Category Archives: music

Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix

Found this on Tumblr. Bought the song and sub’ed to Pentatonix’ You Tube feed (I had already sub’d to Stirling’s).

I first heard this song on AMC, IIRC during ads for “Defiance”. Maybe it was “Falling Skies.”


Made up a playlist of soundtracks and ambient/electronica to write by. SHERLOCK is currently playing. HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is in there somewhere. What an odd film. I disliked it when I first saw it because I didn’t see that it advanced the story despite some of the things that happened, but I will admit that it has grown on me. It’s not a cohesive whole, particularly–for me, it’s a movie of moments. Dumbledore and Harry standing on the rock in the middle of storm seas. Ginny and Harry’s first kiss. The scene where Hermione realizes that Harry did NOT put the Liquid Luck in Ron’s drink.

The soundtrack hits me the same way. I’ve read reviews describing it as a pause, an interlude, and I think that’s true. But that’s what I like about it. Like the film it scores, it’s an array of quiet moments. Hermione’s bird charm. Draco and the vanishing cabinet. Ginny and Harry in the Room of Requirement. I love those little pieces–they’ve stayed with me far longer than any of the pieces from the more momentous scores.

The list also contains Air, Delerium, Brian Eno. Soundtracks for The Social Network and Dr Who S5. Good choices for a windy Sunday afternoon on the cusp of winter.

Ravinia night

Last night. Hot night. 102F in the afternoon, and still in the high 90s at 6pm-ish, when I left for the Park. I debated staying home, but Joshua Bell is my favorite classical artist and I have seen him every summer for the last few years. So, off I went, sweating all the way.

Had a seat in the Pavilion, third row, right side. Great view of the stage.

The Chicago Symphony opened the recital with Barber’s School for Scandal Overture, Op. 5 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70. I wasn’t familiar with either work and I am far from an expert. The CSO sounded marvelous, as usual, and I know they can’t play a Beethoven or Mozart symphony every night. All I can say is that I liked the Barber–that’s been a developing trend over the years–but felt the Shostakovich didn’t hold together as a coherent work. Good to have heard it, but not interested in hearing it again.

Intermission. I drank water, fanned myself, and watched the stagehands rearrange instruments, chairs, and stands. Even though the sun had set, the temp didn’t budge. Some of the female musicians wore skirts–the color scheme was white/off-white shirt with black skirt or trousers–but most of the men and women wore trousers and some wore long sleeves as well and I don’t know how they tolerated sitting under the lights.

The second half of the show was Bell’s. He wore casual trousers and a sensible t-shirt–black or dark brown, couldn’t tell which. Again, I wasn’t familiar with the works he played, Barber’s Violin Concerto, Op. 14 and Ravel’s Tzigane, Concert Rhapsody. But they were both works for a fast-fingered, passionate virtuoso, and that’s Bell. Hair tossing as he played. Rocking back and forth to the music during orchestral interludes, eyes closed. And sweating, the poor man. By the time he finished, his t-shirt was soaked and his face shone. He received a standing ovation and three curtain calls, and I think he would have played an encore if it had been cooler.

When I got back to my car, the thermometer read 91F. At 10 o’clock at night. I blasted the A/C, and watched the lightning flash in the far northwest as I headed home.

Fun facts that hit you in the face at 1230am

While looking up something else, tripped over the fact that Lou Reed is 70. Transformer. Perfect Day. Sunday Morning.

No. Just. No.

Alive Inside

The video of the nursing home patient reawakened by the music he loved has been rocketing around the internet:

There’s a follow-up article in today’s Washington Post. You can donate old iPods so that others can feel the same magic again:

According to Dan Cohen, spokesman for the Music and Memory Project, the reaction to the clip has been tremendous. “I am truly delighted and surprised,” he told The Washington Post in a Thursday phone call.

For those interested in helping the project, Music and Memory accepts donations of iPods of any kind, he said. The group starts people out with the iPod shuffle, but also uses other iPods and iPads to help improve the lives of nursing home residents.

Ear worm

I don’t often get classical earworms, but Beethoven’s Rage Over a Lost Penny has been looping through my head all day.

It’s appropriate. Not that I’ve lost anything, but the chasing one’s tail air of the tune just fits.

Sunday morning, spam post of the day

“Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully hlefpul!”

Glad I could be of service.

In other news, it’s a sunny, calm morning…as long as the dog across the street doesn’t bark at folks walking/biking on the trail, setting off mine in the process.

I wish this were Saturday. I need a weekend reboot.

Music. Ivy released a new collection after years of gafiating. I like All Hours quite a bit, but I’m an 80s/90s pop/electronica fan. Lush. St Etienne. Delerium. Belle & Sebastian. The aforementioned Ivy. Good background music for sunny fall days.

Oh well, need to work. One load of laundry in the washer, another in the dryer. Morning’s almost gone. Sundays are, I swear, at least 30% shorter than other days.

Almost Friday

A strange week at the day job, holiday-shortened and broken up by a two-day brainstorming session. Feels like Wednesday, but it’s already the weekend. Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes the days seem to go by a little too quickly.

I was happy** to learn that Peter Murphy will be playing in Chicago in November. I haven’t seen him since my visit to Seattle in ’02, and I really would like to see him perform songs from Ninth, which is a dandy album. So. Making a note of the date. Something to look forward to.

King goes to the vet for his six-month check-up on Saturday. Hoping that his Lyme is still under control, and that his inevitable aging continues to proceed slowly and without incident. Any good thoughts appreciated. Not that I expect anything bad, but then things almost always happen when you least expect them.

Tomatoes continue to ripen, even as the weather cools. The bats aren’t as active at night. Hoping for a warm spell, just so they hang around a little while longer. I’ll miss the little flitters.

**Happy, yes. Fan girl squee, and a little writer contentment. Depeche Mode’s songs are Lucien’s, and Peter Murphy’s are John Shroud’s. Jani’s soundtrack is more song-specific, but there’s a healthy wodge of Shirley Manson in there.