Take a Foray into Fauré

Every composer worth their salt has a Requiem mass under their belt. What a cheerful bunch they are celebrating the inevitability of death, the eternal suffering of the damned and the terror of God’s wrath all laid out in impenetrable Latin. But, I’m willing to cut them some slack because the collected catalogue of requiem masses across the years includes some of the most iconic pieces of classical music ever written; Mozart’s Requiem is probably the best known with its brooding opening and its spectacular Dies Irae (Day of Wrath).

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Let’s Play Hide The Rock.

Gwyneth Paltrow, feminine health legend and definitely not a snake oil saleswoman, says women should insert crystals into their body cavities to “increase chi, orgasms,vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general.” A big thank you to Goop! for coming up with a solution for so many problems all at once. I really hope she’s not thinking about using stibnite as it might cause a few issues if inserted incorrectly.

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Normal Service

Will be resumed as soon as possible. Forgive me kind reader. I’m currently in the throws of writer’s block while I snuggle up, endlessly distracted, into the warm, beery bosom of London’s West End.

It’s Raining.

Love it or hate it, the Pacific Northwest rain is something we suffer through in Vancouver, and eventually all long-term Vancouverites will bitch about it. It’s the heavy grey clouds that sit just above tree top height for days at a time, pissing out huge volumes of frigid, lumpy water, turning the local woods into swampland.

I think that’s Vancouver.
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Rocks Can Talk

Rock is remarkable stuff. It lets you know when it’s not happy, and like the best of us, it gets stressed from time to time. When it gets very wound up, it doesn’t shut up until something happens to calm it down, which is usually not a good thing for us humans. Ask San Francisco.

Piss off. I’m not happy.

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Thomas Tallis was a bit good.

Once upon a time, there lived a composer called Thomas Tallis. He was a bit good. Born during the reign of Henry VII he was busily composing music while Henry VIII was busily chopping off spousal heads. His music has survived for hundreds of years and lingers on in hymns that are still sung in church today. Recognise this?

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Crystal Power

Crystals can be very polarizing. Sorry fellow geologists, bad pun, I know.

In three decades, I’ve built a half-decent collection of museum-quality pieces, currently leased to a business downtown. I collect them because of my love for the inherent esthetic value of crystals; their rarity, the science behind their formation and the intangible “wow factor” that spectacular samples elicit. See I’m in Love for some recent drooling.

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Where Are My Comments?

What the bloody hell have you done with my pithy and informative comment I hear you ask? Good question. I’ve been navigating the choppy, illogical waters of WordPress behind-the-scenes at Urbancrows for a couple of months but some things still have me beaten. The Comments feature is one of them. I’m not sure (yet) why some show up and others don’t.

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Let’s Go Scrumping.

Hands up if you know what scrumping is? No idea? Well, in England it means stealing apples from an orchard; kids climbing over the fence with a pack full of apples plucked from the trees. The word also pops up in the name Scrumpy, as in a fairly rough apple cider (not the clear, sweet, sparkly muck that often masquerades as cider on the west coast.)

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Is Pärt a part of your life?

I hate Philip Glass. Every time I go to see a movie that boasts “Soundtrack by Philip Glass” I’m filled with dread. I find his music desperately dull. All repetitive twiddly bits with no real melodies, his pieces drone on and on spoiling whatever we’re watching. The New Yorker summed it up nicely for me:

“Glass never had a good idea he didn’t flog to death: He repeats the haunting scale 30 mind-numbing times, until it’slong past time to go home.”

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