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Posts Tagged ‘Spain

“With recording, everything changed”*…

 

To the question “When were recordings invented?,” we might be tempted to answer “1877” — the year when Thomas A. Edison was first able to record and playback sound with a phonograph. But what if we think of recordings not as mere carriers of sound, but as commodities that can be bought and sold, as artifacts capable of capturing and embodying values and emotions; of defining a generation, a country or a social class? The story then becomes one that unfolds over three decades and is full of many layers and ramifications. Without Edison’s technological innovations, recordings would have certainly never existed — but hammering out the concept of recording were also a myriad of other inventors, musicians, producers and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Most of them were enthusiastic about being part of a global revolution, but they worked in close connection with their milieu too, shaping recording technologies and their uses to relate to the needs, dreams, and desires of the audiences they knew…

The full(er) story: “Inventing the Recording.”

* “With recording, everything changed. The prospect of music being detachable from time and place meant that one could start to think of music as a part of one’s furniture. It’s an idea that many composers have felt reluctant about because it seemed to them to diminish the importance of music.”  – Brian Eno

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As we drop the needle, we might recall that it was on this date in 1900 that “His Master’s Voice,” the logo of the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor), was registered with the US Patent Office. The logo famously featured the dog “Nipper” looking into the horn of a gramophone.

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Written by LW

July 16, 2017 at 1:01 am

“The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand”*…

 

Build your own with The Medieval Fantasy City Generator

* Italo Calvino

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As we wander within the walls, we might spare a thought for Henry I, King of Castile and Toledo; he died on this date in 1217 when a loose roof tile fell on his head.  He had become the monarch two years earlier, at age 10, when his father (Alfonso VIII of Castile) passed away.  His mother was Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile, the daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

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Written by LW

June 6, 2017 at 1:01 am

“Nothing could be more misleading than the idea that computer technology introduced the age of information”*…

 

Stuart McMillen‘s glorious illustration of [a] seminal passage from Neil Postman’s glorious Amusing Ourselves to Death

From McMillen’s site, Recombinant Records (via)

* Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

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As we recommit to being careful what we wish for, we might send prudent birthday greetings to Maria Josepha Amalia of Saxony (Maria Josepha Amalia Beatrix Xaveria Vincentia Aloysia Franziska de Paula Franziska de Chantal Anna Apollonia Johanna Nepomucena Walburga Theresia Ambrosia); she was born on this date in 1803.  The youngest daughterof Prince Maximilian of Saxony and his first wife, Princess Carolina of Parma (daughter of Duke Ferdinand of Parma), she was raised in a German convent to a fervent Catholicism.

Maria Josepha became the Queen of Spain when Ferdinand VII, still childless after the death of his second wife, chose her as his consort.  But feeling the burden of her religious upbringing, Maria Josepha refused to consummate the marriage.  It took a personal letter from Pope Pius VII to convince the queen that sexual relations between spouses were not contrary to the morality of Catholicism; still, she died young (at age 25) and childless. The King’s fourth wife, Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies, eventually gave birth to the future Queen Isabella II of Spain.

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Written by LW

December 6, 2015 at 1:01 am

Named virtues…

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, is charged with administering “the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage“– a duty they discharge by convening a committee once a year to select from member nations’ nominations those traditions that are needy of conservation.

Consider, for example:

Castells are human towers built by members of amateur groups, usually as part of annual festivities in Catalonian towns and cities… The human towers are formed by castellers standing on the shoulders of one another in a succession of stages (between six and ten). Each level of the tronc, the name given to the second level upwards, generally comprises two to five heavier built men supporting younger, lighter-weight boys or girls. The pom de dalt – the three uppermost levels of the tower – comprises young children. Anyone is welcome to form the pinya, the throng that supports the base of the tower… The knowledge required for raising castells is traditionally passed down from generation to generation within a group, and can only be learned by practice.

 

On consideration, the committee ruled that Castells satisfied the criteria for inscription on the Representative List:

R1: Human towers are recognized by Catalan people as an integral part of their cultural identity, transmitted from generation from generation and providing community members a sense of continuity, social cohesion and solidarity;
R2: Their inscription on the Representative List could promote intangible cultural heritage as a means of reinforcing social cohesion, while encouraging respect for cultural dialogue and human creativity;
R3: The safeguarding measures being implemented and those planned are carefully described, and the commitments of both the State and the communities are well demonstrated, all aiming at ensuring the viability of the element;
R4: The nomination was elaborated through a process of consultation and cooperation with the bearers of the tradition who have provided their free, prior and informed consent;
R5: Human towers are registered in the Inventory of the Ethnological Heritage of Catalonia, maintained and updated by the Department of Culture and Media.

For a peek at 2010’s newly-anointed treasures, announced last week, readers can visit this Foreign Policy roster of “10 Traditions You Never Thought Needed Protecting.”

As we wonder if the castellers are now required to wear blue helmets, we might recall that it was on this date in 1993 that Hollywood’s homage to the Anglo-Saxon tradition of cross-dressing– Mrs. Doubtfire— premiered.

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Non-Sequiturs from Around the World, Part 42…

From the good folks at Blogadilla (“the Tijuana of the Internet”), a list a handy phrases to interject just as a new member is joining a conversation:

Best ‘Out of Context’ phrases to disturb people who have just joined the conversation:

• And that’s why you should never eat movie theater hot dogs.
• Because it was technically “art,” they had to drop the charges.
• So they named the medical condition after me.
• And that’s why I am no longer welcome in Turkey.
• So I’ve been out of prison for 2 years and I still like to do it.
• And so my childhood best friend will soon be my step-son.
• Because I didn’t know that the restraining order applied to the entire cemetery.
• So we were disqualified from the Iditarod because they weren’t technically dogs.
• And I still have it in a jar of formaldehyde in my closet.
• And the residents of Nukumanu Island still regard me as a god.
• Because she was my second cousin, the State of Arkansas had no case against us.
• Because ‘Baby Fighting’ is technically legal in Guatemala.
• And now the security at Disneyland has the right to shoot me on sight.
• Because we thought ‘Nursing School’ meant something totally different.

As we choose our words and wait for our openings, we might recall that it was on this date in 1500 that Christopher Columbus was arrested (by the co-Governor recently arrived from Spain) for crimes against the people of Haiti; Columbus and his two brothers were returned to Spain in chains on October 1 of that same year.

Christopher Columbus

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Written by LW

August 23, 2008 at 1:01 am

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