The Quartier des spectacles district in Montreal is lucky to have a public installation of music playing swings on the street, a beautiful idea to boost the happiness of its residents. The project, entitled 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) results in a large communal instrument where each swing's movement triggers a note, and together creates a little group symphony. Unless you're a grumpy old man of the Scrooge persuasion, there is no way this idea won't bring you a smile. Watch the video below!
Happy Birthday, June Anderson!
June Anderson (December 30, 1952) is one of the greatest American coloratura sopranos of our time. She became the first non-Italian ever to win the Bellini d'Oro prize. Anderson has also received the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album, for her concert performance of Candide with composer Leonard Bernstein.
Happy Birthday, Simone!
Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira is a Brazilian singer and performer of Música Popular Brasileira, who has recorded more than 31 albums.
Happy Birthday, Chet Baker!
Chet Baker (December 23, 1929 - May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter, singer, and flugelhorn player. Although he was known as a jazz musician, he gained critical praise for his vocal ability, particularly on his album, Chet Baker Sings.
A beautiful rendition of Tchaikovsky's "Sugar Plum Fairy" performed by the Glass Duo in Bologna, Italy. Just in case you were looking for that little Christmassy boost.
Everything changed for trumpeter Philip Dizack when he learned to play a C major scale. An undying love for jazz and a devotion to practice eventually led him to New York City , where he attended the Manhattan School of Music, and won several awards. Philip has just released his second album as a leader: End of an Era.
Legendary sitar player, composer and the ambassador for Indian music, Pandit Ravi Shankar, has passed away at age 92.
Happy Birthday, Big Mama Thorton!
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. In 1952, Thorton was the first artist to record the song "Hound Dog," which then stayed on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks in the following year. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama." Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version of the song. Thorton was also the artist who wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain", which Janis Joplin made popular in 1967.
Happy Birthday, Olivier Messiaen!
Olivier Messiaen (December 10, 1908 – April 27, 1992) was a major French composer as well as an avid ornithologist and organist. His music drew on ancient Greek and Hindu sources and is noted for being incredibly rhythmically complex and diversely influenced. Messiaen experienced synesthesia, a condition in which different sensory experiences influenced one another. In his case, the composer perceived colors while listening to certain musical chords, and considered these experiences crucial to his compositional process.