Posts Tagged ‘music’


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!


Wonder Wednesday

August 23, 2017

Playing for Change around the world with Stand by Me


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.


Philosophy Tuesday

June 13, 2017

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

When I was young, my parents owned a cassette of Tchaikovsky music that led off with none other than the 1812 Overture.  Start the tape, Side A, first thing, there it was.  And I loved it.  I listened to it over, and over, and over again, the full thing, from the opening strings to the final carillons.  I’d get into it,  mock-conducting as the music went by, spinning the story of the music in my head.  I knew it inside out and backwards.

Some years later, I came across a different recording of the 1812th.  I don’t remember if I heard it on the radio or off another cassette, but I do remember instantly knowing one thing:  I didn’t like it.  At all.  It was just so WRONG.  Why were they playing with the wrong tempo here?  And what was with that different instrumentation there?  Who in their right mind would place the emphasis on those particular notes?  Or have the brass take the lead in that passage?  Why change the arrangement like that?


I had so gotten to know a particular version of the piece that it became the “right” version.  It wasn’t even a version, it was just RIGHT.  Normal.  Proper.  Truth.  Reality.  How it should be played.  It’s what sounded best.  It wasn’t judgment, it was self obvious.  This was what the 1812th Overture was.  Everything else was flawed (and so were you for not doing it right).

Soooooo, a bit righteous there.

Of course, at that age, I had not yet learned that classical music – any music, for that matter – was open to so much interpretation and alteration by conductors and musicians and artists.  And, certainly, I was very much not alone in this.

Less immediately obvious, however, is that this very much doesn’t apply only in the realm of music.

Our brains are pattern making machines.  We take what we experience and turn it into reality.  We inherit what we see and hear and experience around us in our culture, family, society, we add to it that which we encounter, decisions we make, events that happen to us, outcomes of our (in)actions, and it all gets wrapped up into a nice little ball that we take with us as we go about our lives.  And whenever something doesn’t match that what’s within that little ball, our feelings come online pretty quick:  dislike, upset, unease, weirded out, disgust.

We get so familiar with something that our feelings quickly reject anything outside of that “norm.” Things can feel bad just because they’re foreign, different, or plain new to us.

Of course, because it’s our feelings, it, well, feels right and truthful to us.  We’re having the correct reaction.  That really is bad.  And wrong.

There is a large pitfall in that immediate, and quick, rejection:

We can miss out on so much because of it.

Architecture, art, music, literature, cuisines, styles, aesthetics, people – a whole world of exquisite beauty and form we can miss out on by being dismissive and moving on.

But even more importantly, it can completely blind us and shut down avenues towards listening to each other, towards compassion, and towards growing a society that benefits us all, with human rights, dignity, and with the growth of love, understanding, and freedom.

It limits who we are and who we can be.

Those other 1812th Overtures I heard weren’t bad.  I just wasn’t used to them.  I’d never experienced them before.  The ick factor was real, yes, but there was no meaning behind it, other than simply ick.  Other than simply that unfamiliarity.  I had to put aside what I knew and expected to listen generously and with curiosity.

And so it continues.  All the time.  Let the feeling be, and go forward to explore.  To get past that first thought and go beyond.

And through that gain access to new realms of possibility, and to glorious new worlds of wonder.


The Oxygène Experience

May 28, 2017

I first heard the music of Jean-Michel Jarre when I was 12 or 13 years old.  A friend introduced it to me (Friends:  Introducing you to wicked music since forever) off some multi-artist compilation album that was popular at the time.  I loved it immediately.  Symphonic, melodic, electronic, playful, the music was chock full of journey and wonder.  It was a few years later before I got my hands on one of his complete albums, and later still the libraries in Ottawa proved very useful in listening to the rest of his work (Libraries: Giving you access to all sorts of cool stuff since forever).   To this day, I continue to love it.  They are timeless and still filled with wonder.

So when I heard he was coming to town as part of his first ever North American tour, there was no way in hell I was going to miss it.  This Friday past, Yebo and I travelled back to the Greek theatre to once again be amazed in aural glory. Read the rest of this entry ?


Sigur Symphony

April 9, 2017

Sigur Ros is a band I am not all that familiar with.  Despite my very wide and varied taste in music, they’ve existed on the periphery of my music listening.  Certainly not for any dislike of their work, it’s just never come to pass that I’ve explored their discography to great detail.  Yet, when I heard they were coming to Berkeley I said to myself “Self, you need to go see this concert.”

So I did.  Read the rest of this entry ?


Wonder Wednesday

February 15, 2017

This is all sorts of shades of awesome.  Craftiness, folktronica, chiptunes, random objects used instrumentally, and someone having loads of fun.  Love it!