Random Monday: Bugles, Bells, Rims and Memes

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A new YouTube channel
More and more horn soloists are getting their own YouTube channels – here is Frank Lloyd’s new channel.

An experience with Stockhausen
Jonathan West shares his experience of a piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen for four orchestras.

A composition teacher of mine long ago once assigned me the task of analyzing a piece by Stockhausen; while I learned a lot about his compositional techniques I can’t say that I ever enjoyed listening to the piece. I am not a fan of Stockhausen and quite honestly, I am thankful that this kind of music – that alienates the average audience member  – is not being written any more.

Brain poster
I stumbled upon a signed photo of Dennis Brain that I had not seen before. It is available as a framed print. Too bad that the signature is cut off, but it would look nice on an office wall.

A black mouthpiece rim?
Julia Rose talks about her new H-Kote rim – a stainless-steel mouthpiece rim with a plating material that the manufacturer claims is even more durable than gold plating.

A wooden bugle
Woodcarver Rob Jones is featured once again, this time at Village Soup.

More on “For No One”

The Beatles really began to experiment with recording techniques on the album, incorporating sound effects, tape loops and instruments that aren’t found on your average rock album.

Take, for example, the Paul McCartney-sung “For No One,” which includes a famous French horn solo that Burtnik says is challenging because it’s played at a high register.

“The beautiful solo by that French horn player, it’s really a bear and not simple to perform, as is the trumpet solo in ‘Penny Lane’ as is the sped-up piano solo in ‘In My Life,’” Burtnik says. “George Martin would add these elements to these Beatles records that aren’t for the faint of heart, you really need great musicians to tackle that.”

(More.)

The Bell Orchestra
In December of 1951, the Metropolitan Bell Symphony Orchestra, in cooperation with the U.S. Economic Cooperation Administration, recorded a concert to be broadcast to Marshall Plan countries and other countries serviced by Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Free Asia.

Pictures of the occasion have appeared on the picture-sharing site Flickr, including one of the horn section. Given this time period in U.S. history, it is really interesting to see a racially integrated horn section.

Fun with Internet memes
This week on Horn Matters I will be having some fun with two popular Internet memes and of course, Photoshopping French horns into them.

What on earth is a meme, you ask?

In short it is a tidbit of humor that gets spread around and catches on, like a fad. In this case it is propagated on the Internet and in particular among community sharing groups.

Fans of LOLcats for example, understand the use of intentionally misspelled words like “moar” and “kitteh.”

For memes based on photographs, the humor might revolve around the digital manipulation of a photo – inserting one image into another of an entirely different context. Two popular memes of this type known as “Sad Keanu” and “Strutting Leo,” refer to the famous Hollywood actors Keanu Reeves and Leonardo DiCaprio.

In Mr. DiCaprio’s example it is a snapshot taken from the set of his recent movie Inception. For Mr. Reeves, it was a picture taken in 2010 from the streets of New York City while he was eating a sandwich.

The original photographs

This week at Horn Matters, Keanu and Leo will be sporting French horns and in the spirit of Internet memes, they will be superimposed into a variety of odd scenarios – just for fun.

Leonardo’s hold on the horn by the way, reminds me of something called the “Eastman grip.” I will remain vague on what this is exactly, but students from the Eastman School of Music may know what this is.

Random videos

This robotic tube bender may interest horn makers and technicians.

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The Chicago Symphony Brass is slated to release a new album in September. It includes Gabrieli of course, but also arrangements of Percy Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy and Silvestre Revueltas’s Sensamaya.

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A quartet of piston horns entertain at a “Beer and Baroque” event.

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A late night gathering with Wagner tuben.

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University of Horn Matters