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15 May 2020

COVID-19 : Nature takes over

WITH ROADS and workplaces practically deserted, COVID-19 may have brought in a positive consequence: lower pollution levels and wildlife taking over human space. Smog has lifted in places like Los Angeles and New Delhi. The canals of Venice are sparkling, and swans are swimming. Around the world, animals are venturing out in places previously held by people.

10 May 2020

The calm after a storm

IT WAS another midsummer morning in Delhi, with temperature hovering at 38 degrees Celsius. I was expecting the heat to top yesterday's temperature, which touched the highest mark this season at 40.9 degrees Celsius. Suddenly, the skies turned dark, dusty winds howled, and rain threw its pellets. Then, just as suddenly, it all stopped. A massive dust storm just hit the city, and it left behind an eerie stillness.

FOCAL POINT : Jim Chappell, "Field Day"

FOLLOWING UP on my earlier post about Jim Chappell's Acadia, I must share another piece that has always stayed with me.  Mr. Chappell's Spotify playlist is on permanent playback during the lockdown, and topping it is the magnificent "Field Day" from 1990's Saturday's Rhapsody. No other song on Mr. Chappell's 1990s catalog exemplifies the breezy Chappell melodiousness better than this track.

09 May 2020

FOCAL POINT : Jim Chappell, "Acadia"

THE AMERICAN composer and pianist Jim Chappell is quite famous in the Philippines, where several of his albums received heavy airplay on smooth jazz radio stations in the late eighties and nineties. The poignant song "Gone", from his sophomore album Dusk, became a huge hit in Manila in the aftermath of Mount Pinatubo's cataclysmic eruption in 1991. Afterwards, the Chappell sensibility never left the country. He held a series of sold-out concerts in Manila in the summer of 1993, and released a contemporary jazz album with the quartet HearSay titled Manila Nights in 1994.