in performance: natalie macmaster

natalie macmasterTo broadly paraphrase an old cliché, you can take the fiddler out of Cape Breton, but you can pretty much  forget about the reverse.

For the majority of her highly physical sold-out performance last night at the Bomhard Theatre of the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville, Canadian fiddler MacMaster upheld the spry, Scottish-bred stride of the music indigenous to her home : Cape Breton Island on Nova Scotia. Of course, that tradition was put through the stylistic ringer while the instrumentation supplied by her five-member band regularly shifted.

When she played off a remarkable 13 year old cellist named Nathaniel Smith, the resulting string sound became brightly animated. When MacMaster, who is also an accomplished step dancer, matched wits with Shania Twain drummer J.D. Blair, the gap between folk tradition and pop widened. At one point, MacMaster essentially clogged off of percussive funk grooves. But when she teamed with pianist Mac Morin on the playful Flea as a Bird and the lovely Johsefin’s Waltz, the glow of Cape Breton music was very much at hand.

Then there was Matt MacIsaac. Aside from adding to the lyrical color of the music on whistle and flute, as well as to its more Americanized rhythmic sway on banjo, MacIsaac detonated the evening’s most musical weapon of mass destruction: amplified bagpipes. They actually sounded quite at home in MacMaster’s cordial Cape Breton variations. But one had to wonder if audiences at the Kentucky Center’s downstairs Whitney Hall, where Phantom of the Opera was performing, appreciated the racket.

Think a subterranean ghoul is scary? That’s nothing compared to an electric Scotsman.

(photo of Natalie MacMaster by Richard Beland)

Nintendo Introduces Glasses-Free 3D Gaming, and Unleashes the Industry’s Best Franchises in Entirely New Ways.

Electronics Newsweekly June 30, 2010 Nintendo is raising the bar – again.

Nintendo changed the world of video games with touch-screen gaming on the Nintendo DS™ in 2004. Nintendo then pioneered the motion-controlled gaming revolution with the Wii™ console and the Wii Remote™ controller back in 2006. Today the company unveils an even more immersive gaming experience: Nintendo 3DS™.

At the E3 Expo today, Nintendo gave the world the first look at a portable system that lets people view games in 3D, without the need for special glasses. Nintendo also announced a substantial list of upcoming games for Nintendo 3DS, the Wii console and the Nintendo DS family of systems – a lineup that reads like a who’s who of some of the greatest franchises in video game history with a completely new look and feel.

“The additional dimension of depth in 3D makes it easier for players to judge distances while giving developers a new tool to create games and experiences that play with both height and depth,” said Nintendo video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, who pioneered the fully rendered 3D video game world with Super Mario 64™. paper mario 3ds

Nintendo 3DS comes with a 3.53-inch top screen and a 3.02-inch bottom touch screen. It has three cameras – one inner and two outer – to deliver the 3D effect and take 3D pictures. It includes a motion sensor, a gyro sensor and even a Slide Pad that allows 360-degree analog input. At the E3 Expo, Nintendo showed attendees a range of games and applications for Nintendo 3DS that reinvent some of the industry’s most beloved franchises. These include: Kid Icarus™: Uprising, the long-awaited franchise follow-up to the NES™ classic. Mario Kart™, which shows off the potential of driving and tossing bananas in 3D. nintendogs™ + cats, a new version of the best-selling nintendogs franchise that lets players interact even more with their virtual puppies – and kittens! PilotWings Resort™, a flying simulation that lets players soar above Wuhu Island. Animal Crossing™, a new installment of the charming community-building franchise. StarFox 64™ 3D, a game that demonstrates the true distance and depth of outer space using Nintendo’s well-known franchise. Steel Diver™, a new submarine-navigation game from Nintendo. Paper Mario™, which brings paper-based 2D environments to life.

Nintendo 3DS also comes to market with the strongest third-party support of any video game system in Nintendo history. Games on display at the Nintendo booth at the E3 Expo include: DJ Hero[R] 3D from Activision RESIDENT EVIL[R] REVELATIONS from Capcom The Sims™ 3 from Electronic Arts HIDEO KOJIMA’S METAL GEAR SOLID SNAKE EATER 3D “The Naked Sample” from Konami Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracles (name not final) from LEVEL-5 RIDGE RACER[R] (name not final) from Namco Bandai Games KINGDOM HEARTS franchise game from Square Enix DEAD OR ALIVE[R] 3D (name not final) from Tecmo Koei Games SAMURAI WARRIORS[R] 3D from Tecmo Koei Games Battle of Giants™: Dinosaur Strike from Ubisoft Hollywood 61 (name not final) from Ubisoft A sampling of other Nintendo 3DS games already in planning includes SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 3D Edition (name not final) from Capcom; Madden NFL and FIFA Soccer games from Electronic Arts; CODENAME: Chocobo Racing[R] 3D and a FINAL FANTASY [R] franchise game and from Square Enix; a NINJA GAIDEN[R] (name not final) game from Tecmo Koei Games; Saint’s Row: Drive By from THQ; Assassin’s Creed™Lost Legacy, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™ and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory™ from Ubisoft; and a Batman game from Warner Bros. Additional games are in development by Atlus, AQ Interactive, Disney Interactive Studios, Harmonix, Hudson Soft, Majesco, Marvelous Entertainment, Rocket, SEGA, Takara Tommy and Take-Two Interactive. see here paper mario 3ds

Nintendo also announced a substantial slate of games on the way for its Wii console and Nintendo DS family of systems, with a list of characters and franchises that appeal to all types of gamers.

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