Monday, March 18, 2019

Music Monday ~ Emotional Response


Which musical instrument evokes the greatest emotional response?

That is a question posed several years ago at Quora. Over the years the wording has been slightly adjusted (e.g. 'greatest' replaced 'deepest'), through merging of similar questions - the basic question did not change. When I stumbled across the thread the other day, I immediately decided my answer would have been "the saxophone!" There are answers nominating drums, guitar, piano, human voice and so on. When I came to a couple of answers pointing out that really, it isn't the instrument - is isn't any instrument - it is the player, the musician, the artist, who has the ability to evoke emotional response, I realised that this has to be answer. Here are two examples.

Longer form - from Rex Spaulding, High school All-State Honor Band 3 out of 4 years, guitar hobbyist.
Contributed 29 Nov 2016.


I wanted to answer classical guitar.

But then I thought of a homeless guy with nothing to his name but his old cello, and man… he made that sing.

Then I thought of the guy who played tenor sax on the street (made me decide to start with saxophone when I was a kid).

And next I thought of numerous concert pianists who can make a piano sound like something more than just a piano.

Then I got to thinking about a jazz trombonist who made his trombone sound like both a French horn and a trumpet, at the same time, while retaining his trombone tonality.

Then I began to recall the violin solo that choked me up.

Finally, I remember a harp - a simple harp, but it sounded like dancing fairies (or something crazy like that).

There is no simple answer - the instrument wasn’t the source of my emotions… it was the musician, every time.

It’s easy enough for any old Joe to pick up a saxophone and make it squawk like a dying bird. Or drag a bow across a violin and make it sound like nails on a chalkboard. Or just sit a (non-gifted, untalented) kid in front of any instrument…



Short form - from Angel Vera, Professional Musician, Stubborn Intellectial, Philosopher. Contributed in Oct. 2015.


None. The person is delivering the message of emotion through the instrument.



Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn
. Charlie Parker.

Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter – to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.

Albert Schweitzer.

I play until my fingers are blue and stiff from the cold, and then I keep on playing. Until I’m lost in the music. Until I am the music – notes and chords, the melody and harmony. It hurts, but it’s okay because when I’m the music, I’m not me. Not sad. Not afraid. Not desperate. Not guilty.
Jennifer Donnelly.




Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday and Sundry Thoughts: Another 2020 Candidate: Beto O'Rourke.



Beto O’Rourke Is Running For President

Another candidate to add to my growing list of hopefuls, for brief investigation into astrological chances of success in 2020.

All I'm doing in these posts, astrologically, (others in this series are linked at the end of last weekend's post) is searching for any astrological indication of major change in the lives of candidates, change which could indicate ascent to the presidency, or to a more important position in government. Transits of the outer planets, Jupiter to Pluto are those to watch, in comparison to the candidate's own natal planets.

Significant transits between now and November 2020
Uranus will traverse the last few degrees of Aries and up to 8 degrees of Taurus
Neptune: between 14 and 20 degrees of Pisces
Pluto: between 20 and 24 degrees of Capricorn
Saturn: between 11 and 27 Capricorn
Jupiter: between 11 Sagittarius and 22 Capricorn

Born on September 26, 1972 in El Paso, Texas. Time of birth is unknown, chart below is set for noon, so Moon position not exactly as shown and ascendant not as shown.




My eye is drawn first to North Node of the Moon - currently Pluto is transiting the area of Capricorn close to that degree. This indicates, for the chart-holder, a time of feeling passionately or compulsively driven towards a path that feels right for him. What could be more appropriate for a guy who has just announced his candidacy for the presidency of the USA? More interesting still, a Yod (Finger of Fate) formation with its apex at North Node, from two planets linked in sextile: Venus and Saturn. Venus, his natal Libra Sun's ruler and Saturn planet of legal matters and public status, drawing down upon life path choices.

None of that indicates success in 2020...but there's more. In early November 2020 Jupiter will transit O'Rourke's North Node - Jupiter "the lucky planet". While that still is not sufficient to indicate success, without other indications elsewhere in the chart (which I don't see right now), it does signify that whatever the result, and whether O'Rourke was the Democrat's nominee or not, he will have made a good impression on the public, and on his peers. His name will not easily be forgotten. Vice Presidential material? I wonder!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Arty Farty Friday ~ First there was "surround sound", now there's "surround Van Gogh"

 Self portrait
At a new Van Gogh exhibit in Paris, you won’t just be able to see Van Gogh's most famous works — you’ll also be able to step inside them.
An immersive show called Van Gogh, la nuit étoilée, just debuted at digital art center L’Atelier des Lumièrest and it’s an exquisite treat for the eyes. The exhibit features several of the Dutch artist’s most well-known paintings, from "Starry Night" and "Sunflowers" to "Potato Eaters" and "The Bedroom," by projecting them all over the walls and floors. These larger-than-life works highlight Van Gogh’s exaggerated brushstrokes and bold color choices, and are paired with musical selections from pianist and composer Luca Longobardi.

See HERE.

More on the exhibition HERE, with photographs.


My post from 2007 about Vincent and his astrology is in the archives HERE.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Midweek Miscellany


We frequently see or hear quips about the older generation's fumble-fingered efforts with new (to them) technology - here's a chance for those of us of "a certain age" to have a little snigger at the younger generation:

"Are we supposed to pick up the phone and then do it?' Fun footage shows two teenagers completely baffled by a rotary telephone when given four minutes to make one call:










Teacher wears same dress for 100 days to teach students a lesson
By Hannah Frishberg

Teacher Julia Mooney dressed to impress her earthy beliefs on middle school students.

To prove that you are not what you wear, Mooney, 34, donned the same gray, button-down dress for 100 days in a row, washing it only “as needed.”

She didn’t tell her young charges what she was up to in the beginning — but slowly they caught on that she was rocking the roughly $50 frock “through ceramics projects, blizzards, whatever.”

“I was a little bit fed up with the cultural expectation to go shopping and spend all this money for other people to approve of me,” Mooney told “Good Morning America” back in November, when she launched her minimalist mission. “There is no rule that says I cannot wear the same thing every day if I choose to, so I thought, why not.

Fast-forward to February: By buying into the buzzy “fast fashion” trend, Mooney says we are cultivating what she describes as a “culture of excess” that hurts the environment — and young people.

"This is something they deal with every day as 12- and 13-year-olds,” she tells TreeHugger. “As they try to define themselves, they are often identifying with brands or superficial things like their social media presence. Many seemed excited to have a reason to talk about how silly all of that really is.................“Let’s use our energy to do good instead of looking good,” Mooney advises on her @oneoutfit100days Instagram account, where she posts about the importance of sustainability and the evils of fast fashion.

Do read the full piece (linked at the title) where there's a photograph of Ms Mooney, and the dress.









Cartoon by Mad John Peck (1971) - the idea never gets old!





A movie "coming soon"- actually at the end of June 2019, is said to offer a new slant on Beatlemania, with a spoonful of sci-fi added.

A failing musician finds himself the only person in the world who remembers, after a weird world-wide sci-fi type event, the Beatles and their music. Guess what a failing musician might do next in such circumstances!

If the movie hadn't been written by Richard Curtis (from a story by Jack Barth) I'd probably be very wary of its potential, but Curtis has written such delights as Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Notting Hill (1999), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Love Actually (2003)... Yesterday is directed by Danny Boyle.

This coming movie has to be worth a look (keeping disbelief suspended!)

Official trailer:







Monday, March 11, 2019

Music Monday ~ Unsettling

What is the most unsettling song that you've ever listened to? A question posed some time ago at Quora. I didn't answer it, but pondered on it for a post today, came up with three songs I've always found to be unsettling.


Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday.






Wikipedia
Written by teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem and published in 1937, it protested American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had reached a peak in the South at the turn of the century, but continued there and in other regions of the United States. According to the Tuskegee Institute, 1,953 Americans were murdered by lynching, about three quarters of them black. The lyrics are an extended metaphor linking a tree’s fruit with lynching victims. Meeropol set it to music and, with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York City venues in the late 1930s, including Madison Square Garden.

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop








Farmer in the City written and sung by Scott Walker.




The first song of Scott Walker’s seminal album, Tilt. With a mixture of haunting vocals and orchestral music, Walker chilling envisions Pier Paolo Pasolini’s death. ... "Farmer in the City"
"Farmer in the City", is subtitled "Remembering Pasolini". A few of the lyrics are appropriated from Norman Macafee's English translation of Pier Paolo Pasolini's poem, "Uno dei Tanti Epiloghi" ("One of the Many Epilogs"), which was written in 1969 for Pasolini's friend and protégé, the scruffy young nonprofessional actor, Ninetto Davoli. Throughout the song, Walker's chant of "Do I hear 21, 21, 21...? I'll give you 21, 21, 21...", may be a reference to Davoli's age when he was drafted into (and subsequently deserted from) the Italian army. (Wikipedia)
Lyrics are here:

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/scottwalker/farmerinthecity.html








Pumped up Kicks - Foster the People



The song was written and recorded by fron-tman Mark Foster while he was working as a commercial jingle writer. Contrasting with the upbeat musical composition, the lyrics describe the homicidal thoughts of a troubled youth.
The lyrics to "Pumped Up Kicks" are written from the perspective of a troubled and delusional youth with homicidal thoughts. The lines in the chorus warn potential victims to "outrun my gun" and that they "better run, better run, faster than my bullet."

Foster said in a statement to CNN.com, "I wrote 'Pumped Up Kicks' when I began to read about the growing trend in teenage mental illness. I wanted to understand the psychology behind it because it was foreign to me. It was terrifying how mental illness among youth had skyrocketed in the last decade. I was scared to see where the pattern was headed if we didn't start changing the way we were bringing up the next generation." In writing the song, Foster wanted to "get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid" and "bring awareness" to the issue of gun violence among youth, which he feels is an epidemic perpetuated by "lack of family, lack of love, and isolation " The song's title refers to shoes that the narrator's peers wear as a status symbol.
The issue of youth violence is a matter close to the group. Foster was bullied in high school, while bassist Cubbie Fink has a cousin who survived the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.

The issue of youth violence is a matter close to the group. Foster was bullied in high school, while bassist Cubbie Fink has a cousin who survived the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. (Wikipedia)

Robert's got a quick hand
He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan
He's got a rolled cigarette, hanging out his mouth he's a cowboy kid
Yeah found a six shooter gun
In his dad's closet hidden oh in a box of fun things, I don't even know what
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

Daddy works a long day
He be coming home late, he's coming home late
And he's bringing me a surprise
'Cause dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice
I've waited for a long time
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger
I reason with my cigarette
And say your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet


Songwriter: Mark Foster.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Saturday and Sundry Thoughts on 2 More Would-be Presidents : Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper.



Two more hats flew into the ring recently: those of Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper. I'm not sure whether either is a well-known name outside of their own communities.

Jay Inslee politician, author, and attorney serving as the 23rd Governor of Washington State, and a member of the Democratic Party. Before being elected governor, Inslee served in the United States House of Representatives and the Washington House of Representatives. His priority: dealing with global warming. (Do I hear an "About time!" from any stray reader?)
(Wikipedia)


From The Atlantic

If there is a new Democratic president come 2021, he or she will get pulled in all sorts of policy directions. Inslee says he has one priority: global warming. It’s not theoretical, or a cause just for tree huggers anymore. Putting off dealing with it for a year or two or kicking it to some new bipartisan commission won’t work, he says. He plans to focus on the threat that climate change poses to the environment and national security—the mega-storms and fires causing millions in damages, the weather changes that will cause mass migrations, the droughts that will devastate farmers in America and around the world.

Even more so, he wants to talk about the risk to American opportunity. “We have two existential threats right now: one is to our natural systems, and one is to our economic systems,” he said.


Born on February 9, 1951 in Seattle, Washington. Chart is set for noon as tome of birth is unknown. Moon and ascendat positions will not be as shown.


All I'm doing in these posts (others in this series are linked at the end of this post) is searching for any astrological indication of major change in the lives of candidates, change which could indicate ascent to the presidency, or to a more important position in government. Transits of the outer planets, Jupiter to Pluto are those to watch, in comparison to the candidate's own natal planets.


Significant transits between now and November 2020
Uranus will traverse the last few degrees of Aries and up to 8 degrees of Taurus
Neptune: between 14 and 20 degrees of Pisces
Pluto: between 20 and 24 degrees of Capricorn
Saturn: between 11 and 27 Capricorn
Jupiter: between 11 Sagittarius and 22 Capricorn


Governor Inslee does have Neptune transiting his Pisces stellium of Venus/Jupiter/Mars currently, by 2020 Neptune will have moved on past those planets, but still within range of being significant. I'm not sure that Neptune is quite as powerful in indicating major change of this type as Uranus, Saturn or Pluto. The conjunction to his Pisces stellium could relate to his decision to become a candidate. Saturn will reach his Aquarius Sun by 2022 - maybe indicating a second run for the 2024 election - and a more successful one?





John Hickenlooper politician and businessman who served as the 42nd Governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

From New York Times
He jumped into the race on Monday as a long shot with limited name recognition. But he has a biography and a résumé that warrant attention. He didn’t enter politics until his early 50s, after a hugely successful career in beer — in brew pubs, to be exact. And he talks, persuasively, about what a customer-service business like that taught him about courting people rather than confronting them, about pacifying instead of inflaming.

As the mayor of Denver from 2003 to 2011 and then the governor of Colorado from 2011 until the start of this year, when he left office because of term limits, he was known for swearing off negative political ads, for gravitating away from divisive issues and toward whatever common ground he could find, and for a style with substantial measures of goofiness and geekiness but barely a pinch of truculence. That said, he marshaled toughness and persistence........... to build a light rail system in Denver, expand Medicaid in Colorado, enact gun control and tug the state from recession to boom times that were the envy of other governors.

Born on 7 February 1952 in Narbeth,PA. Chart set for 12 noon as time of birth unknown. Moon position and ascendant will not be as shown.



Saturn will be visiting John Hickenlooper's natal Sun - but not until early 2022 - so in similar vein to Jay Inslee, he could be more likely to make a stronger, or more successful impression as a candidate in the election in 2024, after getting himself more widely known during the current run.



I like these two candidates, possibly more than any others I've investigated, so far - other than Bernie Sanders of course! I suspect what their charts are telling me is also a fairly rational outcome too. Neither candidate is currently a household name, but they both will become much better known during this run, up to 2020, and likely to be more successful in the 2024 election.


Other posts in this 2020 series:

http://twilightstarsong.blogspot.com/2019/01/saturday-sundry-thoughts-would-be.html
http://twilightstarsong.blogspot.com/2019/02/saturday-sundry-observations-another.html
http://twilightstarsong.blogspot.com/2019/02/two-more-would-be-presidents-of-usa.html
http://twilightstarsong.blogspot.com/2019/02/saturday-and-sundry-thoughts-bernie.html