The average person considers a university press a rather humorless concern. Just look at a catalog and you’ll see pages of works by serious scholars, many of whom insist on addressing the kaleidoscope of injustices humans visit upon other humans. While it’s true that our business publishes its share of downers, and that we keep Prozac in the vending machine between the plain M&Ms and the Krackel bars (not that I’d know), the UP community also mixes in books on beauty and those dedicated to its creation.
At UIP, for instance, we love music. In recent times, we have put out fascinating looks at Cantonese Opera, at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, at musics that range from real country to Hawaiian sea shanties. And don’t hold us to the past tense. In the months to come, we’re releasing new books on opera diva Beverly Sills and art music superstar Gordon Mumma, among others.
In 2000, Jem Finer of the Irish punk band the Pogues debuted a new avant-garde music piece. Played by machines via an algorithm, Finer’s work won notice for never repeating a bar of music and for which other aspect of its composition?
a. It is made up of recordings of passers-by saying the word “bugger”
b. It will only reach its end in 1000 years
c. It consists entirely of sampled yelps from the extinct New Guinea Singing Dog
d. It is performed live by a digitally-played electronic instrument called a Finermin
Authorities in Salzburg, Austria denied disco owner Werner Purkhart a renewal of his business permit in 2014 due to complaints about noise. Purkhart disputed the charge by pointing out his establishment operated as which kind of place?
a. An imaginary disco, where patrons swayed to whatever played in their heads
b. A whispering disco, where the in-house jazz combo played muted instruments
c. A virtual disco, where people beamed in their dancing via Skype
d. A silent disco, where each dancer wore headphones to hear music
In 2009, singer-songwriter Dave Carroll watched United Airlines baggage handlers destroy his guitar and other gear. His trilogy of songs, “United Breaks Guitars”, became an iTunes sensation and may have caused which inconvenience for the airline?
a. Its share value lost $180 million in a matter of days
b. American and Delta aired commercials mocking United’s clumsiness
c. Its insurer raised premiums by almost twenty percent
d. United lost a lucrative contract for flying around the band Nickelback
Answers: b, d, a