Category Archives: Music

Creative Juice #241

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Creative Juice #241

Mentally stimulating. Inspiring. Lovely to look at.

Creative Juice #240

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Creative Juice #240

Interesting. Informative. Funny. Lovely. Artistic. Strange. It’s all here:

Evelyn Glennie Will Challenge Your Preconceptions

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Evelyn Glennie was born in Methlick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on July 19, 1965. She is a composer and one of the foremost concert percussionists in the world. Incidentally, she began losing her hearing when she was eight years old, becoming profoundly deaf by age twelve. If you, like me, wonder how she can possibly perform at the virtuoso level, then we (and the general hearing public) have misunderstandings about disability, and Glennie hopes we will learn to listen.

Glennie’s early music teacher taught her to distinguish between sounds, starting with sounds that were clearly different and narrowing down to ever-smaller distinctions between sounds.

When Glennie auditioned for The Royal Academy of Music in London, she was rejected, she was told, because they “had no clue of the future of a deaf musician.” She questioned the validity of that criterion, and insisted they should evaluate her in comparison to other candidates, considering her “ability to perform and to understand and love the art of creating sound.”

The Academy requested that she audition a second time, and this time she was accepted.

But the win was not merely for Glennie alone.

From that time forward, no music institution in the United Kingdom would deny entry to the program purely on the basis of disability.

Her struggles in academia were not over. She challenged the traditional way music students were trained, insisting that rather than practicing exercises from a study book, she wanted to practice skills and techniques in the context of a piece of music.

In her work as a performer and a teacher and a speaker, Evelyn Glennie seeks to engage audiences at a deeper level, not just musically, but interpersonally. She wants people to learn to listen, not only to the music, but to each other as well.

Video of the Week #301: Canticle of the Turning

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Creative Juice #237

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Creative Juice #237

Beauty and fun.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

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And what better way to celebrate than to listen to some great jazz music.

Dick Cavett interviewing Oscar Peterson:

The Robert Glasper Trio:

The great Ella Fitzgerald scatting:

John Batiste:

Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea:

Miles Davis (and is it my imagination or is that Carlos Santana playing guitar?):

Andrea Motis, Joan Chamorro Quintet, and Scott Hamilton:

Duke Ellington:

Ahmad Jamal:

Dave Brubeck:

Creative Juice #235

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Creative Juice #235

Things to try. Things to remember.

How Have I Never Written a Post About Beethoven?

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How Have I Never Written a Post About Beethoven?

He’s only my favorite composer, but my ARHtistic License search engine is not turning up any articles about him. How is that possible?

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) displayed his gift for music at a young age. His musician father thought Ludwig could be another Mozart, a child prodigy who could earn the family a living. He began teaching his son, but because of his alcoholism, was a rather dysfunctional instructor, often waking the boy out of a sound sleep and demanding that he practice clavier.

Nevertheless, Ludwig did become a sought-after pianist, organist, and violinist. At age 21 he moved from the family home in Bonn, Germany to Vienna, Austria, the cultural center of Europe, to study counterpoint with Josef Haydn. His early works were influenced by the great master.

Beethoven loved nature and began his days with a walk through the countryside. He carried a notebook with him and would jot down the melodies and harmonies that came to him while he walked.

He began to lose his hearing in 1798. By 1818 it had deteriorated to that point that he could only communicate through writing. His conversation notebooks still exist, and they are a treasure trove of information for those who want to know what his daily life was like, as they include discussions about music, business, and personal matters.

His hearing loss made it difficult to perform; yet he was able to continue to compose music, due to his well-developed inner hearing. He famously beat time at the premier of his Ninth Symphony (though the musicians had been instructed to follow a different conductor), and was not aware that the piece was over until someone turned him around and showed him the applauding audience.

Beethoven’s work bridged the Classical and Romantic eras. You could say that he was the last great Classical composer and the one who laid the groundwork for Romanticism. His music changed with the times, and greatly influenced the nineteenth century composers who followed him.

Beethoven wrote 772 pieces, including nine symphonies, eleven concertos, sixteen string quartets, seven piano trios, thirty-two piano sonatas, many pieces for piano and solo instruments, much vocal music, choral music, and chamber music, and one opera (Fidelio). He is considered one of the greatest composers of all time, and one of the most widely performed.

Video of the Day!

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Top ‘o the mornin’ to ye! In honor of St. Paddy’s Day:

Video of the Week #293: Freddy Mercury Spotted in Madrid

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