My wife made ratatouille for us yesterday. We’re big fans of the movie Ratatouille (2007), and we wanted to see what the recipe tastes like. She looked up several on the internet, picked one that she thought would be good and made it, only to find out it didn’t taste all that great. No problem — being the great chef that she is, she changed it on the fly, and in the end, it came out unbelievably delicious. It may not have looked like it did in the movie…
… but let me tell you, my reaction was just about the same as Anton Ego’s when I took the first bite.
It turns out Adrian Holovaty, the co-creator of the open-source Django Web framework, also plays the guitar. My wife found a few videos of him on YouTube and sent them to me. The videos aren’t recorded professionally — it’s him in front of a webcam, with a small mike placed on the table close to his guitar, but his music is great. From the looks of the background in some of his videos, it looks like some are recorded in his office at work — when you think about it, it’s pretty cool when you can play guitar at work, right?
Adrian creates his own arrangements for various songs, video games and TV shows, like Duck Tales (which I love, btw).
Sometimes he does multitrack videos, like his rendition of Nola, a 1915 ragtime piano piece by Felix Arndt. Here he used the original Les Paul arrangement from the 1950s, where he recorded the lead guitar at half time, then sped it up 200%, to give it the classic high pitched sound.
I’m going to close with Adrian’s rendition of Django’s “Tears”. He plays it with four fingers, unlike Django, who played it with two. Did you notice the Django Web framework shares someone’s name? Methinks Adrian is a big fan of the legendary guitarist.
I found about about Tommy Emmanuel recently, from a YouTube video that showed him playing a wild and incredible version of “Guitar Boogie”. That particular video was afterward removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim from an entertainment company. Still, thanks to someone from that same entertainment company (see comment #1 below), I found another clip of him playing that same song. Try to follow the incredibly complicated fingerwork if you can. The amount of dexterity and virtuosity this man possesses is amazing.
Tommy’s been playing guitar professionally for over 40 years, and is huge in his native Australia. He started playing at the age of 4, by ear, without formal instruction. Two years later, he was already working pro gigs. He plays guitar differently from most, using all ten fingers. He calls it “finger style”, and I’m sure you appreciated it on the version of “Guitar Boogie” shown above.
I found two other really nice videos with him, recorded when he did a show on Korean television. The first is “Since We Met”, and the second is “Angelina”. These are quieter songs, but the man’s talent is readily apparent. These two songs, instead of impressing with virtuosity, relaxed me, and that’s worth more to me than a little excitement. (I’m somewhat tightly wound, as regular readers might have found out by now…) The final proof of Tommy’s talent came when I showed the videos to Ligia (who is Conservatory-trained in voice and piano) — and she immediately said they’re great.
Want to know what the CGP in his name stands for? It’s “Certified Guitar Player” — a title given to him by the legendary Chet Atkins in 1999, for his lifetime contribution to the instrument. Awesome, don’t you think?