• Articles

    Dreamy… to start with.

    The composer Zoltan Kodaly has a special place in my heart and history. I like much of his music, which is very folk-based. He was the chap that pioneered formal classical music based on local regional folk & popular music. He actually traveled around his native Hungary with wax cylinders recording peasants, villagers and gypsies singing their made-up songs. Then he composed pieces of music based on them, and inspired his colleague Bela Bartok to base much of his music on folk tunes and hence the formal genre now known as ‘ethnomusicology‘ was born. Perhaps Kodaly’s most famous piece is a suite from his opera Hary Janos which features a…

  • Articles

    Memory lane: Was it good, bad or empty?

    Each month I keep an eye on the conversations I’m having with people to find topics for my next #OrchChat – an hour of discussion on Twitter about orchestras. Usually the three topics of each chat are quite diverse but so far have somehow bled into each other. It’s really a fascinating hour. Click here to read the transcript of January’s #OrchChat Over the past couple of weeks there is one conversation that has cropped up several times from several sources, including the excellent & brief daily snippet of arts news You’ve Cott Mail, and I was just wondering about your experience in the arts. This topic just might be…

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    Today’s choices

    I first came across Chris Guillebeau in early 2012, stumbling upon one of his posts about his travelling the world. Literally. He set himself the goal of visiting every country in the world by the time he turns 35 years old. He currently has eight (that’s “8” out of 200 or so) countries left. Most interestingly, on his travels he has met hundreds of self-made people. People who found a passion and are earning their living at it. People who saw a need and earn a living filling it. People who had an idea and earn a living selling it. So he interviewed them and came up with a great…

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    Have stick, will travel

    For several years the busiest conductor on the planet was Valery Gergiev. His conducting style is unique (to say the least) but he gets players rallied together to produce fantastic live performances. Interestingly, he often doesn’t even use a stick (speaking vernacularly. The posh term is ‘baton’ but that’s one of those ‘tomahto, tomayto’ transatlantic words). Hey – tweet this one: UK/US translator: Tomahto, Tomaydo = BATTon, buhTONN via @STEphen_P_Brown There’s one video out there of him conducting with a toothpick! He has three cell phones and keeps a suitcase of clothing in five cities in the world – at least if his flight is delayed he doesn’t have to…