“For unto us a child is born”

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Attribution(s): “The Adoration of the Shepherds” by Giovanni Lanfranco; image provided by Bridgeman Images and licensed [Read More…]

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Tis’ the Season. The Beecham Season.

As Christmas draws nigh, my thoughts turn (unsurprisingly) to that piece of classical music NPR DJ-extraordinaire Jim Svejda (whose mellifluous tones and not-entirely-categorizeable accent were a near-constant presence on my youthful ears) considers nearly as essential to Christmas as The Man Himself. And to the recording of that particular piece he considers nearly as essential: If [Read More…]

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Parked By the Jukebox with Luluc’s “Passerby”

From Sub Pop Records, the label behind the album currently streaming through my headphones: Luluc’s “Passerby.” In a world where instant gratification is the norm, patience has become a rare commodity. But for Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett, who make up indie-folk duo Luluc (pronounced Loo-LUKE), letting things unfold in due time not only defines their career trajectory, [Read More…]

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The Welcome Ubiquity of “La Folia”

Why, yes, I do have a favorite version of “La Folía” — the deceptively simple tune (or perhaps more accurately “the deceptively simple baseline”) that first appeared in print during the late 1600s, and has been used by more than 150 composers in over 330 compositions from Medieval Times right up ’till the present day. Thanks [Read More…]

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“O Praise the Lord of Heaven!”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! O Praise the Lord of Heaven; Praise Him in the Height, Praise Him in the Depth; O praise the Lord of Heaven, Praise Him all ye Angels, Praise Jehovah. Praise Him Sun and Moon and blazing Comets, Praise the Lord. Let them praise the Name of the Lord, For He spake the Word [Read More…]

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Always On the Lookout for New Wine Skins (and Old Wine)

Stumbled across these two things a few days ago, and thought they went well together. Yes, of course there’s more where these two came from. Lots more. We’re talking about the InterWebs, after all. (BONUS and similarly charming-if-odd musical mashups available from “Postmodern Jukebox’s” YouTube library.) [Read more…]

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SSF: “Cymatics: Science Vs. Music”

Now for something (almost) entirely different than my usual Summa Shorts fare: CYMATICS (from Greek: κῦμα “wave”): the study of visible sound; a process for making soundwaves visible; a subset of modal phenomena.  The only thing I love more than this video itself? The fact that all the scientific effects used in the video are real, and they have a “Behind the Scenes” [Read More…]

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Just Messin’ Around with Four Pianos (and Eight Hands)

All the likes. All of them, I say. Perhaps not the best version from a technical standpoint (or in terms of recording quality), but it sure is fun to watch Argerich, Kissin, Levine, and Pletnev pounding away together. For those who do not enjoy hearing Bach’s music performed on the the piano — Yes, they exist. No, I can’t [Read More…]

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This One’s For Educational Purposes ONLY…

…and by “ONLY,” I mean “This video comes from a YouTube channel that describes itself as ‘music examples for teaching and study purposes, uploaded by members of the Music Department at English Martyrs’ Catholic School, Leicester, UK’ and this might not be exactly a teaching ‘purpose,’ strictly speaking, but I’ve been looking for it for [Read More…]

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Living with Musical Free Association Syndrome

So, this is pretty much my life in a nutshell — with the emphasis on “nuts:” Start listening to the soundtrack for Terrance Malick’s The Thin Red Line. Think: “Wow. That sounds sort of Inception-y.” Head out onto the InterWebs and find this — a stinging reminder that I’m not even remotely original. (But then, neither [Read More…]

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