Saturday’s smiles

August 12, 2017

From: EFFICIENCY & TICKET, LTD., Management Consultants
To: Chairman, The London Symphony Orchestra
Re: Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor.

After attending a rehearsal of this work we make the following observations and recommendations:

We note that the twelve first violins were playing identical notes, as were the second violins. Three violins in each section, suitably amplified, would seem to us to be adequate.

Much unnecessary labour is involved in the number of demisemiquavers in this work; we suggest that many of these could be rounded up to the nearest semiquaver thus saving practice time for the individual player and rehearsal time for the entire ensemble. The simplification would also permit more use of trainee and less-skilled players with only marginal loss of precision.

We could find no productivity value in string passages being repeated by the horns; all tutti repeats could also be eliminated without any reduction of efficiency.

In so labour-intensive an undertaking as a symphony, we regard the long oboe tacet passages to be extremely wasteful. What notes this instrument is called upon to play could, subject to a satisfactory demarcation conference with the Musician’s Union, be shared out equitably amongst the other instruments.

Conclusion: if the above recommendations are implemented the piece under condsideration could be played through in less than half an hour with concomitant savings in overtime, lighting and heating, wear and tear on the instruments and hall rental fees.

Also, had the composer been aware of modern cost-effective procedures he might well have finished this work.

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Glen Campbell 22.4.36 – 8.9.17

August 9, 2017

Country singer Glen Campbell has died:

During a career that spanned six decades, Campbell sold over 45 million records. In 1968, one of his biggest years, he outsold the Beatles.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” the singer’s family said in a statement.

Campbell was a rare breed in the music business, with various careers as a top-level studio guitarist, chart-topping singer and hit television host. His late-career battle with Alzheimer’s – he allowed a documentary crew to film on his final tour for the 2014 award-winning I’ll Be Me – made him a public face for the disease, a role President Bill Clinton suggested would one day be remembered even more than his music. . . 


You’ll Never Walk Alone

July 9, 2017

Inspired by Andrei’s comment on yesterday’s singing at the rugby post:

This is Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Youtube also has versions by:

André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra 

Aretha Franklin

Barbara Streisand

Beyonce

Celtic Women

Doris Day

Elvis Presley

Judy Garland

Frank Sinatra

Hayley Westenra

Johnny Cash

Kiri Te Kanawa  and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Louis Armstrong

Olivia Newton John

Ray Charles

Righteous Brothers

Roy Orbison

Sol3 Mio and live

Susan Boyle

The Beatles

The Three Tenors

And from the musical Carousel

 


We don’t sing as one

July 8, 2017

The Welsh have been singing at rugby games for generations.

Australians took to singing Waltzing Matilda  more recently.

Why don’t New Zealanders sing?

When we were in Argentina to watch the Pumas play their first home game in the Rugby Championship against the All blacks four years ago, the group practised singing before the game but once we got to the stadium any attempts to get a rousing song going petered out.

The Rugby Union has been using social media to get garner enthusiasm for Tutira Mai 

It means stand as one but it hasn’t got us singing as one.

It’s been shared and liked on Facebook by thousands of people but has failed to get traction at the tests.

Lions fans have been louder, and possibly more numerous than the locals.

Maybe many of the people who go to rugby matches aren’t the people on social media.

And playing Tutira Mai through the speakers isn’t enough to get the crowd singing. As we found in Argentina, that requires strong singers in the crowd.

I like the song, even though Ngatai Huata, the daughter of Canon Wi Te Tau Huata, who composed it, says we’ve got the words and tune wrong but I won’t be at the test and even if I was, I’m definitely not the one to get a crowd  to sing as one.

However, singing or not, I will be backing black and my prediction – based on the fact the team will want a win for captain Kieran Read’s 100th test and they will also be focussed on continuing the unbroken steak of series wins against the Lions – is a win to the All Blacks by um, 21-13.

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Residue (Shape of You parody)

June 30, 2017

Peterson Farm Bros have a new parody:


Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize lecture

June 8, 2017

Bob Dylan has delivered his Nobel Prize lecture :

When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature. I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I’m going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful.

If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly. Buddy died when I was about eighteen and he was twenty-two. From the moment I first heard him, I felt akin. I felt related, like he was an older brother. I even thought I resembled him. Buddy played the music that I loved – the music I grew up on: country western, rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm and blues. Three separate strands of music that he intertwined and infused into one genre. One brand. And Buddy wrote songs – songs that had beautiful melodies and imaginative verses. And he sang great – sang in more than a few voices. He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be. I saw him only but once, and that was a few days before he was gone. I had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed. . .

John Donne as well, the poet-priest who lived in the time of Shakespeare, wrote these words, “The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts. Not of two lovers, but two loves, the nests.” I don’t know what it means, either. But it sounds good. And you want your songs to sound good.

When Odysseus in The Odyssey visits the famed warrior Achilles in the underworld – Achilles, who traded a long life full of peace and contentment for a short one full of honor and glory – tells Odysseus it was all a mistake. “I just died, that’s all.” There was no honor. No immortality. And that if he could, he would choose to go back and be a lowly slave to a tenant farmer on Earth rather than be what he is – a king in the land of the dead – that whatever his struggles of life were, they were preferable to being here in this dead place.

That’s what songs are too. Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, “Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.”

I like that the meaning doesn’t have to matter.

Sometimes I don’t get the meaning of what I read or hear but I still like the way the words sound and the power they have to affect my feelings.

You can listen to Dylan delivering the lecture at the link above.


Shopera

April 10, 2017

If only supermarket shopping could be this entertaining:


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