Tuesday, July 17, 2012

As William Shakespeare once said,....

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.”

It happens to be the opening line of Sonnet 116, but that is irrelevant for purposes of this post. Only English literature majors care.

As you are surely aware if you have read this blog for any length of time, I am always looking for interesting and unusual things to bring to your attention.

This time I just may have outdone myself.

Page 1 -- Thesis

There’s this guy named Béla Fleck (well, his full name is Béla Anton Leoš Fleck and according to Wikipedia he is named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartók and Czech composers Anton Dvorak and Leoš Janáček, which proves that anything is possible). He was born in 1958 and grew up to be, of all things, a banjo player. Strangest of all, he was born not in Alabama but in New York City.

He formed a group called Béla Fleck and the Flecktones that has won Grammy awards for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and Best Pop Instrumental Album.

This is Béla:

(Photo by tom m., 2007, on Flickr and used here in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

Page 2 -- Antithesis

Then there’s this other guy named Kongar-ol Ondar, a Tuvan throat singer who was born in 1962.

He is considered a living treasure by the Republic of Tuva and has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman (2:59).

I bet you didn’t even know there was a Republic of Tuva, and yes, I just split an infinitive. (Again, only English majors care.)

This is Kongar-ol:

(Photo by Bill Loewy, 1993, used here in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.)

Page 3 -- Synthesis

Apparently, banjo players and pseudo-banjo players, whatever their singing style, seek their own level. In the fulness of time and as luck would have it, Kongar-ol Ondar appeared with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones on albums called Outbound, Live at the Quick, and Jingle All the Way. He has also released an album of his own called Back Tuva Future.

Curiouser and curiouser.

You do know what’s coming next.

For your listening and viewing pleasure, here’s “Ah Sho Dekio” featuring Kongar-ol Ondar with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones (3:14). I urge you to watch it, as you may never see anything like it ever again.

Page 4

Finally, here’s every Alabaman’s idea of a dream date:

(Photo by Julianne Macie, 2010, used here in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

The girl is Abigail Washburn and Béla ended up marrying her. As Shakespeare also once said, “All’s well that ends well.”

And as Shakespeare never once said, Ah sho hope you liked this post.


Shooting Parrots said...

Ah sho did enjoy this post and the video. 'Wow what I saw' as Kongar-ol Ondar might say if he spoke in English instead of Tuvan.

Putz said...

usually you look for my interests but not this time hoarace

Bella Scarlett said...

I will be singing Ah Sho Dekio all day! Marvelous post.

Chris said...

Really cool. I did actually know what Tuva was, where it was and about the throat singing. Did you first hear of it in National Geographic? Because that's where I heard of it.

rhymeswithplague said...

Shooting Parrots/Ian, Ah sho am happy you sho did enjoy this post.

Putz/David, in taking me to task are you calling me Horace (hoarace) or are you claiming this snippet of wisdom is an ancient quotation translated from the Latin?

Bella Scarlett, welcome! Thanks for the kind words. Sorry about the DVD player in your head.

Chris, I have no idea where I first heard of Tuvan throat singing but I sometimes wish I never had.