News of the week of June 20, 2017

Meeting report

Peter Paul Rubens,The Princes of the Church Adoring the Eucharist, about 1626-1627. Speed Art Museum

Schedule

We generally meet every Tuesday, at 7:45pm, at 233 Broadway, as
long as enough people have let me know by Monday night that they
want to come.

There will be two Tuesdays in July where this will not be
true. July 4 is not a good day to drive here, as you would be
competing with hundreds of thousands of other people who want to
see the Pops concert and the fireworks, so if we meet that week,
it will be on some other night. The week that includes July 17, I
will be at The
Amherst Early Music Festival
, so there will not be a meeting
at my place.

Spine-chilling cadences from the King’s Singers

[King's Singers]

Worlds Colliding: Renaissance Heavyweights, June 12, 8pm,
Jordan Hall, Boston

I had a favorite note on this concert. This occasionally
happens when I’m playing or singing — altos especially tend to
end up with mostly boring parts, with one note that changes the
whole harmonic landscape. But I don’t remember it happening in
a performance I was just listening to before.

In this case, it was at the very end
of the Schütz
Das
ist je gewißlich wahr
. As you can see, just before the
resolution to the A major chord at the end, the top line hits
the already established “A” harmony with a “B”.

[Amen]

Most experienced singers and instrumentalists can make that
final chord “ring” on a good day. But this one “rang” on that
dissonant note. It sent chills up my spine. I asked a number
of very experienced musicians who were at the concert if they’d
noticed it, and none of them had.

There are a lot of similar cadences in the repertoire they were
performing, and I listened to see if it would happen again. The
Josquin Baisez Moi
had two of them near the end, and they almost had
that effect on the first one, and didn’t have it at all on the
second one.

So I don’t know whether this was something they try to do
consciously and only succeed some of the time, or just a strange
effect of the acoustics of Jordan Hall, or even that seat (N20) with
that arrangement of performers in Jordan Hall. But it was
definitely worth the price of the ticket.

The concert as a whole was good but the program was less
tightly focused than I’ve sometimes heard from the King’s
Singers. The commentary from the stage tended to border on the
sophomoric, as if they’d spent a little too much time playing to
college audiences. In general, I think BEMF should not let groups
get away with “greatest hits” programs as much as they do. I
thought
the same thing
when the Hilliard Ensemble played in
2013 as well.

News of the week of June 6, 2017

Meeting report

Types d'Auvergne - La Bourrée (carte     postale)

Schedule

Reminder: we are not meeting tonight, June 13, because of the Boston Early Music
Festival
.

We generally meet every Tuesday, at 7:45pm, at 233 Broadway, as
long as enough people have let me know by Monday night that they
want to come.

There will be two Tuesdays in July where this will not be
true. July 4 is not a good day to drive here, as you will be
competing with hundreds of thousands of other people who want to
see the Pops concert and the fireworks, so if we meet that week,
it will be on some other night. The week that includes July 17, I
will be at The
Amherst Early Music Festival
, so there will not be a meeting
at my place.

News of the week of May 30, 2017

Meeting Report

We played:

Spring tide at Ravensheugh - geograph.org.uk - 721144

Schedule

We meet on Tuesdays, starting at 7:45pm, at 233 Broadway,
Cambridge, as long as enough people have told me they plan on
coming by Monday night.

The next modification to that schedule that I know about will
be on June 13, which is the Boston Early
Music Festival
week. We will not meet on that day.

News of the week of May 23, 2017

Meeting Report

We played:

Merrill, Ella and Singing School of Keene New Hampshire (4538193092)

Schedule

We meet on Tuesdays, starting at 7:45pm, at 233 Broadway,
Cambridge, as long as enough people have told me they plan on
coming by Monday night.

The next modification to that schedule that I know about will
be on June 13, which is the Boston Early
Music Festival
week. We will not meet on that day.

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts | Environment | The Guardian

Here’s another story that might have better coverage if the front page weren’t so cluttered by White House news.

Note that I’m not saying they shouldn’t cover what’s happening at the White House, or that the reporters covering the White House should go to Norway and cover this instead. I just think the editors of the front page could organize the coverage a little differently.

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

Source: Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts | Environment | The Guardian

Where have all the insects gone? | Science | AAAS

I’ve been scouring my newsfeeds trying to find the stories that would be getting better coverage if the front pages weren’t so cluttered with stories about the mess in the White House. This might be a good example.

Entomologists call it the windshield phenomenon. “If you talk to people, they have a gut feeling. They remember how insects used to smash on your windscreen,” says Wolfgang Wägele, director of the Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity in Bonn, Germany. Today, drivers spend less time scraping and scrubbing. “I’m a very data-driven person,” says Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in Portland, Oregon. “But it is a visceral reaction when you realize you don’t see that mess anymore.”

Source: Where have all the insects gone? | Science | AAAS