We offer so many different services to employers and their staff now: from restaurants, to conference rooms, shops and gyms. So as a business you come to a welcome environment to perform your role. In addition, we provide bespoke space for your requirements. This avoids the problem of having too much or too little.
It was a concept that had already taken hold in the United States. We have just completed two new buildings and we have commenced on our third. We get such a satisfaction that our customers are happy. We work with large brands such as Bally and Schindler elevators and provide spaces for dedicated craftsmen, with separate entrances, warehouses, offices and showrooms. This really worked for enterprises, in a few months this will be fully operational. I had read an article on a new market trend that was spreading in the United States, and I was convinced it was a good idea. So I attended a conference in London based on these themes, from there I flew to Atlanta to an annual meeting of industry consultants where I hired an expert.
His comments encouraged me and I decided to go with this new initiative. From reading the article to execution took three months In this case I also won another bet. Now the opposite happens we have people visiting from all countries — Italians, German, Chinese.
So what is the next project?
The idea is to combine a classic hotel with first class restaurant and services included, with the bonus of serviced apartments. We have expanded the concept further with a house of 34 apartments in Riva San Vitale for the elderly, which include local services. People need to keep their full independence, but have staff available to help with daily tasks like shopping for meals, going to the pharmacy and so on. They are gorgeous high quality apartments, with no architectural barriers.
You are often noted for voicing your opinions about the political and social scene of Ticino, what are your views? We have pretty much all the major worldwide brands and sell their products directly to consumers at discounted prices. I tend to voice my thoughts and not always get along with my local public officials.
The main issue is political decisions take a while when in reality. I find politics lags behind society and economic life. Some recent decisions of our leaders, particularly those who have influenced the management of the banks, will have a negative impact on the future.
We offer many services to our European customers and we need border workers. As clearly stated by the former ambassador to the US, Urs Ziswiler: if the border workers strike, Ticino would be stuck in a week. No company can survive relying on just one person. Based on your experience, what advice would you give to young people wanting to venture into business? I speak five and would like to know more! I am an avid traveller and have used this to research and find opportunities and ideas for my businesses.
My advice to young people would be is to stay abroad for four to five years before returning to Switzerland and put into practice what they have learned on their return. I have been married for fifty years to a wonderful woman. We have a wonderful family blessed with grandchildren and once a week we spend time with friends. In addition to work and travel I like to play tennis and golf, and go to the mountains. So your thoughts on business are to have a technique whilst finding the right way to do business?
Knowing your client before review brings a possible deal. When we invested in the Outlets we were.
- Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist - Score;
- Welcome To Radio Arcadia.
- Dissertations & Theses from 2018.
- No More Goddesses.
- CD & DVD Reviews?
You are without doubt a master of entrepreneurism and active in many fields: if you were to describe this what words would you use? It came to her that the lack of smart and comfortable office wear was difficult to find so she took inspiration from her ancestors and built the foundations for kay me. You began your career as a Management Consultant for the Boston Consulting Group — how does this experience inform the way you run your business today? At BCG, one of our key metrics was efficiency and how we can leverage massive results with limited time and resources — this was trained into us from day 1.
These philosophies have carried over to kay me. Apparel is such a competitive industry, but I like to think that by understanding the needs of our customer deeply and by approaching media in a different way we have carved out our own market, which we also hope to emulate globally. Your brand of clothing, kay me, is a range of clothing for professional woman — in your experience how important is fashion and appearance for women in business?
I think the two are so closely related. Clothing can be a source of pleasure, but it can also be a source of pain and discomfort. Every kay me item is a little stretchy and made from super soft fabrics, while being stitched by hand in Japan. When you feel comfortable at work, you have the energy to be more productive and creative. A nice dress can also be very empowering. A vital feature of the kay me range is that it is kimono inspired — how did you adapt the classic look of the kimono to modern business dress? We envisioned each dress as a set with a jacket that could be worn during the day in the office and then slipped off at night for after work drinks or other social events.
Your Grandmother ran a kimono shop. How important is your cultural heritage in your work and how does it influence the way you work?
Similar authors to follow
Even though kay me is a relatively young brand, it started in earnest when I was a child spending hours and hours watching my grandparents interact with their customers in their shop in Osaka. Natural elements kacho-fugetsu often feature on kimonos, and I could see the transformation of the women after leaving the shop. Even though many of them seemed so busy, they all seemed re-energised by wearing their beautiful kimonos.
I try to pay. We also pay respect to the traditions and skills of Japanese artisans, by making sure every kay me dress is handmade in Japan using a combination of traditional and cutting edge techniques. Your clothing range is described first and foremost as stretchy and machine washable — In your experience how does this differ from the other clothing options available to women in business?
I spent many years in sales and marketing before starting kay me, often having to put in long hours every day. I wanted to fit in with those around me and often wore suits or tight fitting business skirts and jackets. I felt that my clothes should be a partner — a friend or supporter — not my adversary. I looked all over Tokyo for something that would make me more feminine again while also being comfortable to wear. I think kay me has found an underserved market of busy professionals who just want their clothing to be on the same team as them. We use a variety of fabrics at kay me, including polyester, which is not always viewed highly in European markets.
Japanese polyester is of a very high quality though, and that quality really comes through after customers try on our dresses. Our ultimate goal though was always to create a pure silk dress. We tasked our team in Kyoto to come up with a new technique that would protect the colour during washes and not result in shrinkage. This summer you launched a pop up shop in Piccadilly.
How was that? As with anything subjective, people have different tastes and likes. The pop up shop in Piccadilly was a great opportunity to get to know the preferences of British customers. London is such a global city, so we had many visitors from abroad too, meaning that we could gather a wealth of data to help us better understand the market and make future design choices. What are your hopes and plans for the future of kay me clothing?
Just like the enduring elegance of the kimono, we hope to endure, expand and evolve to the ever changing needs of modern women. We want to continue to create clothing that is time saving, easy to care for and ready for both the office and fun afterwards we also aim to open our first kay me shop in London in the coming year. The upper echelons of Western society are loosening up. Alain Crevet, of the family-owned S. Dupont, went to Britain in his late teens, attended rock gigs, confirming his love of AngloSaxon rock n roll — not just the classic Beatles and Rolling Stones, but the even edgier punk sounds of the Sex Pistols and The Clash.
He learned guitar and still performs in his own rock band that plays cover versions of classic tracks. Times have changed; as well as the ruling classes becoming less formal, rock n roll stars have become more middle class. Given their disposable cash, this makes them ideal customers for companies producing beautiful hand-crafted items such as the travel bags, pens, cuff links and lighters of S. This fits with a company approach of being simultaneously modish but with a sense of tradition. But the cachet of ST Dupont is based on first and foremost on product quality, he says.
In Dupont, you pay for the quality. We reinvest in the products. People love the products. The quality is so great. They will last years. If you drop it, it is not going to break. Exceptional quality. We place with politicians, celebrities; they talk about the products to their friends.
The backing of former President Sarkozy was valuable. When [the President] offers gifts to visitors, such as President Obama, or [David] Cameron or [Angela] Merkel, they receive a set of Dupont pens, cuff links, lighters. When M Crevet took over in September , the company was losing money and some big strategic calls needed to be made. The principal decision, since handsomely paid off, was to shed the diversification into menswear and return the company to its core products: luxury travel bags, pens, cuff links and lighters.
There were lots of suits, pants, shoes. So I closed it down. It was nothing to do with our brand. As a child he recalls his first encounter with a Dupont product being the lighter his grandfather would use for cigars after lunch. When I was 18 my father gifted it to me; and I will give it to my children.
It is one of the most incredibly well crafted objects you can think of. For Dupont, it was too much of a reinvention, or brand stretch. The return to a strategy of core products has paid off, with the company returning handsomely to profit in recent years. In FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods] companies, you spend a lot of time with customers;. At Dupont I like to visit [people and stores] around the world. That, I think, is most interesting.
Two weeks ago I went to Japan, and spent a day visiting stores; not only our stores, but the competition. French Presidents have every reason to be proud of S. Yet despite the long-established connection with British royalty, Dupont had lost its way in the Anglo-. Saxon markets; something the Anglophile M Crevet has been determined to rectify. Dupont had a long-standing relationship with Britain, but this was lost in the s and s. Now is the time to [return]. She has a finance background and worked at the department store John Lewis as Finance Director between and A longer-term goal for London is to have a stand-alone store, and to increase presence in department stores, he reports.
The company produces catalogue items, but also limited edition ranges, and bespoke, individual pieces. M Crevet relates the story of a wealthy Asian businessman who wanted a diamond-encrusted lighter. Rather than just embed a few jewels into an existing product, the company inquired more deeply into his tastes and preferences to seek something more original, and discovered that he had an interest in French history, especially Louis XIII.
She gave permission to use symbols of the Crown of France, which she has the right to use, and produced the design. Dupont produced a set of two lighters —one portable, one for the desk — in solid gold, including a sapphire as used by Louis XIII, and sold the bespoke item for Eur , The table lighter is adorned with Fleur de Parme motifs made of g solid gold; while the lighter and base are set with 72 brilliant-cut, 27 princess-cut and 13 cabochon-cut sapphires. By Philip Whiteley.
Just before the Le Mans 24 Hours in , at the tender age of 22, his team Mercedes organised a cycle race around the circuit, with its drivers taking on media and others. Years later I asked [team manager] Peter Sauber how Schumacher had performed that weekend. In the seemingly endless wait for better news, friends and admirers like to remember the great champion, and reflect on the brilliant career.
Just how great a champion was he? According to the all-time leader board of Grand Prix victories, he is very much in a category of his own, having notched 91 in total, including 13 in just one season, The driver in second place is Alain Prost, with Fangio, for example, comes in 11th in the all-time list of wins with 24, but he only contested 52 Grand Prix, compared with.
It takes more than talent and a flair for racing to become such an elite champion; it also requires thoroughness in fitness and preparation. If tennis has Roger Federer, and cricket has Sir Don Bradman, F1 has Michael Schumacher: the sportsman whose sustained achievements lift him into a category of his own. Seven World Championships, five of them consecutive at the start of the Millennium, are among the astounding statistics in a career that spanned more than two decades, between his first F1 race in and his semisuccessful come-back in the period As a dedicated professional and devoted family man, he was the perfect marketing ambassador for many top brands.
Since then, of course, we have had to come to terms with the terrible consequences of his near-fatal accident on 29th December , ironically far away from the racing circuit, on an off-piste skiing descent in Meribel in the French Alps. His family, friends and fans have had the agony of his long coma, and his painfully slow progress since emerging.
In all motorsport, including German Formula 3 and other formats before moving to F1, Schumacher notched wins from starts. So he won nearly a third of all the professional races he entered in a long career. He recalls the precocity and. He drove our car, the Jordan-Ford , and in spite of being asked to simply do a short run he kept going, lap after lap, faster and faster, until we sent a mechanic out onto the track to wave him down! You could see he had a lot of skill, speed and determination, even at that stage, but little did we know what he would go on to achieve.
Also, Michael had, at times, very little in the way of real competition whereas today you can honestly say that there is nothing to separate Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and others besides if they have a competitive car. He was also highly intelligent, able to process information quickly, for example analysing the engineering aspects. The result, though, was the same.
His family, friends, fans, former colleagues and rivals can but pray. And remember. To help you discover more about health and fitness, Twitter has put together a list of the best accounts and hashtags to follow, especially for H Edition readers. Eat better, live better, and feel better. Fine cuisine. Supercar test drives. With that in mind, just what will bring for those planning to buy a business jet? Well, it depends on how you view the market! The Wide-Angle Lens So where has the growth gone from the rest of the market? Mesinger offers a wide view of the external factors impacting buying decisions for High on many wish-lists in the US at the start of were energy independence, low oil prices and a strong dollar.
Oil producing companies and countries suddenly stopped their capital expenditures, and with prices still dropping, capital expenditure in is off the table this coming year for many of these countries and companies. The jet OEMs are in a difficult position for the coming year. Other than offering some modest discounts and training credits to incentivize customers, all they can do is reduce production rates at their plants, but only gradually, and not quickly enough for So how do I see panning out for the aircraft market?
The HondaJet pictured above and the Citation Latitude left are both predicted to be key drivers of new aircraft buyer interest in Widening Delta While manufacturers of new jets remain fairly inflexible on price, sellers of aircraft on the used market are far more able to adjust — creating a widening price delta between buying new and used.
Be Careful Out There… Mesinger warns that for you ignore the wider issues at your peril. Absolutely not! Mesinger continues. Their complete focus is on the table and their advice and guidance could be the difference between a costly or Happy New Year! By Matt Harris Jets for sale on avbuyer. There is so much more to do in the mountains than just slide down the mountain on two planks, which can be lovely, but is not for everyone. St Moritz is also a haven for adrenaline junkies. The fantastically eccentric, but totally serious, members-only St Moritz Tobogganing Club is home to the worldfamous Cresta Run, a 1.
It has been going strong since , when it was conceived by Brits as a way to amuse themselves during winter holidays to the resort. There, both men and women can ride passenger in a four-man bob with a professional pilot at the front and his brakeman at the back at speeds of around km per hour down a m track with. A more modern adventure sport is kite skiing, which was developed by explorers in the noughties as a wind-assisted way to reach the South Pole much faster than walking, skiing or dog sledding.
All these adrenaline-pumping activities can be booked through the Kulm Hotel St Moritz www. Tanned and full of enthusiasm, the British guests returned home in the spring of and spread the word about their fantastic trip, laying the foundations for winter tourism. Prior to that, holidaying in the Alps had been all about rest and recuperation in the summer months, with Brits spending extended periods taking the waters in St Moritz — the thermal baths are still there to visit — and elsewhere. Today, winter spa holidays are just as popular as summer ones.
Built with natural materials such as wood and slate according to the principles of organic architecture, Adler Balance guests are thoroughly quizzed and tested on arrival by a doctor, before a personal programme of weight loss or stress reduction, for. This little-known resort is a picture-perfect traditionallooking resort, packed to the rafters with old-fashioned wooden chalets.
All participants need to have in spades are a fierce work ethic, patience and good humour. Its brutally stark, yet beautiful, wilderness provides the kind of blank canvas that we relish when creating a bespoke luxury adventure. The directions you get along the road in Mongolia tend to be a tad less precise than your GPS app. In a country that encompasses mountain ranges, grass-covered steppes and the vast Gobi Desert, travel can be challenging. Khan would be impressed — as he would by the chunky 4x4s cruising the streets of Ulan Bator.
But that. We invite you to think differently about how you plan to get around. While others may head across the barrens in a Russian jeep, why not organise a trek on Harley-Davidsons or in a vintage Bugatti? By horse is also a charming option. The last surviving wild ancestor of the domestic horse, the Takhi is a genetically distinct equine species —. You can head to the wild and remote western edge of Mongolia on horseback, home to a group of Kazakh nomads.
Here, among the soaring Altai Mountains, which climb up to metres, the nomads have lived an isolated existence for hundreds of years. On this rugged frontier, there are no paved roads and the horse is central to the Kazakh way of life. At Khovsgol Nuur, an alpine lake nicknamed the Blue Pearl, you can fish for salmon and sturgeon.
Due to its enormous biodiversity, it has been likened to the aquatic equivalent of a rainforest. As the 14th largest freshwater lake on the planet,. Nearby you might encounter bears, wolverines, sable and moose, while bird lovers will be intrigued by the many rare species. For Indiana Jones-style adventure, fly by helicopter to The Flaming Cliffs, site of the first discovery of dinosaur eggs that the world had ever seen. Explore sand dunes on camelback, and witness petroglyphs up to 5, years old.
Continue your journey by private aircraft over the vast steppe to the untouched wilderness of the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park with your highly-regarded naturalist guide. Located in the northern part of the Gobi, this fresh green valley was. Its remaining streams create unusual ice formations at the base of the valley. Kazakh culture is distinct here: the nomads are Muslim and they speak Kazakh in everyday life, using Mongolian only when they need to communicate with other tribes or groups.
- Theses and Dissertations Available from ProQuest.
- Radio Arcadia Requests.
- Recommended Posts.
- On Human Nature;
- The Scriveners Tale: Book II of the Mustt Adventures.
- Chirurgie dermatologique (French Edition).
They can trace their roots back to the 15th century and to Gengis Khan. They settled in this region of the Altai Mountains in the 18th century after fleeing the Russian Empire. Today, the Kazakhs maintain their traditional lifestyle, typically moving their animals three or four times a year to find new grazing pastures.
There are few countries in the world with such a stark difference between the rural and urban populations. While nomadic Mongols live the simple life, their cousins in Ulaanbaatar are lurching headlong into the future. The capital is changing at a dizzying pace and many Mongolians have bought wholeheartedly into the global economy, capitalism and consumerism.
Urban hipster or nomadic shepherd, however, both share a love of democracy. The country is often held up as a model emerging democratic state, despite being surrounded by democracy-challenged countries like Russia, China and Kazakhstan. Mongolia is eager to be part of the global community; by visiting you are contributing to the remarkable developments in this extraordinary land. If we can plan something for you or your family, then get in touch at www. Approximately 1. If you are a fan of travelling, Stockholm has many hotels to choose from — one of my favourites is the Grand Hotel Stockholm, which is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and located in the city centre boasting stunning views over the Royal Castle.
Treatments are luxurious and indulgent and include an indoor pool with several saunas and steam rooms. The fitness area also includes a fully equipped gymnasium keeping the likes of fitness fans like myself happy, do try It is a place to see and be seen. The rooms are spacious, modern but yet cosy. For all you foodies out there I would suggest a restaurant where one will find a majority of the local crowd and is called Sturehof.
They focus on fresh fish, oysters and seafood — a perfect place to enjoy something light with the taste of the sea. Her Pepstop is the ideal place to re-fuel the empty batteries after a strenuous morning of shopping. Speaking of which — La Chemise is the store you should not miss. Made for the man in your life it is a superb male clothing store — the quality of design, style and service is second to none. Either as gift or to treat oneself, do visit.
Oslo is an open-air capital with pretty beaches and parks, 19th-century architecture and long classical vistas. The city boasts terrific art museums, fine opera and great fish restaurants. It is also only a few minutes drive from the mountains, where you can hike in summer and ski in winter. Oslo is the capital of Norway you will find that it is very much like Stockholm however much more modern and cutting edge in its architecture. Oslo also offers extremely high quality everywhere you visit. But again should you wish to revel in its culture. The whole effect is more serious art collector than edgy artist.
High up there also is Skur 66 a brand new Mediterranean restaurant right by the sea in an old dock house. The roots of the vines are fed by the the mineral rich soil and the low humidity and fresh sea breezes natural to the island ensure that the temperature is perfect for the vineyards to thrive METAXA was created by the entrepreneur Spyros Metaxa, who wished to produce a truly smooth spirit that would be different from most spirits available. He did this by blending Muscat wines with aged wine distillates, then blending these with a secret maceration of Mediterranean herbs and floral extracts which include its famously distinctive ingredient of May rose petals.
This unique spirit is made from the most exceptional blends, that have been aging for over eight decades. My sense of organization and cleanliness comes from my mother. And my sense of hierarchy comes from my father. Instead of going home after school, he would go to the restaurant in a South Florida yacht club where his mother worked, first as a dishwasher, and soon after as a chef. In the early s Chef Keller visited Yountville, California to find a space to fulfill a longtime culinary dream: to establish a destination for fine French cuisine in the Napa Valley.
In his travels, he came across a rustic two-story stone cottage. The French Laundry, a 1, square-foot structure constructed of river rock and timbers, was built as a saloon in by a Scottish stonemason. The building later served as a residence, and during the s operated as a French steam laundry. In , town mayor Don Schmitt and his wife Sally renovated the structure into a restaurant, which Keller then purchased in At what point in your life did you feel that being a Chef was the path you wanted to take on professionally? My first job in this profession was washing dishes after school to help my mother with her restaurant.
While dishwashers are often thought of as being at the bottom of the food chain and starting in this position may deter some from ever working in a restaurant, I realized early on, that everyone in the entire restaurant. How do you manage to keep in control of all of your restaurants?
In addition to the disciplines I learned as a dishwasher, I grew up with my father who was a Captain in the Marine Corps, so I relished in the structure that environment provided. But first and foremost, I have a great support team. At some point in my career, I realized that my job was to work on replacing me.
When preparing a plate of food do you test the dish on various people before adding to your menus? For us, menu testing really is based on the concept of each restaurant. At our most recent restaurant, our pop-up called Ad Lib, we conducted some testing of many different flavor profiles, many different variations of the same thing. Take creamed spinach for example — you can have. Where as Blanquet de Veau is traditional and classic, it has standards that must be met to achieve the dish. Is it chopped? Is it leafed? Do we use nutmeg? Or do we add bread crumbs on top? We tested these things to come to a consensus.
Who in the world of culinary excellence do you admire? My first role model, Chef Roland Henin, taught me the basics of French cooking. He taught me the importance of mentorship and helped me realize that the purpose of food is to nourish and give pleasure to others. When I moved to New York City as a young chef, the chefs featured in the city at that time were at the height of their careers. I would walk around the city from restaurant to restaurant, standing outside to read menus and take notes. I, and others of my generation, relished.
It is my belief that the best chefs are the ones who came before us: the innovators and influencers who inspired a generation of chefs and whose experience and expertise paved the way for the most refined and advanced culinary era in history. Do you take time each day to focus on yourself and your health? We encourage healthy family meals and snacks. What do you believe a good leader requires to build a strong team? When training new staff what are your methods as a mentor? As I grew into my role as a chef, restaurateur and then the leader of our restaurant group, I realized that I needed to promote confidence and courage among my team across all departments.
Give them a strong understanding of who they are, and what they can contribute, so that they can make a positive impact. We must acknowledge their value. These core values are ones that I personally subscribe to and have helped me get to where I am today. I see them as rules to live by and they resonate with the people who come to work at TKRG. We hope it transforms their lives, as well. Sometimes young chefs come to the restaurant, and they are already aware. With others, we have to be a little more specific and demonstrate for them the joy of preparing food that nurtures.
Join the conversation
Our food philosophy is really based on our ingredients, and that has been my philosophy for decades now. Initially, as a young cook, your ambitions overtake some of the fundamentals of who you are — the relationship building with suppliers, for example — because you want to impress and show off what you can do. That is certainly fun for a period of time, but when it passes, you. When young cooks interact with the farmers, fishermen, foragers and gardeners who supply the ingredients they plan to use, they understand more and more their place in making food to make people happy.
It is impossible not to see the care that goes into each product and how important these relationships are in the final dish that is presented to our guests. When traveling do you prefer to relax or sightsee? I prefer to remain curious and engage the senses — taste new flavors, listen to others, explore different cultures and meet new people. I like to leave a place with a new story or two — for my personal memories or to share in our magazine, Finesse.
If you could cook a dish for a historic figure who would it be? Last year I fulfilled a longtime goal of mine: to arrange a gathering of great chefs from the last generation, among them the culinary icons Soltner, Piquet, Richard and Pepin. I had invited them to Per Se in hopes of honoring them for their contributions to our profession, but through their simple gesture — allowing me to feed and nurture them — I felt deeply honored, too. These chefs had been my role models and my mentors, as they have been for countless chefs and individuals.
I am thankful to now call them my colleagues and friends. What keeps you awake at night? How to be better tomorrow than we were today. By Dina Aletras. A man that when is silent speaks a thousand words. Massimo was born and raised in Modena in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. He developed an interest in cooking from a young age after watching his mother, grandmother and aunt in the kitchen preparing family meals. Our Editor Dina was granted the pleasure of interviewing the super chef.
Your inspiration for cooking came at an early age, what else in life inspires you? What inspires me? I see things that others do not. I imagine the unimaginable. My fantasy world is rich and I try to re-create thos ideas in the kitchen by turning my imagination into edible bites. I squeeze everything —emotions, history, traditions, flavor, and storytelling - into bites of culture. This is what stimulates and inspires me — the compression of everything into the kitchen. Eating is an emotion. Cooking is an intellectual exercise.
What we do is not normal — it is radical — and we are so grateful to be able to practice it everyday. Are there any plans to expand in the future? In my future I see more future. We are always expanding and planning and thinking about the future. There is also the Food for Soul Foundation, the continuation of the Refettorio Ambrosiano project and there is the bright generation of young chefs that is rising up to reclaim Italy as a culinary destiny not only for traditional cuisine but for innovation and the unexpected.
These are my plans for the future. Right now we feel that it is such a gift to have so many people traveling from all over the world to visit us in Modena. That is the greatest award of all! First of all, all students learn by example, not by words. With this in mind, I am the first one to sweep the floor, pick up the trash, help others and be part of the team. Being part of a team is the essential lesson young chefs and waiters need to learn. Secondly, order and more order and more order.
There is no room in the kitchen for disorder. In any kitchen, cleanliness is next to god. If you could be invisible for a day what would you do? If I were invisible I would watch my favorite artists working in their studios like a fly on the wall because the creative process fascinates me. And finally, I constantly remind chefs that they are responsible for everything they do.
There are no excuses in the kitchen. A good chef is one who takes responsibility for his mistakes, his triumphs and his weaknesses. WE learn from our mistakes. It is what makes us human. Asking questions and being curious can get you far in life. Leonardo de Vinci was very into food and cooking but he was always decorating not really cooking.
But I would also like to cook for the Futurists who had some fantastic and fantastical ideas but they did not know how to cook either and so the ideas never really worked. It would be interesting to see what they thought of the contemporary Italian kitchen. Perhaps they would see that it actually comes pretty close to their wild imaginations. Osteria Francescana is closed on Sunday and Monday.
It is also closed for part of the months of January and August. Reservations are essential. Silhouette Soft Thread Lift is a technological innovation offering women a treatment based around simplicity: offering restored volume and reduced wrinkles. With minimal invasive treatment that can be done in less than an hour and offers 2 results.
The first an instant mechanical lift and secondly, long term collagen stimulation and regeneration, which helps to restore the natural beauty of the face. These results lasts for up to 18 months. No, the treatment is performed under local anaesthetic that is applied to certain points in the area to be treated. Blues provides a therapeutic, visceral- linguistic conversation in which universally traumatizing aspects of human existence can be communally held and lived through. When it comes to religion and the blues, one name reigns supreme — Son House.
The music is powerful, very powerful. House is often considered the least musically talented of the great early bluesman but perhaps the purest, deepest, and definitely the most deeply connected to religion. Though he was a preacher, he was a fallen preacher. Connor explains how blues lament is imbued with religious elements and how much of the deep power of the blues comes from the divine power invoked. This divine power comes amidst some less-than-divine, imperfect, impure aspects of human existence.
But this is precisely the root of the power. We are not gods or angels; we are mere mortals. But we also have the power of the divine, which is much more powerful when we mere mortals experience it. The original blues musicians were almost all black. Gender becomes relevant because of the amazing number of blues songs written and performed by men about women, and the trouble thereby caused. But there have been and are very significant female fig- ures in the blues, even right at the beginning, and the social history of women may make them equally suited to singing the blues.
When considering women and the blues, the many, many blues songs written about women by men may initially spring to ming. Women are the second person in the blues. She makes the case that a certain partially non-black population has the right kind of cultural experience and history to play the blues authentically, namely women.
Women have a history and experience of social frustration, subjugation, and silencing that brings with it the emotional center of the blues aesthetic. The female voice is very much the voice of the blues, even though most of what you hear sounds like a male voice. Whatever differences can be claimed between the world views of black sharecroppers and their descendants and people of white Northern European descent, they are not inseparable.
The blues is, then, not the province of the cultural expe- rience of African-Americans. In an important sense, blues is colorblind. Rock and roll did indeed borrow much from contemporary black music, but it did so by tapping into what had long ago become virtually a shared heritage. These white rock legends, seemingly pioneers, were just modifying the blues. They made a lot more money, and this might lead to the idea that rock and roll ripped off the blues, which sounds like yet another injustice on top of the injus- tices that prompted the blues in the first place.
Not only does this confidence ignore importantly stubborn facts about the makers of blues music, but it also conspires to perpetuate exactly the sort of material and emotional oppression from which blues songs have always sought deliverance. We invite you to engage your mind and your soul as you read the philosophical investigations into the blues collected here. You can approach these essays musically, culturally, historically, racially, emotion- ally, or religiously.
Along the way, you may develop your own philosophy of the blues, or perhaps a bluesy philosophy! I must have been only one year old, but it turned out to be the beginning of a love affair. Some of my fondest memories are of getting to see the likes of Albert King, B. What a lucky kid I was. And I even have fond memories of doing chores — such as scrubbing the kitchen walls and spending hours painting my house — thanks to the blues music I was listening to at the time. I should thank my friend, Fritz Allhoff, the editor of the Philosophy for Everyone series. He encouraged me to apply my love of the blues to my love of philosophy.
Others at Wiley-Blackwell are deserving of thanks too. I especially want to acknowledge Jeff Dean and Tiffany Mok for all their help. I miss all of you. Her patience, support, and encour- agement are boundless. Finally, with as much gratitude as I can muster, thank you to all the blues musicians that have worked so hard, and who have overcome so many obstacles, to create the music that we love so much. Abrol Fairweather I would like to thank the music most of all.
Next to becoming a parent, nothing has affected me so deeply. Rock with a little blues thrown in was, as for many of us, an essential element for me in growing up — Zeppelin, Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Clapton. Pretty standard. I felt as though I truly, truly loved him, and constantly thanked him out loud.
What a beautiful man. That, in turn, got me thinking about the blues in all kinds of ways. This deeply formative fifteen-year period culminated in the present collection. Thanks guys! You were great to work with, and I am a better editor for the experience. The bleak prospect is that the blues probably has no real future; that folk music that it is, it served its purpose and flourished whilst it had meaning in the Negro community. At the end of the century it may well be seen as an important cultural phenomenon — and someone will commence a systematic study of it, too late.
Paul Oliver 1 Me: Remember when blues historians were all worried about the blues surviving the rock era? Myself: Absolutely. The way he saw it, the blues was essentially rooted in time and place — a variety of folk music indigenous to the post-reconstruction American South. In that unique context the music served an essential social function within its community of origin. Edited by Jesse R. Steinberg and Abrol Fairweather. Myself: Wait a minute. Me: Well, just look around.
Blues is big global biz — maybe not quite as big as hip-hop, or the NBA, but no less global, and pretty damn big. The blues is everywhere now! Handy Awards drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world to Memphis, Tennessee. And they spon- sor an annual international talent search, attracting entrants from far and wide: Australia, Canada, Croatia, France, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, and all fifty US states.
Blues tourism is now a growth industry in the Mississippi Delta and beyond. Nowadays you can go on a Caribbean Blues Cruise — a floating week-long round-the-clock blues festival aboard an eleven-deck five-star cruise-ship — stopping in Aruba, Curacao, St. Barts, and other exotic vacation destinations. And look here! There is even now a recognized academic specialty in blues scholarship. Myself: Depends on who you ask. And lots of smaller regional festivals have had to do the same, and in this economy… I: Look, in the twenty-first century the whole music industry is in deep turmoil. At this point, none of the old business models seem viable even short-term.
Myself: Okay. How does it survive that transformation as blues? These are the exceptions that prove the rule. Me: Specifically? Myself: Well, for starters, look at the locations. It makes sense for Buddy Guy to have his own club in Chicago, and for B. King to erect a shrine to the blues on Beale Street in Memphis. Then look at the ownership structure, if you want to get more deeply into it. They promote anything!
Just check out the music lineup. Maybe it includes some blues, but damn few and far between! House of Blues?! Me: Slow down, man! Live Nation seems bent on global domina- tion and ready to gobble up whatever they can use and whatever stands in their way, regardless. The first House of Blues opened in Harvard Square! Aykroyd and his Saturday Night Live co-star John Belushi had developed two characters: the Blues Brothers — two white guys fronting a blues band.
Aykroyd, in matching outfit, as Elwood Blues, played harmonica. What began as a comedy sketch and then developed into a running gag was so successful popular that within a couple of years Belushi and Aykroyd had rounded up a backup band of A-list Memphis session musicians, had recorded and released a full-length album Briefcase Full of Blues , and had a script for a Hollywood feature-length comedy in production The Blues Brothers, And there you have it: the original House of Blues — a spin-off of a successful comedy act about a couple of white guys fronting a blues band.
The impulses behind the original House of Blues were complex, not simply comedic. He even jammed with Muddy Waters. And, if you look closely you begin to see that what the Blues Brothers were really making fun of was themselves as white guys getting into the blues. Myself: I love it when people make my point for me. Aykroyd and Belushi are just part of a cultural process in which the blues is simultaneously appropriated, exploited, and left behind. You can see these same processes at work all the way back to with W. Handy, who transcribed the blues for sale as sheet music.
Is it the commerce, or the roles and racial identities of those involved in it? Myself: Both! The black bluesmen and women that performed on the radio, made recordings, and went out on tours were generally being exploited commercially by businesses controlled mostly by white people. I: I thought we were going to skip the economics, but apparently not.
Do you sense the discussion expanding to greater and greater levels of complexity? I: … how can we even begin to comprehend the massive network of dynamic forces economic, social, political, and more constantly shaping culture at any moment in time and place? Myself: Trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton said that.
What are you talking about? I: Heraclitus: the Greek philosopher who held that everything is always changing in flux. Me: Okay. So we get the metaphor. Myself: But where are you headed with it? I: Well, suppose we consider the blues as a cultural phenomenon, something that arises as part of what we call culture.
How do you determine which changes and developments constitute continuations or extensions of the blues as a living tradition and which ones constitute departures from or betrayals of that tradition? Me: How about an example? I: Okay. That was a change, a development. And he was playing to audiences of factory workers in an urban nightclub, instead of sharecroppers in a Delta juke joint. Does anyone wonder whether the blues is surviving through these changes?
Me: Not me. I: Now take the example a step further. By Muddy was playing in larger and more opulent venues spread out across the United States and overseas. He was playing to larger and younger crowds, including more and more white people. More change, more development; but now doubts are being raised about whether the blues will survive. The debate over the authenticity issue has indeed continued to evolve — mostly in the direction of greater complexity, just like the issues of race and racism that continue to animate it. Me: What you just said is a caricature. And choose your words carefully.
I: Can we clear the air in here? Myself: Speak for yourself. Me: The evolution of the blues? I: Oh, goody! A subtle distinction! I: As you wish. I: Again, as you wish. Me and Myself [in surprised unison]: Exactly! Me: Can you explain that? Then that concept got imported into more modern secular disciplines of scholarship. But it still carries most of that weighty freight of official authority. You know, the stuff in the Norton Anthology of English Literature. And this makes me cringe a bit. Myself: Indeed. Surely this has to count as a canonical blues tune!
The link to Clapton is obvious. I rather suspect that Clapton himself would make the same distinction. When he plays the blues canon, which he does from time to time, as for example on Me and Mr. The same goes for Jimi Hendrix. Me: Canons to the left of me, canons to the right. And only moments ago one canon was making you cringe.
Myself: It still does seem odd to me to be talking about a blues canon. But given that we are, I still see a clear break between the blues and the psychedelic blues-rock of the s. The instrumental break is taken by Paul Jones on harmonica. Now, how is this related to the blues canon?
Is it blues or is it blues-rock? Is the blues canon evolving or dividing? Or are we divided over a political and moral question a matter of conscience? Or both? But suppose we begin by noting something important about the nature of a canon: even if canons do evolve, this can only be at a slow and stately pace. Otherwise they cease to serve their essential canonical functions. I: And these are…?
Myself: Well, it would appear that, if we are to have any kind of serious conversation about the blues as an art form, it will inevitably be by reference to a canon. The observation seems to be that the emergence of a canon is a symptom of the phenomenon of academic scholarship. One wonders whether the emergence of a canon is a by-product of the of the advancing evolution of the art form, a symptom of the art form having achieved a level of depth and maturity worthy of serious scholarly attention. Both John and Alan Lomax were academic scholars, and, even before them, there was Howard Odum, who thought of his research as social science.
They were all pioneers in the application of emerging audio recording technology to the process of documenting the blues. So, scholarly interest in the blues as an art form is clearly as old as recorded blues. I: So, is talk of the canon and the canonical with reference to the blues as old as scholarly interest in the blues as an art form or not? Then we began to really obsess over the blues canon.
Or maybe we should say the first and second generation. John was apparently quite dismayed when his son Alan undertook to survey the commercially recorded blues that black peo- ple were collecting and listening to in the Delta in the s. Me: I agree, but what does that indicate about the Blues Music Awards and the Blues Foundation — institutions that some would argue are too heavily invested in the past to recognize or even allow the evolution of the blues as a living art-form?
You can hear the critics sharpening their knives, writing Cyndi Lauper off as just another shape-shifting publicity-seeking pop icon, trying to compete with Madonna and Lady Gaga by projecting a blues diva avatar, and so on, before they even listen to the record.
Myself: And what does all of this indicate about the future of the blues, the question Paul Oliver raised back in the s? I: Hard to say in advance. Even the past keeps looking different with each passing season. See also the exchange in Paul C. Lauper dedicated the album to Ma Rainey, channeling Tracy Nelson. King in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction That which withers in the age of mechanical repro- duction is the aura of the work of art. King pre- sent a lecture. It was the most amazing lecture on music I had ever experienced — experienced, rather than heard, because what he demonstrated about sounds forced me to question my values about lis- tening, and helped me form new paradigms about how to hear.
As a contemporary composer being educated in the Western classical tradition, a B. King lecture was not really part-and-parcel of my doctoral curriculum. To be sure, composers such as Ravel and Gershwin were influenced by the popular music of their time. Moreover, composers today find themselves delineated into countless hyphenated niches — avant-garde, neo-classical, post-modern.
In the university sys- tem, though, composition students generally analyze more Beethoven than blues. Yet, for all the composi- tional theory and score analysis, all the performances given and attended, there was something missing that seeing B. King illuminated for me. His lecture revealed an aspect of music that I had heretofore never rec- ognized, for all my classical training. It was a snowy evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts in December, the last week before winter break.
Arriving a little late, I was surprised but enthralled to find the hall totally packed. Of course, the hall should be packed for B. The band played for a full ten minutes while we waited for B. When he did finally walk into the hall, he immediately received a stand- ing ovation — the first musician I had ever witnessed receiving that honor.
He went over to his guitar and sat down. So, I listen. As he had decades earlier, B. Midway into his presentation, B. Some of the band members were young hot shots with lots of technical proficiency, able to solo with exotic, modern scales and play extremely fast. He languished in the space around the notes.
First, having his band vamp on a twelve-bar blues a standard harmonic pattern for the blues — more on this later , B. The notes he played were restricted to the appropriate scale and harmonies of the twelve- bar progression in which the band was vamping — everything was in the right key, nothing out of place, very straightforward.
It sounded pretty cool — relaxed but still creative. It was like someone had hit the flood lights. What followed was some of the most amazing live guitar I have ever heard. The notes came alive! It is hard to explain exactly how B. The rhythms were sharper, too, picked with an energy B. There were subtle technical differences, certainly — more creative use of space, sharper attacks, sexier slides — but the underlying motivation was a change in the man himself: B. His heart was in it. Amazingly, everyone watching felt the same shift in expression, and we all knew the temperature change was collectively felt.
It was almost like in the first solo B. One of the things you are taught in classical training is to analyze the works of the masters by looking at their scores. We look at how individuals such as Beethoven and Brahms created intricate musical structures by splicing, elongating, and inverting themes — using the same notes in different permutations. Instead, we felt his genius by tracing his aura, his very personality. My feeling, however, is that recordings can help prepare us to identify the aura of our favorite artist, and that this is especially important in our contemporary engagement with the blues.
As influential as Benjamin was in delineating how attitudes toward art changed in the Industrial Age, he was not as specifically revelatory in the potential of mechanical reproduction to revolutionize listening. The history of recording technology has helped to create a new paradigm of listening to music, one that gives voice to artists working outside the domain of Western art traditions such as the blues.
Furthermore, with the advent of recordings, the source of the identity aura of a piece of music shifts from the composer to the performer. In classical music, however, the written score is paramount. One could even go so far to say the score transmits the will of the composer. Moreover, the culture of performance practice surrounding classical music exists to preserve the intentionality of the composer, by being faith- ful to the score. When he was first starting out as a conductor, Schuller developed a tremendous respect for the written score, and understandably so, since much of the music he was conducting was contemporary and no recordings existed at the time.
Schuller writes: I was learning to respect rigorously the content of the score — by whom- ever — and the score became a kind of sacred document to me. In all the intervening years I have seen no reason to change my views on this matter, whether in standard or contemporary repertory. A player performing a work today invokes the legacy of a work. The written classical score also results in the privileging of certain aspects of sound in music, because it is limited in the amount of information it can convey. Only those frequencies that are playable on the piano are generally considered usable as material in classical music.
The notated relationships between these notes in a work of music, expressed in a score, emanate its identity. Sounds that do not express these frequencies with names are expunged from the system and are often not considered music. When a sound is too dense for a pitch to be clear, it is considered noise. If a frequency lies between the notes playable on a piano, it is considered to be out of tune, though the music of many non-Western cultures e.
What about bent notes on a guitar, which are common in the blues? Or the slippery sounds of a slide guitar? What about the transcendent presence that B. King demonstrated in his lecture? Furthermore, the blues, in contrast to classical music, is an aural, unwritten tradition. Since there is no score, one cannot depend upon faithfulness to a score to judge accuracy of intent, or locate its identity. The basic structure of the blues is an AAB lyrical form, sometimes called bar form. A bar of music is, in the usual case of the blues, a grouping of four pulses, or beats.
In AAB form, the first line is stated over four bars A and repeated over the next four bars A , then a concluding line is stated over the final four bars B. This call-and- response cycle of an AAB stanza adds up to twelve bars of music, thus giving the name to the most common form of the blues. The harmonic progression that accompanies AAB twelve-bar blues form comprises only three basic chords. All songs that follow the twelve-bar blues form share the same harmonic progression.
Since the chord changes are the same from standard to standard, in order to distinguish songs you have to track the lyrics or melody rather than the harmonic progression. Whereas in classical music one has to listen to the content of the words that are spoken to trace the identity of the speaker, in the blues, one traces the identity of the speaker by identifying the sound of the voice. By tracing the sound of the voice, we can trace the identity of the speaker. Identity in the blues is expressed by the aura of the individual artist. In this way, the listening paradigm is expressly opposite to that of classical music: the text, the song as material, is not as important as how the song is being sung by that particular performer.
When B. Benjamin thought that the aura of an original work of art would be diminished through mechanical reproduction. Audio recordings preserve and transmit bent notes on a guitar, B. In effect, audio recordings are a superior mode of notation because they are more democratic than written scores. Furthermore, recordings aid in our emotional investment in the aura of our favorite artists.
For example, I had seen countless cover bands perform my favorite Rolling Stones songs, but when I saw the Rolling Stones themselves play live I felt that I was in the presence of the authentic, the true aura of the Rolling Stones, even though I had only previously heard them through recordings. Listening to Rolling Stones albums prepared me for the live experience. It is true that aficionados of classical music have their favorite recordings, and they too can revel in the aura of their favorite performers; but the traditional hierarchy privileging the intentionality of the composer still holds true.
Symphonic recordings, for example, are still catalogued by composer. Ergo, the larger revolution is the effect technology has had on non-notated music. Recordings not only prepare us to receive the unique voice of a specific performer but can also help to teach us to appreciate the nuance of a spe- cific performance. This is especially important for the blues, as it is a form expressed through improvisation.
In comparing different performances by our favorite artist we can develop sensitivities to their improvisatory styles and their characteristic quirks as well as realizing that some perfor- mances capture something more special than others. This kind of famili- arity with the history of differences in performances further distances us from the classical notion of fixity. An ideal classical performance is a clean rendering of the score, whereas we expect each blues performance to be somewhat different. While I am thinking about the impact recordings have had on listening, I want to point out an additional, important effect they have on listeners to pop music.
I sounded just like the CD! It reveals further developments in the psychology of listening in the post-Benjamin era. The live experience is still, of course, the original, and a recording is still, in actuality, a document — a reproduction of the original — but, effectively, the roles of the two in terms of authenticity have been reversed. The recording still serves, as in the blues, to help the listener develop a relationship with the voice of an artist — helping them to recognize the voice — but the piece of music or song becomes fixed in identity, like a classical music score, to the point that the listener quantifies his or her enjoyment of the live experience by tracking how faithfully it compares to replicates the recording.
Several factors play into creating this reversal of authenticity. Second, and perhaps more powerfully, recordings allow and in fact invite repeated listenings. Through repeated listenings we begin to memorize the many details of a performance of a particular song. Along the way, strong emotional attachments are devel- oped to the song and the artist, and that recording becomes fixed as the true identity of a song.
What is therefore different now, as opposed to periods before the invention of recordings, is that often attending the live experience is a way to confirm and amplify the emotions we have devel- oped listening to recordings of our favorite songs and artists. By saying all this, though, I must admit that it is increasingly harder to define exactly what pop music is.
And there must always be allowance retained for differences in individual listening, no matter the genre. With these caveats stated, for me, when I listen to the blues, no matter how familiar I am with a particular recording, I still feel that a recording somehow reminds me that the authentic is retained by the live person, that some- how I am missing something by not experiencing the live performance, and that there are limitations to human experience that are mediated through technology.
The blues still evades fixity. In writing this essay, my intention is not to elevate the merits of one genre over another. As a classical composer, I am deeply indebted to the legacy of classical music, and the paradigms of listening that it proposes have shaped me tremendously. I am also a lover of all kinds of rock and pop music.
My main aim here has to do with the imperious nature of the paradigms of classical music in academia. In many spheres in American academia, classical music holds a privileged place in terms of pedagogy and prestige, to the extent that non-classical cultures of music are evalu- ated through the lens of classical music. An example of this hierarchy is the still-prevalent practice of transcribing non-classical, and even non- Western, music using classical notation.
A further consequence is that classical notation might then filter out the special microtonal frequencies between the notes of the piano , timbral, or rhythmic features of a musical culture that is non-classical. The effort to capture an aural tradition in this way runs the risk of misrepresenting it completely. The biggest crime is that classical notation does not take performance practice considerations into account: it disregards how these other people are thinking about performing their music.
My hope in calling attention to what is special about listening to the blues is that we might begin to make a space to honor differences in paradigms of listening, rather than trying to force all listenings to be subsets of one dominant paradigm. Listening is too diverse and beautiful for it not to be more democratic in this day and age. The aura of a great blues artist transcends the cultural jadedness we have accumulated over a history of art reproduced through mechanical means.
The B. Kings of the world reconnect us to a soulfulness that is necessarily transmitted through live performance. The uniqueness of a blues performance in time and place also courageously says to us that life is ephemeral and beautiful because it is ever changing, and that we must embrace the now, rather than fetishizing fixity and promoting a fear of death. The blues is authentic and not transportable. Through this we are reminded how an individual life — and, by extension, how all of our individual lives — can be so meaningful. Oddly, neither of us have had this reaction to other contemporary homages, for example when film makers pay homage to earlier genres.
In this essay we would like to begin by briefly looking at what makes something the blues. Both of us were guitarists. Occasionally we would cover blues songs. Though neither of us had any formal training on the guitar, it was pretty easy to play the blues. The chord progressions seemed obvious to us. We just needed to agree on a key, follow the singer to determine the number of measures that were going to be played, and listen to the drummer for the tempo.
Once this pattern had been repeated a handful of times, the song was over. We played eight-bar and sixteen-bar blues songs as well, which were slight variations on the basic twelve-bar theme. We were living in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time, where there is no shortage of places to hear the blues. Our experiences in these venues, along with hearing blues covers by contemporary pop, punk, and alternative artists, only served to reinforce our conception of what the blues is.
Even though there is much a band can do with the basic blues riff e. Given this, providing a philosophical account of just what constitutes a blues song is likely to be pretty easy. So it seems, anyway. Defining the Blues So just what is it that makes a blues song a blues song? Here we want to give a philosophical definition of the blues. In addition to picking out the referent s of a term, it serves to explicate what makes some- thing the kind of thing that it is; that is, it identifies the essential or defining characteristics of a thing.
One could give an ostensive definition of the blues by pointing literally or figuratively to a paradigmatic instance or two of the blues. They typically provide a little information about the origins of the blues and then mention something that characterizes many blues songs, such as being melancholy, having a twelve-bar structure, and so on. Such definitions do not, however, get at the heart of the matter. Our interest, of course, is in determining just what constitutes a blues song — identifying the essential characteristics of a blues number, or explicating what features blues numbers have that distinguish them from other songs.
This is what a successful philosophical definition will accomplish. Over the centuries philosophers have gone about giving philosophical definitions in a variety of ways. The Greeks primarily gave philosophi- cal definitions in terms of genus and species, the idea being broadly that the blues would be placed in a certain category, such as folk music or popular music this identifies the genus , and then distinguished from other things that fall into that same category this identifies the species.
In modern times philosophers are more apt to provide definitions by mak- ing reference to necessary and sufficient conditions. Necessary conditions are conditions that must be met in order for something to be a thing of a particular kind. Having done so does not make them a CPA, however, because they also need to have passed the other sections and to have had so many hours of on-the-job training, and so on.
Sufficient conditions are conditions that, once they are met, serve to make something a thing of a particular kind. For example, a sufficient condition for traveling at a speed greater than one hundred miles per hour is driving a properly functioning Indy race car at or near top speed. Each of these is a sufficient condition for traveling at a speed greater than one hundred miles per hour.
One way to give a philosophical definition of something is to explicate all the necessary conditions for that thing. The set of individually necessary conditions, if all goes according to plan, will then constitute a jointly suf- ficient condition for the thing being defined. For example, the following are thought to be necessary conditions for something being a triangle: 1 it must have three sides, 2 it must be a single plane, 3 it must be a closed figure, 4 each of its sides must be straight lines, and 5 its inte- rior angles must add up to degrees.
Anything that satisfies each of these five conditions will be a triangle, so this set of individually necessary conditions constitutes a jointly sufficient condition. So what are the individually necessary conditions and jointly sufficient conditions for something being a blues song?
Certain wines, for example, are defined by the region in which they are produced. The thing that makes a Bordeaux a Bordeaux is that it is produced from grapes grown in the Bordeaux region of France. The blues is perhaps most closely identified with the Mississippi Delta region, but there are equally distinctive styles of blues associated with Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, and many other parts of the United States. Another nonstarter is instrumentation. If one had only heard certain Mississippi Delta blues artists, one might be tempted to think of the blues as an acoustic-guitar-based art form, as it frequently is.
However, big bands, jazz bands, rock and roll bands, orchestras, pianists, mandolin players, saxophone players, and zither players have all performed and recorded blues numbers. Thus, the temp- tation to define the blues in terms of either its geographic origins or the instruments most frequently used to play it should be resisted. There is no shortage of blues songs that follow these progres- sions.
Actually, this is true of almost all Chuck Berry songs. So, having a blues chord progression is not enough by itself to make a song a blues song. Perhaps whether a song is a blues song is a matter of its having a blues chord progression in combination with some other essential feature. Each of these would constitute a counterexample to any definition of the blues that had the standard blues chord progressions as a necessary condition.
Here there are a couple of things we can focus on: structure and topic. As was mentioned above, many blues songs have a certain repetitive structure: each verse consists of a line repeated twice followed by a second line. Furthermore, as was the case with chord progression, many non-blues songs also have this structure. It may be that the best candidate for a necessary condition is lyrical content. Perhaps the thing that makes a blues song a blues song is the fact that, when one sings one, one is literally expressing that one has the blues.
Blues songs are melancholy or mournful. They are about pain, strife, suffering, difficulty, being generally doomed, and so forth. Again, we see the same types of worries arise. Plenty of non-blues songs will also have these lyrical elements. We see this in virtually all gen- res: opera, pop, jazz, country, folk, rock and roll, rap, hip-hop, punk, and so on — perhaps most notably in the torch song genre, which, like the blues, is dominated almost completely by melancholy and mournful lyr- ics.
Also, many blues songs, such as jug band blues, are quite cheerful. So it would appear that blues lyrics do not fare any better as a candidate necessary condition. So where does this leave us? It is always open to one to offer a stipulative definition in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. This is what purists tend to do. The problem with this is that it fails to be descriptive in the appropri- ate way. This definition would not adequately describe what the blues is, nor would it capture what blues musicians often took themselves to be doing when they wrote, sang, and played the blues.
Such a definition would be normative, in a pretty false way analogous to stipulating that only activities that utilize balls and pucks are really sports. So, at this point we are left without a philosophical definition of the blues.
Wittgenstein to the Rescue Socrates famously or perhaps infamously acted on the assumption that, if one could not provide an airtight and counterexample-proof philosophical definition of a term, one did not know what that term meant. Counterexamples to this assumption abound in the philosophi- cal literature.
So, our inability to explicate the individu- ally necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for a song being a blues song does not indicate that there is not an actual category to which the blues and only the blues belongs, nor does it indicate that persons inca- pable of defining the blues fail to know what the blues is. This conclusion, however, seems too hasty.
In the early twentieth century, philosophers of language and linguists were concerned with among other things providing an account of how language functions. More specifically, they were concerned with address- ing the question of how expressions and sentences manage to be mean- ingful.
Wittgenstein, for example, in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,1 argued that sentences are meaningful in virtue of the fact that they constitute pictures of reality. It occurred to Wittgenstein that this gesture had linguistic meaning, yet was not accounted for by the picture theory of meaning. Rather than replace the picture theory of meaning with some similar theory that attempted to capture in a single thought how language manages to be meaningful, Wittgenstein rejected conceptual analysis altogether.
The picture theory of meaning was replaced by the notion of family resemblance. Members of a particular family might all resemble one another even though there is no particular characteristic common to all members of that family. So, for example, most of the members might have similar noses, but not everyone has a similar nose, and most of the members might have similar eyes, but not everyone has similar eyes, and so forth.
Wittgenstein held that the same was true of the ways in which language functions. We saw that none of the candidates for necessary conditions of the blues were acceptable as necessary conditions, because each was subject to counterexamples — there were instances of the blues that failed to have those features. While this is a problem for conceptual analysis in terms of necessary and suffi- cient conditions, it is not a problem for conceptual analysis in terms of family resemblance, because there is no expectation that any particular blues song will have any of the particular features that are ubiquitous in blues songs.
So, for example, a failure to have the eight-, twelve-, or sixteen-bar chord progression does not exclude a song from the category of blues songs, provided that the song has a number of the other ele- ments commonly found in blues songs, such as mournful lyrics that repeat in certain patterns; an actual expression of feeling blue; a certain kind of melody; a certain kind of piano, banjo, or guitar fill; and so on. So the best way to understand the blues is in terms of a set of features, some number of which must be present in the song.
The exact number required, of course, is dependent on which features are present; sometimes having a couple of the major features is sufficient. Good Blues, Bad Blues, Walking Dead Blues The idea of family resemblance makes it easier to define the blues because it does not require an exact definition. Family resem- blance, however, creates another problem with definition. We broaden what can be considered blues, but at a certain point we must reach a hazy middle ground in which a song appears to be a blues but is missing some essential element that makes it a good blues.
In this way, much contem- porary blues is reminiscent of a zombie, an animated corpse of the blues. It moves, acts, and reacts, but slowly, with a clumsy gait. It has a limited range of expression. Some essential characteristic of humanity is missing; it has lost its soul. In a similar fashion, contemporary blues has certain attributes in common with older blues, just as the zombie of a family member may look like your family member.
Contemporary blues may use a twelve-bar blues pattern. It may include themes that are common to blues. All these characteristics may create a family resemblance to the blues of the early blues generations, but all these signifiers are empty, creating a living shell of the dead blues. Although contemporary blues frequently duplicates the tropes of blues, just as a zombie lacks a certain spark of authentic humanity, the form often lacks the authenticity of the earlier generations of blues players.
Musicians today are performing the roles of bluesmen — wearing the right clothes, singing the right lyrics, performing the correct riffs — but they are incapable of authentically being bluesmen. Now, authenticity is not necessary to all forms of music. Rock music seems to thrive on created personae, and authenticity may not be important to all blues, but inauthenticity can make a good blues unbelievable. And believability and authenticity have always been important in the emotional impact of blues.
The blues came out of a certain social and cultural scene, from the African-American culture of the American South. Although blues was widely distributed across regions, most of the blues musicians, even in different regions and at different times, came out of that culture. Even early greats of the electric Chicago blues, such as Muddy Waters, began as acoustic musicians in the Mississippi Delta. Many of the earlier generations of the blues had spent time in prison, worked at farming, and lived actual lives of hardship and wander- ing.
Leadbelly, the son of a sharecropper, was actually first recorded in prison. These were men who experienced hardship and poverty. The songs of blues musicians well into the sixties came out of an experience that contemporary blues musicians cannot experience. As an extreme example, the teenage white blues prodigies that began appearing in the nineties, such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang, seem to have little credibility as singers of the blues, although they are both exceptional musicians. As a seventeen-year-old white boy from Fargo, North Dakota, Lang could play the licks, but his music and lyrics did not and could not come out of lived experience.
Robert Cray, from Tacoma, Washington, began his musical career playing rock before he became interested in blues. These musicians may sing about mournful experiences or hard times, but they are unlikely to have actually experienced the hard times they sing about or to genuinely have come out of the culture of the blues. Another issue is the limited range of most contemporary blues.
Like the reanimated dead, contemporary blues lacks the ability to grow and change of a living form. The purists hold blues to a conditional definition. It must follow specific riffs and certain topics, and, without them, a blues would not be considered a blues. A contemporary blues musician could not play like Mississippi John Hurt today, with his sweet voice and cheerful fingerpicking, and be accepted as a blues musician. Much of blues in the early days was acoustic and played on a variety of instruments — Yank Rachell played mandolin with Sleepy John Estes; the Mississippi Sheiks, one of the most popular blues acts of the thirties, were a fiddle and guitar duo; Reverend Gary Davis frequently played banjo and, in fact, the banjo was probably the instrument on which much blues was played prior to the twentieth century ; Skip James played both piano and guitar; and the earliest recorded blues women, for example Bessie Smith, were accompanied by pianos and a variety of wind instruments, such as trumpets, trombones, and saxophones.
Even guitar players had more instrumental variety. Big Joe Williams played a homemade nine-string guitar. Leadbelly played a twelve-string, and Papa Charlie Jackson, one of the first blues musicians to be recorded, played a guitar with a resonator like a banjo. Most blues today is played on electric guitar only. And it tends to ignore the diversity of the tradition. Almost all electric blues is borrowed from Chicago blues, so the Piedmont blues, Delta blues, ragtime, jug band, Texas blues, and the many other forms are ignored.
We are left with the shambling corpse of the blues, incapable of the immense variety of expression of earlier forms, beyond a few simple grunts and groans. Finally, it is questionable whether much of contemporary blues can still be called blues. It still bears a family resemblance to blues as do jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, and nearly every popular form of American music , but it is more the resemblance of a distant relation or bastard child.
Much that is called blues now bears a stronger relation to other genres. For example, Stevie Ray Vaughan — who was an outstanding guitarist — played music that often had the structure and subject matter of a blues, but his music was more closely related to rock. I remember getting my little stereo — an Airline with the cardboard satellite speakers — and I would mike that up with a Shure PA that I had in my bedroom. Of course, the parents were at work. I would go in there and floorboard it, dress up as cool as I could, and try to learn his stuff.
Vaughan also borrowed heavily from Chuck Berry like nearly every other rock guitarist. Vaughan was hardly unique in his strong allegiance to forms other than the blues. This was common to many members of his generation. Robert Cray, another blues crossover success, borrows from soul for his singing style and owes his light, lyrical sound to pop-style production that belies the stories he tells.
We are left, with much of contemporary blues, with a confusion of styles related to blues with the blues. Thus we are left without the vitality, variety, and experience of authentic blues. Often, instead, we are left with something that is blues in appear- ance only. The style and signifiers of blues allow musicians to pass off music that is only distantly related to blues as blues.
This confusion of styles can sometimes lead to unspeakable horrors. The success of their act may have led to a resurgence of interest in the blues and to the success of performers such as Cray and Vaughan in the eighties, but it also further removed con- temporary blues from its true tradition, leaving us with the corpse of the blues, shuffling into the future to a walking bass line, blues in name only.
Anscombe and R. Rhees Ed. Anscombe Oxford, UK: Blackwell, See especially remark Is that image clear in your mind? Some writers interested in this issue emphat- ically say yes, and others just as emphatically say no. In fact, in recent years, a debate has surfaced over whether non-African-American musicians can play the blues authentically.
Everyone agrees that the blues is a musical art form that arose out of the African-American experience of slavery and its appalling aftermath. But some argue that the blues is strictly a musical style that anyone can play, regardless of their cultural background, while others argue that only people with a certain cultural heritage can authentically play the blues.
Why the disagreement? In this essay, I argue that blues musi- cal formalists have underappreciated the role that a particular kind of expe- rience plays in performing the blues authentically, a kind of experience that only a member of African-American culture can have. This essay is divided into three parts. First, I will make a distinction between two categories of blues: the blues as musical form and the blues as cultural expression. Second, I propose a theory of cultural expression that I hope clarifies what blues expressivists have been saying.