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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Leopold!

Just got back from a performance of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Royce Hall at UCLA. The last of the series I bought, and it was great fun. I’m looking forward to future performances. Tonight we heard:

Sarah Gibson’s “Warp and Weft,” a Modernist piece composed specially for LACO. The best I can say for it was that it wasn’t nearly as painful as other commissioned pieces I’ve heard on earlier occasions. That itself was a moral victory.

Mozart: Piano Concerto #17. Very enjoyable, and I don’t believe I’ve ever heard this one before. The pianist was impressive. There’s something about Mozart, though. Maybe it’s all the Warner Bros. cartoons I watched growing up, but I kept expecting Elmer Fudd to chase Bugs Bunny onto the stage, shotgun blasting in counterpoint to the music. I would have paid extra for that.

(And if you haven’t seen “The Rabbit of Seville,” your life is a wasteland.)

Ruth Seeger: Andante for Strings. (1931) Let’s just say this was misnamed. I believe it should have been called “Flies buzzing around a dead cow by a placid lake.”

Beethoven: Fifth Symphony. My first time ever hearing this live, and it was magnificent. There are composers I like better than Beethoven (Haydn, Schubert), and there are Beethoven symphonies I like better than the Fifth (#s3 and 7). But the 5th symphony quite literally epitomizes Classical music. If you’ve seen “300,” it is the Leonidas of symphonies. Instead of screaming “This is Sparta!”, the opening grabs you by the collar, gets in your face, and yells “THIS! IS! MUSIC!!” before kicking you off the stage and into the cheap seats. I have rarely seen a work demand such sustained concentration and intensity from performers. It is exhausting and exhilarating for both performer and audience, and it is something everyone should see at least once.

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This little girl in Kyrgyzstan absolutely has to grow up to be a great conductor — she has all the moves down. The setting was a Baptist church, perhaps during choir practice. Just watch:

From the article at Kloop, which I gather is a Kyrgyz site. Translation by Google:

The video sealed, like a little girl conducting the choir at a Baptist church in Bishkek. Child won the hearts of American viewers who were amazed by her improvisation.

Video for this moment gathered over half a million views on the popular video service YouTube, and its heroine – a little girl – hit the U.S. media.

About her story made ​​TV channel NBC (where the leading could not pronounce the name of the country) and wrote popular blogs in the world , “Huffington Post” and “Gouker”  (“Gawker”). 

“Despite her age, she conducts with passion and drama that you may have never seen,” – writes in his article “The Huffington Post”.

What a charmer. If she doesn’t go to musics school, it will be a crime.

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Oh, this had me laughing. If you’ve ever heard the original or dealt with toddlers –or both– this one’s for you:

via Moe Lane

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The story is here.

This is callous of me to say, but… so? She was a drug addict who took a wonderful gift and had a life 99.99 percent of the world will only ever dream of living… and destroyed herself. Amy Winehouse, Darryl Strawberry, so many other celebrities in one field or another have ruined themselves with drugs.

I can’t feel sorry for people like Whitney Houston, for they make their own choices; their fate was their creation.

For those who cared about Whitney (and others high and low who throw away their lives while friends and family watch helplessly), I do feel pity. And I hope they recover from the hurt she did them.

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I have no idea what the lyrics of the song mean, but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs interpreted as a dominatrix fantasy:

Oh, dear. What would Uncle Walt say?

And if they had hired Eve, they wouldn’t have needed the trick photography. (Mildly NSFW)

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Back on the wagon

So, looking at the books I received for Christmas and recalling those I’ve bought for myself, I’ve decided it’s time to reinstate my Ten Book Rule: I shall buy no more books, no matter how tempting, until I’ve read ten I already have. Let Congress feel shame at my shining example of austerity!

Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t buy music…. 😉

 

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Addiction?

Why do people need to play the bass track of their music so loudly that it thumps the walls? I grew out of that some time in high school.

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