Today's Quiz

You probably know that Google often customizes its logo to observe a holiday, honor an anniversary, etc. Snowflakes for the first day of winter, trees for Arbor Day . . . that kind of thing.

Today (June 17) it’s the birthday of a famous composer. Go to the site , take a close look at the artwork, and see if you can figure out who it is. (For the answer, float your cursor over the logo.)

And if you like brainteasers, remember Wednesday is always Piano Puzzler day on Performance Today.

North Korea in Musical News

As fans of MPR’s In the Loop know, that show has been having some fun lately with recent news out of North Korea. If you want a glimpse into how these spoofs come together, there’s some “making of” video from my colleague Jeff Horwich below.

Meanwhile, this news, from a Russian news agency, is being reported as the sober truth: North Korean leader Kim Jung Il is now a director of opera.

Pianos in the Streets

Are you someone who dreams of a world in which strangers spontaneously burst into song together? Well, maybe you’ve watched too many musicals; or maybe, you’re planning a trip to London this summer.

Starting June 23rd, the city of London will have 31 grand pianos outdoors at various prominent locations, complete with laminated songbooks. The hope of the organizers of the event is that it will build community spirit, by encouraging passers-by to have an impromptu sing-along with other passers-by. I, for one, am a little skeptical, but you never know.

Read more about it here.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Earlier this morning I played a suite by American composer Michael Gandolfi from his larger work called The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. The music was inspired by an actual garden in Scotland of the same name.

The garden’s design incorporates “features suggested by wave theory, sub-atomic particles, the diversity of DNA, the birth and expansion of the universe, super-string theory, and much more,” to quote Nick Jones’s liner notes for the CD.

Get a sense of what that looks like here.