About daveb1950

dilettante film-maker, still-photographer, time-lapser, hiker-walker, procrastinater

Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G

A great performance by Yuja Wang. This bluesy jazz influenced work premiered in January 1932 with Ravel conducting the orchestra and Marguerite Long performing (the work is dedicated to her).  It is said that Ravel was influenced by Jazz idioms which were popular in both Paris and the United States.  Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was premiered in 1924.  Was Ravel influenced by Gershwin?  Certainly there was some mutual admiration.  They met in New York in 1928, Gershwin age 30, Ravel age 53.  Gershwin supposedly asked Ravel about the possibility of studying with him to which Ravel replied:  “Why would you want to be a 2nd rate Ravel when you can be a 1st rate Gershwin?”

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Ravel at the piano with Gershwin looking on.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco – Opening Montage

The Last Black Man In San Francisco (2019) is a beautiful elegy of a film, and offers a truly unique view of the City as captured in the brilliant opening montage, which sets the tone for the film that follows.  The film has a great score by Emile Mosseri, but the music used in the opening montage is actually by Michael Nyman – “MGV (Musique a Grande Vitesse” originally commissioned to celebrate the inauguration of the TGV North-European Paris-Lille line in 1993.  The film also features an astounding cover of “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)” featuring Mike Marshall (vocals) & Daniel Herskedal (tuba).  Just see the film!

Scarlatti Sonatas

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti was born in 1685 in Naples, Italy.  Same year Bach was born!  And Handel!  He wrote operas, cantatas, symphonies, liturgical pieces, etc, and LOTS of keyboard music, primarily intended for harpsichord (or very early pianofortes).  When I say a lot, consider his keyboard sonatas:  he cranked out 555 of them.  Be amazed at Martha Argerich’s precision rendition of one of these works.

exponential zoom loops

These loops were created from still photographs (there’s 12 in each loop), which are layered on top of each other with soft round mattes (you can perceive a donut shape to the mattes if you look hard enough).  Then an “exponential scale” effect is applied.  The result is an “infinite zoom” effect which never ends. Most confusing explanation ever.

QUAD-o-RAMA: Monster On The Campus (1958)

Absorb the essence of this neglected film in less than 8 minutes !!

Quad-O-Rama™:  In order to match the cacophonous assault of today’s films, older films can be truncated (all the boring parts are deleted), and then cut in to 4 equal sections to be displayed simultaneously.  Hence, a standard length film can be displayed in 10 minutes or less, but still retain coherence to the original.

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Hot town, summer in the City…

Released by the Lovin’ Spoonful in the summer of 1966 (a lifetime ago!), Summer in the City remains etched in my youthful memory.  Who can forget lyrics like “Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty…” clearly sung by John Sebastian?  I know I can’t.  Did you know that Joe Cocker covered the song in the 1990s?  Neither did I.