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Happy 25th Anniversary, Legend of Zelda!

The Recording of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD
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November 14, 2011 Posted by | Games and Gaming, Music, Video | , , | Comments Off on Happy 25th Anniversary, Legend of Zelda!

Symphony of Science

The Quantum World–Symphony of Science

I approve the use of auto-tuning in these brilliant videos.

Thanks for the link, Angelo!

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Music, Science and Technology, Video | , | Comments Off on Symphony of Science

Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall

Benny Goodman–Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) 1937 @ Carnegie Hall

It’s Tuesday afternoon. Time for a big band break (and a little bit of awesome music history). Swing out to the tune above while reading the story behind it below:

From Wikipedia:

In bringing jazz to Carnegie, [Benny Goodman was], in effect, smuggling American contraband into the halls of European high culture, and Goodman and his 15 men pull[ed] it off with the audacity and precision of Ocean’s Eleven.

—Will Friedwald[22]

In late 1937, Goodman’s publicist Wynn Nathanson attempted a publicity stunt by suggesting Goodman and his band should play Carnegie Hall in New York City. If this concert were to take place, then Benny Goodman would be the first jazz bandleader to perform at Carnegie Hall. "Benny Goodman was initially hesitant about the concert, fearing for the worst; however, when his film Hollywood Hotel opened to rave reviews and giant lines, he threw himself into the work. He gave up several dates and insisted on holding rehearsals inside Carnegie Hall to familiarize the band with the lively acoustics."[23]

The concert was the evening of January 16, 1938. It sold out weeks before, with the capacity 2,760 seats going for the top price of US$2.75 a seat, for the time a very high price.[23] The concert began with three contemporary numbers from the Goodman band—"Don’t Be That Way," "Sometimes I’m Happy," and "One O’Clock Jump." They then played a history of jazz, starting with a Dixieland quartet performing "Sensation Rag." Once again, initial crowd reaction, though polite, was tepid. Then came a jam session on "Honeysuckle Rose" featuring members of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands as guests. (The surprise of the session: Goodman handing a solo to Basie’s guitarist Freddie Greene who was never a featured soloist but earned his reputation as the best rhythm guitarist in the genre—he responded with a striking round of chord improvisations.) As the concert went on, things livened up. The Goodman band and quartet took over the stage and performed the numbers that had already made them famous. Some later trio and quartet numbers were well-received, and a vocal on "Loch Lomond" by Martha Tilton provoked five curtain calls and cries for an encore. The encore forced Goodman to make his only audience announcement for the night, stating that they had no encore prepared but that Martha would return shortly with another number.[24]

By the time the band got to the climactic piece "Sing, Sing, Sing", success was assured. This performance featured playing by tenor saxophonist Babe Russin, trumpeter Harry James, and Benny Goodman, backed by drummer Gene Krupa. When Goodman finished his solo, he unexpectedly gave a solo to pianist Jess Stacy. "At the Carnegie Hall concert, after the usual theatrics, Jess Stacy was allowed to solo and, given the venue, what followed was appropriate," wrote David Rickert. "Used to just playing rhythm on the tune, he was unprepared for a turn in the spotlight, but what came out of his fingers was a graceful, impressionistic marvel with classical flourishes, yet still managed to swing. It was the best thing he ever did, and it’s ironic that such a layered, nuanced performance came at the end of such a chaotic, bombastic tune."[25]

This concert has been regarded as one of the most significant in jazz history. After years of work by musicians from all over the country, jazz had finally been accepted by mainstream audiences. Recordings were made of this concert, but even by the technology of the day the equipment used was not of the finest quality. Acetate recordings of the concert were made, and aluminum studio masters were also cut.[23]


The recording was produced by Albert Marx as a special gift for his wife, Helen Ward and a second set for Benny. He contracted Artists Recording Studio to make 2 sets. Artists Recording only had 2 turntables so they farmed out the second set to Raymond Scott‘s recording studio.

[…] It was Benny’s sister-in-law who found the recordings in Benny’s apartment [in 1950] and brought them to Benny’s attention.

—Ross Firestone[26]

Goodman took the newly discovered recording to his record company, Columbia, and a selection was issued on LP. These recordings have not been out of print since they were first issued. In early 1998, the aluminum masters were rediscovered and a new CD set of the concert was released based on these masters. The album released based on those masters went on to be one of the best selling live jazz albums of all time.

Thanks, Matt!

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Music | , , , | Comments Off on Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall

High Quality Scans of Public Domain Sheet Music

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I recently purchased an iPad 2, the forScore app, the AirTurn BT-105 and ATFS-1 Footswitches (for page turning)—the first big steps into digitizing my entire music library. The main problem is that almost all of my piano books are larger than my flatbed scanner can handle, so even if I had the bindings cut I still wouldn’t be able to feed the loose pages through the auto document feeder. There’s the option of having Kinkos or OfficeMax doing the scanning for me, but they charge $0.20 – 0.25 per page. A large format scanner starts at $2499.

I was lamenting to my friend, Tom, about this and brilliantly pointed out that most classical music is public domain and that somebody has to have already scanned all of the stuff and put them online. Of course, a few minutes of Googling from the both of us produced tons of sites. Thus far, the one I like the most is Cantorion.

The scans and transcriptions are high in quality, and the community seems very strong and involved. Their collections include scores for multiple instruments (and sometimes full orchestra!). So far, I’ve found PDFs of most of my collection (e.g. Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, etc.). I’m confident I won’t have any problems finding the rest.

Here are some other resources that we found that I haven’t researched but look very promising:

Thanks for the help, Tom!

Cantorion.org

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Terminator 2 as Hand-Drawn Animation

Terminator 2, by the band Rymdreglage

Terminator 2 turns 20 on July 3rd, 2011. Twenty.

via Gizmodo

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Movies, Music, Video | , , , , | Comments Off on Terminator 2 as Hand-Drawn Animation

“The Wall” Mariachi Style

“The Wall” Originally by Pink Floyd (performed by Mariachi Cabos)

Nice find, Tim!

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Humor, Music, Oddities, Video | , , | Comments Off on “The Wall” Mariachi Style

Michael Bolton is a Cinephile

Michael Bolton Snl

This is all sorts of awesome, with a tiny sliver of creepy.

via The Huffington Post

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Humor, Movies, Music, Video | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Michael Bolton is a Cinephile

Musical Performance in the Information Age

When I think of the intersection between music and the internet, two projects immediately come to mind that succinctly represent that coupling. Here are their introductions followed by sample performances:

The Introductions

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra

YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011: Play Your Part

YouTube was leveraged as a tool for auditions for this project. What I find neat about it is the accessibility that it allowed. Non-professional musicians from all over the world, who normally would never pursue anything this grand, were able to audition out of the comfort of their own home. After, what I imagine, was a lengthy discernment process, the lucky chosen performed in a concert in the Sydney Opera House (which of course, was live-streamed on the internet).

 

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir

Introduction to the Virtual Choir

Eric Whitacre took this idea a step further and actually pieced together all of the audition videos to make a virtual choir. I can only imagine the thousands of hours of work that went into the mixing of this.

The Performances

What are the final products of such colossal endeavors? Here are two samples:

YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011–The Firebird–Stravinsky

 

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir–Lux Aurumque

March 30, 2011 Posted by | Music, Science and Technology, Video | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Musical Performance in the Information Age

Arnold Schwarzenegger The Musical

Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan are brilliant musical comedic geniuses! Stop what you are doing right now and feast your eyes and ears upon the following Arnold Schwarzenegger movies reimagined as musicals!

I haven’t laughed this hard since I was a little girly man.

 

Predator: The Musical

 

Conan the Barbarian: The Musical

 

There’s also a Terminator 2 Musical and a Total Recall Musical. If you want more, definitely subscribe to their YouTube Channel.

YouTube Channel – legolambs

via io9

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Humor, Movies, Music, Video | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gotta Love the 80s [Atomic Tom]

Don’t You Want Me by Atomic Tom

Can you name all of the 80’s references? Smile

via FirstShowing.net

February 11, 2011 Posted by | Movies, Music, Video | , , | 1 Comment