Paul Jacobs is an organist. In fact he heads the Julliard School’s organ department. For this Tiny Desk Concert they moved in Jacobs’ massive organ–complete with foot pedals. I feel like he should have played for an hour for all the work that must have gone into moving this.
I had thought about describing the way the Tiny Desk Concert has changed as I went through the Concerts. But I have gone out of sequence so often that it’s kind of moot. Nevertheless, it’s fun to marvel at how in the first few shows, it was one camera, there was little editing and what you got is what you saw.
Well, for this, the 148th Concert, they have three cameras. And that is perfect because one is on Jacobs’ face. One is on Jacobs’ hands as he plays these amazing Back pieces. But the best one is on Jacobs’ feet. Jacobs play a melody with his hands and a separate melody with his feet. Watch as he looks like he’s tap dancing all over these massive foot pedals. The mind boggles watching him.
He plays four Bach pieces:
- J.S. Bach: “Gigue” Fugue
- J.S. Bach: Arioso
- Bach/Reger: Invention in F Major
- J.S. Bach: Fugue in A Minor
The Arioso is recognizable to me as a familiar piece. It’s low and beautiful with washes of foot pedals. But even more familiar is the Invention in F minor which most piano students try to play. This version was arranged by Max Reger who turned the left hand melody into a foot pedal melody–so Jacobs is all over the keyboard on this one. It’s stunning.
The final piece is somewhat recognizable (well, to me its recognizable as Bach, since his stuff is so elaborate and cool). This piece is really fun to watch his hands and feet at work. Especially at the end when he plays an intense “foot solo” before returning to an incredibly fast finger coda.
It’s such a neat instrument and he’s an amazingly talented player.
I prefer to watch on the NPR site, but its easier to embed the YouTube version:
[READ: January 13, 2015] Moomin Volume 3
Moomin Book 3 is slightly different n that it has four stories instead of three. The stories feel shorter too, although I don’t have the other books handy to compare.
This book contains the stories: “Moomin Falls in Love,” “Moominvalley Turns Jungle,” “Moomin and the Martians,” “Moomin and the Sea,” and “Club Life in Moominvalley.” As with the others these stories originally ran in the Evening News, London 1953-1959.
“Moomin Falls in Love” was excerpted in Drawn and Quarterly 25. It’s the first thing I read in the Moominverse and I admit I was a little confused by who everyone was. It all makes more sense in context here.
I have to laugh because in this story Moomin falls in love with a hot celebrity woman/dog/creature. And Snorkmaiden is instantly jealous (as if she hasn’t followed several men herself). This all occasioned by a flood in which Moomin rescued the celebrity. (The weather in Moominvalley is quite precarious).
“Moominvalley Turns Jungle” Speaking of weather, in this story the heat is unbearable. There’ a very funny visual joke in the second strip in which little My is hiding in a pitcher keeping cool, with a wicked smile on her face. Everyone is cross, with the heat, but soon My finds a crate of tropical seeds which Moominmamma plants. And after a thunderstorm, huge tropical flowers begin to grow. And grow. And grow and soon take over the house. The plants are beautiful and huge and there’s even a carnivorous plant hiding in the closet.
More drama comes when Hemulen the botanist comes to study these plants. Of course when Stinky releases the animals from the zoo (he is such a jerk) a zoologist comes to study them as well. The zoologist naturally assumes that the Moomins are a species of hippopotamus (which they are not). These two wind up fighting over the carnivorous plant wondering whether it is a plant or an animal.
Meanwhile, the zoo animals dont want to go back to the zoo until they realize that the heat wont stay forever.
“Moomin and the Martians” I love stories about Martians, especially from long ago, when the sky was the limit of what you could have Martians do. In this story, Moomin is playing with some electronic gadgets which he converts into a radio. They hear a broadcast that a Martian ship is heading for Moominvalley right that moment. And sure enough a flying saucer crashes in Moominmamma’s garden. She doesn’t know what it is and brings the exposed wires to Moomin for his gadgets.
In some wonderful sci-fi events, after playing the gadgets, Moominpappa becomes invisible and then he defies gravity (as do others–including a cow and the police who have come to investigate) and then he grows really tiny. Eventually we meet the Martian who is a kind of puffball in what looks like an oil lamp.. He poses no threat nor do his rescuers, but he has caused all kinds of delightful chaos.
“Moomin and the Sea” is another episode where Moominpappa is bored and seeking adventure. So when a lighthouse is for sale, he buys it and moves the family in. He imagines that it is just the place for him to write his grand opus about the sea. Of course, poo Moominmamma hates it–there’s no garden, there’s nothing nice in the house. It’s dreadful. Eventually they paint it and style it to their liking–which is no up to lighthouse standards, of course.
But there also appears a lighthouse ghost who can only scare Moomin–I love the weird creatures like this. We also meet Too-Tiki a man in a striped shirt who likes to build things with driftwood.
My favorite one panel joke is Moominmamma looking for lovely stones for her flower bed (she brought dirt from home). She looks at the rocks: “The sea hasn’t had time to get them really round yet. I’d better put them in water again for a couple of days.” Meanwhile Moominpappa can’t think of anything to write about, even when the Loch Ness Monster’s widow comes swimming by.
Eventually Moominpappa is inspired to write but it’s quite a twist from what initially wanted to get done. And of course, they decide to move back home.
“Club Life in Moominvalley” I was curious what Tove meant by “club life.” It turns out to be a bunch of clubs that start in Moominvalley. Moominpappa joins the Knights of the catapult who like to shoot things at people (and eventually just become Rebels). Meanwhile Moomin and Moominmamma are persuaded to join Stinky’s club of gangsters. And he swears them to secrecy lest the ground open up and swallow them (which it almost does on a few occasions).
Stinky and his club try to steal from the police inspector, and the Moomins can’t do anything about it what with the encroaching crevice and all. Even when they join as passive members of the special constabulary–now they are sworn to secrecy from two clubs! Eventually Moominmamma is persuaded to join yet another club–a sewing circle which makes crafts for charity. By the end, she has had it with all clubs.
Meanwhile, there some twists and turns about the stolen loot and a stolen cow, and eventually a little dog helps to straighten things up a bit.
There is something so delightfully sweet and zany about these episodes. But there is to be a change in the next volume!