Monday, March 22, 2010

Today's Web Destination

Today's "must click" web destination is "Music et Memoria" which explores many of the lesser known highways and by-ways of music history -- especially interesting are the sections of the prix de rome, the masterclass gallery,  and more. Give it a visit.

Music et Memoria

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hot Wheels

Need a ride to your next gig?

Happy Birthday Sondheim

Composer Sondheim turns 80 on the 22nd of this month and the parties are a foot:

"Sondheim’s birthday isn’t until March 22, but no matter. Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Donna Murphy, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald and especially Elaine Stritch — the youngest 85-year-old performer in town — started the festivities early.

Read more here.

bronze fingers

A monument for a monumental talent.

"The Oscar Peterson statue will be unveiled June 30 just outside the National Arts Centre, steps from Parliament Hill and the Canadian War Memorial, as part of Canada Day celebration"
Read the rest

Happy Organ

Give it a listen. It'll keep you smiling for days. (Watch closely for the poodly sitting on the bench with Cherry).

Friday, March 05, 2010

Piano at the Mayo

check out this clip from YouTube. It's bound to put a smile on your face. While the performers are old-school lo-tech sort of folks, they are a big hit on the Tube.
"Told that it means that a video of them playing a piano duet in the atrium of the Mayo Clinic has been watched more than 6.6 million times, Marlow Cowan replied: "Wow! People must not have much to do." It all started when Marlow, 91, went to the Mayo Clinic for a physical. He and Frances, 85, spotted a piano in the atrium with a sign inviting people to play it. So the did."

Listen to Her Piano: Pop matter

I disagree. If she were listening, she'd hear it telling she needs to practice. I am mystified by the "Alicia Keys-is-a-great-pianist" thing. She's not so much a pianist as she is a piano player, and not a great one at that.

"Midway through her 100-minute performance Wednesday night at the Allstate Arena, the side of Keys’ piano illuminated to display an electronic scrolling message that read, “Play me.” Keys looked at the text and said, “This is a very demanding piano. It tells me what to do.

Oh the irony! LInk

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Chopin, The Mazurka, and Greatness

A fine write-up with pianist/composer Rob Kapilow on the magic that is Chopin's music over on the NPR website and an audio clip of the Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4.
"His work forever changed what we even imagine as possible on the instrument, both technically and emotionally. It's one thing to say Chopin's great, but what makes him great?"

Read the rest here.

Most Unwanted Song. Ever.

This is a curious project: to create the most aesthetically unpleasing song. I am sort of surprised by earnestness they applied to the task. But as they say, the proof is in the pudding (or in this case in the hearing).

The song is twenty-two minutes and features instruments like bagpipes, tubas and the banjo, with political slogans, advertising jingles and cowboy lyrics. They manage to translate into orchestral rock-band church-music punctuated with high pitched sounds and abrupt changes in pace and mood

You can read more about it here and download a copy of the most unwanted song here.

Musical Staircase

Now this is my kind of staircase.... I imagine all kinds of fun with it.

In Sweden musical pads colored to look like piano keys were installed on a staircase. The point? To see if it would intice more people into actually taking the stairs than the escalator.