Archive for the ‘classical’ Category

O Captain! My Captain!

February 2, 2007


Where are now teachers like Mr. Keating? Rise poets, rise, your destiny is freedom! Mr. Peter Weir, my infinite gratitude for this movie!

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history – name for “once upon a time” future

January 22, 2007

When I was a little kid, I acted a bit strangely because I enjoyed to count numbers one, two, three and so on…everywhere, in home and outside. I remember that I managed to count till ten thousand about when turned six years old. And my father told me to write down numbers in one hardcover A4 notebook, in each new line – next number, and so I wrote about two thousand and something there. Here my father got interesting idea – he figgured that each line can represent one year in history starting from 1 AD until beyond 2000. So he explained to me that we will write down when some great scientist or artist or composer – some great person was born and when he died. And of course, we will write down if some important event happened. I liked the idea, and we started to do it. Perhaps it was my first seeing face to face with the fact that human life is transitory inside eternity, that there is time when one is born, and that there is time when one dies. I was drawing sign of little cross beside year in which someone died.

Later when I grew up enough to have history in school, to be very frank now, I was not interested in history at all. I just learned it to get good grade. And I always had best grade, I was learning like a parrot – and therefore now I know so little, I forgot it all. Is it important to learn history? What do you think? Let me hear some pros and cons in your comments.

First off, my opinion is that it is important to learn history of art. Can we allow ourselves the luxury of not knowing what was before and what after – Baroque or Rennaissance. It is our fellow humans who created that art – by learning that we will widen our horizons in certain way – we will get finer resolution of our perception. We are inheriting what generations before us created, in certain way, but we should not be attached to it – we should create now art of our time, as they created art of that time. It is very important to elaborate now on this a bit more.

So, I don’t wish to have rules from past how to create art now – save and except one – that art which I create has fulness. How can I know that? I can feel that. I am unable to judge others precisely, but myself – it is completely different story. For anything I created I know how much it fulfils me – I feel it to the slightest degree. If someone creates something because he just wants to have something new – I cannot see eye to eye with such person. Art has to be our most intimate dream. We have to give ourselves completely, and to feel that we have done so. Many times unfortunately, so called artists, are just offering confusion from their minds. No art for me – without the heart!

Frankly speaking, I am not well acquainted with history of art, no authority for it. I want to convey another message with this text – that I am ready and willing to learn. I will start there what I love most – Claude Monet’s Soleil levant (1873) and the Impressionists, and Claude Debyssy’s music, of course :)

As for general history, it is broader subject, and I will elaborate on it more in some of my next posts. And one more thing. I will start again to do what my father suggested. But this time I will write one year for one page in new book, and I will do it for the period since 1800 until now. Including music, visual art and science.

all I NEED (now) is radio ga ga

January 20, 2007

Radio – radio
I’d sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to know
I heard it on my radio

You gave them all those old time stars
Through wars of worlds – invaded by Mars
You made ’em laugh – you made ’em cry
You made us feel like we could fly
Radio

(taken from the song by band Queen – Radio Ga Ga)

We are living in a time when we are thinking about concerts on DVD’s and about 7.1 speakers, but what happens to inspiration and awe of good old radio? What happened to that medium which was absolutely amazing before television? Nowdays we can listen to radio that is propagated by radio diffusion and FM modulation, and Internet radio stations which are there on the net, of course there are another modulations for ordinary radio which are more rare, and some lucky countries even have digital radio such as Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) or Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM).

But my main question for this post is – would you consider buying hi-fi radio receiver? You know, those marvellous looking devices that you can add to your hi-fi system and receive radio programs. I know some people who are giving large amounts of money for hi-end tube amplifiers (in order to avoid quantization noise at least in that component), but they say they would never buy a receiver as another component (I guess they would spend money on another component). And my opinion, oh well, I do not have money to buy hifi right now – but I would buy a receiver. I would like to listen radio on such device. And what is your opinion?

My favourite internet radio stations are SmoothJazz.com and Piano Whisperings and one fusion jazz station, I forgot now the link and the name.

No we must not forget the radio, and this is my appeal to all people who are working on radio, to give their best to make that media once more popular. Everything can be done through careful planning of all details. We simply have to have quality radio shows. And to end with Queen’s song again

Let’s hope you never leave old friend
Like all good things on you we depend
So stick around ‘cos we might miss you
When we grow tired of all this visual
You had your time – you had the power
You’ve yet to have your finest hour
Radio – radio

P.S. What is your favourite internet radio station? Share your opinion and the link here in comments please.

Why are Stradivari violins sooo good?

January 18, 2007

Believe it or not, there is opinion that it is because of borax, chemical that Stradivari used to protect wood from wood worms.

Who got such idea? Professor emeritus of Biochemistry at Texas A&M University Dr. Joseph Nagyvary. On his www.NagyavaryViolins.com homepage we can read

It appears that the art of violinmaking in Cremona during the Golden Years ( ~1550-1750) was shaped by historical coincidences in wood acquisition and preservation. Stradivari and his colleagues were likely the beneficiaries of a local technology without being aware of it. For protection against woodworm and mold, chemists were known to apply a chemical solution to the surface of the wood, and this solution was often a slurry made with a powder the alchemists called “the salt of gems”. According to historical accounts from Cremona collected by V. Grivel, these sophisticated materials were provided by the local apothecary to a variety of wood workers. Presumably, neither the apothecary nor the violinmakers were conscious of the profound acoustical effect of the chemicals which were used routinely on all fine furniture.

On that site you can find mp3s that are comparing Stradivari and Nagyavary violins. For me very interesting were those comparison frequency diagrams.

Be sure to check out article Stradivari ‘owes it all to worms’ on telegraph.co.uk

And what Wikipedia says on Stradivari violins, well, check out by clicking here. Also, especially interesting is article about famous violin duel in September 2003.