after 12/14/13 here
our Ben Schrider and friend
after their Saturday win
over San Marin
Off to Humbolt state stadium
next Saturday December 7th for Division IV NCS Championship.
"Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Room opens in
Berkeley" by Paolo
Lucchesi in Beer at insidescoopsf.com.
"Crucial news for East
Bay denizens and Bay Area beer geeks: Sierra Nevada's Torpedo
Room opens in Berkeley . . . .
As noted last month, the
Torpedo Room is Sierra Nevada's first tasting room outside its
Chico headquarters. On offer are 16 taps of Sierra Nevada beers,
many which that you probably won't see anywhere other than the
brewery. The beers are only available to drink at the Torpedo
Room via tasting flights. So, instead of a full pint, you can
only get a flight of four 4-ounce glasses; it's educational, you
see. Growlers and bottled beers are both available for purchase
to drink at home while enjoying/suffering through the holiday
So what's on tap . . . ?
A few teases, with the Sierra Nevada descriptions:
Barrel-Aged Torpedo Extra
IPA: "Hop bomb aged in whiskey barrels with fresh Citra hops
has a billowing nose of tropical fruit that precedes coconut and
vanilla. Its smoothness belies a double-digit ABV."
Old Chico Crystal Wheat: "Light bodied, refreshing, and drinkable.
This filtered beer is brewed with malted wheat and barley and
perfectly balanced by unique Crystal hops."
Knightro: A fully Nitrogenated beer designed as our take on the
creamy dry stouts of Ireland with a decidedly Sierra Nevada twist.
Knightro is black in color but surprisingly light in body with
rich caramel and chocolate malty flavors."
is Only One Factor in How Much We Spend" psychcentral.com.
"As retailers and shoppers prepare for Black Friday, a new
study from UC Berkeley reveals that consumer behavior is fueled
by a complicated mix of psychological and social forces.
Amazing, getting the best
deal is often not the issue as spending decisions are influenced
by fairness, obligation and reciprocity."
"Amazon's secret R&D project aimed
at delivering packages to your doorstep by 'octocopter' mini-drones
with a mere 30-minute delivery time" cbsnews.com.
"Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had a big surprise for correspondent
Charlie Rose this week. After their 60 Minutes interview, Bezos
walked Rose into a mystery room at the Amazon offices and revealed
a secret R&D project: 'Octocopter' drones that will fly packages
directly to your doorstep in 30 minutes.
It's an audacious plan that
Bezos says requires more safety testing and FAA approvals, but
he estimates that delivery-by-drone, called Amazon 'Prime Air,'
will be available to customers in as soon as 4-5 years'
When Charlie Rose walked
in and saw the Prime Air drones sitting on a tabletop for the
show-and-tell, he exclaimed 'Oh, my God!' It was a genuine reaction--
Rose and the 60 Minutes team weren't in on the secret beforehand.
The story had been in the works for months before the Amazon representatives
started hinting that a new project might be revealed to 60 Minutes."
"Bitcoin Enabled Mobile App for Wearable
Point-Of-View (POV) "
"Pimovi, Inc., a 61%-owned
subsidiary of The Chancellor Group CHAG 0.00% , announces it has
released a new Bitcoin enabled mobile app named CamFusion that
has been submitted to Apple's App store for downloading. Consumers,
music fans, sports fans and others will be able to make purchases
and interact with wearable live & real-time POV (Point Of
View) video & personalized content through the mobile apps.
Integration includes Bitcoin transaction support, in collaboration
with Coinbase.com, for in-app payments including a marketplace
for exclusive content, merchandise & products. "
bitcoins with cash in US Dollar (USD)" localbitcoins.com.
Berkeley Student Club Hosts Inaugural Entrepreneurship Week"
"The University of California at Berkeley welcomed dozens
of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists last week as part of
the inaugural Berkeley Entrepreneurship Week. Organized by Startup@Berkeley,
an interdisciplinary campus club, the event was designed to help
inspire students from throughout the university to pursue entrepreneurial
Battery Lab Tests Show High Energy Density" by Antony
"The month wouldn't be complete without another battery technology
breakthrough, and this time it's the turn of lithium-sulfur technology.
Researchers at the US
Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are
experimenting with a lithium-sulfur battery design with twice
the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries, and a usefully long
life under repeated charging and discharging cycles.
According to Green Car Congress,
such batteries would also be cheaper and safer than lithium-ion
designs--without the overheating and fire issues that have made
the news over the last few years."
"The great methane miscalculation. U.S.
spewing 50% more than EPA estimates, study shows" durangoherald.com
The United States is spewing
50 percent more methane a potent heat-trapping gas
than the federal government estimates, a new comprehensive scientific
study says. Much of it is coming from just three states: Texas,
Oklahoma and Kansas."
Wareham has razed their 740
Heinz building. Now just rubble, lets hope its replacement will
be a well-built, good--looking, and profitable structure.
an on going series
The Top Five Types of Workplace
Definition of Workplace Hazards
How to Recognize Hazards in the Workplace
What Determines Initial Hazards in the Workplace?
"Workplace Hazards in
Glass Blowing" chron.com.
"Glass blowers use a
high-temperature furnace to transform glass and other materials
into art pieces or scientific glassware. An accomplished glass
blower can carve out a career producing intricate artwork sold
from his own studio or through carefully selected galleries. He
may also teach the craft at specialized art schools. Glass blowers
face considerable workplace hazards along with these rewards,
but proper preparation and constant vigilance can help reduce
Glass blowers face respiratory
hazards from the materials used to make the glass. Hazards can
take the form of fumes or inhaled particulates. For example, dirty
glass and quartz produce harmful fumes when heated. Asbestos tapes
present a particulate risk, while some minerals that give the
glass its beautiful color are highly toxic no matter how they
are ingested. While a glass blower's canopy hood may capture heat
and very light gases, the hood does not offer protection against
most fume and particulate inhalation hazards.
A glass blower can minimize
his risks with a ventilation system that blows air through his
work area and out of the room. Ventilating the work space with
a window at each end, along with exhaust fans that suck out the
contaminated air, are often reasonably effective. Wearing a respirator
will further reduce inhalation risks when glass blowing. A respirator
offers further protection against potentially toxic dust stirred
up when he cleans his work area.
Heat represents an obvious
glass blowing hazard, as glass blowers work around extremely hot
furnaces and superheated glass. Even surfaces not directly in
contact with the furnace or glass, such as metal work bench rails,
can absorb enough heat to make them dangerous to touch. Equipment
surface temperatures of several hundred degrees are common, meaning
a glass blower must use proper protective gear and extreme caution
at all times.
Burns and Cut
A glass blower can easily
suffer first-degree burns, which cause skin reddening and a burning
sensation, from lingering too long near the furnace. Second-degree
burns produce skin blisters, while extremely serious third-degree
burns result in skin charring and shock. Serious burns often occur
when a glass blower accidentally picks up or brushes against a
very hot glass piece. Prompt medical treatment is essential to
help prevent further damage and potential infection.
Glass cuts also represent
an occupational hazard for glass blowers. Cold glass exhibits
very sharp edges that can easily slice a body part. A glass blower
can help protect himself by wearing sturdy leather gloves, or,
ideally, long padded welder's gloves. Welder's gloves must be
replaced periodically as they harden from the heat. Gloves made
with Kevlar or other dense material help minimize the risk that
a glass cut would penetrate through to the hands. Gloves with
rubber dots enable a glass blower to hold the glass more securely."
Glass blowing requires precision
work, meaning the glass blower may experience physical stress
from working in uncomfortable positions for extended periods.
An incorrectly adjusted work table or chair can lead to repetitive
injuries, and sitting for too long can cause circulatory issues.
Adjusting the table or chair height helps alleviate these problems.
A glass blower should replace poor lighting that may cause eye
strain and distort the glass's colors.
additional reading: Workplace
Hazards for female glass blowers
Definition of Workplace Hazards
Workplaces can expose employees
to hazardous materials or chemicals, some of which can be immediately
harmful, while others can have destructive effects years later.
Health care and scientific research jobs may expose employees
to hazardous radiation, for example, just as construction jobs
in the 20th century often exposed workers to asbestos, which was
partially banned in 1989 after it was determined to be a carcinogen.
Even jobs that would not
normally be classified as hazardous can involve dangerous exposures.
Facilities maintenance positions, for example, may expose employees
to a range of artificial chemicals that can be harmful over time.
Hazardous Working Conditions
The working conditions of
certain jobs, including the layout of work spaces and the duties
involved in the job, can present distinct hazards. Workplaces
with occasionally wet floors, for example, can present serious
risks, even when maintenance employees set up "wet floor"
warning signs. Jobs that require frequent heavy lifting can lead
to lifetime injuries without proper safety procedures and policies.
Repetitive motion on the
job and improper setup of work areas can lead to injuries such
as carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Never assume that your
employees are not exposed to hazards just because they sit at
a desk all day. Repetitive motion injuries can seriously affect
employees' quality of life and can lead to costly legal action
against your company. Keep a catalog of ergonomic equipment at
your office, and allow any employee to request a special purchase
for individual needs, such as an ergonomic chair, computer screen
Workplace settings can introduce
biological hazards, as well, which can be more dangerous than
most others. Working in health-care settings can expose employees
to viruses, bacteria and diseases, for example. Some employees
work directly with deadly animals, such as venomous snakes, while
others are exposed to such threats indirectly. Insects can present
distinct dangers as well, as they can be carriers for disease.
What Determines Initial Hazards
in the Workplace?
Initial workplace hazards are determined through property and
job risk analyses.
The Occupational Safety and
Health Administration defines a hazard as the potential for harm
that is associated with a workplace condition or activity, which
if left uncorrected, may result in injury or illness to employees
or customers. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe workplace
by taking the necessary steps to identify and address potential
hazards. Initial hazards are identified through workplace and
The first step in hazard
identification involves a survey of the work site, both the building
and the surrounding property. Management and safety specialists
conduct a survey of the property looking for structural damage
and checking building access, such as walking paths, ramps, loading
docks, fences, parking and traffic flow. As potential hazards
are identified, they may be addressed by taking actions, such
as making necessary repairs, posting signs and establishing parking
and traffic flow rules as needed.
Management and safety specialists
continue their initial hazard survey inside the building, checking
emergency lights and exit signs and surveying storage areas to
ensure that supplies and equipment are stored properly and that
employees can move about safely. A survey also involves looking
for areas where employees may slip, trip and fall and taking corrective
action, such as putting down slip-proof mats or posting signs
in the approaches to stairs or platforms. The internal inspection
also includes evaluating fire risks and electrical hazards, and
taking the necessary steps to correct hazardous situations, including
installing proper fire extinguishers and alarms and training employees.
Some employees are exposed
to more hazards than others due to the nature of their work. Conducting
a job hazard analysis is an integral part of initial hazard determination.
A hazard analysis is conducted for jobs with high injury or illness
rates or those most likely to cause severe injury or illness.
In the analysis, management reviews the incident and accident
history for the jobs. They interview employees to identify possible
problems. A safety specialist observes employees performing potentially
hazardous tasks to identify opportunities for safety improvement,
such as installing machine guards or using protective gear. The
observer gives each task three scores, one each for the likelihood
that an injury or illness will occur; the potential serious nature
of the resulting injury or illness; and how often the worker does
the task. The total of the three scores determines the seriousness
of the hazard. Management addresses the tasks with the highest
Using the information collected
from the external and internal property surveys and the job hazard
analysis, management determines which initial hazards are the
most dangerous and most likely to occur. These are addressed immediately.
Other hazards are prioritized based on their severity. Management
leads hazard reduction efforts by committing the necessary resources
and staff to address the problems. Many companies appoint a chief
safety officer. The safety officer is responsible for identifying
and correcting hazards, developing safety policies and procedures,
educating employees about workplace safety and conducting an ongoing
safety awareness program.
to be continued
Bakery and Suze Orman" at
phillips.blogs.com does not ring fully true.
"I recently read a book
that was attacking the investment planning industry. The author
was generally correct in her criticisms but she is an ignoramus
who has no idea what the underlying problem is nor what might
constitute sensible investment planning advice. (See my Simple
Living Investment Advice for Old Age.)
One of the chapters was devoted
to attacking Suze Orman. The author is a mean-spirited person
and after mentioning that Suze got her business start working
for Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley, the author found someone to
say that Buttercup was not particularly good.
Buttercup was great and beloved.
Buttercup was the first modern retail eatery in America. It was
the source of Chez Panisse and the Berkeley gourmet extravaganza.
And the whole explosion of interesting hippie generated food that
Buttercup served elegant
and imaginative homemade breads, pastries and served all its dishes
with a wide variety of fresh ingredients and imaginative spices.
Buttercup was a member of the Briarpatch and I visited it several
times during its early years. It was widely loved in the neighborhood.
More than a decade later
the two owners invited me back for an urgent consultation.
The owners, in an effort
to expand their kitchen and ovens, had borrowed money with onerous
My visit was in February.
The loan came due at the end of May and required an instant repayment
with no renewal if specific revenue targets had not been met.
The revenue in the previous months had been more than 10% below
It was my job to figure out
how to dramatically increase revenues in the coming three months
without additional investment.
And the two owners followed
my advice. First I had them offer free coffee to the drivers of
all the buses that stopped in front of the bakery. The goal was
to make the bus passengers aware of the widespread love of the
bakery and smell the baking aromas.
The second thing I had them
do was create and distribute a flyer to all the residences within
a half a mile radius. One side of the flyer offered two jobs in
the bakery. It was a period of economic slow down in Berkeley.
The other side explained
the wonderful smells wafting over the neighborhood that were due
to the new ovens. There was an explanation of the wood fired ovens.
The purpose of the flyer
was simply to remind people of the bakery that they all loved.
Revenues immediately grew
by more than 15%. The loan was extended.
At this point, one of the
most common things about small business, occurred. The owners
sold the business and went to Mexico."
Actually in the end nothing
worked and the Buttercup was sized by the IRS--certainly, in part,
it was a political act. RP
Bakery and Suze Orman" was
sent by a reader in New England--also see 12/4/13 post. Early
this week, two retired University of Vermont colleagues found
themselves reminiscing about their separate visits to Berkeley
in the 1970s and 80s. Both fondly remembered The Buttercup. This
link to a somewhat skewed memory is a result of their Google search.
The Buttercup and The California Breakfast is
one of my versions
what is The California Breakfast that Richards and Mike Haley
invented? Well, it's most likely the eggs-breakfast that you now
have when you eat out. (But, as breakfast is the lowly meal, you
probably haven't even thought about that.)
important to remember that Richards and Mike Haley not only developed
The California Breakfast but they made breakfast a proper and
respectable meal out.
long as I can remember, loved his morning meal best. When we lived
together on Carl Street in San Francisco in the '50s, Mike would
sometimes make breakfast for both of us, and I too came to love
when Mike and Richards lived together, Richards would make Mike's
favorite, adding her own Georgian touch. An excellent cook from
the South, Richards was well aware of the hearty country breakfast.
So in the
'70s, when they bought the Buttercup Bakery and Coffee Shop on
College Avenue and made it into a bakery and restaurant, it was
only natural for them to make it into a breakfast-restaurant.
(Understand, at that time there were coffee-shops and diners but
not proper breakfast restaurants.) Simply, Richards knew about
the Southern country breakfast and Mike loved breakfast best.
This was the start.
was an exact moment when The California Breakfast Out came into
being I suppose it was when Richard's started making Michael's
favorites for the restaurant: Fresh-eggs, quality meats, home-fries
with onions and sour cream, and a good toasted-bread were part
of Michael's morning meal at home. (Occasionally I was at their
house at breakfast time and it was always a treat.)
Then, I suppose
if you own a bakery-restaurant it's natural to offer fresh baked-goods
with the meal: And early-on you could substitute a pastry for
toast. Bagels and croissants were also offered, but bagels and
croissants were still popularly thought of as foreign food and
breakfast is a very American meal. Also, it is important to remember
that at this time breakfast out was pretty much a meal you had--often
rushed--before your day's work. It was not so much a special meal--and
social event--as it was just a way to get food before working.
Kruse Plumbing was then down the street, and I remember some of
the original customers were plumbers having breakfast before going
to a job. There were also truck drivers who stopped before their
run as well as milkmen taking their break.
the fruit garnish was added when it became apparent to all that
breakfast was now social, even special.)
you have it; The California Breakfast Out. Was this just a variation
of the country breakfast that, through good-timing, people found
pleasure in eating in a restaurant? Is California Cuisine just
fish and under-cooked vegetables?
other than Mike and Richards, were involved in making the Buttercup.
Moe Moskowitz lent money and support, Mary Guenther provided heart
and soul, Karl Mullis provided color and was a hard worker, Suze
Orman found-herself and brought loyal customers, and Nancy Lawrence
at Wells Fargo Elmwood was simply indispensable. She was always
there. (Oh, Nick Victor, with failing health and eyesight, and
preoccupied with his business and building two large warehouses,
took time to give sound, solid business advice. ) Me? It was a
place to hang out.
and Michael Haley
they found the Buttercup
Skinner preparing workplace protection bill for unpaid interns"
Skinner, D-Berkeley, announced Tuesday that she plans to introduce
a bill in January protecting unpaid interns from workplace discrimination,
including sexual harassment.
The legislation aims to close
a gap in workplace protections for those who do not receive wages.
Both California and federal laws on the subject currently extend
only to those considered paid employees.
know little about funding law but want to get involved, EdSource
survey finds" by Susan Frey, edsource.org.
"A new statewide survey by EdSource suggests that parents
are eager to get involved in school district spending decisions,
but underscores the need for districts to actively engage parents
if they are to fulfill their new role under the state's Local
Control Funding Formula.
Across the board, parents
are generally satisfied with their children's schools, but the
survey revealed differences between high- and low-income parents.
The survey suggests that districts will need to make extra efforts
to connect to low-income parents, who reported a higher degree
of dissatisfaction with their child's school than parents with
higher incomes. Lower-income parents were also more likely to
feel that only a small group of parents are engaged in decision-making
opportunities at their child's school.
The survey of 1,003 parents
across California is the first to look at how connected and involved
parents are with their children's schools."
Lutheran seminary gets new boss after merger" San
Francisco Business Times.
"The Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, tucked high in
the hills above Berkeley, will get a new dean in January after
its merger with California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks
The Rev. Karen Bloomquist
will become dean and chief administrative officer of the seminary
Jan. 6. She was named to the post by the California Lutheran University,
of which PLTS is becoming a part Jan. 1."
Dense Student District Wins Berkeley Council Approval"
"Facing a choice of
two alternative student-heavy districts in its once-a-decade redrawing
of council districts, a split Berkeley City Council Tuesday night
opted for one with 86 percent of college-age residents over one
with 90 percent."
"Gerding Edlen breaks ground on first Berkeley
Developer Gerding Edlen kicked
off construction on its first Berkeley project - a 98-unit apartment
building dubbed the Higby.
The Portland-based developer
looked for sites in Berkeley for several years before buying the
property at 3015 San Pablo from Berkely-based development firm
'There's a lot of similar sensibilities in Berkeley and Portland:
community, sustainability,' said Brent Gau'ke, who manages California
developments for Gerding Edlen. 'Berkeley is a supply-constrained
The $40 million-plus project
consists of five stories of studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms
with 6,500 square feet of ground floor retail and sits at the
corner of two main arteries, San Pablo and Ashby avenues. The
roughly one-acre site has been vacant for years and previously
had a gas station on it. The Higby was designed by MBH Architects
and is being built by Balfour Beatty.
Soon at SE&L ,. . . The
Buttercup, we did the heavy lifting in the 1970s Berkeley New
our Regan's son Zander is
NOT Zander, . . . but one
of his oils
for more check out his
our Councilman Capitelli
link to his particularly good newsletter
A Note from the Councilmember
Downtown Tree Lighting
Toys for Tots
Holiday Toy Drive
Snow? In Berkeley?
Santa on Solano Avenue
Youth Clipper Card
City Contacts and Resources
City Council reviews ordinance proposing new zoning plans for
homeless shelters" Adrianna Dinolfo at dailycal.com.
Berkeley City Council took the first of two votes to pass an ordinance
that proposes new standards and zoning amendments for homeless
shelters at its meeting Tuesday.
The ordinance is an implementation
of Senate Bill 2, a California state bill passed in 2007 that
requires all cities in California to allow the establishment of
year-round homeless shelters in the city. Compliance with SB 2
by 2014 is necessary for the city to remain eligible for certain
state grants, according to a staff report released in June.
Ultimately, the goal is to
make the creation of seasonal and permanent housing easier in
California, said Councilmember Kriss Worthington."
Harvey Hayashida stopped
by to say hello Thursday. Harvey was our mail carrier after Dave
and before Janice. He joined the postal service after being wounded
in Veitnam and leaving the military. "I'm a Grandpa"
exclaimed Harvey as I opened the door for him Thursday. (Harvey'
s son Brett and wife just had a son.) Brett will become the owner
of Car Care Service in January 2014. Car
Care Service is located in Alameda at 1639 Park.
our Steve Donaldson emails
I recently uncovered an old
photo of my Dad, Alex Donaldson at Mare Island Shipyard in 1942.
I also have an original print. My grandfather was a tool and die
maker there. My Dad was 19 years old in the picture, and apprentice
machinist at the time. The guy leaning over and looking up with
his arms crossed is Alex Donaldson.
What they are looking at
is a Japanese mini-sub one of two captured when they beached outside
of Pearl Harbor the day of the attack. They were sent to Mare
Island in Vallejo to be cleaned up and promoted as our "first
success". When the war broke out my Dad and everyone
else in his class graduated in January of 1942 and most joined
either the Navy or the Coast Guard. My Dad eventually flew as
a navigator and radio operator on a PBY 5A in the Atlantic.
By the way, my Dad was born
at Alta Bates in 1923 and lived in Berkeley till 1931 when his
Dad got a job at Mare Island Shipyard.
Recording of Paris 1917-1938
from the percussion, we should have no special problems with Parade."
So Antal Dorati assured me a few days before we began to record.
There was no reason to doubt him. The music in question was a
ballet score by Erik Satie ( 1866-1925), the eccentric French
composer who dressed in grey velvet from head to toes, lived in
a poor workingman's suburb of Paris, and represented for composers
like Ravel and others the new post-impressionist movement in French
Music. Satie's ballet is 'easy' to perform. The-15-minute work,
composed for Diaghilev in 1917, moves along at an unvarying metronomic
rate of 76; the thematic material is uncomplicated to the point
of naivete; and the orchestration is lean, despite the large forces
involved. In fact, for some players in the London Symphony, it
was perhaps too easy. Remarked Barry Tuckwell, the orchestra's
superb first hornist: "When are you going to give us some
semi-quavers to play?"
Holland, the principal percussionist, was not so complacent. It
was his job to assemble a battery of seventeen instruments, most
of which belonged to the traditional percussion family. They included
snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tam-tam, tambourine, woodblocks,
small drum, lottery wheel, xylophone, triangle, sirens ( high-
and low-pitched ), revolver, faques sonores, and bouteillophone.
First, Holland tackled the bouteillophone.
As its name
implies, the bouteillophone consists of tuned bottles,
fifteen of them whose range extends from D above middle C upwards
for two octaves - a typical Satiesque 'instrument ."I've
never heard of bottles actually being used in a performance of
this score," explained Holland. "The vibraphone is ,the
closest we percussionists can come to the sound of tuned bottles.
But we'll try."
of the Watford supermarket began to fill two "shells"
(English for "cases" ) with empty ginger-beer bottles.
do you plan to do with these?" he said as he lifted them
into the counter. "Why, I'm going to 'prepare' them for a
recording session," Holland replied; and he placed his strange
purchase in the trunk compartment of his car and drove to the
Town Hall. In the kitchen, he and his assistant poured varying
quantities of water into the bottles, carried them into the auditorium,
and began hitting them with mallets.
vibraphone standing by, Holland began to 'build' the required
scale. He tapped, listened, poured off water from one bottle,
added some to another. Finally, the percussionist had to admit
defeat. Standing in a puddle and grasping his wet mallet, he reported
that the bottles could not encompass the entire range. The vibraphone
was rolled into position and the bottles put back in their shells.
For the second
time, water was to spell frustration for the percussion section.
In the movement, Prestidigitateur Chinois ( Chinese Conjurer
), Satie scored a brief ~passage for "flaques sonores"
( literally translated: "resonant puddles" ), which
are written to resound 15 times. When asked which instrument he
planned to use for this, Dorati skirted the puddle and asked me
to conduct an investigation into the exact nature of the composer's
I first discussed
the problem with Felix Aprahamian, music critic of the Sunday
Times and an expert in French music. "I haven't the slightest
idea of what Satie could have had in mind," he protested.
"But why don't you contact Rollo Myers. He's written a book
on Satie. He's your man." I phoned Myers in Sussex. "Plaques
sonores! ( Pause ) Probably one of Satie's jokes." He liked
to invent instruments, you know." Editions Salabert, Satie's
publisher, was no more helpful. Apparently the choice of instrument
is left to the percussion player, I was informed.
I put our heads together. What would most resemble a resonant
puddle? "A small cymbal might do it," Holland said,
whereupon he jangled through his trunk of small percussion instruments
and came up with a cymbal which he struck several times. The sound
of metal was too dominant. "Choke it this time and use a
different stick," I said. After some experimentation, Holland
achieved exactly the right fortissimo splash.
it, Dorati agreed that the effect was correct, but he said: "Look,
gentlemen, why don't we try to simulate the sound of a real
puddle? We have nothing to lose; if it doesn't work, we'll
return to the cymbal."
a large roasting pan was located in the Town Hall kitchen, filled
with water, and brought into the auditorium. While the recording
staff listened in the control room upstairs, the percussionist
slammed his cymbal into the "puddle." The sound of water
being agitated was plain, but no splash. Dorati suddenly hopped
off the podium, rolled up his sleeves, and, his eyes gleaming
with boyish delight, slapped the water vigorously. A dozen first
violinists were instantly splattered with the flaque. Over the
microphones it sounded as if someone had plunged into a large
bath tub. Much laughter. It was decided unanimously that, in this
case, imitation of life was preferable to the real thing.
and roasting pan were put aside, leaving the percussionist free
to devote himself to a 'dry' Parade. He turned his attention
to the six revolver shots in Petite Fille Americaine, the
second and third of which were to be fired in rapid succession.
After several ear-splitting rehearsals, Holland discovered that
the trigger mechanism of his revolver would not allow him to fire
off the two shots rapidly enough. He therefore assigned the third
shot to an assistant. "Bang . . . Bang-Bang . . . Bang .
. . Bang . . . Bang." Perfect!
were now required for the same scene. A pair of office machines
had been.transported from the headquarters of the London Symphony
early on the morning of the first Parade session, along
with two typists, male and female. The typewriters were placed
on a table near the first violinists, much to the distraction
of the players (all male) who kept stealing glances at Sarah Park,
the attractive young London Symphony secretary. Feeling that the
typing should sound purposeful, Dorati instructed the typists
to copy items from daily newspapers, preferably one which they
had not yet read. Miss Park, however, alternated between the obituary
page and a remembered lesson from typing school: '"Now is
the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party Cremation
private no flowers please now is the time to come to the hospital
but no flowers please, etc." The typewriters were to sound
continuously for 16 bars, with a precise start and finish.
percussion effects posed no unusual problems, and the section
as a whole was deployed in the following manner: bass drum,tambourine,
snare drum, and cymbals were placed slightly to the right of center,
between the woodwinds and trumpets; lottery wheel, tam-tam, revolver,
xylophone, vibraphone, sirens, triangle, and woodblocks were arrayed
along the outskirts of the violin sections from left to center;
and typewriters and faques sonores were located left of
gently amusing score unwinds with clocklike regularity in the
completed recording, with each percussion effect turning up at
the appointed second, it all must seem so effortless to the listener.
The chief percussionist, however, will always remember it as the
time he was as busy as the sound-effects in a Gangbusters radio serial.
Harold Lawrence, RECOLLECTIONS
is Mercury Living Presence MG 50435/SR 90435 and was recorded
on August 4, 5 and 6, 1965 in Watford Town Hall, London.
students led move toward divestment- In the spring of 1985, students
at UC Berkeley led a protest that would bring change to South
"The city of Berkeley
had already taken action against the South African government,
so a few students thought it was time for their university to
follow. They did and so did other universities.
The year was 1985. California
Assm. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, was the leader of the student
divestment committee. "
Baroque spotlights three Handel contemporaries" Georgia
"Come December, music
director Nicholas McGegan often leads the Philharmonia Baroque
Orchestra in one of Handel's large-scale works; the early-music
ensemble will present the composer's evergreen 'Messiah' next
weekend at various locations, beginning Dec. 14 with Cal Performances
on the UC Berkeley campus.
Now, though, McGegan is taking
a small but intriguing detour into the music of three of Handel's
contemporaries -- the 18th century English composers William Boyce,
John Stanley and William Croft.
The central work on Friday's
opening concert at the SFJazz Center was Boyce's 'Solomon, a serenata.'
Stanley's Concerto for Strings in B minor, Op. 2, No. 2, and Croft's
'The Burial Service' completed the program, which repeats through
Tuesday in Berkeley and Palo Alto."
in London, a Personal Memoir
Requiem and more
association with Leonard Bemstein began in 1967, after Lawrence
was appointed general manager of the London Symphony Orchestra.
It continued in New York when Lawrence became manager of the New
York Philhannonic in 1973.
1968, a few weeks after I had taken over as general manager of
the London Symphony, I phoned Leonard Bernstein. The LSO was without
a principal conductor and it was my job to help the orchestra
find a successor. A number of conductors were being approached,
musicians with whom the LSO had a special relationship. One of
these was Leonard Bernstein, whose association with the orchestra
included highly successful concerts and recordings.
deeply honored," Bernstein said. "But I've promised
myself that when I retire from the Philharmonic after next season,
I will not accept any more titular positions. Please tell the
boys how touched I am. (The London Symphony was then an all-male
ensemble.) "But we'll be working together again, hopefully
in '69," he added.
One of the
projects we talked about for his next visit was the Verdi Requiem.
It took the following twenty months to make the arrangements for
the visit, which turned out to be a multi-media extravaganza,
including concerts, a CBS recording, and a television production.
Fitting the dates into Bernstein's schedule was like solving a
jigsaw puzzle. Lining up world-star singers was even more difficult.
day finally came. On February 18, 1970, Bernstein arrived at London's
Heathrow Airport with his charming wife, Felicia Montealegre.
It was the start of a momentous ten-day whirlwind visit. After
settling into the Savoy Hotel, Bernstein held a press conference
at the Royal Festival Hall, directly across the Thames from his
hotel suite. After the expected queries about his London musical
plans, reporters barraged the conductor with questions about the
Black Panthers party that had taken place in his home a few days
before he left for England. Characteristically flamboyant and
passionate on every subject he turned his attention to, Bemstein
was deeply concerned about social issues. The Black Panther party
had caused the American writer, Tom Wolfe, to describe the Bernstein
New York lifestyle as "Radical Chic." In a flash, the
clever phrase had crossed the Atlantic. The newspeople's questions
and the maestro's answers were still flying around the room when
I called a halt and escorted Bernstein to the first of seven scheduled
rehearsals for the Verdi Requiem.
took place at St. Pancras Town Hall, an unattractive building
with reasonably adequate acoustics. Bernstein embraced "old
friends," including one of his favorites, soprano Martina
Arroyo, greeted the orchestra, and got down to business. It was
apparent from the start that tenor Franco Corelli was not in his
best form. During a break, Bernstein commented privately that
the Metropolitan Opera superstar didn't really seem comfortable
with his part. It was a sign of things to come.
out before the rehearsal was over-and never returned. His manager
phoned us the following day to say that the tenor had taken ill.
Bernstein and I met in his smoke-filled dressing room to review
our position. We already had been informed that Placido Domingo
was available for the CBS recording sessions. But who could we
get for the rehearsals and the concert at such short notice?
standing by, smoking in more ways than one, I phoned singers'
representatives around London, checking off names on Bernstein's
approved list, and recormmending others to the conductor.
lifted when we learned that Tenor 1, high on Bernstein's list,
was across the Channel in Belgium, actually performing the Requiem.
The trouble was that the concert was scheduled on the very same
evening of our own performance. Tenor 2 had "lost his voice...hadn't
sung for a month." Tenor 3 was in Italy, could fly to London
for the dress rehearsal, but couldn't make the concert. (Of course,
he would be available for the CBS recording.) Tenor 4 was somewhere
in the Bahamas, unreachable. Tenors 5, 6 and 7 were unavailable.
Even Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten's friend and Aldeburgh Festival
collaborator, was called. He laughed when I phoned, saying he
hadn't sung the Requiem in 20 years.
Tear wasavailable and said he would be happy to stand by. "But
we need you now, Bob," I said. Tear explained that he was
speaking to me from Kingsway Hall, where he was in the middle
of a recording session. He would drive directly to Hammersmith
after the session, but would miss the start of the rehearsal.
Bernstein announced that he had lost his score. "Of course,
I can manage without it. But I've scribbled down all of the thoughts
I ever had on the Verdi Requiem over I don't know how many years!"
At the Savoy earlier that morning, he had hunted everywhere for
it before heading for the rehearsal. Felicia even crawled under
the bed to look for it, but without success.
As our previous
rehearsal had taken place at St. Pancras, we phoned the hall janitor.
"You're in luck," he said. One of the cleaning women
remembered finding a score after the musicians had left. She'd
put it away behind the footlights, along with a lone music stand.
But there was a snag. A Labour Party conference was in progress
and the British Prime Minister was standing just in front of the
score. We persuaded the janitor to retrieve it somehow, which
he did. Then we asked him to describe it. Bernstein confirmed
it was his, and his chauffeur drove us down there. When we returned,
Bernstein was overjoyed, rewarded us with bear hugs and kisses.
minutes into the rehearsal, Tear arrived at the hall with a screech
of brakes. Bernstein called a break and spent spent twenty minutes
with Tear in private rehearsal before going back into the hall.
On the night
of the concert, 7,000 people crowded into the Royal Albert Hall:
6,000 in their seats and 1,000 standees. The hall had been sold
out within two days after the concert was announced. Bernstein,
the soloists, and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus received
a sustained, ear-splitting standing ovation.
CBS had chosen
the Royal Albert Hall as the site for the recording-an unusual
choice. Record producers avoided working there. One English engineer
described it as "a big old barn." Bernstein was not
unhappy. He had grown accustomed to the acoustics and to the placement
of the musical forces. A staff CBS producer was dispatched from
New York for the quadraphonic recording. ("Quad" was
enjoying a brief fling, resulting in some misguided audio productions,
of which the Requiem was an unhappy example.)
was in exuberant spirits. His conducting was emotional but under
firm artistic control. He lavished meticulous attention on every
measure of the score, mouthing the words to the chorus, opening
his eyes wide for a brass attack, clutching his baton two-handed
in "Dies Irae" like a musical Jimmy Connors. He spent
twenty minutes rehearsing the opening bars of the the first movement
while the producer nervously watched the clock. I had never heard
the muted cellos played with such quiet, hushed intensity.
CBS had converted
the Artists Bar of the Royal Albert Hall into a control room,
shoe-horning its massive electronic gear into the small space.
During a break, Edward Heath made an unexpected appearance. Leader
of the Royal Opposition, member of the Board of Trustees of the
London Symphony, and future Prime Minister, Heath was an accomplished
pianist and organist. Heath and Bernstein were good friends. The
conductor greeted his guest with "Tedward! Would you like
to hear a playback of 'Dies Irae?"
final take, champagne was served all around. But it was Bernstein
who really provided the effervescence. He lingered on the podium,
creating an orgy of affection. He seemed to want to draw in everyone
in sight who had any connection with the recording. He wanted
to love and be loved. Everyone in that hall felt swept away. He
made that kind of magic.
In mock derision,
Felicia called her husband "The Love Machine."
A few days
after his Albert Hall triumph, Bernstein conducted a special performance
of the Requiem at St. Paul's Cathedral for an invited audience.
London Weekend Television produced the event as a TV spectacular.
27th, the Bernsteins flew to Paris, leaving behind an exhausted
but exhilarated LSO general manager, orchestra and staff. His
visit was like a shot of adrenalin. But it was no different from
any one of the hundreds of appearances he made all over the world
during the couse of his extraordinary career.
years after Bernstein vowed never again to accept a titular position
with an orchestra, he agreed to become the London Symphony's president.
Outside of his beloved New York Philharmonic, there probably was
no orchestra he felt closer to than this cooperative, self-governing
One LSO player
recalled his first concert with Bernstein: "I expected something
pretty personal, and that's exactly what I got. I found the experience
deeply moving and spiritual." I was not an intimate friend
of Leonard Bernstein. But, like all those who had the great fortune
of working with this musical giant, I felt embraced in a spiritual
sense by this profound and generous human being.
Harold Lawrence, RECOLLECTIONS
DVD of Bernstein and the London Symphony performing the Requiem.
Sheffield Lab, the Santa Barbara recording firm, produced a series
of recordings in Moscow, of U.S. and Russian orchestral music.
The recording event marked the first time an American conductor
had recorded with a Soviet orchestra. After two years of negotiations,
Sheffield producer Lincoln Mayorga transported recording equipment
from Southern California to Moscow for the sessions.
years earlier, another American record label, Mercury, had blazed
trails for Western record companies when it became the first U.S.
company to produce recordings of any kind inside the U.S.S.R.
with its own musical and technical crew and equipment. A product
of the "thaw" (the precursor of glasnost ), this
project was four years in the making. Negotiations for it began
in 1958, the year Van Cliburn won the Tchaikovsky Competition
and became a star of Beatles proportions in the Soviet Union.
C. Robert Fine, who developed the Mercury Living Presence recording
technique, selected the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory
of Music in Moscow as the site for the project - one of the label's
most ambitious recording expeditions. As with all other Mercury
on-location recordings, Fine arranged for his famous maroon-colored
studio on wheels to be shipped from New York to Moscow.
didn't make it. And along with it, the project.
The van had
been shipped first from New York to Rotterdam. There a giant crane
lifted it aboard a waiting Soviet freighter while representatives
of Mercury and Philips (Mercury's European affiliate) observed
the transfer from the dock. Next stop was the Soviet port of Vyborg,
near Leningrad, where a Mercury recording engineer watched the
truck nearly fall into the harbor after teetering for an agonizing
few seconds on two wheels down the runway. The truck then traveled
by rail to Moscow, eventually landing in the Moscow Customs Department
in the heart of the Soviet capital where our team obtained clearance.
Fine drove the van past the swirling domes of St. Basil's Cathedral,
where we were questioned by a curious Moscow policeman puzzled
by the Tomkins Cove license plate on the vehicle.
of the mobile recording unit at the stage entrance of the Tchaikovsky
Conservatory immediately attracted onlookers. Word had obviously
gotten around in audio, film and broadcasting circles. Muscovites
peered inside the van door, looking at the foreign equipment:
Ampex half-inch three-track tape machines, Westrex 35 mm magnetic
film equipment, banks of amplifiers, monitor loudspeakers, and
other strange-looking electronic gear.
the Moscow expedition was Wilma Cozart, Mercury's vice president
in charge of the classical division. The U.S.S.R. project was
one of a long list of news-making ventures for which she was responsible.
During the previous eleven years, she had signed exclusive contracts
with major U.S. symphony orchestras in Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis;
with conductors Antal Dorati, Howard Hanson and Frederick Fennell;
with violinist Henryk Szeryng, harpsichordist Rafael Puyana, the
Romeros, Gina Bachauer and Byron Janis; and with the Eastman School
of Music's Eastman Rochester Orchestra and Eastman Symphonic Wind
In 1956 (the
year I left WQXR to join Mercury Records as music director) Cozart
produced the label's first overseas recordings. Wherever Cozart
went, Bob Fine's mobile recording unit was sure to be there. (Bob
Fine and Wilma Cozart were married in 1957.)
plans for Moscow were enterprising. They ranged from orchestral
recordings by the Moscow Philharmonic and Moscow Radio Symphony
conducted by Kyril Kondrashin and Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, the
Borodin String Quartet, the 80-piece Osipov Balalaika Orchestra,
and a piano recital by Byron Janis, who was on tour in the Soviet
Union at the time.
took place in the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
Three microphones set to an omni-directional pattern were placed
along the apron of the stage. Cables ran from the concert hall
to the recording truck parked in the driveway of the Conservatory,
where Bob Fine and his assistant engineer, Robert Eberenz, presided.
Another set of cables threaded their way to the fourth floor of
the building, where a practice room had been converted to a control
room equipped with three powerful Altec Voice of the Theater
provided the Mercury team with the help of several experienced
audio personnel, including Raïsa, daughter of the legendary
film director, Sergei Eisenstein. (When Fine attempted to help
Raïsa move a heavy boom along the auditorium floor, she removed
his hand firmly and said in English: "In Russia, women are
other halls used by Mercury for its orchestral recordings, the
seats in the Great Hall were nailed permanently to the floor.
The musical forces therefore had to be deployed on the stage.
But this posed no problem for the recording crew: the largest
score to be recorded (Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto) fit easily
into the space.
began the evening of June 8, 1962 and continued through the early
morning of June 17.
We took time
off between sessions to visit the headquarters of the U.S.S.R.
recording industry on Kachalova Street, halfway between Moscow
State University and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. From this center
flowed the decisions that resulted (in 1962) in an annual output
of 1,200 new LP releases and more than 100 million records. In
view of these impressive figures, one would not be surprised to
see the offices of Fsyesayuznaya Studia Gramzapici bustling
with activity. The activity was there all right, but in muted
tones. Following the receptionist through the studios, we passed
a trio of technicians surrounding an Ortofon cutter and exchanging
whispered comments. In another, we caught a glimpse of a young
woman in a white smock reading the meters of a Bruel and Kjaer
Spectrum recorder. And we looked in on a quality-control worker
gently lowering the pickup on a metal part.
and repertory chief of the state recording industry was B.D. Vladimirsky,
affable, soft-spoken, and, unlike most of his Western A &
R counterparts, calm. He had every right to be. His roster included
some of the world's top recording artists - Sviatoslav Richter,
Emil Gilels, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, the Leningrad
Philharmonic, and every Soviet artist and musical group of any
importance on the world's classical record market - and Vladimirsky
had no competition inside the Soviet Union.
A & R
decisions were made in Moscow, in keeping with the centralized
nature of the Soviet economy. In the fields of pop and folk music,
however, local distributors made recommendations to Moscow Central
for repertory and artists and often recorded special material
on their own. As Russia is only one of 15 Soviet republics, a
wide variety of non-Russian music was taped throughout the U.S.S.R.,
from Outer Mongolia to the Ukraine.
not yet made much headway in the Soviet Union in 1962 and the
state record industry had only recently manufactured its first
consumer stereo player. Vladimirsky was unable to demonstrate
- no cartridge.
engineer of the U.S.S.R. Gramophone Recording Studios was A. I.
Archinov, a gentle, balding, bespectacled man who spoke English
fluently. For a man in charge of audio for the entire Soviet recording
industry, it was surprising to learn that Archinov had visited
the United States only once - in 1937! He was naturally eager
to learn firsthand about the four and a half tons of audio equipment
brought to Moscow in the recording truck.
travel restrictions, he and his colleagues were surprisingly well
acquainted with the latest developments in the world of audio,
as their many questions revealed. The authorities permitted him
to make frequent trips to France, Denmark, West Germany and England,
where he purchased quantities of new equipment for his studios.
He also announced that the Soviets had now produced their own
professional tape recorder, of which only 30 existed.
by its absence was equipment made in the U.S.A. The only American
product we spotted was a roll of Scotch brand splicing tape. (Some
Soviet tape editors still used ordinary cellophane tape!)
orchestral recording was then done in four cities: Moscow, Leningrad,
Odessa and Riga. The best known halls, Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory
and Leningrad's Philharmonic Hall, have high reputations. Archinov
singled out a recording site in Riga which he and his team discovered.
When we met him, he was planning to record Bach's Mass in B
Minor in a spacious cathedral in the Latvian capital.
at the time employed the MS system for their stereo recordings.
Tape-to-disc transfers were made on Ortofon equipment, with 60
watts per channel driving the cutting mechanism. Two speaker systems
were in operation: "ML" (Hungarian) and Pathé
Marconi (French). disc playback amplifiers were 15 watts per channel.
reverberation systems were used: one made in West Germany (an
E.M.T. sheet reverberator) and a magnetic reverberator made in
Union's entire output of classical records was pressed in four
cities; Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa and Riga.
be interesting to me to compare the primitive state of audio in
the U.S.S.R. when the Mercury recording truck first invaded the
Soviet capital, with today's.
by Harold Lawrence, RECOLLECTIONS, Ron Penndorf
The Byron Janis Prokofiev/Rachmaninoff
available on CD
"Bob Fine's Recording
Truck : 1951 1966" by Tom Fine at preservationsound.com.
"In a previous article, we offered a thorough
treatment of Fine Recording, INC. (hf. "FRI"), the NYC
recording studio that pioneered high-fidelity music recording
in the 1950s and 60s.
FRI principal Bob Fine also built and maintained a high-fidelity
remote recording truck beginning in 1951. This recording
truck was used to create master recordings for dozens of albums
for the Mercury Living Presence and Command Classics labels.
Perhaps most remarkably, the truck saw thousands of hours of action
not only throughout the United States, but on several European
tours as well. In 1962, it was the first American recording
unit to be allowed into the Soviet Union to record Russian musicians.
PS dot com contributor Tom Fine, son of Bob Fine, has provided
us with some rare period documentation of the truck along with
many never-before-published photographs of the operation in action.
story of Bob Fine's remote truck as told to us by Tom Fine."
writes of The Rite of Spring premier in 1913 "In his
admirably detailed biography of Stravinsky, Stephen Walsh speaks
of 'a sense of unease' before the first performance (as opposed
to the public dress rehearsal the night before, which had passed
without incident), 'due partly to the complexity of the score,
partly to a feeling that Nijinsky and his dancers were not wholly
at one with the music or each other, partly perhaps to Diaghilev's
own instinct that trouble was in the air' (Walsh 1999, 203). The
dress rehearsal, which was only for The Rite of Spring,
had been attended by musicians (including Debussy and Ravel),
critics, and other cognoscenti. At the actual performance, which
was part of a subscription series, The Rite was preceded
by Les sylphides and followed by Le spectre de la rose
and the Polovtzian Dances from Prince Igor, all traditional
ballets that never failed to please an audience. In the midst
of these, The Rite (subtitled Pictures of Pagan Russia)
could not fail to provoke. Also, advance word was, according to
Walsh, that 'the new ballet was difficult, violent, and incomprehensible.'
He quotes the composer Florent Schmitt as saying, 'These so-called
'society' people, unable to see, hear and feel for themselves,
these grown-up children . . . could only respond to these splendors,
so immeasurably remote from their feeble understanding, with the
stupid hilarity of infants" (Walsh 1999, 203-4). Murmurs
of discontent could be heard soon after the start of the piece,
that high-pitched, strained, and tortuous bassoon solo. (Stravinsky
once said that if he had known how easy that solo would become
for bassoonists, every ten years he would have raised it half
a step.) Soon catcalls and other imprecations were heard along
with the voices of those trying to quell the disturbance, each
side fueling the other. It was a case of the elegant inhabitants
of the stalls and the boxes versus the more enthusiastic crowd
in the balconies. Shouts were heard of 'A bas les greus du 16eme!'
('Down with the bitches of the sixteenth district!'-the wealthy
and fashionable area of Paris). Punches were thrown, and cards
were exchanged so that duels could be fought the next day. Complete
mayhem reigned. Through all this turmoil Monteux continued to
conduct the orchestra, even though at times he could not hear
the music at all. Stravinsky later recalled:
was sitting in the fourth or fifth row on the right and the image
of Monteux's back is more vivid in my mind today than the picture
of the stage. He stood there apparently impervious and as nerveless
as a crocodile. It is still almost incredible to me that he actually
brought the orchestra through to the end. I left my seat when
the heavy noises began-light noise had started from the very beginning-and
went backstage behind Nijinsky in the right wing. Nijinsky stood
on a chair, just out of view of the audience, shouting numbers
to the dancers. I wondered what on earth these numbers had to
do with the music, for there are no 'thirteens' and 'seventeens'
in the metrical scheme of the score. (Stravinsky and Craft 1959,
47-48; 2002, 91)
was actually delighted with the chaos, stating that it was exactly
what he wanted. (Cynics thought he himself had staged the riot.)
According to Monteux the public reaction was the same at each
performance, which surprised him, for Parisians usually think
of themselves as genuine connoisseurs of the arts . . . "
From John Canarina's Pierre
related an amusing episode in his personal life at the time that
would not be out of place in a Charlie Chaplin film. He lived
uptown [Manhattan] and thought it would be convenient to have
a car to take him to and from the Opera House, as many of his
colleagues did, rather than rely on public transportation. Accordingly,
he bought a Ford touring car for $300. Always early for rehearsals,
he would be the first to park his car behind the theater. Next
would come Caruso in a handsome chauffeur-driven Pierce-Arrow,
then usually Gatti-Casazza's equally impressive vehicle, followed
by those of other high-ranking members of the company. In the
presence of these luxurious behemoths Monteux's car 'looked like
an insignificant baby-carriage,' and he was not unaware of the
disdainful looks of chauffeurs as he cranked the Ford himself.
One day, as he was driving along Eighth Avenue, there was a gasp
from the engine, then a small explosion, after which the car stopped
completely near the curb. Monteux got out, politely tipped his
hat to it, and walked away, never to return for it (D. Monteux
This happened in the Nineteen-teens when Monteux was conducting
the Met. From John Canarina's Pierre
John Canarina writes about one of the many "suitable dates"
in our history that were never found "Also of interest is
a program that did not take place. During his Los Angeles visit,
Monteux became acquainted with the work of the African American
tap dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, well known through his many
motion picture appearances. So impressed was Monteux with Robinson's
artistry and agility that he proposed an appearance for him with
the Los Angeles Philharmonic if a suitable date could be found-otherwise
he would perform in San Francisco. As quoted in the Pasadena Post
of 8 December 1935, Monteux said of Robinson, 'He expresses as
much beauty with his feet as a singer does with his voice. I am
happy to be the one to introduce him as a classical artist.'
prospect of Robinson's tap dancing to the great works of the masters
brought a great deal of apprehension to the traditionalists among
Los Angeles music lovers, but Isabel Morse Jones praised the idea
in the Los Angeles Times of 15 December 1935. Her article emphasized
the importance of rhythm in music and went on to say that a few
years earlier, Maud Allan had managed to dance aimlessly to Tchaikovsky's
'Pathetique' Symphony with no attention whatsoever to the work's
rhythm, and that the public accepted it because it was thought
to be highbrow art. She continued that Monteux believed rhythm
was an important factor in American life and was impressed with
the possibility of experimentation involving music and dance.
Besides, Jones wrote, Robinson's sense of humor was something
everyone could appreciate, and that combination of humor and rhythm
was something the Philharmonic could use a little more of. She
further felt that such a program could be beneficial in bringing
about a better relationship between the Philharmonic and the general
public. As might be expected, however, a suitable date could not
be found for this program." From John Canarina's Pierre
Much more about Monteux
The Civil War
publicizing its eleven-hour series, The Civil War, PBS
pointed out that producer Ken Burns used hundreds of archival
photographs, period paintings, lithographs, posters and other
historical visual materials to tell the story of the war. Critic
Harry F. Waters gave due credit to the impressive pictorial coverage
in his review of the epic documentary. He noted, however, that
"ironically, it's the sounds rather than the images
that strike most movingly." Waters referred specifically
to the authentic-sounding artillery cannonades accompanying the
chilling pictures of major battles.
like most reviewers, he overlooked the fact that the authentic
sounds of Civil War weapons, as well as much of the music heard
in the series, were taken from the four-LP audio documentary recorded
by Mercury Records in 1960 to mark the Civil War Centennial.
many ways, The Civil War - Its Music and Its Sounds, Mercury
Living Presence LP2S 202 (1961-62) was the sonic precursor of
the immensely popular PBS TV documentary.
Burns, Frederick Fennell was obsessed with authenticity. Founder
and director of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Fennell was determined
to create a sonic documentation of the music of the Civil War.
"I felt it my vital responsibility," he wrote in 1960,
"to seek only that music which was known to have actually
been played by the musicians of those (Union and Confederate)
regiments . . . on the authentic and unique over-the-shoulder
brass instruments for which the music was written, thus to afford
the listener a faithful representation of the music of the period
in its true and long-forgotten medium of expression."
was ahead of his time. Today's conductors are unearthing neglected
scores and painstakingly re-creating the way music of past centuries
really sounded when performed on period instruments.
Fennell first dreamed of bringing to life the band sounds of mid-19th
century America, Civil War music in movies, recordings and television
was performed on modern instruments in contemporary arrangements,
including the well-intentioned Bales-Columbia album on music of
idea for the Mercury project was born in a hotel room in Gettysburg
in 1956. Along with hundreds of other visitors, Frederick Fennell,
had made the pilgrimage to the battlefield and was reading himself
to sleep with W.C. Storrick's "The Battle of Gettysburg"
when he came across this entry from the diary of Lt. Col. Arthur
J. L. Fremantle, a British observer with Lee's forces: "When
the cannonade was at its height, a Confederate band of music,
between the cemetery and ourselves, began to play polkas and waltzes,
which sounded very curious, accompanied by the hissing and bursting
of the shells."
these words, Fennell leaped from bed, dressed and went out into
the moonlit field to try to locate the exact spot where the Confederate
band had played. As he sat on one of General Longstreet's cannons,
his mind raced with the speed of a solid-shot projectile. Why
not recreate the music of Civil bands using authentic period instruments?
approached Howard Hanson, director of the Eastman School of Music
and the artistic supervisor of the Eastman School/Mercury Living
Presence American Music series, with his idea. Hanson enthusiastically
endorsed their project and Fennell plunged ahead.
"Good Earth Energy Conservation Receives
Purchase Order From City of Berkeley California for the Electric
Firefly ESV" marketwatch.com.
"Good Earth Energy Conservation,
Inc., a subsidiary of Numbeer, Inc. (otcqb:NUMB) and provider
of electric fleet vehicles for the essential services market,
announced today it has received a purchase order for one Firefly(R)
Essential Service Vehicle (ESV) from the City of Berkeley, California.
The made-in-the-USA 3-wheeled
energy efficient Firefly(R) is scheduled for delivery to Berkeley
in the first quarter of 2014. This marks the first Firefly(R)
purchase by the City of Berkeley, which will use the electric
vehicle for parking enforcement. Berkeley currently has approximately
50 vehicles in its parking enforcement fleet. "
Right-to-Know and File Reviews" ci.berkeley.ca.us.
"The City of Berkeley
Toxics Management Division maintains documents related to the
Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA).
EPCRA was designed to improved community access to information
about chemical hazards and to facilitate the development of chemical
emergency response plans by state/tribe and local governments. The
reporting requirements established under Community Right-To-Know
laws provide the public with important information on chemicals
that can be hazardous in their communities. Being aware
of chemical hazards within a community will help facilitate emergency
planning and public disclosure of toxic chemicals."
Bay Area Needs Affordable Housing" Robert Gammon,
"A new study co-authored
by a UC Berkeley researcher reveals that economic segregation
is not only getting worse, but making it tougher for low-income
families to succeed.
When Governor Jerry Brown killed redevelopment two years ago,
he cited the need to divert property tax revenues to education
and other social programs. And while funding such services is
essential to the state's economic well-being, the governor's decision
also had a major downside: It choked off the ability of cities
to finance affordable housing. "
Crime Rise Linked to State Prison Releases, Study Says--Berkeley,
like California as whole, saw a rise in property crimes following
the state's prison early-release program" Charles Burress,
Researchers have found 'robust
evidence' suggesting that property crime in California increased
because thousands of prisoners who had been locked in state prisons
transferred to the laxer custody of county officials in a process
known as realignment.
"Several Robberies Near Berkeley Border
"Several armed robberies
were reported in North Oakland near the Berkeley border Monday
morning, according to Oakland police. They all appear to have
been committed by the same two suspects in a car that was carjacked
Sunday, police said."
brings 'Fruitvale Station' to Berkeley High" by Judith
"Ryan Cooglar didn't
create the award-winning film 'Fruitvale Station' to entertain.
He wanted to start a conversation around the killing of Oscar
Grant III by a BART police officer on Jan. 1, 2009.
That conversation -- about
film, life, justice and love -- flowed at Berkeley High School
on Dec. 4 during a question-and-answer session a screening of
the film for several hundred students and their teachers in the
Florence Schwimley Little Theater."
The Boolie Jacket and the
Understand I grew up in Milwaukee,
Wisconson in the upstairs of a house with no real heating--there
was an oil burner in the dinning room. The bathroom was as far
away from the oil burner as possible in the small upstairs and
so taking a whiz on a sub zero winter day . . .
Now Boolie was a Korean War
vet at UW on the GI Bill . . .
to be continued
rummaging through Harold Lawrence's papers I came across a clipping
of an article from an unknown source by an unknown author. I take
it to be from the mid-1960s. It is an interview with Harold and
well captures the man. )
Art of Classical Recording
Harold Lawrence on left
frequently we tend to lose sight of the fact (if, indeed, we were
ever eonsciously aware of it) that the physical act of recording
music is an art form unto itself. As such, it has quietly introduced
us in the past fifteen years to a new breed of artists peculiar
to the recording industry-called by a variety of names, ranging
from "producer for records," "music director,"
"a. & r. man" or simply "recording supervisor."
It is, of course, a matter of conjecture and debate whether these
men (or women) are artists or artisans. But, if it is conceded
that they are artisans, then Harold Lawrence, musical director
for the classical division of Mercury Records, is an artist among
of Lawrence's responsibilities at Mercury would send the most
ambitious and egotistical of success-mongers to the nearest clinic
for a barrel of tranquilizers and anteeid aids. But instead Lawrence
is a picture of the well adjusted, wise professor, who is not
easily harassed nor intimidated, and probably has tenure to boot.
He is extremely softspoken, mild mannered and conservative -yet
his demeanor suggests he pretty much gets what he is after.
Mercury, Lawrence is personally responsible for from forty to
seventy album releases per year. Of these, between forty and fifty
are newly recorded performances, and the others are repackagings
of previously issued material. Lawrence's involvement is complete
with each album. He is the consultant with the artist on programming,
attends and supervises the sessions, edits tapes, commissions
and approves cover art and liner notes, and is involved in the
sales, promotion and advertising aspects as well. "I thrive
on it," he says. "If I didn't it would be pretty grueling.
I've made my commitment to it, and I'm a very happy man."
for Mercury has advantages other .companies don't afford. Sure,
I'm involved in a lot of work, but being involved with the product
from conception to realization has tremendous advantages. Then
the job is a truly creative one, and you feel you've accomplished
Lawrence came to Mercury in 1956 (he had previously been director
of recorded music at radio station WQXR in New York for seven
years) the catalog consisted primarily of works in the symphonic
on the label were such prominent orchestras and conductors as
the Minneapolis Symphony (Dorati), Eastman-Rochester (Hanson)
the Detroit (Paray) and the Eastman Wind Ensemble (Fennell).
then, and particularly in the past couple of years, Mercury has
acquired the exclusive recording services of a select handful
of illustrious instrumental soloists (Byron Janis, Janos Starker,
Rafael Puyana, Gina Bachauer, and Henryk Szeryng). With these
soloists Lawrence has established a warm personal relationship,
which he finds necessary to successfully transfer their talents
to the indifferent medium of electrical impulses.
must remember at all times," observes Lawrence," that
an artist is his worst critic. And most important, he needs an
audience. Without one, he may not give his best efforts. The recording
studio is a totally unnatural setting to achieve spontaneous performance.
It's my job to instill some measure of urgency in the studio.
Without it, a performance is dull.
most important thing is that the artist trusts you, as a musician
and a critic. In the studio I virtually become the artist's 'other
ear'-his alter ego. If that relationship isn't there, the product
a session, you have to sense when the artist has done his best
(at least for that moment). Sometimes, even an excellent take
can be the next-to-best. Often, when we think we've succeeded,
I'll have a hunch, and suggest just one more, for good measure.
That'll often turn out to be the best.
must say, the worst thing you can ever say to an artist is that
he is 'just great.' An artist can always do better, and if you
want to maintain his trust you've got to be honest or he'll lose
faith in you."
more important perhaps is a problem which arises long before you
get to the studio-the delicate question of program. I personally
do not hold with the current industry mania for catalog completeness.
There is this great thing about 'first recorded performance.'
I don't buy it. The important thing for the record and for the
artist is that you record them in the area they excel in. What
have you accomplished by adding to the catalog if you wind up
with a bad or indifferent performance? I fail to see the logic.
doesn't mean we haven't added to the catalog, but only where it
was appropriate and mutually agreed upon."
the technical side, Lawrence's main concern is with re-creating,
as closely as posible, the sound as one would hear it in the concert
hall. For classical programs, he prefers that the pick-up be done
by one microphone per track, as opposed to multiple-mike pick-up.
"We do this for purely musical reasons," says Lawrence.
"The dynamic range is more realistic this way. And, I might
add, that it is much more difficult finding the best possible
placement of the single mike than the other way. Once we've found
the spot and tested the level with all the orchestral and solo
sections, it stays there throughout the entire performance. For
semi-classics and 'pop concert' recordings, we revert to the multiple
mikes, strictly for convenience."
many years, Mercury's "sound" has been trade-marked
"Living Presence." This distinction was explained by
Lawrence. "Several years ago, in the monaural days, Rafael
Kubelik recorded "Pictures at an Exhibition" for Mercury
with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. At the time, 1951, Mercury
had a pretty insignificant classical catalog. The recording was
picked up by the single mike technique, and critic Howard Taubman
of the New York Times in reviewing the recording, said 'one feeis
one is listening to the living presence of the orchestra.' The
term was adopted, and remains to this day."
is currently in England, where he'll be for the next six weeks.
But he's not there on vacation. When he returns, he'll be carrying
in his overweight luggage, enough tapes for ten more albums for
Living Presence Discography is here and a good selection
of Living Presence CDs is here.
(In his later years Harold became a good friend and some years
before he passed gave me much of his business correspondence.)
Distinguished classical producer Harold Lawrence died; he was
By Janko Tietz, Oakland Tribune, 9/03/2011
There are not many people in Oakland who had such
an illustrious circle of friends and colleagues from around the
world as Harold Lawrence.
Known as one of the world's most important classical
music producers, Lawrence worked with conductor and composer Leonard
Bernstein, Polish-born pianist Arthur Rubinstein, Russian-born
piano-virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz and Berlin-born pianist and conductor
Andre Previn, to name a few.
Lawrence died Aug. 22 from a blood disorder. He
One of his last productions before his retirement
in 1987 was managing the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and the Oakland
"Harold Lawrence made many contributions to
the symphony and the youth orchestra over the years, but the greatest
was his vision," said Michael Morgan, music director of Oakland
East Bay Symphony. "Having worked with such large orchestras
and with so many great artists, he brought a larger world perspective
to all of our discussions."
Lawrence was born Oct. 22, 1923, to French-Algerian
father Nathan Levine and Russian mother Lila Karsenty Nathan Levine.
He was raised by foster parents in New York and attended New York
Lawrence always wanted to be a pianist but started
"too late" at age 15, said his goddaughter Libby Schaaf,
an Oakland city councilmember.
After his first job at the Gramophone Shop annex
across from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, he soon became
director of Recorded Music for radio station WQXR, the radio station
of the New York Times. That is where he met the head of the classical
division of Mercury Records, innovators of the "Living Presence"
recording technology. In September 1956, Lawrence joined Mercury
as music director. Among his duties was editing recordings, then
done by a careful ear and even more careful hand by physically
cutting out tiny bits of tape containing offending notes and hand-splicing
the reel back together.
"As a trained musician, I could read orchestral
scores," Lawrence once told Schaaf. "I knew, too, how
to operate a tape machine. But laying razor blade to tape was
at first an intimidating experience."
Known as Mercury's "golden age," Harold's
recordings are legendary among music aficionados and collectors
for their unsurpassed technical and artistic excellence.
In 1963, he married Mary Morris, one of the first
female news photographers at Associated Press.
Four years later, Lawrence became the first American
general manager of the London Symphony Orchestra, the most recorded
orchestra in the world. In London, he hired the 38-year-old Previn
as the principal conductor.
He then returned to his hometown to manage the New
York Philharmonic Orchestra for four years.
It was in New York where Edgar Kaiser persuaded
Lawrence to come to Oakland as president and general manager of
the Oakland Symphony. Again, Lawrence recruited a young, dynamic
conductor and musical director, Calvin J. Simmons, the first African-American
conductor of an American orchestra.
Firmly settled in Oakland, Lawrence and Morris played
an important role in the Bay Area's cultural life for more than
"He loved Oakland," Schaaf said. "That's
the reason he started his final career here in Oakland, when he
established a successful video production company from 1987 to
Lawrence was a member of Oakland Rotary Club and
the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club, where he was instrumental in
restoring the Necklace of Lights around Lake Merritt.
"He will be remembered for his smooth announcer's
voice, his kind spirit and his active community involvement in
organizations like the Oakland Youth Orchestra and the Oakland
Symphony," said Lorna Padia-Markus, president of the Rotary
Club. "He had many friends in Rotary and will be missed."
"Harold and his wife Mary were 'connectors.'
They made it their business to make sure that creative people
and people of good will knew of one another, so that they could
work together for the benefit of Oakland," said Robert Kidd,
president-elect of the Rotary Club.
Lawrence continued his dedication to music by serving
on the board of the Oakland Youth Orchestra until his death.
In recent years, although receiving regular transfusions
because of his blood disease, Lawrence was able to continue to
pursue his hobbies, including his great passion for tennis.
Mary Morris Lawrence died two years ago; the couple
had no children.
Harold Lawrence is survived by two nephews and his
stepdaughter, Antonia Steiner, of New York.
dry dirty air IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, mucus membrane
irritation 6:14 PM=similar. 8:03 PM--VERY SERIOUS irritant in
warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, burning
dry dirty air, surning eyes throat, over ride HEPA filters. 9:00
in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, burning eyes, throat,
over ride HEPA filters. 10:57 AM--similar. 6:00 PM--similar. 8:15
12/3/13--3:15 AM--dry dirty
air IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation.
5:26 AM--similar. 11:11 AM--similar. 2:10 PM--similar, SERIOUS.
9:20 PM--irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, burning
eyes, over rides HEPA filters. 11:17 PM--similar. 6:45 PM--similar.
12/5/13 3:13 AM--irritant
in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, STRONG fresh brewing
coffee smell, over rides HEPA filters. 10:05 PM--similar.
in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, over rides HEPA filters.
12:13 PM-similar. 4:45 PM--similar, VERY SERIOUS. 6:30 PM-VERY
SERIOUS irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of
warehouse, burning dry dirty air, burning eyes throat, overrides
HEPA filters. 8:35 PM--similar. 9:35 PM--similar. 11:35 PM--similar,
irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, burning eyes,
itchy skin, over rides HEPA filters. 10:35 AM--similar, wear respirator.
10:25 PM--similar. 11:00 PM--dry dirty air IMMEDIATELY in front
of warehouse, mucus membrane irritation.
in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, over rides HEPA filters.
irritant in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse,
burning dry dirty air, overrides HEPA filters. 9:15 AM--similar,
VERY SERIOUS 9:35 AM--irritant in warehouse front, burning dry
dirty air, burning eyes, itchy skin, over rides HEPA filters,
wear respirator. 9:15 PM--similar. 10:11 PM similar, VERY SERIOUS.
4:01 AM-similar with loud whining noise at warehouse rear. Off-and
on all AM, similar.
in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air. Off-and-on all AM,
similar, burning eyes, throat. Off-and-on all afternoon--irritant
in warehouse front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse, dry
dirty air often with "hot metal" odor. 8:11 PM--similar
SERIOUS. 9:43 PM--similar, VERY SERIOUS, burning air.
12/13/13--9:51 AM--VERY SERIOUS
irritant in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air. 7:15 PM--similar.
12/14/13--7:05 AM-- irritant
in warehouse front, burning dry dirty air, overrides HEPA filters,
wear respirator. 7:17 AM--similar, SERIOUS. 8:40 AM--strong "smokey
odor", Spare the Air day. 10:05 AM--irritant in warehouse
front and IMMEDIATELY in front of warehuse, burning dry dirty
air, overrides HEPA filters, wear respirator. 2:05 PM--similar.
2:25 PM--Marsha cough attack.
You can find more information
about our current weather conditions than is good for you at www.wunderground.com
Want to see weather coming
in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out
This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor,
Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets
more hits than Scrambled Eggs.
Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very
If you ever need to get a
human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc.,
this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get
you to a human being within a few seconds.
Best gas prices in 94710,
as well as all of US and Canada, are here
Kimar finds Costco routinely
has the lowest price.
Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com
Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com
Our City Council update is
Our Planning Commision update
Our City of Berkeley Boards
and Commissions page is here--redone
of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911
or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of
these City people.
Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.
aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 firstname.lastname@example.org
City Councilman email@example.com
AND check out BPD feature
are these Suspects."
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