Author Archives: el barrio rosa

The real Gay Pride is celebrated by the non-corporatist Queer (GTLBQ) Community

Hola a todos. Corporate Gay Pride has become very predictable. It’s about corporate dinero/money. And the status-quo, pro-Establishment Queer corporatists among us see nothing wrong with that. In 2017, Pride is essentially a slick corporate-style, hours-long mobile commercial providing advertising to corporations, businesses, organisations, as well as corporatist career politicians looking for face time. Some corporations and politicians have supposedly become “pro-gay.” After seeing lots of Queer dollar signs? Others claim to have “evolved” overnight when they realise there’s lots of dinero to be made from some wealthy (gullible) Queers who are easily exploited for campaign donations. Some corporate sports teams now have “LGBT Night” (they use the revisionist history acronym) after they realised they can make lots of money from Queers — those Queers trying to emulate the breeders by being obnoxious heteronormative jock bros — from their purchase of outrageously expensive season tickets. Meanwhile, how many anti-gay/”fag jokes” does one hear in these corporate sports team locker rooms today with team members encouraging it by laughing it up? Some of these political parasite hypocrites in the parade wave a Rainbow Flag with one hand while any other time are oppressing members of the Queer community with the other. The pro-corporate, empty puppet-mayor of San Francisco — he’s the puppet of the real mayor who is a conservative billionaire venture capitalist — refused to fly the Transgender Flag from the balcony of San Francisco City Hall a number of years ago and his transgender liaison supported that decision. Despicable. He has no problem flying any other flag such as the flag of Israel or the flags of wealthy national league corporate sports teams.

There are some very wealthy Queers in the community of each major city. Why don’t they anonymously fund this annual Pride celebration in their own city and kick these corporations out? Why does it have to take so much dinero to have a parade down the street? I don’t get it. Or does most of the money from these corporate sponsors go to pay exorbitant executive salaries of the self-appointed authorities who have ruined Pride and think they know what’s best for the Queer community, with preference given to wealthy white males? It wouldn’t take much dinero at all to get the required street permit, portable toilets and other basic necessities. Pride should not be a mobile corporate commercial. It should return to its authentic roots, but I live under no illusion that’s about to happen.

The sponsors for SF Pride 2017 were: Ala*ka Airlines, B*dLight, bl*eCalifornia, Sm*rnoff, x*fin*ty, the conservative Com*onw*alth Club and others. The Com*onw*alth Club? (geezus) Well, that’s what I’ve come to expect from the conservative, pro-corporate Establishment ass-eaters running SF Pride, some of whom probably describe themselves as: “I’m a liberal” or “I’m a progressive.” Yeah sure you are. In name-only. You’re a fake-liberal, fake-progressive. People call themselves anything these days even though it’s not based in reality. Another corporate sponsor was the big pharma corporation that makes PrEP/Truvada. And there were other corporate sponsors.

I wonder if the TGLBQ or GTLBQ community — whichever letter order you prefer of the two acronyms that more accurately honour our true/authentic history — have noticed that they are being used and exploited by major corporation$? Alcoholism is a major problem in the Queer community (it’s also a major problem with breeders too, obviously) and SF Pride has sponsors that promote drug use (the drug alcohol: beer companies). SF Pride has a big pharma corporation sponsor and its cheerleader corporate politicians continue to try to get as many people on PrEP as possible. From what I’ve read in men-for-men personal sex ads, people are taking PrEP/Truvada so they can bareback. Rarely does anyone mention condom use. Guys specifically write, “BB, bareback, raw, cumdump, anonymous…” in their sex ads. (Breeders bareback too I’d like to point out). And consequently, STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are on the rise because fewer people are using condoms. As of this writing, there have been two documented cases of guys becoming HIV+ while taking PrEP that I’ve read about.

The many side effects of PrEP/Truvada — including, but not limited to, serious liver problems, kidney problems including kidney failure, worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection, too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis) which is a serious medical emergency and other side effects — are constantly minimised and/or dismissed by the corporatist cheerleaders of PrEP (including gay guys on PrEP) from my research. From their website: “Common side effects in people taking Truvada to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection include: stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. I’ve read such hype from guys taking PrEP as: “Never felt better; best blood test results ever!” Yes I’m sure. Of course there’s no way to confirm their claim.

Truvada says the following on their website which seems to have escaped the people barebacking while on PrEP: “Just taking TRUVADA may not keep you from getting HIV-1. You must continue using safer sex practices while you are taking TRUVADA to reduce your risk of getting HIV-1.

Are these big corporation$ really on the side of the GTLBQ or TGLBQ community? Are we sure Queers are not being exploited by corporations for their dinero/money for corporate profits? Just because a corporation claims to be pro-GTLBQ, why is that a reason for them to be in our Pride parades? At this point in time, the astute people among us know why they’re in there and it’s not just because they supposedly “love gay people.”

Here in San Francisco, I noticed they had the police in our Corporate SF Pride parade, as usual. Yes, the same SFPD that TGLBQs/GTLBQs in San Francisco’s Castro had violent confrontations with decades ago. But now, we find them in the Corporate Pride Parade along with the major techie companies owned by billionaires. Many, if not most Queers, enjoy being mindless Establishment boot lickers these days. Keep staring at your phones, San Francisco.

A genuine Gay Pride celebration — which is not what these Corporate Pride events are by any measure — would observe and honour our authentic-original history where gay guys and transgender persons started the Queer Rights’ Movement initially. The reader may be asking, “What are you talking about?” I’m talking about the Queer riot at Cooper’s Donuts in Los Ángeles which took place 10 years before the Stonewall riots in 1969. I’m talking about the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Queer riot in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. But the dishonest corporatists among us with no respect for our true history have unfortunately revised, changed our history (I’m referring to that “LGBT” acronym which some of us can’t stand) that one sees everywhere today giving the false impression that lesbians led the Movement. They did not. Gay guys and Transgender individuals started the movement. (Related: Gay Rights’ Movement Legacy Hijacked By Lesbians. May GLBTQ Live On!).

I spent a little time walking around the barrio/neighbourhood after San Francisco’s Corporate Pride parade. I saw: him and her, him and her, him and her, and him and her together. I was reminded that I was in the new Breeder Mecca (formerly the Gay Mecca). Breeders moved to the most expensive city in the nation, San Francisco, to be a Baby Factory, many of them copycat pregnancies: Needy-her says to him, “Honey, we should have a baby because two of my friends are having babies and I want to fit in so we can all talk about our pregnancies. And a baby will make us so much happier.” Don’t bet on it, and you shouldn’t be using a baby to try to improve your (lousy?) relationship. When I happened to see two gay guys together after Corporate Pride, most gay couples were pushing baby strollers (heteronormative?) being just like the breeders.

I also noticed that for Corporate Pride in San Francisco, los pendejos closed the Jane Warner Plaza for the weekend. The JWPlaza is just off the intersection of Market and Castro Streets. That meant that there was no where for anyone to sit and rest in The Castro other than in the chairs in front of the conservative merchants’ stores who have helped to ruin and sanitise The Castro. Years ago, there were benches in the Harvey Milk Plaza for people to sit, rest and hang-out, but they too were removed by the elitist, conservative, hateful, busy-body basura who run The Castro because of their hate for the homeless who sometimes sat there too. The homeless sat there because they had no where else to sit due to our draconian and hateful anti-homeless “sit-lie” law which The Castro (particularly homeowners) heavily supported. In other words, in order to sit and rest in The Castro after SF Corporate Pride, one had to buy something. One would have to buy an expensive coffee or latte (Dahling) in order to sit inside the coffee store or to sit and rest in one of the store’s chairs on the sidewalk. Or one could sit and eat in one of the mediocre and overpriced restaurants (at least one of them has a $3.00 cake cutting fee, Dahling). Another reason the Warner Plaza was closed was so that the homeless who often hang out in the plaza would be out-of-sight, shoved out of the neighbourhood and under the freeway blocks away to give the illusion/false impression to visitors that we have no homeless people. By doing this, now-conservative San Francisco was merely showing itself once again as a playground for the super-wealthy — a City of haves and have-nots living right next to each other in some cases — that despises the homeless. So they used Corporate SF Pride as an excuse for that, even though there are many Queer homeless people which are not at all represented by corporatist SF Pride. Some people are really scum and I’m not referring to the homeless.

Finally, I noticed that corporate YT (which has been ruined by its corporate owner, G**gle) was late to the party. The month of June (Pride month) is nearly over. YT put a Rainbow Flag next to their logo on the evening of el 27 de junio/27 June 2017 with cuatro días/four days remaining in the month. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Previously:

Why would anyone expect The Orange Man to honour Queer Pride Month?

Vibrato in medieval Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris ?

Regarding vocal/choral vibrato from Vocal Technique Instructor, Karyn O’Connor. As you read this article, please keep what she says about choral vibrato in mind:
“There are situations in which vibrato is an undesirable effect. In choral work, vibrancy rates among individual choir members may differ either slightly or enormously, and vibratos that aren’t synchronized can destroy the quality of a soft, unison passage. Wide-swinging vibratos that aren’t squarely on pitch in one singer can throw off the pitch of other singers standing next to them in the group. Most choir directors make the decision to have everyone sing in a ‘straight tone’ to avoid such inconsistencies in the overall sound of the choir. A straight tone can help singers in a large group blend more easily with each other. Therefore, tempering how much vibrato a singer uses or has, if any at all, is a valuable skill in an ensemble situation.” [Source: Singwise: An Information Based Resource For Singers By Vocal Technique Instructor, Karyn O’Connor].

Hola a todos. I worked for some time to try to make this article shorter. But to shorten it any more, important things get left out. The reader may be thinking, “all of this about vibrato?” Well mostly, but the article is not entirely about vibrato. It’s been through many revisions to get to this point. Whenever I write an article, I have to assume that someone who comes here has never been here before as they come through search engines so it’s all new to them. And there are a lot of thick and stupid people out there (they’re all in the US) — none of my regular readers are thick or stupid of course — so to me this article is repetitive at times, but I was trying to be thorough in covering this topic, so the length of it is what it is.

Mi amigo/my friend and I enjoy watching the High Church Liturgies from La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. They have the best Messe/Mass Liturgy we have seen anywhere which we watch as if we were watching a play in a theatre. We find their Messe very relaxing, calming, spiritual in a way, as well as authentic in this medieval cathedral setting, and all participants are very respectful of their Messe/Mass.

We would enjoy the Liturgies even more if the choral standards were more consistent, but unfortunately they’re not, which is not what one expects from such a world-renowned cathedral.

Being in Paris France, one would think that such a well-known Roman Catholic cathedral church as La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris would have the finest choral music one could hear anywhere. When we began watching their Liturgies each week over 6 months ago, we expected the highest of choral standards as one finds at this parish church and at St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in Manhattan — both parishes of the Anglican Communion — with St Thomas’s Choir of Men and Boys.

Paris is an arts capital city. It’s home to William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. The outstanding Chorus Collegium Vocale from Belgium perform in Paris with their Paris-based orchestra, The Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.

They have excellent adult choristers at Notre-Dame, but some of the sopranos would be much better suited for the Paris Opera Chorus than the Cathedral Choir at Notre-Dame. The problem with their soprano section is their annoying vibrato. Vibrato in a medieval Cathédrale?

What is with soprano sections and vibrato these days? Vibrato is for Opera and Opera Choruses of Madame Butterfly or La Boheme. During my decades of choral experience, including Orchestra Chorus experience, vibrato was never a concern because of the Choruses I had the privilege of singing with — including the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the University of Maryland Chorus and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus — none of which sang with vibrato. Choristers were highly-selected from auditions and the Chorus Director chose choristers who sang without vibrato or, I suppose, if they sang with vibrato in the audition they were told that if accepted into the Chorus, they would be required to sing without vibrato at all times. Choristers in the Concert Choir that I served as piano accompanist for at the Conservatory of Music where I trained did not sing with vibrato either.

But in recent years, I’ve noticed some choral ensembles with fluttery and wobbling vibrato sopranos which completely ruins the sound of the soprano section and their otherwise refined, polished, smooth and pure sound. Depending upon the size of the soprano section, all it takes is one soprano with wobbling vibrato to ruin the sound of the entire section. I’ve noticed that sopranos don’t usually sing with vibrato in their lower register. It’s when they’re in their upper/high register that they start wobbling and fluttering. They almost sound like they are nervous while singing. The soprano section of a Chorus used to be my favourite section, but these days that is not the case because, well, I’m thinking: Are they going to turn on vibrato and start wobbling and fluttering and ruin their pure sound?

At Notre-Dame, it’s only about 2-3 sopranos from what I can tell who sing with vibrato. But when they are there, those 2-3 sopranos completely ruin the sound of their soprano section. These well-trained choristers somewhere in their training never learned that descants, for example — such as the descant on the Sanctus — are sung without vibrato?

REMINDER TO CHORISTERS: Renaissance music/Early music is sung without vibrato. Descants are sung without vibrato. For example, the descant for the Sanctus was sung beautifully without vibrato for the Messe de la Résurrection 2017 (see video below). It was glorious and I also liked the way the choirmaster conducted it, using his left hand to conduct the descant indicating how he wanted it to soar.

According to the website for Notre-Dame, they have three Liturgies on Dimanche/Domingo/Sunday but KTO Télévision only record one of them and I don’t know which Messe they record since they don’t say. So what I’m writing about here is based on the videos that KTO Télévision uploads to their YT channel.

Most Sundays for Messe/Mass at Notre-Dame, they have 2-4 mic’d choristers (a duet or a quartet) providing the service music. On High Holy days (such as Pentecost), they have a Chorus of approximately 16 voices (they too are mic’d), and that’s when one of the two choirmasters are there to conduct them. I don’t know the names of the choirmasters because KTO Télévision never put a link to a service leaflet for the Messe in the video description. The female choirmaster most often conducts the Choir of Boys and Girls. They are quite good and they sing some rather difficult music for their ages. They always sing without vibrato. They have the time-honoured boy-chorister sound that one expects to hear in a large cathedral, Roman Catholic or Anglican. The adult Cathedral Choir is there occasionally and they’re conducted by the male choirmaster usually. Sometimes their soprano section sings with vibrato. Other times they don’t (if those 2-3 annoying sopranos with vibrato are not there). It really depends upon which choristers are there. And unfortunately the choirmaster says nothing to them about vibrato. Why is that? It’s his/her job to do so. Neither choirmaster seem to care one way or the other about vibrato, which is quite odd — based on the extensive choral experience I was fortunate to have — because that lends to the choral standards not being consistent. It is the duty and obligation of a well-trained and professional choirmaster or Chorus Director to determine every aspect including the “sound” that s/he wants from his/her Chorus. It’s part of the job as the person who prepares the Chorus. A professional Chorus Director/Choirmaster does not leave anything up to the choristers other than to perform to the best of their ability after (hopefully) being impeccably prepared by the Chorus Director or Choirmaster. Something tells me that’s not happening at Notre-Dame and that’s why one gets the inconsistent choral results one hears at Notre-Dame. From my experience in cathedral churches, I suspect they’re all superb sight-readers and have maybe one rehearsal during the week or perhaps it’s just before the Messe to “sing through” and “go over their repertoire” for the Liturgy. But even if that’s all the time they rehearse, it only takes a few seconds to say, “No vibrato, please.”

Here’s another example of inconsistent choral standards: the female choirmaster I mentioned earlier recently conducted the adult Cathedral Choir, which is usually conducted by the male choirmaster. Well, the soprano section sang with vibrato throughout the Liturgy when she conducted them. Yet the Choir of Boys and Girls that she usually conducts never sings with vibrato, fortunately. Why the double standard; again, why the inconsistency? Couldn’t she hear that annoying vibrato in the soprano section especially in their upper register? It was awful. Couldn’t she say to the Cathedral Choir, (English translation:) “No vibrato, please.”

As I said earlier, the adult choristers they have on-call (presumably) are excellent for the most part, except the choristers who sing with a fluttering sound as if they think they’re singing opera in a medieval cathedral. Some choristers I prefer over others. Sometimes when they have just two choristers singing together, their voices match perfectly. Other times they don’t match very well at all. One would think that the Music Department would keep a list of which voices match perfectly or the best and call those choristers to see if they are available, no? At one Liturgy awhile back, they had an alto and a countertenor singing together. Their voices blended perfectly as if it were one person singing. It was lovely to listen to.

Not related to Notre-Dame, but related to vibrato: I’ve never understood why opera soloists are brought in as soloist for symphonic choral works. That makes no sense to me. Why would anyone choose an opera singer as a soloist for Ralph Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, for example? I and mi amigo were watching a performance of that the other night and when the soprano soloist began barking and wobbling, mi amigo had to take his ear buds out. He said, “I can’t stand her; I can’t listen to her. Who likes that sound? (I agreed). Her voice is overpowering the entire 200-voice Chorus and the full orchestra.” I couldn’t stand her either. Who does like that sound? People with no taste? The Chorus was extremely well-prepared and sang beautifully without vibrato (excellent!). But in most performances like this, the soloists they usually drag in there have enough wobbling vibrato to blow out every window in the hall. The camera was right up in her face while she was barking out her part with unnecessary dramatics as if she thought she were singing opera, and her tongue was wagging up and down as she was wobbling with heavy vibrato. She let out this loud yell — it was supposed to be a sustained note with a beautifully-sung tone at the top of her register — which could have been heard to the planet Venus. She was awful! Who are the idiots who programme these concerts and select someone like her as the soprano soloist? A heavy-vibrato opera singer to perform in a non-opera setting and with an Orchestra Chorus which sings without vibrato? The two don’t match. Shouldn’t the soloist also sing without vibrato so that s/he “matches” the Chorus and their choral sound? A few highly-regarded choral directors understand this and they don’t bring in operatic soloists. They use some of the finest choristers from their Chorus who are comfortable being a soloist. That makes far more sense and are a pleasure to listen to.

The reader may be asking: Can you give us an example of how you think the Cathedral Choir at Notre-Dame should sound? Yes. I think they should sound closer to this and what I had expected from the choristers at Notre-Dame de Paris. Listen to this short piece from Henry Purcell sung by the Collegium Vocale (no vibrato):

The service music they use at Notre-Dame is excellent, the best I’ve heard anywhere. The choristers sing the Kyrie. The Gloria and Credo are chanted alternating between the choristers and congregation. One of their three superb Titulaire Organists accompanies the congregation on the Grande Orgue high up in the back of the Nave. Then one of the three Choir Organists accompanies the choristers on L’orgue de chœur which is near the Choir stalls. Yes, you read that correctly. Unlike most churches or cathedral churches (that I’m aware of), they have two organists and two organs for their Messe. Everyone sings the Sanctus (stop the vibrato on that lovely descant sopranos, por favor), and the choristers sing the Agnus Dei. The service music they use gives an overall medieval feel to the Messe which we find very appealing and authentic to the cathedral.

Occasionally when the sopranos get all wound up with vibrato as if they think they’re singing in an Opera Chorus, we’ve noticed that some of the men turn on vibrato too. Sigh. So everyone is wobbling and fluttering unsynchronised at different rates of vibrato. Unfortunately that was the case recently in one of the Renaissance pieces they sang. It was the first time ever I had heard vibrato used in Renaissance music, because that’s just not done. We listened to as much of it as we could bare, but had to fast-forward through most of it. It was a shame really because I would like to have heard the entire piece, but without any vibrato as is customary for Renaissance music.

A devout Roman Catholic with an ear for music might ask Notre-Dame: “Why are we not giving God the best we can with our Choir and chorister programmes as we do with the rest of our High Church Liturgy?”

KTO Télévision record the Liturgies from Notre-Dame. The most common complaint about them is that for some reason they never start recording at the beginning of the Messe. And they always disrespect the Titulaire organist by turning the camera off before he completes his Organ Sortie at the end of the Messe. Commenters have repeatedly asked, “Why are we not allowed to hear all of the organ improvisation at the end?” No response to that question is ever given by KTO. I’ve noticed that viewers have complained about this for years but their complaints have all been ignored. One annoying thing that the camera crew does is during the Consecration. The camera crew enjoy zooming the camera in on the wafer and the chalice held by the celebrant instead of pulling the camera back so viewers have a full view of the altar including the thurifer who is censing the altar (incense) at the same time, which we rarely get to see. Viewers don’t need to see a close-up shot of the wafer or the chalice. We already know what both look like. They stop short of putting the camera lense inside the chalice so we can see the wine. And of course during the latter part of Communion every Messe the camera crew feel the need to slowly pan the entire ceiling of the Nave. It must be a requirement. We always fast-forward through that because we already know what the ceiling looks like having seen it so many times. Unfortunately, by fast-forwarding through that section we miss part of the organ improvisation during Communion. But KTO have made it clear that they don’t care what viewers think and they never respond to anyone’s comments in YT. I’m not sure why they even have comments. But their comments are rather sparse these day. I think most people have given up on making any suggestions to them realising it’s most futile to do so.

Awhile back, a few commenters suggested a camera at the organ console of the Grande Orgue high up in the back of the Nave. Other naïve commenters said this would distract the organist. Hardly! No it wouldn’t. The three Titulaire organists are professional organists and of the highest caliber — that’s why they’re at Notre-Dame de Paris — and one of them, Olivier Latry (who is also Professor of Organ in the Conservatoire de Paris), concertises and there are many videos of him on TY so he’s quite accustomed to cameras being around him. And a camera is really no different than another person standing around them if the organist has a page turner or registrant, or even someone just observing.

I do want to make mention of their superb acolytes. Note-Dame has the finest acolytes I’ve seen anywhere. They are devoutly High Church and superb in their role as acolytes. They all take their duties seriously. They don’t always serve the same role in the Messe. Two or three of them take turns being the thurifer while others also serve as readers (the Asian guy, for example). I was wondering if some or all of them are studying to be a priest?

Notre-Dame de Paris could raise their choral music standards by hiring William Christie or Philippe Herreweghe or someone like them as their new Choirmaster for the adult choristers. Or the current choirmasters could take their role a bit more seriously by having a general rule of, “No singing with vibrato. We’re not singing opera. The Cathedral Choir is not an Opera Chorus.” But I won’t hold my breath that this will happen, just as I don’t expect anything to change with the sometimes-frustrating camera work. It is what it is.

When I think of a medieval cathedral I also think of Renaissance music because they are closer in time periods if the reader knows what I mean by that, and in Renaissance music vibrato is never used so why is vibrato used/allowed today in medieval Notre-Dame de Paris? Chau.—el barrio rosa

Here are some of their Liturgies we’ve enjoyed:

This is La Litanie des Saints/The Litany of Saints used for ordinations (and for an adult baptism recently) using the beautiful setting written by Jean-Michel Dieuaide. He’s an organist and composer at a chapel in Paris:

La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

The All-Steinway Schools

Hola a todos. In recent years, I’ve been hearing more about the All-Steinway schools. They are the Conservatories and Schools of Music in the US and internationally that have only Steinway pianos in their practise rooms and Concert Halls. Steinway pianos are considered to be the best pianos — although some people would likely disagree and say that L. Bösendorfer is the better piano (and used by the Tehran (Iran) Symphony Orchestra) — which is a major attraction for serious music students when considering where they would like to apply for their advanced music training to work towards a degree in music. All-Steinway Schools are not new. Oberlin Conservatory of Music has been an all-Steinway school since 1877. Quite a long time.

But with Conservatories and Schools of Music trying to be competitive, more and more schools are slowly becoming all-Steinway campuses. It is quite an expense, since Steinway pianos are not cheap.

Some all-Steinway schools I’m familiar with are the University of Maryland School of Music at College Park, Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music in Winchester Virginia and Yale School of Music in New Haven Connecticut.

Surprisingly, The Juilliard School in Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, the Peabody Conservatory of John Hopkins’ University in Baltimore Maryland and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston are not all-Steinway schools.

There are also two types of Steinways. There’s the US-made Steinway (known as the New York Steinway; the factory is in Brooklyn) — which is what I assume these all-Steinway schools that I’ve mentioned have — and then there’s the Hamburg Steinway made in Alemania/Deutschland/Germany (a tour of the Hamburg factory in a video titled “Ear Opening”). Some people prefer the Hamburg Steinway, including concert pianist Cristina Ortíz. It’s one of the reasons Cristina says she does not like to perform in los Estados Unidos/the United States, because most of the Steinway pianos here in the major concert halls are the New York Steinway. She says she can tell very quickly by playing a few notes whether the piano is a NY or the German-made Steinway. Another reason Cristina doesn’t like to perform in the US is because of the piano placement outside the orchestra stuck out on the edge of the stage for piano concertos. I’ll never understand why that’s done either. The US does some damn weird things, that really don’t make much sense. She said she has to gently ask the conductor if it would be possible to move the piano more inside the orchestra so that the leader/concertmaster is behind her and slightly to her left — just like with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in the video below; you’ll see that he’s positioned more inside the orchestra as you can see the leader (first chair violinist) behind and just slightly to the right of the pianist — as is customary in Europe for piano concerto performances. Understandably, she says the placement of the piano effects her playing. She said sometimes the conductor is very accommodating to her suggestion to move the piano in — which also requires moving the podium in some, where the first violins are somewhat behind and to the left of the conductor but that’s not a problem — and other times the conductor wants to be difficult and does not agree to her request. It would also help to hear the orchestra better being more inside the orchestra I would think.

What’s the difference between the Hamburg and the New York Steinways?

“One of the biggest difference between the two different factories is the actions. New York makes their own actions while Hamburg utilizes Renner (an esteemed German action manufacturer). The New York Steinways have unique design elements only available on the Steinway made actions including the Accelerated Action. Another difference between the two factories is that Hamburg Steinway’s tend to have slightly thicker soundboards than their New York counterparts. This means that the Hamburg Steinway’s are a little bit more subdued and it takes a bit more effort to get a larger sound out of them (depending upon voicing).” [Source: The Difference Between New York and Hamburg Steinways]

A comment from someone who bought a Hamburg Steinway:

“Upon receiving my brand spanking new Hamburg Steinway B & A. I gotta say these make new N.Y. Steinways look and sound quite inferior.The attention to detail is night and day between the two. The obvious cosmetic differences that I see that aren’t acknowledged on the technical data Steinway website are; …” (continued here —> ) [Source: Hamburg Steinway vs New York Steinway]

Here’s a short piece by Debussy played on a Hamburg Steinway. It was the encore piece played by pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet after his performance with the hr-Sinfonieorchester.
Debussy: Images – Premier livre (Reflets dans l’eau) ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester – Frankfurt Radio Symphony:
.

I don’t own a Steinway, but if I were going to buy a new piano I’d choose the Hamburg Steinway based on hearing them and what I’ve read about them. They are used in most of the videos from European performances that I’ve written about, and they are beautiful pianos. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Previously:

What happened to the renowned University of Maryland Chorus?

BSO and the University of Maryland Concert Choir perform Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem, Op.45

University of Maryland Chorus (A Tribute)

Arts Review: The Rachmaninov Third with pianist Cristina Ortíz

Cristina Ortíz y Nelson Freire play Momoprécoce by Héctor Villa-Lobos

Only people in the US could be talked into thinking that black and gray are “upscale.”

Hola a todos. I heard a salesperson on a shopping network yesterday going through the colours of bed sheets they were selling. All pastel colours. Nothing exciting. He said, “And if you wanna be upscale, you’ll buy the gray.”

I then realised that’s where this obsession with mortuary-gray is coming from. People are being told that gray equates with “upscale” and gullible people fall for it. Just like with real estate agents liars, their dishonest way of operating is: “Tell the customer anything, they’ll buy it….put the word “upscale” on it and the stupid people among us and those trying to be pretentious will buy it.”

I’m surprised these bed sheets were not marketed as SmartsheetsTM because I often see items being marketed with the gimmick word “smart.” “Smart” this and “smart” that for a nation full of stupid people. A toilet lever could be marketed as “smart” and people in the US would believe it! They absolutely would! They’re that stupid, and getting worse by the day. Just look around you to confirm that.

Now get this (speaking of stupid): I read a headline the other day that said that many people in the US think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. I know the reader is probably thinking that I’m making this up, but I’m not. You can confirm what I’m saying by putting this title in your search engine: “Chocolate milk definitely doesn’t come from brown cows — but some adults think otherwise.”) Yes of course they would. Stupid is in. As that article says, about 17.3 million people in the US believe that chocolate milk does indeed come from brown cows. Loco.

And since “stupid is in,” why would anyone buy something with the word “smart” on it? Clearly, millions of people haven’t thought that through. Unfortunately, critical thinking skills seem to be a rare commodity here in the US.

“And if you wanna be upscale, you’ll buy the gray:” So I have to conclude that this is why I see nearly everyone — especially conformist Millenial females — wearing funeral-black/hearse-black and casket-gray clothing head-to-toe even when it’s very hot out. Their priority is with conformity, not with their comfort. I see nothing appealing about black and gray, and both black and gray are heavily promoted on that corporate network with their drab gray sets. I heard one of the show host say, “this will go with all the black in your closet.” Then the viewer is told that she will look “chic and modern.” They are two of the latest marketing buzz words.

Both black and gray are very drab, dull, dreary, depressing colours. Pretty colours lifts the spirits. Black and gray do not. They look morbid. I see the interior of some homes around me with their walls in drab gray because “that’s what’s in.” It looks awful and cold. Nothing warm or welcoming about it. Corporatist homeowners with absolutely no taste. And their SUVs look like big black hearses. As mi amigo/my friend said: It used to be that the colour gray was the bottom of the barrel. The US Navy uses gray. A lot of primers for house painting are gray. Look at the tires on cars. They’re black. Plumbers wear gray overalls and so do pipe fitters and concrete workers. And the bottom of septic tanks is painted gray. That’s “upscale?” Hardly!

After I heard that marketing nonsense on television I mentioned earlier, I told mi amigo: Well I can’t think of anyone who would be considered more “upscale” than Queen Elizabeth II — and here in the US there seems to be this tabloid-style obsession with the British monarchy and the Royal Family — and the Queen never wears gray. And she only wears black for state funerals. She’s always in very pretty colours. She likes bright yellow, which is what I often see her wearing as well as bright lime (that looks beautiful). For the scaled-down opening of Parliament 2017 the other day following their snap-election where the conservative prime minister Theresa May — when is that horrible wretch of a woman going to step down? — lost all credibility, the Queen did not wear her customary robes or her crown, but rather a very pretty true-blue suit with matching hat. The Queen loves colour, so why aren’t those who are trying to “Keep Up With the Joneses” and trying to be “upscale” not wearing the colours of the Queen?

So, to counteract the sales nonsense on that shopping network, if one wants to be “upscale-looking” one will wear pretty, bright colours that lift the spirits just like the Queen. One will not wear mortuary-gray or funeral-hearse black clothing. Because when you do, you look depressed and part of the Millennial “Cult.” Their slogan seems to be: “!Conform, Obey! Wear Black and Gray!” Only people in the US could be talked into thinking that black and gray are “upscale.” Chau.—el barrio rosa

The Queer Equality March began with the US National Anthem? WTF?

Hola a todos. I’ve already written reams about how I don’t at all relate to corporatist Brand LGBTTM and I don’t feel like regurgitating any of that again, frankly. For those interested, you can read it here as well as at the links at the bottom of that page.

I saw this headline: “Equality marchers push for progress on LGBT rights.” I read language that said that the LGBT Queer community came out en masse in the District of Columbia for the Equality March this past weekend. I was curious what “en masse” meant, specifically how many people showed up and had made the trip to the District for the March. I found the article which I’m not going to link to and nowhere in the article did it give the number of people who attended the March. The article showed/interviewed some of the people who had attended the March. Some were wearing the corporate logos of Brand LGBTTM, specifically one of the organisations that threw the trans community “under the bus” some years ago. The people interviewed expressed their support for said corporate organisations and their intent to continue to fund them with their donations. Most (if not all) of those corporate organisations serve as shills and hacks for the thoroughly corrupt and imperialistic Democratic Party and work to keep Queers in the orbit of the Democratic Party. (Related: Here’s an article about one of those corporatists organisations).

What got my blood boiling was when I read that the March began with the singing of the US national anthem. WTF? That is so very corporatist Brand LGBTTM and another example of how they desperately want to be like the breeders. Not only do corporatist sports events begin with the singing of the US national anthem — and the anthem has absolutely nothing to do with sports — but now corporatist Brand LGBTTM have adopted it to begin their marches. How very mainstream, conformist and sheeple. And tacky. I don’t sing the US national anthem under any circumstances (nor do I play it on the piano). Because the US national anthem glories war/the US Military Industrial Complex and repugnant US nationalism, which you can read more about here: Gay Men Glorify War and Nationalism. We, in the original Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement never sang the US national anthem for the same reasons.

One person who attended the March wrote, “It was a very powerful moment….As the national anthem concluded, the crowds let out a thunderous cheer. The march had begun.”

Ugh. (roll eyes)

I would ask, “Did the organisers of this thing not consider that the US national anthem glorifies war/the US Military Industrial Complex and ugly US nationalism?” Queers of today are for all of that? That’s what Brand LGBTTM Queers are about? But upon reflection, we’re talking about the corporatist and conformist known as Brand LGBTTM so I wouldn’t expect them to even consider any of this. And it’s because of that and many other reasons that some of us cannot at all relate to shallow Brand LGBTTM. They are so desperate to show that they are “real Amurrrrrrrrkkkans,” so some fucking idiot decides that they should sing the national anthem to begin the March in order to try to prove to people just how “Amurrrrrrrrkkkan” they are. Did they all put their right hand over their heart as they sang like good little sheeple? After reading that, I’m surprised they didn’t also say the Pledge of Allegiance, have a bible reading and christian prayers too. Or maybe they did, and that wasn’t reported. They can fuck off, that’s how I feel about it. If I had been there, I would have been thoroughly disgusted and walked away from the March as it began at what my fellow Queers were doing and what they have become: the exact opposite of who and what they were during the decades of the (now-dead) Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Phones, Spinners and Millennials

Hola a todos. Mi amigo/My friend wanted to respond to a YT video he watched yesterday. The video creator was asking people to stop being critical of Millennials. He was defending their social media addiction, defending their phone addiction, and using the Valleygirl-word “like” throughout his remarks. He stopped short of defending Millenials and their new-found spinner addiction. In his video, he did not at all present our experience with Millennials, so mi amigo asked me to help him write a response to the video creator. We took what I had already written on pink barrio about this topic and reworded it slightly, then mi amigo posted it as a comment under the video. Mi amigo went back later and the video creator had deleted his/our comment. Interestingly, the creator allowed comments such as “Fuck the Millennials.” We had copied our comment before we hit “save” on YT. So rather than have all that time wasted for nothing, I told mi amigo I would post his comment here even though regular readers of mi diario/my diary (pink barrio) have read most of this many, many times before on here. Below is his comment which got removed. Mi amigo has watched this creator’s videos for some time and he was rather surprised when his comment was deleted and that this creator is not a stronger person than he apparently is. The creator of the video calls himself a “progressive.” Yeah sure you are. People call themselves anything these days; it doesn’t have to be based in reality. The truth hurts many fake-progressives as well as conservatives. How typical that once again, a fake-progressive deleted such a tame comment. That has been my experience repeatedly with fake-progressives. And we didn’t even use any sex language! In hindsight, since he didn’t delete the comment with the word “fuck” in it — which was also used by the creator throughout his video — maybe we should have worked “fuck” in there somewhere in our comment then he wouldn’t have deleted us. But we have repeatedly found that fake-progressives are such weak people. They have trouble hearing the truth. Here’s our comment that was deleted:

“I have to say that the Millennials I’m accustomed to hearing in San Francisco are not the brightest-sounding people when you hear them speak. They can’t talk without saying the word “like” every-other-word, to the point of sounding tongue-tied or as if they’re about to vomit. They can’t seem to say anything other than: “I’m like, he’s like, she’s like, it’s like, I’m like whatever like.” Repetitive use of the word “like.” The creator of this video speaks in the same way occasionally when he has a guest on and I can’t stand to listen to him on that occasion because the word “like” is the dominant word. I then click off. What is this obsession with the word “like” that many/most Millennials have ruined their speech with? They sound stupid. I don’t know how the Millennials keep a job speaking that way. Millennials have ruined San Francisco and parts of the Bay Area: They are employed by and in some cases owners of companies of the Tech Industrial Complex that has wrecked San Francisco. The Millennials can live addicted to social media as it’s called and starring at their phone 24/7, yet when I hear them try to speak they sound absolutely stupid as if they are without any social skills. Some of us say that social media is now the headquarters for those people without genuine/real social skills. In San Francisco, the Millennials I’m talking about are the wealthy who can afford Luxury Condos (a minimum of one million dollars), or they have no problem paying over $5,000/month for an apartment about the size of a large closet, which has caused the rents throughout the City and Bay Area to sky-rocket. They buy bougi, pretentious vehicles. They buy the biggest vehicles they can possibly find. They are also responsible for our enormously increased traffic on our eroding streets in San Francisco. Some of our streets now resemble parking lots particularly during rush hour. Our infrastructure is suffering. It is also the Millennials who have worked for anti-homeless laws in San Francisco because they think they are above seeing homeless people on their way to work to their wealthy tech job. They see nothing wrong with paying $7-8.00 for toast and coffee. They are part of what is now known as Billionaire Bay. I don’t have the highest regard for Millennials based on the group here in San Francisco. They seem absolutely shallow and superficial as well as conformist, in their ultra-conservative black and gray clothing/uniform that they wear every day: also known as The Black Zombies, all hunched over glued to their phones and oblivious to their surroundings in a major city. (Not very bright.) They walk out into traffic without looking either direction because they can’t take their eyes off their all-important precious phone. From a list I found, the No. 1 destination for the richest Millennials in the US is Arlington VA which is outside the District of Columbia. The District is No. 9 on the list. San Francisco is No. 2.”

That’s it. That’s what he deleted. Oh and by the way, we didn’t put the link in there because typically comments with links go into spam on YT. We wrote out the title of the article and where it could be found for one’s search engine. So it wasn’t a link that was the problem. I think it was just that he didn’t like the truth. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Why would anyone expect The Orange Man to honour Queer Pride Month?

Headline: The White House is refusing to recognize “LGBT” Pride Month.

Hola a todos. I recently wrote about anti-Queer comments online. From a quick glance, which is all I could stand to do, I noticed that the hateful anti-Queer online comments increased especially the week of el 1 de junio de 2017/1 June 2017 when El Hombre Naranja/The Orange Man did not issue a declaration honouring June as Queer/GLBTQ Pride Month.

Of the few articles I scanned about this, the comments were that of extreme anti-Queer hatred from the (most likely) gay closet cases who were very pleased that their draconian and deranged messiah, The Orange Man, was not honouring Queers and had (according to them) “restored dignity” to la casa blanca/the white house and was not honouring “sexual deviants.” One has to keep in mind that the human trash who continue to support El Hombre Naranja live in their own alternative universe which comes with its own set of alternative facts.

I got the impression that some fake-”progressive”/fake-”liberal” writers were surprised that The Orange Man did not honour the month. Why would that surprise them? Who expects him to honour anything having to do with Queers? Only the most naïve and delusional among us.

And sadly, there’s very little “pride” in the conformist, heteronormative and pro-corporate Queer community of today

As I’ve written many times before, I see very little pride from the “discreet” and “down-low” Queer community today. Those are the two descriptions most commonly found in men-for-men sex ads especially on C****slist. “Discreet” and “down low” (meaning closeted) are the opposite of pride. So what then is the point of continuing to having perfunctory corporate Pride events each year? Well, they are a money maker for a lot of people. Corporate Pride of today is this slick production that comes with their official corporate sponsors, their official automobile, their official corporate hotel (“Are you staying at the official Pride hotel?”), and other official corporate sponsors/commercials. And there’s US military recruiting at some of these events. In recent years, they’ve invited corporate sports teams to be in the parade. I’d like to point out that the Queers of the original Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement had no interest at all in the military, or in sports. This is all new in the big scheme of things in order to “assimilate” with the breeders (translation of assimilate: for many Queers this has come to mean go back in the closet and pretend to be straight) and be heteronormative, jock-like and breeder-like.

Unfortunately, the corporatists have thoroughly hijacked, taken over and ruined Pride, just as lesbians have since hijacked the original Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement with that top-billing “LGBT” acronym that one sees everywhere (except on pink barrio) and that the sheeple dutifully write as if it’s a Queer corporate logo/brand name. The original Pride lost itself years ago in favour of corporatism, and this seems to be the case regardless of which city one is talking about.

There’s going to be a national — what I’m calling — Queer Pride March on Washington, the District of Columbia, (my former home) this weekend, to coincide with the District’s annual Pride celebrations. DC’s corporate pride event is also sponsored by a major international corporate hotel chain. Lovely. The websites connected with DC’s Pride use the typical corporatist revisionist history acronym: “LGBTA” (notice the Q is missing; the A apparently stands for Ally or Association) rather than GLBTQ which honours our genuine/authentic history.

I have a suggestion: Forget all of these letters altogether and use the word Queer instead. But I know that the corporatist “Brand LGBTTM” won’t do that because the word Queer makes breeders uncomfortable and we can’t have that when Queers are doing their best to emulate and cater to breeders whenever possible as Queers “assimilate” with the breeders.

I sensed from the article I read about the District’s national march this weekend when it was announced that they’re not expecting too many to show up as compared to the national marches on DC during the days of the Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement. And because most of the Queer community today is quite conservative, who exactly would show up for Pride — or will they have “pride” for one day during the year? — when most are now “discreet” and “down low?” Closet cases don’t do Pride. How did that happen that Queers have become so conservative? How did the Queer community that I knew go from being very liberal/progressive to now prudish conservatives trying to be like and act like breeders? WTF?

The word “Pride” and the words “discreet, down-low” are a contradiction. When one is “discreet” one is now proud.

As with some political protests of the past, one must consider the strong possibility that the faces of those who attend the national march in DC will be captured by The Orange Man’s fascistic regime using Facial Recognition Technology. (One should put nothing past these septic, fascistic people despite their regime being completely in chaos and out-of-control. Is Jeff Se**ions going to be the next piece of bigoted basura to resign, in part, because “nobody” can get along with El Hombre Naranja?)

From what I’ve read about DC’s Queer community today, they sound as lame, “discreet”, “down low” and closeted as what San Francisco’s Queer community has become. Reading the personal sex ads for the District of Columbia (as well as the Northern Virginia and MD suburbs), they are the same as the ones I read from San Francisco. And if the District’s Pride Parade is as pathetically corporate as what San Francisco’s has morphed into — a mobile thoroughly corporate commercial mainly attended by breeders for celebrating millionaire and billionaire-owned tech companies (such as F***book: “Vladan Joler says that all F***book users are effectively working on behalf of the company,”), wealthy corporate sports team, et al — then I and mis amigos/my friends would have zero interest in going.

Some of us have no interest in corporatist “Brand LGBTTM” so-called Pride month or anything else they come up with. As far as we are concerned, corporatist and conformist “Brand LGBTTM” can fuck off. I and others can’t relate to them at all. I stay away from corporatists and conformist whenever possible. We like people who are proudly radical which are a small minority in the new conservative San Francisco of today, a playground for the super-wealthy.

While writing this article I read the following headline: “How The Stonewall Riot Birthed LGBT Pride.” That’s another lie. Stonewall did not birth “Brand LGBTTM. That is bull shit. That’s more revisionist history that one reads all over the internet these days and I and mis amigos/my friends are sick of it. This new “LGBT” acronym was not used or even thought of at the time of Stonewall. The name “Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement” was used at that time. This is another example of what I mean when I’ve written that the corporatist revisionists of “Brand LGBTTM” have literally gone back into historical documents — I don’t know how they accomplished that — and changed the language of that day from “Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement” to “LGBT” as if that’s the way it’s always been, which is a lie. It’s a false representation of our G & L Rights’ Movement. The Stonewall riots — along with the previous 1959 riot at Cooper’s Donuts in Los Ángeles and a 1966 riot at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin (I’d like to have seen those from what I’ve read about them!) — birthed the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement, not this “LGBT Pride” nonsense, which again for the thick people who happen to show up here, is revisionist history and a hijacking of our original movement by lesbians.

Now for those who may be wondering about the following and have not read anything else I’ve written on this topic: From my research, I’ve read many reasons why the “L” of “LGBT” was moved to first place. One of the reasons was to give lesbians “top-billing” to show that Queers support women’s rights. Well Duh. Isn’t it a given that Queers support women’s rights? Yes. Then they should have left the L in second place. Queers support transgender rights too — or some of us do — but I never see the T moved to first place, do you? NO. Some of us are surprised that the T is still there at all considering how heteronormative the Queer community has become. Another reason I’ve read for this change was that lesbians were feeling excluded. Oh, the poor dears! It grieves me so to hear that! Therefore, some corporatist idiot (perhaps a lesbian?) proposed “let’s put the L first” even though lesbians did not do most of the work of the movement. In the early days, gay guys and transgender individuals were the most activist and did most of the work with the riots at Cooper’s Donuts and Compton’s Cafeteria. And another reason I’ve read for the change was that the feminist movement — which is now dead in case one hasn’t noticed — occurred at the same time as the Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement so because of that in some sort of twisted-thinking way it was decided that the L should be first. To some of us, having the “L” in first place is chauvinistic as in “Ladies go first” something that the corporatists — devoid of any critical thinking skills — who dreamed up “LGBT” never considered apparently. And another reason I read that the “L” was moved to first place is that lesbians are considered more acceptable to breeders than gay guys so the “G” for gay was moved to second place to try to sort of bury the G in there in the acronym giving “top billing” to the L for lesbians. I don’t doubt that that’s the real reason considering how pathetically heteronormative and conformist the Queer community has become. I think it’s always good to cater to breeders and their bigotry/prejudices against gay guys, don’t you? [sarcasm intended]. That’s another example of how I much more related to the original Gay and Lesbian Rights’ Movement because in those days we didn’t fucking cater to breeders and try to be like them like Queers are doing today. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Previously:

More back to the 1950s: Gay guys marrying females in droves. Sad.

Gay guys self-induced conversion therapy

All the Queer boys and their wives

The “Discreet” Gay Guys in New York City

Change Gay Pride to Gay Discreet

The “Discreet” Gay Guys

More revisionist Queer history: Designer of Rainbow Flag dies

Brand LGBT(TM)

Why Are Bisexual Guys Calling Themselves “Str8?”

Is the GLBT Historical Society misogynistic?

Gay Rights’ Movement Legacy Hijacked By Lesbians. May GLBTQ Live On!

“Is the District of Columbia in the US ?”

New Columbia? WTF?