Music

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Why traditional Persian music should be known to the world

<p><span>Weaving through the rooms of my Brisbane childhood home, carried on the languid, humid, sub-tropical air, was the sound of an Iranian tenor singing 800-year old Persian poems of love. I was in primary school, playing cricket in the streets, riding a BMX with the other boys, stuck at home reading during the heavy rains typical of Queensland.</span></p> <p><span>I had an active, exterior life that was lived on Australian terms, suburban, grounded in English, and easy-going. At the same time, thanks to my mother’s listening habits, courtesy of the tapes and CDs she bought back from trips to Iran, my interior life was being invisibly nourished by something radically other, by a soundscape invoking a world beyond the mundane, and an aesthetic dimension rooted in a sense of transcendence and spiritual longing for the Divine.</span></p> <p><span>I was listening to traditional Persian music (museghi-ye sonnati). This music is the indigenous music of Iran, although it is also performed and maintained in Persian-speaking countries such as Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It has ancient connections to traditional Indian music, as well as more recent ones to Arabic and Turkish modal music.</span></p> <p><span>It is a world-class art that incorporates not only performance but also the science and theory of music and sound. It is, therefore, a body of knowledge, encoding a way of knowing the world and being. The following track is something of what I might have heard in my childhood:</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/50N647sZbg8"></iframe></div> <p>Playing kamancheh, a bowed spike-fiddle, is Kayhān Kalhor, while the singer is the undisputed master of vocals in Persian music, <em>ostād</em> (meaning “maestro”) <a href="http://www.iranchamber.com/music/mshajarian/mohammad_reza_shajarian.php">Mohammad Reza Shajarian</a>. He is singing in the classical vocal style, <em>āvāz</em>, that is the heart of this music.</p> <p>A non-metric style placing great creative demands on singers, <em>āvāz</em> is improvised along set melodic lines memorised by heart. Without a fixed beat, the vocalist sings with rhythms resembling speech, but speech heightened to an intensified state. This style bears great similarity to the <a href="https://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/inart378.htm">sean-nos style of Ireland</a>, which is also ornamented and non-rhythmic, although <em>sean-nos</em> is totally unaccompanied, unlike Persian <em>āvāz</em> in which the singer is often accompanied by a single stringed instrument.</p> <p>A somewhat more unorthodox example of <em>āvāz</em> is the following, sung by Alireza Ghorbāni with a synthesised sound underneath his voice rather than any Persian instrument. It creates a hypnotic effect.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HRsarOFFCTI"></iframe></div> <p>Even listeners unfamiliar with Persian music should be able to hear the intensity in the voices of Ghorbāni and Shajarian. Passion is paramount, but passion refined and sublimated so that longing and desire break through ordinary habituated consciousness to point to something unlimited, such as an overwhelming sense of the beyond.</p> <p><strong>Beyond media contrived images</strong></p> <p>The traditional poetry and music of Iran aim to create a threshold space, a zone of mystery; a psycho-emotional terrain of suffering, melancholy, death and loss, but also of authentic joy, ecstasy, and hope.</p> <p>Iranians have tasted much suffering throughout their history, and are wary of being stripped of their identity. Currently, <a href="https://theconversation.com/risk-of-shooting-war-with-iran-grows-after-decades-of-economic-warfare-by-the-us-119272">economic sanctions are being re-applied to Iran’s entire civilian population</a>, depriving millions of ordinary people of <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/14/u-s-sanctions-are-killing-cancer-patients-in-iran/">medicine and essentials</a>.</p> <p>Traditional Persian music matters in this context of escalating aggression because it is a rich, creative artform, still living and cherished. It binds Iranians in a shared culture that constitutes the authentic life of the people and the country, as opposed to the contrived image of Iran presented in Western media that begins and ends with politics.</p> <p>This is a thoroughly soulful music, akin not in form but in soulfulness with artists such as John Coltrane or Van Morrison. In the Persian tradition, music is not only for pleasure, but has a transformative purpose. Sound is meant to effect a change in the listener’s consciousness, to bring them into a spiritual state (<em>hāl</em>).</p> <p>Like other ancient systems, in the Persian tradition the perfection of the formal structures of beautiful music is believed to come from God, as in the Pythagorean phrase, the “music of the spheres.”</p> <p>Because traditional Persian music has been heavily influenced by Sufism, the mystical aspect of Islam, many rhythmic performances (<em>tasnif</em>, as opposed to <em>āvāz</em>) can (distantly) recall the sounds of Sufi musical ceremonies (<em>sama</em>), with forceful, trance-inducing rhythms. (For instance in this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzjPC2R3EOg">Rumi performance</a> by Alireza Eftekhari).</p> <p>Even when slow, traditional Persian music is still passionate and ardent in mood, such as this performance of Rumi by Homayoun Shajarian, son of Mohammad-Reza:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NQQIEUDe6Qo"></iframe></div> <p>Another link with traditional Celtic music is the grief that runs through Persian music, as can be heard in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIUEii-r-pY">this instrumental</a> by Kalhor.</p> <p>Grief and sorrow always work in tandem with joy and ecstasy to create soundscapes that evoke longing and mystery.</p> <p><strong>Connections with classical poetry</strong></p> <p>The work of classical poets such as Rumi, Hāfez, Sa’di, Attār, and Omar Khayyām forms the lyrical basis of compositions in traditional Persian music. The rhythmic structure of the music is based on the prosodic system that poetry uses (<em>aruz</em>), a cycle of short and long syllables.</p> <p>Singers must therefore be masters not only at singing but know Persian poetry and its metrical aspects intimately. Skilled vocalists must be able to interpret poems. Lines or phrases can be extended or repeated, or enhanced with vocal ornaments.</p> <p>Thus, even for a Persian speaker who knows the poems being sung, Persian music can still reveal new interpretations. Here, for example (from 10:00 to 25:00 mins) is another example of Rumi by M.R. Shajarian:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fYmJIGJRJkw"></iframe></div> <p>This is a charity concert from 2003 in Bam, Iran, after a horrendous earthquake destroyed the town. Rumi’s poem is renowned among Persian speakers, but here Mohammad-Reza Shajarian sings it with such passion and emotional intensity that it sounds fresh and revelatory.</p> <p>“Without everyone else it’s possible,” Rumi says, “Without you life is not liveable.”</p> <p>While such lines are originally drawn from the tradition of non-religious love poems, in Rumi’s poems the address to the beloved becomes mystical, otherworldly. After a tragedy such as the earthquake, these lyrics can take on special urgency in the present.</p> <p>When people listen to traditional music, they, like the singers, remain still. Audiences are transfixed and transported.</p> <p>According to Sufi cosmology, all melodious sounds erupt forth from a world of silence. In Sufism, silence is the condition of the innermost chambers of the human heart, its core (<em>fuad</em>), which is likened to a throne from which the Divine Presence radiates.</p> <p>Because of this connection with the intelligence and awareness of the heart, many performers of traditional Persian music understand that it must be played through self-forgetting, as beautifully explained here by master Amir Koushkani:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R7ZRuEKL5lI"></iframe></div> <p>Persian music has roughly twelve modal systems, each known as a <em>dastgah</em>. Each dastgah collects melodic models that are skeletal frameworks upon which performers improvise in the moment. The spiritual aspect of Persian music is made most manifest in this improvisation.</p> <p>Shajarian has said that the core of traditional music is concentration (<em>tamarkoz</em>), by which he means not only the mind but the whole human awareness. It is a mystical and contemplative music.</p> <p>The highly melodic nature of Persian music also facilitates expressiveness. Unlike Western classical music, there is very sparing use of harmony. This, and the fact that like other world musical traditions it includes microtonal intervals, may make traditional Persian music odd at first listen for Western audiences.</p> <p>Solo performances are important to traditional Persian music. In a concert, soloists may be accompanied by another instrument with a series of call-and-response type echoes and recapitulations of melodic phrases.</p> <p>Similarly, here playing the barbat, a Persian variant of the oud, maestro Hossein Behrooznia shows how percussion and plucked string instruments can forge interwoven melodic structures that create hypnotic soundscapes:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UDYsDzphlIU"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Ancient roots</strong></p> <p>The roots of traditional Persian music go back to ancient pre-Islamic Persian civilisation, with archaeological evidence of arched harps (a harp in the shape of a bow with a sound box at the lower end), having been used in rituals in Iran as early as 3100BC.</p> <p>Under the pre-Islamic Parthian (247BC-224AD) and Sasanian (224-651AD) kingdoms, in addition to musical performances on Zoroastrian holy days, music was elevated to an aristocratic art at royal courts.</p> <p>Centuries after the Sasanians, after the Arab invasion of Iran, Sufi metaphysics brought a new spiritual intelligence to Persian music. Spiritual substance is transmitted through rhythm, metaphors and symbolism, melodies, vocal delivery, instrumentation, composition, and even the etiquette and co-ordination of performances.</p> <p>The main instruments used today go back to ancient Iran. Among others, there is the tār, the six-stringed fretted lute; ney, the vertical reed flute that is important to Rumi’s poetry as a symbol of the human soul crying out in joy or grief; daf, a frame drum important in Sufi ritual; and the setār, a wooden four-stringed lute.</p> <p>The tār, made of mulberry wood and stretch lambskin, is used to create vibrations that affect the heart and the body’s energies and a central instrument for composition. It is <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrCnIGqKLsI">played here</a> by master Hossein Alizadeh and here by master <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg1kXrkUqdk">Dariush Talai</a>.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sg1kXrkUqdk"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Music, gardens, and beauty</strong></p> <p>Traditional Persian music not only cross-pollinates with poetry, but with other arts and crafts. At its simplest, this means performing with traditional dress and carpets on stage. In a more symphonic mode of production, an overflow of beauty can be created, such as in this popular and enchanting performance by the group Mahbanu:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i7XSBtWVyFs"></iframe></div> <p>They perform in a garden: of course. Iranians love gardens, which have a deeply symbolic and spiritual meaning as a sign or manifestation of Divine splendour. Our word paradise, in fact, comes from the Ancient Persian word, <em>para-daiza</em>, meaning “walled garden”. The walled garden, tended and irrigated, represents in Persian tradition the cultivation of the soul, an inner garden or inner paradise.</p> <p>The traditional costumes of the band (as with much folk dress around the world) are elegant, colourful, resplendent, yet also modest. The lyrics are tinged with Sufi thought, the poet-lover lamenting the distance of the beloved but proclaiming the sufficiency of staying in unconsumed desire.</p> <p>As a young boy, I grasped the otherness of Persian music intuitively. I found its timeless spiritual beauty and interiority had no discernible connection with my quotidian, material Australian existence.</p> <p>Persian music and arts, like other traditional systems, gives a kind of “food” for the soul and spirit that has been destroyed in the West by the dominance of rationalism and capitalism. For 20 years since my boyhood, traditional Persian culture has anchored my identity, healed and replenished my wounded heart, matured my soul, and allowed me to avoid the sense of being without roots in which so many unfortunately find themselves today.</p> <p>It constitutes a world of beauty and wisdom that is a rich gift to the whole world, standing alongside Irano-Islamic <a href="http://gravity.ir/galleries/ceilings/">architecture</a> and Iranian <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1372">garden design</a>.</p> <p>The problem is the difficulty of sharing this richness with the world. In an age of hypercommunication, why is the beauty of Persian music (or the beauty of traditional arts of many other cultures for that matter) so rarely disseminated? Much of the fault lies with corporate media.</p> <p><strong>Brilliant women</strong></p> <p>Mahbanu, who can also be heard <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f7ACBUihYQ">here</a> performing a well-known Rumi poem, are mostly female. But readers will very likely not have heard about them, or any of the other rising female musicians and singers of Persian music. According to master-teachers <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23313593-art-of-avaz-and-mohammad-reza-shajarian">such as Shajarian</a>, there are now often as many female students as male in traditional music schools such as his.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3f7ACBUihYQ"></iframe></div> <p>Almost everyone has seen however, through corporate media, the same cliched images of an angry mob of Iranians chanting, soldiers goose-stepping, missile launches, or leaders in rhetorical flight denouncing something. Ordinary Iranian people themselves are almost never heard from directly, and their creativity rarely shown.</p> <p>The lead singer of the Mahbanu group, Sahar Mohammadi, is a phenomenally talented singer of the <em>āvāz</em> style, as heard <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlwqvRVJNmk">here</a>, when she performs in the mournful <em>abu ata</em> mode. She may, indeed, be the best contemporary female vocalist. Yet she is unheard of outside of Iran and small circles of connoisseurs mainly in Europe.</p> <p>A list of outstanding modern Iranian women poets and musicians requires its own article. Here I will list some of the outstanding singers, very briefly. From an older generation we may mention the master Parisa (discussed below), and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIGvEp9O0kU">Afsaneh Rasaei</a>. Current singers of great talent include, among others, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISFVAr28kfY">Mahdieh Mohammadkhani</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_NBvKJtXAs">Homa Niknam</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRaqi21wGjk&amp;list=PLZ29lLxKFPPRqnahzXZk7U28qbY9NOFfh&amp;index=5&amp;t=0s">Mahileh Moradi</a>, and the mesmerising <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBbP5StcWEo">Sepideh Raissadat</a>.</p> <p>Finally, one of my favourites is the marvelous Haleh Seifizadeh, whose enchanting singing in a Moscow church suits the space perfectly.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nE6eQUBGbIU"></iframe></div> <p><strong>The beloved Shajarian</strong></p> <p>Tenor Mohammad-Reza Shajarian is by far the most beloved and renowned voice of traditional Persian music. To truly understand his prowess, we can listen to him performing a lyric of the 13th century poet Sa’di:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uxMuK4vQ_Dk"></iframe></div> <p>As heard here, traditional Persian music is at once heavy and serious in its intent, yet expansive and tranquil in its effect. Shajarian begins by singing the word <em>Yār</em>, meaning “beloved”, with an ornamental trill. These trills, called <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG4Odw7Wu5U">tahrir</a>, are made by rapidly closing the glottis, effectively breaking the notes (the effect is reminiscent of Swiss yodeling).</p> <p>By singing rapidly and high in the vocal range, a virtuoso display of vocal prowess is created imitating <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TepTnlERuRo">a nightingale</a>, the symbol with whom the poet and singer are most compared in Persian traditional music and poetry. Nightingales symbolise the besotted, suffering, and faithful lover. (For those interested, Homayoun Shajarian, explains the technique <a href="https://youtu.be/KFSfBIFyr-w?t=5m45s">in this video</a>).</p> <p>As with many singers, the great Parisa, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pijq7AhqKf4">heard here in a wonderful concert</a> from pre-revolutionary Iran, learned her command of <em>tahrir</em> partly from Shajarian. With her voice in particular, the similarity to a nightingale’s trilling is clear.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pijq7AhqKf4"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Nourishing hearts and souls</strong></p> <p>The majority of Iran’s 80 million population are <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2009/06/why-does-iran-have-such-a-young-population.html">under 30 years of age</a>. Not all are involved in traditional culture. Some prefer to make hip-hop or heavy-metal, or theatre or cinema. Still, there are many young Iranians expressing themselves through poetry (the country’s most important artform) and traditional music.</p> <p>National and cultural identity for Iranians is marked by a sense of having a tradition, of being rooted in ancient origins, and of carrying something of great cultural significance from past generations, to be preserved for the future as repository of knowledge and wisdom. This precious thing that is handed down persists while political systems change.</p> <p>Iran’s traditional music carries messages of beauty, joy, sorrow and love from the heart of the Iranian people to the world. These messages are not simply of a national character, but universally human, albeit inflected by Iranian history and mentality.</p> <p>This is why traditional Persian music should be known to the world. Ever since its melodies first pierced my room in Brisbane, ever since it began to transport me to places of the spirit years ago, I’ve wondered if it could also perhaps nourish the hearts and souls of some of my fellow Australians, across the gulf of language, history, and time.</p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-why-traditional-persian-music-should-be-known-to-the-world-121240">original article</a>.</p>

Music

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How KISS are preparing to make their mark in Australia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rocker band KISS are known for delighting their fans and when they head to Australia, it’s looking to be no exception.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They’re performing for a new audience in November: Great White sharks.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The band will be performing underwater to the sharks and eight lucky fans as they travel off the southern coast of Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><a href="https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/kiss-australia-great-white-sharks"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fox News</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the band will stay above board on one vessel and the fans will be lowered beneath the surface of the water from a second boat into the viewing sub.</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v=XeepkIfg_r0"></iframe></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The area that they’ll be lowered into is well known for shark activity, and the band will begin to play using underwater speakers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The result? Sharks and submerged fans rocking out to KISS.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Research has indicated that low-frequency and pulsed sounds can be attractive to some shark species. Interestingly, different animals (even within the same species) appear to respond to sounds differently,” said Dr Blake Chapman, of Australia Geographic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sharks are among the world’s most misunderstood animals. It’s important for people to learn that sharks are worthy of respect and protection.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The event will be taking place in the Indian Ocean off Port Lincoln in South Australia costs $50 and proceeds will be going to charity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not ones to disappoint, KISS will be in full makeup and costumes for the performance, which will be at least four songs.</span></p>

Music

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“Music brings everybody together”: Violinist Itzhak Perlman explains the magic of music

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Masterful violinist Itzhak Perlman was born in Israel and has been playing the violin since the age of three. He is well known for his brilliant virtuoso technique and has had his music featured in iconic films such as the Disney movie </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fantastia 2000 </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">as well as </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Schnidler’s List</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Perlman has also won 16 Grammy awards for his achievements in music.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He recently spoke to </span><a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/article-music-brings-everybody-together-violinist-itzhak-perlman-on-musics/"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>The Globe and Mail</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> about how music has a way of bringing people together and how many of us need music more than ever in this difficult political climate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I always felt that music brings everybody together, because music is really an international language,” he explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“No matter where you go – whether you go to the Middle East or you go to the Far East or countries that have a strained relationship between each other – and you see that there was a cultural exchange, it’s like a barometer; you feel that relations improve.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Music is always the first thing that brings you a signal that relationships are starting to improve,” he continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It brings people together. When you go to a concert hall and you listen to a Beethoven symphony, you are no longer in a country that listens to this or that or [is dealing with whatever] problems. It binds everybody together.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Buw-s8vhtZ8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Buw-s8vhtZ8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">@theperlmanmusicprogram does outreach at the Dreyfoos Public School in Palm Beach, FL.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/itzhakperlmanofficial/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Itzhak Perlman</a> (@itzhakperlmanofficial) on Mar 8, 2019 at 3:11pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Perlman also explained how he distances himself from emotionally charged pieces, as one of his more popular pieces features in the film </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Schnidler’s List</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. The film is about a man who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think about it as the piece [of music]. I try not to think about what it’s associated with. At the beginning, when I first saw the film and then I associated the music with what was happening with the film, it was a very emotional experience,” Perlman said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But the more I play it, the more I concentrate on the music itself. Of course what happens in the movie is an organic part of the piece.”</span></p>

Music

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"I miss to be hugged": Celine Dion's emotional confession

<p>Award-winning singer Celine Dion has confirmed that she’s still “not ready to date” after her husband <span>René's</span> passing back in 2016.</p> <p>Dion sat down with NBC’s Sheinelle Jones on the<span> </span><em>TODAY</em><span> </span>show and admitted that she pours herself into her work and a new tour instead of dating.</p> <p>“I don't date,” Dion said matter-of-factly.</p> <p>“I'm not ready to date. I'm very lucky and happy to have so many people in my surrounding to make me — they make me laugh, but I miss to be touched.”</p> <p>Dion also said that she misses being “hugged”.</p> <p>“I miss to be hugged. I missed to be told "you're beautiful." I miss what a boyfriend and I miss what a husband would do.'”</p> <p>Dion also recalled her last conversation with her husband of more than 12 years back in 2016.</p> <p>“He called me before a show and give me a little message: ‘I love you’ and when I came home that night, it was very, very late ... And I didn't want to come and wake him up to give him a kiss, to wake him up and then he can't find sleep again. </p> <p>“And the next morning, he was gone. So, we talked before. And he sent me a text message. So we said goodbye.'”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BPO3dQkgotI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BPO3dQkgotI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Il y a un an, le 14 janvier 2016, René Angélil nous quittait. Son souvenir reste à jamais gravé dans nos cœurs. Today, January 14th, it’s been a year since René left us. He will always be in our hearts. -Team Céline ❤</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/celinedion/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Céline Dion</a> (@celinedion) on Jan 13, 2017 at 9:01pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite Dion focusing on the love and support of her close friends and her three children, she still finds things difficult.</p> <p>“This is my first English album without René,' she said. 'When I say without René, without René physically, because René will always be part of me.”</p> <p>“Before I talk, he goes through my mind,” she said. 'Would he do that? Is it too edgy? Would he be like approving that?’ I believed in him so much. And I still do. </p> <p>“But there's a point that he's not here anymore. I have to take charge of my life.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Celine Dion, her late husband René and their three children through the years.</p>

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7 iconic songs that will transport you back to the '70s

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 1970’s was a simpler time for some, and with hits like these, it’s easy to see why.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Listen to the top 7 songs of the 1970’s and take a journey back in time.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_izvAbhExY">Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This song was made iconic as it played over the opening credits of 1977 film </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday Night Fever</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as John Travolta struts through the streets of NYC. The song was written specifically for the film and quickly climbed through the charts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The band was well aware that they were creating a heart-thumping rhythm with the song.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We thought when we were writing it that we should emulate the human heart," Robin Gibb explained in Daniel Rachel's </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We got Blue Weaver who was the keyboard player at the time to lie on the floor and put electrodes on his heart and put it through the control room. Then we got the drummer to play the heartbeat. We were the first people in the world to do a drum loop based on that."</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CFuCYNx-1g">Superstition by Stevie Wonder</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Believe it or not, Stevie Wonder wrote this song about the dangers of believing in superstitions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The song incorporates many elements of rock music, which was ideal for Wonder at the time as it helped extend his appeal to a white audience.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It worked as it was his second #1 hit in the U.S.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFrGuyw1V8s">Dancing Queen by ABBA</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABBA had recorded this song a year before it was released, and it was written around the same time as “</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fernando</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">”. However, they chose to release </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fernando</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as the single as they knew they were onto something big with </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dancing Queen.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This song was the only one of ABBA’s 14 US Top 40 hits to make it to number one and it’s easy to see why.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The song also reached number one in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa, Sweden and Germany.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgl-VRdXr7I">Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The story goes that the inspiration for this song is Don McLean, who was famous for </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">American Pie</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The songwriting team of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel intimately wrote the track back in 1973, and it wasn’t until Roberta Flack heard the original artist sing the song that she decided to record it herself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Charles Fox first heard from Flack after Quincy Jones gave her his number.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was at Paramount Pictures one day walking through the music library, and someone handed me a telephone and said, 'This is for you.' And the voice on the other end of the line said, 'Hi, this is Roberta Flack. We haven't met, but I'm going to sing your songs.'</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So it was kind of magical at that - that thing just doesn't happen to people. She had just won the Grammy Award for '</span><a href="https://www.songfacts.com/facts/roberta-flack/first-time-ever-i-saw-your-face"><span style="font-weight: 400;">First Time Ever I Saw Your Face</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.' Beautiful record. So it's kind of remarkable to get a call from her in the first place. And she did go on to sing other songs. And actually, she sang on the main title for me of a show that was called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Valerie</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> after Valerie Harper."</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQZmCJUSC6g">You’re So Vain by Carly Simon</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It looks like no one apart from Simon herself will know who she’s singing about, although this hasn’t stopped people from trying to figure it out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rumours include Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson, Cat Stevens and Mick Jagger.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Richard Perry, who produced the album, has his own ideas about who the song is about.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said in the book </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Record Producers</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">: "It's about a compilation of men that Carly had known, but primarily Warren Beatty."</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ">Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It seems like no one will know what this song is about either, apart from the band and Freddie Mercury himself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When pressed, Mercury remained tight-lipped.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mercury himself stated, "It's one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The band has always been very keen to let listeners interpret the music in a way that’s personal to them instead of imposing their own meaning on the songs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The song was Queen’s first Top 10 hit in the US. In the UK, the song shot up to #1 and stayed there for nine weeks, which was a record for the time. </span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrcwRt6J32o">Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Paul Simon wrote this song about providing comfort to a person in need. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">He revealed this in the documentary </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Marking of Bridge Over Troubled Water</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have no idea where it came from,” Simon said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It came all of the sudden. It was one of the most shocking moments in my songwriting career. I remember thinking, 'This is considerably better than I usually write."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Upon its release, it was one of the few songs to top the US and UK charts at the same time. It was #1 in the US for six weeks and #1 in the UK for three. </span></p>

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“It will be an incredible show”: Whitney Houston set to have hologram tour in the works

<p><a href="https://www.musicweek.com/live/read/whitney-houston-hologram-tour-to-launch-in-uk/077282"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Music Week</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> have confirmed that a hologram version of Whitney Houston will be going on tour in the UK next year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Houston is the latest artist to get the hologram tour and the show is being staged by Base Entertainment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The company have worked on hologram productions which include Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Amy Winehouse.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Amy Winehouse production is still currently in development, but the Whitney Houston hologram production is ready to go.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B09SHAAjv-Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B09SHAAjv-Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">We’re overwhelmed with all of the love and support around Whitney’s birthday! Continue celebrating all weekend long by listening to her essential tracks on @AppleMusic!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/whitneyhouston/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Whitney Houston</a> (@whitneyhouston) on Aug 9, 2019 at 2:00pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It will be an incredible show,” said Seth Faber from music publishing company Primary Wave, who have recently partnered with the Houston estate. “So much effort has gone into making the show as authentic as possible. It’s going to be a phenomenal experience.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s not the first time a Houston hologram has been in the works.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2016, a tour that was organised by a different company was set to go ahead but didn’t go ahead due to the estate pulling their approval at the last minute.</span></p>

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Adele is reportedly on the brink of releasing new music

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It has been almost four years since Adele released her record-breaking album </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">25</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and fans have been hungry for more ever since.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Last year, it was reported that Adele was preparing an album for release around Christmas 2019, and it still looks like that is the case.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An insider has told </span><a href="https://people.com/music/adele-life-after-divorce-new-music-plans/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">People</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">that she star is getting herself both physically and mentally prepared for new music after a pretty tough year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She is definitely getting ready both mentally and physically to promote new music,” the source said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It seems it will happen later this year.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The insider also believes that Adele’s work will be just as personal as her other works on </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">19, 21</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">25.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She is so busy, but her life is better-rounded than it was before,” says an industry insider. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She is very fulfilled being an artist. New music is still a big deal for her, and she feels alive and happy.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After her divorce to Simon Konecki, it appears Adele has been travelling between the US and the UK whilst spending a lot of time with her six-year-old son Angelo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Her son had some time off from school, so they have taken a few small trips,” says the source. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1B3Us_ACO2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1B3Us_ACO2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Summer 2019 💫</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/adele/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Adele</a> (@adele) on Aug 11, 2019 at 8:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They recently vacationed in Utah, took a boating tour on Lake Powell and hiked the slot canyons. Adele very much enjoys U.S. nature and wanted to show Angelo around historic sites.”</span></p>

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Pink’s daughter Willow debuts new “punk rock” haircut

<p>Carey Hart has taken to Instagram to share his love and pride for his daughter’s “punk rock” makeover. </p> <p>The 44-year-old pro motocross competitor shared a special photograph of his eight-year-old daughter Willow’s brand new half-shaved haircut. </p> <p>The proud papa, who is married to pop star Pink shared a sweet message of support by saying: "Loving my punk rock daughter.</p> <p>"Remember everyone, fly your own flag. There is no box to be put in. It's better to be your own self. Own it, and love it. </p> <p>“And if anyone has a problem with it, tell them (politely) to move on. Can't wait to see the woman you grow up to be. </p> <p>“I have a feeling you are gonna be strong, fierce, compassionate, and caring. I'm so proud of you, Willow," he concluded.</p> <p>Hart also shared a meaningful message for his wife’s 40th birthday on September 8, thanking her for constantly inspiring him. </p> <p>"Welcome to 40 baby. I've celebrated 18 birthdays with you, and I can say it's amazing growing up with you,” he wrote. </p> <p>“The person you have grown into is inspiring. You have become a successful business woman, superstar, dedicated mother, philanthropist, supportive wife, wine maker, motorcycle mama, and amazing friend to all around you,”. </p> <p>He and Pink also share a two-year-old son Jameson and have been married since 2006. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the pop star’s family throughout the years. </p>

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5 great songs almost ruined by their original titles

<p>These songs were almost named something completely different!</p> <div class="Maincontent"> <p><strong>1. ‘Hey Jude’ was ‘Hey Jules’</strong></p> <p>When John and Cynthia Lennon split in 1968, Paul McCartney felt so bad for their five-year-old son, Julian, that he drove out to the suburbs to console him. By the time he arrived, McCartney had written the boy a ballad called ‘Hey Jules’ – a name he later obscured before sharing the song with the world.</p> <p><strong>2. ‘Mrs. Robinson’ was ‘Mrs. Roosevelt’</strong></p> <p>While scoring<span> </span><em>The Graduate</em>, director Mike Nichols turned his lonely eyes to Simon and Garfunkel. Paul Simon was too busy touring to write, but he had been tinkering with a tune called ‘Mrs. Roosevelt’, a tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt and the glorious past. Nichols agreed to use it if Simon agreed to change the title. He did.</p> <p><strong>3. ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ was ‘Vampires In Love’</strong></p> <p>Bonnie Tyler’s wrenching ballad about “love in the dark” was almost much darker. According to lyricist Jim Steinman, “I actually wrote that to be a vampire love song … Its original title was ‘Vampires in Love’ because I was working on a musical of Nosferatu.”</p> <p><strong>4. ‘Tutti Frutti, aw rootie’ was ‘Tutti Frutti, Good Booty’</strong></p> <p>Frustrated in the studio one day, struggling artist Little Richard started hammering the nearest piano and belting out a raunchy tune he used to play in southern clubs. Producer Bumps Blackwell liked what he heard but eventually swapped ‘good booty’ for a slang expression meaning ‘all right’. The rest, as they say, is aw rootie.</p> <p><strong>5. ‘Iron Man’ was nearly ‘Iron Bloke’</strong></p> <p>Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi had just written one of the greatest rock riffs of all time, but he needed lyrics. Ever inspired, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne posited that the riff sounded just like “a big iron bloke walking about.” For months, ‘Iron Bloke’ remained the song’s working title.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/5-Great-Songs-Almost-Ruined-by-Their-Original-Titles"> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Brandon Specktor. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/5-Great-Songs-Almost-Ruined-by-Their-Original-Titles">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> </div> </div>

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Huh? Wha? A guide to keeping your hearing

<div class="postIntro">We live amid a cacophony of daily noise but, as we get older, many of us find that some sounds - such as the telephone ringing - become more difficult to hear. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and overcome such problems, so you’ll be able to enjoy conversation, music and all the sounds you love for years to come.</div> <div class="postIntro"> <p>What would the world be like without sound? All of us can imagine to some extent what it would be like to be blind – we simply have to shut our eyes.</p> <p>It’s much more difficult to imagine being unable to hear speech or music or the dawn chorus, or even the clatter when you drop a pan or your own ‘ouch’ when you stub a toe.</p> <p>There may be sounds that you would rather not hear – the throbbing music leaking from a fellow passenger’s headphones, the road drill outside your office window, the car alarm that goes off at two o’clock in the morning, your nextdoor neighbour’s lawnmower disturbing a lazy summer afternoon in the garden… yet wouldn’t it feel strange if you couldn’t hear them?</p> <p>Follow on for our self-test questionnaire to find out if you have a hearing problem.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/hearing/huh-wha-guide-keeping-your-hearing"><strong>Have you got a hearing problem?</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/hearing/huh-wha-guide-keeping-your-hearing"> <p>Do you have difficulty hearing or following what is being said in the following situations?</p> <ul> <li>Listening to the television when the volume is adjusted to suit someone else.</li> <li>Talking on the telephone.</li> <li>Having a conversation with someone in a busy place, such as a street, shop or restaurant. Having a conversation with several people in a group.</li> <li>Listening to someone against a background noise, such as a whirring fan or running water. Having a conversation when you can’t see the other person’s face full on.</li> <li>Talking to women or children – even though you can hold conversations with men without any difficulty.</li> </ul> <p>Do you often:</p> <ul> <li>Ask people to repeat what they’ve said?</li> <li>Misunderstand what people say?</li> <li>Agree or nod even when you’re not sure what’s been said?</li> <li>Feel that other people mumble when they talk?</li> <li>Turn up the radio or television to a volume that others say is too loud?</li> <li>Have to watch other people’s facial expressions or lip movements to understand what they say?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Minor degrees of hearing loss = intense frustration</strong></p> <p>The world is, by and large, such a noisy place that relative calm and silence – which are important for our general wellbeing – have become rare treats to be relished.</p> <p>But as we get older, the world may become uncomfortably quieter if certain important sounds are more difficult to hear – for instance, the telephone ringing, a grandchild crying or the best moments of a favourite symphony.</p> <p>Even minor degrees of hearing loss can cause intense frustration –when you have to strain to hear what other people are saying, miss crucial spoken information such as station announcements, or feel left out in social situations because you can’t follow conversations if there’s a lot of background noise.</p> <p>Yet, even if a certain amount of hearing loss is inevitable as we grow older – and it’s by no means certain that it is – there is much that can be done to protect this vital sense and there are many causes of hearing loss that can be treated.</p> <p>In this section you will learn all about your ears and the remarkable process of hearing.</p> <p>You will find out why balance disorders may result from ear problems and about other symptoms, such as tinnitus (a persistent, irritating sound in the ears), which can accompany them.</p> <p>Because you’re concerned enough about your senses to be reading this, you will no doubt want to take steps to preserve your hearing and your enjoyment of the sounds of life – for life.</p> <p><strong>Measuring sound levels</strong></p> <p>Sound is measured in decibels – a term derived from the Latin for ‘ten’ plus the name of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, and shortened to dB.</p> <p>Any sound-measurement scale has to include a huge range of sound intensities, from a ticking watch to a jet aircraft taking off – a difference of 200,000,000,000 times – so scientists use a logarithmic or ‘log’ scale, which means that every increase of 10 dB represents a sound that is ten times as loud.</p> <p>Whether noise causes hearing loss depends both on the intensity of the sound and the length of exposure.</p> <p><strong>Everyday noise, rated</strong></p> <p>On the decibel (dB) scale, 0 dB is near-total silence, but 10 dB is ten times more powerful, 20 dB is 100 times more powerful, 30 dB is 1,000 times more powerful, and so on.</p> <p>A hair dryer at 80 dB is a hundred times as loud as normal speech at 60 dB.</p> <p>A rock concert booming out at 120 dB is a million times as loud as normal conversation.</p> <p><strong>Decibels (dB) Sound</strong></p> <p><strong>0</strong><span> </span>Near silence<br /><strong>20</strong><span> </span>Ticking watch, rustling leaves, quiet room at night<br /><strong>37–45</strong><span> </span>Computer hum<br /><strong>50–65</strong><span> </span>Dishwasher, washing machine<br /><strong>60</strong><span> </span>Normal conversational speech</p> <p><strong>Intrusive</strong></p> <p><strong>65</strong><span> </span>Average city traffic</p> <p><strong>Difficult to concentrate</strong></p> <p><strong>70</strong><span> </span>Television, busy office, noisy restaurant, vacuum cleaner</p> <p><strong>Annoying</strong></p> <p><strong>80</strong><span> </span>Hair dryer, alarm clock, heavy traffic, shouting</p> <p><strong>Hearing impairment on prolonged exposure</strong></p> <p><strong>84<span> </span></strong>Train<br /><strong>85–90</strong><span> </span>Leaf-blower<br /><strong>90–95</strong><span> </span>Lawnmower, busy pub<br /><strong>90–100</strong><span> </span>Motorcycle<br /><strong>95–140</strong><span> </span>Loud car stereo<br /><strong>100–120</strong><span> </span>MP3 portable music player</p> <p><strong>Painful even on brief exposure</strong></p> <p><strong>110</strong><span> </span>Chain saw, pneumatic drill, nightclub/disco, baby crying<br /><strong>110–120</strong><span> </span>Ambulance siren, jet aircraft on take-off<br /><strong>130</strong><span> </span>Thunderclap, machine gun</p> <p><strong>Possible irreversible hearing loss</strong></p> <p><strong>119–140</strong><span> </span>Heavy-metal rock band<br /><strong>164</strong><span> </span>.357 Magnum pistol</p> <p><strong>Unnatural noise</strong></p> <p>If our ears are designed to detect and interpret sound, why is it that noise can be so harmful?</p> <p>Surely, being sensitive to noise is what ears are for?</p> <p>Well, not quite.</p> <p>Our ears evolved to pick up biological sounds, not the roar of engines and the din of amplified electronic sound.</p> <p>Our remote ancestors needed to hear relatively quiet noises that could be crucial for survival, such as the approach of a wild animal that could be hunted for food or might be intent on eating you.</p> <p>The loudest sound was probably the odd thunderclap, and even occasional loud noises were interspersed with long periods of relative silence.</p> <p><strong>Check your hearing</strong></p> <p>How is your hearing coping with the cacophony of the modern world?</p> <p>If you want to do a quick self-assessment, you can take a simple hearing test online that was produced by the University of New South Wales (<a rel="noopener" href="http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html" target="_blank">www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html</a>).</p> <p><strong>Is hearing loss inevitable?</strong></p> <p>Most medical professionals believe that age-associated hearing loss, known as presbyacusis, is to an extent inevitable.</p> <p>But studies of a Sudanese tribe called the Mabaan, who live in quiet rural surroundings, show that they have much better hearing than Westerners – indeed, even older members of the tribe have better hearing than 20-year-olds living in industrial societies.</p> <p>What’s more, among the Mabaan there is little difference between the hearing of young people and the tribal elders.</p> <p>Apart from their quieter life, the Mabaan people’s excellent hearing may be influenced by their diet – a factor discussed in the next chapter.</p> <p>Meanwhile, all the evidence seems to suggest that it is well worth protecting ourselves and our children from the potentially deafening effects of loud noise.</p> <p><strong>Top tips for avoiding noise damage</strong></p> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>The more prolonged your exposure to noise and the higher the volume, the greater your chance of hearing loss, but once the exposure ceases no further damage will be done.</p> <p>If you notice hearing loss after exposure to loud noise, it will usually (but not always) improve in the following hours or days.</p> <p>Here are ten ways to limit avoidable noise as much as possible, and safeguard your ears when exposed to unavoidable noise:</p> <ul> <li>Limit the time that you spend listening to noise for entertainment.</li> <li>Reduce volume levels on stereos, TVs and iPods.</li> <li>If you use an MP3 or iPod, wear in-ear filters to cancel out background noise.</li> <li>Wear proper earplugs or earmuffs whenever you cannot avoid exposure to loud noise, for example when mowing the lawn or using power tools; cotton wool and other homemade plugs are ineffective.</li> <li>When in a noisy environment, try to go elsewhere for regular short breaks.</li> <li>Distance diminishes the effective decibel level that reaches the ear. Get as far away as possible from unavoidably loud sounds – don’t sit or stand next to loudspeakers at a concert, for example.</li> <li>If you are provided with earmuffs at work, use them.</li> <li>Keep your car windows closed when driving on busy roads.</li> <li>Reduce outside traffic and other noise in your home by, for example, installing double glazing, hanging heavy curtains or planting trees or shrubs between you and the road.</li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Reader's Digest. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/hearing/huh-wha-guide-keeping-your-hearing">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Bill Murray goes classical and releases an album

<p>It was on a trans-Atlantic flight from Berlin to New York in early 2013 when actor and comedian Bill Murray met German cellist Jan Vogler. Through this chance encounter the pair struck up a friendship, sharing enthuse for each other’s artistic worlds and interests, and soon after, decided to work together on a musical project.</p> <p>The result? An unexpected and enchanting collaboration of music and literature, marking Murray’s first classical music album.</p> <p>“After we knew each other [for] a little bit, I invited him one night to go to this Poetry Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and then a couple of days later said:<span> </span><em>You know, we could do this. We could do a show with this</em>,” says Bill Murray.</p> <p>The debut album<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://umusi.cc/BMNewWorldsMR" target="_blank"><span><em>New Worlds</em></span></a>, features songs paired with literary readings, which are brought to life with classical music.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8mBD3ylGE-U"></iframe></div> <p>Murray – as both singer and narrator – brings his charm and wit to songs by George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein, and recites the works of Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, and Mark Twain.</p> <p>He is joined by musicians Jan Vogler (cello), Mira Wang (violin), and Vanessa Perez (piano) – each at the top of their fields to bring together an unexpected collective of creative forces.</p> <p>“We are from four different continents,” Murray told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/arts/music/bill-murray-new-worlds-jan-vogler.html" target="_blank"><span><em>The New York Times</em></span></a>. “And when the continents come together, the music moves right across the peninsulas from one to the other. It’s just a short journey from one continent to the other.”</p> <p>The 67-year-old<em><span> </span>Groundhog Day</em><span> </span>star recognises no limits. With a penchant for<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://time.com/3378575/bill-murray-crashed-birthday-danced-to-turn-down-for-what/" target="_blank"><span>crashing parties</span></a><span> </span>or showing up in the most<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.billmurraystory.com/" target="_blank"><span>unexpected places</span></a>, Murray has however had an ever-present passion for literature, particularly poetry.</p> <p>He has also made past vocal appearances. A recent musical collaboration was with former<span> </span><em>The Late Show</em><span> </span>bandleader, Paul Shaffer for the upbeat song ‘Happy Street’, and performed festive tunes with George Clooney and Miley Cyrus on his 2015 Netflix special,<span> </span><em>A Very Murray Christmas</em>.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bSuB4Su6wCM"></iframe></div> <p>Though the classical direction may be a bit of a surprise, the eccentric comedian and actor has forged an independent Hollywood career and seems to love exploring new and serendipitous opportunities.</p> <p>“I am bathing in this experience, really. I can’t get enough of it,” Bill Murray comments.</p> <p>One recording has Murray reading a painful passage from<span> </span><em>The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn</em><span> </span>as the group plays ‘Moon River’. The classical crossover showcases American values in literature and music, and the bridges artists have built between America and Europe.</p> <p>Cellist Jan Vogler’s distinguished career adds credence to the concept, whose strong curatorial approach to his music making and contemporary style of performance has pushed the boundaries of classical music.</p> <p>Tracks from the album include, Van Morrison’s ‘When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God’ and Stephen Foster’s ‘Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair’ as well as numbers from West Side Story.</p>

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4 ways to spot concert ticket scams

<p>As your favourite band or artist comes to a city near you, it can be harder to get your hands on tickets due to demand.</p> <p>The bargain hunters among us will turn to the next best place for tickets: online marketplaces like Carousell, Craigslist or Gumtree.</p> <p>But as anyone who has ever spent time on these sites will know, you need to exercise a great deal of caution or you could end up poorer with nothing to show for it.</p> <p>Heed these 4 warning signs that you could be dealing with a scammer, and save yourself some disappointment and some money!</p> <p><strong>1. The tickets are cheaper than retail</strong></p> <p>While there may be genuine cases where a legitimate seller will need to offload his tickets (for example, a work emergency that prevents him from going to the concert), it’s not realistic to expect him to incur a significant loss, especially if the tickets are for sold out concerts.</p> <p>If someone is offering deeply discounted tickets, keep scrolling!</p> <p>You are dealing with a scammer.</p> <p><strong>2. The seller doesn't want to meet</strong></p> <p>Alarm bells should ring if the seller doesn’t want to have a face-to-face meeting and wants to get the deal done quickly through an online funds transfer, promising to mail the tickets after you’ve paid.</p> <p>We’re willing to bet that you will never receive your tickets or hear from him or her ever again after you’ve transferred the money.</p> <p>If you’re one of the lucky few who has found a genuine seller, always insist on a face-to-face meeting in public to complete the transaction.</p> <p>However, there is still a possibility that the tickets are fake or duplicates so buyer beware.</p> <p><strong>3. Opt for physical tickets</strong></p> <p>If you’re buying tickets from a seller on an online marketplace, make sure you receive printed physical tickets and not PDF copies or e-tickets.</p> <p>The scammer may have sold the same e-ticket to several buyers, which means you won’t be able to use them.</p> <p><strong>4. Read the reviews</strong></p> <p>Does the seller have any reviews or is he a new member?</p> <p>Does he have other listings?</p> <p>Sellers who are new and don’t have anything else up for sale may be scammers looking to make a quick buck off the naïve and vulnerable.</p> <p>Stay vigilant and happy concert going!</p> <p><em>Written by </em><em>Siti Rohani. </em><em>This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/how-spot-concert-ticket-scams">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V" title="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

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Why are we seeing so many music documentaries lately?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Music documentaries about famous singers and musicians are quickly becoming the norm. This is due to movie directors and actors bringing life and providing nostalgia to those who watched the musicians grow up. It also brings music to a new audience who is interested but might not have been born when the musicians were in their prime.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It appears that fans can no longer resist a peek into the backroom world that their favourite musicians inhabited.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Gennaro Castaldo, of the record label trade association the British Phonographic Industry, isn’t surprised.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A compelling synergy exists between movies and music,” he told </span><em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jul/21/why-music-documentaries-are-all-over-our-screens-beyonce-bob-dylan"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Guardian</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“With a slew of highly anticipated music documentaries either out, or due for release soon, fans can get close to the icons they love, from Led Zeppelin and Leonard Cohen to Beyoncé and PJ Harvey, so we can expect another surge in sales and streams.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He credits the success of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman to the surge in sales and streams, despite claims that these films are fictionalised and not a realistic account of what the rock stars went through.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The phenomenal success of recent biopics celebrating the work of Queen, Elton John and Abba underline just how fantastic a medium film is for music – culturally but also commercially in terms of the huge global reach it can provide at the cinema and then in the home,” said the BPI’s Castaldo. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Movies provide the perfect emotional context for a piece of music that help to enhance its power and to profoundly resonate with the audience.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In the process, this can reawaken the public’s love of classic repertoire, or of a particular artist, and encourage the next generation of fans to discover music that is new to them.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, film critic Nick James says that a documentary that is strong on sentiment doesn’t always work.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I prefer a documentary to a rock biopic anyday, but I’m wary of nostalgia,” James said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marianne &amp; Leonard</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is heartfelt and honest, but it’s still to a degree in thrall to the ‘sexual revolution’ whose utter destructiveness it chronicles. [Leonard] Cohen comes out of it badly, but we probably need to see those feet of clay.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fans are responding with their wallets, and it’s looking like that’s the way that companies are going to go: fictionalised accounts of their favourite musicians instead of authentic and gritty stories about their imperfect heroes.</span></p>

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Former Beatle Paul McCartney is writing a musical

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Former Beatles and music legend Paul McCartney has secretly worked on a musical behind the scenes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It was revealed that he has already written a song score for a stage musical adaption of the 1946 Frank Capra film </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s a Wonderful Life</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">McCartney has been working hard with writer Lee Hall, who's responsible for Billy Elliot on stage and the Rocketman screenplay as well as working with British producer Bill Kenwright. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me," said McCartney in a statement. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"But Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun. ... </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">It's A Wonderful Life</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is a universal story we can all relate to."</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz6HFR7nL74/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz6HFR7nL74/" target="_blank">The joy of playing with my Peace and Love brother! ✌️☮️ #FreshenUpTour @ringostarrmusic</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/paulmccartney/" target="_blank"> Paul McCartney</a> (@paulmccartney) on Jul 14, 2019 at 11:55am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It appears that he’s pretty far along with the musical.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"On a recent trip to London, I got to listen to McCartney's stunning demo tracks," writes Johnny Oleksinski, according to </span><a href="https://variety.com/2019/music/news/paul-mccartney-its-a-wonderful-life-musical-1203271389/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Variety</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The songwriter segues easily into the musical theatre style, while still giving his diehard fans that soulful McCartney sound. Every time a Beatle sings, an angel gets his wings. ... On the CD, the singer performs every role from George Bailey to Mr. Potter and even tries his hand at acting. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The more than 10 finished songs sound like a bona fide lost Beatles album, with one spectacular number's rousing ending bringing to mind the 'Na Na Na Na Na's of 'Hey Jude.'"</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kenwright obtained the rights to the film from Paramount back in 2016 and reached out to McCartney who took an interest. However, McCartney didn’t send in any material until last year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Out of the blue I got an email from Paul asking my thoughts on his first stab at an opening song,” said Kenwright in a statement. “He wasn’t sure — but wanted to know what Lee and I thought of it? I played the demo. Lee and I were unanimous. Our hero was a musical theater writer!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The musical is aiming to launch a production in late 2020 in the UK, with a later move to Broadway.</span></p>

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"I didn't realise until too late": John Farnham opens up about severe health scare

<p>Australian music icon John Farnham caused concern amongst his fans as he was forced to cancel his Australian tour at the last minute and was admitted into hospital.</p> <p>He’s now opened up to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment" target="_blank">The Daily Telegraph</a></em><span> </span>about the experience.</p> <p>The 70-year-old said that he had a “severe” kidney infection.</p> <p>“I didn't realise until too late. I'd been feeling uncomfortable. My wife Jill had been telling me to go to the doctor,” explained the singer.</p> <p>Instead of seeking medical help, Farnham powered through the pain and thought that things will be fine.</p> <p>“I was very unwell there for a while,” he added, stating that he is “good now”.</p> <p>“It gave me a wake-up call to look after myself a bit more.”</p> <p>The health scare was the wakeup call Farnham needed, as he has completely overhauled his lifestyle.</p> <p>This includes giving up smoking, which the<span> </span><em>You’re The Voice<span> </span></em>star has done so since he was 14.</p> <p>Farnham also admitted in the article that he has cut back on drinking in recent months.</p> <p>The music icon is set to tour Australia again in November, with shows in Sydney, Brisbane, Caversham, Seppeltsfield and Werribee.</p> <p>He is also touring New Zealand, with two shows in Auckland and Wellington.</p>

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Madonna reveals hidden story behind iconic “Vogue” music clip

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Madonna’s hit </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vogue</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> was the best-selling single of 1990, with more than 6 million copies flying off the shelves.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, despite the songs success, it was the accompanying film clip that really made waves.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The film clip is shot in black and white, and the singer drew inspiration from “vogue” dancing, which is created from eccentric model poses from </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vogue</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> magazine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The dance style at the time was little-known as it evolved from African-American drag queens of the Harlem ballroom scene in the early 1960’s.</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GuJQSAiODqI"></iframe></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The impact that the video had on the underground scene will be spoken about in the upcoming second season of </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pose</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, with the show picking up at a time when Madonna’s video was released.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The FX drama details the history of drag ballroom culture that came to define New York. Co-creator Steven Canals said that season 2 would follow the reaction of drag culture making its way into mainstream pop culture. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If we’re looking at the history of ballroom and specifically that moment in time, what Madonna did was bring ballroom to the mainstream,” Canals told </span><a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/pose-cast-creators-madonnas-vogue-season-2-influences-1217365"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Hollywood Reporter</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “She introduced the world to this community who, up until that point in time, had been a subculture.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a sneak peek of the first episode of the second season, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vogue</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> can be heard playing minutes into it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) gives a speech to the house full of critics.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Mark my words, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vogue </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">will make us stars,” she says. “Madonna lives on the edge for what’s next, and what’s newer than an entire world undiscovered brimming to the rim with guts, gorgeousness and raw talent?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">American theatre performer Billy Porter, who stars in </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pose</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, says that the industry still had to make strides before being accepted into society.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Without us Madonna would be nothing, Beyoncé would be nothing, Lady Gaga would be nothing,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The culture has been influenced by us since the beginning of time and now we get to reclaim that space.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photo credit: Madonna, </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuJQSAiODqI"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vogue</span></a></p>

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Princess Diana brought to life in new Broadway musical

<p>A new musical about the late Princess Diana is currently in the works with performances taking place in March 2020. The director, Christopher Ashley, won a Tony Award for his work on<span> </span><em>Come From Away</em><span> </span>with the show’s music and book written by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, who won a Tony for Memphis in 2010.</p> <p>Diana will be played by Jeanna de Waal.</p> <p>“To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege,” said de Waal of the role, as reported by<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.marieclaire.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Marie Claire</em></a>. “I feel very daunted by the prospect, but I hope people who didn’t know about her and weren’t aware of her journey leave the theatre with an idea of what she did for the world. She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest-ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1E_xUUnIr8/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1E_xUUnIr8/" target="_blank">A post shared by kembricistan (@kembricistan)</a> on Aug 12, 2019 at 1:54pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>There will be 23 songs featured throughout the show, with one of them being “<em>A Pretty Girl in a Pretty Dress</em>,” which will seemingly reference Diana’s famous “revenge dress” – a black, off-the-shoulder Christina Stambolian gown that she wore while attending the Serpentine Gallery summer party in 1994.</p> <p>The Princess wore the jaw-dropping ensemble the same night Prince Charles confessed to having an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles in a televised documentary.</p> <p>DiPietro, who took great interest in Tina Brown’s book<span> </span><em>The Diana Chronicles</em><span> </span>told the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/" target="_blank"><em>Post</em></a><span> </span>that “(Diana) was a blue blood, she was beautiful, and she was a virgin, which was hard to find in 1980s London.”</p> <p>The musical is said to focus on Diana’s life, with her tragic death being referenced in an epilogue.</p> <p>Performances will begin on March 2, 2020 at the Longacre Theatre in New York.</p>

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Dolly Parton’s secret revealed: Why you’ll never see her with short sleeves on

<p>Dolly Parton, country singer, has been in the public eye for more than 50 years. In that time, she has never worn a top with short sleeves.</p> <p>For many years, avid fans of the singer have been speculating that her arms are covered in tattoos, but there has never been any proof.</p> <p>However, comedian Rosanne Barr confirmed the rumour in an appearance on Craig Ferguson’s talk show back in 2011.</p> <p>"Do you know who's totally tattooed?" she said, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&amp;objectid=12257243" target="_blank">The NZ Herald</a></em>. "I shouldn't even tell this. Dolly Parton is totally tattooed.</p> <p>"She showed me. She's got all these awesome tattoos all over her body — no black or blue lines, all like pastel, gorgeous bows all over everything."</p> <p>The existence of the tattoos was also backed up by<span> </span><em>Absolutely Fabulous</em><span> </span>star Jennifer Saunders, who said she saw the artwork after bumping into Parton in a restaurant.</p> <p>"She literally just opened her top," Saunders recalled on<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94a9NNxEYdM" target="_blank">Channel 7's Sunday Night</a>.</em></p> <p>"And she wasn't wearing a bra.</p> <p>"They were the most beautiful angels and beautiful butterflies and baskets of flowers in pastel-coloured tattoos."</p> <p>Despite Parton asking Saunders not to tell anyone, she wrote about the experience in her autobiography.</p> <p>Parton has denied the existence of the tattoos in the past but confirmed their existence in 2017 to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/01/dolly-parton-tattoos-fan-art" target="_blank">Vanity Fair</a>.<br /></em></p> <p>"I don't really like to make a big to-do of [the tattoos] because people make such a big damn deal over every little thing.</p> <p>"But most of the tattoos, when I first started, I was covering up some scars that I had 'cause I have a tendency to have keloid scar tissue, and I have a tendency where if I have any kind of scars anywhere then they kind of have a purple tinge that I can never get rid of.</p> <p>"So mine are all pastels, what few that I have, and they're meant to cover some scars. I'm not trying to make some big, bold statement."</p> <p>If fans think that they’ll be able to see the tattoos more often, they’d be wrong. Parton performed at the Grammy Awards with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus and despite wearing a sheer top, she kept her tattoos hidden with a flesh coloured material.</p> <p>Scroll through to see Dolly Parton’s long-sleeved looks over the years.</p>

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