Celebrate the Arts in you!

Apple Event Summary

Here’s a brief summation of what was mentioned at the Apple Event 

October 16, 2014.

All you need to know about Apple's new iPads, iMac - CNET at 11.51.59 am

Trees for Life

This short introduction of music was inspired by the app, Trees of Life HD for iPad by Kevin Bertman.  Currently, there is no music opening this app.  This is my musical reflection of trees, forests, and the interconnectedness of nature.  Currently, this creative and clever app is free from the Apple App Store on iTunes.

Trees of Life HD on the App Store on iTunes at 9.09.19 pm Trees of Life

Apps for the Mobile Artist

How often do you use your mobile device for note-taking or photo-taking?  There is a plethora of free or moderately priced apps that are excellent for making “notes”  in the form of written text, musical notation and sound, and graphical form with colours, brushes, and integration with photos.

The important issue is for this practice to be done in a mobile context, quickly, and easily curated (saved or shared) for later use.  Imagine the artist or composer taking a sketch book or lined music paper to record their moments of inspiration.

Here is a graphic I created that shows a variety of the best apps for this purpose.  This graphic may look quite different next year with the constant evolution of device and app capabilities.  Find whatever works well for you, and set it up to integrate into your ‘syncing’ system (computer and/or tablet).  The goal is to have these ideas for further development in your private work space.

Apps for the Mobile Artist FINALExample:  I sing a melody into SoundCloud Express, which converts it into musical notation, and uploads it to the company’s cloud storage.  It syncs with my device, and can be open on its companion app, ScoreCloud on my MacBook Pro for modification, printing, and sharing/export as MIDI or MusicXML to work with other music apps.

Let’s get mobile and curate your artistic, creative moments anywhere you find inspiration.  Please let me know your favourite place for inspiring ideas.

Hairy Crab Season in HK

It’s at this time of the year when Hong Kong gets huge shipments of hairy crabs.  These crustaceans typically come from farms in Jiangsu Province’s Yangcheng Lake in China.  Freshwater hairy crabs are well known for their rich, golden, creamy roe and zesty, white meat and are the most sought-after because they are only available in autumn.

Here is a short Hyperlapse video taken on my walk in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong today.

Harmonious BS Shaw at 8.27.36 pm

The Harmonious Blacksmith Variations No. 2

The theme is from the final movement, Air and variations, of George Frideric Handel’s Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430, for harpsichord. The first variation (more to come) is written for 2 pianos.

This second variation takes the first 4 notes of the ‘B’ theme, followed a transposed phrase from the same theme. With a fanfare opening, it progresses to a Brazilian samba mini-variation later on, recapitulating the opening fanfare, and a whole-tone inspired ending.  See below for a snippet of the score showing the musical motifs used.

Harmonious Blacksmith Variation #2.mus at 9.02.12 pm


Hong Kongers are quickly commenting on the increased traffic and activity around the Apple Store since the release of the iPhone 6 late last week.  People are either lined up in queue in/outside of the Apple Store, or meandering around the increasing numbers of “private” sellers of iPhones 6 in front of the store.  Prices on the past weekend for an iPhone 6 (not plus) was typically 7800 – 8000 HKD, compared with 5588 HKD for the basic model in the store.  In case you are having trouble reserving one online, this may be part of the problem.

According to Apple employees, the fixed number of iPhones go online at 8:00 am. and are sold out within minutes.

Have a look at this video of my walk about the Apple Store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong today.  This is a happening place!

iOS 8 and the App Store

Apple’s App Store has added new features, most of which involve iOS 8.  Have a peek at some of these features.

App Bundles


iOS 8 Gaming


Best Photo and Video-enhanced Apps for iOS 8

Have a look at Camera Plus with its ability to capture remotely with AirSnap.


Extending Apps with iOS 8


New Video Previews (finally!)




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