The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Music'

Tony Sarg — and Bobby Edwards

February 29th, 2012 · 5 Comments

I’m a great fan of Tony Sarg.  He’s perhaps best known today for his work on the first Macy’s Thanksgiving balloons; but he also made animated silhouette films, designed children’s books (often with elaborate inserts and paper engineering), mounted a memorable sea serpent hoax, and pioneered puppet theater in the US.  There’s not much about […]

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Tags: Bobby Edwards · Music

Bobby Edwards, the Troubadour of Greenwich Village (15)

September 7th, 2011 · 1 Comment

I’ve found another picture of Bobby Edwards online; we can add it to the archive. There he is in the back, to the left, cigar box uke in hand. This was at the Garrick Club, sometime in the ‘teens. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Bobby Edwards · Music · Ukulele

Solrésol: The Phonetic Alphabet

August 25th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Solrésol has had somewhat of a revival in recent years, due at least partially to a popular article by Paul Collins. The system is an early attempt at an auxiliary artificial language, developed by François Sudre in the 19th century, and based on the seven notes of the diatonic scale.  He spoke it with solfeggio […]

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Tags: Language · Music

Giuseppe Novello

June 13th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Giuseppe Novello (1897-1988) is one of the hidden treasures of comic art; his albums of lovingly drawn observational humor have had a long shelf life in Italy. This beautiful drawing is entitled “Blessed Intimacy: If we listened to the opera in the theater as we listen on the radio at home.”  Please click to see […]

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Tags: Cartoons · Music

Rousseau on Copying Music

May 11th, 2011 · No Comments

Admirers of Jean-Jacques Rousseau may be unaware of his musical interests.  He wrote a great deal of music, compiled a musical dictionary, and paid bills by copying music.  The dictionary is a neglected treasure, as passionate and eccentric as anything else he wrote; the entry for “copyist” fills 13 pages (at least in the 1839 […]

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Tags: Literature · Music

The Ukulele Recital

April 4th, 2011 · 3 Comments

From the audience, Angela Alverson captured a snippet of the recital at the Jalopy Theatre.  My beginning uke class made its first public appearance with this blues chorus.  From left to right: Katherine, Rachel, teacher, Carrie, Ana, and Ashley.  They’re on their way! Another of my uke students, Robin Hoffman, keeps a blog of her […]

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Tags: Education · Music · The Ineffable · Ukulele

L’Album primo-avrilesque

April 1st, 2011 · 2 Comments

On April 1, 1897, the remarkable French humorist Alphonse Allais published his Album primo-avrilesque.  It was a slim volume, containing seven monochromatic paintings (such as “Apoplectic cardinals picking tomatoes by the Red Sea”) and a silent funeral march (because the greatest sorrows are mute).  The march was the first silent piece, preceding similar works by […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Liminal Graphics · Literature · Music

The Musical Cartoons of Glen Morley

March 20th, 2011 · 18 Comments

Glen Morley (1912-1996) had a busy career as a composer, conductor, and arranger, particularly in Canadian broadcasting.  In the ’50s, he worked for the Rochester Philharmonic as ‘cellist and music librarian; in his younger years he also worked as a cartographer and newspaper cartoonist. Throughout his life, he produced a series of cartoons about music, […]

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Tags: Cartoons · Music

Bulletin (10)

March 7th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Doug Skinner will be performing at the Fabulous Jalopy Theatre, in Brooklyn, on March 12 at 9 pm.  I’ll sing mostly Skinner songs, with perhaps a couple of covers.  I’ll be on uke and cuatro; David Gold will join me on viola. I’ve asked the incomparable Brian Dewan to share the evening with me.  He’ll […]

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Tags: Bulletins · Music · Ukulele

An Ullage Dozen (14): Hey Nonny Nonny Uh Oh

June 16th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Sometimes mechanical reproduction is not the most accurate.  In the 1890s, the composer Erik Satie bought seven identical velvet suits, and wore nothing else for seven years. In photos, they look gray: his biographers duly noted that; a record of his music was even entitled “The Gray Velvet Gentleman.”  Later, scholars unearthed several color sketches by […]

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Tags: Education · Music