Posts Tagged ‘music’

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Wonder Wednesday

August 1, 2018

A voice of piercing clarity.  Backed by piano and strings.  Filmed deep within a decommissioned nuclear reactor.  A haunting beauty of layers and texture and acoustic magic.

(The electronic track is great too, in a different vein.)

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Wonder Wednesday

July 25, 2018

The Nagano Olympics opening ceremony finale.  A wonder because:

1 – It’s Beethoven’s 9th symphony 4th movement ‘Ode to Joy’.  That alone would render it wondrous.

2 – But it’s also being performed live from six locations across five continents.  The technical wizardry to pull this off was quite the feat, taking the orchestra and main choral from Japan and beaming it to the other five continents then taking the return stream, leading to six different feeds that, thanks to transmission delays, are all totally out of sync with each other, so that they then put it all back together and properly in time (constantly adjusting to prevent drift) and then piping it into the stadium.

3 – But the real piece de resistance is what’s happening within the stadium.  Not the dancers, but in the audience.  Because look at the crowd.  Standing.  And signing along.  In German.  That’s a love of music right there, and 100% perfect for the spirit of something like the Olympics.

Wonderful.

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Wonder Wednesday

May 30, 2018

My first trip to a Disney resort came in 1988, when we visited Walt Disney World.  Back then, only the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT were in operation, and while I enjoyed the heck out of them both, the future world section of EPCOT was my favourite.  All the science and sci-fi and future focused attractions captivated me.  One pavilion though was a bit different, for it traveled someplace quite different… it was a Journey Into Imagination.

That was some 30 odd years ago.  Of the ride itself I remembered only little bits and pieces, including, most importantly, Figment, the little imagination dragon.

I have not thought about, sought out, viewed, or just about anything of the ride since then.

And yet… just the other day when I stumbled upon the song below…

… it was instantly recognizable, familiar, and downright comfortable.  I felt giddy and couldn’t help but smile right away.

Unbeknownst to me, something from so long ago still held such a sweet spot in my heart.

The song got stuck in my head real fast, and I didn’t mind that one bit.

 

* Then again, I revel and value imagination so much, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised it holds such a spot in my heart…

** Of course, once I saw this I did do the deep dive online.  And there’s a bit of a sad ending to this all.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but my trip came when the park was only 5 years old; as such, I saw many of what now can be termed “classic” versions of the rides.  With Disney’s financial woes around the turn of the century, and with their reliance on sponsorship, the ride ended up getting a “refresh” that was anything but.  Shortened, done on the cheap, and jettisoning both Figment and the song, while also closing the various other parts of the building including the original ImageWorks, the new ride was quite poor.  So poor and roundly disliked that the new version was itself re-done just a couple of years later.  Re-introducing Figment and upping the game somewhat, it’s still shorter and seemingly not as well made nor as magical as the original.

But, thanks to the internet, we can re-live it once more, even if only through old tape-bound handicam footage!

And here’s another video that pulls the narration and the song directly from that amazing opening scene (which itself is a wonder – it’s a carousel that the cars face as it goes around, allowing for the long time on the one scene while still letting the cars move) from the original ride!

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Wonder Wednesday

April 4, 2018

One of the strong elements in Mulan is the mighty score, composed by the late Jerry Goldsmith.  And no part is more powerful than the music that plays during Mulan’s choice, a glorious mix of orchestral sweep morphing (unexpectedly) into a dynamic mix of synth and percussion, perfectly timed with the action on screen.  It’s glorious.

(When I bought the score, I was seriously frustrated that this piece wasn’t included (instead using an alternate version).  As soon as I had my hands on the VHS, I sent the audio to my computer to capture the rightful piece.  Now, in this our years of YouTube, it’s only a quick search away…)

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Wonder Wednesday

February 28, 2018

Woah, this is mindbendingly nifty and cool.  A 3 sided piano!  Sort of… check this out, it’s a 360 video, so you can use your finger/mouse to move the view around, or move your phone (or if you’re in a VR rig, just look around):

A wonderful blend of planning and choreography coupled with musical and mathematical harmonies to create spiraling cycles of music and people and  time.   The making-of video is equally fascinating to watch:

Very cool stuff.  Love the creativity and technical oomph that brought it all together!

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Wonder Wednesday

August 23, 2017

Playing for Change around the world with Stand by Me

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Philosophy Tuesday

July 4, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

So, Bono and the Edge played at the Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa over the weekend, with a nice, stripped down, acoustical rendition of their song, “One.”  Quite lovely.

One of the articles I was reading about the performance noted something I found very interesting about the song.  There’s a lyric in it that many people mishear or misinterpret.  And when it’s pointed out and made clear (as, apparently, the band tries to do whenever they can), it really shifts the nature of the song, to what I think is a much richer place.

What most people hear is:

“we’ve got to carry each other…”

However, the actual lyric is:

“we get to carry each other…”

This single word switch makes quite the difference.  It injects grace into the song.  It shifts the path and creates a different idea of the One.  It creates and even celebrates a Buddhist middle path, Taoist yin yang, straight up Niels Bohr way of saying “yes, we are different in many ways, and we can still come together.”  It removes a notion of obligation in the got, and instead turns it into generosity and possibility in the get.  It’s a One born from acting on our shared human desires and aspirations, our ur-intentions, regardless of the trappings of culture, society, interests, hobbies, romances, tastes, etc.

This get reminds us that we don’t have to really like someone, or want to be their acquaintance and hang out with them, or agree on everything, or be up to the same things in life, or understand everything about them, to still be committed to carrying each other.  To a future that works for us all.

Exquisite.  A melody well worthy of a celebration and worth living into.