Djembe Therapy. It’s Good For What Ails You. I Promise.

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I’ve been saving this one for a while, but I decided to bust it out today for no particular reason except that I love it and it makes me smile every time I see it and I’m all about the smiles right now. Oh, and also because James got to play a djembe with the [Read More...]

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Heinrich von Herzogenberg Is My Latest Musical Discovery

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Let’s be precise. We’re not talking about just any von Herzogenberg; we’re talking about “Heinrich Picot de Peccaduc, Freiherr von Herzogenberg,” “an Austrian composer and conductor descended from a French aristocratic family.” Two historical facts of particular note: Early on he was attracted to the music of Richard Wagner, but after studying J. S. Bach‘s works he became [Read More...]

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What The 4th Of July Always Sounds Like (To Me)

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Earlier this week, I mentioned John Philip Sousa’s unmatched compositional contributions to the sounds of the Fourth of July. So I suppose now’s the ideal time for me to admit that despite the almost-relentless performance of his “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the sound that I will always associate with today’s holiday is not “SaSF.” Or any [Read More...]

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Gearing Up For The 4th With America’s March King

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There are few names as inextricably linked with the Fourth of July as that of John Philip Sousa. Even those for whom the name means nothing will almost certainly recognize his “Stars and Stripes Forever” after only a few bars. That piece will be playing on a loop from now ’til Sunday morning. (It’s the National March, you’ll [Read More...]

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Music For When It’s All Just A Bit Too Much

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For me, “escape” usually means movies. But sometimes, I just need a quick fix. And then, it’s music that does the trick. If you’re in the “Today’s Just Too Much” camp with me, here’s a little something to help. Crank up the volume. Put on some good headphones (if you’ve got ‘em). And maybe even close your eyes. It’s wonderfully transportive music. [Read more...]

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My Most Powerful Memory of Mr. James Horner

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And then, as the words faded from the screen, I heard this — eulogistic, yes, but a eulogy filled with peace, with pride, and with hope. Mr. Horner had penned something as essential to my ability to digest and respond to the film as were the images themselves. It was perfect. [Read more...]

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“Jurassic’s” Michael Giacchino Comes Musically Home

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View image | gettyimages.com I stumbled across this great NPR piece last night. It details the fantastic, coincident-laden journey that led film composer Michael Giacchino from a computer game meeting with his idol Steven Spielberg to swinging the baton for this summer’s Jurassic World. But it always comes back to dinosaurs. So when he was asked to score Jurassic [Read More...]

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When Don Quixote Meets Crazy Italian Violinists, We All Win

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For some reason, I really wanted to listen to Georg Philipp Telemann’s Don Quixote Suite (Burlesque de Don Quixotte) today. Not quite sure why, to be honest. I don’t see any windmills (or giants) on the horizon. But when I went to YouTube in search of a recording, I found it was a bit more [Read More...]

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Ennio Morricone Wrote a Mass for Pope Francis

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View image | gettyimages.com On a day when I’ve spent almost all morning with the works of Ennio Morricone ringing in my ears, I find some of my greatest interests (movies, music, and my Catholicity) colliding in unexpected and gratifying ways. Because just this afternoon, I’ve discovered (thanks to Frank at YIMCatholic) that Morricone — easily [Read More...]

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Weathering Some Typical Wyoming Weather, Thanks to The Master Singers

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“If you don’t like the weather we’re having right now,” we Wyomingites say, “wait five minutes. It’ll change.” As someone who’s a) hoping to play baseball tonight, and b) watching scattered raindrops fall outside my office windows at this very moment, I’m hoping this ol’ saw is as accurate today as ever. I’m also listening to [Read More...]

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