The write up says
It’s rare to see a world-renowned pianist willing to make such a sacrifice, but that’s how strongly Lin feels about getting the music out there, knowing that (with even more downsizing) folks could watch her perform this Tiny Desk Concert on their iPhones.
And while I wouldn’t think that a great pianist would have a problem playing an electronic piano, I had to wonder if the keyboard weight impacted her at all. It sure doesn’t seem like it.
She plays five pieces altogether. And they are all modern pieces. I don’t know a lot about Shostakovic, but the blurb says that Shostakovich, inspired by Bach wrote his own set of Preludes and Fugues in all 24 keys in 1950. I would have guessed they were Bach, but you can hear differences in his more modern style (and not just because of the keyboard). The notes are fast and furious (and beautiful).
I don’t know Federico Mompou at all, but the blurb says “Barcelona-born Federico Mompou was a contemporary of Shostakovich’s, but that’s where the comparisons end. In the 1960s, he completed four volumes of piano music he called Musica Callada, or “Silent Music.” Mompou’s sound, [features] austere beauty and emphasis on the spaces between notes.” And you can really hear the way the notes ring out (I’ll bet even more so on a grand piano).
The final song is an arrangement of Gershwin’s “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” which has been “souped up by the late American virtuoso pianist Earl Wild. His arrangement turns the Gershwin song into a kind of stride-jazz extravaganza.”
Watch Lin’s hands fly around the keyboard. It is hard to comprehend. I don’t know which hand I am more impressed by.
It’s amazing to be able to watch a master so closely.
- Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in A minor, Op. 87
- Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue No. 7 in A major, Op. 87
- Federico Mompou: Musica Callada — Nos. 1, 15
- Gershwin (arr. Earl Wild): “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”
[READ: November 22, 2015] The Sea of Monsters
Clark really liked the first graphic novel and asked me to get the rest. So I did. And then I had to see how the story continued, too.
Book two of the graphic novel series (also with art by Attila Futaki) begins with Percy at home. He is told he shouldn’t return to Camp Half -Blood, but his mom won’t say why. At “regular” school, he is still picked on, but he now has help from a huge boy known as Tyson. The bullies make fun of Tyson too, calling him a retard, but Percy sticks up for him. [The one problem with the graphic novels is they have to edit down so much, there’s no real introduction to Percy’s school or to Tyson].
On the next page, though, we learn that the bullies are actually demons and that Tyson is able to fight them off because he is …a cyclops. (It must be very hard to create a cyclops–visually, they are just so wrong–where do you put that eye? Do the normal eye sockets still exist? I always find them disconcerting to look at).
When they get to camp half-blood , they learn the reason for the problems–the tree which protects the camp has been poisoned. A battle ensues and Percy and Tyson help to defeat some beasts. This of course upsets Clarisse (I never quit understand the characters who are so quick to anger like this–especially since she’s not a villain).
Other strange things are afoot at the camp though, with Chiron being blamed for the latest troubles and his replacement (who is very much against the camp) filing in. Worse yet, Grover has been captured by a Cyclops (the blind Cyclops) and has to pretend to be his fiancée until he can get rescued. This features nice call backs to The Odyssey–like the manner in which Percy gets past the Cyclops and how Annabeth calls herself Nobody.
So they set off on a quest to find the golden fleece which will resuscitate the island.
There are some very cool visuals in the next section as Percy receives help from Hermes (with his Caduceus) and then gets to walk in to the water to have his father generate some aquatic horses.
They finally get to the bad guy–Luke, again, who is responsible for all of the havoc. A melee ensues and our heroes are thrown off of Luke’s boat. Later they are picked up by Clarisse who is heading into the Sea of Monsters right past Scylla and Charybdis.
At the end of the story ends, Percy acts generously towards Clarisse, which will hopefully make her nicer to him in later volumes.
As the book draws to a close we finally learn of the prophecy that has been looming over Percy’s head. Although we don’t learn much about it or even if it applies to Percy. Just that it is a pretty big deal (as prophecies tend to be). And the fate of the world is hanging in the balance.
The last page introduces a new character to the series–an old character who has come back.
I enjoyed this book less than the first one, and I suspect it is because I knew the story of the first one already. I just can’t help but think that there’s too much left out of the graphic novel–beautiful as it may be.