June 28, 2010
Ain’t never been a problem that somebody can’t turn into an opportunity. The latest is potentially a boon for musicians and videographers, and possibly the next step in a reeeeeally interesting trend in creative digital rights management, by a Portland-based company called Rumblefish.
What’s interesting is not necessarily the new service they’re proposing, which lets home movie makers legally add popular music to their videos, but its implications for other artists: Would this be a good service for other types of content rights management, too?
October 23, 2009
Boy. Monica Huggett sure strokes a mean fiddle. Mom and Dad and I went to hear her (and the rest of the Portland Baroque Orchestra) tonight, playing Mendelssohn.
I’m not a huge Mendelssohn fan, although his music is undeniably pretty. Most of the time it reminds me of 1940s Bette Davis movies. Most people (IMHO) overplay it. Done well, though, it’s like the best Bette Davis movie you ever listened to. And tonight was done very well indeed.
I have a soft spot for a good fiddler, having played violin in my youth. Well, I should qualify that: I massacred violin in my youth. Along about the fifth grade I took up the violin with ambitions of being first seat, first violin in the school orchestra.
March 2, 2009
…is the title of the only recent Peter Gabriel song I can find. It’s the theme song for WALL-E, not my favorite movie but I kinda like that song. If I had to pick music that matched the kind of work I do, it’d be Gabriel’s (or maybe Kate Bush, which is sort of the other side of the same coin). So it would be nice if the guy would write some more…
I got a chance to meet Gabriel many years ago, at a Bismillah Khan concert in Washington DC. The organizers were more music-lovers than promoters, and so the world’s greatest chennai player was greeted by a tiny audience in a great big auditorium.
It was kinda insulting, and Gabriel (who was instrumental in placing Khan’s music in Natural Born Killers, which as far as I’m concerned made the movie), was fuming to anyone who happened to be there…which just happened to me. Once he’d calmed down, we had a half hour of absolutely fascinating conversation.
I didn’t even do the “Gee, Mr. Gabriel, I just love your work” bit. I simply listened, and I learned about production values in translating music to film and the history of the chennai and the tabla. I was pointed to a couple other international artists Mr. Gabriel was interested in.
The one thing he never talked about was himself. I’ve interviewed a lot of celebrities over the years and he was the least self-aggrandizing of any I’ve encountered.
So I’ve said nice things about him. Now he can return the favor and do another album. My studio is waiting…
October 10, 2008
Boy. Them folks sure swing a mean bow.
(Photo courtesy of Gigi the iPhone)
Just got back from the Portland Baroque Orchestra’s version of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons concertos. As promised, it was really well-done. But wanna know the best part? They had fun with it.
Really. They had fun.
October 1, 2008
If you’re feeling charitable you’d call my musical tastes eclectic; my favorite iTunes playlist includes BB King, Rachmaninoff, Cheap Trick, Sapna Awasti, Uriah Heep, Debussy, the immortal Ella, FrouFrou and Mr. Chocolate Voice himself, Joao Gilberto.
But for just plain daggone gorgeously get-lost-in-it wonderful, I go for baroque (sorry, couldn’t resist). And one of the most beautiful pieces of baroque music in existence, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons violin concerto, will be performed by the Portland Baroque Orchestra next weekend. I talked about PBO awhile back, and the amazing concert they did with incredible contratenor Matthew White.
PBO is an odd mix: Good mastery of the baroque form, their use of period instrumentation is an education, and they make beautiful music. They’re also pure Portland, which is pretty eclectic itself, and so their concerts are held in a beautiful old church and refreshingly (or maybe disconcertingly) informal.
In concert they follow what I call “PDX Black Tie,” shorthand for “wear the GOOD jeans and put some socks on with those sandals.” There’s a lot more audience interaction than I’ve seen at most concerts, and the performers are liable to crack up at intermissions. Everybody seems to have showed up just to have a good time with music they love, which makes PBO concerts a lot of fun.
If you don’t know Four Seasons…well, you really do, parts of it, anyway. It’s excerpted all the time in commercials and movies when the director wants to set an atmosphere of wealth and culture (and snobbery). Head over to iTunes (or to the PBO site) and listen to a couple of fragments , and you’ll recognize it soon enough.
Or buy the PBO CD; they’re recording this concert and will be selling the CDs in March.