Sunday Salon 3-25-12

Topping off this fairly productive week was my completing an appreciation of The Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, written simply with the goal of encouraging visitors to the city to take in this treasure. Several other book reviews and are in progress and on their way, I hope. Catching up with outstanding projects is an ongoing challenge.

Current reading includes Paul F. State’s A Brief History of Ireland, inspired by the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, and the ongoing reading of Émile Zola’s L’Oeuvre (The Masterpiece). The latter I’m reading a few pages at a time at night; at around the halfway point it has been very enjoyable, if somewhat aimless from a plotting perspective, in its portrayal of the art world in Paris late in the nineteenth century.

I’ve already picked out my Wordless Wednesday image for later this week. All I can say for now is – it involves robots!

This week I was finally sucked into the trap of looking at my blog’s traffic, and what I saw surprised me somewhat. In the last week, for instance, I had almost as many hits from Japan as from the United States. One day this week Lithuania topped my list of visitors. The numbers are miniscule by Internet standards, of course, but that isn’t a worry.

Unlikely as it is that I’ll ever be financially able to travel much, I admit that I have been trying, especially starting around three or four years ago, to gain some familiarity with the history, literature, film, music, and art of the various corners of the world as a substitute. Of course I haven’t even scratched the surface, but it’s a good project to take on for, say, the rest of one’s life.

Finally, a visual and musical treat. Steve Reich has for many years been a favorite composer of mine. One of his most lighthearted and tuneful compositions is Electric Counterpoint for electric and bass guitars. This joyous work, recorded in the late 1980s by Pat Metheny, provided an important sample for a big hit some of you might remember from 1990, The Orb’s “Little Fluffy Clouds.” The Norwegian duo Röyksopp has also sampled Electric Counterpoint for one of its own pieces, and the combination here of Röyksopp’s Reich remix and the visuals, partly from around the dramatic setting of Norway’s lake Eikesdalsvatnet is, I think, pretty irresistible. Enjoy!

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