The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Eurovision Alternative - Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest are investigating an ‘alternative’ show after this year's event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the format has yet to be decided, they stressed the programme would not be a competition. However, the show will “honour the songs and artists” that were due to take part of the contest this May. “With that in mind,” organisers said, “this year's songs will not be eligible to compete when the contest returns. Participating broadcasters may decided which artist(s) to send in 2021, either this year's or a newly chosen one.”
The event's executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand added: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. We regret this situation very much. The event will return stronger than ever next year.”
Operatic Moves - Scottish Opera has re-purposed lorries ordinarily used to transport its set to venues in order to help restock supermarkets. The opera company’s drivers have been using their cabs to help deliver food to Tesco stores in Scotland, as supermarket stores in Scotland, as supermarkets face unprecedented demand from shoppers during the coronavirus crisis.
Rather than transport the set for Scottish Opera’s forthcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh - which has been postponed until further notice along with all of the company’s public work - two of its lorries have instead been used to help deliver supplies to Tesco stores in Aberdeen.
Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera’s general director, said: “We have an informal agreement with a local general haulage company, Stuart Nicol Transport. We help each other out at our respective peak times. Tesco initially contacted them and they were unable to meet all of their needs, so SNT put them on to us. Scottish Opera is only too happy to help out in any way, as we all need to pull together in this time. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the coronavirus, especially those in the NHS working on the front line.”
Language Lessons - Boy band BTS are launching a web series to help fans teach themselves Korean. The group, who were formed in Seoul in 2010, will host 30 lessons on the social media app Weverse from 24 March. The episodes are "designed to make it easy and fun for global fans who have difficulty enjoying BTS' music and contents due to the language barrier," said their record label in a statement. Although they'll be a handy way to pass time in isolation, the lessons were planned before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Farewell - American country music legend Kenny Rogers has died aged 81. Rogers topped pop and country charts during the 1970s and 1980s, and won three Grammy awards. He once summed up his popularity by explaining that he believed his songs "say what every man wants to say and that every woman wants to hear".
Dueling Banjos - Bluegrass musician Eric Weissberg, whose cover of the Arthur ‘Guitar Boogie’ Smith instrumental Dueling Banjos became an unlikely pop hit when it appeared on the soundtrack to the 1972 film Deliverance, has died at the age of 80 after a five-year struggle with dementia.
“Eric Weissberg was a consummate musician, a solid and seemingly effortless player of stringed instruments of all kinds - banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel, and string bass,” his lifelong friend and frequent collaborator Happy Traum wrote on Facebook. “Despite his prodigious talents and musical successes, he was humble, down-to-earth, and an easy-going companion with not a bit of artifice in him. He had many wonderful stories from his long career that he told in minute detail and with a twinkle of good humour that could keep you entertained for hours.”
(Jim Evans)
24 March 2020

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