me different drink ideas to try (CLICK HERE to check them out)!! I can't wait to taste your delicious concoctions!! This time the winner was chosen at random by closing my eyes, scrolling the responses up and down the screen and blindly placing a finger on the screen to find a winner. I couldn't believe who won, especially since I had JUST blogger her wedding! She must be one of those people who always gets lucky!!

Starbucks Gift Card Winner!
Congratulations Dena!!! Enjoy a few Non-fat Peppermint Mocha No-whips on me!

Keep your eyes open for my next contest- I'm going to find something cool in Norway to give away!! Just remember, my contests are usually tucked away in random posts- that way only my most dedicated blog readers win fun stuff! ;)

Green Podcasts for Earth Day

I just found out about these and I can't wait to explore them further!! Clicking on the image will take you to the page on iTunes.

Lake Bluff Inn Wedding - Dena & Jeff

posted on: April 19, 2007

I had a reeeeally hard time limiting the number of pictures I wanted to put on the blog for Dena & Jeff! They are all so fun!! Dena & Jeff remind me so much of my husband and I - only they're hotter. ;-) They're so laid back, love to make sure everyone is having a good time, and they love to show their love for each other. It made them so easy to photograph!

The day started off with Dena getting her hair & makeup done at the Kerry Mark Salon. Afterward, as she was walking through town to go to the bank, she kept getting stopped by her family and friends who were in town for the wedding. Apparently a lot of guests were in town from Chicago, which is what made me stop and think to take a picture of the Chicago headlines that day.

The wedding and reception were held at the Lake Bluff Inn & Suites in South Haven, MI; which is like a little domestic destination for a wedding. As you approach the hotel, you see this dinosaur sign that really doesn't have anything to do with the inn's name or brand, it just cracked me up!

Dena and Cisco are the best of pals. He goes with her pretty much wherever she goes and he's so well behaved! He did such a great job walking up and down the aisle during the wedding - I could almost feel how proud he was that his mommy was getting married.

I got in the day before the wedding to attend the rehearsal, meet Dena & Jeff, and just to get a feel for the location and the people that I'd be photographing on the wedding day. So, Dena & Jeff had planned this great bonfire with smores and all sorts of drinks for the guests who were already at the Inn and about 30 minutes into the bonfire it started pouring... and I mean HARD! We took shelter in the recreation room for a while but it never really seemed to let up. Quite a few people were worried about the rain pouring on the wedding the next day, and about the tent getting set up over wet grass. Well, it did rain a bit on the morning of the wedding, but once again, the skies cleared just before Dena wanted to head to the beach for some portraits of her and her girls! She was so happy to see the sun come out, but even more excited to be getting married that day! I couldn't have asked for a happier bride!

After spending time with the girls, it was time to hang out with the guys for some pre-ceremony portraits. I'm always on the look-out for unexpected moments when I'm doing portraits, and I think that groomsmen often underestimate how quick I am when they pull their stunts!!

Dena & Jeff chose to have live musicians for their ceremony and reception and I have to say that their banjo/fiddle player was awesome... and fun to photograph! Check out what's written on his banjo...

One of the things I love about outdoor ceremonies is that I can get angles and moments that I normally can't get under church restrictions. Dena's dad cried pretty much all the way down the aisle with her, which of course made me start crying along with a bunch of other people (thank goodness for auto-focus!) In this moment you can see the dichotomy of happiness and sadness in his face as he gives his youngest daughter away to the man of her dreams. (Darnit.. he's making me cry again!!)

They had this neat idea of using sand from the beach near the Inn, but due to the rain, the sand was all wet, which made the whole pouring sand from two vases into one a bit of challenge! There's actually a pretty funny sequence of pictures that goes along with this of Dena pounding the sand out of her vase and then helping Jeff with his, but I think this one sums it up...

I love it when adults aren't afraid to be kids again!!

It was a pretty windy day along the lake, but all of that wind helped to move the storm out of the way for the wedding, so I wasn't complaining!

How incredibly cute is their cake?!? They even included Cisco!!

There were so many wonderful personal details in their wedding that I could take up a ton of pages just posting details, so rather than doing that, I'll just send you to the image gallery on flickr where you can see all of the fun details!

Prankster & Photographer... a kid after my own heart. ;)

I just love cake cuttings!! I never know what's going to happen, but I'm always ready!! This was the first time I had ever seen two people eat off of the same serving knife! Thumbs up to Dena & Jeff for trying something different!

These two could really dance!!! They could also really fall gracefully....

There are sooo many more pictures that I didn't post here but are in the slideshow. Dena & Jeff - I'm so grateful that you allowed me to share a little slice of your life with you!! You have no idea how much your energy and enthusiasm are infectious!! I can only hope that I was able to capture some fraction of that energy in the images of your wedding day!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!

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