the memory palace

the memory palace

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the memory palace

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Episode (M): Gallery 742  

A special episode of the Memory Palace commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to coincide with the opening of Rockefeller-Worsham Dressing Room in Gallery 742 of The American Wing and with Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age, an exhibition open now through May 1st, 2016.  

This piece is ideally consumed on site, in Gallery 742 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Written and Produced by Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace.

Musical score by Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf.

Executive Producer, Limor Tomer, General Manager of Concerts & Lectures, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Episode 80 (Shore Leave)  

Music
* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.
* First up is one of my very favorite recordings of all time: Andromeda from Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath. One of the finest bands ever assembled.
* The sailors get grumpy to Sito from Pierre Favre and the European Chamber Ensemble. (The end drum loop comes from that piece too).
* The guys run off to save the day to Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor doing the Green Groves of Erin.
* That turns into, In Threes by Loscil.

Notes
* Some of the details in here originate from a fine piece that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in May of 1944. You can read it here.
* Other solid write ups:
From The Book of New York
The U.S.C.G.
The Fire-fighter's Museum

Episode 79 (Artist in Landscape)  

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Music
* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.
* They first meet to a piece called Brouillard (version 1) from Georges Delaure's extraordinary score to Jules et Jim. (A second version comes in later when J.J. Audubon is living the high life in England).
* We also hear Waltz by Mother Falcon.
* I go back to the Marcelo Zarvos/Please Give well when the Scotsman arrives at their store. Note: it's the go-to soundtrack for "People Arriving at One's Store With A Life Changing Proposition" here at the Memory Palace. Also: go watch Please Give.
* Lucy and John titter like plovers to Andrew Cyrille's dope, skittering drums on Nuba 1.
* The especially sad bit, right before the end is Dream 3 (in the Midst of my Life), from Max Richter's giant, From Sleep album.
* A couple times, including the ending, we hear "the Lark Ascending" from Ralph Vaughn Willliams. It is beautiful. You should buy it.

Notes
As per usual, I read a lot about the Audubons and the Bakewells.
I relied most upon the charming and smart, On the Road with John James Audubon by Mary Durant, and Carolyn DeLatte's lovely, thoughtful book, Lucy Audubon: a Biography.
* Just a quick note: there's a very enjoyable PBS/American Masters/Nature documentary about Audubon. It's a fun and informative watch. But, I'll say, you come out of that thinking that things were fundamentally swell between Lucy and John in a way that I'm not entirely sure is supported by the facts. Or jibes with, you know, human nature.

Episode 78  (no. 116,842)  

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Music
* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.
* First bit is called Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears by A Winged Victory for the Sullen from their self-titled album.
* A brief bit of Occam II for Violin by Silvia Tarrozi scores the shuttle accident (non-NASA category).
* We've got Eloy by Deaf Center.
* Finish out with Call from Julianna Barwick's album Pacing.

Notes
* There's no, proper, grown-up biography of Margaret Knight (as far as I've been able to locate). Though there are a handful of kid's books of varying degrees of charm and accuracy. She does pop up in a fair amount of "Lady Inventors!!!" collections. I read a bunch of these, but I want to single out one for its rigor: Autumn Stanley's Mothers and Daughters of Invention.

Episode 77 (Butterflies)  

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Music
* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.
* First up is "Adultere bourgeoise," a piece from Paul Misraki's score to A Double tour.
* Then we've got a piece called "Night Time Talk" by Stephen J. Anderson.
* We hit For the Trees by Matmos a couple of times (the bit after: "the facts were these," or whatever I say)
* Frank Durr's theme is P from that first LaBradford album, all those years ago.
* The score for the House of Butterflies is called Fragment II by Library Tapes. It comes back again toward the end.
* We also hear Invidia, by Deadmaus. That's the one we finish on.

Notes
* Several essays were very helpful in researching this. Among those were:
-http://pittmed.health.pitt.edu/jan_2001/butterflies.pdf
-http://www.thenation.com/article/secret-history-lead/
-http://www.wired.com/2013/01/looney-gas-and-lead-poisoning-a-short-sad-history/
* I found William J. Kovarik's Dissertation, The Ethyl Controversy: How the News Media Set the Agenda for a Public Health Controversy over the use of Leaded Gasoline, 1924-1926, completely fascinating.
* I relied on a number of papers from the W.H.O. when researching the health effects of lead and ozone depletion.
* Here's the New York Times original expose about the House of Butterflies.
* Finally, Thomas Midgely, IV's biography of his grandfather, From the Periodic Table to Production: The Life of Thomas Midgely, Jr., inventor of Leaded Gasoline and Freon Refrigerants, is, while unsurprisingly hagiographic, both well-researched and highly readable.

Episode 76 (Mary Walker Would Wear What She Wanted)  

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Music
*Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.
*The piece opens with Rainfall, by David Darling and Michael Jones.
*Her brief love story is scored by Nathan Johnson's Penelope's Theme from his score to The Brothers Bloom.
*When she lands her first gig, we start Garde a Vue, and roll into Le Roi de coeur, from Chantal Martineau.
* The vibraphone piece is "Opening" by Nathaniel Bartlett.
* The recurring violin piece is called Geometria del Universo by the one-named Colleen.
* It ends on Romain's First Love, again by Georges Delarue, from his fantastic score to Promise at Dawn.

Notes
* I read a lot about Mary, but by far the most useful and most thorough works I came upon were: Sharon M. Harris' Dr. Mary Walker: An American Radical and A Woman of Honor: Dr. Mary E. Walker and the Civil War, in which author Mercedes Graf does a great job walking the reader through Walker's unpublished memoir.

Episode 75 (The Ballad of Captain Dwight)  

The finale of the 2015 Summer Season.

 

 

Music

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* There's Branches, by Keith Kenniff

* Then The Big Ocean, from Ben Sollee's score to Maidentrip

* Then End of the World from Dan Romer's score to Beasts of the Southern Wild

* There's The Sage, pulling once more from the dope-as-hell self-titled album from the Chico Hamilton Quintet.

* There's a loop pulled from Worm is Green's song, Brand New Day

* There's The Light, from my pal Jimmy's wonderful project, The Album Leaf. Go buy their albums

* The piece at the end is the theme to Charlie Countryman from Christophe Beck's score.

* Oh: stuff gets heavy to Ghosts I from Nine Inch Nails.

* And finally (though out of order), playing over the fall-out from JFK's death is Now by Goldmund. 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

A selected bibliography.

 

* We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program, by Richard Paul and Steven Moss

* Voices of Contemporary and Historical Black Pioneers, Farmer & Shepard-Wynn, editors

* The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe

* Distinguished African Americans in Aviation and Space Sciences, by Gulbert, Sawyer, and Fannin

* The All-American Boys, Walt Cunningham's memoir.

* The Ebony article mentioned in the piece can be read here.  

Episode 74 (Craning)  

Episode 9 of the 2015 Summer Season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* There're too pieces from Per Storby Jutbring's album, Dance of the Diaper Fairy. Snowbound, up top, and the title track at the end. 

 

Notes

* Hoo boy, have I read a ton of books about the space program, thanks to my stint on the writing staff of ABC's Astronauts' Wives Club last year.  So, most of this piece is just "stuff I now know."  However: read numerous contemporary newspaper accounts, readily available on 

* Also key was the lovely prologue to First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong, James R. Hanson's solid (if a little hagiographic) bio.  

Episode 73 (Notes on an Imagined Plaque to be Added to the Statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Upon Hearing that the Memphis City Counci has Voted to Move it  and the Exhumed Remains of General Forrest and his Wife, Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest, from  

Episode 8 of the 2015 Summer Season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* First up (and returning at the end) is Sandra's Theme, from Heather McIntosh's fantastic score to Compliance, a very good, very disturbing movie. 

* We hit Frank Glazer leading Charles Ives' Largo for Clarinet, Violin and Piano a couple of times, framing...

* Runaway from Olafur Arnalds. 

 

Notes:

*The key to researching this episode turned out to be an article in The Journal of Southern History from 2001 by Court Carnay called, "The Contested Image of Nathan Bedford Forrest."

* Also particularly useful was Nathan Bedford Forrest: a Biography, by Jack Hurst. 

* As was Lynching in America: A History in Documents, compiled by Christopher Waldrep.

* Much of my information about the contents of the ceremony and speeches was gathered from this, the digitized journal and scrapbook of Charles Henry Niehaus, the sculptor of the monument. It's an extraordinary resource.   

* And let us all read Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All its Phases, by Ida B. Wells. And let's put her on the $10 while we're at it.

Episode 72 (Run-of-the-River)  

Episode 7 of the 2015 Summer Season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* First up (and returning a bit later) is Mr. Reincarnation from Alexander Desplat's dope-as-hell score to the fairly dope movie, Birth. 

* There's Lost Fur, Reprise from Carter Burwell's Where the Wild Things Are score. 

* Then there's a Charles Ives piece called Remembrance, played by Yesaroun' Duo, Eric Hewitt and Samuel Z. Soloman. 

* Then we hit Another Lifetime, dipping back in the Birth Score well.

* Finish up with Kierling/Doubt from Max Richters 24 Postcards in Full Color.  

Episode 71 (Zulu Charlie Romeo)  

Episode 6 of the 2015 Summer Season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* First up, A Nice Day from a truly wonderful album, The Original Chico Hamilton Quintet Complete Studio Recordings.

* Then there's Ohnono/Kiwembo, Andrew Bird's contribution to Tradi-Mods Vs. Rockers - Alternative Takes on Congotronics, Vol. 1 (which is a great rabbit hole to go down).

* Anita gets introduced to Hay Tantos Muertos, by Marissa Nadler.  

* Then falls in love to Hymn of Silence by Silencio

* Then there're two pieces from Nathan Johnson's score to The Day I Saw Your Heart. 

Episode 70 (Developments in the Design and Manufacture of American Menswear 1840-1860, a Fable)  

Episode 5 of the 2015 Summer Season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* The main mountain theme is Mort D'Eurydice, by Pierre Favre as played by the European Chamber Ensemble.

* There's a second string-y snippet of another by them called, Sito.

* We learn about beavers to Stereo Music for Acoustic Guitar, Buchla Music Box 100 (etc.)...Pt. 2 from Keith Fullerton Whitman's old Multiples album.

* The soft men are embodied by 3-Sized PF by Takahiro Kido from his Fairy Tale album.

* I roll out some more Miguel Atwood-Ferguson with Arioso from Red Hot & Bach to track the tall tales of the west.  

Episode 69 (Charlie: God of Rain)  

Episode 4 of the 2015 Summer Season. 

 

 

 

 

Music

 

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* Charlie on the ladder is scored with the Prologue to the fantastic score to the film Birth, by Alexandre Desplat

* It ends with Opus 30, by Dustin O'Hallaran.  

* The upbeat, fair music is a piece called Love on Matthew Herbert's contribution to the Life in a Day soundtrack. 

* Don Stewart surveys the damage to 01 Ghosts I by NIN

Episode 68 (White Heat, White Lights)  

Episode 3 of the Summer Season. 

 

Music

 

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* The opening loop is from Mr. Knight from Coltrane Plays the Blues, which you should own. 

* The violin piece is Occam II for Violin, a piece by Silvia Tarozzi, played by Pauline Oliveros.

* Next up is Mikuro's Blues from the mighty David S. Ware' mighty Go See the World.

* The amazing orchestral pieces is Triumph by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Nino from Fill the Heart- Shaped Cup 

* Finally, there's 13 Ghosts II by Nine Inch Nails from Ghosts I-IV

Episode 67 (Every Night Ever)  

Music

 

* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's Modesty Blaise score.

* Then, we have the most obvious crickets/summer night song ever: the fantastic, perpetually delightful Green Arrow from Yo La Tengo's I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, which has soundtracked many crickety summer nights for me over the years. 

* The cops roll in to a loop of the very beginning of the epic Ptah, the El Daoud, the title track to Alice Coltrane's album from 1970.

* Then we have a mix of two improvisations from Charles Cohen's Brother I Prove You Wrong: Cloud Hands and The Boy and the Snake Dance.

* There's a brief dip into Dorian, by Fang Island.

* The jaunty accordion, typewriter thing is Biking is Better on Wintergatan's eponymous album.

 

Notes

I researched this one primarily through old newspapers. The easiest place to find a number of them is to read the excellent site, The Museum of Hoaxes' page on this event. Also: if you're in the Atlanta area and ever want to have yourself a day, you can see the actual monkey. It's preserved in a jar at the Georgia Bureau of Investigations museum in Decatur Georgia.

Episode 66 (The Pirate Queen)  

The music:

 

*Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth's great, ridiculous Modesty Blaise score.

*The recurring piano theme is Les Marionettes by Zbigniew Preisner from his score to La Double Vie de Veronique (And, have you seen The Double Life of Veronique? Man, that's good)

*Eugenia's dreamy little theme is Just Saying by Jamie XX off of In Colour

*That organ track is called Organ Track by Nicolai Dunger from The Cloud is Learning

*Al Davis' dance theme is Watusi Bounce from Bo Diddly's Ride On/The Chess Masters 

*Helen watches Eugenia on the lawn at the Grand Hotel to the tune of To a Wild Rose by Patricia Rossborough from the collection Dainty Debutantes: Female Novelty Pianists of the 1930's (And, ugh. Dismissive much?)

*The Judge drones over one of Scott Watson's Six Solos for the Beginning Tuba Player from his 2008 album, Stepping Stones for Tuba, vol. 1 (like I need to tell you that)

*The ending piece is Mike Andrews lovely Library Chant from his score to Miranda July's lovely Me and You and Everyone we Know

 

Notes:

I first stumbled across this story in my torn up copy of New York: Confidential! Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer's truly mucky, muck-raking guide to the city's underbelly from 1951. I read a ton of old news paper articles about the case (the New York Times covered it extensively, if you want to go back and read those).

 

The two most useful books I came across in the process were Joshua Zeitz' Flapper and Lewis Erenberg's Steppin' Out: New York Nightlife and the Transformation of American Culture, 1890-1930

HIgh Above Lake Michigan: Special Platinum Edition  

Something to listen to while you wait for the new season of The Memory Palace, launching June 21st with weekly episodes through the whole summer.

 

 

Forgotten Things: A Failed Pilot  

Did a pilot for Fox Digital Studios some time ago. Didn't actually go anywhere (except for a film festival or two). 

Itty Bitty Bombs: Special Platinum Edition  

While you wait until June 21st for the Season of the Memory Palace, here's a new version of an old favorite.

The Brothers Booth Schmancy Platinum Remaster Edition  

While you wait until June 21st for the Season of the Memory Palace, here's a new version of an old favorite.

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