That, to me, seems to be at the crossroads of all the most superficial trends in current classical music performance. Which probably means that it will be a Big Hit (though with only 9000 and change hits on YouTube it's not a big hit yet). Let's run the checklist:
- Pop crossover, Kashmir, by Led Zeppelin with extra marks for pseudo-world-music status: check!
- Glitzy costumes: check!
- Fancy stage choreography: check!
- Contemporary classical tune with folk references: check!
- Vivaldi, Four Seasons: check!
Did I miss anything? Oh, right, attractive female soloist: check!
Alongside this rather tired attempt to enliven crossover with some gymnastics let's juxtapose a rather more original effort: the first music album to be, partly at least, recorded in space. Here is the article in the Globe and Mail: "About to launch album debut, Chris Hadfield talks recording music in space." You remember Christ Hadfield? He is just starting his third career. First he was a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, then an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency where he spent 166 days on the International Space Station. While there he did a lot of interesting things in his spare time with photography and social media. Yes, he is one of the few people to post photos to the Internet from orbit. I posted about him way back in May, 2013 when he released a cover of the David Bowie tune "Space Oddity" that he recorded on the space station. Now there's a first! Here it is:
The voice and guitar were recorded on the space station, everything else on the ground. With over 26 million hits, it rather puts Janice's acrobatics in the shade.
But, as we learn from the Globe and Mail article, that was just the beginning. Chris, a veteran of various bands over 25 years, also wrote and recorded several original songs and they will be released on Oct. 9. One interesting bit:
You bet! I tried to practice guitar while on a five-day train trip across Canada and I know exactly what he means. On a train (or in a car) you are constantly being jolted in different directions so it is basically impossible to play guitar. Stability is pretty much a necessity. There is one tune from the album on YouTube. Here is "Feet Up":
Well, ok, there's your pretty good Canadian soft rock. Chris Hadfield gets full points for versatility!