Tis’ the Season. The Beecham Season.

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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...]

Parked By the Jukebox with Luluc’s “Passerby”

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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...]

“O Praise the Lord of Heaven!”

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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...]

SSF: “Cymatics: Science Vs. Music”

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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...]

This One’s For Educational Purposes ONLY…

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…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...]

Parked By the Jukebox: with James Hill and His Ukulele

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This is amazing stuff. So amazing, in fact, that my instinctive response was: “That’s got to be fake.” And then he dove right into “Billie Jean.” Gosh. His name’s James Hill, he’s a ukulele player (and HOW!), a Canadian, and — as his website describes him — “a man on a musical mission.” I’m not quite sure [Read More...]

“Grim Grinning Ghosts” and the Magic of Thurl Ravenscroft

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For no particular reason other than because it’s a bit October-y and I like to post thematically/seasonally-appropriate music from time to time and because, unlike Tom McDonald, I don’t know country music much, dark or otherwise. Also, because I was recently listening to NPR’s “All Songs Considered” fascinating podcast with John Congleton and he brought [Read More...]

“Miserere” by Henryk Górecki

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In the past, I have written about the terrible tragedy memorialized today. As the years pass, though, I find myself less and less inclined to do so. Not because the day’s events have faded from my memory or because they seem somehow less significant today than they did then, but because my words seems increasingly faded and insignificant in [Read More...]

Parked By the Jukebox: with Great Big Sea’s “Heart of Hearts”

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Great Big Sea is great big fun. They’ve been described as a “Canadian folk-rock band from Newfoundland and Labrador, best known for performing energetic rock interpretations of traditional Newfoundland folk songs including sea shanties, which draw from the island’s 500-year-old Irish, Scottish, and Cornish heritage,” and that pretty much nails it. Especially the “energetic” part. I can’t remember when I first [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “Doug Wood” Edition

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The following comments are offered without irony (if not entirely without guilt): That’s musician Doug Wood performing his own work, “Eye of the Needle.” I stumbled across his music (and unusual technique) on our local NPR station some months ago and was immediately intrigued. He’s got a few albums out there – including one called “Cellocentric,” which must [Read More...]


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