Friday, September 22, 2023
It is now autumn with the equinox being saturday 23rd (this year) and now we shiver our way into winter. Did we have a summer this year? It feels as though we slipped silently from vernal to autumnal without turning off the central heating.
"Autumnal equinox, two moments in the year when the Sun is exactly above the Equator and day and night are of equal length; also, either of the two points in the sky where the ecliptic (the Sun’s annual pathway) and the celestial equator intersect. In the Northern Hemisphere the autumnal equinox falls about September 22 or 23, as the Sun crosses the celestial equator going south. In the Southern Hemisphere the equinox occurs on March 20 or 21, when the Sun moves north across the celestial equator.
"According to the astronomical definition of the seasons, the autumnal equinox also marks the beginning of autumn, which lasts until the winter solstice (December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere)."
Meet Me On The Equinox \ [w/film footage] (Video)
Celtic Music - Equinox
Lisa Thiel - Mabon (Autumn Equinox)
John Coltrane - Equinox (Original)
Friday, September 15, 2023
"Ola Gjeilo is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world. An accomplished pianist, improvisations over his own published choral pieces have become a trademark of his collaborations. Although Norwegian by birth, it is perhaps Ola’s adopted country of America that has influenced the composer’s distinctive soundworld the most, evolving a style that is often described as cinematic and evocative, with a lush, harmonious sound.
"Ola grew up in a musically eclectic home listening to classical, jazz, pop and folk, a broad background he later incorporated into his classical composition studies at The Juilliard School, the Royal College of Music in London, and currently as a New York City-based freelance composer. He is especially inspired by the improvisational art of film composer Thomas Newman, jazz legends Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny, glass artist Dale Chihuly and architect Frank Gehry."
Ola Gjeilo - The Lake Isle ft. Tenebrae
CWU Chamber Choir: Gjeilo - "Luminous Night of the Soul"
Ola Gjeilo - The Rose
Ubi Caritas (Ola Gjeilo) - Ensamble Oikos
Ola Gjeilo - Tundra
Choras Bel Canto: DREAMWEAVER (Gjeilo)
Friday, September 08, 2023
Samara Joy McLendon is a Grammy Award-winning American jazz singer. She released her self-titled debut album in 2021 and was subsequently named Best New Artist by JazzTimes. Her second album, Linger Awhile, was released in September 2022, winning the award for Best Jazz Vocal Album and herself for Best New Artist at the 2023 Grammy Awards.
Joy was born in 1999 into a musical family. Her paternal grandparents, Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, were founders of Philadelphia gospel group The Savettes. (A few of their videos can also be found on YouTube.)
In 2019, as Samara McLendon, she won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Working with producer and eventual manager Matt Pierson, she recorded her self-titled debut album while still in college, Samara Joy was released on July 9, 2021, on Whirlwind Recordings. Jazz Times named her Best New Artist for 2021. In an interview, film director Regina King called her "a young woman who seems like Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald are both living in her body."
Pasquale Grasso - Solitude (Official Video) ft. Samara Joy
Samara Joy - Guess Who I Saw Today
Emmet Cohen w/ Samara Joy | I'm Gonna Lock My Heart
Samara Joy x Jason St.Clair EDM "Blessed Assurance"
Samara Joy, Antonio McLendon - O Holy Night (Live Performance)
Sunday, September 03, 2023
La Tomatina is a Fiesta held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Buñol near to Valencia in Spain. Thousands upon thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to participate in this, the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.
The following is an edited and slightly amended version of a description of this year's Fiesta taken from the newspaper El Mundo:
The red of 150,000 kilos of tomatoes has coloured the central streets of the Valencian town of Buñol as every last Wednesday in August for 78 years. La Tomatina has once again been festive, international and massive.The party, whose images go around the world on television and social networks, began at noon, with the slow parade of six trucks loaded with 150 tons of tomatoes -30 more than the figure provided yesterday by the cooperative that supplies them- ripe and juicy, not suitable for consumption but ideal as ammunition in this pitched "battle", in which everyone fights everyone with a clean tomato.The President of the Generalitat, Carlos Mazón, followed this celebration from the balcony of the City Hall with some 20,000 participants and in which a helicopter and more than 200 Civil Guard agents, in addition to other security forces, have been deployed to monitor and attend to any incident arising from the crowding. Mazón has assured that next year he will go in a swimsuit and will live it from the street.This year many citizens of India have been seen mobilized by a Bollywood movie, although there were also those from the United States, Australia or Japan, among other nationalities.For an hour, the tomatoes have "flown" in this "war" that started almost by chance in 1945; in fact nobody really knows how it started, you can take your pick from the many tales as recounted in the Official Website pages below.
They have already started selling tickets for next year's Tomatina which will be on the 28th of August 2024 and you can even book your place for the following year when it will be held on the 27th of August 2025. Details are on the official website here -
Friday, September 01, 2023
The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo, known for steel-string acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing. Consisting of Isaac Donald "Don" Everly (born February 1, 1937) and Phillip "Phil" Jason Everly (January 19, 1939 ), the duo were raised in a musical family, first appearing on radio singing along with their father Ike Everly and mother Margaret Everly as "The Everly Family" in the 1940s. When the brothers were still in high school, they gained the attention of prominent Nashville musicians like Chet Atkins, who began to groom them for national attention.
They began writing and recording their own music in 1956, and their first hit song came in 1957, with "Bye Bye Love", written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The song hit number 1 in the spring of 1957, and additional hits would follow through 1958, many of them written by the Bryants, including "Wake Up Little Susie", "All I Have to Do Is Dream", and "Problems". In 1960, they signed with the major label Warner Bros. Records and recorded "Cathy's Clown", written by the brothers themselves, which was their biggest selling single. The brothers enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1961, and their output dropped off, though additional hit singles continued through 1962, with "That's Old Fashioned (That's the Way Love Should Be)" being their last top-10 hit.
Everly Brothers International Archive : Brothers in Arms (2005)
The Everly Brothers - Wake Up Little Susie ( 1957 )
The Everly Brothers - Bye Bye Love (Shindig, Nov 18, 1964)
Everly Brothers - Crying In The Rain
Everly Brothers, Silver Haired Daddy of mine
Everly Brothers Country Music Hall of Fame Video
The Everly Brothers - On The Wings Of A Nightingale - Platengala 1984 - 13-10-1984
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Having just watched (by chance) an old video talk given by Professor Ian Plimer on the Earth's history and the many factors influenceng climate, I asked our robot thinker ChatGPT to do a mini essay:
Itemise and evaluate factors other than carbon dioxide that may affect climate change
Climate change is influenced by a variety of factors beyond carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These factors can have both natural and human-induced origins, and their impacts can either amplify or mitigate the effects of climate change. Here's a list of some important non-CO2 factors:
- Methane (CH4): Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with a much higher heat-trapping potential than CO2 over a short period. It primarily comes from sources like livestock digestion, rice paddies, wetlands, landfills, and fossil fuel production. Addressing methane emissions is crucial as reducing them could provide significant short-term climate benefits.
- Black Carbon (Soot): Black carbon consists of fine particulate matter emitted from incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels, biomass burning, and industrial processes. It absorbs sunlight, warming the atmosphere and contributing to the melting of snow and ice, thus accelerating the warming of certain regions.
- Aerosols: Aerosols are tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere that can either reflect sunlight back into space (cooling effect) or absorb sunlight and heat the atmosphere (warming effect). They can originate from natural sources like volcanoes or human activities like burning fossil fuels. Aerosols can have complex and sometimes counteracting effects on climate.
- Land Use Changes: Deforestation, urbanization, and changes in land cover can influence climate by altering the Earth's surface properties. Forests, for instance, act as carbon sinks, absorbing CO2, while urban areas with dark surfaces (such as asphalt) absorb more heat, contributing to the "urban heat island" effect.
- Albedo Effect: Albedo refers to the reflective properties of a surface. Light-colored surfaces, like snow and ice, have a high albedo and reflect sunlight back into space. Dark surfaces, on the other hand, have a low albedo and absorb more heat. Melting ice reduces the planet's albedo, leading to more heat absorption and further warming.
- Water Vapor: Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and its concentration increases with higher temperatures. While it's not directly controlled by humans, it acts as a feedback mechanism, amplifying the warming effect of other greenhouse gases.
- Solar Variability: Changes in the sun's output can influence Earth's climate. While variations in solar radiation are relatively small and play a minor role in recent climate change, they have contributed to past climate variations.
- Volcanic Activity: Volcanic eruptions release aerosols and gases into the atmosphere, which can have both warming (due to greenhouse gases like CO2) and cooling (due to aerosols reflecting sunlight) effects, depending on the type and magnitude of the eruption.
- Ocean Circulation Patterns: Ocean currents play a significant role in redistributing heat around the planet. Changes in these currents, such as El Niño and La Niña events, can influence regional climates and weather patterns.
- Industrial and Agricultural Emissions: Besides CO2 and methane, other greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural practices and industrial processes also contribute to climate change.
- Human-made Reflective Surfaces: Urban planning and infrastructure choices can impact local climate through the use of reflective materials that reduce heat absorption.
Evaluating these factors involves considering their magnitudes, lifetimes in the atmosphere, and interactions with other components of the climate system. Addressing non-CO2 factors requires a comprehensive approach to climate policy that goes beyond CO2 reduction strategies.
It missed the Milankovitch (Orbital) Cycles but there's plenty to chew on there.
I liked the talk - and the crack about plate tectonics ridding Australia of New Zealand ('and that's a good thing') and hope to find a cheap copy of his latest book, Green Murder - WOB just sold out.
Friday, August 25, 2023
VOCES8 is a British vocal ensemble originally founded in 2003, and regrouped in 2005, by brothers Paul and Barnaby Smith, both former choristers of Westminster Abbey. For most of its history, the ensemble has contained two sopranos, two countertenors, two tenors, a baritone and a bass. By 2018, one of the countertenors had been replaced by a female alto.
The ensemble has a diverse repertoire including early English and European Renaissance music, traditional folk song, classic jazz, pop and their own arrangements. They have appeared internationally, touring especially in Europe, Asia and North America.
Voces8 are (currently) -
Andrea Haines – First soprano (2008–present)Molly Noon – Second soprano (2021–present)Katie Jeffries-Harris – First alto (2018–present)Barnaby Smith – Second alto/countertenor & Artistic Director (2005–present)Blake Morgan – First tenor (2016–present)Euan Williamson – Second tenor (2019–present)Chris Moore – Baritone (2018–present)Dominic Carver – Bass (2022–present)
VOCES8: Mass In B Minor, BWV 232:
Credo: Et In Unum Dominum Jesum Christum
VOCES8: Ave Maris Stella by Edvard Grieg
VOCES8: Sleep by Eric Whitacre
VOCES8: The Deer's Cry - Arvo Pärt
Voktett Hannover & VOCES8: Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber)
VOCES8: Miserere Mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri
Friday, August 18, 2023
The Lennon Sisters are one of the most admired and longest-performing female vocal groups in American music history marking 67 years since their television debut in 1955 as children on The Lawrence Welk Show. Growing up in the public eye with their weekly television performances, the sisters rose to fame as acclaimed recording artists and vibrant live performers throughout the nation.
They've recorded more than 20 albums and over 100 singles. They have a star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, are inductees in the National Vocal Group Hall of Fame and memorabilia chronicling their career is on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.
Following the retirement of sisters Peggy in 1999 and Dianne in 2001, the current performing sisters are original group members Kathy and Janet Lennon and their younger sister Mimi.
These videos are from TV shows broadcast in the 1950s and give an idea of how the country saw itself during the post-war boom with increased affluence plus the move to 'Levittowns' in the suburbs. In the 1950s, televisions became something the average family could afford, and by 1950 4.4 million U.S. families had one in their home. The Golden Age of Television was marked by family-friendly shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone and Leave It To Beaver as well as the Lawrence Welk show which featured the Lennon Sisters every week.
The booming prosperity of the 1950s helped to create a widespread sense of stability, contentment and consensus in the United States. However, that consensus was a fragile one, and it splintered for good during the tumultuous 1960s.
The Lennon Sisters, Roberta Shore & Rocky Rockwell
Pink Shoelaces (1959)
The Lennon Sisters - Mockingbird Hill
The Lennon Sisters - Dodge Dart Commercial (1960)
Lennon Sisters -- The Lawrence Welk Show Biographies
Lennon Sisters at the Hollywood Palace
The Lennon Sisters with Round and Round.
Monday, August 14, 2023
According to the lunatics in JSO (Just Stop Oil) this is happening now.
“If ever you wanted a prime example as to the gigantic con trick inflicted on us poor taxpayers that is the Green scam, then look no further than Drax. This conglomerate goes through the motions of pretending that it is beneficial to the planet whilst burning imported wood chips, sometimes manufactured by cutting down trees in Canada or the USA, whilst getting a huge subsidy of around £2 million a day. Not only that, the CEO of Drax managed to trouser upwards of £5 million last year as a reward for running this fake green company. That Drax exists is a testament to successive governments who have gone along with this con trick and particularly to the successive so-called energy ministers like Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davy, who have , no doubt, done very well personally out of this. That these ministers are not locked up for fraud rather than prospering is a national disgrace but all you have to do nowadays is shout "green" and you can get away with almost anything.”Drax also now own the logging company that supplies them. They say this is to offset when the green subsidies stop, but by then of course they will control the price of the wood pellets that Drax use.
This farce will then continue under the banner of green energy, despite the fact that the wood pellets produce as much CO2 as coal. Some say it also produces more airborne toxins as well, plus the moving of thousands of tons of pellets across oceans is hardly a green exercise, which when put together begs the question as to why we can’t use our own gas and coal resources until such time as so-called sustainable energy comes of age - and we are a long way from that.
I even heard a smug eco zealot talking about tidal wave power. That went out of favour some time ago when the costs were analysed and the fact that the tide has dead periods when it doesn’t move or hardly moves. It is no good talking about further storage to overcome these problems the cost is enormous and prohibitive, in the majority of cases.
But we are in a dire state regards energy supply. Once again decades of poor decision making by governments has come back to bite us in the backside. We have thrown away our ability to lead the world when we did with nuclear power decades ago. We close the only large gas storage facility and stop further gas exploration in the North Sea, rely on shipping gas in from the middle east and elsewhere when we could frack, stop a specialised coal mine from opening to supply industry and import the same from elsewhere and somehow believe that makes us green.
And become evermore reliant on intermittent wind and solar. It doesn’t matter how many wind farms you build, if the wind doesn’t blow there's no energy; yet the policy demands that all must change to electricity:
Despite the claims that more and more energy is supplied by wind power, the above shows how unreliable it is. The troughs out weigh the peaks by some margin; this will apply regardless of how many windmills are built.
All this has been repeated hundreds of times,. Does anyone actually take notice in the positions of power? It certainly does not look like it: the glacial approach to decision making is only matched by the glacial slide of the country into the second tier of world powers. Anyone believing we still have a top table say in the world's affairs is living in the previous century; energy wise, the century before that is where we are heading in the short to middle term.
I can see the time when a box of these…