Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Miscellanea

The world would be a duller place without the adroit satires of The Onion. Here is a piece about the delight one orchestra expressed about an upcoming pops concert with John Mellencamp:
“To repeat the same sequence of eight notes over and over again while staring at the back of John Mellencamp’s head as amplified guitars and boisterous audience members drown out most of the sound—I can’t think of a greater privilege than that. The only thing better would be playing with Jon Bon Jovi, but I’m not getting my hopes up.”
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Ringo is just about to turn 75--if you can believe it--and The Spectator has a tribute: Ringo's no joke. He was a genius and the Beatles were lucky to have him which to my mind is the simple truth.
...the Beatles were great only because of the greatness of four men composing and playing together. Without Starr in the mix, they would have sounded quite different, and probably not as wonderful.
Ringo got subtler the further the band left touring behind and the more experimental, from mid-1966, they became in the studio. Without him, there’d be no Beatles track like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, which ends the album Revolver. With its tape-loop screeches and Lennon’s eerie vocal, the whole is held together by Starr’s astonishing, off-the-beat control on slackened tom-toms. His drumming makes this piece of music shamanic and, still, utterly fresh.
So the next time you listen to a Beatles tune like Harrison's "Something", listen to what Ringo is doing. Without him, the song would be something quite different and not nearly as good.

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And again the Globe and Mail has a dreary article about Canada's "cultural policy" which always seems to boil down to limiting the choices of Canadians by forcing them to support local tv, music and movie production no matter how mediocre on the theory that Canada has to "listen to its own stories." But it seems the culturecrats seem to have met their match with the Internet. How do you stop Netflix without looking like an idiot?
Ms. Joly seems aware of the contradiction of mandating Canadian content rules for domestic services but praising the exploitation of a free and open Canadian Internet for foreign cultural products. But after months and months of consultations, it seems we’re no closer to either putting something on that Heritage table to address the contradiction; nor is it any clearer whether Ottawa might be ripping the government-supported Band-Aids off altogether and letting everyone be free.
Net neutrality may be good Internet policy, but it’s not a substitute for a cultural policy.
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Sorry for the appallingly brief miscellanea this week. If you had the kind of week I have had... Let's end with a delightful envoi. This is the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich played by Hilary Hahn with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Mariss Jansons:


That's the only violin concerto I know of to begin with a nocturne.

2 comments:

Marc Puckett said...

Noticed a conversation between Mark Steyn and Jordan Peterson earlier this week, although I'm late to it. Thought of this in connexion with your politics-in-the-arts posts.

There's a new recording by I Fagiolini of Monteverdi's 'other Vespers', i.e. a pastiche of compositions from Selva morale e spirituale and other composers, not the more famous 1610 Vespers. "The Palestrina/Bovicelli Ave verum, which features the haunting sound of the cornetto muto over the male voices, is a reconstruction of a contrafactum made (or at any rate suggested) by Bovicelli of Palestrina’s secular madrigal Io son ferito, ahi lasso which has never been performed or recorded before. The unique sound-world, coupled with some wonderful uses of dissonance, make this one of the highlights of the disc." (The reviewer at Presto Classical.) I don't think that the dissonance is all that wonderful but what do I know.

Bryan Townsend said...

I've dipped into quite a few of Jordan Peterson's videos and watched some in their entirety. There was one about an hour long with him debating three women, two of them lawyers and the other an activist of some sort. I have to say that while I can listen to some of his sections, the others were hard because they were either simply stating, without arguing for, standard official "truths" or, in one case, because it was an unpleasant mixture of mud-slinging alternating with appeals to authorities whom I do not regard as authorities! They should have a buzzer at these things and as soon as someone commits a logical fallacy, the buzzer should sound.

There is just so much 16th and 17th century music!!!