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Australia Photos 1

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In no particular order...
A small explaination of each photo is included. You would think I have a lot of free time on my hands. (Also, there are a few photos on the "Cronicles Two" page. Just a few.)


Saron I, Gamelan Ensemble

This was before a rehearsal, so there isn't anyone playing along with me. I hope to get some good pictures of the concert in September; they say they have outfits for us all to wear as well. This particular instrument is a Saron, which plays the melodic role. I don't actually perform on this instrument (all our pieces and parts have been selected for the concert already.)

Bonang, Gamelan Ensemble
THIS is my instrument. Each of the pots are tuned to a scale matching the saron and other instruments of the ensemble; the bonang usually has the role of harmonic support. It is not low enough to establish harmony, and since it is higher in register the notes don't ring as long and it can be played using quicker rhythms. It's probably my favorite part: it reminds me of playing piano in the Zvooks.
Monash Instrument Museum
Monash claims to have the first and finest ethnomusicology department in the country. I am yet to be impressed by the classes the department offers, but the collection of instruments is really amazing. The cove this picture shows is a few oriental instruments: above my head is a koto and shimasen from Japan, and on the lower shelf is a set of bamboo pot-flutes from China that I can't fathom how to get sound out of. Interestingly, the next cove over held a set of gamelan instruments made in a WWII concentration camp-- Indonesians held in Australia (I don't know the full story.) The set was made from tuned soup bowls and axe picks. Truly remarkable (but I don't have a picture of it yet.)
Melbourne Arts Complex
This building is probably Melbourne's most recognizable landmark, sadly. It is the Arts Complex, and as far as I know only theatre is performed there. The Melbourne Symphony (my opinion of which I will not share) doesn't have a central performance venue but travels throughout the city for each of its concerts. This erector-set tower serves no function but looks pretty nice.
Mike Keno, Dave, and Victoria Bitter
Mike and Dave are brothers which I met through school. This night we were out to see a latin jazz ensemble perform at a club. The band is really, really, really good, but the girl dancers from the audience are even better. Victoria Bitter is the Miller Lite of Melbourne, which more or less describes its taste. This bottle I am showing off was my first and last VB. (No one here drinks Fosters, in case you were wondering.)
Ed's 21st Birthday Party
... but I don't have any pictures of Ed! I met these girls that night also. Since then I've even learned their names, Anna and Carla. These girls could drink any of us under the table. After taking the picture with my little digital camera, they both made me swear to erase it. So of course I put it up on the World Wide Web. I plan to tell them about it too.
Footy Fans
Also all friends and family of Ed, this was the lot I went with to the Aussie Rules Football match. The guy on the far right is Ben, another American actually, who didn't say a word the entire night; better than the opposite, I say. This group of people swears more than anyone else I have ever known. Anthony Abbinati has nothing on these guys.
Me & Footy, Maybe
Although it looks like I've been Photoshopped into this pic, truthfully I was there. Although it's a little blurry, that's what the football (or modified cricket) field looks like. This stadium is almost right downtown, so in the background is the Melbourne skyline, although you can't see it really clearly. I'm sure I'll have some other shots of it soon. (side note: my little digital camera is small enough to keep in my pocket at all times, which is nice when there is something unexpected that would be good to get a picture of. However, the flash is overly bright, and therefore almost everyone in every picture has red-eye.)
Kat's 21st Birthday Party
I should have realized that half the people coming to a Alice In Wonderland party were going to be the Mad Hatter; Fiona (see the photo on the Cronicles Two page) did as well. Steve dressed as Lewis Carroll and Kara (who I don't know well) was the White Rabbit.
Dancing Night
This photo is up here for Nikki. I have no idea who these people are. Unlike Chicago, anyway, everyone who goes to a dance club actually dances, so the entire place is hopping. I found a place that actually caters to my older-school dancing tastes, and I have gone several times already. This night I hung out with these people all night, and when we split for the night I felt as close to them as any of my friends from Monash, except that I never once got their names. Maybe they'll be there next time.
Typical Weather (and my Typical Sentiment Toward It)
In theory you could see all of Melbourne in this shot. Not quite. This was at the top of the Dandenong Ranges. They really know how to name things around here, though. Also nearby is the town of Mittagong and further north is Tittibong. Tittibong. Come on, seriously, folks.
Kookaburra Sighting
Steve and I shared the same reaction, him because he got to see one and take a few photos, me because I listened to it laugh and got chills up and down my spine. He just sat there in the rain and let us take a bunch of picutres. You can listen to him from the link on the other page, too.
Steve and Ryan at The Cuckoo
I think it's Steve's smile that makes this photo. The Cuckoo was certainly the tourist's delight. All the serving girls were forced to wear dresses like the one in this photo, and all the men, leiderhosen. They only had imported German beers (to their credit), and a live polka band was going to play later that evening (alas we couldn't stay!) (And not to mention the 'Largest Cuckoo Clock in the World"-- I got a photo of it, but there isn't room on this webpage for it. Sorry folks.) Also, the restaurant easily seated 600 or 700 people, and they said we had to clear out early because they were entirely booked for the night! I can't even fathom the ruckus that 700 Australians and polka would make.
Music Building, Monash Campus
It is as bland as it looks. Only a few windows on either side of the building, and that poor, lonely tree that I never noticed until this photograph. I am facing the major auditorium on campus, though rarely does the school of music get to use it for concerts. This weekend is the Wind Symphony concert, of which they say the crowd for won't fill half the small music auditorium. Considering the music we're playing, no wonder.