Ever since I first visited Mexico, more than 30 years ago, I’ve been fascinated by its culture. It’s beautiful, exotic, alien, yet also comfortable and attractive. One of the things that have intrigued me since the start is the lottery game… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Loteria de Camacho
When it comes to musical taste, I guess you could say Arb and I are a little… odd? We’ve shared our love of classical and choral music quite a bit, but then we also like the hard stuff. Here is a whole group of young people who seem to feel the same way: Viva Vox […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Musical Interlude: an Odd Intersection
The TPP’s copyright term extension discourages creativity, restricts access, and imposes enormous costs on Canadian consumers and educational institutions, argues Internet law expert, Michael Geist. Meanwhile, the term extension is “a major windfall fo… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Michael Geist: The Trouble with the TPP’s Copyright Term Extension
Long before Darth Vader, long before Lord Voldemort, long before Stephen Harper, Judas Iscariot reigned as the supreme icon of evil in Western mythology. Judas betrayed God. How much worse can you get?* For 2,000 years we’ve used the term Judas . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Judas, a Biography
Arb may not be such a fan of Silent Night, but it will always be special to me. In my church while I was growing up, we would end our Christmas Eve service by all getting out of the pews to stand in a huge circle around the sanctuary. We’d pass out candles, then turn out […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Christmas Friday Musical Interlude – Silent Night (again)
Us folks at DWR seem to be all full of Holiday sweetness and light and goodwill, this year. Just to reassure y’all that we haven’t gone totally soft, I’d like to share this video with you. It helped me earlier in the season, when I wasn’t ready for celebrating yet, and I needed an antidote […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: And now for something completely different…
Just a great article through and through. Go read it all here. “I sort of kicked the hornets’ nest the other day, by expressing feminist opinions about books. It all came down to Lolita. “Some of my favorite novels are disparaged in a fairly shallow way. To read Lolita and ‘identify’ with one of the […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Rebecca Solnit – Men Explain Lolita to Me
A love of Beethoven was one of the things Arb and I bonded over, early in our relationship. Going on a road trip in the mountains together, we brought along all nine symphonies, and the combination of gorgeous music, gorgeous scenery, and of course, plenty of New Relationship Energy, made for an almost transcendent experience. […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Friday Classical(ish) Interlude: Beethoven’s 5th… for electric guitar
(I’m writing this early in the week, for publication Friday. I’m dreading coming back and editing this list…) and Garissa, Kenya; Yola, Nigeria and all the places being terrorized by “our” side… Gustav Mahler wrote his song cycle Kindertotenlieder, Songs on the Death of Children, over a century ago, a setting of five (out of over […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Classical Interlude: for Paris, and Beirut, and Baghdad
Almost every knitter or crocheter’s taste in yarn goes through a similar evolution as their skill progresses. When you’re just starting, everything takes forever, so thick yarns seem like a good idea – yay, fewer stitches makes more fabric! And you buy yarn based on how pretty the ball looks, without much concept of what it might look like once it’s worked up. Low-end yarn manufacturers, I’m sure, are aware of n00b yarn buyers’ purchasing habits, and pander accordingly. Which is why the yarn aisle at Michael’s is full of stuff like this:
What on earth could go wrong? I mean, (Read more…)
The singing year has started for me as well as the Arbourist. My teacher and I have set two goals for this year:
That I will develop good practicing habits That I will finally let my big voice out at its full size
In furtherance of these goals, she’s assigned me big, challenging repertoire that there’s no way I’ll be able to manage without practicing my butt off. Which, it turns out, means All the Wagner.
Since the theme for this semester is Art Song, I’m working on three of his five Wesendonck Lieder. Two (“Traume” and “Der Engel”) I’ve (Read more…)
I have been reading the essays of the late critic, Walter Benjamin, most famous for his 1936 piece, The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproduction (an earlier translation of this essay is available here). Wikipedia notes of this essay that it has been, …influential across the humanities, especially in the fields of […]
While Julius Caesar is my favourite of all Shakespeare’s plays, I think Anthony and Cleopatra is my second favourite. I know it’s hard to choose any favourites from his plays, they’re all so good, but this one seems to resonate with me more than most others, enough to encourage me to reread it this week. […]
The fifth and final objective in Collingwood’s developing strategic plan (the woo-hoo plan) is culture and the arts. For something so important to the community, with such a huge potential, it encompasses a mere two goals. Disappointingly, neither of them relate to its huge economic potential, which everyone else seems to understand except this committee and […]
Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s devaluation of the music teacher (among other cultural and community-building parts of our schools).
For further reading…- CBC reported on the Prairie Spirit School Division’s decision to eliminate school bands here, and Janet French did likewise here.- The Star-Phoenix’ editorial board weighed in here. And now, even the Saskatchewan Party is pretending to oppose what its policy choices have wrought.- And for those looking to support the students trying to save their band program, Shawna Langer’s petition is here.
I have been reading an entertaining little book called How Shakespeare Changed Everything, which, as the title suggests, is about the pervasive influence the Bard has had on pretty much everything in our lives ever since he started putting quill to paper. Stephen Marche’s book was described in the NatPost as a, “sprightly, erudite sampling […]
On Sunday mornings, I get up shortly after Arb leaves for work, and move from the cozy, snuggly bed to the equally snuggly sofa. I make a cup of coffee and listen to Sunday Breakfast on CKUA, and half-doze under at least one cat (depending on Fiona and V’s current level of detente). This Sunday, as I faded in and out of consciousness, I heard something familiar and yet not. “This sounds like Piazzolla,” I thought, “but I don’t recognize it.” Turns out I was right, it was Piazzolla, and the reason I didn’t recognize it was that (Read more…)
Naturally for this time of year, the choir that Arb and I sing in is preparing for our Christmas concert, and there is Jebus-music aplenty. Really that’s OK by me; most of the shit about Santa seriously sucks. One of the beautiful carols we’re doing is Harold Darke’s arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter. Here’s the final verse:
What shall I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. Yet what can I give him: give my heart!
This is VNV Nation, an Irish/English alternative electronic/industrial duo currently based out of Berlin, but touring to Canada this fall/winter – I’ve already got tickets – and plane tickets because the closest they’re coming is Vancouver.
They were my first exposure to electronic/industrial music – I grew up in a classical bubble – and I was hooked pretty much instantly.
Turn up the volume and turn up the bass before pressing play.
The song is “Joy”, a humanist anthem and my personal anthem as well.
Filed under: Arts, Atheism, Music, personal Tagged: The DWR Friday Musical Interlude, vnv nation
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: The Intransigent One’s Favourite Band
I sometimes write things and they get published in The Georgia Straight: Mrs. Chang is a 96-year old elder who calls Vancouver’s Chinatown her home. In a neighbourhood filled with poh-pohs (Chinese […]
I Live Tweeted the Vision Vancouver-sponsored event “Protecting Vancouver’s Cultural Spaces: How we can preserve culture in a growing city”- You can search the hashtag #VanCulturalSpaces for related tweets on the event. It […]
I continue to be profoundly moved by the wisdom of the classical authors. It’s often hard to accept that some of them were writing two or more millennia ago: many seem so contemporary they could have been written this century. Of late – within the past year or so – I’ve been reading Lucretius, Aristotle, […]
Tom Lehrer is a Renaissance Man of the twentieth century. He’s not only a composer, pianist, and singer, who lectures extensively on musical theatre; he’s also a published and teaching mathematician.
Mystro is a particular fan of Dr. Lehrer’s work and has performed it on several occasions, when our choir replaces rehearsal with Talent Nite.
Last week was our singing teacher’s student cabaret. Upon learning, maybe a month ago, that the Italian aria he had been working on wouldn’t do for a cabaret, Arb had to scramble for some different, lighter repertoire, and decided to follow Mystro’s example. Here’s the (Read more…)
It’s fairly clear, even after reading only a few verses, why Lucretius’s didactic poem, On the Nature of Things – De Rerum Natura – made such an impact on thought, philosophy, religion and science in the Renaissance. It must have been like a lighthouse in the dark night; a “Eureka” moment for many of the age’s thinkers. […]
I set myself a challenge to get these done before the Olympics closing ceremonies, and I did!
Filed under: Arts, Humour