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“He was proud”: George Michael’s sister rejects Elton John’s claim that Michael was “uncomfortable” being gay

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">George Michael’s sister has hit back at Sir Elton John’s claims that the late singer was uncomfortable with his sexuality.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">John made the comments to Sharon Osbourne on her US TV show The Talk, according to </span><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/10208853/elton-john-george-michael-died-gay/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Sun</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He couldn’t get it, George. And he resented the fact I had hinted that maybe he change his life a little bit and he’d be happier if he tried something else.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The person has actually got to want it. It’s like me in the end. I really wanted it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had two alternatives: one to die, and one to live, and I wanted to live,” John said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">John also said that Michael was “so uncomfortable in his skin about being gay even though he said he wasn’t.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michael’s sister Melanie Panayiotou said that George was “my ‘very proud to be gay’ brother, contrary to what you may have read recently”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michael’s sister is referencing some of Michael’s most famous solo work, as it was speaking about his sexuality.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He later said in an </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/dec/26/george-michael-lgbt-rights-i-never-had-a-problem-with-being-gay"><span style="font-weight: 400;">interview</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that he never had a “moral problem” being gay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I never had a moral problem with being gay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I thought I had fallen in love with a woman a couple of times. Then I fell in love with a man, and realised that none of those things had been love.”</span></p>

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"I was terrified": Elton John recalls performing sober for the first time

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Iconic singer Sir Elton John has revealed that he was worried he wouldn’t be able to perform sober after taking a year off music to get treatment for his addiction issues back in 1990.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He attended Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in order to get sober but admitted going back to performing was difficult.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He spoke to </span><a href="https://variety.com/2019/music/news/elton-john-sober-addiction-recovery-1203392566/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Variety</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">’s</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> recovery issue about the fear he was facing. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“After I finally surrendered and decided to seek treatment for my addiction, there came a point when I wondered if I would ever go back to work as Elton John again. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But at that time, I wasn’t thinking too much about being an artist. I had reached the lowest ebb in my life – the absolute bottom. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I hated myself so much. I was consumed with shame. All I wanted to do was get well. I put all of the energy I had left toward my recovery.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">John made a point of clearing his diary in order to give him time to focus on his recovery but realised there was one charity concert he didn’t want to back out of.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BoULFFHloU_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BoULFFHloU_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn)</a> on Sep 29, 2018 at 8:33am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This made him realise that he would be able to perform again. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When the day arrived, I was terrified, but I did manage to get through the performance. It was the only time I stepped on a stage that year, and I had to do it on my own without the band. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In retrospect, I’m glad I went straight in at the deep end… That show gave me confidence to know that I could still perform sober.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">John went onto write his 1992 album </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The One</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and worked on </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Lion King</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> soundtrack for which he won an Oscar after his treatment.</span></p>

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How this New Zealand songbird provides insights into cognitive evolution

<p>When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter.</p> <p>We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits in the branches of trees to snack on later in the day. But this is also a form of caching behaviour, where food is handled and stored for later consumption.</p> <p>For caching animals, the ability to recall where food is hidden is crucial for survival. My <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960982219303252">research</a> into the spatial memory performance of a caching songbird, the New Zealand robin (<em>Petroica longipes</em>), shows male birds with superior memory abilities also have better breeding success.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/298439/original/file-20191024-119449-v1ha09.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em> <span class="caption">Male toutouwai with better spacial memory also raise more chicks.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Supplied</span>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-ND</a></span></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Why memory matters</strong></p> <p>There’s no argument that New Zealand is home to a host of unusual birds, including the nocturnal, flightless parrot kākāpō (<em>Strigops habroptila</em>), or the hihi (<em>Notiomystis cincta</em>), the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1996.tb08834.x">only bird in the world known to mate face to face</a>.</p> <p>By outward appearances, the small, grey toutouwai (Māori name for <em>P. longipes</em>) is not particularly remarkable. But its noteworthy behaviour includes <a href="https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalassets/documents/science-and-technical/docts13.pdf">feasting on some of the world’s largest invertebrates</a>. There is only so much of a 30cm earthworm a 30g bird can eat, and rather than waste the leftovers, toutouwai will cache any surplus prey they don’t want to eat immediately.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/298440/original/file-20191024-119463-1bfg3en.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span class="caption">Toutouwai are the only known caching species in New Zealand.</span></em></p> <p>An accurate <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110512-135904">spatial memory is therefore crucial</a> for recovering caches and it has long been assumed that spatial memory is under <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2919184">strong selection pressure in caching species</a>.</p> <p>For selection to act on a trait, there must be individual variation that is passed onto offspring and that influences survival and reproduction. While researchers had looked at how spatial memory influences <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960982219300077">winter survival in caching mountain chickadees</a>, no one had examined whether memory performance influences reproductive success in any caching species. Our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960982219303252">research</a> tackles this issue.</p> <p><strong>Measuring memory in the wild</strong></p> <p>We measured the spatial memory performance of 63 wild toutouwai during winter. We gave the birds a circular puzzle that had a mealworm treat hidden inside one of eight compartments. For each bird, we put the puzzle at the same location in their territory several times in a single day, with the food always hidden in the same spot.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/765/spatial_test.gif?1571875385" alt="" width="100%" /> <em><span class="caption">Wild toutouwai looking for a hidden mealworm treat.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source"> SOURCE </span></span></em></p> <p>Over time, toutouwai learned the location of the hidden treat and began opening fewer compartments to find the mealworm. We then followed these same birds through the next breeding season and looked at whether their spatial memory performance (measured as the number of compartments they had to open to find the mealworm) was linked to their ability to feed chicks, and whether it influenced the survival of their offspring.</p> <p>Our results suggested that spatial memory performance influences reproductive success in toutouwai. Males with more accurate memory performance successfully raised more offspring per nest and fed larger prey to chicks.</p> <p>By contrast, we did not find the same patterns for females. This is the first evidence that spatial memory is linked to reproductive fitness in a food caching species.</p> <p><strong>Evolving intelligence</strong></p> <p>If there is such a great benefit for males in having an accurate recall of locations, why aren’t all males the best they can possibly be in terms of spatial memory performance? In other words, why didn’t all the male toutouwai we tested ace our memory task?</p> <p>Intriguingly, our results suggest a role for conflict between the sexes in maintaining variation in cognitive ability. We found no effect of memory performance on female reproductive success, suggesting that the cognitive abilities that influence reproductive behaviour may well differ for females.</p> <p>Such a difference between the sexes would ultimately constrain the effect of selection on male spatial memory, preventing strong directional selection from giving rise to uniformly exceptional memory in our toutouwai population.</p> <p>Our work produced some tantalising evidence for both the causes and consequences of variation in cognitive ability, but it also raises several more questions. For example, while we’ve shown that memory performance matters for males, we still need to examine how it influences caching behaviour.</p> <p>Another mystery that remains is why spatial memory ability may have less of an influence on female toutouwai fitness. One possibility is that longer-term spatial memory for specific locations (rather than the short-term memory we measured) may matter more for female reproduction, because females do all of the nest building and incubation.</p> <p>So far, we’ve only provided one piece of the puzzle. To get the full picture of how cognition evolves, we have many more avenues left to explore.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/125304/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachael-shaw-764893">Rachael Shaw</a>, Rutherford Discovery Fellow, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/victoria-university-of-wellington-1200">Victoria University of Wellington</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-small-new-zealand-songbird-that-hides-food-for-later-use-provides-insights-into-cognitive-evolution-125304">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Elton John postpones concert days after mother-in-law’s death

<p><span>Elton John announced that he would be postponing his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour in Indianapolis due to illness hours before the show on Saturday.</span></p> <p><span>“To my dear fans in Indianapolis, it is with the heaviest heart that I’m forced to deliver the news that I am extremely unwell and therefore unable to perform at [Bankers Life Fieldhouse] tonight,” the 72-year-old said in a statement.</span></p> <p><span>“I absolutely hate to let my fans down, but I owe it to you to put on the best #EltonFarewellTour show possible and unfortunately that’s simply not possible.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4GJcMkjVVw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4GJcMkjVVw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">To my dear fans in Indianapolis, it is with the heaviest heart that I'm forced to deliver the news that I am extremely unwell and therefore unable to perform at @bankerslifefieldhouse tonight. I absolutely hate to let my fans down, but I owe it to you to put on the best #EltonFarewellTour show possible and unfortunately that's simply not possible. The date will be rearranged for March 26th 2020, and I promise I will deliver the show you deserve. Thank you so much for your support and understanding. xx</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/eltonjohn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Elton John</a> (@eltonjohn) on Oct 26, 2019 at 2:12pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>The gig has been rescheduled for March 26, 2020, organisers said.</span></p> <p><span>“We do apologise for any inconvenience caused by this necessary change and wish Elton a speedy recovery.”</span></p> <p><span>The news came a day after the singer’s partner David Furnish announced his mother’s death on Friday.</span></p> <p><span>“She passed away peacefully in the middle of the night, with me and my brothers by her side,” Furnish wrote on an Instagram post.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4BYZMGlJhi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4BYZMGlJhi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Today I lost my beautiful, angelic Mother. She passed away peacefully in the middle of the night, with me and my brothers by her side. Mum radiated gentle kindness. She was utterly devoted to her family. We all richly benefitted from her patient wisdom and bountiful love. I treasure this photo of Mum and Dad on their wedding day - bursting with joy and fresh-faced optimism over their union and the life they planned to build together. They shared the greatest love I have ever known; A rock-solid foundation from which my brothers and I flourished. Rest in peace Mum. You lived your life impeccably. I will never forget you. I promise to do my best to pass the gifts you gave to me on to my own beautiful sons.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/davidfurnish/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> David Furnish</a> (@davidfurnish) on Oct 24, 2019 at 5:46pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote>

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Elton John reveals furious row with Tina Turner in new autobiography

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sir Elton John has revealed in his new autobiography </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Me</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> about the tough times he went through with singer Tina Turner. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The two legends united for a joint tour in 1997, but tensions quickly rose and eventually Elton told Tina to “shove her song up her f***ing a**e”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In an extract from the book, which has been serialised in the </span><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7551955/Elton-Uncensored-Tinas-tantrum-simply-best.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Daily Mail</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Elton revealed that he was particularly upset after some suggestions from Tina. The suggestions included swapping his Versace for Armani outfits so he would look “less fat” and that he should update his hairstyle.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I got off the phone and burst into tears: ‘She sounded like my f***ing mother,’ I wailed at David.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Things didn’t get better in rehearsals. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The subsequent debate about whether I knew how to play </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Proud Mary</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> became quite heated, before I brought it to a conclusion by telling Tina Turner to stick her f*****g song up her a**e and stormed off,” Elton added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve thrown plenty of tantrums in my time, but there are limits: there’s an unspoken rule that musicians don’t treat their fellow musicians like s***.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Elton has had time to reflect on why Tina was acting like that.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Maybe it was insecurity on her part. She’d been treated appallingly earlier in her career, suffered years and years of being ripped off, beaten up and pushed around. Maybe that had an effect on how she behaved towards people,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Later, once Elton had calmed down, he went to Tina’s dressing room to apologise.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The argument made the pair realise that they had different performance styles, as Elton preferred to improvise, and Tina wanted to rehearse every detail.</span></p>

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Fan favourites Dave Matthews Band announce 2020 Australian tour

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fans of the Dave Matthews Band would be thrilled with the announcement that the band are coming back to Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s been six years since they’ve been on Australian shores as they’re heading down for Bluesfest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bluesfest is a festival in Byron Bay that starts on April 9</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and finishes on the 14</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of April 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The lineup includes iconic bands such as Crowded House, John Butler, Lenny Kravitz and the Cat Empire. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The festival started back in 1990 and initially had 6,000 attendees. The festival now attracts over 100,000 music fans and is a family-friendly event.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dave Matthews Band are also performing two shows on top of Bluesfest, with one in Sydney on the 15</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of April and one in Melbourne on the 17</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of April in 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They made the announcement on their Instagram page.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B32k8rrgN4p/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B32k8rrgN4p/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">is announcing two long-awaited headline shows for their loyal Aussie fans. Returning to Australia for the first time since 2014, @davematthewsband will play at @FirstStateSuperTheatre in Sydney, on April 15th and at @mcourtarena, Melbourne on April 17th. DMB is also playing on April 13th at the @bluesfestbyronbay. An online presale for the Sydney and Melbourne shows is available for Warehouse members beginning Tuesday, October 22ndat 2PM (local venue time). Visit http://https://warehouse.davematthewsband.com/ to join the Warehouse. A @livenation presale begins Wednesday, October 23rd at 3PM (local venue time). For complete tour, ticket and VIP Experience information, visit: http://livenation.com.au. Tickets for both shows go on sale to the public Friday, October 25th at 1PM (local venue time) at http://livenation.com.au. With every ticket purchase to the Australian shows you will receive a free download of “Come Tomorrow”. #SeeYouOnTheRoad</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/davematthewsband/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Dave Matthews Band</a> (@davematthewsband) on Oct 20, 2019 at 1:04pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the iconic seven-piece band are reeling from their Rock &amp; Roll Hall Of Fame Induction for 2020. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fans are now able to vote for your favourite Rock &amp; Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2020 nominees to help them reach the top 5 of the official fan ballots. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You simply Google your favourite band who are in the list, and are able to select up to 5 nominees daily.  Voting ends January 10</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They spoke to </span><a href="https://www.apnews.com/8a8a595f7e4c4d36930f3873fa3edcc3"><span style="font-weight: 400;">AP News</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> about the announcement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a real honour,” Matthews told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “Even if they stick us in a holding pen for a few years, that’s OK. Just to get on that list. I can’t believe I’m on a list with Whitney Houston, Motorhead and T. Rex. That’s pretty awesome.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3425znn_Q8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3425znn_Q8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">You can vote DAILY on @google through January 10th! Vote NOW for @davematthewsband to be inducted into the @rockhall’s Official Class of 2020: http://goo.gle/RHFanVote #LinkInBio #RockHall2020</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/davematthewsband/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Dave Matthews Band</a> (@davematthewsband) on Oct 21, 2019 at 10:20am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tickets for </span><a href="https://www.bluesfest.com.au/tickets/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bluesfest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and the Dave Matthews Band </span><a href="http://livenation.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">additional shows</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are on sale now.</span></p>

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The life and lonely death of one of Australia's greatest pianists

<p>How could one of the best pianists Australia has ever produced die lonely, neglected and impoverished in a dilapidated house in suburban Melbourne?</p> <p>The Eulogy, a documentary written and directed by <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/the-screen-guide/t/the-eulogy-2018/31056">Janine Hosking</a> examines the life, career and tragic death of Australian concert pianist Geoffrey Tozer, who passed away aged 54 from liver disease.</p> <p>The film begins with Paul Keating reading the now-infamous <a href="http://www.keating.org.au/shop/item/eulogy-for-geoffrey-tozer---1-october-2009">eulogy</a> he delivered at Tozer’s memorial almost exactly a decade ago. The speech, which starts out as a celebration of the pianist’s life and achievements, culminates in an attack on Australia’s cultural establishment.</p> <p>Keating speaks of the arts in Australia as riven with “bitchiness and preference” and “inverted snobbery”. He accuses the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras of treating Tozer with “indifference and contempt” and suggests the people “who had charge in the selection of artists during this period should hang their heads in shame”</p> <p>The late conductor and music educator <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/australian-conductor-richard-gill-dies-at-76-20181028-p50cg4.html">Richard Gill</a> (who never saw Tozer perform) acts as a first-person narrator for the film as he tries to make sense of Tozer’s legacy and evaluate Keating’s claims.</p> <p>Gill’s discovery of Tozer is intercut with archival footage of performances and the film’s soundtrack makes extensive use of Tozer’s many recordings. Discussions with friends, family and colleagues together with readings of Tozer’s diary and correspondence draw a sympathetic portrait of the virtuoso musician.</p> <p>Charming animations guide the film’s audience around the diverse locales of Tozer’s life story. These places range from pre-partition India, Tasmania, Melbourne, London, Canberra (where he first met Paul Keating) to a disastrous misadventure in Queanbeyan in NSW where Tozer tried unsuccessfully to convert a convent building into a music conservatory.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nIf-fUIQaPI"></iframe></div> <p>Suburban Melbourne becomes a visual metaphor for Tozer’s ignominy, with images and descriptions of his final dilapidated house intercut with explorations of the Tozer archive – a repository lovingly curated, but nevertheless located in little more than a converted shed.</p> <p>Video footage of Tozer being interviewed reveals a softly spoken and clearly insular man who struggled with the burden of expectation placed on child prodigies. The film offsets a sense of indignation at the purported neglect Tozer suffered with a compassionate account of his personal struggles and alcoholism. Keating’s claims are not allowed to stand untested and a picture emerges of a talented musical genius with limited life skills.</p> <p>The film raises important questions about the significance of Tozer in our cultural canon, the duty of care held by Australia’s cultural institutions, and the precarious and vexing nature of talent.</p> <p>The audience is left in no doubt Tozer was indeed a world-class musician. Gill’s journey comes to a climax when – by candlelight in that Queanbeyan convent building – he listens for the first time to Tozer’s performance of a concerto by the Russian composer Nikolai Medtner.</p> <p>Tozer’s advocacy for and recordings of this previously almost unknown Russian master are widely praised and stand as one of his greatest achievements. The film’s presentation of this recording highlights Tozer’s extraordinary artistry. By staging the scene at the convent, the filmmakers juxtapose a musical triumph with his personal failure.</p> <p>In its interrogation of Keating’s accusations against the Australian arts establishment, the film delves into the tragedy of Tozer’s personal life. It argues Tozer’s mother – with a combination of hot-housing, impossible expectations and lifelong codependency – denied him a normal childhood. This meant the pianist, following his mother’s death, could not deal with the adult world and used alcohol to cope.</p> <p>A compassionate examination of what appears to be Tozer’s only romantic relationship – albeit a short one – gives the audience insight into the extent of his personal dysfunction.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/E4x7YWLHTug"></iframe></div> <p><em><span class="caption">Tozer at the piano a few years before his death.</span></em></p> <p>The neglect Tozer suffered from Australia’s leading orchestras in the last 15 years of his life comes across less as “inverted snobbery” or the Tall Poppy Syndrome, but the stark reality of the <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00400911111102333/full/html">requirements of working</a> in any creative profession.</p> <p>Orchestras schedule concerts two years in advance and must necessarily work with musicians they can rely on. Though clearly a genius, Tozer ultimately lacked the personal stability essential to success in the arts.</p> <p>In searching for an antagonist and settling on Tozer’s mother, the film misses an opportunity to interrogate Western culture’s awkward relationship with notions of talent.</p> <p>Although educationalists tout ideas of a <a href="https://theconversation.com/schools-are-buying-growth-mindset-interventions-despite-scant-evidence-that-they-work-well-96001">growth mindset</a> and that the notion of talent is not fixed, <a href="https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685851.001.0001/acprof-9780199685851">research</a> into musical prodigies affirms genetics, a singular focus and a specialised educational environment are often a prerequisite to a talent like Tozer’s.</p> <p>We can’t reasonably laud Tozer as a prodigy and musical genius while also casting his mother (who was also <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/music-obituaries/6339276/Geoffrey-Tozer.html">his first piano teacher</a>) as a villain.</p> <p>The Eulogy is an engaging and ultimately evenhanded evaluation of the life of a great Australian musician and a complex personality. As one of Richard Gill’s many former students myself, the death of the film’s narrator in October last year made the film still more poignant.</p> <p><em>The Eulogy opens in cinemas today.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/124164/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-mckenry-287534">Timothy McKenry</a>, Professor of Music, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-eulogy-review-the-life-and-lonely-death-of-one-of-australias-greatest-pianists-124164">original article</a>.</em></p>

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He's back! Grant Denyer announces his return to breakfast radio

<p><em>Celebrity Name Game</em><span> </span>host Grant Denyer has announced his return to breakfast radio.</p> <p>He will be hitting the airwaves as part of a Sydney summer breakfast program with co-host Yvie Jones from<span> </span><em>Gogglebox</em>.</p> <p>"I'm still working with SCA [Hit Network] and we've got some great projects coming up over the summer, which is fantastic because I love radio," Grant told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/celebrity/celeb-news/grant-denyer-return-to-radio-59559" target="_blank">Now To Love</a></em>.</p> <p>"I had an absolute blast with that radio show [Grant, Ed and Ash]<span> and I wouldn't change it for the world, so it's really cool to be able to some stuff with SCA and do things like summer breakfast."</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3JvknJHsOh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3JvknJHsOh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Look out radio... #LetsMakeChristmasGreatAgain . Gonna be a LOL-fest teaming up with this loveable lunatic for national Summer breakfast across the Hit Network. Is it weird if I say I can’t wait to wake up with you @yvie_jones ? Now that I hear it out loud, yes it is definitely weird. Join us from Dec 9. Can’t wait!! @hitentertainment . Next, let’s take a photo where we look like we actually LIKE each other 😂</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/grantdenyer/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Grant Denyer</a> (@grantdenyer) on Oct 3, 2019 at 3:11am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Denyer is very excited to be back on the radio.</p> <p>"It's a really exciting medium. I got a big buzz out of doing radio so I'm glad to continue working for them [Hit Network]."</p> <p>However, fans of the<span> </span><em>Grant, Ed and Ash Show</em><span> </span>were shocked when the show was being axed in August.</p> <p>Denyer himself took it in stride.</p> <p>"I want my focus, now that I have a little bit more breathing room in my life, on actually just being a better father and partner. I just want to be around the girls more, I want to do school pick-ups. I’m teaching myself how to cook properly and just be the guy I kind of always wanted to be but never had the time to be," he explained.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2JA-5hH1D4/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2JA-5hH1D4/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Always eatin’, always cuddlin’ and always smilin’ 💕</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/grantdenyer/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Grant Denyer</a> (@grantdenyer) on Sep 7, 2019 at 11:53pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"I'm putting it into the family at the moment because they've sacrificed a lot with me being away with radio and TV and I owe it to them, to put some time back into them."</p> <p><em>Catch Grant &amp; Yvie on 6 am to 9 am weekdays from Monday December 9th to Friday December 20th across the Hit Network’s metro markets.<span> </span></em></p>

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How KISS are preparing to make their mark in Australia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rocker band KISS are known for delighting their fans and when they head to Australia, it’s looking to be no exception.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They’re performing for a new audience in November: Great White sharks.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The band will be performing underwater to the sharks and eight lucky fans as they travel off the southern coast of Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><a href="https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/kiss-australia-great-white-sharks"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fox News</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the band will stay above board on one vessel and the fans will be lowered beneath the surface of the water from a second boat into the viewing sub.</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v=XeepkIfg_r0"></iframe></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The area that they’ll be lowered into is well known for shark activity, and the band will begin to play using underwater speakers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The result? Sharks and submerged fans rocking out to KISS.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Research has indicated that low-frequency and pulsed sounds can be attractive to some shark species. Interestingly, different animals (even within the same species) appear to respond to sounds differently,” said Dr Blake Chapman, of Australia Geographic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sharks are among the world’s most misunderstood animals. It’s important for people to learn that sharks are worthy of respect and protection.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The event will be taking place in the Indian Ocean off Port Lincoln in South Australia costs $50 and proceeds will be going to charity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not ones to disappoint, KISS will be in full makeup and costumes for the performance, which will be at least four songs.</span></p>

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Why traditional Persian music should be known to the world

<p><span>Weaving through the rooms of my Brisbane childhood home, carried on the languid, humid, sub-tropical air, was the sound of an Iranian tenor singing 800-year old Persian poems of love. I was in primary school, playing cricket in the streets, riding a BMX with the other boys, stuck at home reading during the heavy rains typical of Queensland.</span></p> <p><span>I had an active, exterior life that was lived on Australian terms, suburban, grounded in English, and easy-going. At the same time, thanks to my mother’s listening habits, courtesy of the tapes and CDs she bought back from trips to Iran, my interior life was being invisibly nourished by something radically other, by a soundscape invoking a world beyond the mundane, and an aesthetic dimension rooted in a sense of transcendence and spiritual longing for the Divine.</span></p> <p><span>I was listening to traditional Persian music (museghi-ye sonnati). This music is the indigenous music of Iran, although it is also performed and maintained in Persian-speaking countries such as Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It has ancient connections to traditional Indian music, as well as more recent ones to Arabic and Turkish modal music.</span></p> <p><span>It is a world-class art that incorporates not only performance but also the science and theory of music and sound. It is, therefore, a body of knowledge, encoding a way of knowing the world and being. The following track is something of what I might have heard in my childhood:</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/50N647sZbg8"></iframe></div> <p>Playing kamancheh, a bowed spike-fiddle, is Kayhān Kalhor, while the singer is the undisputed master of vocals in Persian music, <em>ostād</em> (meaning “maestro”) <a href="http://www.iranchamber.com/music/mshajarian/mohammad_reza_shajarian.php">Mohammad Reza Shajarian</a>. He is singing in the classical vocal style, <em>āvāz</em>, that is the heart of this music.</p> <p>A non-metric style placing great creative demands on singers, <em>āvāz</em> is improvised along set melodic lines memorised by heart. Without a fixed beat, the vocalist sings with rhythms resembling speech, but speech heightened to an intensified state. This style bears great similarity to the <a href="https://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/inart378.htm">sean-nos style of Ireland</a>, which is also ornamented and non-rhythmic, although <em>sean-nos</em> is totally unaccompanied, unlike Persian <em>āvāz</em> in which the singer is often accompanied by a single stringed instrument.</p> <p>A somewhat more unorthodox example of <em>āvāz</em> is the following, sung by Alireza Ghorbāni with a synthesised sound underneath his voice rather than any Persian instrument. It creates a hypnotic effect.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HRsarOFFCTI"></iframe></div> <p>Even listeners unfamiliar with Persian music should be able to hear the intensity in the voices of Ghorbāni and Shajarian. Passion is paramount, but passion refined and sublimated so that longing and desire break through ordinary habituated consciousness to point to something unlimited, such as an overwhelming sense of the beyond.</p> <p><strong>Beyond media contrived images</strong></p> <p>The traditional poetry and music of Iran aim to create a threshold space, a zone of mystery; a psycho-emotional terrain of suffering, melancholy, death and loss, but also of authentic joy, ecstasy, and hope.</p> <p>Iranians have tasted much suffering throughout their history, and are wary of being stripped of their identity. Currently, <a href="https://theconversation.com/risk-of-shooting-war-with-iran-grows-after-decades-of-economic-warfare-by-the-us-119272">economic sanctions are being re-applied to Iran’s entire civilian population</a>, depriving millions of ordinary people of <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/14/u-s-sanctions-are-killing-cancer-patients-in-iran/">medicine and essentials</a>.</p> <p>Traditional Persian music matters in this context of escalating aggression because it is a rich, creative artform, still living and cherished. It binds Iranians in a shared culture that constitutes the authentic life of the people and the country, as opposed to the contrived image of Iran presented in Western media that begins and ends with politics.</p> <p>This is a thoroughly soulful music, akin not in form but in soulfulness with artists such as John Coltrane or Van Morrison. In the Persian tradition, music is not only for pleasure, but has a transformative purpose. Sound is meant to effect a change in the listener’s consciousness, to bring them into a spiritual state (<em>hāl</em>).</p> <p>Like other ancient systems, in the Persian tradition the perfection of the formal structures of beautiful music is believed to come from God, as in the Pythagorean phrase, the “music of the spheres.”</p> <p>Because traditional Persian music has been heavily influenced by Sufism, the mystical aspect of Islam, many rhythmic performances (<em>tasnif</em>, as opposed to <em>āvāz</em>) can (distantly) recall the sounds of Sufi musical ceremonies (<em>sama</em>), with forceful, trance-inducing rhythms. (For instance in this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzjPC2R3EOg">Rumi performance</a> by Alireza Eftekhari).</p> <p>Even when slow, traditional Persian music is still passionate and ardent in mood, such as this performance of Rumi by Homayoun Shajarian, son of Mohammad-Reza:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NQQIEUDe6Qo"></iframe></div> <p>Another link with traditional Celtic music is the grief that runs through Persian music, as can be heard in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIUEii-r-pY">this instrumental</a> by Kalhor.</p> <p>Grief and sorrow always work in tandem with joy and ecstasy to create soundscapes that evoke longing and mystery.</p> <p><strong>Connections with classical poetry</strong></p> <p>The work of classical poets such as Rumi, Hāfez, Sa’di, Attār, and Omar Khayyām forms the lyrical basis of compositions in traditional Persian music. The rhythmic structure of the music is based on the prosodic system that poetry uses (<em>aruz</em>), a cycle of short and long syllables.</p> <p>Singers must therefore be masters not only at singing but know Persian poetry and its metrical aspects intimately. Skilled vocalists must be able to interpret poems. Lines or phrases can be extended or repeated, or enhanced with vocal ornaments.</p> <p>Thus, even for a Persian speaker who knows the poems being sung, Persian music can still reveal new interpretations. Here, for example (from 10:00 to 25:00 mins) is another example of Rumi by M.R. Shajarian:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fYmJIGJRJkw"></iframe></div> <p>This is a charity concert from 2003 in Bam, Iran, after a horrendous earthquake destroyed the town. Rumi’s poem is renowned among Persian speakers, but here Mohammad-Reza Shajarian sings it with such passion and emotional intensity that it sounds fresh and revelatory.</p> <p>“Without everyone else it’s possible,” Rumi says, “Without you life is not liveable.”</p> <p>While such lines are originally drawn from the tradition of non-religious love poems, in Rumi’s poems the address to the beloved becomes mystical, otherworldly. After a tragedy such as the earthquake, these lyrics can take on special urgency in the present.</p> <p>When people listen to traditional music, they, like the singers, remain still. Audiences are transfixed and transported.</p> <p>According to Sufi cosmology, all melodious sounds erupt forth from a world of silence. In Sufism, silence is the condition of the innermost chambers of the human heart, its core (<em>fuad</em>), which is likened to a throne from which the Divine Presence radiates.</p> <p>Because of this connection with the intelligence and awareness of the heart, many performers of traditional Persian music understand that it must be played through self-forgetting, as beautifully explained here by master Amir Koushkani:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R7ZRuEKL5lI"></iframe></div> <p>Persian music has roughly twelve modal systems, each known as a <em>dastgah</em>. Each dastgah collects melodic models that are skeletal frameworks upon which performers improvise in the moment. The spiritual aspect of Persian music is made most manifest in this improvisation.</p> <p>Shajarian has said that the core of traditional music is concentration (<em>tamarkoz</em>), by which he means not only the mind but the whole human awareness. It is a mystical and contemplative music.</p> <p>The highly melodic nature of Persian music also facilitates expressiveness. Unlike Western classical music, there is very sparing use of harmony. This, and the fact that like other world musical traditions it includes microtonal intervals, may make traditional Persian music odd at first listen for Western audiences.</p> <p>Solo performances are important to traditional Persian music. In a concert, soloists may be accompanied by another instrument with a series of call-and-response type echoes and recapitulations of melodic phrases.</p> <p>Similarly, here playing the barbat, a Persian variant of the oud, maestro Hossein Behrooznia shows how percussion and plucked string instruments can forge interwoven melodic structures that create hypnotic soundscapes:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UDYsDzphlIU"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Ancient roots</strong></p> <p>The roots of traditional Persian music go back to ancient pre-Islamic Persian civilisation, with archaeological evidence of arched harps (a harp in the shape of a bow with a sound box at the lower end), having been used in rituals in Iran as early as 3100BC.</p> <p>Under the pre-Islamic Parthian (247BC-224AD) and Sasanian (224-651AD) kingdoms, in addition to musical performances on Zoroastrian holy days, music was elevated to an aristocratic art at royal courts.</p> <p>Centuries after the Sasanians, after the Arab invasion of Iran, Sufi metaphysics brought a new spiritual intelligence to Persian music. Spiritual substance is transmitted through rhythm, metaphors and symbolism, melodies, vocal delivery, instrumentation, composition, and even the etiquette and co-ordination of performances.</p> <p>The main instruments used today go back to ancient Iran. Among others, there is the tār, the six-stringed fretted lute; ney, the vertical reed flute that is important to Rumi’s poetry as a symbol of the human soul crying out in joy or grief; daf, a frame drum important in Sufi ritual; and the setār, a wooden four-stringed lute.</p> <p>The tār, made of mulberry wood and stretch lambskin, is used to create vibrations that affect the heart and the body’s energies and a central instrument for composition. It is <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrCnIGqKLsI">played here</a> by master Hossein Alizadeh and here by master <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg1kXrkUqdk">Dariush Talai</a>.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sg1kXrkUqdk"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Music, gardens, and beauty</strong></p> <p>Traditional Persian music not only cross-pollinates with poetry, but with other arts and crafts. At its simplest, this means performing with traditional dress and carpets on stage. In a more symphonic mode of production, an overflow of beauty can be created, such as in this popular and enchanting performance by the group Mahbanu:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i7XSBtWVyFs"></iframe></div> <p>They perform in a garden: of course. Iranians love gardens, which have a deeply symbolic and spiritual meaning as a sign or manifestation of Divine splendour. Our word paradise, in fact, comes from the Ancient Persian word, <em>para-daiza</em>, meaning “walled garden”. The walled garden, tended and irrigated, represents in Persian tradition the cultivation of the soul, an inner garden or inner paradise.</p> <p>The traditional costumes of the band (as with much folk dress around the world) are elegant, colourful, resplendent, yet also modest. The lyrics are tinged with Sufi thought, the poet-lover lamenting the distance of the beloved but proclaiming the sufficiency of staying in unconsumed desire.</p> <p>As a young boy, I grasped the otherness of Persian music intuitively. I found its timeless spiritual beauty and interiority had no discernible connection with my quotidian, material Australian existence.</p> <p>Persian music and arts, like other traditional systems, gives a kind of “food” for the soul and spirit that has been destroyed in the West by the dominance of rationalism and capitalism. For 20 years since my boyhood, traditional Persian culture has anchored my identity, healed and replenished my wounded heart, matured my soul, and allowed me to avoid the sense of being without roots in which so many unfortunately find themselves today.</p> <p>It constitutes a world of beauty and wisdom that is a rich gift to the whole world, standing alongside Irano-Islamic <a href="http://gravity.ir/galleries/ceilings/">architecture</a> and Iranian <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1372">garden design</a>.</p> <p>The problem is the difficulty of sharing this richness with the world. In an age of hypercommunication, why is the beauty of Persian music (or the beauty of traditional arts of many other cultures for that matter) so rarely disseminated? Much of the fault lies with corporate media.</p> <p><strong>Brilliant women</strong></p> <p>Mahbanu, who can also be heard <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f7ACBUihYQ">here</a> performing a well-known Rumi poem, are mostly female. But readers will very likely not have heard about them, or any of the other rising female musicians and singers of Persian music. According to master-teachers <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23313593-art-of-avaz-and-mohammad-reza-shajarian">such as Shajarian</a>, there are now often as many female students as male in traditional music schools such as his.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3f7ACBUihYQ"></iframe></div> <p>Almost everyone has seen however, through corporate media, the same cliched images of an angry mob of Iranians chanting, soldiers goose-stepping, missile launches, or leaders in rhetorical flight denouncing something. Ordinary Iranian people themselves are almost never heard from directly, and their creativity rarely shown.</p> <p>The lead singer of the Mahbanu group, Sahar Mohammadi, is a phenomenally talented singer of the <em>āvāz</em> style, as heard <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlwqvRVJNmk">here</a>, when she performs in the mournful <em>abu ata</em> mode. She may, indeed, be the best contemporary female vocalist. Yet she is unheard of outside of Iran and small circles of connoisseurs mainly in Europe.</p> <p>A list of outstanding modern Iranian women poets and musicians requires its own article. Here I will list some of the outstanding singers, very briefly. From an older generation we may mention the master Parisa (discussed below), and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIGvEp9O0kU">Afsaneh Rasaei</a>. Current singers of great talent include, among others, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISFVAr28kfY">Mahdieh Mohammadkhani</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_NBvKJtXAs">Homa Niknam</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRaqi21wGjk&amp;list=PLZ29lLxKFPPRqnahzXZk7U28qbY9NOFfh&amp;index=5&amp;t=0s">Mahileh Moradi</a>, and the mesmerising <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBbP5StcWEo">Sepideh Raissadat</a>.</p> <p>Finally, one of my favourites is the marvelous Haleh Seifizadeh, whose enchanting singing in a Moscow church suits the space perfectly.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nE6eQUBGbIU"></iframe></div> <p><strong>The beloved Shajarian</strong></p> <p>Tenor Mohammad-Reza Shajarian is by far the most beloved and renowned voice of traditional Persian music. To truly understand his prowess, we can listen to him performing a lyric of the 13th century poet Sa’di:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uxMuK4vQ_Dk"></iframe></div> <p>As heard here, traditional Persian music is at once heavy and serious in its intent, yet expansive and tranquil in its effect. Shajarian begins by singing the word <em>Yār</em>, meaning “beloved”, with an ornamental trill. These trills, called <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG4Odw7Wu5U">tahrir</a>, are made by rapidly closing the glottis, effectively breaking the notes (the effect is reminiscent of Swiss yodeling).</p> <p>By singing rapidly and high in the vocal range, a virtuoso display of vocal prowess is created imitating <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TepTnlERuRo">a nightingale</a>, the symbol with whom the poet and singer are most compared in Persian traditional music and poetry. Nightingales symbolise the besotted, suffering, and faithful lover. (For those interested, Homayoun Shajarian, explains the technique <a href="https://youtu.be/KFSfBIFyr-w?t=5m45s">in this video</a>).</p> <p>As with many singers, the great Parisa, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pijq7AhqKf4">heard here in a wonderful concert</a> from pre-revolutionary Iran, learned her command of <em>tahrir</em> partly from Shajarian. With her voice in particular, the similarity to a nightingale’s trilling is clear.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pijq7AhqKf4"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Nourishing hearts and souls</strong></p> <p>The majority of Iran’s 80 million population are <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2009/06/why-does-iran-have-such-a-young-population.html">under 30 years of age</a>. Not all are involved in traditional culture. Some prefer to make hip-hop or heavy-metal, or theatre or cinema. Still, there are many young Iranians expressing themselves through poetry (the country’s most important artform) and traditional music.</p> <p>National and cultural identity for Iranians is marked by a sense of having a tradition, of being rooted in ancient origins, and of carrying something of great cultural significance from past generations, to be preserved for the future as repository of knowledge and wisdom. This precious thing that is handed down persists while political systems change.</p> <p>Iran’s traditional music carries messages of beauty, joy, sorrow and love from the heart of the Iranian people to the world. These messages are not simply of a national character, but universally human, albeit inflected by Iranian history and mentality.</p> <p>This is why traditional Persian music should be known to the world. Ever since its melodies first pierced my room in Brisbane, ever since it began to transport me to places of the spirit years ago, I’ve wondered if it could also perhaps nourish the hearts and souls of some of my fellow Australians, across the gulf of language, history, and time.</p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-why-traditional-persian-music-should-be-known-to-the-world-121240">original article</a>.</p>

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'Music to Play to Plants' hits the Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne are celebrating the coming of Spring with three highly acclaimed musicians playing their music to plants.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Branch Out: Music to Play to Plants is a gentle nature-inspired musical sojourn featuring acclaimed recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey with piano duo Aura Go and Tomoe Kawabata and actor Katherine Tonkin. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The event costs only $10 for seniors as a part of Royal Botanic Garden Victoria’s Branch Out program for over-sixties.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enjoy old music by Bach, Hildegard von Bingen and Bassano, and new lyrical sounds by Andrea Keller and Ros Bandt. Each performance is comprised of two 30-minute recitals in Mueller Hall and Rose Pavilion, with a promenade through Melbourne Gardens between the two, and afternoon tea to close.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Genevieve Lacey has worked across radio, film, dance and theatre as well as winning ARIAS and other high-profile awards.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Katherine Tonkin is known for a smart body-of-work that includes appearances at the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pianist Aura Go has been a soloist with many of Australia’s professional orchestras, including the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria.</span></p> <p><strong>Branch Out: Music to Play to Plants</strong></p> <p><strong>Times/Dates</strong>: <span style="font-weight: 400;">Mon 7 &amp; Tue 8 Oct, 2pm &amp; Wed 9 Oct, 11am Duration: 1.5 hrs</span></p> <p><strong>Age range</strong>:<span style="font-weight: 400;"> Seniors</span></p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>:<span style="font-weight: 400;"> $10 per person, bookings essential</span></p> <p><strong>Location</strong>: <span style="font-weight: 400;">Meet at Gate F.</span></p> <p><strong>Address</strong>:<span style="font-weight: 400;"> Melbourne Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne </span></p> <p><strong>Phone</strong>: <span style="font-weight: 400;">03 9252 2429</span></p> <p><strong>Website</strong>: <a href="http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au"><span style="font-weight: 400;">www.rbg.vic.gov.au</span></a></p>

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“Music brings everybody together”: Violinist Itzhak Perlman explains the magic of music

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Masterful violinist Itzhak Perlman was born in Israel and has been playing the violin since the age of three. He is well known for his brilliant virtuoso technique and has had his music featured in iconic films such as the Disney movie </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fantastia 2000 </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">as well as </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Schnidler’s List</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Perlman has also won 16 Grammy awards for his achievements in music.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He recently spoke to </span><a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/article-music-brings-everybody-together-violinist-itzhak-perlman-on-musics/"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>The Globe and Mail</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> about how music has a way of bringing people together and how many of us need music more than ever in this difficult political climate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I always felt that music brings everybody together, because music is really an international language,” he explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“No matter where you go – whether you go to the Middle East or you go to the Far East or countries that have a strained relationship between each other – and you see that there was a cultural exchange, it’s like a barometer; you feel that relations improve.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Music is always the first thing that brings you a signal that relationships are starting to improve,” he continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It brings people together. When you go to a concert hall and you listen to a Beethoven symphony, you are no longer in a country that listens to this or that or [is dealing with whatever] problems. It binds everybody together.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Buw-s8vhtZ8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Buw-s8vhtZ8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">@theperlmanmusicprogram does outreach at the Dreyfoos Public School in Palm Beach, FL.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/itzhakperlmanofficial/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Itzhak Perlman</a> (@itzhakperlmanofficial) on Mar 8, 2019 at 3:11pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Perlman also explained how he distances himself from emotionally charged pieces, as one of his more popular pieces features in the film </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Schnidler’s List</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. The film is about a man who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think about it as the piece [of music]. I try not to think about what it’s associated with. At the beginning, when I first saw the film and then I associated the music with what was happening with the film, it was a very emotional experience,” Perlman said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But the more I play it, the more I concentrate on the music itself. Of course what happens in the movie is an organic part of the piece.”</span></p>

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"I miss to be hugged": Celine Dion's emotional confession

<p>Award-winning singer Celine Dion has confirmed that she’s still “not ready to date” after her husband <span>René's</span> passing back in 2016.</p> <p>Dion sat down with NBC’s Sheinelle Jones on the<span> </span><em>TODAY</em><span> </span>show and admitted that she pours herself into her work and a new tour instead of dating.</p> <p>“I don't date,” Dion said matter-of-factly.</p> <p>“I'm not ready to date. I'm very lucky and happy to have so many people in my surrounding to make me — they make me laugh, but I miss to be touched.”</p> <p>Dion also said that she misses being “hugged”.</p> <p>“I miss to be hugged. I missed to be told "you're beautiful." I miss what a boyfriend and I miss what a husband would do.'”</p> <p>Dion also recalled her last conversation with her husband of more than 12 years back in 2016.</p> <p>“He called me before a show and give me a little message: ‘I love you’ and when I came home that night, it was very, very late ... And I didn't want to come and wake him up to give him a kiss, to wake him up and then he can't find sleep again. </p> <p>“And the next morning, he was gone. So, we talked before. And he sent me a text message. So we said goodbye.'”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BPO3dQkgotI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BPO3dQkgotI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Il y a un an, le 14 janvier 2016, René Angélil nous quittait. Son souvenir reste à jamais gravé dans nos cœurs. Today, January 14th, it’s been a year since René left us. He will always be in our hearts. -Team Céline ❤</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/celinedion/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Céline Dion</a> (@celinedion) on Jan 13, 2017 at 9:01pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite Dion focusing on the love and support of her close friends and her three children, she still finds things difficult.</p> <p>“This is my first English album without René,' she said. 'When I say without René, without René physically, because René will always be part of me.”</p> <p>“Before I talk, he goes through my mind,” she said. 'Would he do that? Is it too edgy? Would he be like approving that?’ I believed in him so much. And I still do. </p> <p>“But there's a point that he's not here anymore. I have to take charge of my life.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Celine Dion, her late husband René and their three children through the years.</p>

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7 iconic songs that will transport you back to the '70s

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 1970’s was a simpler time for some, and with hits like these, it’s easy to see why.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Listen to the top 7 songs of the 1970’s and take a journey back in time.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_izvAbhExY">Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This song was made iconic as it played over the opening credits of 1977 film </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday Night Fever</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as John Travolta struts through the streets of NYC. The song was written specifically for the film and quickly climbed through the charts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The band was well aware that they were creating a heart-thumping rhythm with the song.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We thought when we were writing it that we should emulate the human heart," Robin Gibb explained in Daniel Rachel's </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We got Blue Weaver who was the keyboard player at the time to lie on the floor and put electrodes on his heart and put it through the control room. Then we got the drummer to play the heartbeat. We were the first people in the world to do a drum loop based on that."</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CFuCYNx-1g">Superstition by Stevie Wonder</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Believe it or not, Stevie Wonder wrote this song about the dangers of believing in superstitions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The song incorporates many elements of rock music, which was ideal for Wonder at the time as it helped extend his appeal to a white audience.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It worked as it was his second #1 hit in the U.S.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFrGuyw1V8s">Dancing Queen by ABBA</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABBA had recorded this song a year before it was released, and it was written around the same time as “</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fernando</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">”. However, they chose to release </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fernando</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as the single as they knew they were onto something big with </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dancing Queen.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This song was the only one of ABBA’s 14 US Top 40 hits to make it to number one and it’s easy to see why.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The song also reached number one in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa, Sweden and Germany.</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgl-VRdXr7I">Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The story goes that the inspiration for this song is Don McLean, who was famous for </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">American Pie</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The songwriting team of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel intimately wrote the track back in 1973, and it wasn’t until Roberta Flack heard the original artist sing the song that she decided to record it herself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Charles Fox first heard from Flack after Quincy Jones gave her his number.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was at Paramount Pictures one day walking through the music library, and someone handed me a telephone and said, 'This is for you.' And the voice on the other end of the line said, 'Hi, this is Roberta Flack. We haven't met, but I'm going to sing your songs.'</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So it was kind of magical at that - that thing just doesn't happen to people. She had just won the Grammy Award for '</span><a href="https://www.songfacts.com/facts/roberta-flack/first-time-ever-i-saw-your-face"><span style="font-weight: 400;">First Time Ever I Saw Your Face</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.' Beautiful record. So it's kind of remarkable to get a call from her in the first place. And she did go on to sing other songs. And actually, she sang on the main title for me of a show that was called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Valerie</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> after Valerie Harper."</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQZmCJUSC6g">You’re So Vain by Carly Simon</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It looks like no one apart from Simon herself will know who she’s singing about, although this hasn’t stopped people from trying to figure it out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rumours include Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson, Cat Stevens and Mick Jagger.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Richard Perry, who produced the album, has his own ideas about who the song is about.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said in the book </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Record Producers</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">: "It's about a compilation of men that Carly had known, but primarily Warren Beatty."</span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ">Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It seems like no one will know what this song is about either, apart from the band and Freddie Mercury himself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When pressed, Mercury remained tight-lipped.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mercury himself stated, "It's one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The band has always been very keen to let listeners interpret the music in a way that’s personal to them instead of imposing their own meaning on the songs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The song was Queen’s first Top 10 hit in the US. In the UK, the song shot up to #1 and stayed there for nine weeks, which was a record for the time. </span></p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrcwRt6J32o">Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Paul Simon wrote this song about providing comfort to a person in need. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">He revealed this in the documentary </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Marking of Bridge Over Troubled Water</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have no idea where it came from,” Simon said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It came all of the sudden. It was one of the most shocking moments in my songwriting career. I remember thinking, 'This is considerably better than I usually write."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Upon its release, it was one of the few songs to top the US and UK charts at the same time. It was #1 in the US for six weeks and #1 in the UK for three. </span></p>

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“It will be an incredible show”: Whitney Houston set to have hologram tour in the works

<p><a href="https://www.musicweek.com/live/read/whitney-houston-hologram-tour-to-launch-in-uk/077282"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Music Week</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> have confirmed that a hologram version of Whitney Houston will be going on tour in the UK next year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Houston is the latest artist to get the hologram tour and the show is being staged by Base Entertainment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The company have worked on hologram productions which include Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Amy Winehouse.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Amy Winehouse production is still currently in development, but the Whitney Houston hologram production is ready to go.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B09SHAAjv-Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B09SHAAjv-Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">We’re overwhelmed with all of the love and support around Whitney’s birthday! Continue celebrating all weekend long by listening to her essential tracks on @AppleMusic!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/whitneyhouston/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Whitney Houston</a> (@whitneyhouston) on Aug 9, 2019 at 2:00pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It will be an incredible show,” said Seth Faber from music publishing company Primary Wave, who have recently partnered with the Houston estate. “So much effort has gone into making the show as authentic as possible. It’s going to be a phenomenal experience.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s not the first time a Houston hologram has been in the works.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2016, a tour that was organised by a different company was set to go ahead but didn’t go ahead due to the estate pulling their approval at the last minute.</span></p>

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Adele is reportedly on the brink of releasing new music

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It has been almost four years since Adele released her record-breaking album </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">25</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and fans have been hungry for more ever since.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Last year, it was reported that Adele was preparing an album for release around Christmas 2019, and it still looks like that is the case.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An insider has told </span><a href="https://people.com/music/adele-life-after-divorce-new-music-plans/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">People</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">that she star is getting herself both physically and mentally prepared for new music after a pretty tough year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She is definitely getting ready both mentally and physically to promote new music,” the source said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It seems it will happen later this year.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The insider also believes that Adele’s work will be just as personal as her other works on </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">19, 21</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">25.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She is so busy, but her life is better-rounded than it was before,” says an industry insider. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She is very fulfilled being an artist. New music is still a big deal for her, and she feels alive and happy.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After her divorce to Simon Konecki, it appears Adele has been travelling between the US and the UK whilst spending a lot of time with her six-year-old son Angelo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Her son had some time off from school, so they have taken a few small trips,” says the source. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1B3Us_ACO2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1B3Us_ACO2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Summer 2019 💫</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/adele/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Adele</a> (@adele) on Aug 11, 2019 at 8:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They recently vacationed in Utah, took a boating tour on Lake Powell and hiked the slot canyons. Adele very much enjoys U.S. nature and wanted to show Angelo around historic sites.”</span></p>

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Pink’s daughter Willow debuts new “punk rock” haircut

<p>Carey Hart has taken to Instagram to share his love and pride for his daughter’s “punk rock” makeover. </p> <p>The 44-year-old pro motocross competitor shared a special photograph of his eight-year-old daughter Willow’s brand new half-shaved haircut. </p> <p>The proud papa, who is married to pop star Pink shared a sweet message of support by saying: "Loving my punk rock daughter.</p> <p>"Remember everyone, fly your own flag. There is no box to be put in. It's better to be your own self. Own it, and love it. </p> <p>“And if anyone has a problem with it, tell them (politely) to move on. Can't wait to see the woman you grow up to be. </p> <p>“I have a feeling you are gonna be strong, fierce, compassionate, and caring. I'm so proud of you, Willow," he concluded.</p> <p>Hart also shared a meaningful message for his wife’s 40th birthday on September 8, thanking her for constantly inspiring him. </p> <p>"Welcome to 40 baby. I've celebrated 18 birthdays with you, and I can say it's amazing growing up with you,” he wrote. </p> <p>“The person you have grown into is inspiring. You have become a successful business woman, superstar, dedicated mother, philanthropist, supportive wife, wine maker, motorcycle mama, and amazing friend to all around you,”. </p> <p>He and Pink also share a two-year-old son Jameson and have been married since 2006. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the pop star’s family throughout the years. </p>

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5 great songs almost ruined by their original titles

<p>These songs were almost named something completely different!</p> <div class="Maincontent"> <p><strong>1. ‘Hey Jude’ was ‘Hey Jules’</strong></p> <p>When John and Cynthia Lennon split in 1968, Paul McCartney felt so bad for their five-year-old son, Julian, that he drove out to the suburbs to console him. By the time he arrived, McCartney had written the boy a ballad called ‘Hey Jules’ – a name he later obscured before sharing the song with the world.</p> <p><strong>2. ‘Mrs. Robinson’ was ‘Mrs. Roosevelt’</strong></p> <p>While scoring<span> </span><em>The Graduate</em>, director Mike Nichols turned his lonely eyes to Simon and Garfunkel. Paul Simon was too busy touring to write, but he had been tinkering with a tune called ‘Mrs. Roosevelt’, a tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt and the glorious past. Nichols agreed to use it if Simon agreed to change the title. He did.</p> <p><strong>3. ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ was ‘Vampires In Love’</strong></p> <p>Bonnie Tyler’s wrenching ballad about “love in the dark” was almost much darker. According to lyricist Jim Steinman, “I actually wrote that to be a vampire love song … Its original title was ‘Vampires in Love’ because I was working on a musical of Nosferatu.”</p> <p><strong>4. ‘Tutti Frutti, aw rootie’ was ‘Tutti Frutti, Good Booty’</strong></p> <p>Frustrated in the studio one day, struggling artist Little Richard started hammering the nearest piano and belting out a raunchy tune he used to play in southern clubs. Producer Bumps Blackwell liked what he heard but eventually swapped ‘good booty’ for a slang expression meaning ‘all right’. The rest, as they say, is aw rootie.</p> <p><strong>5. ‘Iron Man’ was nearly ‘Iron Bloke’</strong></p> <p>Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi had just written one of the greatest rock riffs of all time, but he needed lyrics. Ever inspired, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne posited that the riff sounded just like “a big iron bloke walking about.” For months, ‘Iron Bloke’ remained the song’s working title.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/5-Great-Songs-Almost-Ruined-by-Their-Original-Titles"> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Brandon Specktor. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/inspirational/5-Great-Songs-Almost-Ruined-by-Their-Original-Titles">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> </div> </div>

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Huh? Wha? A guide to keeping your hearing

<div class="postIntro">We live amid a cacophony of daily noise but, as we get older, many of us find that some sounds - such as the telephone ringing - become more difficult to hear. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and overcome such problems, so you’ll be able to enjoy conversation, music and all the sounds you love for years to come.</div> <div class="postIntro"> <p>What would the world be like without sound? All of us can imagine to some extent what it would be like to be blind – we simply have to shut our eyes.</p> <p>It’s much more difficult to imagine being unable to hear speech or music or the dawn chorus, or even the clatter when you drop a pan or your own ‘ouch’ when you stub a toe.</p> <p>There may be sounds that you would rather not hear – the throbbing music leaking from a fellow passenger’s headphones, the road drill outside your office window, the car alarm that goes off at two o’clock in the morning, your nextdoor neighbour’s lawnmower disturbing a lazy summer afternoon in the garden… yet wouldn’t it feel strange if you couldn’t hear them?</p> <p>Follow on for our self-test questionnaire to find out if you have a hearing problem.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/hearing/huh-wha-guide-keeping-your-hearing"><strong>Have you got a hearing problem?</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/hearing/huh-wha-guide-keeping-your-hearing"> <p>Do you have difficulty hearing or following what is being said in the following situations?</p> <ul> <li>Listening to the television when the volume is adjusted to suit someone else.</li> <li>Talking on the telephone.</li> <li>Having a conversation with someone in a busy place, such as a street, shop or restaurant. Having a conversation with several people in a group.</li> <li>Listening to someone against a background noise, such as a whirring fan or running water. Having a conversation when you can’t see the other person’s face full on.</li> <li>Talking to women or children – even though you can hold conversations with men without any difficulty.</li> </ul> <p>Do you often:</p> <ul> <li>Ask people to repeat what they’ve said?</li> <li>Misunderstand what people say?</li> <li>Agree or nod even when you’re not sure what’s been said?</li> <li>Feel that other people mumble when they talk?</li> <li>Turn up the radio or television to a volume that others say is too loud?</li> <li>Have to watch other people’s facial expressions or lip movements to understand what they say?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Minor degrees of hearing loss = intense frustration</strong></p> <p>The world is, by and large, such a noisy place that relative calm and silence – which are important for our general wellbeing – have become rare treats to be relished.</p> <p>But as we get older, the world may become uncomfortably quieter if certain important sounds are more difficult to hear – for instance, the telephone ringing, a grandchild crying or the best moments of a favourite symphony.</p> <p>Even minor degrees of hearing loss can cause intense frustration –when you have to strain to hear what other people are saying, miss crucial spoken information such as station announcements, or feel left out in social situations because you can’t follow conversations if there’s a lot of background noise.</p> <p>Yet, even if a certain amount of hearing loss is inevitable as we grow older – and it’s by no means certain that it is – there is much that can be done to protect this vital sense and there are many causes of hearing loss that can be treated.</p> <p>In this section you will learn all about your ears and the remarkable process of hearing.</p> <p>You will find out why balance disorders may result from ear problems and about other symptoms, such as tinnitus (a persistent, irritating sound in the ears), which can accompany them.</p> <p>Because you’re concerned enough about your senses to be reading this, you will no doubt want to take steps to preserve your hearing and your enjoyment of the sounds of life – for life.</p> <p><strong>Measuring sound levels</strong></p> <p>Sound is measured in decibels – a term derived from the Latin for ‘ten’ plus the name of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, and shortened to dB.</p> <p>Any sound-measurement scale has to include a huge range of sound intensities, from a ticking watch to a jet aircraft taking off – a difference of 200,000,000,000 times – so scientists use a logarithmic or ‘log’ scale, which means that every increase of 10 dB represents a sound that is ten times as loud.</p> <p>Whether noise causes hearing loss depends both on the intensity of the sound and the length of exposure.</p> <p><strong>Everyday noise, rated</strong></p> <p>On the decibel (dB) scale, 0 dB is near-total silence, but 10 dB is ten times more powerful, 20 dB is 100 times more powerful, 30 dB is 1,000 times more powerful, and so on.</p> <p>A hair dryer at 80 dB is a hundred times as loud as normal speech at 60 dB.</p> <p>A rock concert booming out at 120 dB is a million times as loud as normal conversation.</p> <p><strong>Decibels (dB) Sound</strong></p> <p><strong>0</strong><span> </span>Near silence<br /><strong>20</strong><span> </span>Ticking watch, rustling leaves, quiet room at night<br /><strong>37–45</strong><span> </span>Computer hum<br /><strong>50–65</strong><span> </span>Dishwasher, washing machine<br /><strong>60</strong><span> </span>Normal conversational speech</p> <p><strong>Intrusive</strong></p> <p><strong>65</strong><span> </span>Average city traffic</p> <p><strong>Difficult to concentrate</strong></p> <p><strong>70</strong><span> </span>Television, busy office, noisy restaurant, vacuum cleaner</p> <p><strong>Annoying</strong></p> <p><strong>80</strong><span> </span>Hair dryer, alarm clock, heavy traffic, shouting</p> <p><strong>Hearing impairment on prolonged exposure</strong></p> <p><strong>84<span> </span></strong>Train<br /><strong>85–90</strong><span> </span>Leaf-blower<br /><strong>90–95</strong><span> </span>Lawnmower, busy pub<br /><strong>90–100</strong><span> </span>Motorcycle<br /><strong>95–140</strong><span> </span>Loud car stereo<br /><strong>100–120</strong><span> </span>MP3 portable music player</p> <p><strong>Painful even on brief exposure</strong></p> <p><strong>110</strong><span> </span>Chain saw, pneumatic drill, nightclub/disco, baby crying<br /><strong>110–120</strong><span> </span>Ambulance siren, jet aircraft on take-off<br /><strong>130</strong><span> </span>Thunderclap, machine gun</p> <p><strong>Possible irreversible hearing loss</strong></p> <p><strong>119–140</strong><span> </span>Heavy-metal rock band<br /><strong>164</strong><span> </span>.357 Magnum pistol</p> <p><strong>Unnatural noise</strong></p> <p>If our ears are designed to detect and interpret sound, why is it that noise can be so harmful?</p> <p>Surely, being sensitive to noise is what ears are for?</p> <p>Well, not quite.</p> <p>Our ears evolved to pick up biological sounds, not the roar of engines and the din of amplified electronic sound.</p> <p>Our remote ancestors needed to hear relatively quiet noises that could be crucial for survival, such as the approach of a wild animal that could be hunted for food or might be intent on eating you.</p> <p>The loudest sound was probably the odd thunderclap, and even occasional loud noises were interspersed with long periods of relative silence.</p> <p><strong>Check your hearing</strong></p> <p>How is your hearing coping with the cacophony of the modern world?</p> <p>If you want to do a quick self-assessment, you can take a simple hearing test online that was produced by the University of New South Wales (<a rel="noopener" href="http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html" target="_blank">www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html</a>).</p> <p><strong>Is hearing loss inevitable?</strong></p> <p>Most medical professionals believe that age-associated hearing loss, known as presbyacusis, is to an extent inevitable.</p> <p>But studies of a Sudanese tribe called the Mabaan, who live in quiet rural surroundings, show that they have much better hearing than Westerners – indeed, even older members of the tribe have better hearing than 20-year-olds living in industrial societies.</p> <p>What’s more, among the Mabaan there is little difference between the hearing of young people and the tribal elders.</p> <p>Apart from their quieter life, the Mabaan people’s excellent hearing may be influenced by their diet – a factor discussed in the next chapter.</p> <p>Meanwhile, all the evidence seems to suggest that it is well worth protecting ourselves and our children from the potentially deafening effects of loud noise.</p> <p><strong>Top tips for avoiding noise damage</strong></p> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>The more prolonged your exposure to noise and the higher the volume, the greater your chance of hearing loss, but once the exposure ceases no further damage will be done.</p> <p>If you notice hearing loss after exposure to loud noise, it will usually (but not always) improve in the following hours or days.</p> <p>Here are ten ways to limit avoidable noise as much as possible, and safeguard your ears when exposed to unavoidable noise:</p> <ul> <li>Limit the time that you spend listening to noise for entertainment.</li> <li>Reduce volume levels on stereos, TVs and iPods.</li> <li>If you use an MP3 or iPod, wear in-ear filters to cancel out background noise.</li> <li>Wear proper earplugs or earmuffs whenever you cannot avoid exposure to loud noise, for example when mowing the lawn or using power tools; cotton wool and other homemade plugs are ineffective.</li> <li>When in a noisy environment, try to go elsewhere for regular short breaks.</li> <li>Distance diminishes the effective decibel level that reaches the ear. Get as far away as possible from unavoidably loud sounds – don’t sit or stand next to loudspeakers at a concert, for example.</li> <li>If you are provided with earmuffs at work, use them.</li> <li>Keep your car windows closed when driving on busy roads.</li> <li>Reduce outside traffic and other noise in your home by, for example, installing double glazing, hanging heavy curtains or planting trees or shrubs between you and the road.</li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Reader's Digest. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/hearing/huh-wha-guide-keeping-your-hearing">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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