This Week in Classical Music 8/17/2017

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  Samir's Sounds of Silence; Dancer's brains are different.



It’s this week in classical Music, an update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.


Following in the footsteps of avant garde American composer John Cage and his piece 4 minutes 33 seconds—Sort of--  is Samir Mezrahi’s “Aaaaa Very good song”.

But while the John Cage piece from 1952 came from his idea that any sounds can constitute music, and requires the musicians to NOT play for 4 minutes and 33 seconds—Samir’s piece SOUNDS pretty much the same but has a much more pragmatic origin. 

The 35-year-old New York City resident’s “A a a a a Very Good Song” is a silent track that runs for about 10 minutes; and it’s at the 95th spot on American iTunes.  It’s not what it sounds like that makes it so popular, but what it DOES.

It fixes an annoying glitch for iphone owners.

Last year, Mezrahi wrote a Buzzfeed post about a frustrating problem: every time he plugged his iPhone into his car, it would automatically play the first track on the phone, in alphabetical order. Mezrahi was growing to hate this one song. So he decided to do something about it — a “kind of hack” for people who’d rather hear nothing than hear that one song, over and over.

He picked the title so it alphabetically tops any playlist.

“I wanted it to be long to give people enough time to pick their song,” he said. Mizrahi’s track dropped Aug. 9 on iTunes, and it’s available for just under a dollar there and on Google Play.



Dancers' brains appear to be programmed differently from non-dancers' brains.

Studies at the University of Maryland over the past three years reveal that dancers use multiple areas of their brains simultaneously while dancing: that helps explain why professional dancers can process complex choreography in a split second.

Researchers call this "enchainment"—the ability to remember chunks of steps and recognize their patterns.

the brain stores these patterns in lower parts like the cerebellum, leaving more room in the frontal lobe for expression and creativity.

Some dancers are innately wired like this; others have the ability to develop it over time.

the information might be a useful approach to training people to be more expressive and more aware of the impact that this expressiveness can have on others, in fields far beyond dance, like animation,  diplomacy and deal-making.


For more on these and other items and events, go to the website,; be listening each week at this time for another update; find us on Facebook and follow us on twitter; and join US every Weekday at noon with Linda Cassidy for “The Most Wanted Hour”, playing your top 100 picks in Classical Music…I’m Randy Kinkel, for This week in classical music.