Sitting Down With The President, Part 3

Alan Meerow The final installment of our conversation with SOHF President Todd Rundgren. AM: You've expressed a disdain for country music, and for almost half a century you've only recorded a single and arguably satiric country influenced song.  [Todd chuckles].  What are the music genres that you really like the least, and which the most? TR: That I like the least? AM:...
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Sitting Down With The President, Part 1

Alan Meerow Despite  a schedule from hell, and a bad case of food poisoning, Spirit of Harmony founder and president Todd Rundgren found time to sit down with Music In A Word editor Alan Meerow at the Tyrolean Getaway in Stowe, Vermont for a wide-ranging interview.  Here is part one of what will ultimately be three posts for our blog. AM: In his 2007 book, "Musicophilia," t...
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Musicophilia

Alan Meerow Last August, we lost one of the most engaged and engaging minds of the past century. Oliver Wolf Sacks died at the age of 82, but left behind a legacy of written works exploring myriad aspects of the human mind (his first love), with side trips into botany (his other great passion). Oliver Sacks was a physician, clinician and neurologist, born and educated i...
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Música do Coração, Part 3. Feminina

Alan Meerow [PLEASE NOTE: Some of the music tracks in this post contain a link that will open a new window in YouTube] In this final installment of Música do Coração, we turn to some of the great female voices of Musica Popular Brasiliera (MPB). First up, a woman whose tragically short career was contemporaneous with the birth of MPB, Elis Regina.  With her roots in bo...
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Música do Coração, Part 2. Twin Sons of Different Baianas

Alan Meerow [PLEASE NOTE: Most of the music tracks in this post contain a link that will open a new window in YouTube] Bahia, the largest of Brazil's Northeast states, is also the bastion of Afro-Brazilian culture, rich in history and marvelous music.  Two contemporaries, children  of the 50's and 60's and friends since college, have forged their unique musical paths, but came ...
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Música do Coração, Part 1. Milton Nascimento

Alan Meerow My first exposure to Brazilian music was a Stan Getz recording of my father's that featured the music of Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim. It made scant impression on my young mind, as I was far more interested in the Beatles, and the burgeoning sounds of the 1960's pop revolution. It was later, in the mid-70's, when my California housemate, a jazz vibraphonist, sat me d...
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This is Your Brain on … Music

Alan Meerow Ask any musician about the power of music and they are likely to become, well, rhapsodic. Talk to any self-admitted music lover, whether they play an instrument or only listen, and she will no doubt recount some almost otherworldly experience of healing, spiritual upliftment, or emotive power from a particular piece of music. Now, in the 21st century, neuroscience a...
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Melody and Me

Alan Meerow It looked something like a tin whistle or perhaps a fife, just a 12” cylinder of nickel coated brass (later stainless steel), perpetually locked into the key of C (actually B flat), with six finger holes and a mouthpiece welded perpendicular to one end of the body, and a cork inserted at the other end. Manufactured by the now defunct Melody Flute Co. in Laurel, MD, ...
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