Sunday, August 14, 2011

BBC Proms #38

I always love the musical tributes to Hollywood - last Friday's prom was no exception. The program of famous film scoring was divine, with one major exception - who is Jonny Greenwood and has anyone ever seen Norwegian Wood? Nope, not me either.

* Scores from The Man Who Knew Too Much, Prelude: Citizen Kane, and Pyscho: A Narrative for Strong Orchestra - Bernard Herrman

* Cinema Paradiso - Ennio & Andrea Morricone, arranged by Angela Morley

* Henry V - Suite - William Walton, arranged by Muir Mathieson

* Scores from Star Wars, Title from Schindler's List, and Theme: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Hedwig's Theme - John Williams

* Norwegian Wood - Suite - Jonny Greenwood, arranged by Robert Ziegler

* Murder on the Orient Express - Overture, Waltz, and Finale - Sir Richard Rodney Bennett

* Scores from Out of Africa - Love Theme and On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Music of James Bond

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sirens starting in Birmingham....

Sitting in my hotel conference room...and the screeching sirens from police cars and fire trucks have already started rolling by....and it is not yet 5 pm...does not bode well for tonight...

For those is the scope of riots from last night.

Mob rule

It was crazy for a third night in various parts of London, where mobs of youth "simply causing trouble" took to the streets to vandalize stores, set stores, homes, buses, and cars on fire, and terrorize citizens with their behavior. Total criminality.

Riot police were called to areas of Hackney, Clapham, Ealing, Lewisham, and Peckham overnight to try to bring order, but with little success before whole blocks burned down and looters carted away what they wanted for over 2 hours in some cases.

There seemed not to be enough police but one felt for the Met last night. Even the PM and London Mayor have flown home early from their holidays to meet this AM on a plan to get the riots under control. If anything, the riots were worse last night than any of the previous evenings, even after the Tottenham incident of a few nights ago.

It angers me to watch the city burning and general anarchy on TV as it is happening.

To all my London peops out there, "be safe"!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Thanks to all those family, friends, and colleagues who wished me well on my birthday. What a wonderful gift of love and friendship I received today!

FB Friend Requests

Has everyone become as "strict" as me on accepting Facebook requests to people either (1) they don't know, or more importantly, (2) can't remember?

Don't get me wrong, I think FB is great for reconnecting to people in your past, i.e. high school, hometown neighborhood, college, first employer, etc.

I am continually perplexed though when I see a name and I think "Do I even know this person?" and "Do I accept a FB request when I am not sure I know this person" Sometimes, I try to look at the requester's friend list to give me a clue where in my past I might have known this person. Even that does not always solve the mystery. Then the inevitable...I sometimes feel a bit guilty for just a brief moment that my memory has gone blank. Or should I?

But only for a moment....then I decline the request.

Sorry if I have offended anyone b/c I "should've but didn't" remember you. Blame it on age :-)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

BBC Proms #26

A slighter cooler (only slightly) Royal Albert Hall was the venue once again of last night's Prom. A mixed program in my view, but then again, I will be the first to admit that the modernistic Dutilleux piece circa 1965 was not my forte. Still, the Ravel Bolero is always a crowd favorite and the Debussy opening piece just exquisite.

An entire French composer program included:

* Prelude a L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune - Claude Debussy
* Tout un Monde Lointain - Henri Dutilleux
* Bolero - Marcel Ravel
* Daphnis and Chloe - Maurice Ravel

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

BBC Proms #24

A really nice Proms program...
beautiful music, with a gorgeous acapella rendition of Irish Tune from County Derry (i.e. Danny Boy).

Full program included:
* There is Sweet Music - Edward Elgar
* Violin Concerto in B Minor - Edward Elgar
* Irish Tune from County Derry - Percy Grainger
* Suite 'In a Nutshell' - Percy Grainger
* Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche - Richard Strauss

Thank goodness the second half of the program was lively...the heat was SO heavy in the non A/C Gallery section...I almost gave up at the interval (intermission, for you Yanks) and headed home. My perseverance paid off.

Less than one year...

It is less than year before the capital city of UK will be awash with Olympic fever....

So, how's the progress thus far?

* UK Olympic sites are either finished or on target to be ready in plenty of time for the events.

* Marketing for event tickets has been "smashing" much so, that only 700,000 people got any tickets with another 1.2 million people missing out altogether. From an event promoter perspective, the marketing worked. From an attendee perspective, kinda a bust.

* Everything now is about "Team GB". Athletes are participating in a vast array of world events as we speak, with an eye to the Olympic games next July. Almost reminds me of US Presidential elections...I have an entire year to "listen" to all things "Olympic"....ugh!

* every company seems to be an "official sponsor" of the London Olympics, i.e. "McDonald's is the official restaurant of the London 2012 Games." Don't get me wrong, thanks McD's for the sponsorship, but (1) are you really a "restaurant" and (2) most of the menu kinda flies in the face of healthy eating.

My personal favorite is the "advice" being given by employers to staff about how to deal with the inevitable transportation challenges, A YEAR BEFORE THE EVENT EVEN TAKES PLACE, including:

• Taking vacation around the Olympic games to avoid travelling.
• Working from home or relocating to other company office locations outside of the London area for the 6 week games period (Olympics and Paraolympics)
• Altering working hours to avoid busy times on the public transport system.
• Using alternative types of transport to get to work (e.g. walking or cycling).
• Changing the way you meet clients and partners - use video or web conferencing).

Great suggestions but somw a bit more possible that others (i.e. not planning on walking the 37 miles to work southward or 8 miles into central London)...

Personally..I like the vacation one the best...hmmm...sounds like a perfect excuse for a trip!