How do pianists get to jail in Spain? Practice

Posted: November 19, 2013

WE'VE SEEN some odd court cases in Philadelphia - newspaper owners suing each other, for instance - but we've never heard of anything like the case going on in Girona, Spain.

There, Sonia Bosom (imagine all the times she was called a "tithead" as a child) sued her upstairs neighbors and their daughter for noise pollution.

The daughter, Laia Martin, isn't some kid banging a drum all day - she's a professional concert pianist.

Crazier yet, prosecutor Emma Ruiz wants Martin to serve jail time.

During Friday's summation, Ruiz said Martin should serve 16 months for noise pollution and four months for causing her neighbor "psychological harm." Ruiz also asked that Martin be disqualified from any professional piano playing for six months and pay a fine of $8 a day for nine months.

The presiding judge is expected to issue a verdict within two weeks.

Bosom claimed that Martin's piano practicing, allegedly five days a week for eight hours at a time - from 2003 to 2007 - prompted the legal action.

The prosecutor became involved when tests by local authorities found that Martin's music repeatedly peaked at up to 10 decibels higher than the 30-decibel limit laid down for musical instruments in the city.

But Nuria Blanes, an environmental scientist at Barcelona's Autonomous University (the university that doesn't need any help), said noise around 40 decibels "is not very much." A normal conversation produces 55 to 60 decibels.

Authorities asked the Martins several times to either stop the piano playing or soundproof the room.

Martin's parents became accessories when they did soundproof the room - twice - but this failed to quell Bosom's complaints.

One might say that the noise left Bosom heaving.

Bosom's lawyer, Tomas Torres, said it didn't really matter that Martin played classical music; what mattered was that his client had undergone "four years of suffering." Bosom has told the court she now hates pianos so much, she can't even stand to see them in movies.

* Speaking of noise, police were called to Justin Bieber's Calabasas, Calif., home three times Friday night because of the racket from a bash Biebs was throwing for a hundred or so of his closest friends, including Snoop Lion.

No one practicing piano there.

* Some residents of a town in New York's Catskill Mountains are trying to stop actor Judd Hirsch ("Taxi") from building a 177-foot wind turbine on his property because of fears that it will be noisy and an eyesore.

The 78-year-old Hirsch told the New York Times that his neighbors' fears are "baloney." He says the wind turbine's generator will cut his electricity bill to zero.

* Frequently noisy Alec Baldwin's new weekly MSNBC talk show was suspended for two episodes after the actor was videotaped using an anti-gay epithet against a photographer during a New York street encounter.

MSNBC didn't specify the reason it yanked Friday night's "Up Late with Alec Baldwin" from its schedule this week and next, but the decision came the day after the Thursday run-in.

In a statement on MSNBC's website, Baldwin wrote that he "did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have - and for that I am deeply sorry."

He said his actions came as he tried to protect his family - presumably from the photographer - but were unacceptable and undermine "hard-fought rights that I vigorously support."


* Netflix says it is reviving "The Killing" after it got axed by AMC.

A fourth and final season will be available to Netflix subscribers, the streaming service said Friday. Six episodes are planned to give the crime drama a "proper send-off," Netflix exec Cindy Holland said in a statement.

Stars Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman will return to the crime drama for its conclusion.

* Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has delivered a message to Jon Stewart: Don't diss his city's prized pizza.

Stewart denounced Chicago deep-dish pizza on "The Daily Show" last week as "an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats."

His feigned tirade began during a segment about hard feelings over North America's tallest building, a title heading to New York from Chicago.

Emanuel's office sent an anchovy-covered "real pizza" to "The Daily Show" with a note that said: "Jon, Deep Dish With Dead Fish. Love, Rahm."

Stewart's staff wasn't impressed. A clip on the show's Twitter page shows a dog sniffing the pizza before walking away.

An Emanuel spokeswoman noted that the pizzas in question actually were made in New York.

* Following complaints from South Dakota farmers and ranchers, Macy's is moving vegetarian rocker Joan Jett off the South Dakota tourism float in its Thanksgiving Day parade.

Orlando Veras, Macy's parade spokesman, told the Associated Press on Friday that Jett and her band, the Blackhearts, will be moved to another float. Veras said that the annual parade is about entertainment, not advocacy, and that Macy's was making the change "to prevent any further distraction from our entertainment mission."

* Here goes Miley Cyrus, just being Miley again:

For her 21st birthday later this month, Miley is reportedly going all out planning a party revolving around, what else, sex.

The London Sun reports the party will include S&M dungeons, scantily clad go-go dancers, whipping boys and penis-shaped party lights.

No word yet on who's going to come out of the cake.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.


Phone: 215-854-5678

On Twitter: @DNTattle

comments powered by Disqus