I got an email this week with the subject heading "jass" and this website linked in the body. This email came from a reputable source, so I knew the link would be at least entertaining, and probably informative.
It's no secret that I am an automobile nerd. While I drive a humble 11-year-old Subaru with 172,000 miles on it, I always envision myself maneuvering an eight-cylinder, two-seated, rear-engined supercar with something called "sodium-cooled exhaust valves" and carbon-fiber cupholders. Unfortunately these types of cars are expensive, and I play trombone and work for public radio--both admirable pursuits, but neither going to cover the cost of even one of the two dual-overhead camshafts I so desire. Now, if you play the piano, then it's a different story! No, you'll still be a starving artist, but at least you can play one of these:
In my hours of slaving over a hot computer every day, I came across two different views of how the Chinese are taking a liking to some of our art forms. Apparently Western classical music is huge there, and so is...completely ripping off the styling of Western automobiles.
Click on the attachment to hear Vivian, a fourth grader in Western New York, explain what she's learned in her first year of trombone lessons with her teacher, Mr. Burlison.
What do British people do when they get really angry about their elected officials spending hideous amounts of taxpayer money on things like life-size statues of Winston Churchill made out of Legos? They write an opera, of course.
On a recent Monday morning I walked into the studio of Rochester's classical music station cradling a stack of CDs in one arm and a sheaf of news reports in the other. The news was not good. The sky threatened rain. I slipped a CD into the player and started a Haydn symphony, a cheerful burst of minty freshness. I followed that with Vivaldi's chirpy Goldfinch Concerto, a flashy set of trills inspired by the song of the European goldfinch, (a mouse of a bird that's not even gold, by the way.)
The music was sunny. But as the minutes ticked by, my mood darkened. It DID start to rain. More depressing stories poured into the newsroom.
At one point I actually thought to myself, “What annoying person picked all of this chirrupy music for a dismal Monday morning?”