The Moving Genius of Akira Kirusowa


View image | Yes, I have already written about Tony Zhou’s web series, “Every Frame a Painting.” Yes, he has released a new episode, “Akira Kurosawa – Composing Movement.” Yes, it’s amazing. What else were you expecting his Kurosawa-themed analysis to be? Yes, I’m sharing it with you. I have to live with myself, after all. [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 31


Antonio Lotti’s “Crucifixus.” The whole piece is powerful stuff, but I would call your attention in particular to the section that begins at the 1:50 mark, where Lotti transitions from “Pontio Pilato” to the suffering and burial of Christ. An astonishing moment. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato: Passus, et sepultus est. He was [Read More...]

SVS: “The Station Agent”


“It’s funny how people see me and treat me, since I’m really just a simple, boring person.” If Tom McCarthy were to make nothing but Bay-y, FX-laden action thrillers from now ’til the end of his career, his debut film would still provide me with enough evidence to forever defend him as an “Actors’ Director.” I speak, of course, [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 30


I’m always amazed at how little music there is that has been written in honor of Saint Joseph. Somehow, I suspect he’s pleased by that fact. But at the same time, it makes finding an appropriate musical selection for today’s feast a bit of a challenge. (I couldn’t very well ignore it, could I? It’s [Read More...]

Using the Next Five Seconds to Make Your Internet World a Bit More Beautiful


I spend a lot of time on the InterWebs. A frightening amount of time, really. And the vast majority of that time — almost 100% — is spent in Chrome. With somewhere between 100 and 1,000,000 tabs open at once. (I’m exaggerating. But only slightly.) Yes, it can be a bit mind-numbing. (Or in my case, “mind”-numbing.) [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 29


Sticking with the film composer theme I started yesterday, here an instrumental meditation from Polish composer/Gorecki compatriot Wojciech Kilar, written for the 1991 film based on the last days of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Zycie za zycie (Life for Life). I’ve never seen the film (though Steven Greydanus’ various pieces encourage me to remedy that fact), but the soundtrack has been [Read More...]

This Short Is the Best “Proof of Concept” I’ve Ever Seen


Maybe all “proof of concept” pieces are equal. But some are more equal than other, right? And this one just might be the most equal ever. (OK, fine. I’m putting “Animal Farm” down now. And stepping away.) Proof of Concept/pitch for The Leviathan, created by Ruairi Robinson. By the early 22nd century mankind had colonized many [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 28


In recent years, I’ve made a point of posting the Lorica of St. Patrick in honor of the day’s feast. Past posts have included the famous version from Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, a setting of the middle section of the prayer by contemporary composer John Rutter, and a setting of that same section by also-contemporary composer Bernard Sexton. Today, though, [Read More...]

An Uncomfortably Challenging Quote from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


I can’t remember when I first stumbled across this quote, or how. It’s from his Gulag Archipelago, I think. And it’s been sort of bothering me ever since I read it. (Not because I disagree with it, but because I think it’s right. And because it’s hard.) “If only it were all so simple! If only there [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 27


I can never stay away from Bach for long. As evidenced by today’s selection, his “Komm, süßer Tod:” Komm, süßer Tod, komm selge Ruh! Komm führe mich in Friede, Weil ich der Welt bin müde, Ach komm! ich wart auf dich, Komm bald und führe mich, Drück mir die Augen zu. Komm, selge Ruh!  Come, sweet death, come blessed rest! Come lead [Read More...]