Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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Barista, on January 03, 2004 -- paper/death/sound
Connects last year's story about ""a man ... rescued after being trapped for two days under a mountain of reading material in his [New York] apartment" with the "strange death of Charles Valentin Alkan"
Another biographical link: Charles-Valentin Alkan (November 30, 1813–March 29, 1888) was a French composer and one of the greatest virtuoso pianists of his day. His compositions for solo piano are among the most difficult ever written and are relatively rarely performed.
And a couple of more places where his music is discussed
All About Alkan
Copyright © by Fred Flaxman, 1997 (also another All About Alkan, with musical examples)
You say you've never heard of Charles Valentin Morhange? OK, I admit he was better known as Alkan. If that still draws a blank, shame on you. You may have made it through the S.A.T.s, college and grad school. But you would never pass the O.C.T.s -- the Obscure Composers Test.
Alkan had nothing to do with the proposed merger of Alaska and Kansas. Nor is Alkan the new name for the Aluminum Can Company, although it should be. No, Alkan was a French pianist and composer (1813-1888). He is known by musical scholars and CD maniacs alike for his highly original, kooky compositions, his sense of humor, and the way he died -- or didn't die -- depending on what you read.
Ten years after this recital was recorded, this is still some of the most hair-raising piano playing committed to disc and perhaps the best thing pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin (right) has done to date.. Alkan was one of the certified wackos of classical music. A contemporary of Franz Liszt who could supposedly outplay him any day of the week, he became a recluse in Paris after a short but highly successful concert career, keeping a virtual menagerie of exotic pets in his apartment until his sudden death.

And for all the non-usians out there who get slightly irritated by references to obscure US personalities, here's 100 Aussie names you can throw around to confuse USians. (I've heard of nearly all of the list, tho I don't know anything about quite a few): Readers' Digest Australian Trust Survey
Meanwhile usians & other non-Ozzies can make yourselves sound familiar with Oz affairs, if you so wish. Impress your friends! Break the ice at parties!!

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