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seattle
seattle
È un regalo
di Paul Allen,
leggendario
socio
fondatore di
Microsoft,
alla città di
Seattle, e
un omaggio
al suo idolo
personale,
Jimi
Hendrix. Ma
soprattutto,
l’Experience
Music
Project è un
capolavoro di
architettura.
By Julian Earwaker
Language Level
advanced
Track
8
Speaker:
Chuck Rolando
(Standard American accent)
26
twenty-six
Seattle is the creative hub1 of the USA’s
Pacific Northwest region and an international destination for the arts. It is also
home to one of the strangest buildings
you are ever likely to see2: the Experience Music Project (EMP) museum.
From the top of the nearby3 Seattle Space
Needle, this brightly colored, shiny4 metallic building looks like Christmas gone
wrong5: a pile of crumpled wrapping paper6 and broken toys. It was designed by
the world-famous architect Richard Gehry
and it isn’t the only unusual building on
the Seattle skyline. Others include the
new Central Library, which was designed
by Dutch7 architect Rem Koolhaas.
EMP’s spokesman, Christian Quilici, believes that Gehry has provided the appropriate environment for an innovative
museum like EMP:
Christian Quilici
(Standard British accent):
Seattle is becoming an architecturelovers’ destination, at this point. We
have an I.M. Pei, we have a Gehry, we
now have a Koolhaas and we’ll see
what else is coming down the pike8.
But the building, which I wonder if
you can sometimes see from space,
because it is so bright9 and it is so…
it’s a work of art in itself, and that,
once again, speaks to our mission,
you know, the creative process: well,
this is a helluva piece of art in
itself10, the building is a piece of
public sculpture. So, love it or hate it,
we’ve got it! And I think it’s a great
thing for us to have – it’s a
landmark11.
Experience
Music!
Dublin’s
new wealth.
Clockwise:
the SoSume
Bar; the James
Joyce Bridge;
the River Liffey
waterfront and
café society.
LOCAL LEGENDS
The EMP building is said to represent the
colours and curves of electric guitars and
the energy of rock music. Inside, EMP is
certainly a music-lover’s dream: interactive displays, clothing, song lyrics12,
guitars and other memorabilia from local
legends like Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana,
as well as artists from elsewhere in the
USA. But EMP is much more than just a
‘What
next?’
of his wealth to
various charitable
causes2 and nonprofit foundations.
His early passion
for the music of
Jimi Hendrix led
Allen to amass
the world’s
largest collection
of Hendrix
memorabilia.
This collection
later formed a
central part of the
Experience Music
Project, which
Allen conceived3
as a celebration of
musical innovation.
The museum today
showcases4 Allen’s
fascination with
human creativity in
music and science
fiction.
Paul Gardner Allen
(pictured) has
always enjoyed
asking questions.
Born in Seattle,
Washington,
Allen was a gifted
computer student
who left university
early to work as
a programmer
for Honeywell.
‘What next?’ was
Microsoft, the
company Allen
formed with his
school friend Bill
Gates in 1975.
Allen is now one of
the world’s richest
men, with an
estimated wealth1
of $18 billion.
Allen is said to
have donated
around $900 million
Main picture,
above: the surreal
exterior (designed
by architect Richard
Gehry) of the
Experience Music
Project in Seatte,
Washington.
Below: the
museum’s interior.
Far left: Seattle’s
Space Needle.
Above: the man
who paid for it all,
Microsoft cofounder and Seattle
resident, Richard
Allen.
Glossary
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
hub - centro.
you are ever likely to
see - che mai avrete
occasione di vedere.
nearby - vicino.
shiny - lucido.
Christmas gone wrong
- Natale andato storto.
a pile of crumpled
wrapping paper - una
pila di carta da regalo
spiegazzata.
Dutch - olandese.
what else is coming
down the pike cos’altro c’è in arrivo.
bright - luminoso.
this is a helluva (hell of)
piece of art in itself questo è una grandiosa
opera d’arte di per sè.
landmark - monumento.
song lyrics - testi di
canzoni.
film footage - filmati.
WHAT NEXT?
1 wealth - patrimonio.
2 charitable causes opere di beneficenza.
3 conceived concepirono.
4 showcases - presenta.
twenty-seven
27
t h e
s o n G
Language Level
intermediate
Track
Hey Joe!
9
Speaker:
Chuck Rolando
(Standard
American
accent)
by Fergal Kavanagh
Rendiamo anche noi omaggio a Jimi
Hendrix, che trasformò Hey Joe, una
canzone tradizionale, in uno dei più
grandi successi rock. Ma chi era Joe?
Above: The EMP
entrance and (right)
an intriguing guitar
exhibit. Top: the
EMP as seen from
Seattle’s famous
Space Needle.
Opposite page:
the museum pays
particular homage
to local legend, Jimi
Hendrix.
collection of rare artifacts and film footage13. With specialist areas such as the
“Sound Lab” and “On Stage” you can
record a demo CD, perform “live” in front
of screaming fans14, or learn how to play
an instrument. At EMP you not only get
a close-up look at the lives of music legends – you and your friends and family
can become rock stars for a day!
Christian Quilici:
Glossary
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
28
screaming fans fan scatenati.
beat-match studiare il tempo (di
una canzone).
to scratch - creare
suoni manipolando i
dischi di vinile,
tecnica tipica dei DJ
hip-hop.
check out - scoprire,
imparare.
is triggered - è
attivata.
brainchild invenzione.
overlap - si
sovrappongono.
the dad gets to
put... frame - il papà
può far imbracciare
una chitarra ai suoi
figli...
twenty-eight
You can come here and record your
own demo, you can learn how to
play guitar, learn how to play
keyboards, learn how to mix, learn
how to beat-match15, learn how to
scratch16 and DJ. And (when) you’ve
finished with that you can go check
out17 about some of the people who
wrote the book about these sorts of
things. You can learn about Hendrix
with the Museum Exhibit Guide,
which is triggered18 by sort of
infra-red sensors throughout the
museum. It provides you with more
information and more contextual
background to that T-shirt you’re
looking at.
THE MAN WITH THE MONEY
EMP is the brainchild19 of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, who donated many
of the artifacts from his own personal
collection. Since it opened its doors
in June 2000, EMP has developed into
a cultural center celebrating not only
music, but human and scientific imagination, thanks to its increasingly
popular Science Fiction Museum (SFM).
The two museums overlap20 in the new
permanent exhibit “Sound and Vision,”
which opens up a fascinating collection of oral history recordings.
Like its founder, EMP/SFM encourages
people to ask “What if?” and “What
next?” Some of the 50,000 schoolchildren who visit here every year might
in the future provide answers to these
questions. Christian Quilici occasionally joins the guided tours around the
museum. The most enjoyable part, he
says, is watching popular culture connect the generations:
Christian Quilici:
I’d see a dad, you know, teaching
his son about “I remember when
Dylan went electric!” and there was
a big display about that. And, you
know, then the dad gets to put a
guitar on his young son or
daughter’s frame21 and he gets to
teach them how to pick up a guitar
and... and get inspired that way.
Seattle’s most famous son is Jimi Hendrix, and one of his most recognisable
recordings is his version of “Hey Joe.”
It was the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first
single in Britain, appearing on the 1967
album “Are You Experienced.” There is
much speculation about who wrote the
song: Hendrix’s original sleeve notes1
refer to it as “a blues arrangement of an
old cowboy song that’s about 100 years
old,” but subsequent releases credit it to
Billy Roberts.
The name Joe was commonly used at the
time to refer to a typical American male2
– they were often “an average Joe” or
“a good Joe,” and a soldier was a “G.I.
Joe.” The song “Hey Joe” uses a question-and-answer format to tell the story
of a man’s reaction to his wife’s infidelity. The singer meets Joe and asks him,
“Where (are) you going with that gun
in your hand?” (Spoken English often
incorrectly omits the auxiliary verb).
Joe replies that he is “going down to
shoot my old lady” (slang for wife) because he “caught her messing around
with another man3.”
The next time he meets the betrayed
husband, the singer tells him he heard
he had “shot her to the ground” and is
told, “I gave her the gun.” The man is
now on the run4 from the police, and to
the question “where you going to run
to now?” replies that he is going south
“down to Mexico way,” where he “can
be free” and no-one is going to find
him. He is aware that he faces being
hanged5 if he is caught, and declares
“ain’t no hangman… going to put a
rope6 around me.” (Ain’t is commonly
used in songs instead of “there isn’t,” so
grammatically this should be “there isn’t
any hangman”). The singer salutes Joe,
telling him “You better run on down.” Of
course he means “you’d,” or “you had,
better run on down7!”
Jimi Hendrix made “Hey Joe” one of
rock’s most popular songs – there are
over 400 recorded versions of it from
groups as diverse as The Byrds, Deep
Purple and The Offspring, as well as Patti
Smith, Nick Cave, Cher and Franco Battiato. In 2006 1,876 guitarists gathered
in the main square of Wroclow, Poland
to play the song together, setting the
Guinness World Record for the biggest
guitar ensemble ever. In spite of the
song’s subsequent popularity, Hendrix’s
version only reached number 6 in the
British charts on its 1966 release.
(This recording features a brief excerpt
from “Hey Joe” as performed by Jimi
Hendrix in 1966). To see the lyrics, visit
www.speakuponline.it
Glossary
1
2
3
English Through Music...
4
5
Fergal Kavanagh, the author
of this article, runs the website
www.tuneintoenglish.com.
The Students’ Area features
activities for learning English
through pop music.
6
7
sleeve notes - note di
copertina.
male - uomo.
he caught her messing
around... man - l’ha
scoperta con un altro.
on the run - in fuga.
he is aware... hanged sa che rischia di essere
impiccato.
rope - corda.
you’d better run on
down - meglio che
scappi.
29
Fly UP