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Click on Classical: Polytonal pyrotechnics, Google Glass at the opera, and a "Lawn Mower Opus"

Posted at 8:17 AM on July 7, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Click on Classical

Google Glass 2.jpg

Every Monday morning at 9:15, I join John Birge on Classical MPR to discuss stories we're publishing on our website. Here are the stories we'll be discussing today.

In keeping with the Independence Day holiday last week, Jessie Rothwell wrote about Charles Ives's Fourth of July — a movement of the composer's New England Holiday Symphony​ that was inspired by Ives's own memories of community celebrations. Jessie explains why it resonates with her own childhood in Washington, D.C., and mentions some other musical odes to pyrotechnics — including one gone dangerously wrong.

Meanwhile, in Vienna, Virginia, Wolf Trap Opera is putting Google Glass on stage. Tech journalist David Pogue will be serving as a non-singing chorus member in a July 25 production of Carmen​, using his digital eyewear to capture photos and video that audience members will be able to peek at during the opera. What other opera characters could use this high-tech headgear? I have a few suggestions.

I also wrote about Brad Peterson, a Minneapolis man who was inspired to write a symphonic song over the "ground" — that is, the bass tone — of a neighbor's lawnmower. You have to hear (and see) this to believe it.​