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Topics - Nikolas

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1
Hello!

I need your help and your brainstorming powers! I hope you can help...

I have a big project (as a music publisher) which involves 13 composers, graded (in terms of difficulty) works for solo piano, comes in 5 volumes (each one for a different difficulty level) and is titled "Mosaic".

That said, I'm completely out of ideas for the cover. I had this idea of a poster of the insides of a piano, with creatures working on the strings, and cut into 6 parts to involve the 5 covers, plus some empty space, but none of the composers like it.



The problem with this cover is that it's too descriptive (otherwise it's wonderful). In the volumes we have works about traffic jams, keys, lullabies, etc, none of which involve little humanoid creatures. Plus the older kids (top, left side) might be turned off by the aesthetics.

So, do you have any ideas about the covers? 5 covers in total, to be somehow connected (doesn't have to make up a bigger picture, like a puzzle of sorts, but it was a nice idea) and overall rather abstract, as it's beginning to look that it's the best idea.

Help?

2
General Discussion / help me stay in touch with my kids!
« on: 27 May 2016, 17:51 »
You know... this forum has been my homepage for a decade now... And there are lot of old members, who might remember me as a guy semi-obsessed with his kids, always a parent first, etc...

Well... times change and unfortunately I'm getting a divorce. But if life was that simple, things would be easy! ;D

Problem is that the wife and the two kids (aged 10 and 12) live in Kuwait, while I live in London now! This means something like 3,500 miles distance, a 6 hour, expensive flight, and problems all round. Add to that a rather restrictive divorce and you get the shity situation I'm in.

So, I come here asking for ideas.

Right now they are too young to be browsing the Internet, but they do have Internet access, of course (Even if a little restrictive due to Kuwait itself). I was thinking that perhaps I could organize various online games for them, like searching for clues which will lead them to the next page, etc... Like a sort of real life adventure(s). That I could guide them to learn things and do stuff with me being the "Dungeon Master" sort of... They have been on the nice side of the Internet for a rather long time, and they have heard a numerous times about the dangers of it.

So, do you have any ideas?

Do you think it's safe to start doing that? I could certainly wait a year or two, until they are older, but still...

3
Heh,

I'm not sure on where else to turn to. Of course the gen gen talk is not exactly the place, but I figured I should start here and see how it goes....

So...

I'm looking for a coder, in order, firstly, to discuss a few ideas and possibilities (cause I'm basically clueless) and then to sit down and do business, if things are as I think they should be.

Here's the basic premise of the project I have in mind:

Quote from: MYSELF
I hope to publish next year a collection of works for solo piano + recording accompaniment (orchestral). For example listen here: https://soundcloud.com/editions-musica-ferrum/for-maggie

The idea is that the student will play the solo piano and the recording will be playing the rest of the orchestra.

The composing, recording, publishing, promoting and marketing part is ok. But just handing out the recording as an mp3 is the silliest and most useless way I could think of going ahead with this. Thus I thought that maybe I can create a custom software solution.

The goal of the software would be, ultimately, to be a playback machine with a set playlist (so not playing everything), but with a few added elements. The firstmost importance in this would be to be able and alter the playback speed in real time (through a slider/knob) and also have a second layer, a metronome, which can be turned on and off, by the user.

So the first question is: How difficult is it to build something like this? Reason I'm going for a custom made software is that I find that most public are a little too slow and if a publication is based on something like this, I should hand out as much information in the easiest form possible for them.

The second question is: Assuming it's easy (and cheap) enough to build it for windows, how difficult would it be to port it to iOS, android and iphone based tables and phones?
Quote

Extra note: Obviously using VLC (for example) can pull most of this off (with the exception of the metronome), but asking a paying client to download a new software online, get the right file, then go to the menu and find the right staff to click seems an overload of information which is not the best of ideas. But maybe VLC being open sourced could help in the process?

Thanks! ^_^

4
General Discussion / Parental monitor? Good or bad?
« on: 28 Oct 2015, 10:37 »
I grew up with no Internet and when I found myself on the net, I was on a unix machine in my uni, so there wasn't really any chance to do anything bad. By the time I had my own connection, I was 25 or so, which is when I found AGS (btw) and you guys taught me everything there is to know about the net pretty much.

Fast forward quite a few years: My boys are now 10 and 11 years old and as such they do have their own laptop and their own tablets.

___________________________________
A necessary sidenote: For the past 3 years I was raising my kids alone, since my wife was working abroad. This year, starting in August, the kids moved with their mother in Kuwait (!!) and I moved to London (welcome me back everyone). I should also note that my wife knows VERY little about computers. This means that I had my eye on my kids for the past three years and I'm sure I did an excellent job (!!!) raising them, but now that's done... This also means that my kids NEED the tablets and laptops to keep in touch with me, their friends, etc... So there's no way around that! Plus my older son (almost 12) is on year 7, which means that he's in sort of a 'high school' which requires the use of a laptop.
___________________________________

In any case I do understand their need for certain stuff on the net, including games, porn, etc, but I'd like to keep an eye on what's happening. In fact both their tablets are linked to one of my emails (android) in which case I get to see their searches (they haven't figured that out yet). So that's settled.

BUT,

Should I install some kid monitor software on their laptops and their tablets? I mean porn is totally (1005) prohibited in Kuwait, so unless they go searching on "how to make a bomb" I don't think there's much wrong to be found (then again you never know).

So..

Advice? Links? Thoughts? All are welcome!

5
General Discussion / translation German to English?
« on: 15 Oct 2015, 21:45 »
Hi,

I have this 6 page text in German that I need translated in English. I don't mind the exact English language, as I (And my proof readers) will fix it, but google or babel are doing a VERY poor job, so I have to ask a human to do it! :D

Is anyone up for the job? It's not paid (too strain at the moment and in London), but I can send over the score when printed (in a month or so).

Anyone interested? Please catch me on email at nikolas@musica-ferrum.com

Nikolas

6
General Discussion / My problem with amazon.com
« on: 18 Sep 2015, 13:07 »
Well...

I feel the need for a few kind ears and a few thoughts... Apparently the bigbluecup forums always have those people willing to help, so...

About a couple of years ago, I was trying really hard to find a way to sell easier in the US, and decided to use amazon.com. FBA (Fullfilled by Amazon) is a brilliant service if you're selling rather well.

Unfortunately for me it doesn't really work, cause the scores I have there don't really sell (anymore). The problems:
  • It takes around $40 each month for warehousing
  • It takes another $100 roughly for old items (all of which are old now)
  • I CANNOT take the scores back (I can only do that if in the UK

I've tried doing a sale before, but it didn't really work, since it's the new music scores people are after.

So, I figured that I could either do a ridiculous sale (like 80% off), or I could lower the prices myself to $1 each score and buy them all off amazon, thus having them returned to me. At least those scores which I'd like to have, cause for the others I'm fine, I have plenty of copies to go around.

Thoughts about this? I doubt it's illegal, but is it allowed? Won't amazon complain? Or any other idea on what to do with the amazon scores stocked there? (it's around 300 in total, so quite a lot, including older versions, now obsolete, etc).

7
Critics' Lounge / Font critic in text
« on: 11 Jan 2015, 15:02 »
https://www.scribd.com/doc/252026300/Beauty-and-Hope-Inner-Text

In the above link you'll find the same text written in 7 different fonts. This is pretty much the finished (corrections to be made) text for my kickstarter project, and it will be printed in 300 dpi, in the beginning of the score (the inner text, as a preface of some sort).

Apart from the who's which should've been whose and a few other English problems, which font do you prefer (which page)? Do you have an alternative on the font to use, perhaps? Should it be formatted as it is (both ends perfectly aligned, like a newspaper column)?

Thanks! ^_^

8
EDIT: Found someone! Many thanks to all! :)

Hi all,

I'm looking for someone to create an illustration for one of the music scores that I'm publishing.

The title of the work is "Fairyland in Treble" (Treble is the clef used for the upper voices). The music score contains, apart from the music, 11 short fairytales with various funny stories... "Fifi on the moon", "The Duke and the Cook", "Dreams", etc...

So I was hoping to have a lovely (B&W or colour) illustration for the cover, along with the title, composer's name, logo of the publishing house, etc...

Would anyone be willing to give this a go?

PM me, or post here.

Nikolas

9
General Discussion / finally I'm on kickstarter!
« on: 04 Feb 2014, 08:11 »
You might remember me talking about kickstarter, checking logos and asking lots of questions. Well here's the result:

Beauty & Hope in the 21st century


The image is clickable and leads to the kickstarter campaign

At last I can reveal everything. In fact the video in the kickstarter page will reveal it for me. I went to all this trouble shooting and editing the video, so it's worth it!

As, you might expect, with a rather large sum of money requested (£10,000) I'm inclined to ask for help everywhere! Including my homepage for the last 8 years!

But, I can promise you these:
  • The project WILL happen no matter what. The publishing house has published more than 60 titles thus far and there's no reason for this one to fail.
  • Everything in this project will be of great quality. I can personally guarantee that!
  • It will be a very interesting CD, score, artbook, whatever to hold once it's done. I have seen the various parts of the scores coming in and I know that the end result will be most satisfactory

So,

If you're into classical music, piano, sketch illustrations or... me... then go ahead! And, please, spread the news everywhere you can.

Nikolas

PS. I just launched a couple of hours ago, thus the £0 at this moment.

10
Critics' Lounge / once more feedback for a logo please
« on: 08 Jan 2014, 20:28 »
Hi all,

I'm almost ready to start a kickstarter campaign for a project titled "Beauty & Hope in the 21st century".

So I've called my graphic designer, to ask her to make me a logo for this project. Something that can be used in a banner, as a title in the CD, in the music score, etc.

And she sent back quite a few attempts (most done in a hurry is my guess). So I'm posting them in need for feedback.



I feel that the "classical" ones (like the very last one (bottom right side) is not too suitable for the project.

Any comments, please?

11
Hi,

I'm never certain which forum is the right one to post something like this, but this is not adventure related, so...

As you may know I have a publishing house (www.musica-ferrum.com) which is doing quite good. As such we have a book presentation next Tuesday (in 6 days) and I need to make a poster.

But my abilities failed me and my lack of time is killing me.

So I thought that perhaps one of you graphically inclined people would be willing to help out. I can provide several graphic files (photos of people, jpg of a music score, the logos of the companies involved) as we as the Greek text that needs to be in, with an English translation.

I can't pay anything, due to lack of funds at the moment but if you are musically inclined as well, perhaps I can send over any of our scores for free: http://www.musica-ferrum.com/catalog.php
or the recording found here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/nikolassideris

I'm also including a link to the current (awful in all honesty) poster: www.nikolas-sideris.com/AGS/ianosred.pdf

Any helpers out there? There's a strict deadline (like in "TODAY"), so I know I'm pushing it, but still... :-/

Thank you for reading...

12
In less than 24 hours I'm flying out of Athens, into Istanbul, then Houston and then Dallas, to be picked up by a friend and festival organizer, Paul Poston. In less than a week I will attend, and perform in a recital. Details on the poster and in this facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/146833882173731/



Admission's free, music's fun, you'll get to meet me in person and watch me perform live my own work Piano Stories which is the last in the program.

You can also listen to it here:



I know that it's not exactly the right forum, but I know some of you so well, and perhaps there's a chance to meet up so... :)

13
General Discussion / kickstarter? Experience anyone?
« on: 13 Apr 2013, 22:49 »
So,

I have this very solid idea: To make a full CD and DVD with my piano music. All is ok and I know I can do it. I also know that my music is fine and can be commercial (after winning a 1st award in an International Composition Competition and getting some radio time)...

So...

I was  thinking that I could do some fundraising. I've thought of the various prizes for those who offer in (actually I've though of ten of them), I have the various material to use (the planned CD and DVD, the scores, signed scores, signed CDs and DVDs, etc)... The money I'm requesting is not huge for such a production and I've got idea on what to do with the extra money.

I'm thinking of asking for 5,000$. This would go to:
  • The pianist
  • The recording studio
  • The graphic designer
  • The mixing and mastering services
  • The making of the video services
  • The manufacturing of the CDs and DVDs
  • The manufacturing of the scores
  • other

So the money is perfectly justified.

The pledges offered are cheaper than the corresponding items you get. For example if you are to give 70$ you get the physical CD, the physical DVD and all the scores used for the recording (each score is roughly 15-20$, and the CD and DVD would be around 35$). Higher pledgers get signatures and individual items which can't be priced, so it doesn't make much sense in that...

It's almost impossible to not deliver, considering that I've published almost 50 scores right now (thus publishing is what I do) and I've recorded so much music that it's ok.

Worried and problems

I'm worried with a couple of things:

1. The not reaching the goal. While I don't think it's too high a goal, there's always that worry. In any case it's an experiment that can fail.

2. But it can very well backfire. Considering that the publishing house is doing quite well, it would seem weird to be crowd funding. Or not? I can't take this as an individual, nor it needs to look like I'm in need of money, and for me kickstarter is not about that. But it's not about just a pre-sale either, is it?

3. Most importantly. I don't think I've ever hit a too high number of views on a youtube video. I mean the competition work, that got shared a few times around and was emailed to many people, got around 1200 views so far (in three weeks or so). If I get around 1000 views on a youtube video, can I expect 500 people to pay money?

I don't know if the above make sense, but perhaps there's a serious discussion that can happen here...

14
General Discussion / Do I use the same artist or not?
« on: 19 Feb 2013, 10:18 »
Ok.

So I have this dilemma and think that it deserves its own thread...

I've been publishing music scores for the past year or so. On two occasions, of my own works, I've hired a great artist, who did a brilliant job. Amazing job! You can check examples of the illustrations he did in the following two pages:
http://www.musica-ferrum.com/catalog/viewitem.php?show=47
and
http://www.musica-ferrum.com/catalog/viewitem.php?show=4

Now...

I'm about to publish 3 works from two other composers. And I'm hesitant to reuse the same artist. For no other reason, but to add recognisability to the different scores from different composers. Because my artists work is VERY recognisable and unique, I think...

So, without any other complaint, should I contact him, or not?

_____________________

BTW, if you feel you'd like to offer yourselves for the job bellow, by all means email me, or PM me:

Quote
We're looking for an artist to illustrate 7 works for solo piano. The score (like the ones above) has empty spaces above the score, and there's enough space to add your B&W (Grayscale that is) sketches.

The titles are quite descriptive: Moving clouds, Humoresque, Self portrait, Fairy Tale, etc So I'd imagine that it would be somewhat easy to come up with the composition.

It is a paid job, but the fee is to be discussed in private.

Deadline is the middle of April (so a couple of months from now, which should be plenty of time I hope).

You will be getting your payment through paypal, or wire transfer (but for that I need IBAN, Address details, etc). You will also be getting a copy of the score for your archives.

The score WILL be published, with its own unique ISMN number, and printed professionally.

15
General Discussion / Piano Stories released...
« on: 24 Jan 2013, 08:12 »
After bugging you about the videos, about the recordings, about the CD Cover, etc... I guess it's high time I also present the finished product (<-ugly word for music, but...).

Piano Stories For Piano, 4 hands

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE CDBABY PAGE

You probably have seen the CDCover, but in any case here it is once again (for good measure of aesthetics):


So a few words about this project.

Quote from: The magnificent me!
This is a project that's been released very recently, but some of the works in here date from the late 90s actually! Especially A rather innocent Incubus and How to live in an underground home are the oldest and both have been used in other forms in computer games, or theatrical plays... Other tunes are brand new completed in 2012. However, all the works in this album have been reworked, enhanced and orchestrated in order to work best for 2 pianist in a single piano! And the result is quite lovely, if I am to be honest... Me and Myrto Akrivou (the other pianist) agreed to also video tape ourselves while recording and this was a good thing, since I'm now able to offer a few youtube videos from the recording session, along with the art of Piero Pierini who is the artist who made the CD Cover, but also all the illustrations in the score

As promised now, here are the three youtube videos (and currently working on the 4th):

[embed=425,349]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2vQ72XYVmQ[/embed]

[embed=425,349]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG1_I5QXNkE[/embed]

[embed=425,349]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsdvCIwmJLQ[/embed]

Thanks for reading and enjoy...

16
Critics' Lounge / CD cover opinions please?
« on: 17 Jan 2013, 05:44 »
What do you think of these four? The illustration is part of the score itself, so it's fine... and makes sense, in an inner kind of way.









or perhaps any of these: www.nikolas-sideris.com/AGS/CD_ferrum.pdf (the text in the PDF is not correct, but can be corrected very easily of course... It's "Piano Stories' rather than "Sketch Music'...)

Comments and feedback please?

17
Recruitment / [Help Wanted] Video Editing help
« on: 11 Jan 2013, 07:50 »
*ahem*...

Well... Here's the info (and facts):

1. There's some 20 GB of video material, from 3 cameras.
2. There's 16 sketches (illustrations) in B&W.
3. There's a single audio file (from 7 movements, so 7 works in one file) which lasts 15:35 or so...
4. There's a few things I want to say with this video (in terms of text).
5. There's also the score it self which could be used streaming from right to left or something in 50% opacity...

So I want to make a video lasting 16 minutes roughly, with the text in, like a sort of a silent documentary (as in no talk), and the music playing in the back. As a sort of a promotional video for the music. The score is already for sale, the music has been mastered, and the video have been timed and are 'alright' (two out of the three cameras. The third camera is crappy).

Anyone care to discuss this a bit further? mods? Someone else?

I fear that I'm not exactly good at editing video, plus I have so many other things to do that I wouldn't be able to devote some decent time in such a project. But I think that it's very much needed for the promotion of the score and the audio (should be a recording available soon in CDBaby, itunes, amazon, etc)...

Pm me, or post here, or email me (most should know what my email is by now), or skype me at 'nikolasideris' or whatever else...

Thanks

18
General Discussion / ...oh to sell digital recordings...
« on: 20 Dec 2012, 07:40 »
Well,

It's kinda for critics, but the link cannot go public, so I thought it better to post here...

A couple of things:

1. Just finished (eg. mastered) a recording of 16 minutes for piano duet (2 pianists, single piano). The performance is fine as far as I'm concerned, but I'm not overly happy with the current state of the sound.

So, if one feels 'proficient' enough in sounds (considering it's classical music) then let me know so I can send you privately the link.

2. The 16 minute recording is actually a set of 7 works. And I want to start selling them off itunes, amazon and the such. In digital format, at first and then if there's enough interest, perhaps in CD format as well, along with other works, of course.

But pricing is an issue. If general tracks of 3-5 minutes are priced at 1$ (0.90$?!?!) then how can I price tracks that are less than 2 minutes long (some) and roughly 3 minutes at most? How should I price an album which lasts 16 minutes, and consists of 7 tracks?

It's not pop music, it's classical, but I'm having some difficulties on that, exactly because of the peculiarity in the length of the works...

Thoughts?

(PS. Rant on itunes: It only works on Mac... Otherwise you have to get a middleman. grrr...)

19
Critics' Lounge / help on website layout, on downloads...
« on: 24 Nov 2012, 06:24 »
Hi all,

I'm in need of some help and feedback here...

THE IDEA

I have a work for piano, 4 hands. This means two pianists in the same piano. The score is currently in the press.

So I want to offer to the each buyer the chance to be able to download the SOLO parts, as audio files, for practice reasons. Because the work is for 2 pianist, someone may want to play along with a recording...

Problem is that there's a total of 7 works (so 14 parts, 2 for each work), and in addition I'd like to offer zip files of the whole lot and for each pianist (primo and secondo). So a total of 17 works!!!!

The problem

The problem is that my customers are piano performers, usually not so literate with the Internet and downloads, etc. So I'm trying to find what's the best way to offer all the downloads in a single page... A solution that won't cause any confusion or any kind of conflict for pianists... ;)

My solution
Involves what you see bellow. The aesthetics will NOT be white, of course, but according to our website at www.musica-ferrum.com

So...



Anything bellow, and including the 'ALL FILES' is a clickable link, linking to a zip file (not an mp3, because some may open up on their browser and they won't know how to download them)...

Is it clear? I think that the ALL FILES and Secondo Primo are not clear that they are downloads... So the common user will only see 14 files, instead of the 17 I want... :-/

Ideas?

20
Hello all,

I have a music publishing house. And a lovely logo which works great



Now, I've been making videos of scores, for the past year or so, and I'm working on new ones constantly. And thus far I've had this extremely simple method of fading in/out the logo and then starting the music (as per here:
and any other video on our channel).

But I'd like to find a way to show off a little and animate this little logo. The animation should last no more than a couple of seconds at most and I would be providing the stab/jibe for the logo appearance.

This gig is slightly paid, so:

  • Post here or in a PM
  • show examples if you want
  • Share the idea you may have on what could happen in a couple of secs and if you can do that
  • Quote me a fee and a method of payment (though I'm assuming that it will either be wire transfer, or paypal, both of which are fine by me.
  • Keep in mind that OF COURSE I have the logo in high quality format! ;)


If you feel inclined apart from posting here or PMing me, contact me on nikolas *AT* musica-ferrum *DOT* com, or even add me on skype: 'nikolasideris'.

Thank you all,

Nikolas[/list]

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