When Language Is Art

I’m in the home stretch of my Area-51 project; the big board presentation is tomorrow and the slide translations are complete. It is a shame I’m not able to share them with everyone in advance of the presentation as the native language for Area-51 is, from this American’s point of view, particularly elegant and categorically artistic. That, in combination with the wonderful templates provided by the parent organization (complete with color …

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But What If I Don’t Want To Buy Your Damn Music?!?

There’s a great article over at NewMusicBox by Jean Cook that examines her frustrations when dealing with the seemingly nonsensical way digital music providers handle classical music tracks. Undoubtedly, anyone who has spent much time dealing with iTunes and the lot would give Jean’s article a hearty "Amen!" but what I found really interesting were the comments. Frankly, I’m surprised there aren’t more comments from the wide variety of boutique classical music digital providers but at the time this article is published, there are only comments from representatives of Naxos and Chandos, both of which chime in with intriguing points along with plugs for their respective service. It is a great conversation but here’s the issue I have with most of the discussions surrounding classical music recordings and digital distribution: what about those of us who don’t want to buy it…

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Can PSO Maintain Status If Salaries Don’t Hit High Note?

Or so goes the headline for Andrew Druckenbrod’s article in the 8/22/08 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the article, Andrew examines the current Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) collective bargaining agreement negotiations, the orchestra’s finances, and how well (or not so well) the organization has done keeping up base musician salary compared to its peers. The short answer to Andrew’s headline question is simple: no. At least that answer is simple …

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More National Anthem Nonsense At The Olympics

The 8/22/08 edition of the Washington Post published an article by the ever-sharp Philip Kennicott which reports on National Anthem nonsense at the Olympics. The 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece left the world scratching their heads when it came to arrangements for their respective national anthems. In the US, the majority of viewers shared a collective “what was that?” perspective on the Star-Spangled Banner arrangement but it appears that the Chinese Olympic organizers missed out on that fiasco and as a result have allegedly plagiarized a bunch of arrangements that didn’t make much of an impression on most listeners when they premiered four years ago…

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Does Your Orchestra YouTube (again)?

A few years ago, before YouTube became a gravitational force strong enough to bend light, I posted a blog about orchestras showing up on YouTube. Back then there were less than a dozen search hits (none of which were posted with the orchestra’s permission) but if you do a search for "symphony orchestra" at YouTube today you’ll get "about 38,500" hits including everything from Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony (see below) to the now famous VB Beer commercial

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