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Goran Bregović, the Yugoslav musician, of Serbian and Croatian descent, is perhaps one of the most internationally known modern composers of the Balkans. Bregović's music carries both South Slavic and Romani themes and is a fusion of European classicism, popular music with traditional polyphonic music from the Balkans, tango and brass bands. He rose to fame with better known scores for Emir Kusturica’s films (Time of the Gypsies, Arizona Dream, Underground).

Among those great film music scores, Mesecina is an example of typical Bregovic music style: Balkan rhythm and folk song spirit. Furthermore, it perfectly complemented Emir Kusturica’s 1995 world-acclaimed film “Underground” (Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival).

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Asian invasion

這是一個全球社會的時代,民族風或地方主義襲捲的一支潮流便是印度。最近在奧斯卡大獲全勝的「貧民百萬富翁」(Slumdog Millionaire)是由一個英國導演拍攝關於孟買貧民窟出身少年的夢想與愛情故事,它也來到台灣上映。台灣的瑜珈教室不乏印度籍老師教授印度流派的瑜珈,印度古典舞和寶萊塢舞蹈也自有一群學生。混入印度風的音樂、服裝、飲食甚至是化妝術,處處可見。這篇文想介紹的是這波風潮中的佼佼者,英國印裔的音樂創作人Nithin Sawhney。在切入他的音樂之前,先來看看英國「亞洲人入侵」(Asian invasion) 的社會現象。

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The St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, is a musical composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew to music, with interspersed chorales and arias.

This aria is so beautiful and touching. Interpretations from artists can be quite different, in terms of the way in which contralto or mezzo-soprano sings, the way in which the solo violin plays, and also the way in which the whole orchestra is proceeding. Tempos and emotions can vary. There are no best or popular versions, because the music interacts with the listeners differently in each circumstance.

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倫敦傳統士紳經常到介於Trafalgar Square和Piccadilly間的巷弄中低調購物。從國家藝廊(National Gallery)前面經過,沿著Paul Mall繞過St. James Square,經過Duke of York Street以及Jermyn Street走到Piccadilly的路上,兩旁建築皆是Nash式的設計,貴族氣十足,附近的拱廊商場販售著傳統上流社會人士到鄉村度假所需的獵具、狩獵服裝、釣具等等裝備。

Jermyn Street in drawing

Jermyn Street算是倫敦上流社會或任何講究穿著格調的紳士們治裝的最佳去處,大多都是歷史悠久製作深具英國風格服飾配件的專門店舖,有以傳統裁縫手工與手法、專門量身訂作的男裝襯衫專賣店,還有傳統英國紳士出門必備的帽子和雨傘專賣店。和其他購物商圈以平價或大眾流行風格不同,Jermyn Street雖然也有知名名牌如Dunhill或Daks的店面,但沒有大批人潮來往,也少有折扣帶來的高峰買氣。這裡的商店小巧、專門,客源固定,主顧關係維繫多年。

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I would like to dedicate "O sole mio" to my father.

I believe this was one of his favorites song in his life time. While he was in his illness, he always requested to play "O sole mio". Although he might never care what exactly the lyrics were about, perhaps through the music he could always obtain cheerful and positive energy and enact as a traveler in so many corners of the world, where he has been to.

Here is his favorite version of O sole mio by Pavarotti, who he tended to call "the fat one".

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I serve the king of England Movie Poster

我曾侍候過英國國王是捷克導演Jiri Menzel改編自Bohumil Hrabal同名小說的作品。英國國王不是主角,根本從未出現,這是電影十分有趣的符碼和深意所在。

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The Annen Polka, composed (in 1852) relatively in Johann Strauss II’s career, embraces none of the innovations prevalent in Strauss’ later polkas. Annen Polka is in moderate polka tempo; four melodies have distinct eight-measure-halves and are repeated in their entirety. In May of the same year, Strauss was asked to guest conduct his Annen-Polka, Op. 117, at court.

Annen Polka in 2009 (Barenboim)
Neujahrskonzert 2009 (New Year Concert) with Wiener Philharmonikern
Directed by Daniel Barenboim

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最英國的編舞家Sir Fred

Ashton (Left) and Helpmann during rehearsal break in 1949
[Ashton (left) with Helpmann during rehearsal break in 1949]

Ashton真正開始大放異彩是當他在30年代成為Royal Ballet的駐團編舞家,他在1935年加入Vic-Wells Ballet,跟著舞團發展他的編舞作品。

Ashton創作的繆思是英國著名的舞者Margot Fonteyn。Ashton曾說,「若我從未遇見Margot,我是發展不出作品抒情的一面。」,這不止影響他的創作風格,也反映他對舞者抒情性(lyricism)能力的重視。

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Pet Shop Boys West Ends Girl Single Cover

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe - who are the Pet Shop Boys – met in London in 1981. “West End Girls” was their first single released in 1984, originally recorded with Bobby Orlando, a disco producer of Hi-NRG records, in New York in 1983. A new version was recorded with Stephen Hague and released in Oct’85. It went to No. 1 in several countries, including Britain and the US.

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