Archive for the ‘Anthony Trollope’ Category

CV1_TNY_06_08_15_09.inddSOUNDTRACKKEVIN MORBY & KATIE CRUTCHFIELD-“Downtown’s Lights” NPR’S SOUTH X LULLABY (March 20, 2018).

I don’t know if Bob Boilen ever explained how he starte dto get people doing South X Lullabies, but here he explains why he started doing them:

In the midst of all the chaos that is Austin, Texas during the SXSW Music Festival, we seek moments of calm. And so one night, as the week was nearing its end, we made our way to the courtyard of St. David’s Episcopal Church, just a few blocks from the thousands of festival participants and onlookers. There we found a trickling garden-side waterfall, where Katie Crutchfield and Kevin Morby performed “Downtown’s Lights,” from Kevin Morby’s recent album, City Music.

I don’t know Kevin Morby.  I’ve heard of him, but aside from a Tiny Desk Concert, I’ve never explored his music.

“Downtown’s Lights” is a simple folk song.  He’s got a bit of a Bob Dylan delivery in what feels like a very deliberate folk song.  Katie Crutchfield is Waxahatchee who I’m excited to see in a few weeks.  Waxahatchee has been really rocking out the last few albums, so this folk song (and her Southern accent) stand out somewhat.

Their voices work nicely together, and that moment when you hear someone yelling, it almost sounds like a wolf howling.

“Downtown’s Lights” is a song of comfort and prayer for someone who is down and out in the city, and this version, with Katie singing — and the sounds of the city echoing in the background — is wistful and peacefully perfect.

[READ: April 13, 2016] “Two Emmas”

Back in June of 2009, The New Yorker had their annual summer fiction issue.  Included in that issue were three short essays under the heading of “Summer Reading.”  I knew all three authors, so I decided to include them here.

This essay was about Roger Angell’s summer home in Maine.

He says that on late February nights his mind often returns to his family’s cottage in Maine and the books that are on its shelves.

Those books have been there for as long as he can remember, and have been read and re-read every summer.  The list is interesting:

Good Behaviour [Molly Keane], Endurance [Alfred Lansing], Framley Parsonage [Anthony Trollope], Get Shorty [Elmore Leonard], Daisy Miller [Henry James], Dracula [Bram Stoker], Butterfield 8 [John O’Hara], Goodbye to All That [Robert Graves], Why Did I Ever [Mary Robison], Oblomov [Ivan Goncharov], The Heart of the Matter [Graham Greene], Sailing Days on the Penobscot [George Savary Wasson], The Moonstone [Wilkie Collins], Possession [A. S. Byatt], Morte d’Urban [J. F. Powers], Quartet [Jean Rhys], Emma [Jane Austen] and dozens more. [I have to chime in and say that this sounds heavenly].

He says that fat books like Martin Chuzzlewit [Charles Dickens], Orley Farm [Anthony Trollope] and the Forsythe Saga [John Galsworthy] were saved for a tedious week of Down East fog. (more…)


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dispossesSOUNDTRACK: YOLANDA KONDONASSIS-Tiny Desk Concert #96 (December 8, 2010).

yolandaI have mentioned a much more recent Tiny Desk concert from Yolanda Kondonassis in which she duetted with Jason Vieaux (from 2015).  This show is just Kondonassis and her harp.

And it is absolutely gorgeous.

Kondonassis plays three distinct styles of music to show the variety of music a harp can make.  It is amazing to watch her play as well.  She closes her eyes and simply knows where everything is, absorbed in the music.

Her first piece is by Domenico Scarlatti: “Sonata in A Major, K. 208,” which is considered a rather “traditional” harp piece (I love hearing her do the “fast notes” a the end of each section.

She introduces the second piece by saying that she wanted to compose a piece and through meeting a Chinese composer wound up arranging this traditional Chinese piece called “Small River Flowing.”  And it is amazing to hear the Chinese melodies immediately from the high notes.  But perhaps my favorite part of this song is that she hits the low bass notes to make them ring out almost like a gong.  I have never seen anyone do this before with a harp.

She says the final piece is by Carlos Salzedo: “Chanson dans la nuit” which crosses over into almost world music.  And in a short time, it really shows off all of the different sounds and colors that the harp is capable of.  She’s absolutely right.  While the song begins with some very traditional sounding harp music, she seems to also play some harmonics (who even knew you could do that on a harp) as well as some sounds of just her nails running across the strings–bringing a fascinating texture–as well as some very fast, loud chords and indeed, actual percussive sounds as she taps on the body of her (truly beautiful looking) harp.  The song is not as pretty as the others since there is so much going on, but it’s a wonderful song and it’s great to watch her play it.

I never knew I wanted a CD of harp music before, and now I do.

[READ: November 12, 2015] Dispossession

This graphic novel has a fascinating origin.  It is based on the novel John Caldigate by Anthony Trollope.  And in fact, it follows that story pretty faithfully.  However, it eschews massive amounts of the book (the original is quite long) and also adds a subplot of Wiradjuri peoples (which includes dialogue in Wiradjuri translated into English by Cheryl Riley).  There’s also a Postface (which is very helpful for explaining the origin of the story and how Grennan modified the original) by Jan Baetens and Ortwin de Graef.

The subtitle, A Novel of Few Words, proves to be accurate.  For the most part, each page has six panels, and the only words are sparse dialogue.  Grennan really has the story move quickly through these images, which tend to jump ahead pretty quickly.

We first meet John Caldigate.  Caldigate is a wealthy man, soon to be heir to his father’s fortune.  But he is unsatisfied in England.  And he decides to sell off his inheritance and to set off for New South Wales with his friend Ned.  There they will seek their fortune in the gold mines.

There is a woman he has left behind, Hester, the daughter of a local family.  She is certainly desirable, but it’s unclear how Caldigate feels about her because he wishes to find his fortune elsewhere.

Then the men set sail for Australia, two bachelors on a lengthy sea voyage.  Aboard the ship is Mrs Smith, a divorced actress who is also heading to Australia.  Mrs Smith is considered somewhat disreputable aboard the ship–and several people warn him against her.  But he cannot be denied. (more…)

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