or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Let The Music Play

Omegamom writes about the zombie-dance video I linked to yesterday:

That is a cool video! At least one woman was laughing behind her hand, though, so not everyone was being stiff & bourgeois.

My mom had an encounter where she came out of a subway in Vienna right into the middle of a huge chorus performing the Carmina Burana. She remembers that to this day as a piece of delightful serendipity.

There's something magical about unexpected live performance, isn't there?

Last September, Jim and I were in London, and naturally I had to go to Harrods to buy something odoriferous. Jim came to get me and he wanted to see that Princess Diana memorial on one of the lower floors, so we fought the crowds down to see it, and then on the way up we found what's called the Egyptian Escalator (lots of hieroglyphics and such) and made out way back up. And suddenly there was music: on a little balcony, a soprano was singing "Con Te Partiró" to a recorded backing track, and while that song might be hackneyed, the experience was thrilling; she was so good, and people were taking so much pleasure in it.

Some years ago, probably 1999 or 2000, Jim and I and a friend were visiting Halifax for the day in late April or early May of that year and walking down Spring Garden Road (one of the main downtown streets) when we heard....some kind of irresistible music, the kind you can't not move to. It was a group called Samba Nova, playing Brazilian samba music on International Dance Day (April 29th every year), and we must have listened for a good fifteen minutes, as did a huge crowd of mesmerized pedestrians and shoppers. The group was so much fun that when I moved back to Halifax a year or so later, one of the first things I did was join them, and I played with them (that big huge drum called the surdo. the heartbeat of samba music) until I moved away in 2004.


Speaking of music....

Here's a short animated comedy bit from a comedian named Scott Bateman from Salon.com's Video Dog.

In it, he uses the word "flutist", at which point the word "Flautist" pops up on the screen; Bateman corrects himself to "flautist", and the word "Thanks" appears below "Flautist".

Sounds like the sort of thing I would have written. Here's the thing, though: "flutist" is not only a correct English word, it's actually much older than "flautist"--the first dates from around 1600, the second only from the mid-nineteenth century.

It's sort of awful that a nice, normal, usual English word gets supplanted by a foreign coinage (from the Italian, in this case) for no other apparent reason than pretentiousness.


Anonymous carosgram said...

I read this post and then had to check what I had missed from the day before. Great video!!!!! I have to admit I love street performers and often stop to enjoy. It does make the day special.

Saturday, February 02, 2008 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Jim (the Canuck One) said...

I thought I'd point something out for the viewers.

We were seeking the Diana/Dodi memorial specifically because it was described as "disturbing" in our guidebook. We didn't find it so. It was simple and understated.

The soprano was in wonderful voice, though. She didn't introduce that awful vibrato what's-his-name uses constantly.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 4:48:00 PM  

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