Seen, yet unknown

She is one of the most seen faces around, from newspaper advertisements, websites, and magazine advertisements. She promotes a variety of products, from childcare services, important topics such as immigration, skincare and beauty products.

Is she a supermodel? You might think that with all the publicity that this particular person gets, to be able to grace the pages of various print media and be seen in advertisements, that this must be someone well known. It must be a household name known to millions, have millions of followers on social media, and have tweets retweeted by the thousands. Her instagram pictures must be the holy word of her followers.

Reality could not be further from the truth. The face that features so much is the anonymous face from a stock photo. A writer in Canada found out the hard way how her image had been used across various media to promote a variety of causes without her permission.

Shubnum Khan had signed up for a photo shoot ostensibly offering a professional portrait shot in exchange for use of the photo for artistic purposes. There had been a contract signed, in which the author gave away the rights to the image, essentially signing them off to the photographer, who stood to make a tidy sum from the image.
Perhaps the author could take it as a compliment – she has a radiant face that gets deep into the heart of every person that views it. Or maybe her face is perceived to be trustworthy, honest, and beautiful, and inspires one to commit to whatever cause her face has been used for. But it is no laughing matter to find that after you have consented to your photo being used for a stock image, that it is used to market causes that you may not agree with.

At least Khan can lay claim to having various sides to her portfolio. Just like the composer Muzio Clementi, who was a composer, publisher, pianist, conductor, piano manufacturer and salesman, Khan can say her image is so beautiful that it has been considered for use by various individuals. (You can read more about Clementi from the Piano Teacher Harringay blog, but unlike Clementi, who would have been pleased to have many strings to his bow, it is unlikely that Khan would feel the same!

Duplicity and Tenure

Have you ever been in a situation where perhaps one of your co-workers or a manager tells you one thing, and then in another situation, says the opposite? This person does not link together the fact that saying contradictory things doesn’t really help at all. And I’m not really talking about making an honest mistake in expressing meaning; I’m talking about a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the truth. If you were faced with such a person, you might describe them as a bit of a weasel, or a snake; saying different things to different people and being shifty with the truth. This person, as you and many will realise, has displayed impropriety with the truth, and in future dealings you might say you can’t really trust them any more.

If you were a bit more positive about the whole thing, you could point to this person’s actions as the result of mental fatigue of some sort. Perhaps this person has been overworked and is showing signs of not being able to cope.

Perhaps the pressure of dealing with the work situation is causing the person to make mistakes. You could point to the mental tiredness as the reason for making this sort of error – if only to put a positive spin to it.

I suppose it really depends on the error. If the contradiction dealt with one minor aspect, it might be forgiven. For example, if someone said they would go out with you for dinner, and then within twenty-four hours said they were unable to, then it would really be a small point. But if it was a major decision, involving high stakes, then this sort of “double negative” really doesn’t make a positive and would not be seen in the best light. Especially if it comes from someone “high up” in an organisation.

So when someone like Donald Trump makes contradictory statements about Russian collusion with the United States voting process, he doesn’t really do himself a lot of favours.
Perhaps the President is more style than substance, trying to demonstrate overtly than be silent mettle. He could take a page out of the book of the Italian tenor Placido Domingo, who despite having to live in the shadow of the more extrovert Luciano Pavarotti, went on to have a longer career at the New York Met. (You can read more about this post, written by Piano Teacher Harringay.) Perhaps Trump might have a longer career in politics if he learnt something from Domingo!

Dealing with exs

Seeing it is World Cup month, let’s discuss some football news. Fortunately for Brighton, nothing much is going on in terms of managerial changes. Not so much for Chelsea though.

If you follow football, and are a Chelsea fan, you will know that manager Antonio Conte has now a new title. Ex-manager. The most prolonged divorce in Chelsea football possibly has been settled, and both parties have worked out the pre-nup.

Why did Conte get the boot? After a season in which he won the League title in his first try, relations between the manager, team, and hierarchy soured so much that the only way after a poor second season, despite the FA Cup win, meant that Conte had to leave no matter what. It really wasn’t so much a case of would it happen or not, but when it would – and it has now.

Team owner Roman Abramovich has made no fact that he is out for success, and Chelsea have a reputation of not being patient when it comes to winning. Conte is only the latest casualty in a line that have included Jose Mourinho. It is almost as if Abramovich keeps changing managers before the public have a chance to get attached to the managers, just so that everyone knows who the boss is.
It is really a game of egos. In the Chelsea team, the owner wants to be loved by the public. Yet having spent large sums of money on players in the past decade, he must be miffed that the public is more in love with the manager than the owner.

Conte himself got rid of a few big egos, the most notable being Diego Costa. The attacking centre forward, famous for getting under the skin of opposing players was dumped by text despite a stellar season and being a part of the team that won the Premier League. Some say that the management of the whole affair was poor; Chelsea’s arguably best player spent three months of the campaign holidaying in Conte’s second season and the protracted affair was too much of a distraction. Bosses also queried the sale of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, where he emerged as a solid prospect protecting United’s back four. The treatment of Brazilian Willian was also strange, seeing as he was one of the better players but spent most of the time coming off the bench.

Where does that leave Chelsea now? Nobody knows, although Maurricio Sarri was touted to come in and his compensation package was being worked on. (EDIT: He has been confirmed.)

But how will the new Chelsea play under a new manager?
Just like in music, where the sonata form bridged the two eras of the Baroque and Romantic, would the counterattacking play of this season be the link between Conte and Sarri? Or will be it a complete break with the past, and will Sarri institute a new style of play? It remains to be seen. (If it so happens that you are interested in sonata form, though, you can read it from the Muswell Hill piano teacher blog.)

Music and the World Cup

The World Cup is played every four years and hence when it is the year that it takes place, one can expect that the anticipation and build up explodes in the allocated timeframe. It is, in a way, like presidential elections which take place every four years, from new worlds arise from old beginnings. And so it is not unusual to expect that everyone around is going on about the daily new events and reliving them, even when they are on the beach. When you are lying around on the sun-kissed sand, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to talk about football or things that have already happened and analyse them profusely. But maybe some people do – to each his own!

The surprise of the tournament can be said to be how poorly the big teams seem to be playing. Spain and Portugal laboured to lacklustre wins and draw, while Germany are out. After the opening game, when Spain and Portugal drew to a 3-3 draw, it appeared that this might be a World Cup of goals, but instead it has turned out to be a World Cup of visuals. VAR, replays and more replays. As if it weren’t bad enough watching people in the scenic beauty of sun, sea and sand, staring at screen, it is staring at them staring at video replays of what has just happened!

VAR was responsible for showing that the first goal scored by South Korea in injury time should have counted, even if it was flagged offside by the linesman. Now, say what you want about VAR, about how it has stopped the game, but can you imagine without it how the game may have turned? The German team would not have been forced into going forward, and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer may have been spared from making his mistake.

The German team was trending on social media with many keen to make fun of their demise. Perhaps – continuing with this visual theme – one can expect many videos of THAT mistake accompanied by music from songs such as “Wrecking Ball”? I can only expect that will be many montages and Neuer will never be able to live it down. And if you are making a spoof of that footage, make sure to get the correct timing and the effect will be great. Let’s take for example, we are using the music from Wrecking Ball. When the chorus comes in, “You came in like a Wrec-king ball,” make sure the “Wreck” aligns with the moment the ball is nicked from Neuer by the South Korean player. If you wish to know more about how music in film works, you can check out this post by the West Green N15 piano teacher.

The hidden sense

As summer approaches, the party atmosphere in Brighton comes to life. Summer days mean warmer weather, and longer periods to enjoy life and all it brings. For some this means parties on the beach that extend well into the night hours and continues in the discos. We listen to music endlessly on our phones, then take in some more and more. After all, music is free, right?

While we enjoy the summer days, there must be things we need to be aware of. For example, listening to loud music for an intense period can affect our hearing. Even listening to averagely loud music but for a longer duration can have an impact on it.

Think of the ear as a muscle like your arm – if you force it to lift heavy loads, it is an intense burst within a short period of time. But if you make it lift light loads, but repetitively, you get that dull ache that comes from endurance work.

The music itself need not necessarily noisy, or associated with a loud genre; even Classical music dating from the Baroque or Classical, but played loudly, can affect your hearing. (Although it is admittedly not that trendy to be bopping along to classical composers like Handel – maybe crossover music would be better?)
So as the summer approaches, maybe a lifestyle choice would be to be mindful of the noise your ears are exposed to.

If you want to go out partying and enjoying all the things that young people do, then by all means do so, but do look after your hearing. Otherwise when you are older, you will be bopping to silent disco music! And that is not necessarily the version with wireless headphones on, it is the one where there is no sound around you.

Brighton revokes Uber license

Uber’s license in Brighton will not be renewed, making Brighton the third city in the United Kingdom to revoke the minicab’s operating license after London and York, which revoked the license in September and December respectively. As with the case in London, operators are free to continue while the ban is under appeal. One can only speculate that this is why Uber chose to appeal, in order to extend its operating term indefinitely in the city. Uber did lodge an appeal in York but withdrew it, and is not operating in the area any more. Its London contract is too lucrative to lose and will be subject to a hearing in June.

There are many concerns about Uber. One is that concerning safety. It is easy for drivers to offer their services to Uber as long as they have a clean driving record, but that is no different from hopping into a cab driven by a stranger. The only part Uber claims to play is in matchmaking those who need a cab with those who can provide a cab driving service at a particular point in time, and hence if there is a complaint oof some sort, the matter is – conveniently as Uber claims – directly against the driver, and hence out of its hands.

I suspect that the decision to revoke Uber’s licenses in various cities is more a protest against how it operates. Uber does not have employees, or so it claims. The drivers provide its services but are not employed by that. Because of this, they do not have any employee benefits. Uber has also cleverly exploited loopholes in the law to avoid paying corporation text, so despite making millions in turnover, the drivers make very littie and the company pays very little tax.

Uber’s dancing around the law is perhaps more emblematic of society as a whole. Uber claims it is not a taxi company. It does not own vehicles. It is only a hiring service. In a way it is like saying musicians do not produce music; they only find a way for record companies, who wish to sell products (records and digital downloads), to match their products to particular buyers (fans). According to the website piano teacher finsbury park blog, musicians have always needed to be creative, but this dancing around the law that Uber is doing perhaps was a step too far, a tango too much for those taken along for the ride.

Will Brighton survive Uber? Surely there are many other licensed cab companies around already?
It would be interesting to see how Uber employees (in the loose sense of the word) rate against other employees like Deliveroo or Just Eat employees. One suspects the latter companies all operate under the same dubious guidelines.

Brighton nearly there, Bong still fuming

Can Brighton and Hove Albion make it to the safety zone? Their recent football results have included a draw and a loss, so they are stuttering their way a bit to the safety of Premier League shore. While the fans really should have nothing to worry about, because while the team can still be mathematically caught, the bottom placed teams have done nothing to suggest they can turn around their own problems with form.

So the summary if you are a Seagulls fan – don’t fret. The teams below us are running out of games to catch us. It is like the end of a marathon, if you are running at the same pace as the person behind you, you are both runnning short of distance to the finishing line – which is good for you.

The only worry for Brighton is that their remaining four games are against Burnley, followed by the top three teams, in the order of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. Burnley at Turf Moor are a hard team to play against as their crowd gets well behind them. The Seagulls have to sneak for draws against United, who may be resting the first team for the FA Cup final, Manchester City, who may be coasting towards the Premier League title, and Liverpool, concerned with UEFA Cup glory.

A win against Burnley would really go a long way to calming Seagulls fans, instead of leaving things to chance against the big three.

Gaetan Bong’s allegation of racism against West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez was found not proven. Which is a little disappointing, to say the least.

I have nothing against Jay Rodriguez. I thought against Manchester United, he was outstanding in securing a 1-1 draw for his team. But maybe, as others say, the relegation period is the third transfer window; time for relegation bound players to display their wares, throw caution to the wind, to show what they can do. And Rodriguez was great in that game.

But when you pinch your nose, and waft it in front of a fellow professional, you are not exactly professional yourself, much less being a role model.

And everyone knows really why Rodriguez covered his mouth or pinched his nose. Managers do it all the time. In this age of lip-reading, leaving your lips for all to read is suicide.

So we could speculate that Rodriguez covered his mouth to say something racially abusive and then wafted his hands to add more insult to injury.
We see on video quite clearly Jay Rodriguez makes some gestures of some sort. So there is intent.

Let us remind ourselves that the charge made by Bong was not proven. In other words, if Gaetan Bong claimed the Baggies player said something racially abusive, the charge was not upheld only because the panel could not prove Rodriguez said racist words – only because his mouth was covered. But it does not mean that Rodriguez did not say something. What it means is what he said could not be proven.

Rodriguez could have said to Bong, “You farted and it smells.” Or “You should try using bodyspray.” The panel that found the charge “not proven” gave him the benefit of the doubt that was what he said. But he clearly said something that provoked.

So, not guilty, but not tasteful either.

Brighton captain re-signs; Seagulls draw

Brighton captain Bruno has signed a new one-year contract with the Premier League club until June 2019.
The 37-year-old right-back, who joined the Seagulls from Valencia in 2012, has made 21 league appearances this season.

“Bruno has been exemplary in my time as manager,” said Brighton boss Chris Hughton.

“Firstly, he has been an excellent right-back for the team, and secondly an excellent captain for the club over the past three seasons.”

The manager added: “The way he looks after himself on and off the pitch is an example to any player, and it is due to that lifestyle of professionalism that he is still playing at such a high level at this stage of his career.”
Brighton played Huddersfield last Saturday and were held to a 1-1 draw.

Huddersfield claimed a potentially crucial point in their battle against relegation as they drew with 10-man Brighton at the Amex Stadium in a game that saw both sides end their recent goal droughts.

The Seagulls and the Terriers are hoping to secure another season of top-flight football after they were promoted from the Championship last year and three points in this game would have gone a long way to making that a reality.

Brighton took the lead when the ball rebounded off Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl’s head after he had pushed Solly March’s shot onto the post.

Huddersfield responded almost immediately as Steve Mounie pounced on Shane Duffy’s terrible back pass to slot in.

The visitors’ hopes of snatching victory were then boosted when Brighton midfielder Davy Propper was sent off for a late challenge on Jonathan Hogg.
However, it was the hosts who could have taken the three points at the end when Jose Izquierdo was put through on goal – but the forward was superbly denied by Lossl.

The draw means Brighton are 13th, seven points above the relegation zone, while Huddersfield are 16th and four points above 18th-placed Southampton.

Neither of these sides have been the Premier League entertainers in recent weeks.

Brighton had gone a month without scoring while Huddersfield were approaching seven hours since their last goal.

It was, therefore, perhaps not surprising that their respective droughts were ended in somewhat fortuitous fashion.

Lossl can perhaps count himself unfortunate for Brighton’s opener as he pushed March’s shot onto the post and the ball rebounded back off his head and into the net.

Huddersfield had come back only once before this season to get a result after falling behind but they were on level terms just two minutes later.

Duffy inexplicably played the ball straight to Mounie and the Terriers’ top scorer kept his composure to round the keeper and slot in his ninth goal of the season.

Brighton are probably one win away from making sure of their Premier League status for another season and with tough games against Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool to come, this was arguably their most winnable fixture.

However, it would still take a big turnaround in form from the bottom three to see the Seagulls slip into trouble.

Any away point is an important one in the Premier League but this was the second time in their last four games Huddersfield had failed to take advantage of their opponents going down to 10 men by snatching victory.

But the Terriers have given themselves that extra bit of breathing space and this was a considerably improved performance after disappointing displays in defeats by Crystal Palace and Newcastle.

David Wagner’s side attacked with pace, created chances and finished with more shots on target – five – than they had in their previous two games combined, when they managed just two. That should give them hope ahead of upcoming home games against Watford and Everton.

Nearly there now …

This Saturday the Brighton and Hove Albion football team take on Leicester City at 3:00pm in a match, that for Albion, could go on towards solidifying their Premier League status.

The Seagulls are currently six points above Southampton, Leicester manager’s Claude Puel former team, who sacked him despite finishing respectably last season. The six point cushion equates to two games over a eight game period, which means that all the Seagulls have to do is match Southampton’s, or Stoke City’s record over the next six games to be able to safely celebrate.

Unfortunately at this stage it appears West Brom’s place in the lower divisions next year is already booked. With seven games left for them to play, the bottom-placed club need to win four of their next games and hope West Ham or Crystal Palace lose their next four, to even have a chance of sniffing survival. But bearing in mind what has happened to the club, with wages not being paid, club leaders behaving like idiots on a recent trip to Barcelona, the morale has already been drained from the club. Alan Pardew’s reputation as a saver may go down the drain.

Brighton are currently twelfth at the international break but there is good incentive to go for a good top ten result which would represent the south coast’s club’s best ever finish in the Premier League. It would be a long way away from the Southern League for the club started in 1901, and a further cry away from the team that nearly got relegated from the Championship in 2014-15 when they finished 20th.

Has it been a good January transfer window for Leonardo Ulloa? The Argentinian was the club’s best player in 2013-14, scoring sixteen goals en route to being the top scorer for the club, but then after winning the Premier League with Leicester City he was frozen out and unhappy. His return to the club continues to bode well.

Albion are slated for another season in the Premier League, but let’s not count our chickens for a few more weeks. And let’s hope they triumph this weekend, so we can all have a Happy Easter!

Seagulls focus on Premier League

Unfortunately it had all to end somewhere. Brighton’s magnificent run came to an end at Old Trafford, where they lost to Manchester United and went out of the FA Cup.

The Seagulls started brightly but unfortunately went behind to a goal by Romelo Lukaku, who had been unceremoniously dumped by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea before being picked up by the recently installed Manchester United manager. Another one of his ex-Chelsea stars, Nemanja Matic then added a second for the Reds later before Lukaku bracketed the goals with a third.

Much has been written about Jose Mourinho and his ex-Chelsea stars, especially Matic. The manager had been accused of trying to embarrass Matic while he was at Chelsea, taking him off once during a game after the latter had only come on as a second half substitute. But at United Matic has been in good form, fairly solid as a defensive midfielder, and appears to have no problems with working with his ex-boss. The ire of his ex-boss seems to have been directed at left-back Luke Shaw, who appears to be in bad books again.

Despite being knocked out of the FA Cup, the Seagulls can reflect on a good run this season, and now focus their efforts on preserving Premier League status. They have done well and are almost guaranteed safety, but perhaps a good performance in the next few games will mean relegation will be mathematically impossible, freeing them to play football without fear. Go Seagulls!