Today the world was saddened by the news of the two celebrity deaths – Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Celebrity popularity is a fact of life, and in this instance Michael Jackson stole the limelight, if you can call it that. Sometimes the best way to remember a life and career is through pictures. LIFE Magazine is a good place to revisit Michael Jackson’s life.
Stars remember Michael Jackson is an interesting visual record.
Equally as interesting is the album of Michael Jackson covers.
Equally as interesting is the album of Michael Jackson covers.
Then there’s Neverland in all its glory
Michael Jackson live – best pics
And, to be fair, have why don’t you stroll down Memory Lane with Farrah Fawcett?
Since I was on a roll, I decided to check out Michael Jackson’s website.
The New York Times has a long post of updates on Michael Jackson and the world’s reaction to his death.
YouTube has its own tribute to Michael Jackson’s talent.
Given the recent interest in all things Vampire at a time when books like Twilight are more popular than sliced bread, I think it’s time to revisit Thriller.
Filed under media, music, photos
A little while ago I included a post with a video of a heart-warming song sung by 5th graders in New York.
Here’s another one you’ll enjoy
This choir is testament to one man’s relationship with a regular class of 5th graders in New York, it’s not a music school or selective school:
The PS22 Chorus was formed in the year 2000. We are an ever-changing group of 5th graders from a public elementary school in New York City, NOT a school for the arts or a magnet program.
Read about this teacher/musician and view more videos on his YouTube page.
The PS22 Chorus has a blog documenting their activities with lots more videos to watch.
Watching this video reminded me that it’s really all about the kids. At a time when teachers have been swamped with corrections and report writing, labouring over sentence structure and punctuation, categorising students into cleanly definable spaces, it’s good to remember that it’s really just about the kids themselves. When I look at what this teacher has brought out in these kids, I do a double-take and step back to reflect. How can I keep that important focus without getting side-tracked by the structures. I’d like to remember that the structures are there to support the kids, and not the kids to support the structures.
A little while ago I wrote a post about the wonderful collaborative project, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Musicians from all over the world were invited to audition online, and were selected to play together in New York in April this year.
Here’s the line-up of YouTube Symphony Orchestra musicians
The video makes me smile; so many different nationalities represented, all collaborating in this project, transcending language barriers with their music.
Equally as interesting is the unique way each musician has chosen to introduce themselves in their video, giving a brief glimpse into their world, adding their own graphics and sound.
Over 3,000 people from over 40 countries auditioned for just 90 prize slots in the orchestra. I know some people think this is gimmicky, but I like it.
Filed under music, Web 2.0
I’m really getting into the global potential and creativity of technology. Discovering YouTube Symphony Orchestra made me smile. Music plays a significant part in my life, with my two sons playing piano and violin, and my 15 year old spending most of his free time composing classical music. There is always music in the house, sometimes competitively discordant, but usually lovely to listen to. Here is what YouTube Symphony Orchestra is about:
We invite musicians from around the world to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Your video entries will be combined into the first ever collaborative virtual performance, and the world will select the best of you to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in April 2009.
This will be the first ever collaborative online orchestra. Pretty cool. It will unite professionals and amateurs from around the world. You can audition by submitting a video performance of a new piece which has been written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
Technology to audition and technology to help you prepare. YouTube provides tools to help you learn the music, rehearse with the conductor and upload your part for the collaborative video.
Finalists will travel to New York in April 2009 to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit and play at Carnegie Hall.
The New York Times writes about this.
“The idea is to put together the world’s first collaborative online orchestra” and encourage musicians of all types and abilities around the world, said Ed Sanders, YouTube’s project marketing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the person in charge of the effort. “It’s collaboration in a way and a medium never seen, both with sound and video.”
You can listen to the composition played by the London Symphony Orchestra:
It’s challenging keeping up with all the brilliant blogs. I’ve really been enjoying catching up with Karl Fisch’s blog The Fischbowl.
Here’s a video that struck a chord (no intended pun) since I’ve been watching our Year 7s create their own music and trailers for the film School of rock.
My son wrote an interesting post about his association of different keys in music with colours. Although his colour association is not synesthesia, he does intuitively ‘see’ colours in music. It’s a great reminder that our learning and understanding come through different channels, and that we’re programmed in unique ways. Here’s an extract from his post where he explains the thinking behind some of his improvisations on keyboard which are named after colours:
The image underlying Green (G minor) was one of a forest, and so I worked in some (admittedly simple) cross-rhythms to give the sensation of the complexity of the forest, of the trees in three dimensions, randomly scattered. Blue (E minor) is an ocean, with a lapping, repetitve bass line; the waves rising and falling with cresendo and diminuendo. Finally, White is in C major, more conventional and ballad-y with a recurring tonic note in the higher registers. When I was playing around with the ideas on my upright, the image was one of ice and its cold purity, especially through the harmonics that it caused; but unfortunately these were lost when I recorded it on my electronic piano.
Sometimes I think that we should trust that we’re all wired to naturally absorb things, and that teaching should be the provision of the ideal environment to assist that absorption. If our teaching interferes with this, then learning is aborted.
I wonder if that made sense?
For your enjoyment, thanks again to Articulate, here is archival footage of 50 greatest arts videos on YouTube. Amongst them are such gems as Nureyev dances Romeo at the Royal Ballet, 1966; John Coltrane performs ‘My Favourite Things’, 1961; The Who and Hendrix equipment smashing, 1968; The Beatles Rooftop Concert, 1969; Vladimir Nabokov discusses Lolita, 1950s; Kurt Russell’s Star Wars audition, 1975; Jackson Pollock drip paints outside his East Hampton home, 1951; Stravinksy conducts the Firebird Lullaby Suite, 1965, and more.
This inspirational talk is by Benjamin Zander, a leading interpreter of Mahler and Beethoven, known for his charisma and unyielding energy, and once conductor of the Boston Philharmonic.
Benjamin Zander has ‘two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. He uses music to help people open their minds and create joyful harmonies that bring out the best in themselves and their colleagues’ (TED). Continue reading