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Archive for the ‘Osvaldo Golijov’ Category

curswedSOUNDTRACK: MAYA BEISER-Tiny Desk Concert #283 (June 29, 2013).

mayaMaya Beiser is an Israeli-born American cellist.  And the blurb tells us that:

Maya Beiser’s Twitter handle — @CelloGoddess — says it all. She’s a brilliant cellist with a stunning command of her instrument, and she’s tightly tied to technology. Beiser takes the sound of her cello and runs it through loop pedals, effects and other electronics to make her instrument shimmer, drone and groove.  Time Loops, her 2012 album, is one of that year’s hidden gems.

The music feels experimental in that she’s using an age old instrument (and age old tuning) mixed with technology.  But the two songs she plays here are simply beautiful and the technology only serves to make the songs all the more enticing.

I don’t know what these pieces are “meant” to sound like.  In fact, I don’t even know the composers.  But her version of these pieces (with the wonderful drones and echoes of what she is playing) are terrific.

Osvaldo Golijov: “Mariel” One of the fascinating things about this piece is that it is impossible to tell what she is looping (especially since we miss the very beginning to see if she clicks any pedals).  But is she looping what she has played or is there some other music being added in?  This is a mournful piece with some great sounds (looped) accompanying her.  It’s seven and half minutes of beautiful cello music.

She introduces the second piece “Just Ancient Loops” Mvt. 1 by saying that Michael Harrison wrote the piece for her.  She plays 6 minutes of the 25 minute epic piece, or what amounts to the first movement (called Genesis). She also tells us that it was written in “just intonation” which is an ancient way of tuning the cello, but it is natural for the instrument which is all about pure fifths.

It opens with some plucked bass notes which are immediately looped and run through much of the piece (how is she controlling the loops?  I can’t see her feet at all).  By the middle, the piece is in full swing with different cello sounds echoing and looping. It sounds full and fantastic and over all just really wonderful.

I typically enjoy cello music, but there is something especially cool about this performance.

[READ: September 2, 2016]. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I wasn’t all that excited about this book.  It was a play.  Did Rowling even write it?  (I actually still don’t understand the provenance of the story)?  And did I really want to read about a grown up Harry?

Well, first T. read it and then S. read it and they both said it was great.  So I read it.  And I flew through it (and stayed up too late reading it, too).  And, man was it enjoyable.  More than enjoyable.  I immediately got right back into the Potterverse and I loved seeing the famous characters grown up.

So, what’s this book about, exactly?

Well, without giving spoilers (to those few to whom it applies), the plot starts off 19 years after the action of the last book.  (more…)

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kazam1 SOUNDTRACK: ALISA WEILERSTEIN-Tiny Desk Concert #80 (September 15, 2010).

alisaI have concluded that the cello is my favorite solo classical instrument and Alisa Weilerstein plays a beautiful cello indeed.

She plays three songs: two pieces from Bach and one from Golijov.

I can’t speak to specifics about Weilerstein’s style or skills, but she plays beautifully.

J.S. Bach: “Bourree & Gigue” (from Solo Cello Suite No. 3)
Osvaldo Golijov: “Omaramor”

[READ: May 15, 2015] The Last Dragonslayer

I have loved Jasper Fforde’s books.  His Thursday Next series is brilliant (and I plan to re-read it someday).

This is the first book of his 4 part (not a trilogy!) YA series (called The Chronicles of Kazam) and it was fantastic.

The story is about Jennifer Strange.  Jennifer is a foundling who has been working for the past four years at Kazam Mystical Arts Management.  Foundlings from The Lobster are sent for indentured servitude for six years.  She has been quite successful at Kazam and when the owner Zanarerilli disappeared several months ago (she wont say how) she has basically been in charge of the building.  Not bad for a 16 year old  (well, she’ll be sixteen in a couple of months).

Kazam is in the Kingdom of Hereford in the Ununited Kingdoms.  Kazam is the home to some of the most powerful wizards alive.  Sadly there aren’t that many left.  Magic has slowly been dying and as the magic goes so goes the fancy titles of the wizards.  And now you have to fill out all kinds of paperwork every time a wizard is going to cast a largish spell.   They are stuck doing basic magical deeds for people–lifting illegally parked cars, magically rewriting houses, etc.

Also in the house is the Quarkbeast–the most ferocious creatures every created. Well, at least he looks that way.  He is actually quite sweet. (more…)

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