David Thompson
Subscribe

Categories

Blog powered by Typepad

« It Just Happened | Main | Progressive Manners »

May 31, 2019

Comments

Sam Duncan

“So relative to the UK, the counties of Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, and Greece are considered "overseas"?”

We're on an island. Everywhere is “overseas”. Except the Isle of Wight. And Northern Ireland. And... look, it's complicated, okay?

Farnsworth seems to have been reading a lot of the Sun lately. I'm sure he has his reasons. This caught my eye, though. No doubt the impartial and unbiased Jon Snow will forget whether he sang along again. (Interesting that the top half-dozen or so links when you search for “Jon Snow fuck the Tories” are Lefty websites either purporting to debunk the story or defend him.)

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I'm sure he has his reasons.

Cultural anthropology.

Pogonip

Had no idea there was a real Jon Snow. I wonder if George RR Martin named his Jon after the real one?

pst314

I'm sure he has his reasons.

Is that the newspaper with the famous/infamous Page Three?

jabrwok

Speaking of magic powers.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Is that the newspaper with the famous/infamous Page Three?

Yes, but I only read it for the cultural anthropology articles.

bgates

In a world full of aggravations, one of the more subtly frustrating grievances is that every single smart device has a female digital assistant.

On the bright side, I don't know anyone who has polio or who lost a baby during childbirth. Hardly balances the scales, but - silver lining.

And it could be worse: rather than a default female voice, which is misogynistic because (I'm guessing) it suggests a female will always be available to solve your problems, there could be a default male voice, which would be misogynistic by suggesting a male will always be capable of solving your problems.

Pogonip

Maybe they could do what they did for the movie Farinelli. For that one they electronically blended the voices of a soprano and a countertenor to simulate the voice of a castrato. I was hoping the technique would catch on so we could hear all the music written for castrati that no one, except maybe Frankie Valli, can sing any more, but unfortunately it didn’t.

TimT

In a world full of aggravations, one of the more subtly frustrating grievances is that every single smart device has a female digital assistant.

According to Mary Wakefield in The Spectator - in an article which I can't find now, but it was a year or so ago - digital voices of authority tend to be female because if they're male, studies show that the men on the train become slightly more aggressive. So when it comes to the drunk oiks out for a fight in car three, it might just send them over the edge. So, everyone Big Digital Mother is best.

There was also a fascinating detail about how one of the 'older' digital female voices - used in the '90s in London or something like that - had so many male fans that she is now stored on a website somewhere; men can go there, click on her voice and.... well, sigh soulfully I suppose as she intones instructions at them.

TimT

Maybe they could do what they did for the movie Farinelli. For that one they electronically blended the voices of a soprano and a countertenor to simulate the voice of a castrato. I was hoping the technique would catch on so we could hear all the music written for castrati that no one, except maybe Frankie Valli, can sing any more, but unfortunately it didn’t.

I didn't know that. I assumed it was just a countertenor.

There are a few amazing transgender singers actually - for instance, Anohni of 'Antony and the Johnsons'.

Frank Zappa claimed in his biography that his voice dropped several notes after surgery (following an incident in which he fell off stage). In the recordings you'll notice he does have an extraordinarily deep voice.

Pogonip

Interesting!

Pogonip

TimT, if you want to hear a real castrato, look up Alessandro Moreschi, who lived just long enough to make it into the sound-recording era. He was elderly and could no longer hit the super-high notes, but he’ll give you an idea of what they must have sounded like.

WTP

I was hoping the technique would catch on so we could hear all the music written for castrati that no one, except maybe Frankie Valli, can sing any more, but unfortunately it didn’t.

Oh, I wouldn't worry about that. I give it another 5 years or so and castrati will be all the rage once again.

TimT

Yes, I've heard some of the Moreschi recordings online. One can hardly regret the passing of the true castrati considering the sacrifice asked of children, but considering the frequency with which eunuchs are mentioned in ancient literatures, you'd have to assume that castrati were absolutely common. Composer and conductor Hector Berlioz makes an amusing remark in his Memoirs, commenting on the fad for Romeo and Juliet operas at his time - 'Are we to assume that the man who slayed Tybalt and forced his way past the prince to rush into Juliet's grave was a physical and emotional eunuch?' - which seems to demonstrate that people were in the habit of writing the part of Romeo for a castrati!

They may yet come back, as WTP predicts.

Darleen

castrati will be all the rage once again

I've never seen the show, but does Jazz Jennings sing?

Ted S, Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I was hoping the technique would catch on so we could hear all the music written for castrati that no one, except maybe Frankie Valli, can sing any more, but unfortunately it didn’t.

What's Jimmy Somerville, chopped liver?

Hal

I'm sure he has his reasons.

Is that the newspaper with the famous/infamous Page Three?

There is a rather illustrative comparison of UK newspapers and the 2015 general election which has The Sun as a punchline . . .

Hal

According to Mary Wakefield in The Spectator - in an article which I can't find now, but it was a year or so ago . . .

. . . or apparently a bit more for 2014, according to googling for "Mary Wakefield" in The Spectator voice of authority to see if the article turned up.

Lancastrian Oik

Sam.

Yes, I drove the Nordschleife many times- I took part in the 24 Hours three times (finished once) and somehow managed to win the class in the Eifelrennen Six Hours, sustained by currywurst and chips throughout. Great days.

TimT

That's the one. Great find Hal, Wakefield is an excellent writer.

Jimmy Sommerville would technically be a countertenor, I think.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blogroll