Comments by Emon Hassan

Comment for "Hip Deep #02 - The Musical Legacy Of Al-Andalus, Pt. 1" (deleted)

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Review of Hip Deep #02 - The Musical Legacy Of Al-Andalus, Pt. 1 (deleted)

They're right..."you may never hear European music in quite the same way after this venture into the heritage of Al-Andalus." The first of a two parter series on Andalusian music takes us on a journey from the beginning of the intrduction of Muslim and Jewish music to Europe during 700 AD, besides introduction of other great inventions to the continent. The new musical performances, some of them recorded with periodic instruments, are captivating. There's a sense of musical journey that takes you through a worm hole, if you will, to that era. The styles are varied, yet one who is versed in European music of the second half of the previous millenium will notice traces of influences from the Andalusian music. The piece also tells us of the different musical intstuments that were introduced to Europe by Arabs, some of which have been prominently used by composer giants. This part focuses on music in Europe only, and it's evolution until the 11th century. The musical excerpts are pitch perfect for this wonderful historical, and engaging piece. Great narration!

Comment for "Hip Deep #01 - Tarab: The Art Of Ecstasy In Arabic Music" (deleted)

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Review of Hip Deep #01 - Tarab: The Art Of Ecstasy In Arabic Music (deleted)

The piece is a delight to listen to for the music alone. There are long stretches of time where nothing but music plays and it's so for a good reason. It gives us an inkling of the development of Tarab and Saltana. It may be hard for one to listen for the clues. As a matter of fact, there is no bookmark of where a tarab is achieved. Tarab, as the interviewees explain, is a coming together of various elements, incluing the audience. The explanations are clear and concise. The subjects do a wonderful job of demonstrating the various stages of the melodic development. It was easier for me to relate to the music since I was exposed to it the first ten years of my life. As a first time listener, though, a listener would find joy in the music that goes beyond enjoyment. There's, as usual, a brilliant performance by Oum Kalsoum.

Comment for "Primary Sources - Slavery" (deleted)

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Review of Primary Sources - Slavery (deleted)

I didn't get the purpose of this piece. What would the introduction of John Hawkins by John Hawkins do for anybody? Was the re-enactment necessary and why? He is a despicable person, flaunting his wealth and his trade. As a listener, I wasn't sure what this piece was to serve the listener. Maybe I've missed something?

Comment for "Spirit In Action: Matthew Fox with Buddhist Scholar, Robert Thurman"

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Review of Spirit In Action: Matthew Fox with Buddhist Scholar, Robert Thurman

At the beginning of the piece, we learn from Mr. Fox that the Dalai Lama has 'accused' Dr. Thurman of having vigor and wit. The two have a laugh over that. Well, vigor and wit are essentially the theme of this finely tuned piece. It's like eavesdropping on two friends who know a lot about the subject they're discussing, two friends, authors of dozens of books between them, openly share their thoughts without any demonstration of pretense. This piece, at the core, is about education of the heart being as important as shaping a clever brain. Here the spirit is truly in action since there's never a dull moment during this interview...or dialogue, rather. I believe this piece has never aired in its entirety. It definitely should.

Comment for "Adults Making Music and ?Stewardesses Stripped?" (deleted)

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Review of Adults Making Music and “Stewardesses Stripped” (deleted)

It's great to learn that more adults are learning to play an instrument. This piece exposes the world of music teachers as well, a lot of whom don't have patience to teach adults. Why they call themselves teachers is a different topic altogether. The interviews discuss the differences between young learners and adult learners, and why adults pick one instrument over another.
Stewardesses posed for the camera to put together a calendar to make a statement and bring attention to the complex working of the world of pensions. The women posing have lost their pensions. Both topics are usually not hip topics of discussion in the age of 'forever young' motto. Both topics are ignored until it effects someone personally.

Comment for "THE COMEDY-O-RAMA "WAR OF THE WORLDS" HALLOWEEN SPECIAL" (deleted)

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Review of The Comedy-O-Rama Hour "War Of the Worlds" Special! (deleted)

Not quite the making-of I was hoping for, but fun to listen to nonetheless. This one is a step ahead of other WOTW pieces because it features interviews with John Houseman, Arthur Anderson, and Howard Koch. There's nothing like listening to the people who were part of the show. The interviews were sometime hard to follow, the recordings are not of high quality. The second segment is a parody of WOTW. I guess after listening to tons of parodies, the parody didn't do much for me. It would have if the language style was updated. Nevertheless, it is worth listening to.

Comment for "Hilary Hahn: the 2015 Grammy Winner in her own words ... on J.S. Bach"

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Review of Hilary Hahn: In her own words ... on J.S. Bach

For someone so young, Hahn's maturity in playing Bach's works is astonishing. Just a couple of bars from Concerto for 2 Violins in D major is enough for any listener to praise her talents. In addition, she shares a very crucial freedom in Bach's music, individual interpretation. She may talk like a very young person, but her playing defies the mathematics of age.

Comment for "Arturo Sandoval: In his own words"

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Review of Arturo Sandoval: In his own words

A virtuoso trumpeter, Sandoval's love of bebop dances out of his trumpet and his words. Here he talks about his new album which showcases his incredible talent in playing other musical styles. In addition he shares his thoughts on music and musicianship. A vey good Sandoval introduction.

Comment for "Laugh Tracks Part One and Part Two"

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Review of Laugh Tracks Part One and Part Two

A wonderful program about comedians and how reality of life, pain and stereotypes have shaped their comedy routines. A variety of comedians represented by different cultures, background, and style talk about their life, family and personal stories. The piece smoothly swims in and out of their lives punctuating with the appropriate comdey routines. Lots of laugh out loud moments. Now, if I had to review this piece with one word, it would be 'Anti-depressant'. It's not original, but you get my meaning.

Comment for "Sing To The Glory of God"

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Review of Sing To The Glory of God

Compelling piece on choral works of some of the greatest such as Bach, Telemann, and Handel, but mainly focusing the 'Passion' works of Johann Sebastian's. Controversial lyrics are mainly the cause of debate, but the piece delves into elaborate discussions about the use of music to emphasize the libretto as well as the reflection of the times these pieces were composed. Bach's music by itself evokes emotional response from listeners, but understanding the content of the piece creates an ethical/moral dilemma as well. The debate continues about how future interpretations of the works can be best presented to listeners without censoring. Should measures be taken to educate listeners about the pieces or should it be ignored?

Comment for "Naked People"

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Review of Naked People

Nudes can be found in all forms of visual artist work. Trust me. The piece looks at the history (sort of) of nudes and why artists create them. What is it that we see in nudes? Depends on who you ask. Some people are asked that here. Mixture of humor and information makes this piece...well...a pealing.

Comment for "I Can't Get It Out of My Head"

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Review of I Can't Get It Out of My Head

Ah the wonderful history of the rise and fall and revival of the sweet jingles. Piece brings you the clips from the classics, some modern substitutes, and off-key renditions by customers who recall (sing) their favorites (?). It turned on the jingle juke box in my head. So much so that the mere mention of the keywords will get you off and humming too no matter how much you hate them. You think I'm kidding? 'Zoom Zoom Zoom'...'Put the lime in the coke, you nut'...'I'm loving it'...oh it's too much.

Comment for "Hollywood Washington"

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Review of Hollywood Washington

As Eddie Murphy says in the movie 'Distinguished Gentleman'..."the truth is gonna come out tonight." Not just a primer to Hollywood Washington, this piece looks at the differences between what we see on screen and what is for real. Clips from movies, including the one mentioned in the opening line, and the writers who've written them adds more humour to the piece, especially when they're followed by the the sounds of Washington Washington.

Comment for "Jerry Stearns' Dialogue with Martian Trombone"

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Review of Jerry Stearns' Dialogue with Martian Trombone

Very funny production about the reunion of the Ramon Raquello Orchestra, 65 years after being doomed by the 1938 broadcast of War of The Worlds. There are some laugh out loud moments. Some actors were brilliant in the piece while others were a bit weak, but, as a whole, this live recording stands out as a thoroughly enjoyable performance piece.

Comment for "Radio Drama in VA107"

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Review of Radio Drama in VA107

This piece does not quite work as a radio drama because the use of silences work against it. The silences are harder to make work on radio since the listeners are not always ready for it. Otherwise it comes off as dead air only. Without the visual elements the interaction does seem empty. The internal monologue would have worked if the hiss could be removed, but then again it wasn't meant to air as a radio drama in the first place (if I understood correctly) The synching of two voices is a bit overdone. The geography of the play is hard to follow.

Comment for "Strip Club USA Part One"

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Review of Strip Club USA Part One

Confessions from people who are on opposite sides of the business. The piece is dark, but the interviewees talking candidly makes it a very revealing one. Misconceptions are discussed and feelings are shared, among others, but resulting in a well balanced piece.

Comment for ""And Never The Twain Shall Meet""

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Review of "And Never the Twain Shall Meet"

Tim is finding it hard to balance restrictions in his religion and his relationships with women. His beliefs pose certain problems in pursuing a relationship and his past experience has made him careful. The piece can be tigtened a little bit more by eliminating redundancies throughout.

Comment for "Murrow Award Winning Piece on The Hidden Sounds of Nature" (deleted)

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Review of Murrow Award Winning Piece on The Hidden Sounds of Nature (deleted)

I can't quite call it a nature piece, because it's more than that. The 24 hour cycle recordings made for the 'Here-ings" CD are fascinating. The sounds seem foreign and that's because we almost never listen that closely. 'The Land' is a perfect place for the sounds to live in since the silence around them makes for a peaceful 'neighborhood'. I especially liked the sound of ants circling around the microphone by the ant hill.

Comment for "The Emergence of Bob Dylan" (deleted)

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Review of The Emergence of Bob Dylan (deleted)

No doubt the best documentary on Dylan, certainly of his early years. It is safe to say that no other documentary, visual or aural, has been so well documented and written about the great American icon. Listeners can 'see' the progression of an artist throughout the first years with people who knew him and played with him. The details are fascinating, from his Cafe Wha? days to his one particular performance with Joan Baez (which has a humorous moment). I've heard 'Blowing in The Wind' a thousands times probably, but wasn't prepared for the way the piece introduced it here. There are differing opinions on Dylan going electric at the Newport folk festival and the reaction the crowd had. First time I've heard of Alan Lomax and Al Grossman had gotten into a fist fight during that concert. The piece concentrates on the tracks not so popular, and they are equally astounding. Kudos to Paul Ingles for using the songs that best comlimented this story. His consistency in producing great work deserves a salute from the radio community. Remember, this is a TV/Internet age...and he has just made me sit and listen to 2 hours of radio. Anyone who produces radio knows how unusual that task is. If I had a choice to end this piece, and I didn't want it to end so soon, it would have been with 'My Back Pages', one of the most beautiful songs ever. A million thanks to Paul Ingles for including that in his ending vignette.

Comment for "To Comfort Or Provoke: The Necessary And Complex Role Of Theatre In Our Chaotic World."

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Review of To Comfort Or Provoke: The Necessary And Complex Role Of Theatre In Our Chaotic World.

Ms. Maxwell is well spoken and well versed in theatre language, but here she gets to the topic a bit late, that is if I follow the title too closely. The lecture is personal and will only resonate with theatre lovers. There is wit in her lecture, but not translatable to newcomers of theatre. I don't suppose, however, that this lecture was meant for an audience who were not aware of Ms Maxwell's work or the Shaw festival, but in this case, it has stepped out of the auditorium and is no longer projected to a specified audience. The piece appears to be more of Ms. Maxwell's take on her life and her work.
I don't think it's fair to compare, but Michael York's lecture, while having a personal touch, had more universal value in its lesson. I personally don't like to hear words like 'baleful' on radio, but that's just me. In summary, if you look for a commentary on the title, you may be disappointed. But if you like what Ms. Maxwell has to offer from her experience, you may like it.

Comment for "Home Planet: "Hot or Not?" by Cheryl-Anne Millsap"

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Review of "Hot or Not?"

I would add 'Witty' in the 'tones' section if I had the power to, because this piece is one. The writing is sharp that works on multiple levels, and the delivery...perfect! Love the ending.

Comment for "The Whistler"

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Review of The Whistler

Mr. Hannon is a good whistler, sounding almost like a bird chirping a tune. Although the thing that drives me up the wall is the vibrato thing a lot of whistlers use on slow tunes, but his use of the technique is just right, not that anyone else in the world cares about that. The piece is very upbeat and made me feel better. How many sad people do you know who whistle? Here's a piece that tells me to love life without telling me. It just introduced me to Jeff Hannon. If only he played guitar.

Comment for "The Most Recorded Musician"

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Review of The Most Recorded Musician

Now, talk about being prolific. Hal Blaine's accomplishments are extraordinary and will probably never be surpassed. I wonder why I had missed his name all these years, but thanks to Mr. Green, I do now.

Comment for "The Art of Fearbusting"

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Review of The Art of Fearbusting

The piece does not shed new light on the art of fearbusting. And that's because it does not have great source material to work with. Listeners these days are a lot more sophisticated and if not given specific information, method, or ideas will tune out. The piece does not, in all fairness, present the author's work as a groundbreaking event. It merely introduces the latest release of an audiobook on the subject. Whether the audiobook stands on its own merit is a separate debate.

Comment for "Interview with pornographer Sam Stern" (deleted)

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Review of Interview with pornographer Sam Stern (deleted)

Very bold piece. An industry rarely looked at from the POV of a pornographer. The interview reveals the morphing of an industry from an insider whose own admissions are stunning. The piece gives us a glimpse of the dangerous terrains the porn industry is heading towards, and it is disturbing.

Comment for "Happy Anniversary"

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Review of Happy Anniversary

A lesson in brevity, this short piece is crafted like a house of cards. Not one card (word) is out of place. Listen to what the couple doesn't say in the piece, and you too will notice the presence, or absence, of what makes this play outstanding.

Comment for "Apology Accepted"

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Review of Apology Accepted

Alright, senorita and senor PDs, if you have missed this short gem till now, this is your chance to score major points with your listeners. Obsviously there are a lot of brilliantly done non fiction pieces on PRX for father's day, but if you'd like something very different, yet equally wonderful, this short drama is a must. It will be worth the 3+ minutes for your listeners...I promise.

Comment for "An Encounter With Hunter S. Thompson"

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Review of An Encounter With Hunter S. Thompson

At the core of this anecdotal piece is an insight into Hunter Thompson's energy as a human being, often misinterpreted by the rest of the world. Mr. McDonald asks for a signature from Thompson's son Juan on a copy of 'Hell's Angels' who adds writes 'In the spirit of HST.' That spirit is captured quite well with this piece.

Comment for "Revisiting Death of a Salesman"

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Review of Revisiting Death of a Salesman

For me to be a Bangladeshi, and for me to cry at the end of 'Death of Salesman' (TV version with Lee J. Cobb)is evident why Miller's masterpiece is regarded all over the world. It resonates with every father and son relationship, whether itr has been good or bad. This is a commentary piece that only leaves other reviewers like to me to just add "Whatever Mr. McDonald said," because he put the right words to describe my reaction to the play.

Comment for "Blind Africans Sing to Survive" (deleted)

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Review of Blind Africans Sing to Survive (deleted)

A very inspiring piece about the singers who, despite over 100 performances a year, are quite relaxed and upbeat. Not only are they fantastic performers with intricate and smooth harmonies in their songs, they also support themselves and their former neighbors in Liberia. Music, once again, is their instrument of choice to end dificulties, and begin new chapters in their own and the lives of others.