Category Archives: Music

Happy New Year 2015!

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The following youtube video, “Happy New Year – Auld Lang Syne by Sissel (Live).wmv.flv”, features phenomenal videography of panoramic vistas, endearing nature scenes, and of course the remarkable voice of Sissel Kyrkjebø, the Norwegian soprano.

WIDELY OBSERVED NEW YEAR SYMBOLS AND TRADITIONS

Resolutions: It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions, and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since. The early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year.

Fireworks: Noise-making and fireworks on New Year’s eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks and use them to spectacular effect in their New Year’s celebrations.

SCOTLAND

The birthplace of “Auld Lang Syne” is also the home of Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY), the rousing Scottish New Year’s celebration (the origins of the name are obscure).  The Torchlight Procession is the official start of three-days of spectacular Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events.

Credit: Lloyd SmithLast year’s event welcomed over 35,000 participants and spectators, joining the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings, massed pipes & drums and thousands of torch carriers as they illuminate the city from our start position on George IV Bridge to the finale viewing areas at Waterloo Place and Calton Hill. The Torchlight Procession fireworks finale can be viewed across the city and beyond! One of the traditions is “first-footing.”

Credit: Lloyd SmithShortly after midnight on New Year’s eve, neighbors pay visits to each other and impart New Year’s wishes. Traditionally, First foots used to bring along a gift of coal for the fire, or shortbread. It is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark, and handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year is rung in. The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration is the largest in the country, and consists of an all-night street party.

GREECE

Orestiko_New Year’s Eve

A different type of celebration for New Year’s Day is happening in Argos Orestiko, a town in Northern Greece.  From New Year’s Eve to January 2, the locals wear their carnival costumes and celebrate in an unusual way. Unlike the rest of the cities in Greece, Argos Orestiko celebrates with a carnival during Christmas and especially around New Year’s Day. In fact, this was a custom of western Macedonia in Greece, which had its roots there at the time while the country was enslaved by the Ottomans. In order for people of the area to celebrate freely, they were in disguise — the men dressed as women and vice versa. This celebration kept on for centuries, even after the liberation of the region in 1912, and now it offers unique moments of festivities under the sound of music and, most of the time, with very cold weather.

BELARUS


In Belarus, unmarried women compete at games of skill to determine who will get married first in the New Year. One game involves setting piles of corn and a rooster before each of the single ladies. Whichever pile the bird approaches first, is believed to be the one who is to be married first.

 JAPAN

In Japan, on New Year’s Eve people prepare for and welcome Toshigami , the New Year’s god. People clean their home and prepare Kadomatsu or Shimenawa to welcome the god before New Year’s Eve. Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight in the tradition Joya no Kane. The rings represent the 108 elements of bonō, mental states that lead people to take unwholesome actions.  In most cities and urban areas across Japan, New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually accompanied by concerts, countdowns, fireworks, and other events to mark the beginning of the New Year.

People gather around the Zojoji Temple to release helium balloons up in the sky containing New Year’s wishes and watch the lighting of Tokyo Tower with a year number displayed on the observatory at the stroke of midnight.

THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks. The fires are meant to purge the old and welcome the new.

SPAIN

At midnight, Spaniards eat twelve grapes, each one bringing luck for one month of the year. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid. It is traditional to eat twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

New Year celebrations in the USA

On New Years Eve, at 11:59 pm, millions of Americans tune in to watch the dropping of the giant ball in Times Square in New York City. The ball, which is made of Waterford Crystal, weighs 1,070 pounds, and is six feet in diameter, reaches the bottom exactly at midnight. What most people don’t know is that this ritual is carried out five times, as local news stations replay the event at midnight in each time zone.

HAPPY5

and best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in 2015

from Martin, Dave, Louise

MARTIN, DAVE, LOUISE FOR BLOG
~ Rainsoft Ottawa ~
Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_Eve
http://ryanseacrest.com/2010/12/28/9-strange-new-years-traditions-from-around-the-world/
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearcelebrations.html

Glass Harp Music – Amazing!

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Some of our readers missed this blog first time around and I’ve added a 2nd video ~ a very uplifting and relaxing musical experience!  We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!  Make certain you watch the 2nd selection in the 1st video ~ what dexterity!!!

Absolutely beautiful describes the glass harp music of the Szafraniec couple from Gdansk, Poland.
“…What kind of emotion does a glass harp evoke, when it is listened to for the first time?
What revolution is experienced by the ear, which attempts to find associations with those tones? What we try to capture, wanders somewhere at the verge of our ideas of angelic music, a mythical world, and instruments which sound only in our dreams…”

Glass Duo performs  “Morning Mood” and “Anitra’s Dance” by E.Grieg at the Basilica di Santo Stefano in Bologna, Italy  mesmerizing!    

In this 2nd video Glass Duo performs with the world famous Sinfonia Varsovia to play Sting’s “Fragile” ~ stunning!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptrxro5PCas
ANNA & ARKADIUSZ SZAFRANIEC
Gdansk – Poland
e-mail: glassduo@glassduo.com

Their home page has a You Tube icon for many other gorgeous selections.

Watching these top notch performers is a  great way
to unwind after a long work week.

WATER DROPLET1_FOR BLOG ICON      Have a great weekend everyone!

Remembrance Day Canada – Standing Strong & True!

I’ve decided to add this 2010 Youtube music video, “Standing Strong & True (For Tomorrow)” to a previous blog as it reflects our young men and women in the Canadian Forces facing more recent conflicts on our behalf.  The song lyrics and the performing  Canadian artists are impressive.  “Standing Strong and True (For Tomorrow),” is an all-star Canadian country single dedicated to fallen Canadian soldiers and their families.

link for “Standing Strong and True” lyrics ~

http://www.metrolyrics.com/standing-strong-and-true-lyrics-various-artists.html

“In a war, everyone suffers…
never let it happen again.”

Music played an important role in the lives of Canadian soldiers. It also plays an integral part of The War Amps military heritage documentaries.

Accompanied by archival war footage and period photographs, several well-known Canadian musicians have used their talents to create beautiful and touching songs. The songs recall the sadness of families separated during wartime, as well as the courage and heroism of the Canadian troops who volunteered to go off to war.

“War is not heroics nor is it pride
It’s a shame to lose all those precious lives
Life is too short. We could love for so long
                                 Where’s the glory? NEVER AGAIN!”
Please see below for composer’s photo and short bio. 

YouTube video, “Never Again The War Amps

Sun Media photographer Pete Fisher presents a video tribute to our fallen Canadian soldiers ~ uploaded by on Jan 1, 2009.   It warms my heart to see that 351,228 viewers have watched this video. 

I, along with thousands of other Canadian families, suffered the loss of loved ones during WWI.  My father served in WW1 and was gassed in the Battle of Ypres, France.  He died as a direct result years later.  (See footnote with details of this battle).  It’s so very heart warming to witness the obvious heartfelt gratitude and thanks expressed for fallen members of our Canadian Military as people turn out by the thousands to honor our fallen as they make their journey home, along the Highway of Heroes, to their final resting place.

YouTube video, “Highway of Heroes Tribute” ~

Links ~

http://www.waramps.ca/military/resource_kit.html 

Robin Moir is the composer of the song in the video, “Never Again”.  Robin is a writer, producer, director who began her career as a singer/songwriter spending many years performing concerts across Canada and the USA. In 1967 she performed for Queen Elizabeth II on July 1st during Canada’s centennial celebrations on Parliament Hill. In the late 1970s, she was nominated for a Juno Award for Best New Female Vocalist.  We were very fortunate to have Robin sing her memorable song at our Remembrance Day Service at church a number of years ago with my choir.

This is a time of grateful remembering. We are grateful for the privilege of living in this great country of ours complete with its many freedoms. We remember with grateful hearts, those who fought so valiantly so that we might enjoy these freedoms and live at peace. Many paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. To them we say “Thank you. We will never forget you.” To the families of those who fought and lost, please know that we will forever keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

I leave you with a very moving video/music uploaded to YouTube by on Oct 26, 2010, “Remembrance Day Canada (‘Soldiers Cry’ by Roland Majeau)”.

Please read the story behind the video on YouTube.

Footnote ~ Information from Wikipaedia ~  (In the First Battle of Ypres (12 October to 11 November 1914), the Allies captured the town from the Germans. The Germans had used tear gas at the Battle of Bolimov on 3 January 1915. Their use of poison gas for the first time the on 22 April 1915 marked the beginning of the Second Battle of Ypres, which continued until 25 May 1915. They captured high ground east of the town. The first gas attack occurred against Canadian, British, and French soldiers; including both metropolitan French soldiers as well as Senegalese and Algerian tirailleurs (light infantry) from French Africa. The gas used was chlorine. Mustard gas, also called Yperite from the name of this city, was also used for the first time near Ypres, in the autumn of 1917.   Ruins of Ypres -1919.  Of the battles, the largest, best-known, and most costly in human suffering was the Third Battle of Ypres (21 July to 6 November 1917, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele), in which the British, Canadians, ANZAC, and French forces recaptured the Passchendaele Ridge east of the city at a terrible cost of lives. After months of fighting, this battle resulted in nearly half a million casualties to all sides, and only a few miles of ground won by Allied forces. During the course of the war the town was all but obliterated by the artillery fire.)

Ana Rucner – Ode to Joy

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I’m certain the you will be as delighted as I was to watch this mesmerizing and captivating video.  I know I’ve never seen this level of excellence in videography – kudos to those who created this on behalf of Croatia’s Tourism Board.

This Youtube video, “Ana Rucner – Ode to Joy” was uploaded on Nov 23, 2011 as the official video of the Croatian National Tourist Board “Ode to Joy” – Croatia – the new tourism star of the European Union. 

The video, featuring the most famous of Ludwig van Beethovan’s music – Ninth Symphony , was recorded in Ston, in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

ANA IMAGE 2Performed by: Ana Rucner, Croatian cellist star

Ston is home to the second largest stone wall in the world and the video comes following Ana filming a music video on the Great Wall of China, which provided the inspiration for joining the two sites. The hope is that the music video will like Ana’s previous videos, bring tourists from all over the world closer to Croatia, showcasing elements of Ston’s culture and heritage , gastronomic offer, vineyards and salt works.

Ana plays modern interpretations of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, with musician Neven Kocković accompanying and shellfish harvesters from Ston also featured. 

water-dropletHave a wonderful weekend everyone and share this video with family and friends – a great way to keep in touch.

   

Carrot Clarinet, Musical Treat ~ No Kidding!!!

CARROT CLARINET BEST

The following video, “Carrot clarinet: Linsey Pollak at TEDxSydney 2014″, published on Jun 1, 2014, is absolutely amazing – from concept through making to delivery – an amazing musical performance! Linsey Pollak turns a carrot into a clarinet using an electric drill, a carrot and a saxophone mouthpiece, and plays it all in a matter of 5 minutes.

Linsey Pollak is an Australian musician, instrument maker, composer, musical director and community music facilitator. He has recorded 31 albums, toured his solo shows extensively in Europe, North America and Asia as well as performing at most major festivals around Australia.

Linsey has devised many large Festival pieces such as “BimBamBoo” and “Sound Forest”, as well as collaborating on many music and theatre projects around Australia. He established The Multicultural Arts Centre of WA, and has co-ordinated five Cross-cultural Music Ensembles in three different States. Linsey has also worked as a musical instrument maker for 40 years and has designed a number of new wind instruments as well as specializing in woodwind instruments from Eastern Europe.

I can’t wait to make one or more of these carrot clarinets to impress my grandchildren (and maybe even some of my friends).  I guess I’ll have to keep it in the fridge – no slippery, slimy playing for me!

TEDxSydney is an independently organised event licensed from TED by longtime TEDster, Remo Giuffré (REMO General Store) and organised by his General Thinking network of fellow thinkers and other long time collaborators. TEDxSydney has become the leading platform and pipeline for the propagation of Australian ideas, creativity, innovation and culture to the rest of the world. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. 

 

Video Gone Viral ~ Salut Salon ~ charming, sexy, funny, virtuosi!

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MUSIC BULLET 1Video gone viral ~ over 10 million hits!!!MUSIC BULLET 1

The following Youtube video, Salut Salon “Wettstreit zu viert” | “Competitive Foursome”, has had over 10 and a half million hits since mid-February this year!

Antonio Vivaldi’s “Sommer” wird zum Schauplatz eines musikalischen Wettkampfs. Salut Salon fechten ihn akrobatisch aus, und mit viel Humor – ein Klassiker des Hamburger Quartetts. Ein Konzertmitschnitt aus dem Film “Salut Salon. Der Film” von Regisseur Ralf Pleger…(“The Summer”, composed by Antonio Vivaldi, becomes the stage for a musical competition. Salut Salon fight acrobatically and with a special sense of humor — this is a Salut Salon classic, a live recording from the movie “Salut Salon. The Movie”, directed by musicfilmmaker Ralf Pleger).

MUSIC BULLET 1“Charming, sexy, funny and virtuous, so are the members of “Salut Salon”, a string quartet (two violins, cello and piano) of Hamburg.”

MUSIC BULLET 1“Unexpectedly awesome! – Admittedly, when a friend told me that I had to watch this video of a quartet, I thought to myself “how exciting can this possibly be?” Well, I’m glad I watched the video because these four ladies from Germany blew my expectations out of the water! Known as Salut Salon, the quartet are not only great musicians, they are very talented comedians!”

MUSIC BULLET 1“It’s amazing, playful, and wildly creative and original!”

MUSIC BULLET 1“Un grand moment de musique…
Une prouesse technique (si si !!!)…
De l’humour…
Ces femmes sont prodigieuses, vraiment…”
Tr. (A great moment of music … Technical prowess (yes!!) … Of humor … These women are prodigious, really …)

 Hope you all enjoyed watching these amazing musicians.
Have a great weekend everyone.

www.salutsalon.de / https://www.facebook.com/salutsalon

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014! ~ MAGNIFICENT DISPLAYS!

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The following video from Taipei, Taiwan, ‘2014 Taipei Midnight Fireworks’ is a memorable event with a fireworks display, music and dancing featuring many of Taipei’s youth singing. The smiling faces of these children and their delightful joy is contagious.  I find the fireworks shooting from and spiraling out and up from skyscrapers really impressive! (Must find out how they accomplish that.)

New Years Midnight Fireworks Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Full Show HD ~ stunning effects – again using the skyscrapers ~ accompanied by a symphony orchestra.

The following video is a must to help ring in the New Year with Abba’s classic “Happy New Year”!

Happy New Year!
Best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in

NEWYEAR 

from Martin, Dave, Louise

MARTIN, DAVE, LOUISE FOR BLOG
Rainsoft Ottawa ~
Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.