Friday, September 30, 2011

An off note in music history

It is little known today that Signor Alfredo Nobellini, inventor of the accordion, also invented another, even less successful instrument. Always seeking a greater fortissimo, he combined his interest in music with his interest in things that go boom! to produce the explodeon (rhymes with melodeon). Any accordion player could play an explodeon, though seldom for very long.

It is difficult, at this historical remove, to gauge the impact the explodeon had on its listeners, as few critical reviews of performances have survived. Audiences are reported to have been blown away, even transported to heavenly heights. The score of the famous 1812 Overture originally had an explodeon part, but this was later rewritten for cannon, which were found to be easier to manage in an orchestral setting.

Nobellini composed a suite for explodeon and pipe-bomb organ. He was reported to have said, before its only known performance, that it would mark the apogee of his career. Indeed, neither he nor the concert hall is known to have featured in musical history since the event.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Still working on it."

Beetle Bailey by Gregg and Mort Walker | Sept 5, 2011

Varieties of experience

MUTTS by Patrick McDonnell | August 24, 2011