Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Declaring your race

July 1, 2015

In the NYT on the 28th, this piece, “Driven by Love or Ambition, Slipping Across the Color Line Through the Ages” by Rachel L. Swarns, about white people who have declared themselves to be black, with a photo captioned:

Clarence King, a Yale-educated white man who worked as a geologist in the 1800s and dined at the White House, lived a secret life as James Todd, a black train porter with a wife and five children in Brooklyn.

(more…)

Morning Zorn

June 21, 2015

It was a morning name many days ago, but it led in so many interesting directions that I’m just now getting to post about it: Zorn’s Lemma, a remnant of my days in logic and set theory (now almost entirely forgotten).

From the lemmatist Max August Zorn, with a brush against his newspaperman grandson Eric, to Max’s wife Alice, on to the amazing musician John Zorn (no known relation to any of the above), and then to James Thurber’s The 13 Clocks.

(more…)

Screaming for ice cream

June 20, 2015

On the front page of the July 2015 Funny Times, this cartoon by Mary Lawton:

(#1)

The visuals: a parody of Munch’s The Scream, in and around an ice cream truck. The text: the song/chant “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” (a pun on ice cream / I scream, depending on word division).

(more…)

Portmanteau pop music

May 25, 2015

Today’s Zippy, with a delightful musical nightmare:

Note the title: “Shindigabaloo”, a portmanteau of the names of two American pop/rock music shows on television in the mid-60s, Shindig! and Hullabaloo.

(more…)

Morning harmony

May 20, 2015

Yesterday’s morning name was L’Estro Armonico:

L’Estro Armonico (Harmonic Inspiration), Op. 3, is a collection of twelve concertos for one, two and four violins written by Antonio Vivaldi in 1711. It augmented the reputation of Vivaldi as Il Prete Rosso (The Red Priest) [so called because of the color of his hair, a family trait; Vivaldi was ordained as a priest at the age of 25]. Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot described the set as “perhaps the most influential collection of instrumental music to appear during the whole of the eighteenth century”. (Wikipedia link)

On YouTube, a recording of Concerto #06 in A minor for solo violin, strings and basso continuo, RV 356:

Don’t shade your eyes

May 18, 2015

Today’s Zits:

Has Jeremy been involved in “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own” (NOAD2)? Well, he’s certainly passed off as his own work something that was not. His defense appears to be that there is no person whose work this was; he wasn’t stealing from anyone. A bold move, but one that’s not flying with his teacher.

(more…)

Morning tune

May 12, 2015

Yesterday morning it wasn’t a name, exactly; it was a theme song, from the tv sitcom Three’s Company, that was stuck in my head. And remained stuck, as a dreadful earworm, all day long.

Here it is, if you’re willing to expose yourself to it:

Now to the show and its star, John Ritter.

(more…)

Keith Jarrett

May 11, 2015

[Mostly about music, rather than language.]

Yesterday on NPR, an interview with pianist Keith Jarrett, on the occasion of his 70th birthday (and the 40th anniversary of his most famous performance, in Köln). From the interview:

Keith Jarrett hit a milestone this past week: The famed jazz pianist turned 70 years old, and he’s decided to mark the occasion with two new releases. One offers his take on two important classical works [by Samuel Barber and Béla Bartók]; the other, Creation, documents how his creative process plays out in front of a host of live audiences.

For Jarrett, inspiration and execution occur almost simultaneously. He doesn’t know what he’s going to play when he sits down to play a concert and simply allows the music to come to him. Creation is a collection of live recordings from throughout 2014, reshuffled into what could pass as one long improvised performance.

Jarrett today:

(#1)

(more…)

“The most famous beaver of the 17th century”

May 7, 2015

That’s what I thought I heard from the WQXR announcer last night. But then she went on to tell us about Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber’s Sonata VII in G for violin, which made a lot more sense than a 17th-century beaver.

Biber with a /b/, beaver with a /v/: acoustically very close.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern (12 August 1644 (baptised) – 3 May 1704) was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and violinist. (Wikipedia link)

Ignaz Pleyel

April 29, 2015

Ignaz Pleyel’s Symphony in G Major (Benton 130) went by me on WQXR (classical music in NYC) yesterday, and I was reminded what a fascinating character Pleyel is. This will lead us to shapenote singing and then, via the composer’s personal name, to the Jesuits and Krazy Kat.

(more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 853 other followers