Monday, August 25, 2008

Video Monday - Astrud Gilberto

I work at a big convention center attached to a big resort hotel casino (that’s how they label it) and work as a computer programmer. My title is web developer, which I think means that I am supposed to develop web programs, but since I am the only programmer (well, there is J, but he technically is the database expert) I do just about whatever is asked for. Since the main thrust of the company I work for is not technical management tends to ignore us until some important project rolls around, like that web site I had to do last month for the top boss’ birthday party. We are not given fancy offices; we have our desks down in the basement under the convention floor in a room with the other computer people; two help desk people and the internet person. Our ceiling is the bottom of the concrete floor of the large room upstairs, and is filled with pipes and ductwork and vents. There is a continuous background noise of air flow, and occasional rumbles from things going on upstairs and in the hall next door.

In order to concentrate on what I am working on, and to avoid distractions from all the help desk calls, I usually put in some earphones and listen to music. I’ve got an Ipod half filled that I can take in, but usually plug into the computer and listen to assorted radio stations over the internet. At times I put on some French stations, mainly because I don’t speak French so the commercials still sound like entertainment and don’t distract me. I also have started listening to a New Zealand station, Zed-FM; they play a little different mix that our local radio stations and I like the accents. I have also found Pandora radio, which lets you pick your own style and has no commercials. (you can set up multiple ‘stations’, and switch between musical styles as desired)

But let’s continue on this week with a direction started last Monday, that of Brazilian music. One of my Pandora stations is titled Astrud Gilberto radio, so here are some songs from Astrud that I’ve been listening to for a while. She does not have the most dramatic voice or a very large vocal range, but for the style of songs that she has concentrated on she sounds quite well. From Wikipedia, born in 1940, Astrud married Joao Gilbert and though not a singer was talked into joining her husband when he recorded an album with Stan Getz in 1964.

First we have Astrud with Stan Getz from a 1964 movie doing The Girl from Ipanema. When I hear this I always fantasize of sitting on that beach in the sunshine with a cool drink watching the string bikinis wiggle past.

Here is Jobim’s Corcovado, again with Stan Getz on sax:

And her quiet voice again in Summer Samba

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