YiDM salută WAEX: O scrisoare deschisă către lume / YiDM Welcomes WAEX: An Open Letter TO THE WORLD

Friday, September 30, 2011
19:00 - 23:00 CST


I was thinking I'd do a welcome post for you to make it official and all, and then I thought "Why not make it an open letter to that teeming swath of humanity that is the YiDM readership? And better yet, I can also include all my instructions to Waex about his first post, which should be arriving around October 7th!" Sort of a behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on here in YiDMland, heehee... (Plus, this post gets my post count for the week higher. That's why I set the archive to weekly: I know if it gets below 7 for the week, that means we're running behind! Since of course (under normal circumstances, not the current ones) there should be a post every day!) I promise I'll try not to say anything embarrassing about either one of us.

Here are the tentative lists for September 27th thru 29th. I've done a little work on them already. I think you really do need to include the ones I've asterisked - that's a total of 27, I believe. You can just do those, or you can add some of the others, it's up to you. The ones with the hyphen (intead of the en-dash) between the year and name still need some work. Check the deathdates for all of those, and make sure to fill us in on... where they were... and... what they were doing. There may be discrepancies in Wikipedias of different languages; but since we're within a 3-day period, that will minimize some of this. If you can't easily find a biography of them and an image of them within a few minutes, you might just toss them out. If you can't find a page for them on Wikipedia EN, there may be one for them in their native language. Just do a regular old web search too. Still no luck, try Google Books. An encyclopedia article from the 19th century may be the only information AND image you can find for the person.

Boniface Stoeckel (German Benedictine priest & composer)
*1919 - Adelina Patti, Italian soprano
*1921 - Engelbert Humperdinck (German opera composer, "Hansel und Gretel")
1935 - Alan Gray, composer, dies at 79
1943 - Waclaw Gieburowski, composer, dies at 65
*1956 - Gerald Finzi, composer, dies at 55
1965 - Harry Reser, orch leader (Sammy Kaye Show), dies at 69
*1972 - Rory Storm, British singer (b. 1939)
*1979 - Jimmy McCullough, musician (Wings), dies of a drug overdose
*1986 - Cliff Burton, rock bassist (Metallica), dies in bus crash at 24
1995 - Christopher Shaw, composer pianist/critic, dies at 71
*1997 – Walter Trampler, American violist
2007 - Dale Houston, American singer (Dale & Grace)
*2008 – Mahendra Kapoor (Indian playback singer)
*2011 – Johnny "Country" Mathis (American country singer & songwriter)

1649 - Ottavio Vernizzi, composer, dies at 79
1757 - Andrea Zani, composer, dies at 60
1819 - Karl Haack, composer, dies at 68
1852 - Johann Friedrich Schwencke, composer, dies at 60
*1903 – Jesús de Monasterio (Spanish composer & violinist)
*1914 – Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac (Serbian composer, teacher, conductor & folklorist) **Eng. Wikipedia has wrong death date in April**
1922 – Andrejs Jurjāns (Latvian composer)
1939 – Felicjan Szopski (Polish composer & teacher)
*1947 – Francisco Santiago (Filipino musician, "Father of Kundiman Art Song")
1952 - Paul Hastings Allen, composer, dies at 68
*1957 - Luis Cluzeau Mortet (Uruguayan composer and musician)
*1964 – Harpo Marx (American comedian, actor & harpist)
*1966 - Lucky Millinder, bandleader/singer, dies
1972 - Maurice Thiriet, composer, dies at 66
*1979 - Jimmy McCulloch, guitarist (Wings), dies at 26
*1991 – Miles Davis (American jazz trumpeter & composer)
*1993 – Fraser MacPherson (Canadian jazz reed instrumentalist)
*1994 – Urmas Alender (Estonian rock singer & musician)
1996 - Bob Gibson, folk singer, dies at 64
*2010 – Dolores Wilson (American operatic coloratura soprano)

*1902 – Iosif Ivanovici (Romanian military band leader & composer)
1915 – Luther Orlando Emerson (American musician, composer & music publisher)
*1915 – Rudi Stephan (German composer)
*1958 – Aare Merikanto (Finnish composer)
*1977 – Alexander Tcherepnin (Russian-born composer & pianist)
1989 – Georges Ulmer (French composer, lyricist & singer)
1991 – Zapata Jaw [Nelson Renfrum] (Surinamese musician)
*1994 – Cheb Hasni (Algerian raï singer)
1995 - Seger Pillot Ellis, pianist/vocalist, dies at 91
*2006 – Jan Werner (Norwegian pop, classical & rock singer)

Look at the lists I've done so far to get an idea of the "style" of them. Be reasonably specific about the genres and occupations. Lists of genres and/or occupations end with ampersands (no comma before!), Ethnicity is not usually mentioned for its own sake. Nationality is treated with complexity, as long as it doesn't get too wordy. A "French-born Romanian composer" is just what it sounds like, but a "French-Romanian" composer is something different: French citizen, French mother, Romanian father (it's enough to clear up why the surname looks Romanian and not French). Use "Romanian composer, active in France" if French citizenship has not been established. The three basic issues with nationality are country of birth, country of ancestry, and country of employment.

There are other problems with the identification of nationality. If a person is a born-and-bred British Islander, I generally say the person is English, or Irish, or Scottish, or Welsh. I usually reserve "British" for when a person is born elsewhere. I avoid "Soviet" as well, preferring to say a musician is Russian, or Ukrainian, or Georgian, et cetera. Of course, I'm just telling you how I prefer it. "American" is what I use rather than "U.S" or whatever else someone might use. When you're listing countries - nations - there is only one that is ever called just plain "America." Sure, there are two continents with "America" in the name, and all the people who live in those continents are in that sense Americans too. But we're not giving peoples' continentalities here - we're giving their nationalities. If one talks about a person from the Americas, who is not from the United States, one says, "a Peruvian," or "a Venezuelan" or "a Chilean" or "a Canadian."

And then there's the problem of historical regions. When is it acceptable to say a person is Flemish, Alsatian, Bohemian, Prussian, Silesian, Austro-Hungarian? These are decisions that have to be made. If I'd rather not say a person is Silesian (seriously, that's almost like saying they're - oh, I dunno - Kentuckyian), maybe I'll decide based on the name to call the person either German or Polish instead. It's a complicated matter! I don't believe I've handled it very consistently, so just go with your gut on it, or whatever rationale makes sense to you.

Then there's the genre area. I try to keep it pretty basic with the genres. Where no genre is given, it's assumed to be classical. YES! Classical! Why?! Because I am a terrible person, that's why. All metal is just called metal. If it's hard rock, or soft rock, it's just rock. Prog rock? It's just rock. The same goes for all the other genres. Ma Rainey, Son House, Josh White & BB King are all just blues. Jazz is more complicated, but still jazz is just jazz. Fusion: is it more jazz or is it more rock? Pick one and call it that. Big Band & Swing: call the instrumentalists jazz. Vocalists you can call jazz & pop or pop & jazz, because that was generally the reality of the situation. R&B can take you a long way. But... but, you can break it down into soul and funk if you want Aw yeah. That's how I like it. Uh-huh. Just break it on down. And you can even take it on over to disco. Oh yes, YOU DID HEAR THAT. Take it right on over, sistah. But not TOO FAR over, turkey. Dayum! You gone over into techno & synthpop terr'tory now! Shee-ITT! Whooo!! Damn fool crackah.

Then there's the occupation area. Call people what they were mainly known for: like Harpo Marx above. He's mainly known as part of a comedy team who made pictures. You don't hear the name of Harpo Marx and think "famous harpist." Sax players, specify the size and/or sizes. Call it a "saxophone," fer realz. If they play flute, clarinet & bassoon too call them a "woodwind player" or "reed player." It can get complicated. "Multi-instrumentalist" can take you a long way, and it should, given how long it is. I guess it can take you about as far as R&B can. Just think how far "R&B multi-instrumentalist" will take you... whoah...........

[approx. 2 hours pass by]

Another thing about the list: I've started to use it as a place to dump feature cool links I run across about a particular person, or an organization or event or artistic movement they were involved with. You can do this if you don't really have time to say something about a person, but you just happened to find a page about them that looks interesting! I'd only do it for a few of them. No sense in bombarding the poor reader with TMI.

Don't automatically use the image that's on the Wikipedia page (although that may turn out to be the best one after all). Do a Google Images search and look at a lot of images of each person, then download one that's really striking to you. Color, b&w, either one. Often images that appear b&w do actually have a little color in them, which can be the source of something interesting. Look for photos, paintings, woodcuts, engravings, sculpture (in color - also a good neutral-looking source for coloristic surprises), and postage stamps & currency with the person's likeness. Opera singers are preferred costumed in role. Conductors are preferred conducting, bassists playing the bass. For the more prominent figures, obviously go for a somewhat larger image. For the more obscure, go with whatever you can find. A head shot is usually best, because you can have them small in the overall image without it seeming like you're slighting them. But a full body shot of such a person could be interesting too! Be aware that in an Images search, you may get A LOT of pictures of people who aren't the person you searched for, because their name just happens to be near to the image on the somebody's page.

If you run across a biography of a person who looks really interesting to you, but you can't find an image of them, there are a couple other resources I'd look at. I've already mentioned Google Books, but first let me tell you about IMSLP/Petrucci. If you can't find an image of a composer, music editor, or music publisher, go to IMSLP first! Search for the person, and look for a pdf of a musical score which you can download. AVOID type-set scores! (Sorry, just had to be Joan Crawford there, for a moment) Look for scans of those cool-looking old editions from forever ago. For a given person, you may have several choices of scores to download, so I dunno... download one or more, then open them up in your Reader and find one that has the person's name displayed as prominently and largely as possible, either on the title page, or right above where the music begins (which is preferable for a composer). That should do the trick.

Google Books... well, here's what I'd do. Search for the name there, and choose "Preview available." That'll bring up books with preview available, and free books as well. With free books, use the "Clip" tool. It'll give you a URL you can paste into another tab and then save that image to represent the person. See, I've already started this one for you:

Trust me, this is as close to an image of Padre Boniface Stoeckel (or Stoeckl or Stöckl or Stöckel - yeah, alternate spellings - another thing to watch out for) as you're likely to find. Now if it's not a free book, but it's "Preview available" here's what you do: right-click on the page you like, and select "View page info" and after your Page Info pops up, go to "Media" and look through the list to find an Image with a long URL  There will probably be a few, so highlight em all and take a look. Once you find the one you want, copy/paste & Save As.

The write-up... I'm gonna leave that all up to you! Welcome aboard, Waex.

Say hi to Waex, ever'body!

1 comment:

  1. Waex: When I was talking about fusion... you can say they were "jazz & rock" or "rock & jazz" instead of having to pick just one. You can have multiple genres. So you can say somebody is a "blues, country & rock guitarist" for instance. If it gets to be more than 3 or 4 genres, you can resort to something like "multi-genre" or "roots music" (both of which I hate, but which are sometimes necessary), or you can just leave out the genre altogether, like I decided to do with Johnny Cash.

    A bassist is a player of the double-bass, or contrabass, or violone, or bass violin, or whatever you want to call it. For an electric bassist (of the usual sort), say "bass guitarist." Acoustic & electric aren't specified for guitarists. I expect "folk guitarist" or "flamenco guitarist" or just "guitarist" (with NO genre - remember what that means ^^^ :>) to be an acoustic guitarist. And for "metal guitarist"... you get the idea.

    I also forgot about singers, didn't I? There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences between a "singer-songwriter" and a "singer & songwriter." I'll just leave you to ponder that. Where a voice range is mentioned, it usually means a Western classical singer (although you could use it for a singer in a vocal group, esp. gospel or doo-wop). I only say a singer is "operatic" if they weren't known for doing a lot of art song or concert work (e.g., cantatas, oratorios, masses, etc.).

    I try to be specific about the quality of the voice for the classical singers, because it also gives an idea of the kinds of roles they played, so get used to using terms like "lyric," "dramatic," "spinto," "coloratura," "Heldentenor," "basso buffo," & "basso profundo," etc....

    I'll be finished with these instructions probably the day before you post! :D