Author: Shawn

Visual consonance: motion images, static workarounds, and pasticcio

The #NCGreatPerformances project—the Newberry Consort’s pandemic-inspired YouTube series—works like this: David and Ellen select a concert to highlight, choose the pieces to include, and create an audio master of the excerpts; David sends me the audio; I’m off to the races. For some of these programs, I created a slideshow for the original concert. At…
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CD cover with a 14th-century illumination of two embracing lovers surrounded by flowers; one holds a falcon, suggesting they're resting from a day of hunting.

Visual consonance: place, time, theme, style

Here’s Anonymous 4’s CD The Second Circle: Love Songs of Francesco Landini. As you’ll recall, Landini is the blind virtuoso and composer most associated with the Italian ars nova. Consider the image on the cover. Courtly lovers in a garden? Check. Fourteenth-century source? Check. Lavish illumination? Check! That image is from the iconic Codex Manesse,…
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Keyboard Extravaganza!

Here’s the latest #NCGreatPerformances video. See my last post for some backstory.

keyboard viscera… for science!

Later this month Charles Metz is slated to give a Zoom talk on historical keyboards for the Newberry Consort, and the next #NCGreatPerformances video is designed as a companion piece. It features recordings of three works from three periods played on three period-style instruments. I was asked to give each piece its own title card…
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TermiumPlus: sleeper French language resource

This news will be old to many, but I just learned about the Canadian linguistic database, TermiumPlus, that allows for faceted searching that outstrips a simple bilingual dictionary. It would’ve been a great tool for the French Revolutionary Pamphlet project I worked on, with all the terminological triangulation it involved. Well do I recall being…
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Winter pastimes and symbolism for New Year’s Eve

This New Year’s gift of music by Holborne, Kapsberger, and Loesser is accompanied by two seasonal tapestries designed by the Master of the Months of Lucas around 1535. Winter (from the “Seasons of Lucas” Series) is crowded with all manner of people enjoying winter pastimes or doing winter work. Images of children playing and just…
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de Bry’s “Kattenconcert”

It’s the organological details on the cats-n-dogs-ichord that get me: paws coming out the front, helper grabbing tails at the back. Does the player touch the paws or the keys? Is the tail-grabber like the guy who works the pumps on an organ? See the whole thing at the Rijksmuseum here.

Collaert’s “Night” (Rijksmuseum)

Everything about this print is marvelous. The dreamy night god. The deep dark of the town. The scattered lights from torches and doors and windows. The print is held at the Rijksmuseum. Check it out here.

Smithsonian open access? Yes, please.

Somewhere (Word doc? Evernote?) I have a running list of libraries and museums with publicly available digital asset, each entry annotated with info on their usage policy. Periodically I’ll google “open access art,” or some such, just to see if anything new has cropped up. A sea change is in full swing, with institutions increasingly…
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