Thursday, April 19, 2018

Line Mar Match Box Construction 084 Mechanical Acrobat

I found a Line Mar Match Box Construction Set from the 1930s, complete and with instructions. The box claimed the set made 100 different toys. I decided to test that claim -- one toy at a time. You can read all the posts for the Line Mar construction project at 100 Toys.

084. Mechanical Acrobat

Although it's called a mechanical acrobat, this week's build is actually the model of a mechanical acrobat. As you can see, there is nothing to make the figure move around on the crossbar. 

And there's something else. Once again, the illustrator got a little ambitious with his drawing. The set comes with two cubes. The model requires three -- two for the crossbar and one for the head of the figure. 

The only way to make the toy at all was to use one of the larger blocks instead.  


Friday, April 13, 2018

#ClassicsaDay #PoetryMonth - Week 2

What's the connection between classical music and classic poetry? That was theme some of us decided to explore with #ClassicsaDay. For April 2018 we posted examples of settings of poetry in classical music, works inspired by poetry, and more. Here's an annotated list of the works I posted for the first week of #PoetryMonth.


Gustav Mahler - Rückert-Lieder
(Poetry - Friedrich Rückert)

Mahler set four of Rückert's poems in 1901. The last movement was finished a year later. The songs were published as a set in 1910. Although the songs were not conceived of as a cycle, they're often performed that way.Friedrich Ruckert (1788-1866) was a popular poet for German composers. Schumann, Zemlinsky, Wolf, and Strauss also set his poems to music.



Pierre Boulez - Le Marteau sans maître
(Le Marteau sans maître - René Char)

Boulez's landmark work was based on poems from René Char's 1930 Le Marteau sans maître. The elliptical imagery of the poems ("the pendulum throws its instinctive load of granite") is matched by the music. Boulez' multi-layered serialism created a work that only begins to reveal itself after multiple hearings.




Aaron Copland - Eight Poems by Emily Dickenson
(Poetry by Emily Dickenson)

Copland wrote his song cycle "Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson" in 1950. It was for voice and piano. In 1955, he orchestrated eight of them. Copland was careful to follow the rhythm of Dickinson's rhymes, letting the structure of each poem determines the direction of the music.



Claudio Monteverdi - Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
(Gerusalemme Liberata - Torquato Tasso)

Torquato Tasso was one of the most important Italian poets of the Renaissance. His 1574 poem Gerusalemme liberata would inspire composers for the next three centuries. One of the earliest adaptors of Tasso's poem was Claudio Monteverdi. He set a climactic scene from the poem in 1624.



John Adams - The Wound-Dresser
(The Wound-Dresser - Walt Whitman)

Walt Whitman wrote "The Wound-Dresser" in 1865. The imagery comes from the time Whitman spent as a volunteer corpsman for the Union Army. Adams finished his setting of this poem in 1989.

 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Line Mar Match Box Construction 083 - Turning Figure

I found a Line Mar Match Box Construction Set from the 1930s, complete and with instructions. The box claimed the set made 100 different toys. I decided to test that claim -- one toy at a time. You can read all the posts for the Line Mar construction project at 100 Toys.

083. Turning Figure

This toy was something of a puzzle. The most critical part of the turning figure apparatus is hidden from view. 

There are no gears in this set. So if, in theory, this illustration represented a working model, how do you transfer the power from the crank to the dowel supporting the figure?

No idea. Plus, it's not clear if the bottom of that dowel is attached to anything. 

So I improvised. To add stability, I had attached the long dowel to a cube. And I didn't worry about making this a functional model. So the crank assembly is just a dummy. But At least it (mostly) looks like the illustration.