November 23, 2014
Pitch Perfect 2 on cover of latest Entertainment Weekly
SPOILER ALERT: The Barden Bellas have split up.
But before you scream “A ca-scuse me?!” it’s just a temporary separation. On this muggy June day in Baton Rouge, La., the cast of Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to Universal’s sleeper about a college a cappella group, is pulling double duty. Rebel Wilson (returning as blunt bombshell Fat Amy) and Brittany Snow (back as dim bulb Chloe) are cloistered in the production offices, recording and preparing for dance rehearsal.
Meanwhile, a few miles away, Anna Kendrick and Skylar Astin, reprising their roles as vocal power couple Beca and Jesse, are shooting Beca’s first day of work as an intern at a recording company. “Any first-day jitters?” Jesse asks. “No,” Beca responds. “I’m just going to be moody and distant—artists love that, right?” If anyone has slight jitters, it’s the woman behind the camera: actress Elizabeth Banks (the Hunger Games franchise), who produced the original and appeared in a small role as sassy judge Gail. She’s now making her feature-directing debut. “This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever had,” she jokes during a break in shooting. “My first movie is this huge studio movie that a lot of people care about that also happens to be a musical with massive dance numbers. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
November 12, 2014
A singing comet?
Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space. The comet seems to be emitting a ‘song’ in the form of oscillations in the magnetic field in the comet’s environment. It is being sung at 40-50 millihertz, far below human hearing, which typically picks up sound between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. To make the music audible to the human ear, the frequencies have been increased in this recording.
November 11, 2014
Sing-Off details announced
From the press release:-
NBC will air a two-hour holiday special of its popular a cappella musical competition series “The Sing-Off” on Wednesday, Dec. 17 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT. Six new groups will compete for a first-place prize of $50,000.
Returning judges Jewel and Shawn Stockman will be joined by Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump while Nick Lachey is once again set as host.
Well a scaled down version is better than no show at all. Will miss Ben Folds as judge. 50k and national TV exposure is pretty darn good I'd say
November 10, 2014
The Hand That Rules the Chorus
New York Times:
Once the rehearsal process for a production at the Metropolitan Opera moves from basement rooms to the main auditorium, Donald Palumbo, the company’s chorus master since 2007, gets uncomfortable sitting down. He walks restlessly up and down the aisles, score in hand, watching the stage, conferring with the conductor, making notes in his head.
If there’s a break in the action, he races backstage to offer tips. That is how he tripped during a 2009 run-through of Rossini’s “Barbiere di Siviglia,” breaking a wrist. He conducted the offstage choruses in Verdi’s “Aida” later that day.
In a lull during a recent rehearsal for a rare revival of Shostakovich’s scorching “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk,” which opens Monday, Mr. Palumbo, 66, came upon a group of choristers waiting for a cue. Amid the raucous music of the opera’s wedding scene, he had detected a slight imperfection. “Make sure that F-sharp in the tenors isn’t too high,” he announced.
It is tiny observations like that, arriving by the dozen, that have transformed the Met’s chorus over the past seven years, from an inconsistent ensemble in the shadow of the company’s world-class orchestra to an equal partner currently excelling in the most challenging fall season in years. “What’s palpably different is that the commitment and the vitality of the group have been ignited again, and it functions very, very thrillingly,” James Levine, the Met’s music director, said in a phone interview.