Posted by: Sally Ingraham | April 22, 2009

NPR and 2001: A Space Odyssey

It’s been really lovely, recently, to grab a blanket and a book and head to the Village Green to read and lounge in the sun. We’ve had a week of warmth here on Mount Desert Island, and while I may still be bundled in a coat, it sure is nicer to fall asleep in the sun than in my living room.

After a couple of days off, and my first trip off the Island in over a month, I am back to work at Our New England Country Store. It poured all day yesterday, but it’s drier today and I may have to open the door soon and let some fresh air in.

I have been listening to a lot of NPR/MPBN while I am working at the store lately. It’s good for getting caught up on world news and getting my Car Talk fix on Saturdays. I really enjoy the classical music program in the morning too. WBach – the other classical music station that I’ve listened to in the past – seems to roll through their collection several times a week. Suzanne Nance’s program on MPBN is far broader. She picks out really interesting and different pieces each morning, providing background info as well as biographical notes on the composers. She even says the name of the piece more than once, allowing me to write down the music that I liked!

2001Anyway, this morning the piece that came on at 9 o’clock was the opening from Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra (“Thus Spake Zarathustra”). I had to grin to myself, since I recently watched 2001: A Space Odyssey – the film which this piece of music is forever associated with.

I wasn’t going to write a blog entry about that film – another one checked off my list of Stanley Kubrick’s work – because I don’t have much to say about it. I was hypnotized and bored by it simultaneously. Nearly impossible to sum up, the film was maybe, sort of, about the impact of extraterrestrial life on mankind throughout history…? While watching it I kept in mind that it was made in 1968, therefore I was reasonably impressed with the sets and special effects – some of which were (of course) groundbreaking techniques for their time. I enjoyed the music.

Beyond that…? One of the greatest movies ever made? I’ll take your/their word for it. At least now I know why that bit of music by Strauss is famous, and I can laugh along with everyone else when I see parodies of an ape throwing a bone way, way up into the air. (And I feel that the image of the giant star baby at the end will haunt me for a long time…)

Anyway, on with life – there’s more work, NPR, and Kubrick to be had!

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