“Herr Mannelig”

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.

“Nasty Magic”

Every year for the past several, Pecos Hank has been compiling an anthology of his year’s storm chasing, all accompanied by his own music. I’ve come to look forward to these about as much as I once did Judith Merril’s Year’s Best anthologies.

Here is Pecos Hank’s 2022, including some great shots of tornado genesis in drought-dry Texas fields:

“On anticipated big days, A storm chaser might drive all the way to Iowa and only see some rain. Then turn around and drive all night back to Texas and only see some rain. A storm chaser might drive all the way to Montana only to get a sun burn. And sometimes a storm chaser isn’t expecting to see anything and they find a monster.”


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?

This video was twice that…

Labor Day

Photo by Roman: May Day, Chicago, 2006.

Labor Day isn’t, really, unless you mean something like: Last call for alcohol; it’s the end of summer and time to get back to work. Also, while the idea for the holiday has its roots in organized labor, my humble opinion is that it amounts to President Grover Cleveland’s weak grin in the direction of old Sam Gompers (Gompers was born old.) and what remained of the railway Brotherhoods (fergitabout Debs). I mean… a buncha states had already adopted the holiday or something similar, but when originally enacted, the Federal version only applied to Federal employees…

Anyway, let’s celebrate the occasion of Labor’s day in the USA with something from the UK, The Longest Johns:

Love Locks 4-Ever

Yep. That’s what they are: love locks. Wikipedia even has an article about them as they do present something of a nuisance at times. Apparently the locks are something like humans. Once they have a foothold, they multiply and take over. Clearly something must be done and soon. Perhaps playing on an endless loop Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dash Light” would be a prophylaxis…

Did I ever tell you that I once witnessed this song performed, at a wedding, by a half dozen or so couples… Lip-synced or sung; I’m sure that some of them knew the lyrics to their part. I treasure the memory as it is too strange to be real but it is.