May 7, 2015 |
Samuel Russell Cosby Jr., 97, of Mount Airy, an organist, schoolteacher, and choral director who blended the sounds of the human voice into a melodic tapestry, died Monday, April 27, of a heart attack at his home. A Philadelphian who grew up on Godfrey Avenue, Mr. Cosby showed an early affinity and talent for music. He attended Corinthian Baptist Church along with the rest of his family, and shortly after his graduation from Central High School at age 19 became the organist for Mount Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church.
January 22, 2013 |
Does it matter why we hear the musicians we do? With its deep relationships and pedagogical bloodlines, Philadelphia risks a certain provincialism and clubbiness every time an artist steps out on stage. Astral Artists, though, is a vital hedge against that dynamic, expressed most recently on Sunday afternoon at the Trinity Center in the Philadelphia recital debut of Romie de Guise-Langlois. Where we're used to hearing refinement across all registers, this clarinetist argued for variety of tone.
September 12, 2012 |
Using the human voice as a competitive sports device has reached dangerous levels of overexposure. Sure, magnificent vocalists have come from television's retinue of singing battle shows: Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Susan Boyle, Fantasia Barrino. Philadelphia's Ali Wadsworth, a current competitor on The Voice , is another. But there are too many televised bouts of vocal brio to contend with, too many losing singers to balm or ignore after defeat. No show is more bloodthirsty than the Gladiator -like bombast of The Sing-Off . Singing a cappella is like boxing without gloves.
June 7, 2012 |
Meredith Cruse had just finished practicing with her new softball team, and she didn't want to stick around for the game. She walked over to the bleachers where her mother sat, looking for a way out, looking for solace. "I didn't want to play because I didn't know anyone and I was sad," recalls the 12-year-old from Burlington. Her mother, Jody, encouraged her to give the team a try — and Meredith did. She ended up having a good time, and kept playing. It was a moment of triumphant connection shared by daughter and mother, one that came through direct contact rather than on an electronic device.
October 5, 2005
He was not the "Black Shakespeare. " He was everyone's August Wilson. He died Sunday, too young, at 60, of liver cancer. His plays laid out the great cavalcade of African American experience - and placed it near the heart of all human experience. His legacy was a 10-play cycle chronicling life in 10 American decades. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984) charts the sufferings and hypocrisies of one of recorded music's pioneers. In Fences (1985) baseball is a metaphor for life - and failure.
February 9, 2004 |
You'll never meet "Crystal," but she'll whisper sweet nothings into your ear any time you like. Not a person or a tape-recording, she is the disembodied voice of a computer, reading aloud whatever you ask her to say. Type a few sentences and "Crystal" will pronounce your message almost as well as a human would. Only a slightly robotic accent betrays that a machine is talking. But reading aloud is the simplest challenge in the 40-year struggle to teach human language to computers.
October 2, 2003 |
That's it. I've had it with any business that employs people to answer telephones. Even more, I've had it with any business that is too frugal to employ people to answer phones, and instead forces callers to chat with a sound-automated "friend" whose "voice" is a cross between Wonder Woman and R2D2. Yes, world, that means I've had it with the phone company, the gas company, the bank, any place ending in Inc., Co., with a 1-800, 1-877 phone number, or which cleverly markets its phone number with letters.
April 5, 2003 |
When tour bus owner Joe Letts was asked if he wanted to go to Iraq to be a human shield, he hardly hesitated. A left-leaning, war-hating man of 52, Letts had been to Iraq in 1991 after the first Persian Gulf War and was appalled at what war and sanctions had done to Iraq's people. He wanted to do what he could to stop it from happening again. So he loaded up his two red double-decker British buses with some 50 fellow human shields. They embarked on a grueling, three-week, 3,000-mile journey to Baghdad and arrived Feb. 15 - the day millions of others around the world marched for peace.
October 2, 2002 |
A former first lady, the subject of an Oscar-winning movie, and a scientist who has studied the effects of pathogens on the human voice are among 12 winners of the 2002 O. Spurgeon English Humanitarian Awards. The award, in its second year, is named after the late chair of the department of psychiatry at Temple University; it honors a group of people who work with different types of alternative medicine. The awards will be presented Saturday after a 6 p.m. banquet at Temple's Diamond Club, 1913 N. Broad St. One of the winners is Sharry Edwards, a pioneer in human bioacoustics, examining the frequencies of different sounds in the human voice.