Is this the future of classical music performance?

The reaction of governments and their subjects to the Wuhan Coronavirus have been very depressing, in all ways.  Few performing arts groups have been holding performances with any audience, for fear of spreading the deadly (0.13% mortality-rate, similar to seasonal flu) virus.  Entire economies locked down by government edict, small businesses and their owners ruined, populations living in near-constant fear.

Some classical music groups have adapted in very interesting ways.

quartetinmasks

Here’s a string quartet, playing while wearing masks.

orchestrainmasks

How about an entire orchestra, and soloist, in masks!  The conductor is also wearing a mask.

By the way, those masks do not protect anyone from the virus, since they are not made of the correct material-they pass viruses both ways with ease. Totally virtue-signaling, and probably mandated by their local government.

brassinmasks

How about Brass in Masks?!  This it totally ridiculous, since horn players cannot wear masks while playing!  And sad, if you ask me.

A music group in Europe participated in an interesting study, carried out by a local university, of how dangerous it might be for an orchestra to play their wind instruments normally.

Funny, but they found that wind instruments played as usual carried little to no risk of spreading germs!  Now, will anyone know about this study, and use it to get all the world’s orchestras back to performing?  Highly unlikely, since governments have become very comfortable wielding absolute power over their subjects, and will probably resist lifting all the bans on performance.  So many classical musicians might lose their jobs, and the people will lose a prime source of beauty in their lives.

Is this what we are in for, in the future?  Life without live music?

 

 

THIS is Voter Suppression:

New Black Panthers at Philadelphia Polling Place to intimidate voters

THIS is Not Voter Suppression.

Long Lines of Voters in Georgia

This is a long line of peaceful, long-suffering voters. They are not being intimidated or suppressed by anyone, and everyone will get to cast his or her vote. The Left likes to claim that whites are trying to suppress black votes, and this is absurd. Blacks in Georgia had higher turnout than whites did! If any voters were suppressed, it was white voters!

We will not let the Left redefine “voter suppression”. Actually, there is little to no actual voter suppression these days, so don’t let your leftist friends try to convince you that there is. What was the Voting Rights Act of 1964 supposed to do? Outlaw voter suppression. And it did.

Lens-Artists Challenge #118: Communication

Today’s Photo Challenge might be a downer, compared to the other posts that I have been reading.  My apologies, but the examples of communication below are what I have been noticing around me since about February of this year.  The Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected pretty much everyone in the world.  Countries, especially in Africa and Asia, that were already in poverty have been reduced to even worse poverty, as the result of the widespread government shutdowns of their economies.  The United States, perhaps the world’s most successful country, coming off of three years of exploding economic growth and record-low unemployment, was knocked, in a very short time, into the depths of recession, when state governors basically shut down their economies, throwing millions of Americans out of work all at once.  What does this say about America?

Continue reading “Lens-Artists Challenge #118: Communication”

Interesting…Very Interesting…World Health Organization comes out Against Lockdowns to “fight Coronavirus”

Interesting…Very Interesting…World Health Organization comes out Against Lockdowns to “fight Coronavirus”

I was alerted to this new (?) stance by the All-Powerful World Health Organization, warning countries NOT to lock down their economies to fight the Wuhan Coronavirus.  Funny, when I checked, the WHO first indicated that lockdowns are a bad idea, way back in May!  Yes, that’s in MAY!!

Funny, in April, the WHO was urging countries not to “lift lockdowns too soon”!!!  So, in April they are all for lockdowns, and extending those lockdowns.  In May, they urge countries not to look at lockdowns as the “magic bullet” to stop the virus.

Today, a high WHO official finally recognizes that lockdowns are more devastating than the virus itself, and should not be used.  The link above is from the US newspaper of record, USA Today.  Other publications also are carrying this very important story.

The Epoch Times

The Australian

The Washington Examiner

So, when will Government Dictators notice this and disavow the use of lockdowns and business closures to fight the virus? When will Dictators like Governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Jay Inslee of Washington, and Gavin Newsom of California start listening to the Authorities that They have been using to set their own policy? When will Facebook and Twitter stop censoring their users who have been fighting lockdowns for months? When? When? When?

What I learned from watching the movie The Bowmakers, by Ward Serrill

What I learned from watching the movie The Bowmakers, by Ward Serrill

This past week, I was invited by the Curtis Institute of Music, one of the world’s premier music conservatories, to watch a movie about the people who make bows used by string-instrument players.  Specifically, the movie profiled bow makers who live right in my neck of the woods (the Pacific Northwest), in and around Port Townsend, Washington.  It is wonderful!  In fact, the movie will be streaming through October 11, and you can get tickets here if you wish to watch it.  Highly recommended.

PtTownsend

It was exciting to meet the bow makers, whom I had heard of but did not know much about.  We were treated to tours of the workshops, and stories about bow makers Charles Espey, Robert Morrow, Paul Siefried, Ole Kanestrom, and Cody Kowalski in Port Townsend; and Noel Burke in Portland.  Then, it was off to Paris to visit Stephane Thomachot and his daughter Josephine, both bow makers!

I was actually very pleased to learn also about the wood that the best bows are made of, called Pernambuco.  The movie gave some history of that wood; starting from the 1500s, Portuguese explorers who discovered what is now Brazil, bringing back with them some of the logs, which have a heartwood center that became the source of an excellent red dye, in addition to wood for stringed instrument bows.  The strength of that wood allowed bow makers to make them in a new design, so that they could produce better sound from the newly-invented metal strings.

The movie also profiled chamber groups Brooklyn Rider, and the Dover Quartet, its members commenting on their bows.  Our local makers have a great reputation!

Above are pictures of a pau-brasil tree, and a log cross-section, showing the red heartwood. In the past, loggers in Brazil cut down too many trees, nearly decimating the forests, and the wood for bows, so that the tree was declared endangered. This caused much consternation within the string-instrument community, as everyone was worried that the best bow-wood might no longer be available. The movie showed that there are local organizations who are re-planting these trees, and keeping the new forests safe, so there will be wood for today’s, and tomorrow’s fine bow-makers to use. We also were introduced to a couple of youth orchestras, where the players come from peasant backgrounds, learning to play music that may take them far outside their home territory. The kids had fun, and were very good.

I myself have a beautiful pernambuco-wood bow, made by a Port Townsend-resident bow-maker, Christopher English. It is beautiful, and draws great sound from my David VanZandt violin. I consider myself very lucky to have it.

So, get your tickets now, and go online to see the movie The Bowmakers. You will love it!

Damn You, Jay Inslee, Round Two

The title of the KOMO story is “State has Fined 11 Businesses over Covid-19 Mask Mandate.

In my opinion, this is pure, unadulterated EVIL.  Here is a quote from the article:

The state Department of Labor & Industries said Wednesday in a news release that Mail Express Business Center in Enumclaw got the largest fine at $7,500 four four violations.

Investigators determined customers and employees there were not wearing masks, the report says and no signs were posted about the mandate.

According to L&I, the owner told investigators she did not enforce masking because, “she did not want to be an unpaid agent of the government.”

Emphasis above is mine.  That business owner deserves a medal, and someone should start a defense fund for her, to pay that fine.

Liberty Dies in Washington State

RushBabe49 Wishes President Trump and First Lady Speedy Recovery from Wuhan Coronavirus

RushBabe49 Wishes President Trump and First Lady Speedy Recovery from Wuhan Coronavirus

By now, everyone in the world knows that both President Donald Trump and his gorgeous First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus earlier in the week, and are now in the hospital undergoing treatment. The 24-hour news cycle has been covering their situation nonstop, with the usual suspects behaving as expected.

Well, sort of. The ugly Twitterverse is generating its expected wishes for the president to die a horrible death, and the Ladies of The Squad are mourning Twitter’s removal of “Hate Tweets” (that Twitter has said they don’t allow anyway).

On the other side, it seems that Arch-Leftist Rachel Maddow and dementia-suffering candidate Joe Biden have both wished the President well. Out of character, but welcome.

The President’s good health habits are standing him in good stead, and the fact that he does not smoke or drink alcohol means it will be easier for him to fight off the virus; he has released two videos already, and he seems to be doing very well. He and Melania are in my prayers today, and always. May they recover quickly and return to the campaign trail, in this momentous election.

This should be encouraging, and I’m sure President Trump is watching this on his TV.

Supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center

Prayer Vigil outside Walter Reed

Trump supporters gather outside Trump Tower in NYC, briefly shut down Fifth Avenue!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #117: A Photo Walk on Dungeness Spit

In May of 2019, I took a little driving vacation by myself, to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.  One day, I went to one of my very favorite places in the world, the Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge.  I have been there dozens of times, and every time I see something new.  The path to the Spit starts at the top of a bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between the US and Canada’s Vancouver Island.  The path winds through mixed forest, and there is something beautiful around every corner.

At the top of the bluff, outside the refuge, there is a great view of the entire Spit.  Its total length is 5 miles, and there is a lighthouse at the end.

Dungeness Spit

I took the above picture the day before my walk, when it was sunnier.

Path to the Spit

On this particular day, it was foggy, but the forest walk was pretty clear.

Continue reading “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #117: A Photo Walk on Dungeness Spit”

Instant Halloween!

This morning when I went out the front door to walk across the street to our mailbox, I noticed that our neighborhood was shrouded in fog.  We have a pear tree in the yard, and on my way back home I noticed that it was shrouded in spider webs, made more visible by the fog-deposited water droplets.

SpiderWeb1

Eerie, but beautiful!  I am afraid of spiders, but I do have to admire their artistry in constructing their webs.

SpiderWebs2

How many webs can you spot in this picture?  The entire tree is covered in webs!  One enterprising spider even strung his web between the tree and the edge of the house, which is a pretty long distance.

LotsaWebs

Nature’s architects, and artists too.