Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stravinsky's Rites of Spring

Reading a score is like reading a map, musical notation is simply a series of symbols (staff, clef, note, articulation marking, etc.) that when combined together, visualize information - in this case aural info.

Rites of Spring by Igor Stravinsky

Almost no musical work has had such a powerful influence or evoked as much controversy as Igor Stravinsky's ballet score “The Rite of Spring”. The work's premiere on May 29, 1913, at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, was scandalous. In addition to the outrageous costumes, unusual choreography and bizarre story of pagan sacrifice, Stravinsky's music itself was angular, dissonant and totally unpredictable. It redefined 20th-century music, much as Beethoven's Eroica had transformed music a century before.

About the Composition

Stravinsky's  Rites of Spring is one of the most powerful pieces of music I have ever heard. Jarring, dissonant and chaotic to many, I think it is an absolute masterpiece... penned by an innovative--yet methodical--genius.

From the opening eerily haunting bassoon solo... it's percussive ostinatos and unexpected offbeat accents...

...the music evokes a powerful and compelling emotional reaction and vividly portrays through music, an imagery of pagan wild abandon and violent motion.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Climate-Related Power Outages

Rising temperatures will continue to put an ever-increasing strain 
on electricity resources.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Happiest States In America?

Based on results from a study of geotagged tweets published earlier this year

Man-Made Pollution - Visible From Space!

NASA Satellite Spots Foul Pollution Over Shipping Lanes

Nitrogen dioxide is a nasty gas produced largely by internal-combustion engines. This pollutant is rampant throughout the planet, but nowhere moreso than above the heavily trafficked lanes of international shipping vessels.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Where 60 Million People in the U.S. Don't Speak English at Home

People Who Speak Spanish at Home

(each dot represents approximately 10 people)

The share of Americans who don't speak English at home has been rising: In 2000, these households made up 17.9 percent of the population. By 2007, it was 19.7 percent. As of the latest data, from the 2011 American Community Survey, the share is now 20.8 percent – fully one-fifth of all people living in the U.S.