Friday, August 31, 2007

Alexander Street

Alexander Street Music Library has started a blog, and it has weekly free MP3 downloads of classical music.

PS. Unfortunately, old downloads are not kept available, each week the new one replaces the previous week's.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Trio Sonatas

I am listening to J.S. Bach's "Trio Sonata"s ... it is so peaceful, especially this performance that is somehow slower than the others I heard before ... if there is a heaven, J.S.Bach should be played there most of the time :)
* * *
By human natural tendency to overdo everything, I looked up more performances of "trio sonatas" (JSB) on our "second" online music library (!), and to my surprise all of them were performed by one/two keyboard/piano/organ, but no strings, so I did a little search: [Source - wikipedia]:

The trio sonata is a musical form which was particularly popular around the 17th century and the 18th century.
A trio sonata is written for two solo melodic instruments and basso continuo, making three parts in all, hence the name trio sonata. However, because the basso continuo is usually made up of at least two instruments (typically a cello or bass viol and a keyboard instrument such as the harpsichord), trio sonatas are typically performed by at least four instruments.
The melody instruments used are usually both violins. A well-known exception is the trio sonata in Johann Sebastian Bach's The Musical Offering, which is for violin and flute.
Johann Sebastian Bach's trio sonatas for organ (BWV 525-530) combine all three parts on one instrument. Typically the right hand, left hand, and pedals will each take a different part on a different sound, thus creating the same trio effect.

Hawk Update:

1) Today, for the fourth time overall and third time in the past month, I saw a hawk eating a pigeon (at the usual spot!) My interpretation is that the hawk(s) have grown-up and are much better hunters now ... unfortunately, the last 3 times I was not lucky enough to see the actual hunt!

2) I used to see mostly one and sometimes two hawks around ... but a couple of days ago I saw 3-4 of them, in fact during a mating process, I assume males were competing to get the female ... the flight patterns and what they did to grab attention was quite interesting

Monday, August 27, 2007

Artist, a Reserved Artist ...

Thanks to a Friend, I found and took this test, with the following outcome:

My map:
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and here is another map (whose ? ;)

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

And is found at last ....

After emailing car-talk and following their answer, I found the piece they play around 40 minutes into their show here, [their music info]. The piece is "Plastic Banana" composed by "David Nichtern" and is off of the "Tony Rice" self-titled album.According to "allmusic",
"Tony Rice is one of bluegrass' most inventive
flatpicking guitar players. Although he's
displayed a mastery of the genre's traditions,
Rice set the standard for more contemporary styles."

Here is the CD review, courtesy of allmusic.com:

"This eponymous release was the first of Tony Rice's many albums for the Rounder label, and hardcore bluegrass fans will probably consider it his best. Joined by an impressive roster of sidemen representing both the old and new schools of bluegrass playing (including David Grisman, J.D. Crowe, Jerry Douglas, and Darol Anger), Rice runs through a program consisting primarily of bluegrass standards but also including a number of forward-thinking modern compositions, such as David Nichtern's "Plastic Banana" and Grisman's swinging "Rattlesnake." This album is one of the early landmarks in the development of what came to be called new acoustic music, an instrumental genre that drew almost equally on bluegrass, jazz, and classical traditions and came to be championed by Rice, Grisman, Anger, and a few others in their circle. But as Rice's warm singing on "Hills of Roane County" and "Banks of the Ohio" and his fiery flatpicking on "Big Mon" and "Farewell Blues" attest, this is also a very fine straight bluegrass album. It's difficult to pick out highlights, but the joyful "Eighth of January" and the wonderful twin fiddle arrangement on "Big Mon" are both definite showstoppers."

For the Love of Ballet

Watched "The Company" [Allmovie, Metacritics] by "Robert Altman". I have seen "Gosford Park" and "A Prairie Home Companion" from him.

Good movie, with excellent music and lovely ballet performances, but without any specific/significant plot ... I specially loved a small piece of dance/ballet on one of Bach's Cello suites, it is fantastic ...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Master-piano-piece

Suite for Piano: Pictures at an Exhibition
Pianist: Nami Ejiri

Piano pieces are masterfully chosen and played!

Amazon does not carry it :(

I listened to other performances of same pieces (from Mussorgsky), among them Alfred Brendel's, and I think Nami Ejiri has done a very good job, but who am I to say ...

But more importantly, Mussorgsky's piano suite, Pictures at an Exhibition, is a very beautiful, romantic, piece ... highly recommended!


Courtesy of "NAXOS MUSIC LIBRARY":

Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich (1839-1881)
Mussorgsky was one of the five Russian nationalist composers, roughly grouped under the influence of the unreliable Balakirev. Initially an army officer and later, intermittently, a civil servant, Mussorgsky left much unfinished at his death in 1881, nevertheless his influence on composers such as Janácek was considerable, not least in the association he found between speech intonations and rhythms and melody. Rimsky-Korsakov, a musician who had acquired a more conventional technique of orchestration and composition, revised and completed a number of Mussorgsky's works, versions which now may seem inferior to the innovative original compositions as Mussorgsky conceived them.
Operas
The greatest of Mussorgsky's creations was the opera Boris Godunov, based on Pushkin and Karamazin, with a thoroughly Russian historical subject. He completed the first version in 1869 and a second version in the 1870s, but it was Rimsky-Korsakov's version that was first performed outside Russia. The opera provides an important part for a bass in the rôle of Boris. Other operas by Mussorgsky include Khovanshchina, completed and orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov. A later version by Shostakovich restores more of the original text. The opera Sorochintsy Fair, after Gogol, completed by Lyadov and others, includes the orchestral favourite Night on the Bare Mountain, an orchestral witches' sabbath.
Piano Music
Mussorgsky's 1874 suite Pictures at an Exhibition, a tribute to the versatile artist Hartman, has proved the most popular of all the composer's works, both in its original version for piano and in colourful orchestral versions, of which that by Maurice Ravel has proved the most generally acceptable. Linked by Promenades for the visitor to the exhibition, Mussorgsky represents in music a varied collection, from the Market of Limoges and the Catacombs to the final Great Gate of Kiev, a monumental translation into music of an architectural design for a triumphal gateway.
Vocal Music
Mussorgsky wrote a number of choral works and songs, many of the latter of considerable interest, including the group The Nursery. The Song of the Flea, based on Goethe's Mephistophelean song in Faust, is a bass favourite.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

So Fragile Called Reality

Hard to imagine anything more meaningless, less reliable, more imaginary, than feelings ... except beliefs !

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Modesty and Humility

Where is [MY] modesty and humility?

Good, but Shallow, Musician :)

I think I have already mentioned [HERE] "Mohsen Namjoo", and here is another of his very innovative and good music, but very cheap and shallow lyrics, to the extent of becoming borderline K-SHER!

Here is "Wikipedia" page on him.

Actually, I kind of like the K-KHOLI of his lyrics ... my favorite part:
"EY KHATERE'AT POONEZ, NOK-TIZ TAHE KAFSHAM ..."



How about this one? I am deep under KAF! :)



Friday, August 10, 2007

Deja Vu

We went to this place[Churchill Grounds]
to see/hear this person[Mace Hibbard]
It reminded me of this show[Frank Catalano]
we went to in this venue[Any's Jazz Club]
in January 2007 when we were in Chicago for AEA / AFA.

***
and everything he touched became poem!

The Old Man and the Sea

People make bad decisions, or so it seems from an outside observer's point of view

So, there is an old man, runs one of my favorite coffee shops, and reminds me of Hemingway and his last novel

Yesterday, he explained to me his plans to destroy his retirement fund by taking out the money and day-trading. Luckily for him, he has not yet succeeded in timing things and market is looking bad right now

I tried my best to change his mind, but I have a feeling that it did not work

People make really bad decisions in their lives

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Journey - Revisited (Polished?)

Looked back over his shoulder, into the dark,
Felt a chill,
Could not stop, no rest, no way back,
No chance to fix the damages,

Vague image of future,
Mass of darkness, pain of despair,
laid in front
And the eternal question, is it worth the effort?

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THIS IS BEYOND REPAIR, the main feeling is already lost, the sense of turning your neck and looking back at nothing!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ubbelievable .. ??!! Mystery - the pickup artist

We saw his (Mystery!) new reality-tv show on Vh1: The pickup artist ... it is fun to watch:
http://www.movieweb.com/tv/news/26/21526.php

and Conan has interviewed the guy as well (he has a book!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJJH167E4VU

Believe it or not, it has inspired me to think about "social interactions" and their hidden costs! Why some people dislike social interaction ... is it because they do not want to bear its costs?
More links:
http://www.vh1mystery.com/

http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/08/02/the-pick-up-artist-hits-vh1-monday/

Friday, August 03, 2007

hawk news:

Today, after more than 6 month, I saw for the second time one of the hawks (outside my office) eating a pigeon. I did not catch the haunting scene, so I do not know if the hawk snatch the pigeon in the air, or like last time on the building.
While hawks is eating the doomed pigeon, another pigeon comes close, to about 3-4 feet from them and watch the scene for a few minutes, what does it "think" about this???
I should have had a camera to capture it, too bad that I am so lazy to buy a digital camera.

Ironically, I was going to write a post yesterday about how unsuccessful these hawks are in catching pigeons ...

Here is a nice site on "Urban Hawks"!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Old Story, over and over

Nothing compares to the beauty of a bird of prey (hawk, falcon) attacking a flock of pigeons ... Pigeons fly is really amazing, especially when they escape a hawk ... and the cool part is that most of the time hawks fail to catch pigeons, so this video is quite an exaggeration: [THIS VIDEO IS AMAZING!]:




Which brings us to the main point: more than the beauty of flying, it is the persistence of animals in what they do that amazes me ... they just keep doing and doing, over and over, ...
It seems to me that life is really this and nothing more or less, a short opportunity for doing nothing!

PS. What is the deal with "heavy metal" music on all "falcon" videos ... :)

Freedom, Religion

A couple of days ago I read a discussion between some friends regarding religion, worship, freedom, and slavery. In Farsi and Arabic, the t...