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Picturing Wright
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BhamRuss



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Picturing Wright Reply with quote

On page 63 of the Guerrero book, behind Frank, to the right in the photo, there's what appears to be a curvilinear piece of wood. Any clue as to what I'm seeing?
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3034
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have the book in front of me, but it might be the oarlock from a Venetian gondola that Wright had in his study/bedroom.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cpk_COvWIAEHcfQ.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cpk_COvW8AATf6q.jpg
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 13772
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the book in hand, yes, that's what appears in Guerrero's photo.

The impression I have from viewing these oarlocks (pole-locks ?) in use is that the severe crook has no real function; it doesn't appear that clearance for the pole, in its gyrations, is required.

Perhaps I'm wrong; if not, the source of the no doubt traditional shape requires explanation . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB7OqwkBHU4
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 615
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy! That is some thirsty wood!
(Also, a glimpse of that blue shag rug that burns Roderick's eyes.)
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 13772
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder what that window sill had been finished with -- at some point. Better not to give it anything, if that's the sort of maintenance anticipated.

Is that a keyed instrument hiding below ? Some sort of Hohner flutophone or accordionette -- or a very short piano ? No Grundig or Telefunken receiver would have that many buttons -- would it ?

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 615
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR, You have eagle eyes. Here's DRN's other photo. It shows the other end of the mystery instrument. Must be a small thing whatever it is.

Also seen is a brochure titled "Costumes from the Forbidden City" from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Upon enlarging, there appears to be some text engraved at the base of the gondola oarlock. I can't quite tell what all it says, but it looks something like "architetti de Venezia" and perhaps a date below. Was this presented to FLW when he was there in 1951 concerning the Masieri Memorial?
I can't quite read the top line:


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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5276
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fairly confident that the musical instrument is a harmonium:

http://musicalinstrumentsofindia.com/harmonium-info/
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3034
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This portion of Wright's bedroom/study at Taliesin was photographed for and published in House Beautiful's October 1959 Wright tribute issue. Peterm is correct, the Harmonium illustrated in his link matches the appearance of the instrument pictured in HB noted in a caption as a "lap organ" which Wright apparently played to himself in "relaxed moments".
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5276
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Harrison's interest and study of Indian classical music brought some new instruments and sounds into the Beatles' sonic palatte. The sitar, tablas and harmonium appear around '65 '66. Here John Lennon plays the harmonium (a larger version than Wright's) accompaniment on McCartney's lovely gem, as the Fab Four lip sync:

https://youtu.be/Qyclqo_AV2M
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 615
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the first post I ever made I wondered on the current whereabouts of FLW ephemera (the whereabouts of pork pie hats, T squares, walking sticks, capes, etc). In the discussion of FLW's possessions Roderick stated that the object he liked best was the oar lock:
http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=9339&highlight=flw+ephemera&sid=65d27b04eca783cf3e9db168d9f27ab8
In a later thread about interior design Roderick referred to the blue shag rug as a shade that "would burn your eyes".
So, that little photo vignette is rather Roderickesque.

I'm curious if any among us has inspected that oar lock closely enough to have scrutinized the carved inscription. A story there?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 13772
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha. A nice close-up of the Fab duo singing and "playing" (?) I'd not seen before. Peter, answer me this: when lip-syncing is being filmed, I assume the live shot is muted -- otherwise whatever sounds the musicians are actually making would spoil the final product ? What about live events, as on the Ed Sullivan show ? Surely it isn't possible to mime drumming, for instance, without hitting the instruments, even accidentally ? Or is the live performance muted for broadcast, while the audience hears the group's real-time version of their studio recording ?

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5276
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The early Beatles Ed Sullivan performances were all live with original sound (including screaming kids). As their multitracked recording production bacame more complex, they began to do these lip synced short films, which were shown on Ed Sullivan and other shows internationally. It was often too difficult to reproduce the exact recorded version live. Listen closely and you will hear a 16th note pattern tambourine, mixed even louder than the entire drum kit, yet no one is playing it in the film. By the time they were doing elaborate recordings like Strawberry Fields Forever, or Penny Lane, it would have taken a full orchestra plus prerecorded tapes to even try to come close to the sound of the record. When MTV appeared in the 80s, video producers studied what the Beatles had done in the 60s, and went from there.

Strawberry Fields Forever, including backwards film is a surreal masterpiece. Unfortunately, the complete song is no longer on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/8UQK-UcRezE

The process for filming We Can Work it Out:

https://youtu.be/Qyclqo_AV2M

The band plays while listening to a recording of themselves played loudly through speakers, electric guitars are turned down or unplugged (notice here that George Harrison's guitar and McCartney's bass don't have cables coming out of the jacks), and the drummer plays along. So the live recording, which is muted, if isolated, would literally be a drum solo with vocals and a very soft harmonium.

The Beatles certainly didn't invent this, Broadway musicals had been using this technique years before the Summer of Love.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 13772
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good heavens. Do you mean that a performance of, say, "My Fair Lady" or "Guys and Dolls," in the late 'fifties, might have had its musical numbers lip-synched from the stage -- complete with orchestral accompaniment, presumably ? I don't recall now whether I saw an orchestra in the pit when I was in a Broadway audience, then.

Are they still doing that ? I see more and more performers wearing headset mics, these days.

Thanks for the info; I have wondered about such things for a while. Would John's harmonium be pedal-pumped, at least originally ? Seeing John mugging for the camera, intentionally diverging from the recording at the very end, and Paul's reaction, is amusing.

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5276
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no, sorry! I meant the cinematic musical versions. A stage performance was done live, with the conductor and orchestra in the pit. Now in live performances there are headsets with microphones, earpieces with special mixes, perhaps click tracks or even voice count ins that only the performer might hear.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 13772
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha. Thanks.


Here's an attempt to enlarge and brighten the FLW studio photo detail:





I still can't read it -- assuming it's in English ?

S
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