The day got off to a bad start. I had set my alarm clock for five to seven , as the taxi which was to take my brother to the airport had been ordered for seven and I wanted to speak to him and wish him Bon Voyage before he left. But when I phoned, at four minutes to seven, it turned out he had just left. Then, when I turned on the radio to hear the seven o’clock news – it was completely dead. My first thought was that it was a power cut – but the lights were working so it couldn’t be that. Further investigation revealed that when I switched on the television, that too displayed a blank screen. My initial panic was reduced to mere annoyance when I discovered that the digital channels were still available. The radio in the living room is connected to the outlet for the cable TV antenna, because interference by broadcasts from the Palestinian Authority makes reception of my favourite radio station, Kol Hamusika (the Voice of Music) – which plays mostly classical music – almost impossible. A phone call to the cable company confirmed my fears. They are in the process of discontinuing analogue broadcasts. But, they assured me, I would be able to continue to receive radio broadcasts through the television. In other words, I would have to turn on the TV in order to listen to the radio!
They had no explanation why I was still able to receive Channel 2, Channel 10, Channel 33 and various other non-digital channels. In fact, further research proved that only the First Channel was unavailable (except via the digital converter).
As far as talking to my brother before his plane left, I had the happy notion of calling my tame taxi driver, who was taking him to the airport. But I had absolutely no idea how to solve the problem of the radio. I did manage, by playing around a bit with the frequencies, to locate Radio Jerusalem, but that was just about it. Friday the Thirteenth seemed to have kicked in, in full force.
It occurred to me that I could also listen to the radio over the internet, so I turned on my computer and decided to have another go at transferring the video-clips from our concert at the Notre Dame Pontifical Centre the week before last. I had already made at least two attempts. The first attempt failed when the video-clips failed to upload, although the stills pictures presented no such difficulties. As the same thing was happening with media I attempted to transfer from my mobile phone (which, like the camera, requires a USB connection) and as this occurred whichever one of the several USB inputs I used, I began to fear there was something wrong with my computer and its USB ports. However, after I uninstalled the Motorola Phone Tools programme and then re-installed it, media from my mobile phone uploaded without any further problem.
Not so the camera, however – at least, not so the video-clips from the camera. At least, not all the video-clips. Those which I had filmed at the seventh birthday party of my twin nieces came out just fine. The only problem was with what I had filmed at the rehearsal at Notre Dame. This lead me to suspect that the original files on the camera’s memory card were somehow corrupted. But if so, how? And why only those four files??? I was well and truly baffled.
Today, however, I decided to try again. Once again, I uploaded everything I had filmed or photographed at Notre Dame to a folder which, for want of a better title, I named “Experiment” – and to my surprise and delight, I found that I could now open the four video-clips of the choir rehearsing the Sanctus from the Fauré Requiem. Yes!!!Yes, yes, yes!!!!!
I happily transferred the files to my “Fauré Requiem at Notre Dame” folder and renamed them : Fauré Requiem Sanctus, numbered accordingly. And then I tried to play them – only to get that damned error message once again. I couldn’t understand it! Only two minutes earlier, I had managed to open the files! Why could I not do so now? I restored them to the Experiment folder and tried again. Nada. I restored their original names – and hey presto, I could open the files!
And then it occurred to me. A file name cannot contain certain characters, such as \/:*?<> etc. Could there possibly be a problem with the accented é in Fauré? (I had been using the French fonts in my computer.) Quickly, I replaced it with a regular e, and tried again.
Success!!! As soon as I removed the acute accent, the problem disappeared with it! Who would have believed it? That one damned letter had been the source of all my problems! Who could have imagined that a single letter could cause such mischief? (I’m sure there’s a moral there, somewhere 😉 )
I could, I suppose, now upload the video-clips to YouTube and show you a few short minutes from the pre-concert rehearsal. It’s interesting, because in March, we performed the Fauré Requiem with a full orchestra. Last month, we performed it again, this time with organ accompaniment only (at Notre Dame) and tomorrow night, we shall perform it for the third time, with a piano accompaniment. However, they are very large files and would take ages to upload, besides which, the organisers at Notre Dame recorded the whole concert and uploaded it to YouTube. So I will leave you with the Requiem in D minor, Opus 48, by Gabriel Fauré, performed by the Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir under the baton of Maestro Ronen Borshevsky. Enjoy!
Oh, and before I go – in case you were wondering – in the late afternoon, the radio did, eventually, come back on line….