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.
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?”
A major new TV production company is setting up shop in Rochester. Backers include Peter and Bobby Farrelly (brothers who wrote and directed the film, "There's Something About Mary") and former Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jim Kelly. All three have joined with CGI Communications to cull compelling content from Youtube and various internet sources for broadcast.
With such weird, interesting material as this out there, how can they fail to live long and prosper?
OK, so we all know how cool the MET Opera at the movies is. And that Sabres game they played outside in the snow was super-sweet. The San Francisco Opera jumped on these two ideas, and decided to simulcast opera performances in the Giants' baseball stadium. This all got me thinking about other ways we could supersize classical music...