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Something for Thursday
Another song that was used in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, this tune by Cat Stevens explores the hopeful frustration inherent in the father-son relationship. On the one hand, the fear that we're not steering them correctly; on the other, the fear that we're not living up. Not easy stuff.Here is Cat Stevens with "Father and Son".

Tone Poem Tuesday
Oh wow, you have to listen to this. I'd never heard of it, or its composer, until it popped up on a YouTube sidebar a bit ago. It's a suite from a ballet called Estancia, by a composer named Alberto Ginastera.Ginastera, with whom I am completely unfamiliar, was a 20th century Argentinian composer who is apparently viewed as one of the most important composers from the Americas during that age. His music apparently (I'm getting this from Wikipedia) calls on Argentinian folk music, and a common them is that of the gaucho, the itinerant horseman of the South American plains. Listening to this work, I can certainly hear the vibrancy of Argentina, its exotic flavor, and the flamboyance of its dances.Here is the Suite from Estancia.

Something for Thursday
From Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble -- producers of some of the most fascinating music out there -- comes this spellbinding musical telling of a legend of a bird who flew to the sun, lost its body, but gained pure spiritual existence, "Ascending Bird".

Tone Poem Tuesday
For September 11, Elegy by Mark Camphouse, played by the United States Marine Band.

Something for Thursday (Friday Edition--farewell, Burt Reynolds)
Burt Reynolds is gone. I always thought he was quite an underrated actor.Like many from my generation, this movie is where I first saw him (I think--it might have actually been Hooper). Here's Jerry Reed and "Eastbound and Down", from Smokey and the Bandit.

Tone Poem Tuesday (Friday edition)
I'm in crunch-time on drafting Forgotten Stars IV, which means that I've been focusing almost all of my energy there of late. But I don't mean to leave this space completely fallow as I did this week!So, here's a Suppe overture. Because when in doubt, one can always listen to a Suppe overture. This one is Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna, conducted by a very young and spry Zubin Mehta (who is now 82--where does the time go!).

Bad Joke Friday


Something for Thursday
I've really been grooving to the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 of late, and of the wonderfully-chosen songs from that film, this one for me is a standout. I suspect that many people, like me, had never heard this song before the movie--or even heard of the song, as it was apparently just a regional hit in the 1970s, being about a road in Chicago. But it's got this nifty energy to it that reminds me of some of the best country-rock out there.I especially like the poetry in the lyrics, such as "And the blue lights shine with a heavenly grace to help you right on by." Great song!

Tone Poem Tuesday
I still owe him a much longer post, but meantime, this past Saturday marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest musicians this country has ever produced. Here he is conducting the music of another of America's greatest musicians, Aaron Copland, in his Appalachian Spring ballet. This is still the finest performance of this work I know.

Something for Thursday
A bit of film music adapted for chamber performance, by the great Joe Hisaishi. From My Neighbor Totoro, here is "Kaze no Torimichi (The Path of Wind)".

Behold...THE GEEKIVERSE!!!
Check this out, folks: I have joined local geek commentary website The Geekiverse as a staff writer! Huzzah!!In addition to other things, I'll be mainly writing a regular column I'm calling Curios from the Outer Rim, in which I look at geeky stuff that's at least fifteen years old, so as to balance the ever-present focus on what's coming out today/this weekend/this month/this year. My first installment is live now, so go take a look!

Tone Poem Tuesday
Remember how in the movie Amadeus Antonion Salieri is presented as a basically competent composer whose music might have been nice at the time but deserved its fade from memory? Well...no, Salieri was no Mozart. But he wasn't a boob, either. He was prolific and talented...like many a composer, really. And the movie, though great, took significant liberties with musical history. Salieri did not hound poor Mozart to his death, even if their relationship was frosty.Here is the overture to his opera Les Horaces. This is not the work of "a mediocrity"!

Recent walks
Snapshots of recent walks....

Something for Thursday
Farewell, Aretha Franklin. Such an amazing voice.

Tone Poem Tuesday
We did a piece by Vasily Kalinnikov last week, so this week...let's do another one!Just as last week I was unable to dig up much actual information about the Bylina Overture, so too am I unable to find a lot out about The Cedar and the Palm, which is a "symphonic picture" written in 1898 (which happens to be the year my maternal grandmother was born). Here it is:


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