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Carving a Sound

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I think I've mentioned this one or twice or a hundred times already, but solitary craftwork has always been where I've been most content. There's just a focus and a safety that I find standing at a counter making something. I had dreams of becoming a luthier once upon a time, and it was a lovely ambition that it doesn't hurt to daydream about again while watching this: [via] … [Read more...]

NPH Gonna Let the Tonys Finish, But…

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Though I almost always miss watching the Tony Awards on television, it's hardly painful when Neil Patrick Harris so neatly sums the results up for you and they are posted online in time for Monday morning catch up. The 2010 presentation was awesome, but this year's recap didn't drop a beat. … [Read more...]

How They Used To Do It

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While brushing my teeth this morning, I noticed this line on the back of an Old Spice product: "If your grandfather hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist." Ha! Cute. Not as cute as Isaiah Mustafa, perhaps, but still. What caught me about this sly little marketing tag line was that the brand was pushing the cred it already had in spades but that the general public seemed to have simply forgotten about. Rather than trying to reinvent itself as something shiny, new and hip to get attention again … [Read more...]

What You Get is What You See

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I've watched Beyonce's performance at the Billboard Music Awards a few times today. Online chatter is generally gushy about the video effects and the dancing, but the song itself gets the least love among the many moving parts. "What a shame that such a performance was wasted on such a weak song. You’ll never hear that song 10 yrs from now," one commenter noted. You won't get any push back on that appraisal from me. Still, my mind wandered to what other music might make use of such a … [Read more...]

I Was Looking at the Ceiling And Then…

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I have been completely sucked into the series currently running on Slate investigating the carvings inside Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, and today's installment asks a musical question:  "Are the chapel's mysterious stone symbols a musical score?" I've always associated the whole "amazing things in sand and sonic frequency" bit with the work of Alvin Lucier (and coincidentally, I just got a press release for a performance of his Queen of the South yesterday), but if you scroll through to the … [Read more...]

Slow Down and Think About It

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Barely having had the patience to finish my undergraduate education before busting out to grab hold of my adult life, I've missed the exchange of ideas that is (even-higher?) education in general and the academic conference in particular. Through the years, friends have related to me their agonies and triumphs as they prepared, submitted, and delivered lectures in their subject areas among small groups of colleagues on campuses around the globe. In contrast, during this same era I was preparing … [Read more...]

The Numbers Game

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There's a quote that gets thrown around when arts talk turns to impact: "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." The economy and the government budget standing as they do, discussions surrounding the perceived "value" of the arts (in every definition of the word) are getting a lot of air time. I've been really impressed by the persuasive power of efforts like this one in support of PBS. Then, this morning, I saw the video below and was really blown away: I've been considering … [Read more...]

You Might Also Like

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Flavorwire does some equal-opportunity cheerleading for ten of the lady composers who charted on WQXR's crowd-sourced 100 Composers Under 40 list. Words like "innovators" and "fascinating" are thrown around and no one utters a peep lamenting the lost composerly skills of Beethoven. There are sample tracks, videos, and attractive head shots scattered all over the internet related to this story. Could this democratic recommendation list represent the tipping point/spring board to a broader … [Read more...]

With a Bow and a Beat

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If, like me, you got lucky and were enrolled in a K-12 school system with a music budget, you may have a memory of the day everyone was trotted down to the cafegymnatorium and told to select an instrument. It was so competitive! Kevin Olusola is doing more than his part to recruit kids to the cello section. There are more-than-respectable Justin Bieber covers here, people! But if you're like me, you're going to want to skip that for now and catch the beatboxing below at @1:06, I'm … [Read more...]

The Rules: Understanding Copyright (Animated Edition)

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Despite the juvenile cartoon approach (shades of Donny the Downloader, anyone?), I felt compelled to watch YouTube's educational copyright video through to the end even though I hadn't been required to and it didn't exactly seem age-appropriate. I was hoping it would provide a clear distillation of the complex world of copyright (at least the basic points), something I could pass along when people asked me if I could help them better understand what they could and could not do with IP online. … [Read more...]

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