Seeing as I have no musical chops to speak of, I’m not big on live performances and not much better on live performance videos. But these can be good, even for me, and this performance of “Herr Mannelig” by Camilla M. Ferrari is a great example. The videography gives even a non-musician a sense of what is involved in playing each instrument, and every part of the arrangement is played by Ferrari:
Camilla Ferrari is also the proprietor of Ebanisteria Musicale, a musical instrument workshop in Italy. That the stringed instrument (a tagelharpa) was new to me made the fingering all the more interesting. I had the illusion of almost understanding…
This is an instrumental arrangement of a traditional Swedish song. An English translation was posted as a comment on the video’s YouTube page. It seems to have been intended as pop propaganda warning newly Christianized Swedes against marriage with pagans. You can find a modern performance of the original Swedish (with subtitles) HERE.
FIPADOC is an international documentary film festival based in France. A History of the World According to Getty Images makes the point that even though an intellectual property is in the “public domain” that does not mean that said property is available to the public at no charge. The filmmaker, Richard Misek, follows this insight by licensing some classic film clips of U.S. history then making them available without charge.
Intellectual property might seem like a subject both tedious and irritating: tedious because it is a complicated subject and irritating because the game is rigged. But this documentary keeps its focus narrow then takes it further by telling the story (as best as anyone knows) of each clip.
This is what got my attention to view the video: a street scene filmed from the front of a San Francisco cable car in 1906, a day or two before the disastrous earthquake. No, it’s not the morbidity of the clip but the chaos of the traffic on the street: horse, auto, cable car sharing a busy street without anything more than an ephemeral agreement on right-of-way and process.
Trust me. This is not uniquely San Francisco traffic for the time. I’ve seen similar films from Chicago and New York from the same general time period and they were every bit as anarchic.
This is why we have jaywalking laws, people! The casualty rate must have been as bad as traffic injury in the 1950s. But we’ve become educated in the pedestrian dance and habitual in its moves, so maybe we’ve outgrown jaywalking laws, mostly?
All of which has nothing to do with Richard Misek’s point with the documentary, but it is one of my pet obsessions and it is why I ended up watching this wonderful little documentary.
A story about an A.I. that wanted to be famous, also written and performed by an A.I. (paraphrased and edited with liberties from a human). Visualized by a human (me), flipping the norm of what we see in the AI-driven art world today. Special thanks to Amie Bennett for letting me bounce off all my ideas, Adam Kirschner for his nft bro performance, and Des Hume for his awesome music as well as featuring a track from the Midnight.
Come to think of it, “waiting for the other shoe” to drop might be an apt description of this past year of 2022. I don’t mean to be discouraging, but waiting for the other shoe might well be a summary for the entire decade of the 2020s: the next plague, the next big storm, the next economic tailspin, the next big / little / escalating war, the next lying politician, the next wave of refugees whether from abroad or from home…
Whatever. May you have a happy 2023 anyway and if it’s not all happy then have it as happy as you can.
My first reaction upon seeing this shoe was not so globally dim. Rather I wondered about the story of how this shoe came to dangle. As the shoe shows no sign of wear, I wondered if the parents could really afford to have their child lose the shoes or whether the shoe display was in some way aspirational, to be someone who can discard shoes without a twinge in the pocketbook. Or was it a case of school yard bullying? Or maybe a disappointed package thief?
I’ll never know and you’ll never know but you can tell my state of mind by what comes to it… The world is an inkblot.
If this visage seems familiar, there are some possible reasons you’re not wrong. One is that I have indeed posted this very concrete lion some years ago, not to be confused with the lion I posted a few months ago. Another reason might be that you’ve seen a concrete lion very much like this one as a drinking fountain in Chicago’s iconic Water Tower at Chicago and Michigan. I’m not sure that these are identical but I do remember encountering the drinking fountain in the tower and thinking: “Oh!” But I could be wrong. Still, once upon a time, in the 1930s and 1940s most probably, this stone lion was also a fountain. And since it hasn’t been a fountain for a very long time, it is indeed wintertime for kitty.
So what brings forth this stone feline today? Well, as an image it has possibilities and one that I wanted to try was turning the photo into something resembling a sketch.
If you’ve never seen this before (and at about 4 million views, how have you not?) then you’ve missed some incredible drumming with accompaniment: two amazing physical performances that, to my uneducated ear, demanded sounds from their instruments that were implausible at least. I did say the performance was incredible, did I not?
Collaboration between master of Japanese drums (Ei-tetsu Hayashi) and master of Shamisen (Shinn-ichi Kino-shita)
The title of the song “SHI-BU-KI” is the Japanese pronunciation of “飛沫(しぶき)” which is the Japanese splash of the sea wave.
From the National Theater, Chiyoda, Tokyo · Folk Performing Performance in 1997
I’m not a big enthusiast for live music, figuring that my own lack of musical chops makes me a less than ideal member of the audience which, let’s face it, is part the performance of any live performance art.
On the other hand, it also means that some of my most vivid memories of performances have only somewhat to do with the art: like one hot, humid late June sunset concert in Grant Park, a piano concerto that demanded a very physical performance from the pianist who came to play fully suited. Would he survive the performance?