Music Review: Something’s missing in Oregon Symphony’s take on Takemitsu and Rimsky-Korsakov
Here’s what you had to say: MediaMonkey (Windows) MediaMonkey seems like an impossible combination of jukebox and library organizer. Sure, you can use it to just play your tunes, organize playlists, and sync with your mobile devices, but if your music library is a mess (like mine is), you can also use MediaMonkey to clean it up without a ton of effort. The layout and UI is customizable, and the player is snappy and fast even under the load of many-thousand song libraries, which is more than we can say for some of the other programs in the roundup. MediaMonkey does the basics too: It’ll rip CDs, download podcasts, support file types like OGG and FLAC in addition to MP3, AAC, and others, and it’ll automatically update your library based on changes to your library foldersso you can copy in new music without worrying MediaMonkey won’t see it. If you like auto-generated playlists seeded by songs you own or like, MediaMonkey can do that too. It can convert file types on the fly if you need it to, stream media via DLNA to other devices on your network like a TV, receiver, or wireless stereo. Those of you who praised MediaMonkey specifically called out its customizability, customizable hotkeys, watch folders, and more. Even those of you who noted that you don’t care for it as a music player love it as a music organizer, and turn to it to keep your files arranged, properly tagged, and easily searchable should you want to find something you downloaded a long time ago. Plus, MediaMonkey is freealthough $25 gets you MediaMonkey Gold, which adds on some more features . Winamp (Windows/Mac) Winamp has been whipping the llama’s ass for over 15 years , and that’s not a bad thing. it’s has come a long way since its early Nullsoft days, back before it was picked up by AOL, and in fact we were just reflecting on how far it’s come .
‘From Me Flows What You Call Time’ and ‘Scheherazade’ Where: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway When: 8 p.m. Monday Tickets: $27 and up: purchase online at orsymphony.org or call 503-228-1353 Composed in 1990 for another commemoration, the centenary of Carnegie Hall, Takemitsus piece is essentially a concerto for a group of five percussionists and orchestra. It was a bit of an odd choice to honor the garden, widely regarded as the most authentic outside of Japan, in that little of it is idiomatically Japanese. It opens with a flute imitating its Japanese counterpart, the shakuhachi, and Japanese temple bells atop timpani are part of the vast battery of percussion, but its conceptual basis is largely Tibetan, its instrumentation draws from myriad international sources, and Takemitsu himself was more inspired by French and American composers than by Japanese tradition. (His November Steps, for shakuhachi, biwa and orchestra, might have been a more obvious choice.) That said, it was a mostly terrific experience. Five percussionists OSO principal Niel DePonte, Sergio Carreno, Luanne Warner Katz, Jonathan Greeney and Michael Roberts played in tight ensemble from five stations on the stage, making improbably captivating music given that the piece is a sort of anti-concerto, eschewing the kind of wild display thats a hallmark of percussion solos from classical concertos to classic rock. Takemitsu didnt go wild; he went deep. Little cymbals quietly shimmered in the opening section; bamboo rattles had a brief conversation around the stage; and chimes suspended above the audience closed the piece magically above hushed basses. The closest thing to a cadenza involved DePonte softly tracing the musics central theme over and over on steel pan. The orchestra was like the wind an occasional breeze with harps and celesta, a gust of strings. But while the soloist group and the orchestra were cohesive in themselves, something missed in the meeting. Neither in his remarks from the podium nor in his direction did Kalmar show any great enthusiasm for the piece, and great moments, however numerous, never coalesced into a compelling whole. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade, offered after intermission, was similar.
It also has a therapeutic effect. In a recent study on this topic posted Sept. 20, 2013 an article on The New York Times’ Sunday Review includes: One answer might be that in everyday life we typically experience emotions that have a direct connection to whatever object or situation gives rise to them. But when we listen to sad music (or watch a sad movie, or read a sad novel), we are inoculated from any real threat or danger that the music (or movie or novel) represents. It goes on to say that if this is the case, then the emotions are “vicarious.” Outside the study, our own thoughts on the matter can include what our current state of emotion is in relation to the music, it can be something that one relates to at that moment, such as a movie with a parallel story to the viewer’s own experience. It also has a different affect on children. As a ballet accompanist for children’s classes, it is requested to play only uplifting music, no sad or minor keys. When a lyrical tune in a minor key was played, some children started becoming sad and even crying. The study, (speaking of adults) said that it can evoke a ‘romantic’ type feel when listening to sad music. So, what it’s doing is bringing an intimate connection within ourselves. What do you think?
Huntington Music and Arts Fest planning HMAF Giveback to local schools
Saturday, Sept., 28 at Ritter Park Amphitheater, is starting to give back to the community that has helped it grow over its first three years. “Through two different missions we are attempting do our part to help ensure that young children in the Huntington area continue to receive music and art education and to contribute to Communities In Schools, a national dropout prevention program, said organizer, founder and Huntington musician Ian Thornton. This year we started the HMAF Give Back Program.” Partnering with Lattas & Route 60 Music we are donating a total of $500 to the Music/Art programs of two local elementary schools. Spring Hill Elementary will receive $250 in Art supplies while Altizer Elementary will receive $250 in Music supplies, Thornton said. “We also hope to grow these amounts for next year through a few different resources. 10 percent of all festival and band merchandise as well as 10 percent of all art sold at the fest will be donated to next years fund. We will also be going green and recycling all used cans, with bins provided by Adkins Recycling, with the raised funds also contributing to the new program. We hope to double our contribution for next year.” Thornton said they are also contributing 5 percent of gate proceeds to the Huntington chapter of Communities In Schools. “They are a nationwide network of passionate professionals working in public schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.” You can find out more info at, http://www.communitiesinschools.org/ So make sure to bring the kids out for not only a great day of music and art, but also a great cause!. Communities In Schools www.communitiesinschools.org