Archive for the 'Music' Category


Singing the Praises of Apple Ads

Apple Mac Book Air Commercial where they put the laptop into an envelope. Well I love the song. Here is the .. You Tube of Yael Naim’s song “New Soul”: The Israeli singer is the latest to sing sweet for the Apple’s latest product Air.. Mystifying lyrics..

I’m a new soul I came to this strange world hoping I could learn a bit about how to give and take.
But since I came here
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake


Pl see the song as being played in Mac Book Air Ad

Wish to explore more about the illuminated artist Yael Naim-

Pl refer


In defence of the sacred


“Each human being has the eternal duty of transforming what is hard and brutal into a subtle and tender offering, what is crude into refinement, what is ugly into beauty, ignorance into knowledge, confrontation into collaboration, thereby rediscovering the child’s dream of a creative reality incessantly renewed by death, the servant of life, and by life the servant of love”.

-Yehudi Menuhin


The Colonization of Silence


Andrew Waggoner

The colonization of silence is complete. Its progress was so gradual that even those who watched it with alarm have only now begun to take stock of the losses. Reflection, discernment, a sustainable sense of tranquility, of knowing where and how to find oneself—these are only the most obvious casualties of marauding noise’s march to the sea. Much more insidious has been the loss of music itself.

But wait, this can’t be: Music is everywhere; we have more of it, available in more forms, more often, than at any time in human history. I can go to the web and find King of Berio, Baksimba dances from Uganda, something really obscure like Why Are we Born (not to have a good time) of the young Buck Owens, even Pat Boone’s version of Tutti Frutti; I can find all of the same at the mall. Surely this is a good thing. I can find renewal of spirit in Sur Incises of Boulez or stand aghast at the toxic grandiloquence of Franz Schmidt’s Book of the Seven Seals Music is everywhere. Long live it.

Just give me five minutes without it; that’s all I ask, perhaps all I’ll need to bring it back into being for myself. Imprisoned by it as I am now, assaulted in every store, elevator, voice-mail system, passing car, neighbor’s home, by it and its consequent immolation in the noise of the quotidian, it is lost to me as anything other than a kind of psychic rape, a forced intimacy with sonic partners not of my choosing. When music is everywhere, it is nowhere; when everything is music, nothing is. Silence is as crucial to the musical experience as any of its sounding parameters, and not merely as a kind of acoustical “negative space.” Silence births, nurtures, and eventually takes back the musical utterance; it shapes both the formation of its textures and the arc of its progress through time.

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Jazz Messenger

I never had any intention of becoming a novelist — at least not until I turned 29. This is absolutely true.

I read a lot from the time I was a little kid, and I got so deeply into the worlds of the novels I was reading that it would be a lie if I said I never felt like writing anything. But I never believed I had the talent to write fiction. In my teens I loved writers like Dostoyevsky, Kafka and Balzac, but I never imagined I could write anything that would measure up to the works they left us. And so, at an early age, I simply gave up any hope of writing fiction. I would continue to read books as a hobby, I decided, and look elsewhere for a way to make a living.

The professional area I settled on was music. I worked hard, saved my money, borrowed a lot from friends and relatives, and shortly after leaving the university I opened a little jazz club in Tokyo. We served coffee in the daytime and drinks at night. We also served a few simple dishes. We had records playing constantly, and young musicians performing live jazz on weekends. I kept this up for seven years. Why? For one simple reason: It enabled me to listen to jazz from morning to night.

I had my first encounter with jazz in 1964 when I was 15. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers performed in Kobe in January that year, and I got a ticket for a birthday present. This was the first time I really listened to jazz, and it bowled me over. I was thunderstruck. The band was just great: Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone and Art Blakey in the lead with his solid, imaginative drumming. I think it was one of the strongest units in jazz history. I had never heard such amazing music, and I was hooked.

A year ago in Boston I had dinner with the Panamanian jazz pianist Danilo Pérez, and when I told him this story, he pulled out his cellphone and asked me, “Would you like to talk to Wayne, Haruki?” “Of course,” I said, practically at a loss for words. He called Wayne Shorter in Florida and handed me the phone. Basically what I said to him was that I had never heard such amazing music before or since. Life is so strange, you never know what’s going to happen. Here I was, 42 years later, writing novels, living in Boston and talking to Wayne Shorter on a cellphone. I never could have imagined it.

When I turned 29, all of a sudden out of nowhere I got this feeling that I wanted to write a novel — that I could do it. I couldn’t write anything that measured up to Dostoyevsky or Balzac, of course, but I told myself it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to become a literary giant. Still, I had no idea how to go about writing a novel or what to write about. I had absolutely no experience, after all, and no ready-made style at my disposal. I didn’t know anyone who could teach me how to do it, or even friends I could talk with about literature. My only thought at that point was how wonderful it would be if I could write like playing an instrument.

Continue reading ‘Jazz Messenger’


The Logical Song

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees,
well they’d be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run too deep for such a simple man
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am

Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical,liberal,
fanatical, criminal. Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’reacceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable !

At night, when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run so deep for such a simple man
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am

-Song by Supertramp (c)


The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand


The connoisseur Bernard Berenson coined the phrase “tactile values” to express the way great works of art, whether painted, sculptured or merely manufactured, caress the senses with an almost physical tangibility. To look at one of Fra Angelico’s madonnas is to feel with the eye, and to feel is to know.

Surely no artifact is richer in tactile values than a modern concert grand piano — that is, the gleaming 88-key, nine-foot monster perfected by C. F. Theodore Steinway and William Steinway in 1891, and essentially unchanged since. From the moment it begins its life, as various integrants of wood, cloth, metal and (sigh) plastic ivory-substitute cohere under myriad hands, until the first outside player plinks a freshly polished key and listens to the sweet response, the piano is a product of the human body, designed to return to the body as music, with ample power to chasten and subdue. A good piano, that is — not one of those glazed, mass-produced affordables that sound like crockery falling over.

It is the admirable achievement of James Barron’s “Piano” that, in spite of his rather dogged style, he manages to communicate the tactile values inherent at every stage of making CD-60, the big Steinway that now sits in the Grace Rainey Rogers auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum. Barron, a staff reporter for The New York Times, spent 11 months watching this instrument move through the hands of scores of rim-benders, trimmers, bracers, bellymen, laquerers, stringers, action assemblers, tone regulators and polishers in the Astoria, Queens, factory of Steinway & Sons, America’s premium maker of fine pianos. He even accompanied the company’s wood technologist on an expedition to Puget Sound in search of perfect Sitka spruce — an increasingly rare commodity, all but logged out in the contiguous United States. And he stayed with CD-60, off and on, through its first two years of concert life.

The result of all this observation was a series of documentary articles, published in The Times from May 2003 to April 2004, and collected now in book form. It is a parochial survey, in that Barron focuses on one piano, one factory and one monopolistic firm, which, since the bankruptcy of the Baldwin Company in 2001, looms more than ever as a dominant force on the American concert circuit. He thus short-changes Steinway’s other facility in Hamburg, Germany, whose pianos many top musicians prefer — when they don’t choose the magnificent grands of Bösendorfer, Bechstein and Fazioli.

Continue reading ‘The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand’


Itzhak Perlman

Playing A Violin With Three Strings

On Nov. 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. If you have ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that getting on stage is no small achievement for him. He was stricken with polio as a child, and so he has braces on both legs and walks with the aid of two crutches. To see him walk across the stage one step at a time, painfully and slowly, is an awesome sight.


He walks painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play. By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage to his chair. They remain reverently silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs. They wait until he is ready to play. But this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke. You could hear it snap – it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what that sound meant.

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Life is a lot like Jazz - It's best when you improvise

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