The Kronos Quartet: Hamilton Mausoleum.

A few days ago I had the pleasure of working at The Kronos Quartet Concert in Hamilton Mausoleum.
As you may know, I’m not very good when it comes to writing reviews.
That said, I got asked to write a short review for our staff newsletter.
Here’s what I managed to string together:

The Kronos Quartet.
Hamilton Mausoleum.

Well, I was pretty excited about working at The Kronos Quartet gig at Hamilton Mausoleum.
I used to play on the Mausoleum steps when I was a wee boy and the place was always closed.
I never got the chance to see inside but Hamilton Mausoleum is the ideal setting if you like to pretend you’re Indiana Jones.

Tickets for The Kronos Concert were allocated via a lottery system because of the limited amount of space inside the building.
The lucky golden ticket winners and ourselves arrived at the masoleum (which was lucky because I had to direct the bus driver and I don’t drive) and it’s even more impressive on the inside!

It was actually really misty and cold inside which only added to the eerie atmosphere and Kronos played in the centre of a candlelit circle in the middle of the mosiac floor making great use of the masoleum’s 15 second echo.
– Apparently the longest lasting echo of any man-made structure in the World…World…World…World…
Add to that the dome some 100 feet above us and instantly you got the feeling that something special was about to go down.

I’ll have to hold my hands up here and admit that I’d never even heard of The Kronos Quartet before this concert but already, I’m a big fan.

Additional sets were performed by:
The Alim Qasimov Ensemble,
Ritva Koistinen,
Chris Stout & Catriona Mckay,
Tanya Tagaq,
Donald Shaw & Karen Matheson.

Again, it’s hands in the air time as I’d never heard of an instrument called a Kantele before but Ritva Koistinen played it beautifully and I may just save all my wages up and buy myself one of those.

As great as all of the artists were I have to say that throat singer Tanya Tagaq stole the entire performance for me.
I don’t even know where to begin.

The lights were dimmed real low and Tanya performed barefoot surrounded by candles.
All of the artists really made great use of Hamilton’s Mausoleum’s echo but none so great as Tanya Tagaq.
She ran around in circles growling like a caged animal and AT THE SAME TIME sang above her own growls with the voice of an angel.
How can that be possible?
She built and built on top of her own voice and with the aid of the echo, you could close your eyes and be convinced that you were listening to 5 seperate people.

Halfway through her performance, and with the masoleum almost in complete darkness she….HOWLED LIKE A WOLF!
It was REALLY LOUD! (And unexpected!)
Actually, I don’t think an actual wolf could howl better.
When that happened, I looked at the stunned faces of the patrons, the circle of candles and the mist above me.

For a minute, I was convinced that the patrons were worshipers!
For a minute, I was convinced that I was gonna turn around to find my colleagues with fangs and capes!
For a minute, I thought that The Concert Hall I work for had decided to offer up some of its staff as some sort of sacrifice to the Hamilton Mausoleum Gods!

It’s easy to get carried away inside that Mausoleum.

What actually happened was:
Tanya became human again and after some stunned silence, there was thunderous echo drenched applause.
At the end of this great concert a patron beside me leaned across and said:
“What a great job you have! Can you get me one?”
He obviously didn’t realise that Daniel O’Donnell is scheduled to ‘perform’ later in the year.

The Kronos Quartet in Hamilton Mausoleum goes right into my Top 10 of amazing concerts.

All through the concert I was watching the TV Camera guy operate a Steadyicam.
Those things are very cool!

George & The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller.

I’m sorry to go over old news here but I completely missed all coverage of this story back in October 2010.

From BBC News:

Has Belfast film-maker found time travel evidence?

A Belfast film-maker has posted a video on the internet showing what he says could be evidence of time travelling.

George Clarke from east Belfast has been puzzled for more than a year by a scene in a film which appears to show a woman talking on a mobile phone.

The unusual thing is that the movie was made by Charlie Chaplin in 1928 – long before mobile phones were invented.

In the eight days since George posted the clip on Youtube – more than 1.5m people have viewed the video online.

Even the US talk show host Jay Leno created his own spoof version.

George was checking the extras on a Chaplin DVD box-set and began watching a clip of the 1928 Hollywood premiere of The Circus.

“As I sat back to watch it I realised in the first 30 seconds there’s A lady strolling by with her hand up to her ear which looked quite familiar in today’s society.

“So I wound it back and watched it again, zoomed it in and slowed it down and got other people in to check it out.

“Everybody had the same reaction – it looks like she’s talking on a mobile phone.”

He has since showed the clip to a number of people, including the audience of a Belfast film festival.

He said no-one has been able to provide an explanation.

Since posting it on Youtube it has had more that 1.5m views and provoked 10,000 comments.

“A mystery like this one, bottom line I don’t think we’re ever going to find out,” George said.

“My initial reaction was that’s a mobile phone, they weren’t around then, my only explanation – and I’m pretty open-minded about the sci-fi element of things – it was kind of like wow that’s somebody that’s went back in time.”

End Of Article.

What the hell is George on about?
What the hell are you on about George?

“A mystery like this one, bottom line I don’t think we’re ever going to find out”.

Here’s what’s happend George.
Here’s what you’ve done:
You’ve been watching the extras on your Chaplin DVD and you’ve seen this:

You’ve paused it and zoomed right in George…

You’ve immediately jumped to the conclusion that:
(a) “That’s a mobile phone!”
(b) “That must be a TIME TRAVELLER!”

Then what you’ve done George is – You’ve went to the internet, the papers and the T.V telling everyone about the time traveller you’ve noticed.

Wanna know what my first thoughts were Georgie?

“There’s someone scratching their ear”.
My second thought was:
“Hearing aids were around in the 1920’s, maybe it’s a hearing aid”.

My third thought was:

Case Closed Georgie.

“Terminator 2: Low-Budgment Day”.

This is possibly my favourite thing on the whole of youtube!

Ralph Macchio: “Wax On, Fuck Off”.

The great Ralph Macchio:

Ralph Macchio has made something amazing!

“The Ralph Macchio Story: Wax On, Fuck Off'”:

Tim Burton’s “Addams Family”.

I just heard the news.

Tim Burton is apparently gonna make the latest “Addams Family” film.

How do ya like them apples?

I’m into this.

Remember Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland”?
Remember how I was originally excited about it?
Remember how much I hated it?

I suppose it could go that way again but there’s a few wee reasons why I don’t think it will.

The story goes that Burton’s “Addams Family” will be stop-motion.
You only have to look at the likes of “Vincent” to see how well he works in this style of animation.

(Like everything these days…)
It’s to be filmed in 3D.

Personally when I hear “3D” I tend to think “YAWN” but also,
The film will take inspiration and atmosphere directly from Charles Addams original illustrations which first appeared in “The New Yorker“:

What does everyone else think of this?

I mean,
“The Addams Family” was originally gloriously dark and macabre and it’s Tim Burton afterall.

Can he do it?

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