Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The wonderful Life of Nicholas Slonimsky

This is the first of several posts re the 365 Days Music project,. The project started in 2003, and featured clips of unusual, and rare audio in various genres, including homemade LP's, "found" recordings , school bands, and just plain weirdness., The project was revived in 2007, and, given the widespread availability of high-speed Internet, often featured entire LP's..

Slonimsky was an amazing guy. He knew a wide range of musicians including Stravinsky, Ives, and Zappa, compiled "Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians", and only spoke Latin to his daughter until she was five.

Slonimsky , while in
his nineties, recorded some advertising jingles he had written in the1920's. No one actually wanted to use them at the time they were written. Here are three recordings by Slonimsky including his ode to a laxative, "Castoria"


I read Slonimsky's autobiography, "Perfect Pitch" several years ago, and there were many interesting stories about his family as well as Slonimsky himself. His grandfather Hiam invented , but did not patent a form of the electric telegraph, and came up with the "Slonimsky meridian" to mark the start of Shabat.


Slonimsky also recounted a story involving his relatives ( I can't remember whom) who did something that could have come from Woody Allen's "Love and Death". They were trying to resolve an ethical problem regarding the firing of a servant, and realized they were near Dostoevsky's house. They went to see him, and he helped them resolve the problem.

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