Friday, September 19, 2014

No birthday if not tango-birthday

Last week was my birthday. I've never been specially excited for my birthday celebrations. This time also - just some foggy feeling of alertness, like you wait every moment someone to enter the door and to bring good news. Know that feeling?

But that is not the point of my post. What I noticed is that, that feeling of alertness is much smaller in comparison to 27 february, which I celebrate as my tango birthday. To some people it might seem funny, but I know exactly when and where it happened. And I know it happened around 23h that evening.

Yes, people should chose what day to celebrate as their birthday. To chose something that make them feel alive, and to celebrate the day when they started to do that. Because when you start to feel alive, that is the point when you are born. And for me it was when I started to dance tango.

Friday, September 12, 2014

DJ-ing on Linux - my first impressions

DJ-ing on Linux works better than Windows
As I promised, I write today about my first impressions of using Linux - how it effects my work on DJ-ing and organising my music library. Well, I'll organize what I have to tell in few short notes:

1. Mint is very elegant - Whatever I do, I want nice ambient, and the Linux distribution I am using called Linux Mint offers me just that (its tagline is "from freedom came elegance"). The theme I am using reminds a bit of Mac OS, but what is important to me is its simplicity - as you may noticed from the design of this blog, I prefer simplicity. For me less is really more.

2. Apps work just fine - The biggest concern I had about Linux is its usability as a primary working environment. Would I find all applications I need to do my job? Untill now, I have all I need. In Windows I used Foobar 2000, here VLC is player prefect for the job I need. The default file browser is perfect for checking music and I set Audacious to work on my external sound card to listen to the tracks before I play them. It works just fine. VLC has very good sound adjusting options and good equalizer.

Even before Linux I used Audacity to edit tracks and prepare cortinas - so this is perfect solution for me. I regret only that I wont be able to install Sound Forge and to learn to use it, since I've seen my radio technician made miracles with damaged tango tracks.

Downside is also that I will have to learn Gimp, photo editor - all these years I got used to Photoshop.

3. Sound is perfect - I cant really talk about sound quality because, first, I don't think I have enough qualifications, and second, I changed my laptop. But, as I know the quality of the sound depends mainly on the hardware. I already played 3 times (on one international event, and 2 times on my milonga) on my new laptop on Linux and I can say the sound is perfect. I give credit for that mainly on the busted sound attributes on the model of laptop I chose.

4. Rock solid - What I feel really good about is reliability. The system and applications are rock solid. No crashes until now. I experimented with many applications, and didn't had problem.

The applications are also set to give you exactly what you need - I mean the chance on accidental clicks are almost zero, thing which happened to me in few occasions on milongas; I also saw other Tango DJs have problems with this, and its very embarrassing to interrupt tanda just because DJ accidentally clicked where he/she shouldn't.

Overal impression is that the changing from Windows to Linux is step forward. I feel more stability and better sound comes from my sets, and I work in simpler and more elegant environment.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Supermarket códigos

What a huge topic I am starting today! This is just the tip of the iceberg. I will start today with what I call "supermarket effect". Since about this topic I will talk in more posts in the future, I wont enter in detailed descriptions - just this: it is when men in milongas act like they are in the supermarket and they go around to pick up girls for dance as a customers with a basket, as girls are passive objects on the shelves. Said that, I want to notice - this practice has nothing to do with cabeceo.

I gave this short introduction just to prepare you - I was being sarcastic when I wrote those rules. I had to do it becouse many men really follow this list of instructions.

So, the "supermarket códigos":

1. man should stand when he invites. This way he shows that he is a man of action. No-one notices a sitting man. Sitting on your chair means you don't want to dance

2. men should move around to search for their favorite dancers. The organizer have to make possible for the men to invite from every point in the venue

3. if cabeceo from distance doesn't works, you never go directly to invite. Simply sit near to the lady (you probably know her from before) and talk to her. After five minutes chat she is ready to dance with you

4. be aware of the inviting points. Milongas usually have inviting points, standing there around other men who go there to invite means you are available, ladies usually looks towards inviting points. When you are standing at the inviting point try to be in the front row, this increases your chances

5. it is always good to have a lots of ladies friends with whom you dance. Your social skills are the key factor in arranging dances, we dance social tango don't we?

A new post? Oh finaly!

Its not that I don't have what to tell, nor that I have lack of time to write... Its just I don't feel "the itch" on my fingers to write down what I want to say and to click publish. For some things I believe the best way is to let them ferment, and after a period they will get on the surface - one way or the other. When I started this blog I was aware of this, so I didn't made any promises.

What happened in the meanwhile? I have little more experience from the encuentro world, learned some very important things about musicality and, of course - for me very important, I bught a new laptop, said goodbye to Windows and transfered completely on Linux. I promise you new post about my first experience in DJing on Linux.

... So, see you next post!

Monday, January 20, 2014

There is no disputing about tastes

Hugs and friends and gentle music... One could very easily believe that writing about tango is idyllic project. Its not! It can be very stressful and very dangerous activity, and tango bloggers and activists should be honored and protected for what they do. How come? Well, as I told you in my post about "Tango and chaos", people react and comment publicly and more often behind the back, and you should have very very big balls to tell people the truth in their face. Sometimes this, having big balls, could be named being stupid, but, some of us have this superpower called stupidity, like it or not.

I am speaking now about how dangerous is to comment about what people prefer in tango, about tastes and about styles. I tough that those Latin people when they said "De gustibus non est disputandum" (In matters of taste, there can be no disputes) were very wrong. For what should we dispute if not for the tastes? Hm, maybe I was wrong. Let me in the following sentences explain why.

See, the taste could be defined as a pattern on which we chose things in life, normaly when we have more options to chose from. Being so, the taste defines the core of what our personality is. Denying or criticizing the taste is perceived as attack on ones personality and it is in most cases very bitterly defended. Being criticizer and attacking someone's taste can get you in a lots of troubles.

Maybe this is the reason why people have the impression that there is a lot of ego involved in the tango world; maybe its because in tango most of the things are connected with subjectivity and the taste; with choices and personality.

But, fortunately there are some objective criteria by which we can judge and we can use them to make difference. The taste is pattern of choosing in the case when we have options - but there are situations where we don't have options to chose from. This means, we must do it, because otherwise it will not work.

Let me not speak abstract - let me use example - lets say this: man in tango must not close his eyes, not because I don't like it, not because it is my taste, but for very practical reason: because if he does that, he will bump in to the wall or with the other dancers on the flor.

It is that simple. But it will get more complicated... and more dangerous also.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bringing order, or the story of my first tango manual "Tango and chaos"

Writing a website containing the word "chaos" in the title is probably writing about order. Considering something chaos or chaotic is having perspective of someone who demands order. So... what the site "Tango and chaos" is about? It is about bringing order. At least for me.

When I began to learn to dance, I could hardly find someone eloquent enough to call him my teacher. The very few experienced dancers here in Skopje were not willing enough, nor capable to teach me to dance (ofcourse they helped me the way they knew and I am thankfull). From this perspective, I am very happy that they were not: I found myself in a situation to teach myself, I went just to a few workshops and private classes with guests teachers, and after that I set my self on a crusade on internet: found loads of websites and watched tons of videos.

And yeah... I discovered "Tango and chaos". It brought order to my mind tortured with a lots of, sometimes totaly oposite, aproaches. After reading just a few pages, I knew I found what I wanted to find - the site guided me and I finaly understood why it was chaos in my head. Noone teaches the begginiers those things which you can find there, but they are the basic on what one should build - not watching videos of Chicho and Arce, not learning steps from Osvaldo Zotto and Mora Godoy...

This is why you can find "Tango and chaos" in the links on my sidebar. If tango means something for you, for God sake, pls read it. It will make things clearer for you.

The word "chaos" in the title is not about tango, perhaps - but it fits very good in the story I told here in this post.

The site author is an American guy - Rick McGarrey married to Argentinian Alejandra Todaro. Watch them dancing in Lo de Celia in Buenos Aires (Rick is bald tall guy with glasses). Notice: pls read the comments under the video - it is a very interesting topic for some of my next posts: how dangerous is to write openly and honestly about tango and why?

Hello world!

Oh, what a joy! I always feel great and enthusiastic whenever I have fresh start with something. The same was with tango. As the most of the beginners, when I started to learn to dance I had no idea what am I involving myself in to. I have no idea with this blog also.

Let me be honest: I love blogging and I love writing. Back in the 2005, when I opened my first blog, I was one of the few bloggers here in Macedonia. Together we felt we are making some kind of history. As long as writing is concerned, I have on my shoulders years and years of work as a journalist and editor of national daily newspapers. If I go back further, I loved to write poetry and reviews for poetry books for the student newspapers. I wrote for portals, worked as PR... And this makes me relaxed - I think I know how to do this and I can sit back and finally tell to the world all that I wanted to tell about tango for a long time.

Ah, I almost forgot... Only problem could be the fact that I never used to write in English. But I'll get use to it, and you will get use to my fifth-grade-pupil-english-level writing :) I hope I'll improve in time.

Before you begin to read this and follow this blog, I would warmly recommend to read the "Start here" or "About" page, where you can find some useful things that will give you proper introduction to what you are about to read. Enjoy!

I remember in the old days, when we used to open new blogs... the first ready-made post was named "Hello world"... well - Hello!