Few movie franchises have caught the world’s imagination like Star Wars. For forty years, audiences have been enthralled by the trials and tribulations of the Skywalker family and their adventures in a galaxy far, far away. The heroes and villains of the Old Republic and the Galactic Empire are cultural icons.
The 88th Academy Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, February 28th in the same splendor as it always is. This year, much was made of the Best Actor category, with Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first Oscar after five previous nominations and nearly thirty years on the big screen. Amid the controversy that surrounded this year’s awards, most agreed that this award was well deserved.
Our celebration of summer music festivals continues with a genre many don’t associate with beautiful scenery and fresh air: jazz music. Although a dark and intimate club setting is a wonderful place to listen to jazz, it’s also a blast to experience this quintessentially American art form in the great outdoors.
When I was young, I remember saving my allowance up until I had enough to purchase that new LP I wanted. For those of you too young to know what “LP” is, it stands for “long play” and differentiated between the 7-inch record which contained one song on each side and the 12-inch record which normally had at least five or six songs on each side.
The world of popular music comprises some pretty volatile terrain. What seems fresh and exciting one moment is old news the next. We hear stories from music directors and private teachers about how students are begging to perform the latest hit from Katy Perry one moment, and then something from One Direction the next.
On December 14th, Middle Earth fans got the chance to take in the next installment of Peter Jackson’s imagining of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Midnight marked the release of the first of his three films telling the story of The Hobbit.
A continuation of the discussion of the value of cinematic soundtracks to the world of both serious music and to music education…
Summer has hardly begun, but the summer movie season is already in full swing. Every year, a parade of blockbuster films compete with each other for the millions of dollars moviegoers will spend in search of a journey into the magic of the movies. For the music enthusiast, however, this season of film after film brings another art form into the spotlight: the soundtrack.
Recently, while watching an episode of Biography about the movie Jaws, my mind wandered back to the summer of my tenth year, to our family vacation in Florida and a visit to the theater where we saw, of all things, the movie Jaws. Don’t ask me why, on a family vacation to the beach, we wanted to see a movie about a man-eating shark loose in the ocean ravaging innocent people, but that’s what we did.
When I was in college, one of my music theory professors would begin each class by sitting at the piano and singing a standard – one of the great songs by the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Jerome Kern, et al. I developed a love of those tunes that has lasted ever since.