How many reviews are enough?
Part 2 of 2
"The newspapers! Sir, they are the most villainous -- licentious -- abominable -- infernal -- Not that I ever read them -- no -- I make it a rule never to look into a newspaper." -- Richard Brinsley Sheridan
"Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors." -- Ernest Miller Hemingway
"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings." -- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
People who have been coming here for a while probably know I worked at a newspaper or two or three in the past and also that I received a pay check from the Department of Corrections in South Dakota once upon a time.
I assume most know from their own experiences that if four or five individuals witness an event it is not only possible, but likely, there will be four or five variations to exactly what happened. People often believe their own versions no matter what the "facts" indicate happened.
At one newspaper, one of my "sidelines" was putting together a weekly arts and entertainment "section" (two or three or four pages) weekly, depending upon what was happening and how much print space was available in a news sense. When time and opportunity and space were available in a staff sense, I occasionally would assign two or three reporters to review the same book or to attend the same concert or the same stage play or the same film and run their reviews side-by-side.
I thrived during these exercises, especially when it involved two or three reporters "debating" the merits (or the lack of them) of an event. (I am using the word "event" in the context of a book / concert / play / film review here.) Criticism, if you check out the word, means pointing out both the positive and the negative of an event.
Christmas music is among my favored and I have begun the season this year by listening to it very early. Realizing also that different individuals have differing tastes in music, I have pulled out two versions of, "Oh, Holy Night," and am including them here today. For any who care to partake in the "experiment," they are there waiting for you to listen to them and to offer an opinion in the form of a comment. Remember, critics should point out both the good and the bad, if they find any of either.
If you are feeling shy about writing a comment regarding these two singers and their presentations of this song in a critical manner, I will mention I never have worked with a reporter/reviewer who had any vocal or acting experience other than during their "school days," much less been a "trained singer" or an "acting studio" graduate. So, feel free to watch / to listen / to write. My reviewers essentially all were reporters, mostly with limited newspaper experience and only a few ever had done a review of any sort in their life before then in or out of journalism. The one thing they all had in common was a willingness -- even an eagerness among a few -- to give it a try.
The first rendition of, "Oh, Holy Night," is presented by musicians from Hillsong Worship, a religious organization in Sydney, Australia. Taya Gaukrodger Smith, originally from a country town in northern Australia and active in the Sydney music community, is the soloist.
The Raskasta Joulua event has the same song, "Oi Jouluyö," performed in Finnish in sort of a rock style and party atmosphere by a very pregnant Floor Jansen, currently vocalist with the symphonic rock band, Nightwish, and who occasionally performs in a freelance manner, as she is doing in this instance ....