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Mike Matson
Aug. 20, 2008, 06:13 PM
Interesting analysis by freestyle designer Karen Robinson of the Olympic freestyles and the judging.

http://gaitpost-karen-robinson.blogspot.com/



If what we suspect is true, if international judging is as sick as it seems, it isn’t just a couple of bad eggs that need to be thrown out. Something fundamental would need to be purged from the collective judging conscience. I still think the judges become giggling school girls when the sport’s two biggest stars head down centre line, but that’s not Anky’s or Isabell’s fault. They are just doing their best like everyone else. When I head to the Global Forum in October, I am going to make a serious effort to figure out what the hell it is that has to happen for this sport to improve its legitimacy. I suspect it’s honesty (come ON, just admit you are human and we can take it from there) and accountability, but please keep my comment a secret. I don’t want Mariette to get wind of it. I want it to be a surprise.





Other than a couple of superb performances, I was let down last night. Maybe I’m becoming desensitized to freestyles like soldiers in war get desensitized to death. No, I don’t really believe that. I did still get goose bumps, just not enough of them.




So, highlights? For me number one was Hans Peter. I thought Nadine’s flower child music suited her to double goosebump standard, and HP really rode to his music. I loved the way he used “for every season, turn, turn, turn” for the pirouettes. Cool! Great arrangements and editing. Five stars.



Four stars to Steffen, and I think five is in the near future, maybe at Vegas next spring. He had very difficult choreography (in spite of what Riexinger said in his failed efforts to justify how Isabell could have beaten him), and to see such a talented but green horse try so hard for his rider was one of the more inspiring moments of the night. I thought I was going to hate his music when I read what a mish mash it was: Vangelis, Rolling Stones and Men Without Hats? How can that sound like it comes from the same radio station? But it was all arranged (hats off, Terry Gallo) and played by the same group of musicians in Memphis; so even though we jumped from new age to bad-boy rock to androgynous eighties, it worked. It really suited the horse too.


I’m digging deep to find a third favourite here. Bonaparte was a Very Good Boy for Heike, but her surfer medley leaves me tepid. Pink piaffe machine Balagur looked tired to his tired old Broadway hits. I find Isabell’s music puzzling because it really never has a beat that does a thing for Satchmo’s gaits, and I hate that she caved to the judges when they told her that her March With Me was too risky with the vocals – these days just about everyone has vocals creeping in somewhere. I don’t envy Anky’s job with her music. The transitions for movements like the tempi changes are so subtle as to be almost nonexistent. I admire the heck out of Wibi the wunder-composer, but there is some magic missing from that one for me.


My very least favourite freestyles were a couple of the early Scandinavians. Elevator and ice cream truck are descriptors that come to mind when I think of their syntho-pop programs. I recognized some of the songs but I failed to place them because they sounded so unlike the originals. Not that it’s a bad thing to have a cool and different arrangement of a familiar song, but it shouldn’t sound like it was done on a computer using the keyboard for piano keys. A word of advice for those whose scores actually dipped below what they got in the Speciale – don’t put things in your choreography that diminish the quality of your performance. No one likes dressage to look labored or impossible. Well, except maybe for five ‘O’judges who gave Satchmo two sevens, two eights and a six point five for harmony.

SGray
Aug. 20, 2008, 06:44 PM
whoa, don't hold back there girl

Mozart
Aug. 20, 2008, 06:46 PM
She never does ;)

ridgeback
Aug. 20, 2008, 06:48 PM
Question who pays the BMI and other royalties to the artist when using their music?

cheekyhorse
Aug. 21, 2008, 12:23 AM
I love Karen. Honesty is such a good attribute.:)

hsheffield
Aug. 21, 2008, 08:27 AM
I'd never heard of you until Dressage Daily linked to your blog and I have truly enjoyed it. Especially the part about Satchmo giving Isabelle the finger...we're still laughing about it around here!

I was wondering what everyone thought about Courtney's music? I loved it (I think I might be the only one), though perhaps it was too subtle to be a real crowd pleaser?


I also agree with Karen about Anky's music. No goose bumps: a little too background-ish for me....

Mike Matson
Aug. 21, 2008, 08:47 AM
I did like Courtney's music and thought it worked well for her horse and the choreography.

ridgeback
Aug. 21, 2008, 09:47 AM
I did like Courtney's music and thought it worked well for her horse and the choreography.

Mike do you guys have to pay royalties to the artist for using their music?

Mike Matson
Aug. 21, 2008, 10:14 AM
I'm not a freestyle designer so I don't have to deal with the issue. Maybe a freestyle designer will post an answer to your question.

War Admiral
Aug. 21, 2008, 10:20 AM
I have no idea how it is in ridden dressage, but for carriage driving freestyles, I know the ADS pays a flat fee per year to ASCAP and BMI & we (competitors - I'm not a designer) can all use pretty much whatever we want. But this is PROBABLY b/c there just aren't many competitors out there doing it in carriage driving, and it would probably average out to WAY less than one cent per composer! :lol:

freestyle2music
Aug. 21, 2008, 10:24 AM
Mike do you guys have to pay royalties to the artist for using their music?

The royalties are paid by the organisation. This is mostly a fixed (small) amount for every day that the competition uses music.

Only in the UK they have (had ?) some other rules. The British Dressage Organisation pays een hugh amount every year to the PPL. Next to this the PPL have set some very strange rules. For example : You are not allowed to use PPL music mixed with music which is not ruled by the PPL.

However, the artists love it when their music is used for the Olympics, when Anky used her famous Song Song Blue music, all CD's of Neil Diamond were sold out in two weeks, but the bureaucratie very often jumps in (like in the UK) which is not to the benefit of the artists.

Theo

ridgeback
Aug. 21, 2008, 10:25 AM
I have no idea how it is in ridden dressage, but for carriage driving freestyles, I know the ADS pays a flat fee per year to ASCAP and BMI & we (competitors - I'm not a designer) can all use pretty much whatever we want. But this is PROBABLY b/c there just aren't many competitors out there doing it in carriage driving, and it would probably average out to WAY less than one cent per composer! :lol:

Yea but I'd think that would change for many competitions in Europe not to mention, WEG, WC and Olympics.. thansk..Sorry Mike I thought you were a designer.

Mike Matson
Aug. 21, 2008, 11:02 AM
No problem. I'm the guy who helps people find music for their horses. Theo has the fun job as a freestyle designer - working with clients who come back from a show and tell him what the judges want. :)

ridgeback
Aug. 21, 2008, 11:09 AM
No problem. I'm the guy who helps people find music for their horses. Theo has the fun job as a freestyle designer - working with clients who come back from a show and tell him what the judges want. :)

Gotcha..I would guess this is a moving target with every judge?

freestyle2music
Aug. 21, 2008, 11:20 AM
No problem. I'm the guy who helps people find music for their horses. Theo has the fun job as a freestyle designer - working with clients who come back from a show and tell him what the judges want. :)

They don't have to tell me what the judges like, because I know most of the judges, and also the music they like. Also Anky and Wibi probably have such a database because Anky's scores for the music was far above all others. And with a multiplier of 4 this is hard to overcome for the other riders.
And this is not only during the Olympic at Hongkong but this is already going on for 12 years.

Theo

Mike Matson
Aug. 21, 2008, 11:21 AM
ridgeback,

Not always. Usually after performing your freestyle in front of several judges, you have a good idea of what they like or don't like. However, if you have music that works for the horse, most of the time the judges and spectators like it.

freestyle2music
Aug. 21, 2008, 11:42 AM
ridgeback,

Not always. Usually after performing your freestyle in front of several judges, you have a good idea of what they like or don't like. However, if you have music that works for the horse, most of the time the judges and spectators like it.


Didn't you read all the comments on the many BB's of the dressage-world from these spectators. Like we always say in Holland "je kunt er echt geen soep van koken" .

Theo

swgarasu
Aug. 21, 2008, 12:45 PM
I pretty much agree with the blog. The freestyles should be fun to watch- Anky's wasn't (I never thought Salinero could be so boring), and Satchmo acting up so badly again ruined Isabel's for me. I didn't think either ride deserved such a high score. I don't know how newcomers can stand to even try - it's even worse than gymnastics because the top riders won't even retire for another 30 years. Is THIS the best we have to look forward to for 3 decades? What a grim future.