15 October 2008
Life Goes On
Three little items for our living in interesting times moments:
- R.I.P., Neal Hefti. While probably best known to many for the theme to the '60s "Batman" teevee show, he was actually recognized both for his film and television compostions and for his jazz arrangements for bandleaders from Woody Herman to Count Basie. There's instruction to be had in how he composed the "Batman" theme, if only we'll take it. (From this obit in the New York Times)
Oddly enough, his most famous tune is among his least musically interesting, even if it was somehow brilliantly apt: the jauntily arch and repetitive theme for the television series “Batman.” Mr. Hefti said that the show was so campy it took him weeks to come up with a suitable melody. It won him his only Grammy.Minimalism is hard; let's skip the revisions.
“He told me he tore up more paper on ‘Batman’ than on any other work he ever did,” Paul Hefti [his son] said. “He had to find something that worked with the lowest common denominator, so it would appeal to kids, yet wouldn’t sound stupid. What he came up with was a 12-bar blues with a guitar hook and one word.”
- Mrs. Reagan has broken her hip. Story here from USA Today.
Let's just say I have great sympathy for the elderly and the children of the elderly, from Mrs. Reagan to El Señor Castro. This is what all of us face, should we be so lucky to live so long. And we all face the dirt nap, so what point is there in holding grudges and thinking the other one is Evil with a capital 'E'?
- A recipe for lemonade, from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons sugar syrup (equal parts suqar and water brought to a boil until the sugar dissolves, then removed from heat and allowed to cool)
1 cup water
Put the lemon juice, sugar syrup, and water in a glass and stir. Add ice for the chill. For hot lemonade [who would've thunk it], add boiling water to the lemon juice and sugar syrup, stir, and serve.