Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Justin Bieber today is stunning

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Just read Zach Baron’s interview of him in GQ:

Justin Bieber and I have just met when I ask him something and he talks and talks—for 10 illuminating and uninterrupted minutes he talks. He talks about God and faith and castles in Ireland, about shame and drugs and marriage. He talks about what it is to feel empty inside, and what it is to feel full. At one point he says, “I’m going to wrap it up here,” but he doesn’t, he just keeps going, and that is what it is like to talk to Justin Bieber now. Like you’re in the confessional booth with him. Like whatever rules about “privacy” or the thick opaque wall of massive celebrity that people like Bieber are supposed to follow don’t apply.

He has lived a well-documented life—maybe among the more well-documented lives in the history of this decaying planet. But to my knowledge, there is not one example of him speaking this way—in a moving but unprompted, unselfconscious torrent of words—in public prior to this moment. I will admit to being disoriented. If I’m being honest, I had been expecting someone else entirely—someone more monosyllabic; someone more distracted, more unhappy; someone more like the guy I’m pretty sure Justin Bieber was not all that long ago—and now I am so thrown that the best I can do is stammer out some tortured version of… How did you become this person? By which I mean: seemingly guileless. Bursting with the desire to connect, to tell his own story, in case it might be of use to anyone else.

It’s a question that’s not even a question, really. But what Bieber gently says in response is: “That’s okay.”

He knows approximately what I’m asking—how he got from wherever he was to here, to becoming the man in front of me, clear-eyed on a computer screen from an undisclosed location in Los Angeles. His hair, under a Vetements hat, is long in the back; he is in no particular hurry. He is married to a woman—Hailey Baldwin Bieber—who cares for him like no one has ever cared for him, he says. He is happy. He is currently renovating the house in which he will live happily with his wife. He’s spent the past several months piecing together a new record, Justice, which is dense with love songs and ’80s-style anthems—interspersed with some well-intentioned, if not totally well-advised, interludes featuring the voice of Martin Luther King Jr.—that are bluntly honest about his bad past and equally optimistic about his future. (“Everybody saw me sick, and it felt like no one gave a shit,” he sings on the cathartic last song on the record, “Lonely.”) He’s still so overflowing with music that he puts out Freedom, a meditative, postscript of an EP about faith, just a few weeks after Justice. He is, if anything, the empathetic professional in this interaction too as he goes about trying to help me understand how he’s arrived at where he’s arrived. . .

Continue reading. And do read the whole thing. He does explain well how he arrived and where he arrived.

Written by LeisureGuy

14 April 2021 at 3:24 pm

A Dance to ‘Swing, Swing, Swing,’ by Benny Goodman Orchestra (from a riff by Chick Webb)

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Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2021 at 8:12 pm

Posted in Art, Daily life, Jazz, Music, Video

The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky — An animated account of its debut

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Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2021 at 7:57 pm

Polyphonic overtone singing

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A better explanation:

Written by LeisureGuy

28 February 2021 at 8:38 am

Posted in Daily life, Music, Video

The Harlem Globetrotters of piano quartets

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The video is via John Zech’s article in Your Classical, which begins:

How dare these women take such liberties with Vivaldi and other greats?! I’m shocked … SHOCKED I tell you!

In honesty, I’m quite impressed. The women of Salut Salon quartet — Angelika Bachmann (violin), Iris Siegfried (violin and vocals), Anne-Monika von Twardowski (piano) and Sonja Lena Schmid (cello) — combine virtuosity, acrobatics and a sense of fun in their performances. The result is surprising, enchanting and overall, entertaining.

According to their official bio, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 February 2021 at 8:37 am

Posted in Daily life, Music

The most feared song in jazz, explained

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Written by LeisureGuy

24 February 2021 at 6:32 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

The typewriter

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Many — most? — today have never used a typewriter. (I thinking only of the advanced countries of the West, where the typewriter once was common.) They were ingenious devices, and curious habits had to be developed so that no conscious thought was required to strike the “m” key hard and the “.” lightly so the impression on the paper would be the same. The key was to maiintain a regular rhythm, which with practice could be accelerated. In my typing class memories the sound of Leroy Anderson’s “The Syncopated Clock” still is strong.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 February 2021 at 1:00 pm

A cogent rebuttal to a comment by Joni Mitchell

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Joni Mitchell made a comment in 2004 that has recently become popular — or, as people now say, gone viral:

I heard someone from the music business saying they are no longer looking for talent, they want people with a certain look at a willingness to cooperate. I thought, that’s interesting, because I believe a total unwillingness to co-operate is what is necessary to be an artist – not for perverse reasons, but to protect your vision. The considerations of a corporation, especially now, have nothing to do with art or music, that’s why I spend my time now painting

Steve Lawson has 14 questions about that quotation. From his post:

1) Who was this ‘someone from the music business’ and which bit of the music business were they in? Why is this one unnamed person’s pretty gruesomely commercial focus being held up as a template for understanding the motivations and behaviour of everyone in ‘the music business’?

2) What the hell is ‘the music business’. I’m in the music business, clearly this person’s thoughts don’t reflect on me… were they in publishing? Sync? A&R? Running a label? A sub-label? The ‘music business’ is gargantuan – finding a person with really terrible opinions within its bounds has never been hard.

3) For every renegade artist through the history of music, I’ll show you a thousand successful and often brilliant artists how had a certain look and were willing to co-operate. Frank Zappa was a total one off. Find me the label that launched 500 Frank Zappas and we can have a talk about Zappaism as a business model.

4) I adore Joni’s music – Hejira is my favourite record of all time, and she’s easily in the top 10 or so most significant musicians of the last 100 years, but when she was signed, she was a beautiful young acoustic guitar playing singer-songwriter in the golden age of acoustic singer/songwriters. She didn’t need to co-operate, she was exactly what they were looking for. Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter was what she could do after a decade as a global icon, not the demo that got her signed in the first place.

5) Why are co-operation and artistic vision contradictory? . . .

Read the whole thing.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 February 2021 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Art, Business, Daily life, Music

Young Pavarotti

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Written by LeisureGuy

14 February 2021 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Art, Memes, Music, Video

Pretty good piano playing for a 5-year-old

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25 January 2021 at 9:59 pm

Posted in Music, Video

Wow! Watch this Instagram

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25 January 2021 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

Debussy’s Clair de Lune performed as dance

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Written by LeisureGuy

22 January 2021 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Art, Music, Video

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Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich with Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Not to forget Zutty Singleton:

Written by LeisureGuy

16 January 2021 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

Movie stars from the past dancing to current music

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Movie stars dancing to “I’m So Excited”:

And to “Uptown Funk”:

Written by LeisureGuy

15 January 2021 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Movies & TV, Music, Video

Everyone needs to relax sometime

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Written by LeisureGuy

14 January 2021 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Music, Video

The Spider (dance)

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Also:

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2021 at 11:56 am

Posted in Art, Music, Video

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Mile-Long Wooden Xylophone Plays Bach in Japanese Forest

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Cute idea. The article by Dawn Hammon includes a video and begins:

While music and design may not seem to go hand in hand at first glance, a giant mile-long xylophone certainly fits the bill for both. After all, it’s likely the only instrument on the planet that can make Bach resonate through the surrounding trees — a sound created using nothing more than wood planks and a ball.

The enormous xylophone started out as a marketing idea. At the time of its inception in 2011, Morihiro Harano held the position of creative director at Drill, Inc, a Japanese advertising agency. The client was a telecom company called NTT DoCoMo who was preparing to launch the wood-encased Touch Wood SH-08C device, which was made using branches from overgrown trees in Japanese forests. To create excitement around the new device, Harano, along with carpenter and wood engineer Mitsuo Tsuda, sound engineer Kenjiro Matsuo, and a team of construction workers, put together the musical masterpiece. Not an easy feat by any design measure.

He explains that “the finish of the xylophone itself became an artwork, so we only put an effort into making the scene — the xylophone playing the music — as real as possible. It was a very hard project to realize, but the skills of Japanese craftsmen are just impressive. They not only made it more accurate than the blueprints, but also created a visually beautiful xylophone.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 January 2021 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Art, Music

“All I Want for Christmas,” Star-Trek style

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Written by LeisureGuy

24 December 2020 at 12:54 pm

Posted in Memes, Movies & TV, Music, Video

Blob Opera: Watch, Listen, and Experiment

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Google engineers having fun. Go to this page, then click on everything to see what happens and click-and-drag the blobs. More entertaining than you might expect.

More experiments here.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2020 at 10:32 am

Up Here, in Canada

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Written by LeisureGuy

20 December 2020 at 7:54 am

Posted in Music, Video

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