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The belle of the ball at Wednesday night’s New York Film Critics Circle awards was “TÁR,” which took home honors for Best Picture and Best Actress, Cate Blanchett. Todd Field’s sharp epic about the downfall of a Berlin Philharmonic conductor still has a long road ahead en route to the Oscars, but the movie has one fan whose appreciation will matter: Martin Scorsese.

While the evening was light on star power compared to last year’s rambling Best Actress winner Lady Gaga, the event hosted at TAO in downtown Manhattan felt like a return to form for a bloc of critics known for mixing mainstream commercial fare (Best Cinematography winner “Top Gun: Maverick”) with potentially more challenging arthouse and independent fare (Best International Feature winner “EO,” for one, as well as Best Director winner S. S. Rajamouli, whose wildly successful Indian epic “RRR” is about as accessible as any recent foreign-language outing).

Cate Blanchett gave a hilarious speech upon accepting the Best Actress prize, praising director Field as the “most inventive collaborator I’ve ever encountered” and “a director like no other.” She said that “Todd is the type of director you go on a hike with, and he’d warn you that you almost definitely encounter a bear, and there’s a strong possibility that you might lose a limb or part of your face, and you find yourself really excited. Bears? Fuck yeah!”

But the best moment in a night that also featured Todd Solondz giving the Best First Feature prize to “Aftersun” director Charlotte Wells was undoubtedly Scorsese’s unexpected appearance bestowing Best Picture to “TÁR.” There’s no better imprimatur, these days, than impassioned words from the man who, when last onstage in New York, called the obsession with box office numbers “repulsive.” (“TÁR” is light on those, with just $5.6 million at the box office thus far, but no matter.)

“For so long now, so many of us see films that pretty much let us know where they’re going. I mean, they take us by the hand, and even if it’s disturbing at times, sort of comfort us along the way that it will be all OK by the end,” Scorsese said. “Now this is insidious, as one can get lulled into this, and ultimately get used to it. Leading those of us who’ve experienced cinema in the past — as much more than that— to become despairing of the future of the art form, especially for younger generations.”

He continued, “But that’s on dark days. The clouds lifted when I experienced Todd’s film, ‘TÁR.’ What you’ve done, Todd, is that the very fabric of the movie you created doesn’t allow this. All the aspects of cinema and the film that you’ve used, attest to this. The shift in locations, for example, the shift in locations alone do what cinema does best, which is to reduce space and time to what they are, which is nothing.

“You make it so that we exist in her head. We experience only through her perception. The world is her. Time, chronology and space, become the music that she lives by. And we don’t know where the film’s going. We just follow the character on her strange, upsetting road to her even stranger final destination. Now, what you’ve done, Todd, it’s a real high-wire act, as all of this is conveyed through a masterful mise-en-scène, as controlled, precise, dangerous, precipitous angles, and edges geometrically kind of chiseled into a wonderful 2:3:5 aspect ratio of frame compositions.”

Finally, Scorsese said, “The limits of the frame itself, and the provocation of measured long takes all reflecting the brutal architecture of her soul — ‘TÁR’’s soul.”

See the full list of New York Film Critics Circle winners here.

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By: Ryan Lattanzio
Title: Martin Scorsese: The ‘Clouds Lifted’ for Cinema’s Future When I Saw ‘TÁR’
Sourced From: www.indiewire.com/2023/01/martin-scorsese-praises-tar-new-york-film-critics-circle-awards-1234796360/
Published Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2023 14:52:13 +0000

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Tech

The world’s most famous concert pianos got a major tech upgrade

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At a showroom in a Boston suburb, Patrick Elisha sat down and began to play the opening measures of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 to demonstrate why Steinway & Sons grand pianos are celebrated in concert halls around the world.

Steinways are meticulously crafted instruments: it takes around 250 workers a year to assemble each grand piano’s 12,000 individual parts. Everything, from the hand-bent rims (made of more than a dozen layers of rock maple, each heated and shaped to form a grand piano’s classic curves) to the small felt rollers in the piano’s action (which help dictate how much pressure it takes to play an individual note), is crafted to produce clarion, resonant tones that range from the pianissimo bell-like chimes that open the concerto to the thundering fortissimo chords that seem to rise from the depths over its next eight measures.

Elisha, who runs the education division of M. Steinert & Sons, the world’s oldest Steinway dealer, is an award-winning pianist and composer—but I wanted to hear how the piano handled a virtuoso like Lang Lang going to town on, say, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit from the Disney film Encanto.

a Steinway piano with a tablet resting on the sheet music stand, showing a screen from the Spirio app with 6 options for songs
STEINWAY

No problem: Elisha called up a video of Lang performing in New York’s Steinway Hall on a nearby wide-screen TV. Once he hit Play on the video, whatever Lang played was perfectly reproduced on the piano in front of me. When Lang’s right hand flew up the keyboard to produce the opening flourish in the “Bruno” video, the keys on the piano in the room where I stood were depressed with precisely the same velocity for precisely the same amount of time.

This was, I realized, the first time I had ever heard a truly lossless recording. Acoustically, I was getting the equivalent of a private concert from one of the most famous pianists alive, courtesy of Steinway’s Spirio. It’s a thoroughly modern take on the player piano—a device, popular in the early 20th century, that used rolls of paper with holes punched in them to play specific tunes, no pianist required.

Roughly half of all new Steinways sold last year included Spirio technology, which adds between $29,000 and $48,000 to what is already a $150,000 instrument. The most recent addition to the line is the Spirio | r, which has recording, editing, and playback technology. A pianist who’s learning a new piece can play it, record the effort, and then essentially watch the piano play it back—making it possible to pick up on nuances in timing and tone that might be harder to discern from an audio recording alone.

The Spirio, which launched in 2015, added an entirely new set of engineering challenges to what was already one of the most deliberately constructed instruments in history. Before it came to market, Steinway had to ensure that the Spirio tech was, as Elisha puts it, “non-parasitic.” In other words, adding pressure sensors and anything else that could cause friction between the musician and the instrument was verboten; altering the feel in any way would destroy what makes a Steinway a Steinway.

Instead, performances are recorded by dozens of gray-scale optical sensors mounted behind the keyboard that calculate the velocity at which hammers strike the piano wires whenever any of the piano’s 88 keys is pressed. (The sensors have 1,020 levels of sensitivity and can take 800 measurements per second.) A different set of sensors underneath the piano measures the pedal-guided dampers; playback of both the keys and the pedals is controlled by solenoid plungers.

Each Spirio comes with a dedicated iPad; with a couple of swipes, Spirio | r users can edit their performances in an almost infinite number of ways. Everything from individual notes to entire chords can be erased or transposed, elongated or shortened, made louder or softer—if you can imagine it, you can hear what it will sound like as it’s played back to you.

But it’s the constantly updated Spirio library, which currently includes more than 4,000 recordings and more than 100 videos, that really makes this an instrument like no

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By: Seth Mnookin
Title: The world’s most famous concert pianos got a major tech upgrade
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/02/28/1088268/steinway-spirio-concert-pianos-performance-upgrade/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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Motor

A SHIRT IS BORN: How the Exclusive 2024 FCCS Tee Came to Life

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A SHIRT IS BORN: How the Exclusive 2024 FCCS Tee Came to Life

Since the Future Collector Car Show (FCCS) made its move to the Polo Field at WestWorld and takes place during Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auctions, the team has become dedicated to creating an exclusive commemorative T-shirt that celebrates the event and its participants. What makes the shirt special is that it showcases the prior year’s Best of Show winner, aiming to provide a unique keepsake and encourage a competitive show field. The 2024 shirt features the 2023 Best of Show winner, a 2002 Honda S2000 owned by David Flinn.

In the realm of creative design, crafting of the FCCS commemorative T-shirt is more than just placing a photo on a shirt and calling it a day ‒ it’s a meticulous process that involves expertise, innovation and talented designers. To create something truly special, the team turned to Corbin Snyder, Director of Marketing and Creative at Barrett-Jackson. Since the design had to feature the 2023 winner, the team had to start with a clean photo of the Best of Show S2K.

The creative team brought the S2K into the cutting-edge Barrett-Jackson studio for a photo shoot. The studio features a white cyclorama, or “cyc” for short. The cyc is a huge wall used to suggest unlimited space – a literal blank canvas – which makes the design process easier as there isn’t a distracting background. The studio also provides excellent controlled lighting which ensures an evenly lit car without any glaring reflections or strange light spots that would necessitate a significant amount of retouching for the final design. Barrett-Jackson Media Director Tim Heit played with multiple angles and took a variety of different photos to ensure the most compelling image for the commemorative tee.

Once the car was photographed, the images were turned over to the graphics team. Each design iteration went through a process of exploration, from vibrant hues to distinct angles.

With any project that comes across his desk, Snyder encourages his team to come up with a design for themselves, letting their imaginations run wild, then create a second one that fits within the project parameters and finally create a third they think would appeal to the masses. Making sure the design flows and is cohesive – as well as remembering the audience and where the design will live (in this case, on a T-shirt) – is key.

The core of this collective endeavor is rooted in the quest for a design that not only respects the 2023 Best of Show champion but also captures the essence of the FCCS event. It serves as a tribute to the commitment, originality and artistic craftsmanship embedded in creating a T-shirt to be treasured by both participants and spectators.

FCCS participants with a vehicle on the show field will receive the special shirt upon entry to the event, while spectators can pre-order the limited-edition tee on Barrett-Jackson’s official merchandise site here.

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: A SHIRT IS BORN: How the Exclusive 2024 FCCS Tee Came to Life
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/a-shirt-is-born-how-the-exclusive-2024-fccs-tee-came-to-life/
Published Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2023 23:42:33 +0000

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EDM

Adam Beyer Modernizes Old Drumcode Sound with Let’s Begin EP

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Following the most prolific year of his production career, Adam Beyer starts 2024 right with another standout EP, ‘Let’s Begin’, which takes influence from the ‘90s Drumcode sound with a modern touch.

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Let’s Begin

Looking backwards to go forwards, the three-track work kicks off with ‘Let’s Begin’ . It sees Beyer lean on faster tempos and rugged rhythms to craft a high octane, atmosphere heavy cut. Trust me it will hit you right between the eyes. The eerie vocals will take you into a wild journey. An absolutely cracking peak-time tune that highlighted recent gigs at L56 in Ljubljana and Fairground Festival in Hannover.

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Computerized’ is a masterclass in dancefloor mentalism. It brings forth shades of hardcore influenced vocals and menacing synth lines reminiscent of early 2000s Frankfurt. No surprise this brought maximum vibes at Beyer’s NYE gigs in the States at Teksupport and Insomniac’s Countdown NYE event.

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Fresh out of the studio, ‘Red Room’ is a dreamy belter that takes in subtle hints of classic four-to-the-floor grooves reminiscent of UK hard dance. Just before an industrial synth section ramps up the intensity. Exhilarating stuff.

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A post shared by Adam Beyer (@realadambeyer)

“This new three-tracker is on the rawer techno tip and is an ode to Drumcode’s earlier material. It’s a take on the ‘90s sound blended with new modern elements. For this release I wanted to take the Adam Beyer techno sound from that period and bring it up-to-date. It’s dirty with a new twist, direct and to the point. This project is not a statement, rather it’s a release that was inspired by the big techno shows I played in Europe this autumn like Awakenings, Mayday and Timewarp.”Adam Beyer

Let’s Begin is the EP we wanted to power through the rest of the year

The post Adam Beyer Modernizes Old Drumcode Sound with Let’s Begin EP appeared first on EDMTunes.

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By: Jay Seabrook
Title: Adam Beyer Modernizes Old Drumcode Sound with Let’s Begin EP
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2024/02/adam-beyer-modernizes-old-drumcode-sound-with-lets-begin-ep/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adam-beyer-modernizes-old-drumcode-sound-with-lets-begin-ep
Published Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2024 01:33:47 +0000

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