Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Classical Music' (151) Currently Viewing: 71 - 80 of 151

March 16, 2012 at 6:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Second City Chamber, "Poems in Praise of Men," VetsMeetVets, Cloud Chowder and more ...

That Moment: relive it tonight inside The Great Hall at Annie Wright School.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012 >>>

1. Every traveler has had that Moment. The Moment you know you will look back on six months (or a year, or 10 years) from now and laugh. Laugh and laugh and laugh, just laugh hysterically that you could be so wrong about a flight time, or that performing street monkeys could have such light fingers. If you'd like to remember that Moment when the young French fella stole all your cash while you were kissing along the Seine, and laugh to yourself, the Second City Chamber Series continues its "Hallowed Halls" season of exploration in regards to music with a program entitled "Paris Conservatoire" featuring works for wind instruments from the French tradition. At 7:30 p.m. inside The Great Hall of Annie Wright School, the Principal Winds of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (Mary Jensen, flute; Selena Greso, oboe; and John Ruze, bassoon) join pianist Oksana Ezhokina for compositions by French composers Jules Demersserman, Marin Marais, Francis Poulenc, and Alexandre Tansman, as well as by the Canadian/American composer, Bill Douglas. Go to expedite your transition to the laughing place. Just go.

2. Who serves the best Cloud Chowder in Tacoma? Tonight, the Mandolin Café does. The recently formed rockin' blues improv trio will explore the space at 6 p.m.

3. Metrosexual: (noun) "Of or pertaining to a straight, urban male who is eager to embrace and even show off his feminine side, especially when it comes to expensive haircuts, designer suits, and $40 face cream." At 7:30 p.m. inside Orca Books, poet Bill Kelly will sing the praises of th emetrosexual when he reads from Kindness Is In Me: Poems in Praise of Men. The poems in this book, and the photos accompanying them, offer a much needed corrective to the masculine images so prevalent in the media. All proceeds from the sale of the book at the event will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound.

4. Jazzbones hosts the VetsMeetVets Military Appreciation Fundraiser with Cee Cee James, Voxxy Vallejo and Stacy Jones beginning at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit VetsMeetVets.org, with 20 percent off bar and food tabs for those with military ID.

5. The Harmon Tap Room Underground continues to hone its new music room with an Automatic Theory and Bodybox show at 9 p.m.

MORE THINGS TO DO: The Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight in the region

LINK: South Sound happy hour food and drinks

March 15, 2012 at 6:35am

5 Things To Do Today: Art Bus two-year anniversary ride, Third Thursday Artwalk, Tacoma Runners, Debussy and more ...

Angela Jossy: She invented the Third Thursday Art Bus. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2012 >>>

1. Tacoma's Third Thursday Artwalk is awesome ... the only trouble is it's completely unwalkable. Thankfully, for the last two years Tacoma has had the Art Bus to rely on - the creation of T-Town's own Angela Jossy, and pretty much the bestest idea there ever was. Each Third Thursday the Art Bus shuttles riders from gallery to gallery, and from museum to museum, accomplishing more than any one person could ever dream of on foot, and at the same time building a communal vibe that's worth its weight in gold. Tonight from 5:45-9 p.m., in celebration of two years of Art Bus - there'll be TWO BUSES and TWO ROUTES! Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson and former Washington State Rep turned stand-up comic Dennis Flannigan will act as the celebrity guides, ensuring all involved experience maximum artistic enjoyment. Find more Art Bus information at TacomaArtBus.com.

2. Speaking of Tacoma's Third Thursday Artwalk, there are many worthy exhibits to check out tonight, such as Lynn Di Nino's Survivor show at flow, Creatures of Habit at Fulcrum Gallery, Lisa Mereddy at 253 Collective, pop-up book artist Shawn Sheehy at Pacific Lutheran University and others. Click here for a preview of these shows and more.

3. Think running and drinking don't mix unless there's a K-9 unit involved? Not true. The Tacoma Runners - a group of T-Town pavement pounders - held meet every Thursday for a 3-mile loop at a "social pace" at one of Tacoma's favorite watering holes. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. is appropriately the Runners' St. Patrick Day outing - based at Doyle's Public House. Wear green and make a damn fool of yourself.

4. Portland (and the world's) most fearsome and slovenly Pogues tribute band K.M.R.I.A. will hold court at 7 p.m. inside the Olympic Club Hotel and Theater in Centralia. This, my friends, will be a party.

5. Composer Claude Debussy loved a good party. Yes, he would perform his multilayered harmonic "tone poems" in European concert halls. However, he really loved to mix it up with the party animals, playing his piano in the crowded cafes of Montmartre and the famous Chat Noir cabaret. So, after the Pacific Lutheran University pianists celebrate Debussy's 150th birthday in grand fashion inside Lagerquist Hall beginning at 8 p.m., grab them outside the front door and whisk them off to the Java Jive. Debussy and PBR will bring life to that old piano.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight in the region

LINK: South Sound happy hour food and drinks

March 4, 2012 at 9:01am

5 Things To Do Today: "Carnival," Haircut-a-thon, 50th sukiyaki dinner, Vicci Martinez ...

Antonín Dvorák: A fan of carnivals.

SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2012 >>>

1. The Tacoma Youth Symphony Association brings its 2011-2012 season to the Rialto Theater at 3 p.m. for a performance by the much-loved Tacoma Youth Symphony Orchestra. Titled Carnival, and thematically including Antonín Dvorák's "Carnival Overture," Robert Huchinson's violin-piece "Maria Sampen," and Witold Lutoslawski's "Concerto for Orchestra," this afternoon's concert should deliver in all facets of awesomeness.

2. Have you suffered through years of weird and thoughtless haircuts? Bowl cuts. Buzz cuts. Flat tops. Ambiguous messes. The caesar cut (before and after it was cool - not while Justin Timberlake had it). Today's the day to try something new. Baroque Salon hosts a Haircut-a-thon from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to raise money for stylist Novell Dewald who was shot in the leg while leaving Baroque last month. Money from haircuts will help Novell walk again. Pastiche A Wine Bar next door will donate proceeds from wine sales from 3-9 p.m.

3. The Tacoma Buddhist Temple hosts its 50th annual sukiyaki dinner fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You may enjoy a one-pot meal of thinly sliced beef, saifun noodles, tofu, green onions and other vegetables, all lightly sautéed in a flavorful broth - as well as teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef shish kabobs, mochi ice cream, rice and drinks - to raises money for the temple's programs and maintenance costs.

4. Power, Loma Prieta, Birds In Row, Dethrone and Earth Mother rock the all-ages Red Room beginning at 6:30 p.m.

5. Hey! Did you hear Vicci Martinez performs at 7 p.m. inside Jazzbones to help her former manager Reed Riley raise money for his triple bypass? It's true.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound Happy Hours

February 28, 2012 at 2:44pm

Sunday: When dreams of seductive sirens, social media and Elvis come true

SO ESOTERIC >>>

Have you ever fallen asleep while listening to someone tell you about his or her dream from last night? Apparently it's quite common.

Put your sleeping cap on ... Here are my three dreams from last night.

Mason Bates' Sirens

My first dream followed a vocal ensemble and I as we soared from cloud to cloud, encountering one seductive, mythical creature after another, as the ensemble sang Mason Bates' Sirens. On the first cloud were the characters from Homer's Odyssey, followed by the German Lorelei, 16th-century Italian goddess of the stars, and the Peruvian Sirinu in Quechua. The journey ended on a fishing boat listening to Christ's "siren" while the captain of the vessel read text from Homer's Odyssey.

Ted Hearne's Privilege

In my second dream, I was invisible at a social media meet-up. Everything was dark, dark, dark. The room became consumed with huge iPads. They throbbed and bounced down from the ceiling, nearly crushing me. THEN: I woke up screaming and went out to the antechamber, where my governess, Sylvie, was watching the BBC. I demanded that she go unplug the apple TV in the servants' upstairs kitchen, which backed up to my wall, and she obliged me. When she returned, she read poignant texts from Bill Moyers' 2009 interview with David Simon, the creator of the acclaimed television series The Wire while a vocal ensemble sang Ted Hearne's Privilege from the back of the room.

Paul Crabtree's Thirst

My third dream was super-vivid. I dreamed I was in the line at Met Market and Elvis was helping an old Samaritan women work the debit machine. It wasn't Young Elvis or Fat Elvis, but rather poet Fleda Brown's Elvis. All the while this was happening, the clerk read well-known Bible verses as a vocal ensemble sang Paul Crabtree's Thirst. It was so lifelike, that dream.

Weird, huh?

Even more weird was when I opened my email and found Seattle-based vocal ensemble The Esoterics' 19th season opener SIRENE follows, basically, my dream sequence from last night. Seriously.

[St John's Episcopal Church, Sunday, March 4, 3 p.m., $15-$20, 114 20th Ave. SE, Olympia, 360.888.5983]

Filed under: Classical music, Olympia,

February 24, 2012 at 2:18pm

Brahms: You'll like it kid!

Johannes Brahms: Kids should stop making him talk to the hand.

We seldom devote print space to choral music in the Volcano, and I can understand why. It's not a genre that excites the average 20-something. I'm a skeptical agnostic myself, yet I find devotional music beautiful. I enjoyed singing in my college chorale and missed it over the years. My wife, a trained alto who sang with Opera Pacifica, inspired me to audition for their choir director, Claudia Simpson Jones. Much to my surprise, I was accepted and "cast" as a bass. Now I find myself belting Brahms's Requiem along with my wife and about 150 other voices years later. Not to brag, Gentle Reader, but cold-reading Shakespeare comes easy to me. This fancy belting is hard!

Singing choral music isn't like crooning along with Bruno Mars on the radio. It requires a wider range, for one thing, and it helps if you can read musical notation. I can't. The last few months have been a desperate crash course in picking through a splatter of flags and dots, struggling through my "role" while keeping track of the tenors, altos, and sopranos. Then, a few rehearsals ago, we blended our efforts with a full orchestra. It's incredibly difficult, even for the trained opera singers who surround me. It feels as if I'm trying to prepare a gourmet meal between Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay. They're awfully supportive, but I'm sweating all the same.

So how can I persuade young people to come listen to us sing? Choral music is achingly lovely in a way popular music seldom achieves. We admire the harmonies of the Beach Boys or Shins, but ignore an entire body of work devoted to much more complex melodic intertwinings. I don't claim to know more than the basics myself, but even my untrained ear can process Brahms's awe-inspiring fugues. I can hear what he's doing; I just can't imagine where he got the talent needed to accomplish such a thing.

In film soundtrack composition, when a melody references onscreen action directly, we call it "Mickey Mousing." For example, in classic cartoons, if Mickey took a spill, the tympanist played a thump of percussion. Similarly, choral music often "speaks the dialogue" of the poem or verse that inspired it. You can imagine which instrument accompanies the Requiem line, "We shall all be changed ... at the sound, the sound of the trumpet." When the text promises, "Yea, I will comfort you, as one whom his own mother comforteth," the music swoons into a low lullaby. "Here on earth have we no continuing place," admits the verse, and the alto voices pun on that text by "continuing" past all the other voices. "The righteous souls are in the hand of God!" the Requiem vows, with what can only be described as a superhero's fanfare. It's too, too clever, but more than that; it's as glorious as music gets, from any genre.

Generation after generation, people rediscover this stuff, so it plays to packed houses after centuries. We'll fill the main auditorium at South Puget Sound Community College. You should give it a shot. For a requiem, it's awfully lighthearted. There's a baritone soloist in our ensemble who has a voice like warm honey, and he's only an undergrad, still in the first bloom of his abilities. The choir is made up of folks from Opera Pacifica, SPSCC, and St. Martin's University, along with overreaching posers like me. The Olympia Chamber Orchestra joins us. Chances are, you'll know one someone on stage - but even if you don't, I can promise you no MP3 will ever hold a candle to such a live musical performance on a grandiose scale. It's like hanging out in God's media room.

Our next choral project: La Traviata, by the incomparable Giuseppe Verdi, quite possibly the greatest Italian composer of all time.

No pressure, right?

[South Puget Sound Community College, Brahms's Requiem, Saturday, March 3, 7:30 p.m., $15-$20, 2011 Mottman Rd SW, Olympia, 360.753.8585]

Filed under: Arts, Classical music, Olympia,

February 14, 2012 at 6:34am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Science Cafe, Lipsology Expert, Canonici Vocal Quartet, Kermit Apio and more ...

“Would you like to have sex? I’ll take complete silence as a yes.”

HEART DAY, FEB. 14, 2012 >>>

1. Cattle-prodding the oyster ditch with the lap rocket. Cannonballing the fiddlecove with a park steeple. Pulling the station wagon into the old creaky garage. No matter what clever name you have for it, sexual reproduction typically requires the involvement of two individuals or gametes, one each from opposite type of sex - although asexual reproduction, an individual can reproduce without involvement with another individual of that species. Oh, it's so confusing. At 6:30 p.m., University of Puget Sound biology professor Peter Wimberger will step in front of the Tacoma Science Café crowd at The Swiss and discuss the reproductive behavior of sea creatures. No word if Wimberger will show his anemone or flatworm. What?

2. Yes, the Museum of Glass Store is open today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Yes, the store has all jewelry marked 20 percent off. And yes, you should be panicky if this is an issue for you.

3. According to the press release, Jilly Eddy - appearing at Morso from 6-9 p.m. as part of the wine bar's slew of Valentine's-related specials - is the world's leading expert in lip reading. In fact, Eddy is billed as a Lipsology Expert, which sounds pretty darn official. But we're not talking about deciphering the f-bombs dropped by coaches on the sidelines during the Super Bowl here. Rather, we're talking about reading and interpreting - quite literally - what peoples' lips say about their personalities.

4. Maybe you like your songs of romance to be sacred in nature? Perhaps you prefer them secular? Either way, according to the press release, the Canonici Vocal Quartet will have you covered on Valentines when the group busts out a collection of Renaissance love songs in English, French and Italian as part of the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town performance series, which begins at 7 p.m. inside the Old Town Slavonian Hall. Completely free - meaning you'll have more to spend on ridiculously priced flowers or stale chocolates - the Canonici Vocal Quartet's presentation of Plaisir d' Amour: The Pleasure of Love seems likely to seal at least a few deals this Valentine's Day.

5. Comedian Kermit Apio headlines a Valentine's Day "Clean Comedy Show" at 8 p.m. inside the Tacoma Comedy Club. The show benefits the House Of Matthews.

PLUS: Sweet & Spicy: A Valentine's Day Burlesques at the Pantages Theater

PLUS: Daniel Blue and Kurt Lindsay at Metronome Coffee

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: South Sound happy hours

January 22, 2012 at 8:39am

5 Things To Do Today: "My Fair Lady," Junkyard Jane, "Northwest Biennial," Mojo Overload ...

"My Fair Lady" is considered to be one of the best musicals ever written.

SUNDAY, JAN. 22, 2012 >>>

1. The Broadway Center in Tacoma concludes its three-part Audrey Hepburn film-focus with a 3 p.m. screening of the classic My Fair Lady, in which, as film lovers and old people will recall, Hepburn portrays Eliza Doolittle. The film will be screened at the Theatre on the Square.

2. In honor of Tacoma Art Museum's 75th Anniversary and to commemorate the milestone of two decades of biennial exhibitions, The 10th Northwest Biennial will examine the vital questions of who we are as residents of the Pacific Northwest, what we look like, and what are our aspirations for our communities. The Biennial exhibit opened last night and can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Music Director Harvey Felder and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra present the classic Peter and the Wolf, narrated by David Fischer, at 2 p.m. inside the Rialto Theater. The concert, which is aimed at children 4-9, will include a musical instrument petting zoo, courtesy of Ted Brown Music.

4. The Blues Vespers inside the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in North Tacoma will feature long-time blues band Junkyard Jane beginning at 5 p.m.

5. Mojo Overload will fill The Spar in Old Town Tacoma with blues, rock and R&B beginning at 7 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 18, 2011 at 10:20pm

FREELOADERS: Community Hug Edition

FREE EVENTS IN THE SOUTH PUGET SOUND DEC. 19-25 >>>

Well, the spirit of Christmas is lurking around the Freeloaders column, giving Bobble Tiki a wedgie. Bobble Tiki has already seen It's a Wonderful Life three times and the Christmas cartoons are making him cross-eyed. And Bobble Tiki loves it! The stockings are hung and the egg is nogged. And in that spirit, Bobble Tiki has a lot of love and free event announcements to give, gentle reader, so sit back, pull that Santa hat up from your eyes and join the community for a free group hug.

MONDAY, DEC. 19: So the tree and the fairy lights are up, you have enough booze and unhealthy snacks to sink the Titanic, and your television is about to explode in a flurry of consumerism and romantic schmaltz. But there's something missing. That's right, folks: it just wouldn't be a happy holiday without some singing about God. And for that, there's no beating Handel's "Messiah," a piece for choir, orchestra and soloists that has delighted audiences worldwide for more than 250 years. As 18th-century music historian Charles Burney once said, "Messiah" has fed the hungry and clothed the naked, fostered the orphan, and enriched succeeding managers of Oratories more than any single musical production in this or any other country." Bobble Tiki isn't totally sure what that means, so check it out yourself - for free - at 7:30 p.m. inside the Washington Center in Olympia when the Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia, Conservatory Orchestra, Anna's Bay, Olympia Choral Society, Opera Pacifica, Olympia Chamber Orchestra and other community groups present a community "Messiah" Sing-Along.

TUESDAY, DEC. 20: You've heard of the grandparent phenomenon - Kids are always 10 times cuter when you can send them home to mom after you've ramped them all up. Well, apparently now Lakewood City Hall wants to get in on this. City Hall will ramp the 6 and older kids with attention and the film Polar Express for free from 10-11:30 a.m.  It's enough to make the most frazzled, suffering-from-post-holiday-exhaustion parent smile. So exhale, tired parents, right now the employees of Lakewood think your kids are way cuter than you do. And they'll continue to think so right on through to the point they return them to you.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21: One of the best things about the holiday season is the way people and neighborhoods go all out with the decorations. The South Puget Sound area is known for its dramatic light displays. You can walk among the flickering bulbs at Point Defiance Park, drive through a wonderland at Spanaway Park, stalk the Hilltop Tacoma house on Ninth or ... run through the Sky Island neighborhoods. Yup, Fleet Feet running store in Bonney Lake hosts a free 5K run the neighborhood. Bring non-perishable food for the Bonney Lake Food Bank. There will be a raffle too. Meet at the Bonney Lake Pierce Transit Park-and-Ride at 7:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, DEC. 22: Volksmarching is something else. It's leisurely walking with a little sightseeing along a planned route. But wait: That's not all! A volkswalk has the added bonus of record keeping for the obsessive-compulsive CPA in all of us. No OCD? No worries! Volkssporters don't have to buy the event - and/or distance books to log participation: They can just walk with a purpose for fun and exercise. The Capitol Volkssport Club will walk the hell out of downtown Olympia, leaving the Bayview Thriftway at 10 a.m. The 10K route will lead walkers around Capitol Lake and through the South Capital neighborhood.

FRIDAY, DEC. 23: Today is the last day of downtown Olympia's 12 Days of Free Parking promotion. As a thank you to shoppers and diners for buying local and supporting downtown Olympia the city has allowed free two-hour parking in the pay station areas of downtown since Dec. 12. Head to Olympia for your last-minute shopping.

SATURDAY, DEC. 24: Capital Christian Center as they present He Is, a night of acting, music and celebration from 4-6 p.m. inside the Washington Center in Olympia.  If He is anything like Bobble Tiki, He is frustrated he can't find Shania Twain's Down-Home Country Christmas at Thong Beach in the local record stores.

SUNDAY, DEC. 25: Look for Bobble Tiki at Denny's. In the corner. All day. Weeping and slightly drunk.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Santa Says Blog

November 22, 2011 at 6:35am

5 Things To Do Today: "Detective Dee," Tin Man, artists chats and more ...

"Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame" screens twice today at The Grand Cinema.

TUESDAY, NOV. 22, 2011 >>>

1. Tsui Hark's Detective Dee boasts multiple people bursting into flame, a talking stag that also fights, an actual underworld complete with a Charon-like ferryman, people changing their faces via acupuncture, a fight with what looks like a puppet and a shady herbalist named "Dr. Donkey Wang." Nice. The Grand Cinema will screen Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame at 1:40 and 6:10 p.m. as part of its Tuesday Film Series.

2. Tin Man plays an all-ages show at 6 p.m. inside the Mandolin Café. Opening will be the Scarecrow.

3. Sante Fe, New Mexico, is known for its arts and restaurant scene. Some how the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Tacoma convinced artist Jack McCarthy to leave said paradise in order to give a 7 p.m. lecture on the art of woodcuts, linocuts, monocut printing and handmade bookmaking. We have no idea if he'll reveal the best spots to dine in Sante Fe. It's worth a shot, though.

4. Watercolor artist Susie Short will come clean on her techniques before the Peninsula Art League at 7 p.m. inside the Cottesmore Retirement Center in Gig Harbor.

5. Conductor Edwin Powell will lead pianist Oksana Ejhokina and the Pacific Lutheran University Wind Ensemble in concert at 8 p.m. inside the Lagerquist Concert Hall.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: This week's freebies

LINK: Ho! 2011 South Sound Holiday Calendar

November 21, 2011 at 6:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Fake animals in the bushes, String Chamber concert, Steve Munger Quartet, Jerry Miller ...

Tacoma's "Temporal Terminus: Marking the Line" public art exhibit is full of surprises.

MONDAY, NOV. 21, 2011 >>>

1. Have you seen the temporary public art exhibit that celebrates the important transformation of the Prairie Line Trail from rail to linear park in downtown Tacoma? The Temporal Terminus: Marking the Line exhibition features sculptural work by Austin-based national design team Thoughtbarn, as well as a who's who of the Tacoma arts scene: Jennifer Renee Adams, Kyle Dillehay, Kristin Giordano, Jeremy N. Gregory, Diane Hansen, Christopher Jordan, Lance Kagey, Lisa Kinoshita, Ed Kroupa, Bret Lyon, Janet Marcavage, Maria Olga Meneses, Nicholas Nyland, Chandler O'Leary, Elise Richman, Claudia Riedener, Holly A. Senn, Chris Sharp, James Grayson Sinding and Kenji Stoll. For more details, click here.

2. The Manitou Art Center hosts another fused-glass class, concentrating on holiday designs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Give them a buzz at 253.584.3605 to see if there's room.

3. It's a University of Puget Sound String Chamber concert, dahling, but there's not a chamber to be found. Unless you count UPS' Schneebeck Concert Hall as a chamber, but that's impossible since it's a hall. Oh dear, this is very confusing. Perhaps the Hall is very small, intimate, if you will, like a chamber should be. But it's not. Oh goodness. Well we're sure Director David Requior will do his best to overlook the whole chamber thing and concentrate on the classic strings. Head to the Hall at 7:30 p.m. to see what happens.

4. The Steve Munger Quartet continues its Monday night thang at The Royal in Olympia, performing original compositions as well as unique arrangements of classic jazz, beginning at 8 p.m.

5. Guitar legend Jerry Miller is at The Swiss at 8 p.m. enough said.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: This week's freebies

LINK: South Sound holiday events

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