Archive for the ‘Yo-Yo Ma’ Category

President Obama: Expect The Unexpected, Avoid Contrivance

January 25, 2009

When President-elect Barack Obama phoned Yo-Yo Ma and invited him to “perform” at his inauguration, he probably had no idea that would cascade into a pre-recorded gig with space heaters.

“Performance” became contrivance.

And when the Chief Justice of the United States raised his right hand for the oath of office, soon to be President Obama probably never dreamed that John Roberts would flub the big moment, necessitating a re-do.

And when the media wasn’t invited to the do-over, probably nobody expected a flap.

These are small things but these are the easy to manage small things.

The Presidency is about eliminating the easy to manage small things, that are not expected by some people,  and managing well the unexpected big things….

The president has a big staff and a big administration to manage the routine routinely and to get past the flaps without flapping.

President Obama stuck with his script this week with few surprises.  He signed a Gitmo proclamation, and sent money to abortions.

But there are plenty of unexpected big things yet to manage; so now is the time to get the entire administration team performing like a Super Bowl winning team.

Last minute pre-recordings and do-overs won’t do from now on.  The Presidency is mostly “live”….


Obama’s First Few Days: Scripted With Few Surprises

From Fox News

In the highly scripted first days, Obama clearly aimed to show that he was making good on his promise to bring change.

“What an opportunity we have to change this country,” the Democrat told his senior staff the day after his inauguration. “The American people are really counting on us now. Let’s make sure we take advantage of it.”

On Thursday and Friday, Obama, with an executive pen in his left hand, overruled eight years of Bush administration policies, signing several executive orders on national security and abortion funding. 

Obama also focused on fixing the economy, repairing a battered world image and cleaning up government.

Yet domestic and international challenges continue to pile up, and it’s doubtful that life will be dramatically different for much of the ailing country anytime soon.

The biggest agenda items — stabilizing the economy and ending the Iraq war — are complex tasks with results not expected this week, let alone this month. Obama’s move to reverse Bush’s policy on the treatment of detainees and interrogation techniques still leaves unanswered or unresolved questions, including how he will close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for suspected terrorists.

In other cases, Obama set out new policy, only to signal it could be applied selectively.

Read the rest:

Yo-Yo Ma Pre-Recorded for Inauguration; Military, College, High School Bands Live

January 24, 2009

It’s only because some mainstream media gave Yo-Yo Ma a caring and forgiving shoulder to cry on, including CNN complaining of the inaugural’s “bitter cold,” that we remind folks that several thousand music makers (and many others) performed live without complaint during President Obama’s Inauguration.

Yo-Yo Ma and his fellow musicians planned in advance for the cold.  They were sitting in a heated area with a digital recording of their music ready to go.

The title prima donna seems well earned?

The Manning High School Band from South Carolina played live for the inauguration. 

Above: The Virginia Military Institute’s (VMI) band practices before the inauguration.  Alexa Tarbona, the first female drum major of the Virginia Military Institute’s Regimental Band, leads the band onto the parade grounds. The band marched in the inaugural parade in the bitter cold  on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 100 years after their first inaugural appearance for President William Howard Taft’s swearing-in parade. (Pat Jarrett/The News Leader, SC)

The Mountain Ridge High School band played live.  And they have no cold experiece because they represent Glendale near Tucson, Arizona.

Even Barack Obama’s own High School band, from Punahou High School in Hawaii, played live.  I’ll bet they were cold.

Every band of the Armed Services played live: The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps bands.

In fact, some 13,000 (maybe more) marchers, twirlers, drum majors, cheer leaders in mini-skirts, musicians and honor guards braved the cold. Plus police, escorts, and the massive audience.  Some were in the cold for many hours.

Poor Yo-Yo Ma and his fellows.  They we electrically heated and digitally mastered for the inauguration.  They were in what CNN called “bitter cold.”  So it was O.K. for Yo-Yo Ma to pull a fast one….

And Americans weren’t told until it was all over…..

 Faux Pas Yo-Yo Ma: China Has Outlawed Lip Synching, But The U.S. Stretches the String

Yo-Yo should re-read the “We the people” part; and the part about “All men are created equal…”

Violinist Itzahk Perlman, left, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform ... 
Violinist Itzahk Perlman, left, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform in the bitter cold during the inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Faux Pas Yo-Yo Ma: China Has Outlawed Lip Synching, But The U.S. Stretches the String

January 23, 2009

In China, since last summer’s Olympics, lip synching at a public event is criminal activity.  In the U.S., the use of a CD to cover a faked ‘live” performace is now “Presidential.”

For the first time in my memory, the Presidential Inauguration ceremony featured a musical interlude.

Yo-Yo Ma Pre-Recorded for Inauguration; Military, College, High School Bands Live

And it was faked.  Rather, it was taped.  Or pre-recorded.

The Chinese caught hell for using a pretty little girl in TV images during the Olympics, lipsynching, while a rather homely girl with a good voice did all the work in a pre-recorded song.

And Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-syncing her “live” performance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Critics were not amused.

Milli Vanilli also heard from an unhappy artistic America for his faux pas.

Now it is Faux Pa Yo-Yo Ma.

They should “string up” everyone involved.

China controls the media: so one should expect a certain amount of chicanery.  President Barack Obama has taken the oath of “transparency.”  How about “audio honesty”?

Massachusetts cellist Yo-Yo Ma was not playing his cello during Barack Obama’s televised inauguration. Complaining that it was “wicked cold,” the musician and sex symbol opted instead to pretend to perform while piping in a prerecorded track. The New York Times, which broke this story, neglected to provide the names of any of Ma’s “colleagues,” save Itzhak Perlman says the Boston Sympahy Orchestra web site.

Above: Ashlee Simpson performs during the Radio Music Awards show. (Ethan Miller – Reuters)

Now Yo-Yo Ma and his fellow Yo-Yos have insulted all America and Americans and along with their producer, Barack Obama, they deserve our scorn and derision.

This wouldn’t rub me the wrong way, no matter how much resin was used,  except that the President has floated the idea that the United States should have a Minister of Art and Culure.

Maybe such a Minister need only be available  on CD.

Yo-Yo said it was too cold for a proper performance.  CNN said the legendary singer/songwriter Aretha Franklin sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at the inauguration Tuesday also complained of the cold.  But she delivered a wonderful live performance.

And Aretha didn’t demand a recording session…..

Aretha Franklin says cold weather affected her voice during her performance at the inauguration on Tuesday.

Above:  Aretha Franklin says cold weather affected her voice during her performance at the inauguration on Tuesday.

Maybe I am strung too tight.

What else in the inaguration was faked, phoney or botched and had to be redone besides the oath and the music?

Now China is claiming the moral high ground over the U.S…..

Way to go, Yo-Yo.

Violinist Itzahk Perlman, left, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform ... 
Violinist Itzahk Perlman, left, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform during the inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“No one’s trying to fool anybody,” said Carole Floman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. “This isn’t a matter of Milli Vanilli.”




From The Times of London:
It’s not exactly Watergate but Barack Obama’s inauguration was back in the dock today after it emerged that the quartet of classical musicians who ushered him on to the steps of the Capitol were faking it.

In a report headlined “The Frigid Fingers eere Live, but the Music Wasn’t”, The New York Times said that the four, including the violinist Itzhak Perlman, had already recorded their contribution two days earlier and played along just for show.

A spokeswoman for the congressional committee, which organised the inauguration, the biggest and most costly in history, told the newspaper that the musicians could not have played live in Tuesday’s sub-zero temperatures because of the risk of broken piano strings and cracked instruments.

Read the rest:


From The Washington Post:

A call for President-elect Barack Obama to give the arts and humanities a Cabinet-level post — perhaps even create a secretary of culture — is gaining momentum.

By yesterday, 76,000 people had signed an online petition, started by two New York musicians who were inspired by producer….

Read the rest:

Obama “Invocation”: Who Needs God? He’s ‘The One’…

December 18, 2008

Barack Obama is in trouble with gays for asking anti-same-sex-marriage Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration.

But many in the media have dubbed Barack Obama “The One” so who needs God anyway?

Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel ... 
Rick Warren: Job with no purpose.  The One has already agreed to arrive….by limo….

Barack Obama has been asked to “invoke” or call down God upon His January inauguration in an invokation.  But the media believes Mr. Obama is The One so who needs the God? 

The Boss will be there  But the real thing is The One.

Above: The Boss

Don’e get mad at Reverend Warren: he has succeeded already in invoking The Master: we believe The One will be there….

Barack Obama
Above: The One?

 The One Calls Down God to Washington

By Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 18, 2008; Page C01

Forget the millions on Metro, and the bus caravans inching in from beyond the Beltway. Barack Obama‘s inauguration is destined to create the greatest red-carpet gridlock in the history of the Federal City.
Oprah at the Kennedy Center. Yo-Yo Ma at the swearing-in. Sting at the Harman Center.

Consider all the stars circling The One: Aretha Franklin, Spike Lee, Melissa Etheridge, Lou Gossett Jr., Ashley Judd, Dick Gregory, LL Cool J and T.I., for starters. And the rumor mill is loudly buzzing that Bruce Springsteen (and his new album), Kanye West and Will.I.Am just might drop by.

(Baloncici)Read the rest:

Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Said “God damn America”
during church sermon. Probably not right for an
inauguration….Obama was a member of  Wright’s
church and contributed money for some 20 years….

Obama Picked Pastor Rick Warren Why? Not The “Wright” Choice for Obama….