Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

This past memorial weekend i went to Chicago to a concert of the legendary Iranian singer Mohammadreza Shajarian. He had his son in the ensemble as a percussionist as well as a co-singer. Aside from the beautiful performance, what touched me was the absolute similarity between the voices of the father and the son. It was so similar that the first time they switched turns, and it happened while i was not looking at the stage, i didn't realize it's the son that has started singing and not the father. My amateur ears had not heard two human beings sound this identical ever before. I was thinking to myself, how is the father feeling about this... having another individual sitting next to you, producing exactly the same sounds as if it's you yourself singing. It should be quite some feeling, outliving your voice in somebody else.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The story of the Pan Flute

It all started with this: The Lonely Sheppard by Gheorghe Zamfir and James Last, from the soundtrack of the film Kill Bill. I remembered how much i like this instrument which i figured out is called Pan Flute. The first time i heard this instrument played live was my 2nd christmas here when i went to San Antonio to visit an old highschool buddy. There in the River walk passage i saw a small band playing Latin American tunes and the sound that intrigued me the most was of the Pan flute.
Here's the old methodological story of how the pan flute was originated according to Ovid's Metamorphosis. Pan was the Greek god of shepherds, with legs and horns of a goat. Once in a pasture, he sees Syrinx, a beautiful nymph(human) known for her chastity. He chases her and she runs to the river's edge and asks the river nymphs to help her hide from Pan. An thus she is transformed into hollow water reeds that made a haunting sound when the Pan's frustrated breath blew across them. Pan could not find out which one of the reeds is indeed Syrinx, so he cuts seven of them and makes the first set of pan pipes, which were thence forth known as Syrinx. Claude Debussy wrote "Syrinx (La Flute De Pan)" based on Pan's sadness over losing his love.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jeni's Ice Cream

It's not a big secret that i am a big fan of Italian style gelato. I have written here before about Pacciugo Gelato shop. Now i'm delighted to introduce to you my new found place that is as good! Jeni's Ice Cream is a locally owned and operated ice cream business in Columbus, Ohio. They have freshly made icecream and gelato made from real fresh fruit, that's a big deal: real fresh fruit! I had a hard time picking 4 flavors out of their about 30 selection on the menu, but at last i ended up with (1)Roasted Pestachio & Country Honey which even had the toasty salty taste of the good nut and a hint of honey, (2)Strawberry Rose Petal which was rosy and exquisite;) , (3)Dark Cocoa Gelato which was as you were tasting a very good dark chocolate truffle except for it was light and chilled, and ... i can't believe my last choice myself: (4)Cherry Lambic! I generally dislike the taste of american red cherries, but one spoon of this icecream made me reconcile with cherries:) If I get to go back to this place, i wanna try the Pear Riesling flavor too.