Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The MARVEL-ous Tamora Pierce

In a match guaranteed to make a fan girl swoon, Marvel Comics announced this past Friday that they have signed this blogger's favorite author, Tamora Pierce to an exclusive deal. The announcement was made at the NY Comic-Con. For more details you can check out the press release at Tamora Pierce's website.

In addition to the fabulous Ms. Pierce, whom I've already plugged many a time here, this project will feature covers and character designs by the talented David Mack, creator of the Kabuki series. The only bad thing I can see about this is that the series won't be out until November or December of '06!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Muppet News and Blogs

Here's a nifty blog I found on all things Muppets:

The Muppet Newsflash

If my sidebar were working I would link to it there, but alas...In anycase, they seem to have all the info on Season Two, which my family awaits anxiously.

In other Muppet News, also gleaned from the Newsflash blog, Henson higher ups have mentioned ongoing Farscape projects! Glee!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Musical Trends and Musical Instruments

Musical trends are interesting. Now I'm not talking hip-hop or boy-bands, I refer more to the way chorale music uses voices. My choir recently did a wonderful piece that began with no words. The first two pages or so were all "ooooh-oohs" and "ah-aahhs" that decrescendo-ed (grew softer) and crescendo (louder) for effect. With the orchestral accompaniment it was lovely and a little goose-bump inducing. Oddly enough it reminded me of the Lion King soundtrack. Not that the two pieces were that similar, perhaps just one chord was enough for my mind to make the connection. So, of course, I had to break out the Lion King and give it a listen again.

Sure enough, there are several spots where there are no real words, yet the chorus provides a great deal of the mood, along with the orchestra. In fact, even when there are words in the soundtrack (the other stuff, not the Elton John songs) they have a deliberate African flavor. Often the percussive sounds are provided by the choir instead of the rhythm section. It is a great soundtrack, and often overlooked in favor of the more famous pop songs that the music shares space with on the disk.

In my musings on the human voice as an instrument in an orchestral environment, not a chorale one, I was reminded of my first experience with hearing it. I was but a third or fourth grader seeing, and later listening to John Williams score for The Return of the Jedi. The battle in the Emperor's throne room captivated me. I would listen and listen and try to figure out just WHAT instrument was making that sound. Bagpipes? Some other reed instrument, or weird bass flutes? Thus a child misses the obvious. Williams had employed a chorus to achieve the sound he wanted. Even today, after three more Star Wars scores, and countless others (Williams has been nominated for 45 Oscars, two scores are up for the award this year alone!) Return of the Jedi remains one of my all time favorites.

In any case, if someone ever happens to ask you if you play a musical instrument the answer is YES. We all play one of the greatest, adaptable and mystifying instruments of all.