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Posts Tagged ‘OpenCulture’

Wassily Kandinsky: Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.

https://www.openculture.com/?p=1082992

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In the fall of 1968, Eric Clapton was 23 years old and at the height of his creative powers. His band, Cream, was on its farewell tour of America when a film crew from the BBC caught up with the group and asked the young guitar virtuoso to show how he created his distinctive sound.

The result is a fascinating four-minute tour of Clapton’s technique. He begins by demonstrating the wide range of tones he could achieve by varying the settings on his psychedelically painted 1964 Gibson SG Standard guitar… openculture

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It took a bit longer for the youth rock revolution to hit German televisions compared to the United States–where American Bandstand was already in existence pre-Elvis–and the United Kingdom, where Oh Boy debuted in 1958 as that country’s first pop show. But when German television premiered Beat Club in September 1965, it would profoundly change the culture.

The show took its visual cues from both the UK–with its London Underground-aping logo–and the US, with its go-go dancers. It even borrowed some of its hosts from across the Channel, like Dave Lee Travis, who was working at pirate station Radio Caroline at the time.- openculture

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Like digging for fossils or panning for gold, the research process can be a tedious affair. But for any researcher, long days of searching and reading will eventually result in discovery. These are the moments scholars cherish. It’s the chance discovery, however rare, that makes the long hours and bleary late nights worthwhile. And some finds can change an entire field. Such was the discovery of St. John’s College PhD student Giovanni Varelli, who, in 2014, found what is now believed to be, writes Cambridge University, “the earliest known practical example of polyphonic music,” …

Open Culture

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W.B. Yeats’ 1891 poem “When You Are Old” is widely considered a commentary on his unrequited lifelong passion for actress, Irish Republican and suffragette Maud Gonne.- openculture

 When You Are Old
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

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What is the meaning of life? This may sound simplistic or naïve, especially in relation to much contemporary philosophy, which assumes the question is incoherent and reserves its focus for smaller and smaller slices of experience. And, of course, prior to the rise of secular modernity, the question was answered for us—and still is for a great many people—by religion. One either believed the answer, through coercion or otherwise, or kept quiet about it. But at least since Søren Kierkegaard, philosophers in the West have taken the question very seriously, and found all of the answers wanting. By the mid-twentieth century, there seemed to thinkers like Albert Camus to be no answer. Life has no meaning. It is inherently absurd and purposeless.

openculture

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Fifty years on, you can read all you want about the Beach Boys’ 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds (and here’s two books that are great), but to really appreciate the intricate nature of the arrangements, you have to turn to the multi-tracks themselves.

Working with session players that could pick up the ideas tumbling from his head (and hurriedly transcribe them), Brian Wilson created a sonic tapestry at L.A.‘s Gold Star Studios that still sounds fresh and, as the years go by, otherworldly. Influenced by Phil Spector’s work, along with the textures of the songs of Burt Bacharach and Martin Denny, Wilson created something as unique as his own DNA.- openculture

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Separated by only seven years, Dylan Thomas and W.H. Auden had what might be called a friendly rivalry—at least, that is, from Thomas’ point of view. The hard-drinking Welsh poet once wished Auden a happy seventieth birthday—on his thirtieth. It’s a typical comment, writes biographer Walford Davies, expressed “with the attractive brio of a younger brother.” Thomas wrote of his admiration for “the mature, religious, and logical fighter,” but deprecated “the boy bushranger” in the older, more reserved Auden… – openculture

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A friend recently told me about a screening of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris he attended in a state of, er, expanded perception. The vivid sci-fi trip he’d expected turned into the most harrowing emotional experience of his life. 2001: A Space Odyssey has proven a reliable favorite of the consciousness-altering crowd since it came out in 1968, almost to the point where you’d think Kubrick made the film just for them. But Tarkovsky’s 1972 story of a sentient planet and the hallucinations with which it tempts and torments a nearby space station has an entirely different existential conception of mankind’s venture into the unknown realms of space and time. Whatever your own state of mind, you can watch Solaris free online (part one, part two).

openculture.com/

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