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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #8
The Mukluk
David Gunn
From radio station WGDR, the Whale Gauge Doppler Rumba, that measure of extreme duress experienced by emotive dancers of girth, it's Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour, broadcasting this week from the wild world sesquistudios in Plain Nine from Outer Space, Vermont.

It's Saint Swithin's wild wide world music day today, named for Earl Swithins, ninth century English bishop who discovered mud, and its corollary, the mukluk. It's also Episode 8, which means that we have survived the midpoint of the Sesquihour's summer fun series of new music. Today's episode features another chat with a Vermont composer- o-the-week, selected 20th century music to while away your afternoon, and oodles more, including ... well, oodles!

There are plenty of musical birthday boys and girls today, among them Harry Birtwistle, Julian Bream -- who was, in fact, eponymously named after the nautical method of cleaning a ship's bottom by applying burning furze and reeds to soften the pitch and loosen adherent matter ... why, we can only guess -- also Linda Ronstadt, Haitian hip- hopper Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Mr. Harmony himself, Rembrandt van Rijn who, had he conquered his fear of cleaning the bottoms of ships, would've celebrated his 389th birthday this very afternoon by being today's featured composer-o-the-week. No matter. We have a composer of a different vein today, Eric Nelson, Vermont casino-developer-to- the-stars. He'll be along shortly to talk about his work. I'm sorry, that's Eric Nielsen, from Randolph Center.

Last week you'll recall was the anniversary of the birth of famous avantless composer Ernest Bloch. Today, through no fault of his own, is the anniversary of Bloch's death. And regardless of whether you admire or are simply no longer afraid of his music, you must admit that it's remarkable that he was able to compose so much in only one week. Musicologists fear it may have something to do with his being Swiss.

Today marks the deathday of famous castrato Farinelli, or, le flambeau oriange, and the less said about the cause of his apparent death, the better. Another deathday anniversary is that of Carl Czerny, famous writer of piano studies. And while his cessation of notation occurred in 1857, some of his piano études were extraordinarily forward-looking for their time. Take study #39 for the upper elementary grade, volume 1, the cosine of which is July 15th ... a coincidence? Listen and decide for yourself.

This portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour is brought to you in part by this portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour.

And now, to take matters into his own hands for reasons that concern us all but relate to only the misinformed, here's Kalvos.