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This tag is associated with 17 posts

Honor. Glory. Fantasia

You know how much I love Fantasia, right? Like, really love it? A lot? Okay, now that we’ve established a baseline, HOW COOL IS THIS?!

Yeah. That’s what I thought. Here’s more info on the video game in question, Fantasia: Music Evolved.

On a completely different and much less impressive note, I would now like to do something I haven’t done in quite some time: award a Medal of Violar. Tom Sharpe has been commenting on posts with his own puns, quips, and bad jokes, and that’s the kind of can-do spirit we here at Ain’t Baroque like to see. And we here at Ain’t Baroque consists of a girl and two cats who are also girls, so you know we’re hard to impress. Mr. Sharpe, please let me know how you would like your medal engraved, which is to say, how you’d like to be listed on the Medal of Violar page.


Robotic opera

Did I say the machines would never replace us? Oh, well, I suppose even I can be wrong sometimes.

Last week I bought myself a t-shirt that says “NERD” in giant letters across the front. It seemed only right.

Well, at least they’re advanced

Speaking of second violin


Concert Roundup: Some Will Be Pardoned and Some Punish-ed

Go forth and have more talk of these musical things.

  • Oh, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. You raise me to the highest highs only to plunge me into the lowest lows. I see a concert entitled “Romeo and Juliet” and immediately I think, PROKOFIEV! SQUEE! And what do I get? Berlioz? NOT EVEN. I get TCHAIKOVSKY. I love almost all Tchaikovsky — EXCEPT HIS R&J. Ugh. What are you trying to do, kill me and then bring me back to life with Mussourgsky‘s Night on Bald Mountain, my boy Khachaturian‘s violin concerto, and no less an adrenalin shot to the heart than Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite? It’s an emotional roller coaster, I tell you! April 13 & 15 at the Meyerhoff; April 14 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
    Edited to add: Whoops, jumped the gun. That’s NEXT week’s concert. Unfortunately I built the theme of this post around it, so I can’t take it out. You’re just super-prepared for next week. Hush.
  • The National Symphony Orchestra has no time for roller coasters. They prefer a steady, even keel with ONE composer only, thank you very much. That composer is Mendelssohn, and the piece is Elijah. April 5 – 7. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore, we have Kevin Costner. No, seriously, Kevin Costner is coming! Do you have ANY IDEA how I feel about Field of Dreams?! But he’s not playing baseball; he’s singing with his band, Modern West. So there’s that, and there’s Video Games Live which I talked about on Monday (you should come and say hi and check out the costume contest and play some Guitar Hero), and a wind ensemble called Flutopia of all things. [ See the calendar! ]

My, what big teeth your piano has!

This Saturday Strathmore will be hosting Video Games Live!, which is one of those video-games-and-music-and-lights-and-dancers-and-stuff extravaganzas, one of the few orchestral performances that come with a seizure warning. You know the type.

I’ll be working the concierge desk for the evening show, and I’ve already pulled my “I ❤ Alistair” t-shirt in preparation. Want to get ready too? I’d recommend you practice pulling your hands off the piano keyboard; you never know when that thing’ll grow teeth.

Scarring? Jarring? Alar(m)ing? Face your fears and teach yourself to play the Mario theme.

Equipped inventory

Doncha just hate it when rare lute drops, but you have to roll for it and lose?

funny pictures history - Got Lute?
see more Historic LOL

“Maybe… ‘Death Star of Wonder’?”

And so the sleigh bells rose from the pit and created instant Christmas. Which I think is like instant cocoa, but without marshmallows, sadly.

Beethoven does not appreciate lies

I made the above image for my bloggie birthday. It is some of my finest work, I think, and as such I think it deserves a place on merchandise. Perhaps you might be interested in a tote bag for your sheet music? Or a sheet of stickers for your instrument case and music folder? A magnet for your fridge? A mug would make a great present for your music teacher. Think about it. (I can put it on other things too, but I went for the less expensive items.)

Which is a great segue into the main topic of this post; namely, how will Ain’t Baroque grow as it enters its third year of existence? Well, I want to try to expand the store, for starters, in conjunction with my new blog layout, which benefits greatly from pictures. Sometimes I’ll need to create those images myself, and the good ones can go into the store. Let me know if there’s anything in particular — a hoodie, a postcard, a travel mug — that would interest you.

Oh, right, the new layout! I implemented it last night, and so far the reaction has been positive. I still have some work to do, but I’m relatively happy with it. I also purchased the domain name, so aintbaroque.com will work for you.

I’m also looking into expanding content, including podcasts, interviews, guest posts, and potentially even vodcasts (I’m thinking video versions of concert reviews a la the gala could be fun!). Feel free to make suggestions.

Oh, and one last order of business — I would like to award the indomitable Chris McGovern a coveted Medal of Violar for his consistent support and commentary. Mr. McGovern, you are much appreciated. Check your bad self out on the wall of (dis)honor!

So there you are. Where is the cake?

Leslie Caron would have made a fine Commander of the Grey

Author’s note: This post is only tenuously related to music, let alone classical music, but since it mentions Gigi and I occasionally dabble in musicals, and also because I find this story hilarious and want to share it, and also because I seem to have wrangled the coveted music-and-also-general-issue-nerd demographic and this totally taps in, here it is. I originally sent the story in an email to my friend Elizabeth, who is one my only friends who can match my knowledge of old school musicals and has also played Dragon Age. Whatever; it’s a bonus post. Read it.

So I started a Dragon Age: Awakening game last night (that’s the expansion you can play after you finish the main game). I chose to create a new character this first time rather than import, which meant that my new guy had the background of an Orlesian Warden. Since Orlais = France, I decided to give him a French name, which OBVIOUSLY meant I should borrow a name from Gigi.

I was going to name him after Louis Jourdan’s character, but I couldn’t remember the name; when I looked it up and saw it was Gaston I realized this would not work unless I felt like spending the entirety of my gameplay singing about how when I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs every morning to help me get large. So then I thought I might go with Honore, but I thought — hey! I could name him Leslie after Leslie Caron! It’s a legit guy name! Leslie Nielsen made it work!

But then I thought, no, I like the name Honore. Also, Leslie is totally a girl’s name, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding [cue hoard of angry guy Leslies]. And Honore already sounds girly enough (for the juxtaposition, I went with Elizabeth’s “make a burly dude” paradigm, although hers has cornrows while mine has a shaved head).

You may be aware that, while you can change your first name, the game auto-sets your last name based on your background. I’ve never really paid much attention to this, since outside of the noble origin it hardly ever comes up. I did not pay attention this time either.

Flash-forward, oh, about an hour. I’ve just met a new character, and am given the dialogue option to introduce myself. My last name is populated.

It is Caron.

Such an opportunity squandered there.

(I realize now that this is one hell of a lot of exposition for dubious payoff, but I still think it’s funny! :D)

I got rhythm, Titus!

Quite the array of BSO concerts this week. You’re going to want to go grab your teenagers, or borrow a neighbor’s. Go ahead; I’ll wait.

Got ’em? Great! I had you get them early because the first concert on the docket this week is “All Gershwin,” and parents, if you haven’t beat a love of Gershwin into your kids with a sock filled with nickles, you’re not raising ’em right. Anything Gershwin is of course solid gold, but as a bonus the program features the incomparable Rhapsody in Blue. See it on Thursday, July 28 at 8 pm at Strathmore and on Friday, July 29 at 7:30 pm at the Meyerhoff.

But then on Saturday, July 30 at 7:30 pm at the Meyerhoff, an abrupt left turn. Take it away, BSO web site:

Join the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for an exhilarating experience that combines music by Japanese video game composer Nobuo Uematsu, with graphics from the wildly popular Final Fantasy series.

Grammy Award winning conductor Arnie Roth leads the BSO and The Handel Choir of Baltimore while stunning video graphics from the popular game series are projected above the stage. The concert will feature music from Final Fantasy I through XIV, including select music by FINAL FANTASY XIII composer Masashi Hamauzu and new scores by Nobuo Uematsu from the latest release, FINAL FANTASY XIV.

$100 and $150 premium seating includes a post-concert meet and greet with Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu.

I had you grab a teenager 50% to get them to come, 50% to explain to you what’s going on. No, no, I kid. I bet you’ve got mad Xbox skillz. Wanna play multiplayer Red Dead Redemption later?

And now I bring this post to its logical conclusion. Wait for it… wait for it…

Who could ask for anything more?