Friday, 30 March 2007

The cinnabar ore

This post is in a way connected to the Mining wind band Idrija or more accurately to the Idrija mercury mine (located in the western part of Slovenia). I was writing about that a few posts back.

Do you want to know how mercury is extracted from ore?
Well... I'm gonna tell you anyway. ;)

The cinnabar (aka cinnabarite) ore is burned in specially designed owens, so that mercury evaporates from it. Mercury is then cooled down and gathered.

Almost everyone knows what mercury looks like, but not many have seen the cinnabar ore from which it is extracted.
Here is my macro photo of it. The red color is where mercury is concentrated at.


Wednesday, 28 March 2007

The insides of a tuba

After taking photos of my brother with his new tuba, I have decided to take a deeper look into his new instrument...
I just used the flash for the strange effect and did not edit the photo afterwards.

This is how it looks on the inside.

Then I played some more with the reflections of myself. This time it was done without the flash.

Look at me inside a tuba!

As stupid as it may seem - I like the results.
How about you?


Tuesday, 27 March 2007

The oldest European wind band gets new uniforms

My younger brother is a true music enthusiast. He plays tuba in a number of bands some of which are quite serious.
He is just starting a Tuba blog of his own. If you want you can pay him a visit.
Tuba is the biggest wind instrument and usually set somewhere at the back of an orchestra.
One of the bands he is playing in is the Mining Wind Band Idrija. It is supposed to be the oldest European wind band with its beginnings dating to 1665 or even earlier.

A history/geography lesson:
For those of you who don't know this - Idrija is a Slovenian town with more than 500 years of history. Most of it is in one way or another connected to its mercury mine. Nowadays the mine is closing down.
In California, USA there is a town called New Idria, which was named after the above mentioned Idrija. The second thing beside their name they have in common is a mercury mine.

Last week band members got new uniforms, which remain in classical mining coloring and style. A typical miners symbol from the uniforms sleeve can be seen on the above photo.

In addition to that they also bought a new tuba. These things can be quite expensive - the price of this model (Yamaha YBB-841 GE) is in the range of 10.000 USD (7.500 EUR). Ordered directly from Japan it surprisingly took only 10 days for delivery.

I just had to take a couple photos.

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