Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FIVE COOL WEBSITES (music-related & non)

Here's some interesting sites I came across in 2009. A few are music-related, others are just cool things you can find out or order over the web. Enjoy!

J.S. BACH - THE WELL TEMPERED KLAVIER
I love the WTK! Among one of the most prestigious classics of keyboard literature, this amazing work includes Preludes & Fugues in every single key. This site breaks down everything that is going on during each piece in an intuitive & visual way. These works are like beautifully executed complex architecture and this site.... like a manual to help you figure it out!

EUROPIC ART - GET YOUR VERY OWN VAN GOGH!
So you walk in a museum and fall in love with a van Gogh. Or a Warhol. Or a Monet.
Or any work from an unkown painter!

If this economy hasn't allowed you to stash away 500 million dollars (or more) to buy one of these masters' original works of art, try the back route: order an oil painting reproduction from China.

Although generally not a lover of replicas, I used Europic Art's services in 2009 for some pop-art Warhol reproductions. The alternative would have been a printed poster, so I figured this would be a more "artistic" solution. The quality is amazing, the prices extremely cheap. And Jack Lee - the boss - is a one man customer service powerhouse! I was really satisfied. (I actually interviewed him and will be posting it soon!). Essentially, any painting you love can be accurately replicated and is shipped to you straight from Xiamen, a Chinese region known for its oil painting activities!

NUMBERS & DATA
This website displays loads of "live" statistics on essentially anything that can be measured - births, deaths, blogs posted today (including this one!), toilet flushes etc. - and displays them as live rolling numbers... Check it out if you have a few minutes to waste.

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS
If you're bored of Amazon's 'hip' book solutions (i.e. offering things that everyone else is buying) and are looking for alternative books & publications, check this website out. Among other things they carry the best (& cheapest) music scores - solo piano, orchestral... you name it.

The music scores are often reprints of old original editions (like the authoratitive Paderewski edition for Chopin, one of the best; or 'Peters' for Bach's works) but they are really high-quality and engineered to stay nice & flat when you're playing from them.

And if you don't play an instrument but you still like to "look" at & read music while listening to it, their editions are the best!

As a suggestion, once you find a book on this site, search for it on Amazon as it's often cheaper.

THE CLOUD APPRECIATION SOCIETY
If you know me just a little, you know that clouds are among my top three sources of inspiration.

The guys at the "Cloud Appreciation Society" love clouds as much as I do. Maybe they're a little extreme in saying in their manifesto that they "fight blue-sky thinking... because life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day."

I personally find beauty also in a beautiful blue blanket.

BUT

I won't argue that clouds - in all of their shapes colors & forms - are an incredible work of art & creation!

*****
That's it for now! Enjoy!

CC

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