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Archive for June, 2009

Andvari – Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós is an Icelandic post-rock band with melodic, classical, and minimalist elements. The band is known for its ethereal sound and lead singer Jónsi Birgisson’s falsetto voice. An extended Sæglópur EP was released, featured three new songs, which are said to be somewhere in between Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do, untitled #9 from the Vaka EP, and the end of “Glósóli”. The EP also includes a DVD with all three music videos. Unlike its predecessor , the album’s lyrics are mostly in Icelandic, with occasional elements of Vonlenska (“Hopelandic”), a scat-like form of gibberish. The songs “Andvari”, “Gong” and “Mílanó” are sung entirely in Vonlenska. Moreover, the song “Mílanó” was written together with the string quartet Amiina. The BBC has frequently used tracks from Takk… in its programmes. “Hoppípolla” was employed as the backing music to trailers for the highly-acclaimed nature series Planet Earth and for the end credit of Match of the Day broadcasting the FA Cup Final. “Sæglópur” has been used as a backing tune for the BBC’s advertising campaign for the 2006 Wimbledon Championships, while snips of “Sæglópur”, “Milanó” and “Svo hljótt” appeared in Top Gear. “Sæglópur” was also notably used in Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia E3 2008 gameplay debut trailer as well as their televised commercials for the game. Sigur Rós received three awards at the Icelandic Music Awards in 2006: Best Album Design (along with Ísak Winther, Alex Somers and Lukka Sigurðardóttir), Best Alternative Act and Best Rock Album for Takk….

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Named in part after a sister of one of the bandmembers, Reykjavik, Iceland’s Sigur Rós (Victory Rose) was formed by guitarist and vocalist Jon Thor Birgisson, bassist Georg Holm, and drummer Agust. Formed in early 1994 while the members were teenagers, the trio’s first recorded song earned them a deal with Iceland’s Bad Taste label. Their sprawling debut LP, Von (Hope), was released in 1997, followed the next year by a collection of remixes from that album, Recycle Bin. Kjartan Sveinsson joined the band on keyboards and the band recorded 1999’s strings-heavy Ágætis Byrjun (Good Start), earning themselves numerous accolades in their homeland and achieving platinum status in sales. Agust then departed and was quickly replaced by Orri Páll DýRason.

Svefn-G-Englar, their first release to be distributed outside of their native country, was hailed as NME’s Single of the Week during September of 1999, launching a press hype steamroller in the U.K. and — to a lesser extent — in the U.S. The “Ný Battery” single was issued in early 2000, the band’s breakout year. British independent Fat Cat began distributing the band, stretching their reach beyond Icelanders and rabid journalists. April dates in England with Godspeed You! Black Emperor were capped off by an appearance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, and they also opened several dates of Radiohead’s European tour before year’s end. ….


The Scorpion, One of the most beautiful constellations, this area is a real mine of sky gems, Scorpius is one of the constellations of the zodiac. In western astrology it is known as Scorpio. It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. It is a large constellation located in the southern hemisphere near the center of the Milky Way.

Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land

Armed with high-tech equipment and ingeniously improvised devices, NOVA and archaeologist Richard Freund embark on a fascinating detective story that may rewrite Holy Land history.

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Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land
“Setting sun silhouettes a timeless scene in the Holy Land.”

ill secrets buried in an ancient cave rewrite the story of a desperate time? Nearly 2,000 years ago, a dark, inhospitable cave located in a canyon near the Dead Sea was a secret refuge for Jewish refugees fleeing for their lives from the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire. In 1960, archaeologists discovered dramatic letters written by Bar-Kokhba, the heroic Jewish rebel who led a guerrilla uprising against the Romans. Could the cave conceal more historical treasure from that desperate time?

Armed with high-tech equipment, a new team led by archaeologist Richard Freund returns to explore a place that has intrigued the experts for decades. With the help of ingeniously improvised devices, they unearth long-lost artifacts and relics that provide tantalizing clues to turbulent times of messianic fervor, oppression, and revolt. The team’s discoveries lead Freund to a radical new theory that he hopes will rewrite Holy Land history—could the treasure concealed in the cave be a long-lost relic of the Great Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans? Join NOVA for a fascinating detective story that will immerse you in the strong currents of archaeological controversy.


The Four Seasons

Four violinists in four different corners of the globe perform one of the world’s most beloved pieces: vivaldi’s “the Four Seasons.” This musical journey travels from spring in Tokyo and summer in Australia to winter in Finland and autumn in NY, combining stunning visiuals and cultural experiences wth performances by an international array of musicians.

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The Four Seasons

he Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi’s best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, “Winter” is peppered with silvery staccato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas “Summer” evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement.

The first recording of it is a matter of some dispute. There is a CD of one recording made by Alfredo Campoli (Pearl GEMM CD 9151) which is taken from acetates of a French radio broadcast. These acetates are thought to date from early in 1939. The first proper electronic recording was made in 1942 by Bernardino Molinari, and though his adaptation is somewhat different from what we have come to expect from modern performances it is clearly recognizable. This Molinari recording was first issued on six double-sided 78s, then on LP in 1950 and now re-issued on CD (two versions are available, one with more extensive sleeve notes giving the political background). The first commercially successful recording was I Musici’s 1955 recording (it was that ensemble’s first recording of any music). This recording renewed such interest in the work that there are now more than 300 recordings of it.

The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi’s Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Contest between Harmony and Invention). The first four concertos were designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones. At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi’s original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form.

Listen to The four Seasons – Vivaldi “Spring”
Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, “La primavera” (Spring)
1. Allegro
2. Largo
3. Allegro Pastorale :

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Crete Diary

Crete island is the largest of Greece and is located in the south of the Aegean Sea. Crete is one of the most famous Greek islands and often visited with Santorini. It is separated in 4 prefectures: Chania, Heraklion, Lassithi and Rethymno. The island has everything to offer: mountainous landscapes, a coast with many beautiful beaches and rocky coves, beautiful towns and charming villages and harbors, excellent food, ruins like Knossos, of the Minoan Civilization, one of the greatest civilization ever, an exciting nightlife…

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Crete Diary

outouloufari is a very pretty village above the developed and established resort of Hersonissos on the north coast of Crete, 18 miles east of the capital Heraklion and the airport and 23 miles north-west of Agios Nikolaos. Holidays in Koutouloufari appeal to those wanting to enjoy the facilities and nightlife of a bigger resort while staying in a small village atmosphere. Koutouloufari is a charming place set on the hillside above Hersonissos with excellent views of a broad bay and the port. Koutouloufari holidays are set in a village that still looks and feels like a traditional Crete destination. There are pleasant local shops and restaurants with lots of character. Hersonissos is less than a mile down the hill. Hersonissos is an established busy and cosmopolitan beach and party resort where you will find everything that you might lack in peaceful picturesque Koutouloufari. Holidays in Koutouloufari have a selection of beaches to choose from. The closest is less than a mile down the hill from the village. Beaches in Hernosissos have some of the best watersports facilities on the island. Moving west from the resort you will find increasingly quieter and larger stretches of excellent beach. Koutouloufari holiday nightlife is probably a relaxed meal in appealing tavernas popular with locals from the resort below. This you can combine with all the attractions of Hersonissos holiday nightlife centred on the attractive harbour area where there are lots of tavernas and bars close to the waters edge. Hersonissos holiday nightlife is busy with plenty of clubs for those who want to party until late. Visit another nearby picturesque traditional village of Piskopiano. Hersonissos has popular boat trips to other beaches and small islands including the island of Dia. Popular Koutouloufari holiday excursions include the ancient Minoan palace at Knossos, Heraklions archaeological museum, Samaria Gorge, the island of Spinalonga and even a boat trip to the island of Santorini. Frequent buses run along the coast.

31 kilometres far from Heraklion at the East, the traditional village of Piskopiano is almost united with the successive village of Koutouloufari. This village of 450 permanent residents has an interesting architecture, as many of the old houses have an arch, a very common architectural feature in the village. It is worth visiting the church of Aghios Ioannis, built in the 16th century, and renovated a few times afterwards, as well as the ruins of the three-aisled basilica of the 6th century; some of the finds of this church are exhibited in the Heraklion Museum. It is also worth seeing the Agricultural Folk Museum, housed in an oil mill of the mid 19th century; the building has been restored and renovated by the Society of Cretan Historic Studies and there are presented professional activities of the past as a traditional oil-mill, a cooper’s workshop, a carpenter’s workshop, a forge and other traditional activities. The Museum has also a rich collection of various traditional instruments and a good collection of photographs from the early and mid 20th century. Many hotels of all categories, studios and rooms in traditional restored mansions and rooms to let are available for accommodation. You will enjoy food and drink in the restaurants, taverns and traditional cafes of Piskopiano and of the nearby Koutouloufari. And, if you can’t miss swimming and sea sports, all the beaches of Chersonissos are waiting for you. Access from Heraklion is very easy, by public bus with frequent service, taxi and rented or private cars and motorbikes.

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  • "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It's the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead."
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