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Watch Orchestra Play Wine Glasses as Instruments (They're Really Good)

Watch Orchestra Play Wine Glasses as Instruments (They're Really Good)


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250 glasses and wine barrels make a oenophile's dream music

A wine-glass violin, naturally.

What would you do with 130 liters of wine and 250 wine glasses (with maybe a couple of wine barrels in the back)? These people got it together to create some music, in what's arguably the coolest liquid music since Sandra Bullock struck up the water glasses in Miss Congeniality. (Yeah, we know you remember that scene.)

This time, the Tasca d'Almerita winery struck up some chords with 10 musicians, wine glasses, wine bottles, and even a wine barrel. They've even got a composer on hand to carry it out. "With this musical piece, wine is at one time composer, performer, and main character," writes the winery in its YouTube description, in what's the most lyrical description we've ever heard from a winery.

Check out the full song below — you'll be pleasantly surprised (and maybe just a little thirsty afterwards).


50+ Best things you can do to stop getting boredom in quarantine

hey beautiful folks, I know all of you getting bored in quarantine due to the COVID-19 epidemic, stuck at home with your family members, so today I will tell you amazing things to do in quarantine so you could spend your time productively. let me suggest you the best quarantine activities to keep yourself busy.

1. Read Books that make you happy, thrilled, Amaze

The antidote for all the negative news you’ve been reading lately? An ebook about happiness, success, self-help, or another positive subject. Sure, romance or sci-fi novels count too! Ebooks come in a wide variety of subjects, are instantly readable on a device you can access amazon free kindle books as well. or maybe a paper book you have been planning to read lately but haven’t got a time due to a busy schedule.

Keep your mind active and agile can be a challenge when you’re stuck in quarantine. Thankfully there is plenty of fun and educational brain games to help you stay sharp. Games like Soduko, Crossword Braingle, Happy Neuron, Lumosity, Queendom can boost cognition and memory. It’s available on Apple, Android, or computer.

These brain games would enhance you get smarter in quarantine.

As you’re constantly looking through them, not at them, you never realize how dirty your windows really are until you clean it. The world will suddenly start to look a lot less dreary and more hopeful if you scrub the dirt and grime off your glass.

4. Organize your spice rack alphabetically or get crazy and do it by cuisine.

5. Teach your dog to shake. Hand sanitizer optional.

6. Memorize the periodic table. You never know when that will come in handy.

7. Order and put together some IKEA furniture. Time yourself.

8. Get a free trial of a streaming service and binge-watch as much as you can before it expires.

9. Apply for a new job. You have remote work experience now.

10. Learn a new style of dance via YouTube, from belly dancing to breaking.

11. Update or write your will and organize your affairs. Yes, it sounds melodramatic and morbid but let’s face it: This is a task many of us avoid because we never have the time. Now we do.

12. The parades have been canceled but you can still make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day.

13. Bring out the Legos. Build your house inside of your house.

14. Watch the “Star Wars” movies in this and only this order: Rogue One-IV-V-II-III-Solo-VI-VII-VIII-IX.

15. Two words: Coronavirus beard! Grow it, moisturize it, comb it, love it.

16. Learn the words to “Tung Twista.” Get them so ingrained in your brain that you can rap them as fast as Twista can. Impress everyone. .

17. Been meaning to get some new glasses? Try on new frames virtually on sites like GlassesUSA.com.

18. Attempt things with your non-dominant hand, from writing to brushing your teeth. Prepare to be frustrated

19. Interview your grandparents (over the phone, of course) and save the audio. Can you create an audio story or book with that file?

20. Go through your camera roll, pick your favorite pics from the past year and make a photo book or order framed versions online.

21. Go on a health kick and learn how to cook new recipes with ingredients you may not be using already, from miso to tahini.

22. Create a Google document of shows or movies you’re watching and share it among family and friends.

23. Make a list of things for which you are grateful.

24. Have your own wine tasting of whatever bottles you have at home. Makeup stories about the journey of the grapes to your mouth.

25. Work on your financial planning, such as exploring whether to refinance your loan or ways to save more money.

26. Perfect grandma’s bolognese recipe.

27. Make coffee, but this time study how many beans you use, which types, how hot the water is, how long it brews, and whether any of that makes a difference.

28. Buy gift cards from your favorite local businesses to help keep them in business while we quarantine.

29. Write actual letters to family and friends. After that? Write thank-you notes to service people who you remember went out of their way for you.

30. Complete a puzzle: The more pieces the better! Feeling extra saucy? Take on a Rubik’s Cube. More of a word person? Crossword puzzle!

31. Start a journal or blog. Sure, it can be about the coronavirus, but it could also be about a specific interest from chess to cheese.

32. If it won’t bother your neighbors: Dust off that old instrument and practice.

33. Text all your exes just in case you have one more thing you wanted to get off your chest.

34. Write to poetry. Perhaps you can craft a haiku for Mother’s Day or something without a specific structure. Just try it!

35. Watch all the really long movies you’ve avoided until now.

36. Download Duolingo, or a similar app, and teach yourself a foreign language.

37. Just, think. Take a few minutes every day to rethink your life and experiences, redefine your goals and devise strategies for how to achieve them. You’ll come back stronger than ever.

38. Fix up the clothes you’ve shoved to the back of your wardrobe, the ones with pesky holes or loose buttons.

39. Update your resume and portfolio, so the next time you see a job listing that inspires you, you can be the first to apply. Here are some pointers for writing the perfect CV.

40. Open a Google Doc and share it with all your friends: turn it into a sort of logbook where you can share articles, videos, songs, or even just stray thoughts.

41. Choose at least five people that you haven’t heard from in over a month on WhatsApp and write them a message to find out how they’re doing.

42. Transfer photos from your phone to an external hard drive. This is your chance to banish the “full memory” warning for at least a month.

43.Research volunteering opportunities in your city and mark down the most interesting ones. When the quarantines and isolation ends, we’ll still be in a pretty precarious situation. Making a personal contribution is the best way to show the world you care.

44. If you live with your partner, have sex. If you’re long-distance, have phone sex. If you don’t have a partner, take the opportunity to fix up that Tinder profile.

45. Choose 10 photos that represent 2019 for you and put them on a USB stick. As soon as the situation improves, you can take them to a print shop, but in the meantime, you can relive all the good memories.

46. Go to https://theuselessweb.com/, a useless site that will take you to other random, useless sites.

47. Watch an old cartoon you used to like when you were a kid, and ask yourself: did I really go crazy over this stuff? Yes, yes, you did.

48. Watch your favorite TV series from start to finish again. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to feel less guilty and more productive, try watching it in another language.

49. Send at least two of your friends their horoscope of the day. You might need to warn them.

51And if you’re really bored: Take a shower, fix your hair, dress up, and snap a selfie. It’s time to change all the horrible profile pictures from your social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp.

now you have 50+ ways to enjoy during the quarantine. so you start to do all these activities and keep yourself occupied during the lockdown. stay safe god bless you.


The musician: Kids of all ages band together

westcocomusic_031204_kocihernandez CHRISTINA KOCI HERNANDEZ/CHRONICLE (L)Jimmy Duval, 4th grade, plays clarinet in the orchestra.At Kensington Hilltop School, Janis Lieberman is synonymous with music in the West Contra Costa elementary schools. She has been teaching little kids how to play orchestral music for years, and is crushed the district voted to axe the program. Jimmy Duval is a fourth-grade student and clarinetist at Kensington Hilltop School, where music unifies and motivates many children. CHRISTINA KOCI HERNANDEZ

In a passionate appeal to the West Contra Costa school board members, fourth-grader Jimmy Duval said they can't cut music from the district.

"Music has changed my life," he said.

The only fourth-grader good enough to make the cut for the fifth-grade band at Kensington Hilltop School, the 10-year-old clarinetist said there's no point in playing his instrument without his band-mates.

"Music is very important at this school," he said.

He's right. It's so popular at Kensington that about 15 fourth-graders came in from the sunshine Friday just to watch the big kids in fifth and sixth grade rehearse.

"They're really good," said one. Jimmy said the band breaks up the natural divide between kids in different grades on the yard. It doesn't matter who you are if you're playing music together.

Some of his musician friends are talking about switching to the neighboring Albany school district so they can keep playing their instruments. Some can rely on private lessons, but others are scared at the idea of losing the camaraderie and sense of purpose the band provides.

"I'm really shy in class all day, but the only place I am loud is when I play my trumpet," said Avalon Armstrong.

If there is no band next year, Jimmy said he'll just play his electric bass guitar in his bedroom. He is learning how to play Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water," and the theme song from "The Pink Panther."


IPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School Band

There’s a steady stream of hype surrounding the pluses and pitfalls of classroom tablet computers. But for a growing number of special education students tablets and their apps are proving transformative. The tablets aren’t merely novel and fun. With guidance from creative teachers, they are helping to deepen engagement, communication, and creativity.

In a typical red brick public school building in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens, New York, one creative and passionate music instructor is using tablet computers to help reach students with disabilities. In the process, he’s opening doors for some kids with severe mental and physical challenges.

On the surface, the PS 177 Technology Band looks like a typical high school orchestra. But there are two big differences. First, while they use traditional instruments, they also play iPads. And all of the band members have disabilities. Some have autism spectrum disorders.

“I’m Tobi Lakes, I’m 15 years old. I’m in ninth grade. I’m four grades away from college.” Morning sunlight pushes through large, old windows into the school’s well-worn and empty-seated auditorium. On the stage, iPads on small stands sit in a semicircle. It’s rehearsal time. The students mingle and chat before practice starts. Tobi Lakes, a tall, wire-thin teen with thick glasses sits at an electric piano. He taught himself to play. “I’m very good. I like the piano. I like the keyboard. Keyboard is the best. Number one!” Tobi says with a wide smile. On his school-issued tablet computer, using a music app called Thumb Jam, Tobi also loves his iPad “guitar.” As rehearsal heats up Tobi takes the lead on rock guitarist Jeff Beck’s version of Puccini’s “Nesun Dorma.” Tobi Lakes, iPad guitar shredder, is learning disabled. He’s autistic. And he’s also blind in one eye. Adam Goldberg, the creator of the PS 177 band, gets the music started. “The first note of the second line please,” he tells them. “In blue. There ya go. That’s the pizzicato.” The 53 year old teacher is a classically trained pianist with a degree from the Manhattan School of Music. About 20 years ago he began substitute-teaching here while playing freelance jazz and rock gigs. He was soon offered a job at PS 177, and he’s been at the school ever since.

‘Sing, Sing, Sing!’

Seventeen-year-old Jason Houghton walks in a little late for rehearsal. One of his teachers says Jason is “classically severely autistic.” His speech is often marked by echolalia, a communication disorder where he repeats back what you say to him. Before the band, Jason rarely spoke at all. But music helped change that. “Some people were very surprised when they could see that he could sing because some people thought that he was non-verbal,” Goldberg says. “At first I kept saying ‘sing, sing, sing.’ And he wouldn’t sing until I said ‘Jason like this ‘dah dah dah dah.’ Then he would go ‘dah dah dah dah.’ And I would say ‘no, do something of your own.’ ”

Goldberg says several of the students were previously non-verbal or only occasionally verbal. He eventually got Jason to hum his own notes and soon built an original song “Being Me” around that phrase. These days Jason takes ‘lead’ vocals on that tune. And he doesn’t just echo back lyrics. He even improvises – or scat sings – in his own way. “It was mostly persistence, you know, and the confidence that it was there inside of him. It goes back to that summer when we had some extra time. And I just kept pushing him. I admit sometimes I push them,” Goldberg says. “Not in a mean way. But I know inside there’s something and I have the confidence in them that they can find a way to bring it out.”

The teacher calls himself a hesitant technophile. “I’m an acoustic guy,” he says. He sits at the piano and starts playing jazz, his first musical love. “I was always reluctant to get involved with technology but that was mostly because there was so much work involved to get the technology to work properly.” But Goldberg says the iPad and its apps have allowed the band to produce complex orchestral-style arrangements. With the tablets, he says, kids can play all kinds of different virtual instruments by just tapping buttons on the touch screen, instead of getting bogged down in learning technique. “All the technical stuff that, you know, is admittedly very worthwhile,” he says. “I’m coming from classical background. But for people who can’t, and don’t have the resources, if you give them something like this as a musical instrument you can really kind of break through barriers and teach so much of the art of the whole process of music-making. Which these guys do beautifully with that.”

Just what is it about a tablet, or the iPad in particular, that works so well with some students with disabilities and children on the autism spectrum? Educators believe there’s something about the combination of the big, bright, clear visual cues of some of the music apps, and the touchscreen that’s easy to use without creating a sensory or visual overload. Beyond that, many teachers and parents aren’t really sure. It’s still a bit of a mystery. “We have some really, really low-functioning students who I could never really involve in the music activities,” Goldberg says. “But the iPad has pretty much taken care of that. I can’t say I have 100 percent involvement. But it’s pretty close.” And educators say there’s another way the tablets are proving to be game changers for special ed. They’ve begun to make obsolete those large and costly learning devices, allowing a student with disabilities to look like every other student. “It has changed the way people look at people with disabilities,” says Karen Gorman, the director of Assistive Technology for New York City’s Public schools. For years, she said, many kids with severe autism, cerebral palsy or other serious challenges needed these large, clunky and expensive assistive-speaking devices. Some looked like small accordions, worn around students’ necks. Gorman says they looked a little odd, and screamed “disabled kid.” Now the iPad and other tablets, she says, have helped level the playing field socially. “Parents thought for the first time my child with disabilities is using something that looks very cool, and modern and current. And other kids will come over to them now and interact with them.” Once, Gorman says, other students tended to see only the disability: “Kid in a wheelchair, kid in a wheelchair,” she explains. “Kid in a wheelchair with an iPad? How interesting.”

Game-Changer

Tobi Lakes stands and sways rhythmically back and forth on stage, the iPad braced in a stand as he summons his inner Jeff Beck. His thumbs furiously tap the music app’s buttons as the song “Nesun Dorma” begins to crescendo. “Really awesome. We’re ninety-nine percent there,” Goldberg tells the band with a grin. “Very good. I love doing this!”

Apple, Samsung and other tech giants certainly didn’t intend for their tablets to become essential tools for students with disabilities. “I have a feeling they had no idea” says Leslie Schect, the Director of Technology for New York City’s Department of Education. “The iPad is a game-changer because it’s affordable and accessible. It really opens doors. At times we don’t often know what’s really inside because they’re not speaking. This helps give them the voice.” Shecht says there’s more to these students than many people realize. “Music is a natural way in. It just makes sense that it’s something they’d gravitate to.” Still Schect and other educators are quick to point out that the tablets are just tools, not some cure-all. Students still need a creative, engaged teacher – like Adam Goldberg – to make the devices transformative. Goldberg says a key is getting students to open up and express themselves freely, “instead of being afraid ‘oh, that isn’t going to sound good.’ ” Schect says her department and the city have no financial relationship or get any incentive from Apple for using their products. “I wish,” she says. The company is simply one of the city’s vendors and suppliers, she says.

‘I Love Music’

“My name is William Hernandez I play the iPad and the piano. I love Mr. Goldberg so much.”

The band works to get the sound right on the South African anti-apartheid song “When You Come Back,” which they perform as a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela.

Teenagers Rachel Rodriquez and Ulysses Rivers are on backing vocals. Nineteen year old Ryan Rodriquez takes the lead.

Perhaps even more important than the music, Goldberg says, is that the band has given students a sense of belonging, friendship and joint accomplishment. “They all support each other. It doesn’t matter who is taking the solo. They’re essential to making the whole thing work. That translates to a wider idea of socialization out in the general world. And I see a huge leap in their socialization and social abilities and the fact they say hello to each other. A couple of years ago that wasn’t happening.” Now, band members dream of performing for a wider audience. 17-year-old Jaquan Bostick says he wants to try to make music his profession. “You know when we graduate we should do all start a tour, like a world tour” he tells the band. “That’s what I’ve been thinking about a lot. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Like since yesterday.” His band mates and friends nod in agreement. “Me too.” “Me three.” Goldberg knows from experience how tough the professional musician road is and says he’s straight with the students about it. Yet, he says he’d never strip them of their vision. “Some of these kids, you know, don’t have a chance to dream,” he says. “Again, it comes from confidence. It may be a very difficult dream to achieve. But it’s attached to reality. They really do play music. They’re not dreaming of being Superman or Spiderman.” He says the students are dreaming of something they can do where they can say to themselves, ” ‘I have this.’ ” For Tobi Lakes – and many others here – playing in the iPad band has helped him socially and creatively. “I feel excited. I feel happy. I love music,” he says with a broad smile. “It feels like I’m going crazy and all the audience was clapping!”


Make an Ocean Drum

  • Clear plastic round food container with a lid (with ridges, preferably)—the larger the container, the better
  • Small colored beads, rice, tiny shells, small beans, or seeds
  • Colorful electrical or masking tape
  • Paper and paint or markers
  • Glue or tape 2
  • Pencils or chopsticks for mallets
  1. Cut the paper the same size and shape as the bottom of the container.
  2. Paint or color a design or picture on the paper.
  3. Glue or tape the paper to the inside bottom of the container.
  4. Fill with ¼ cup of tiny beads, rice, seeds, or beans.
  5. Place the lid on the container.
  6. Tape the container shut using the colorful tape.
  • Ocean sounds: Slowly tip drum from side to side.
  • Shaker: Move the ocean drum up and down or side to side, or any combination of these.
  • Drum: Use two chopsticks or pencils to play on the top of the lid.
  • Guiro (Spanish pronunciation: [??wi?o]): Use a chopstick or pencil to play the ridges on the side of the lid.

Bach for the 21st Century

By 1829, nearly 80 years after his death, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach had fallen out of fashion. Think of what we were listening to 80 years ago: Bing Crosby, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. (And yes, someday your music will feel tired to your children’s children. Deal with it. It’s entropy. You’re programmed for irrelevance.)

Europe of the early 19th century was an emotive time: a Romantic age in literature and in music. In America, Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson looked beyond past masters like Bach, believing in self-reliance above all else. It sounded passé to the younger generation, standing on the cusp of the Victorian era, the cusp of Empire, Manifest Destiny, industrialization and the kind of more-means-more capitalism that made Karl Marx a Marxist.

In 1829, conductor and composer Felix Mendelssohn was just 20 years old and, as often described by scholars, a “hot-headed” kid. The brash youngster was committed to reviving Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Mendelssohn was told it would never work, he was crazy, people would never sit through so much Bach.

It’s cold comfort to know that, even then, concert promoters were concerned about the attention span of audiences.

However, Mendelssohn’s St. Matthew Passion was wildly successful. He performed it again in 1841, and scholars see this as the beginning of the Baroque revival we know today: a direct line to Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Oregon, nearly two centuries later.

I’m a 40-something rock music writer in Eugene, not a Bach expert. That’s why Eugene Weekly asked me to go to three concerts at this year’s Oregon Bach Festival and write about what I heard. Does J.S. Bach still have a pulse for non-specialists in 2017?

OBF artistic director Matthew Halls rehearses an ensemble.

Back to Basics

I’m thinking of Mendelssohn as I prepare to take in OBF’s St. Matthew Passion at University of Oregon’s Beall Hall, the opening performance of the 2017 season. To me, Mendelssohn is a Bob Dylan figure, one who in his time made “older music” — country blues and folk — relevant to younger generations: incendiary for its traditionalism and goosed-up with an edge of brash and youthful irreverence.

The story of Mendelssohn’s St. Matthew Passion seemed not entirely unlike Dylan plugging in at Newport. This parallel piqued my brain, raised on rock ’n’ roll.

OBF, like many other classical festivals and ensembles around the world, has a renewed interest in what Baroque music sounded like before Mendelssohn’s generation got its hands on it.

The new Bach fest wants to perform Bach and other Baroque composers’ works on authentic instruments: wooden flutes, for example, and harpsichords instead of pianos, gut-string violins as opposed to steel or nylon strings — instruments meant for churches and other smaller spaces.

Just as Mendelssohn hoped to make Bach relevant to his generation, OBF hopes to make the Baroque relevant to audiences now.

But unlike how some current productions of Shakespeare — another artist whose vision is shaded for us by the values of the Victorians — aim to broaden Shakespeare by bringing forward modern themes of gender, race and sexual orientation, OBF hopes to revitalize Bach in reverse, stripping back time to get at the heart of Bach’s music and the age in which he wrote.

In other words, at OBF ’17 you won’t hear a rapper or sampled beats. (That’s been tried before here, with mixed results.)

I asked OBF Executive Director Janelle McCoy: “What exactly about traditional music of the early 18th century resonates with now?” The answer, she says, begins with rock shows … sort of.

“You’ll hear the instruments that would’ve been used around that time,” McCoy explains, adding that they produce a sound closer to what Bach heard in his head at the time of the writing. “A little more mellow,” she says. “The modern instruments, they’re brighter. You’ll find when you’re hearing it in period you’ll hear inner voicings that you’ve never heard before.”

Most modern music fans, like me, are used to an immediacy in what they hear — the closeness between audience and performer at a club. This was also true in Bach’s time, before the age of the grand concert hall, and it’s this connection OBF hopes to recreate.

I’m a Bach beginner. My father has credits toward a Ph.D. in classical music from UO. He told me when I was a teen that there wasn’t much music outside of Bach worth listening to: Bach wrote it all first. Naturally I rejected that notion.

I was raised with a baseline familiarity with classical, but felt most at home at record stores and at rock shows with all their attendant misfits and reprobates. I was glad to hear McCoy say OBF hoped to reinject some of this heat back into the Baroque equation.

Here’s McCoy: “Classical music started in people’s living rooms and salons. That’s why they call it chamber music the word ‘chamber,’ from the French ‘chambre,’ means bedroom. There is this spirit in classical music that is much more populist. This is a way of paying homage to that chamber experience.”

St. Matthew Passion

The St. Matthew Passion tells the story of events leading to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is thought to have been first performed on Good Friday sometime between 1727 and 1729 at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where Bach served as musical director of the resident boys’ choir.

Besides what we know about the instruments it was performed on, what do we know about how St. Matthew Passion sounded? The answer is: not much. But we can speculate that it was solemn. St. Matthew Passion is, after all, a timeless ode to suffering — visceral suffering, blood, nails, persecution — as means of salvation. Fun stuff.

Bach’s audiences were poor and faithful, so hungry for a sermon it’s thought they sometimes attended several services in one day. OBF’s real masterstroke in recreating this atmosphere was staging St. Matthew Passion at Beall Hall, built in 1921 and itself a church-like venue, with a towering pipe organ.

But there was an elephant in the room, and that elephant was an empty Hult Center in downtown Eugene, a facility built in part to house the Oregon Bach Festival. OBF hasn’t completely abandoned the Hult, but premiering the season at the smaller Beall Hall (520 seats, compared to 2,450 in the Hult’s Silva Hall) brought to mind news reports of declining ticket sales and eroding audiences, whether period-style calls for a smaller venue or not.

OBF’s performance also featured a last-minute conductor change, as artistic director Matthew Halls was called away for his first child’s birth in Toronto. I understand some audience members were ruffled by this, but I’m not sure I’m versed enough to know the effect a conductor change can have on a classical performance.

Overall, the audience, like most audiences at classical music these days, was, shall we say — seasoned — with a median age well above that of the performers. This, of course, doesn’t matter, except as a sign that classical music fans are aging at a rate incongruous with the age range of those interested in mastering its performance — a conundrum that will need to be solved to keep such performances financially viable.

As mentioned earlier, the period instruments are softer, woody, their tones more rounded, folksy — and I wondered if there was a different direction for performers to move than one might expect from classical ensembles. From their chairs and in standing positions, they flowed as if the music was a tide and they were reeds underwater.

Our holy music stomps like gospel, and while St. Matthew is far from fevered, this physicality added a sense that faith, at best, should be a full-body experience. You could see Peter Harvey (baritone, Jesus) and Charles Daniels (tenor, Evangelist) prep like boxers in their corners, and the wind instrumentalists occasionally lick their lips, eyebrows raised after a particularly difficult phrase in a “whew, that was a close one” expression.

Other performers included soprano Sophie Junker. I loved the intimacy, but could care less about the religion. And while the supporting cast of soloists was overall strong, the proximity brought an audible “wow” from my lips when countertenor Reginald Mobley, a big, solid human being, took to the stage only to emit the most heavenly alto.

And in the end, this is heavenly music, dense to our modern ears but nonetheless a marvel — each musical phrasing a complete sentence, each sentence a new idea. And it all came from within the head of one person who with his music tried to pay tribute to heaven but in doing so created a kind of heaven on earth.

John Blow’s Venus and Adonis at OBF

Berwick Academy: ‘Explore German Baroque with Monica Huggett’

Not all Baroque is heavy, and Explore German Baroque, also at Beall Hall, was a light affair next to the Passion. Meant as an overview of German Baroque composers from Bach’s era, the program included Telemann, Fasch, Graun and Bach’s own son Wilhelm Friedemann.

In a timeless story of son rejecting the father, Friedemann chafed at the Baroque’s religious diktat. Reading the program notes, this cost him several jobs, proving that even in the 18th century musicians were hard to employ — rock ’n’ roll will never die.

Central to Explore German Baroque was the appearance of British conductor and leading Baroque violinist Monica Huggett, artistic director of Portland Baroque Orchestra and an OBF regular. Before the show she apologized for the long program, explaining with a smile if anyone had to get up and leave, she understood.

“We won’t be offended,” she said, before launching into a concert of adagios, fugues, concertos and suites tending toward the lighter side of Baroque. The ensembles — no, I’ll call them “bands” — stood on stage as they might’ve in a salon, cheated toward one another instead of the audience, with Huggett “leading” but not exactly conducting — occasionally swinging an arm here or there for emphasis, not so much to guide the musicians as to express her physical involvement with the work: less a conductor, more a rock band’s front-person, providing visual flourish to the sound.

A good front-person has long been my favorite part of the rock band moment, and I liked seeing that thread emphasized in this performance — a time-travel link to the audiences that took in this work in their own era.

And the net effect recalled to my mind little legacies of Baroque I feel can be heard in pop music from The Beatles or in general the style known sometimes as “Baroque pop.” It’s my favorite sound — the dazzling mathematical yet musically intricate nature of Baroque thinking made clearer in the smaller ensembles: babbling brooks instead of roaring oceans.

[Re]Discovery Series, Part I St. John Passion

Can I mention that, after catching part one of the [Re]Discovery Series, I have a little man-crush on OBF artistic director Matthew Halls? Oh, the British accent, oh the egghead musical terminology in an Italian accent, oh the sport coat.

Bach wrote five passions. Only two survive in completion: St. Matthew and St. John. OBF’s [Re]Discovery Series broke down St. John into digestible nuggets, with Halls offering a little lecture on musical points that give the passion its genius. I caught only Part I, which also featured guest conductors from OBF’s conducting master class.

Halls made it back from his familial obligations to lead this performance and lecture. And man, is he an engaging and informative speaker (as I make a little heart-shape with my fingers across my chest). Halls points out that Lent was a time of fasting, and Bach intended his Passions to be auditory feasts for the parishioners.

Beall Hall’s pipe organ was played athletically and impressively by Daniel Ficarri. Something we get wrong, Halls points out, is that Bach’s audiences were greeted by music from the instant they entered their church.

Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the structure: Quit talking about the wine and just let me drink it!

Halls spoke of how, as opposed to St. Matthew’s violence, St. John is about beauty and divinity as a path to salvation. Halls highlighted the heartbeat-like underpinnings of St. John, and how Bach harmonized lines with unstable chords, and the little mathematical tricks up Bach’s sleeve (like St. John’s intro literally “counting down” in the bars of its musical phrasing). Very clever, Bach. Very clever.

But once the talking was done with (I ended up a little sad to see Halls go), these factoids did add a richness to the work I might’ve missed. In the end I enjoyed at least the first part of St. John Passion more than St. Matthew, if for no other reason than it afforded another chance to hear Reginald Mobley sing. Its effect was gentler, Bach’s genius cleaner, the religion less heavy-handed, the ideas more universal beyond the mind of an 18th-century Lutheran. I loved it.

The Morning After

“Does any Bach music have drums?”

My 8-year-old daughter wanted a full report after I’d heard the last of the three OBF performances.

“I don’t think so,” I replied. Her face crumpled incredulously.

“But that’s the best part of music,” she said. And I agreed.

Did I leave any these shows feeling like these towering works were revitalized in the same way (and I know it’s an apples-and-oranges comparison) that I’ve seen Hamlet made startlingly clear to my 21st-century sensibilities?

No, I didn’t. Maybe it’s the heavy religious imagery. Maybe our modern ears do want Mendelssohn’s action-adventure-style Passion. How will Bach sound to my daughter, to my children’s children, for perpetuity?

I like the move toward period-authentic performance. I do feel it put me in touch with these composers and musicians as warm-blooded creative creatures. But if the Bach fest is truly concerned with reinvention, I’d encourage them to get even closer to the spirit of Bach as an artist, and how that side of human nature continues to this day.

Looking at history maybe OBF needs a little less Johann Sebastian and a little more Wilhelm Friedemann.

Perhaps the festival could truly decentralize across the city to all the nooks and crannies where music flourishes in Eugene. A festival of Eugene bands and jazz combos held at Hi-Fi or Jazz Station, or chamber music actually played in Eugene residents’ living rooms?

Bach was an educator, so how about songwriting workshops open to all ages and styles? Or an investment in a mainstream headliner for the Hult Center that carries on the legacy of musical exploration while driving audiences to buy tickets. How about Radiohead or Brian Eno? Why should we be afraid to think big in Eugene?

The Goldberg Variations with a rapper may seem as desperate as your dad saying “dude,” but considering who now is writing our great works, and opening up the canon to pop — and all its attendant and more diverse voices (read: less old dead white men) — may just be the answer. Bach’s music is timelessly beautiful. But maybe it’s time to bury Bach the Lutheran.

Or maybe we shouldn’t care if Bach stays relevant. Is it the responsibility of great art to speak to audiences as they shift and change, or is it the responsibility of audiences to keep alive these monuments to our Western world? Will we someday listen to Revolver, The Queen is Dead or Nevermind the way we listen to Bach?

I don’t know. All that being said, I did leave these performances pondering the importance of any work of music, from any time, telegraphing a conversation between composer and audience, as well as between musician and music. Art links us in our humanity, across geography, beyond boundaries and through time. That was no different in 1700.


No one is immune to products with shiny packaging, newfangled features, and high list prices—even when you’re paid to be a skeptical reviewer of these things. At my last job, I welcomed a constant parade of lotions and socks and blow dryers into my apartment. The goods with fancy logos and trendy colors were the ones that made me thrill at my work. They felt nice to unwrap. They felt glamorous to take selfies with.

Nice things are nice. At least, at first.

Some nice things turn out to be duds. A $200 bright yellow hair dryer that I reviewed was slower and heavier than the ones you could find at a drugstore. After consulting several dentists, I learned that a luxury light-up teeth whitener works as well as Crest White Strips. There was a brand-name leather briefcase that my colleagues liked, but I found it was too skinny to tote around my personal essentials, like gym clothes and a bottle of wine. A pair of dog boots that cost as much as shoes for a small human being had trouble staying on my petite beagle’s feet for more than 10 steps.

More often, nice things can prove exactly as useful as their cheaper counterparts: the high-end treadmill made with the same parts as the version sold at Walmart, the sunscreen bottled and sold like a rare and fancy potion with identical active ingredients to much of the stuff available at the drugstore in bulk.

There is simply an upper limit to how well a thing can work, which is why you’re reading this, our list of holiday gift ideas that are good—and more importantly, Good Enough. All products are subject to the basic laws of physics, the hard truths of biology. No cream can reverse aging, but some have heftier marketing budgets. No dog boots will make my dog enjoy wearing dog boots. After a certain point, a vacuum can only suck marginally better. There is often simply less distance between most products than you would expect—or rather, have been carefully led to believe there is through years and years of marketing.

It’s not that some things aren’t truly better than others. And sometimes the better things do happen to be the priciest available. But the reasons they are better are subtle. Take the Dyson hair dryer. It costs $400. It gets glowing reviews, in part because people think it makes their hair look nicer than other dryers do. It does not do this, though the stylists that Dyson uses to show off its hair products are certainly capable of doing this, providing the illusion of an exemplary product. The hot air itself is the same stuff at any price.

But after several weeks of testing a sample Dyson, sending it back, thinking about it for more than a year, and then retesting it for another several weeks, I concluded that I was absolutely in love with the Dyson and very much wanted to keep it.

The reason is that the handle doesn’t vibrate. At all. I didn’t realize how much seemingly every other hair dryer on the planet rattles and shakes until I tried the Dyson. I personally couldn’t justify $400 for that feature, but I enthusiastically recommended it for those with a lot of disposable income who are extremely into blow-drying their hair.

This gift guide is not for those people. Because for every $400 Dyson, there are a dozen products that may not have that amazing feature but are, well, fine—particularly for their far lower price.

You will find plenty of lists this holiday season directing you to the newest, coolest, smartest, and priciest products. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, however, we humbly submit that you just might not need the nicest blender, showerhead, speaker—or even phone. Sometimes, something reasonably priced and good—something good enough—is what you’re really looking for.

Welcome to the Good Enough List. Here, we’ve gathered some of the perfectly adequate gadgets, devices, utensils, and other things that we love, or at least don’t dislike. We hope you won’t dislike them, either.—Shannon Palus

You could buy this one for $199: Sonos One

Or this one for $49: The Google Home Mini will not fill your living room with high-fidelity audio—or even your kitchen. But in truth, neither will standard-size smart speakers such as the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Other than that, it will do everything that the pricier devices can do, for less money, while taking up much less space.

For a smart speaker that sounds good as a stand-alone music player, you’d need to jump up to the Google Home Max ($400), Apple HomePod ($350), or Sonos One ($200). The last of those offers the best value among higher-end devices, plus the promise of eventual compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant. So if you want a smart speaker that can do it all, Sonos One is your best bet.

But if you’re buying your first smart speaker, you’re on a tight budget, or both, the Google Home Mini is a great entry point. Its sound quality is just fine for nonmusic audio purposes and actually pretty impressive given its tiny package: Several reviewers find it to be a notch better than the comparable Amazon speaker, the Echo Dot, while others rate them as about the same. Where the Home Mini has the edge is in the intelligence of Google Assistant, which is markedly better than Alexa at answering a broad range of questions about the world. In particular, our family found it surprisingly adept at answering household “how-to” queries, such as “How long do fresh carrots last in the refrigerator?” It’s like being able to summon Martha Stewart to your kitchen counter whenever you need her.

There are good counterarguments for the Echo Dot, which is also a fine entry-level smart speaker and is made by a company with less of a reputation for collecting invasive data about its users. The overall point is, if you’re not yet sure that a smart speaker is for you, get a small one to start. You can always upgrade the audio later—and in the Google Home Mini’s case, you can do it quite easily by attaching Chromecast Audio to external speakers. —Will Oremus


Traditional Acoustic Guitars

These are what everyone thinks of when they hear the phrase ‘acoustic guitar.’ They come in any number of shapes (and their characteristics vary from brand to brand), but – at the end of the day – they all have a few consistent commonalities. They have six strings, are built without any electronics, and feature a large body which acts as a resonation chamber to amplify their sound. If you’re looking for the easiest pick-up-and-play option, a traditional acoustic guitar is your best bet.


Analog Man : A Conversation With Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh: Hello, Mike. I'm good, thanks.

MR: So your new album, Analog Man, is your first in 20 years. Twenty years?

JW: Well, two things happened. The Eagles decided to get back to work, so Hell Freezes Over came out of that, and we've been working ever since. We've been around the world a couple times. That's pretty much a full time job, so I hadn't really gotten any momentum going in terms of solo work. The other thing was in 1994, it was time for me to get sober, and I had to reinvent myself starting from the ground up and figure out how to live life sober. That took a while. Playing in front of people was terrifying. I learned how to have fun again, and a whole bunch of stuff, I just had to learn how to do it. I didn't do songwriting or artistic work right away because there were a lot of triggers there until I got some sobriety under my belt. Between those two, it's been a while, yeah. Holy smokes! The last time I made a record, it was on recording tape, and we had knobs, and now there's a mouse, so it's all new technology I've had to learn.

MR: Well, you are the Analog Man.

JW: Well I am! Yeah!

MR: Okay, so Analog Man is the name of the album, and you make a couple of points in that song, Joe. As most people will tell you, it's like a ten-year-old knows more about digital than most grownups. We just scratch our heads going, "How'd they do that?"

JW: Yeah! When my computer doesn't work, I just go and find a kid to fix it. It's a whole new world. It's a virtual world. It doesn't exist. It's an illusion that a computer has made, and we all spend a lot of time in there.

MR: The whole world living in a digital dream.

JW: While our bodies sit in chairs waiting for our minds to come back. It's new to me. I've had to make some adjustments from the old days, and I don't know what to think of it! I don't know if we're working for it or if it's working for us.

MR: That's a good way to put it. Now, this is your first album in twenty years and it's a real personal album -- you can so tell that with "Lucky That Way," which is kind of like "Life's Been Good (Part 2)."

JW: It kind of turned into a sequel, didn't it?

MR: Yeah. And you have songs like "Family," etc., that are also very personal. The significant change that happened to you, other than being sober, was creating family, right?

JW: Yeah, I got married three and a half years ago, and I found a wonderful, wonderful woman -- my wife Marjorie. She's kind of the part of me that was missing. I also got, along with her, this very large extended family that's very close. They all have each other's backs, and this is a new dynamic for me that I've never been around. I was isolated in my dark days and was in some relationships that didn't work and just toured by myself for years, so learning to be a part of it is something new to me, but wonderful. I have this wonderful new family and it's really helped me open up and let everybody inside.

MR: Yeah, I love some of "Family"'s lyrics, such as, "Give thanks, break bread, say grace, bow heads for all of this love that surrounds me." You truly love your family, sir.

JW: I really do! I really do, and I look at everything in a completely different way. I'm just healthy, happy, confident and sober, and I have a lot to say because I haven't done this in a long time. I think that's what you hear in the album.

MR: Now, you're staying socially conscious on this album with "Band Played On," which I think is saying, "Hey, everybody, we need to take a look at things. We need a new pair of glasses."

JW: It seems to me that we're like ostriches with our heads in the ground pretending nothing's wrong, and in the mean time, the economy is crashing, and the government is broken, and there's a lot of stuff that needs fixing. There's a complacency that we have, that this is acceptable. We're not doing anything. We're just waiting for the economy to get better, and it may not. I think that's dangerous, so I slipped that into a song about the Titanic because it's kind of an analogy. Maybe the ship is starting to sink, and it's not good that we just stand around and watch.

MR: The amazing thing is that every time there's an election, it seems like we get all excited about change -- "change" having been the big operative word the last time out -- and then things stay status quo.

JW: I agree. It's not a real choice, really. It's all the same. It's just whether the Republicans do it or the Democrats do it. I remember when Obama got elected. That was huge! Gosh, everybody was celebrating that finally change was on the way, and here we are again. I'm not putting him down. I'm not putting anybody down, but I'm just saying that this complacency is a bad habit that we've developed. How could we not? Our choices for people to vote for. There's not a whole lot out there.

MR: Right on, let's get back to the record! Joe, you're a Rock And Roll Hall of Famer. How do you feel about that?

JW: Well, it's good for my ego.

MR: (laughs) I love it! Let's get back to the new album Analog Man. You co-produced it with good ol' Jeff Lynne.

JW: Yeah, one of the things my wife said to me was, "I really believe in you and you should maybe get off your rear end and finish this. And by the way, here's Jeff Lynne's number." She's known him a long time and he and I never really officially met. Way, way back, ELO -- Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra -- and James Gang played some festivals together. But we never had quality time, so Jeff and I met socially, and at one point he said, "Why don't you bring your tracks over sometime and we'll have a listen." That led to some comments and ideas that he had. Gradually, we worked on some stuff and checked out some of his stuff too. It ended up that he really helped me finish it up and ended up producing. He really put his stamp on my music and took it in a direction I never would have gone, and I'm really grateful to him. He's a great friend, and he's an amazing musician.

MR: Nice. And speaking of family, you have your brother-in-law Ringo on drums on the project.

JW: Yes, I do! I played on his album.

MR: He owed you.

JW: It wasn't free.

MR: (laughs) Joe, you're becoming a Beatle, like didn't we see you at the Grammys playing with Paul McCartney on "Valentine"?

JW: I'm afraid you did.

MR: (laughs) That was beautiful, man, oh by the way.

JW: It's wonderful having a Beatle for a brother-in-law, but in this family I'm talking about, between Christmas and Thanksgiving and stuff, he's like a brother I never had. His insight and his wisdom has helped me immensely both with my life and with my music. I'm really, really grateful to have someone like him in my life. He's a special person.

MR: Before we leave the territory of changing one's life from the way it used to be, you are so insightful on the song "Wrecking Ball." If you live your life like a wrecking ball, there's a pretty high price to play when you slam into another big wall.

JW: Yeah, well that was retrospective a little bit. That's about the old Joe. Also, I kind of am dedicating that to the new group of young celebrities who are, shall we say, on probation. (laughs)

MR: Excellent way of putting it that. And everybody, in order to get through those kind of challenged times, should be living one day at a time, right?

JW: Exactly, exactly. In recovery, I wanted to tell my story -- what it was like, and what it's like now -- with the least amount of words, just plain and simple. I wanted to put that song out there as kind of a beacon of hope to anybody who listens to my music and might be in some trouble themselves. There's life after it all and it's good, and if I help one or two people along the way, that's good. It's worth the energy.

MR: Yeah, nicely done.

JW: Thank you.

MR: You're welcome. Okay, so you've also got "Funk 50," your wiseguy song, a variation on "Funk 49" with a little extra.

JW: That's a good story. In pre-season football this year, ESPN called me up, and they have the Sunday NFL countdown in the morning where they analyze games and compare notes and stuff -- Chris Berman and those guys. They said, "We're James Gang fans, so we want something like 'Funk 49' but not 'Funk 49.' We need some new music." So I did about a minute for their intro and the ins and outs of the show and they used that all last season, except it was 9 o'clock Sunday morning, so nobody ever heard it. But I thought that came out pretty good, and it was a shame it was just a minute, so I put some vocals and went ahead and made it into a song and put it on the album. They wanted "Funk 49" but not "Funk 49," so "Funk 50" they got!

MR: (laughs) By the way, your instrumental, the experimental "India"? Classy. Something for the kids too.

JW: Yeah, you know, I absolutely love the trance, the dance, the remixes that the DJs are doing, all of that electronica music. I listen to the satellite radio channel of it. I don't know who's who, but some of them are making great, great music. It's not mainstream, so they're really dedicated. My wife and I went to India. We finished an Eagles show and were in Australia, so we went on to India, and it was an amazing experience. It really changed how I looked at the big picture. In Mumbai, I happened to hear an electronica band. They didn't play musical instruments, they played laptops they had MacBooks. That's what they played, and it was really loud with really good lights, and I heard it live, and it just made me want to do that. I just said, "These guys are cool! I want to be like that!" So I named it "India" because that's what got me into doing it. I just wanted to make a song like that, I just decided to do an instrumental at 120 beats per minute and just put it out there. So that's my electronica experiment.

MR: Joe, by the way, it seems like that's the next wave. Every kid is doing it now, every kid is learning programs like Ableton, and they're all jumping on board with programming all sorts of music, making music from their computers.

JW: And they're doing great! It sure gets me off.

MR: But they're not exactly analog men.

JW: No, no they're not!

MR: But they know what they're doing.

JW: We're fewer and fewer, but we know how to make things phase like Hendrix did.

MR: (laughs) There you go! Joe, I ask you this every time, let's do it again. What advice do you have for new artists?

JW: Well, I would say -- and I've always said -- you cannot be a legend in your parents' garage. You've got to go play in front of people, even if you stink. You've got to go do it and learn how to do that because that's as much of a part of being a good musician as the music. You've got to go play for free. You've just got to get out and play in front of people. And if you do that, the rest will take care of itself. It's a new world. There's the Internet now. There's no more record companies. I would like to give people some advice, but I'm wondering what to do myself!

MR: (laughs) You're an Eagle!

JW: You get on there and you make your presence known. If you can just make people know that you have music, they'll find it, and there are ways to do that with the social networks and stuff. I'm just learning it, but it's a whole new game than when I was young, so every man for himself, kind of!

MR: Are you enjoying it still?

JW: Oh, yeah. I'm having a great time, I really am. I never thought about being this age. I'm still this kid in this body that's starting to slow down, but I'm not done yet, and like I say, I'm really positive and confident, and I've got everything that I've learned over the years to use as tools and I got a lot more music to make.

MR: Beautiful. Joe, I really appreciate your time, as always, and let's not wait until the next album to get together again.

JW: All right, fair enough! I'm on tour this summer. Come and hear me! We'll get arrested.

MR: All right, you got it.

CD
1. Analog Man
2. Wrecking Ball
3. Lucky That Way
4. Spanish Dancer
5. Band Played On
6. Family
7. One Day At A Time
8. Hi-Roller Baby
9. Funk 50
10. India
11. But I Try
12. Fishbone

DVD
1. Analog Man - live video
2. Lucky That Way - live video
3. Wrecking Ball - live video
4. Interview and Track by Track with Joe Walsh - video


11 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Film Composers

Film music can be iconic and catchy or underrated and subtle it can help drive the plot forward, build suspense, or elongate a moment, creating a space for contemplation. With one foot in the world of visual storytelling and the other in the world of music, composers bridge the gap between sound and vision. Here are a few things you might not know about the profession.

1. THEY OFTEN WORK CRAZY HOURS.

Because deadlines are constantly shifting, composers frequently end up with a lot less time than expected to complete a score. "Schedules always get changed, and deadlines move forwards or backwards,” says Dan Romer, a composer best known for his work on Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) and Beasts of No Nation (2015).

When mental_floss spoke with Romer, he was preparing two documentaries, Gleason and Jim: The James Foley Story, for their premieres at this year's Sundance Film Festival. “Sometimes it works out where you have to do a lot of work in a very small amount of time. Right now, I’m getting ready for Sundance and working very, very long hours—between 12 and 16 hours a day. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.”

2. THEY KNOW HOW TO READ MINDS.

While most directors have a sense of what they'd like their film's score to sound like, they don't necessarily have the musical vocabulary necessary to express their ideas. Composers need to learn how to translate a director's creative ideas into music.

“The job of a composer is mainly to translate the filmmaker's musical vision,” Jeff Russo, who is best known for his work on the television shows Fargo and Power, told Reddit. “Some don't have a musical vision . And in that case you need to be a bit of a mind reader.”

“Words that directors will use a lot are ‘bright,’ ‘dark,’ ‘airy.’ Those kinds of words are words you have to learn how to decode, to figure out what the director means," says Romer. "And, as a composer, you might have a very high instrument without much high end, and you think, ‘Oh, that’s a very dark sound because there’s not very much high-end on it.’ But the director might hear it and hear that as a very bright sound because it’s high. The best thing to do, I find, is to ask the director a lot of questions about what they mean, and which instruments they’re referring to."

3. SOMETIMES THEY DREAM OF MUSIC.

Most composers will tell you that inspiration can strike at any time, and often comes from unexpected sources. In a 2014 interview at

Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television , Hans Zimmer claimed to have heard an important musical segment from The Dark Knight Rises (2012) in a dream: “ I dreamt that whole sort of insane Bane opus. And, so I wrote it out, and went to Warner Brothers and said 'You know, I had this idea, and I don’t know if it’s going to work,'” he explained. “And they thought for a second, and they went, 'Yeah, go on, do it.' And it really turned out great.”

4. COMPUTERS HAVE CHANGED EVERYTHING.

Over the last few decades, computers have changed nearly every aspect of film production—and composing is no exception. With the switch from film to digital, filmmakers spend more time in the editing room, tinkering with changes both large and small, and those changes affect the score. “Because of digital editing films are never really locked any more,” says Joseph Trapanese, who scored Straight Outta Compton (2015) and Tron: Legacy (2010). “We have to record everything in separate passes (strings separated from brass separated from percussion etc.) so that we can edit the music after we record.”

Nowadays, most composers work everything out on their computer before they begin recording actual instruments. While this lets them experiment with different sounds, it can also be limiting. “The problem is that a real orchestra can make so many sounds that a [music] library cannot even capture,” Junkie XL, a.k.a. Tom Holkenborg (2015's Mad Max: Fury Road), told Reddit. “What happens then is that you start writing what sounds great on your sample set instead of what sounds great for real players!”

But Hans Zimmer sees the computer as a useful instrument: “I’ll tell you what I play—I play the computer,” he said. “When computers came along, in the '70s, I suddenly thought, hang on a second, this is interesting. These things can become an instrument.”

5. THEY COME FROM DIFFERENT MUSICAL BACKGROUNDS.

Film composers don’t always grow up knowing they want to compose music for movies. It’s not uncommon for composers to start out as classical musicians or members of rock bands. Danny Elfman had his first brush with film composing when director Tim Burton heard the music his band Oingo Boingo was making, and thought he’d be the perfect composer for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985). Elfman told Rolling Stone, “When I met him, it was like, 'Why me? Why would you want me to do a score? That's crazy.' Tim was like,'I don't know. I've seen your band and I think you could do it.' It was kind of that simple.”

By contrast, John Williams, who composed the scores for Jurassic Park (1993) and The Force Awakens (2015), among other films, studied to be a concert pianist at Juilliard before moving into composing. "I played pretty well," Williams told NPR. "I did hear players like John Browning and Van Cliburn around the place . and I thought to myself, 'If that's the competition, I think I'd better be a composer!’”

6. COMPOSING CAN GET PRETTY EMOTIONAL.

“I find that I have to, when I’m scoring a very emotional film, I have to let down my guard and really let it affect me and take hold of me in order to make the right kind of music. It’s a litmus test for me: If I cry while I’m watching a scene, then I feel like I’m doing an okay job,” says Romer. “If it’s an emotional scene and I’m not crying, there might be a problem.”

7. SOMETIMES THEY DON'T WANT THEIR WORK TO BE NOTICED.

In films with more understated scores, sometimes composers try not to make music that stands out too much. “

I love it when the movie reviews are great and nobody mentions the music. That means I'm doing my job—helping to make the film better but going unnoticed,” says Trapanese. “Though I've had a fortunate position of being involved with some amazing film scores and artists who do stand out. I don't think there is any one way to make a successful film, and I've enjoyed both films where the music is very very minimal (like Network and Drive) and where the music plays a huge role (Star Wars and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly).”

8. THEY LET THE STORY DEFINE THE SOUND.

When people ask what the inspiration for a particular season is, it's the story,” explains Russo. “The characters and the story are always the inspiration.”

9. THEY'RE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR WEIRD NEW SOUNDS.

In recent years, music software has expanded the range of sounds composers can play with. A number of programs let composers take any sound sample and turn it into a musical instrument that can play at any pitch. For Beasts of No Nation, Romer used everything from wine glasses to submarine sonar sounds. “All these instruments, if you can get one cool note out of it, then you can stretch it across the keyboard,” says Romer. “With Beasts of No Nation what we were able to do was, instead of taking one note, we were creating dissonant chords. Then, I’d play many of those at once, which would make a totally dissonant, chaotic, kind of drone sound.”

10. THEY ALL HAVE DIFFERENT CREATIVE PROCESSES.

When they first begin work on a score, some composers grab a pen and paper, while others sit down at their piano or computer. “

I don’t use a computer when I write and I don’t use a piano. I’m at a desk writing and it’s very broad strokes and notes as colors on a palette,” Avatar (2009) composer James Horner told The LA Times in 2009. “I think very abstractly when I’m writing. Then as the project moves on it becomes more like sculpting.”

11. IF YOU WANT TO BE A FILM COMPOSER, BE OPEN TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES.

The path to becoming a film composer is often full of twists and turns. If you’re interested in composing, Trapanese recommends learning as much as you can from as many teachers as you can, and being open to internships. “Every job I’ve ever had can be traced back to my first two internships,” he says. Romer, meanwhile, recommends focusing on music, in general, instead of just film composing. “Don’t try to be a film composer, just be a musician,” says Romer. “If you really want to be a film composer, lean towards it, but don’t turn down jobs that are music-related but not film composition.”


36 Best Retirement Gifts to Celebrate the Golden Years

Shopping for a recent retiree can be quite a challenge. At the end of the day, they&rsquove already gotten what seems like the greatest gift of all&mdashfreedom from work. They can now devote their entire schedule to relaxing, which is a pretty wild fantasy for those of us still putting in 40 hours of work each week! What kind of present could possibly top a life of leisure?

It turns out, retirees do a lot more than kick back during their newfound free time. Some use this chapter in their lives to further their education or pursue a hobby, like gardening or playing a musical instrument.

Others resolve to become more physically active and start spending extra time hiking, biking, or golfing. Some retirees choose to give back to their communities by doing local volunteer work when possible, while others safely indulge in their wanderlust by planning a weekend getaway.

Whatever they&rsquore passionate about, you can bet your recently retired friend will find more than one way to keep busy. So why not purchase a gift that will help them embrace their new way of life? Read on for inspiration on what to wrap up for your recent retiree.

National Geographic's 50 States, 5,000 Ideas

This book will show 'em the best travel experiences in every state from National Geographic&rsquos most talented photographers. National parks, secluded beaches, dinosaur trails, open swamp tours&mdashit's all in here! Flip through the book and find a new adventure in seconds.

Mini Cork Globe

Not only does this make a super cool home decor item, but it's yet another way to track your travels (and show guests how worldly you are, of course)! Use different colored push-pins for where you've been&mdashand where you plan to go.

"What Time Is It?" Retirement Coffee Mug

If you want to give them a good laugh, this mug will do the trick. Plus, they&rsquoll actually get use out of it as they sip a calming cup of tea or rich black coffee in the morning. The mug is microwave and dishwasher safe, and the message is printed on both sides so everyone can see.

Prevention Subscription

Call us biased, but a monthly subscription to Prevention makes a pretty great gift. For less than $15, you're gifting a friend or family member access to science-backed and evidence-based answers to their biggest health questions&mdashplus the inspiration and tools they need to live their healthiest life.

Retirement Ornament

Retirement is the best Christmas present you can get, so help them commemorate the holidays with this personalized ornament. They&rsquoll remember this gift (and you!) every time they unbox their decorations for the season.

Béis Weekend Travel Tote

This affordable bag is extra spacious, has hand-held and crossbody straps for versatile carrying, plus sports exterior zippers for easy access to travel documents. On top of that, it has a polyester and nylon exterior that makes it easy to clean and is 100% stylish.

Naipo oCuddle Back and Neck Massager

They can enjoy a massage any time they want with this portable deep tissue massager. This 2020 Wellness Awards winner has four-finger kneading nodes and a selectable heat mode to relieve any soreness or tension in the neck, back, and shoulders.

100 Movies Scratch-off Poster

Chances are they haven't seen a good movie in years, but with ample time on their hands, this poster will get them up to speed, starting with the classics. Introducing 100 of the most iconic movies everyone needs to experience from OG films like Jaws to newer flicks like Little Miss Sunshine. Best of all? This scratch-off poster will help them keep track and reveal fun artwork with the help of a quarter.

Simply Be Well Overnight Foot Care Kit

Is there anything better than soft, moisturized feet? This duo comes complete with a heavenly rosemary-mint cream and a pair of socks that work together overnight by sealing in those essential hydrating ingredients. They'll be delighted to feel baby-smooth feet in the A.M. and you'll be dubbed the best gift giver ever. Kudos to you!

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Murder Mystery Puzzle Book

If they love a good whodunit mystery, this puzzle book will bring out their inner Hercule Poirot to solve 20 various, thought-provoking cases. Each incident is wonderfully written and the gothic-style artwork within help set the tone for the exciting and even gruesome story. If they've always wanted to be a detective, now's the time!

1,000-piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Puzzles hav made a comeback in the last few months and if your friend or family member already jumped on the bandwagon, they'll appreciate this gift. A 1,000-piece jigsaw isn't for the faint of heart, but that's what makes this all the more fun! Once complete, they'll get a gorgeous view of the Amalfi Coast that's nice enough to frame.

Roborock S4 Robot Vacuum

No one should have to vacuum once retired! The Roborock S4 Robot Vacuum (and larger S6 model) moves seamlessly from hardwood floors to carpeting and even navigates around stairs and edges to suck up dust, dirt, pet hair, and more without lifting a finger. It's truly magical (just note that it does require an Alexa device).

Away Carry-on Suitcase

If your retired BFF is planning to travel more in the coming years, they need a suitcase that can withstand some bumps and bruises as a carry-on. Away's suitcase is the hot ticket travel item right now for a reason: It's perfectly sized to fit in the overhead bin of most major airlines, is made of a durable polycarbonate shell, and has 360-degree spinning wheels for easy transpo.

Allbird Runners Sneakers

These soft, lightweight kicks are taking over the streets of America. People of all ages love them for walking, traveling, running&mdashpretty much every activity you can think of. They come in neutral, black-and-white combos as well as fun color patterns. Four hundred plus rave reviewers won't steer you wrong.

Xenvo Pro Lens

Just by adding this little device to your phone (and we're talking any phone: iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Note, Google Pixel, etc.), you've suddenly got a pro camera on your hands, ready to capture 45% more of the scene with a wide or macro lens. There's also a rechargeable LED light to better illuminate an object&mdashand we all know lighting is everything!

Canon Power Shot Digital Camera

If you think your recipient would prefer the real thing, this is one of the most gifted digital cameras on Amazon. Its 20 Megapixel CCD sensor pairs with a high-tech image processor to help deliver stunning image quality, and it even has 720p HD video capabilities. Not only that, but its Smart AUTO feature selects the proper settings based for any shooting situation.

HaoZI Universal Travel Adapter

If you're really on a budget, a travel adapter is an excellent gift for the newly retired. It's something they'll 100% need for any future adventures, but may not necessarily think to buy ahead of time. This one has nearly 2,000 reviews for being easy to use, as it works for outlets in more than 150 countries.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Their new life of leisure essentially requires a pair of good headphones. They can re-connect with music from their college days or use it to drown out external noise while watching Seinfeld reruns. Bose's QuietComfort set is Amazon's Choice, with more than 4,000 five-star reviews.

Bose QuietComfort 30 Wireless Headphones

They may prefer earbuds, and in that case, Bose also offers a model with a lightweight neckband&mdashmaking it ideal for more active days on bike or walking trails. And yes, they're noise-canceling and connect with Bluetooth as well!

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness Activity Tracker

If you want to boost their motivation to keep moving after retirement, a fitness tracker is the way to go. A winner of our 2020 Wellness Awards, testers say the Fitbit Charge 4 is one of the best because it practically does it all. This not only motivates you to stay active, but it also gives you accurate stats while tracking heart rate, recording all-day activities (like steps taken and floors climbed), and calories burned. Bonus: It even grades your sleep!

Retirement Tiara

Make them feel like royalty at their retirement party with this festive crown!

Retirement Coloring Book

Adult coloring books are seriously relaxing. This one includes 30 images that will keep the creative juices flowing while they&rsquore no longer busy with a 9 to 5. It&rsquos also a great activity to do with others, so your retiree can share this gift with friends, children, and grandkids. Shopping for someone with more of a funny bone? Go with this humorous pick instead!

Car and Driver Snow Brush with Ice Scraper

They should be able to enjoy R&R around the house, even with a blizzard strikes. Our friends over at Car and Driver developed this 3-in-1 snow tool brush that will clean off the car and clear the driveway in a hurry. It can handle up to 55 inches of snow, yet breaks down into three parts for easy storage.

Travel the World Scratch-off Map

This scratch-off map is the perfect gift for a newly motivated travel buff. Not only does it make for cool wall decor, but they&rsquoll also love coming home from an exciting trip and being able to mark all their new adventures.

National Park Scratch-off Map

If their interests get even more specific, and they're an aficionado of national parks, you basically have to get them this scratch-off map. Scratch off the silver foil with ease to reveal 60 national park locations.

URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser

Make their post-retirement slumber that much more peaceful with this essential oil diffuser. It comes with seven different LED mood lights and doubles as a humidifier. Plus, its wooden grain exterior gives it a luxurious look and feel, but you can score this gift for only $20.

Retirement Golf Balls

If your retired friend loves to golf but is still taking a break from the course, these personalized Callaway brand golf balls will be the motivation they need to practice their game in the yard until it's safe to hit the country club again. The designer allows you to choose the color, set size, and ships it in ready to wrap packaging to make the process as easy as possible.

Amazon's Kindle

The Kindle is a book lover&rsquos dream since it holds thousands of reads, has a long-lasting battery, contains no glare (so it&rsquos easy on the eyes), and lacks blue light (which is known to disturb sleep). They can easily flip through pages, save their spots, and comfortably hold the tablet in one hand&mdasha gift that keeps on giving!

Backslash Fit Smart Yoga Mat

Yoga is gentle on the joints and good for the mind, but finding the right mat can be tough. Some are too pricey, while others have no grip or cushioning&mdashbut this Backslash Fit Smart Mat is a game-changer for your practice. It offers a smooth grip, thick material to support sensitive joints, and rolls itself up like a snap bracelet.

Waterproof Gardening Shoes

With more time to spend outside, your retiree can finally return to their love of gardening&mdashso gift them these popular waterproof shoes to get them back on their feet (and into the soil)! These gardening shoes are available in 25 different prints, and when it comes time to clean them, a simple hosing off is all it takes.

Work Pro Gardening Tool Set

After putting in their 60+ years of work, chances are your retiree doesn&rsquot even know where their old gardening tools are. This starter kit is the perfect gift to get them going again, since it includes seven tools including a trowel, transplanter, and a pruner. Plus, it comes in a durable, polyester storage bag they can throw over their shoulders when they&rsquore ready to head outside.

Braided Wide Hat

This braided gardening hat will leave them feeling cool and protected from the sun&rsquos damaging UV rays. The hat includes a wide brim and adjustable elastic cord to keep it firmly in place on windy days, is affordable, and comes in several styles, so you can find one that fits her personality.

Sassy Retirement Apron

If the recent retiree in your life enjoys cooking or baking (and finally has time to spend in the kitchen), they'll get a ton of use out of this cheeky apron. It comes in splatter-camouflaging colors like red, black, olive green, and hot pink.

"I Was Here" Travel Journal

This colorfully illustrated travel diary allows adventurers to jot down itineraries, reviews, tips from locals, and memories they never want to forget. There's also a nice reference section on time zones, measurement conversions, and other helpful notes when traveling long distances.

A Night at the Theater

No more late nights at the office means they can finally go to that show they've wanted to see for ages once theaters re-open. Pick up tickets to a concert, play, opera, or dance performance and celebrate their newfound freedom with a night on the town.

An Afternoon on the Field

After working for 40 plus years, they deserve an afternoon watching their favorite sports team live post-pandemic. While sporting events are on pause for the moment, it doesn't hurt to keep this idea in your back pocket. Once it's safe, they'll love heading to the field to celebrate the end of an era.

A Special Culinary Experience

If they've never had time to advance their culinary skills but always had an interest, think about signing them up for a cooking class in a few months. Sur La Table has tons of locations across the country and typically offer a wide variety of classes including French Croissants 101, Thai Favorites at Home, Cast Iron Desserts, and Knife Skills 101.


Watch the video: Η γυναίκα που θα διασχίσει την καυτή έρημο στον σκληρότερο αγώνα μοτοσυκλέτας στην ΕΡΤ 8319


Comments:

  1. Diederich

    Yeah. In this blog, at least the commentators are normal .. And then they usually write in the comments all sorts of nonsense.

  2. Hershel

    It is a pity that I cannot speak now - there is no free time. I will be released - I will definitely express my opinion.

  3. Sal

    This - is impossible.

  4. Odharnait

    It seems to me, you are not right



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