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Posts Tagged ‘Pleasant Idleness’

Two sites I came across recently.

The first is Internationally Wrongful Memes (via OpinioJuris), basically international law humor. It reminds me of the clippings on professors’ offices, oftentimes New Yorker cartoons. When links to International Court of Justice cases are involved, it is fairly dry humor.

Game of Thrones is about to come back and we’re on it thanks to this marvellous guest post! "The capacity of a government to represent the State in its international relations does not depend in any degree upon the legitimacy of its origin, so that the USURPER who in fact holds power with the consent express or tacit of the nation acts validly in the name of the State." Dreyfus case, 1901. (Thanks LC!)

 

“The capacity of a government to represent the State in its international relations does not depend in any degree upon the legitimacy of its origin, so that the USURPER who in fact holds power with the consent express or tacit of the nation acts validly in the name of the State.”

Dreyfus case, 1901. (Thanks LC!)

 

The second, Tl;dr WIkipedia is the sometimes off color one (via, P.a.p. Blog).

 

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Watching this Kids React video reminds me of Beloit’s Mindset List. The title is an overclaim on the list’s part, but it does get at something. Here’s the Class of 2017 Mindset List.

Somehow, it seems appropriate that Getting On is also the title of the US and UK dramedy.

Kids React to Rotary Phones

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The Atlantic assembles a neat collection of New Year’s photos from around the world. My favorite, the all-time best World’s Fair investment.

"A reveler writes "2014" with sparklers ahead of New Year's Eve, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on December 30, 2013. (Reuters/Benoit Tessier)"

“A reveler writes “2014” with sparklers ahead of New Year’s Eve, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on December 30, 2013. (Reuters/Benoit Tessier)”

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Ombra mai fu
di vegetabile,
cara ed amabile,
soave più.

A shade there never was,
of any plant,
dearer and more lovely,
or more sweet.

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Knee Play 1 from Einstein on the Beach

 

Is this opera? (Warning: No clear answer follows.)

Listening to the Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach the first thing that strikes me is rupture. Several questions arise: how can this be of a piece with the standard repertory? is opera capacious enough to contain this? Maybe we dub you, Einstein on the Beach, performance art. Better to distinguish between the more linear, storytelling art form and this something else.

Philip Glass writing in Performing Arts Journal (1978),

My main approach throughout Einstein on the Beach has been to link harmonic structure directly to rhythmic structure, using the latter as a base. In doing so, easily perceptible “root movement” (chords or “changes”) was chosen in order that the clarity of this relationship could be easily heard. Melodic material is for the most part a function, or result, of the harmony, as is true in earlier periods of Western music. However, it is clear that some of the priorities of Western music (harmony/melody first, then rhythm) have been reversed. Here we have rhythmic structure first, then harmony/melody. The result has been a reintegration of rhythm, harmony and melody into an idiom which is, hopefully, accessible to a general public, although, admittedly, somewhat unusual at first hearing.

Lloyd’s Building
by Richard Rogers

“Somewhat unusual at first hearing” is an understatement. It reminds me of the Lloyd’s building, taking what used to be inside and putting it on the outside – starkly exposing what had once upon a time been concealing in the interior of the music to the listener just as Lloyd’s takes what was once inside and puts it on the outside of the building.

Some of the other musical forms that I can imagine as exposed, fugues for instance, still don’t expose themselves as much as Einstein‘s Knee plays. For really crisp clarity on how the voices in a fugue work, here is Bach’s Fugue in G minor on piano and organ. The piano performance accompanied by a helpful pitch illustration. The organ version, probably illustrates the point of the exposure of the fugue less well, just worth a listen by way of contrast.

Fugue in G minor, J. S. Bach, piano

 

Fugue in G minor, J. S. Bach, organ

 

I’ll close in very unscholarly fashion without decisive answers to the questions I posed at the outset, merely the juxtaposition that prompted this post to begin with: Einstein‘s Knee Play 1 and Questo è un nodo avviluppato from Rossini’s Cinderella. The use of rhythm, the repetition, and the use of r’s all brought Glass to mind. Go figure.

 

Questo è un nodo avviluppato from Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola

Questo è un nodo avviluppato,
Questo è un gruppo rintrecciato.
Chi sviluppa più inviluppa,
Chi più sgruppa, più raggruppa;

Ed intanto la mia testa
Vola, vola e poi s’arresta;
Vo tenton per l’aria oscura,
E comincio a delirar.

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When I struck out in my own music language, I took a step out of the world of serious music, according to most of my teachers. But I didn’t care. I could row the boat by myself, you know? I didn’t need to be on the big liner with everybody else.
— Philip Glass

 

Portrait of Philip Glass
(Chuck Close, 1977)

Knock-knock.
Who’s there?

Knock-knock.
Who’s there?

Knock-knock.
Who’s there?

Knock-knock.
Who’s there?

Knock-knock.
Who’s there?

Philip Glass

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