I just found a piece by Miriam Ruiz Pérez in the Cuban national socialist regime’s magazine, La Jiribilla. Apparently Borbolla was born in Manzanillo of a merchant family which made money from the hire, construction and repair of dance organs. As he moved into the business following musical studies in France, he began to replace the books of polkas, mazurkas and valses imported from France with Cuban rumbas, sons, pregons and danzons. It seems there was also a repertoire of music to be played along with live instruments. Unfortunately I can’t find any recordings of his stuff.
- What did the Catalan-speaking seamstress say on arriving in London W11?
“No tinc hil.” See also Sense dormir la noia, which was apparently a magazine programme on the local radio in that 24*7 metropolis, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Homophonic punning is easier in muddy languages like Catalan and English. David Deterding has a brain-churning collection of phonetic jokes in the latter. An example: When you’ve seen one shopping …
- The secret life of organ-grinders
Speculation in French revolutionary fiduciary currency, the murder of the great British ballad-singer, & a revised date (1802) for the start of the supposedly post-Napoleonic emigration of Italian puppeteers & organ-grinders
- When monkeys replaced children
There is going on a certain change for the better among this low class of strangers. On visiting them, I have remarked a considerable reduction of organs and monkeys in their apartments, usually filled with such instruments and beasts. The
- On preparing an anthology of English-language nursery rhymes for a Pyrenean baby
Dead space is newish horror survival game set on board a stricken interstellar mining ship. You play an engineer fighting a polymorphic, viral infestation which turns humans into grotesque alien monsters. Reviewing it Seth Schiesel asks:
When did fear become fun?
I’ve been thinking about that a lot as I’ve played Dead Space, the new, delectably
- Paper roll punching
I’ve been genuinely surprised by how many people are still using paper rolls to control their organs, and how many organs are still being produced for this technology. The means used to bridge the gap between electronic composition and paper device control are interesting–they remind me of what I think happened in (Italian?) textiles in …