Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Humor envy ...

I develop an occasional paralysis... a blogging block ... and large chunks of time go by without posting.
This is the opposite condition of Lance Mannion, who can blind you with his sheer blogging virtuosity.

He's quick ... funny ... and boy, he's just got LOTS of time to post.
I've got Lance fixed in a kind of Mozart category. Mozart's hyper-achieving defied the normal passage of time. There must have been a "Mozart minute" which adhered to none of the rules of earthly science.

Or maybe Mr. Mannion's a little like Art Tatum. I learned recently from a brilliant
scientist/pianist that psychoacousticians (I also learned that there are psychoacousticians) have a unit of speed called a Tatum, indicative (I hope I've got this right) of the maximum amount of audio information that the human ear can take in in one second. It's named for Art Tatum, who could play more notes in one second than any other human.
And he was blind ...
Which probably, somehow, helped.
They could have called it a Paganini ...
but Tatum's hipper.

Here's where to go to hear an interview I very much enjoyed doing with scientist/pianist Michael Hawley. He describes the life and magic of Art Tatum, and plays transcriptions of Tatum's recordings with astonishing prowess. He also plays Bach/Busoni, Chopin, and Guastavino. click here

And here's a little afternoon toast to Lance -- whoever you are.


Lance Mannion said...

Thank you, Cathy.

Renato said...

I didnt know about the Tatum unit of speed, neat!