Friday, May 20, 2011

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: #2

If you're a musician, prepare to be intimidated. If you're a listener, prepare to be AMAZED. This week's installment of the Periodic Table features none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the premier Geek Musician of all time, and the inaugural member of the "Noble Geek" group.

I know, I know... you're thinking "Huh? Some stuffy classical composer?" Not on your LIFE, people! This man's work literally defines Classical music. He is also quite possibly the biggest selling composer of all time... any time, any era, anywhere. Let's back that up with some facts...

In his 35-year lifetime, Mozart composed over SIX HUNDRED pieces of music of various genres and styles, from concerts to bawdy rounds. If you put all of his work together (and it has been done!), you wind up with ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY full-length CDs. Let that number sink in. Now consider that since 2005 this boxed set sold over 100,000 copies in France alone. That's more than 18 million CDs sold in one country, recently. Now consider that his music has been selling steadily internationally in the form of digital downloads, CD's, vinyl, sheet music and concert performances for well over two hundred years. Forget The Beatles, forget Elvis, forget Michael Jackson. Mozart is da MAN.

Mozart's geek credentials are unmatched. He was a prodigy, having begun playing the clavier at four years of age. Among his earliest compositions was what we know as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", composed when he was just six years old. Oh, yeah, you've sung Mozart... and liked it. As Tom Lehrer famously observed, "It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year." It is indeed people like that who make you realize how little you've accomplished.

Mozart's music has a quality that is nearly unmatched... you've heard the phrase "Mozart makes babies smarter," popularized in the movie The Incredibles. That's not just a joke. It's called "the Mozart Effect", and is the subject of serious scientific study. A 1993 study indicated that listening to Mozart's music could result in temporary enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning. This is beyond geek... it's mad-scientist insanely geek.

Here's a little night music, performed in France and uploaded to YouTube by Fasculin:

Even in his day, the multi-lingual Mozart was an international phenomenon, Now you might think that, having been deceased for 220 years, Mozart wouldn't have much of an Internet presence. You'd be -- to pardon the expression -- dead wrong. Proto-geek Mozart is represented everywhere:

Is this music still relevant? Well, consider that it's still performed, remixed, and re-interpreted to this day, and if you put a beat behind it (as many have done), it genuinely rocks. Here's YouTuber "Pianowork" giving his interpretation of Rondo alla Turca:

Would Mozart have supported RiteCare? Without a doubt! Brother Wolfgang was a member of the Viennese lodge called "Zur Wohlt├Ątigkeit" and composed a fair number of pieces of Masonic music. He would certainly have embraced the charity wholeheartedly. So to celebrate Mozart, proto-geek and uber-geek without peer, the first of our Noble Geeks, we offer the following:

Other people get mugs. Mozart gets a stein.

Because he's MOZART, that's why.

There's also this cool 'Amadeus!' T-shirt!

Mozart was multilingual, and adapted his name to several languages. Mozart's middle name was variously expressed as 'Amadeus', 'Theophilus', and 'Gottlieb', all of which mean, "Lover of God".

This shirt gives you an opportunity to honor a geek, make a statement, and support a charity, all at the same time!

If you're rockin' with Mozart, you're probably totin' some sheet music.  That's why we're also offering this stylish 'Amadeus!' messenger bag!

Finally, Mozart makes babies smarter. We all know that. So why not let the world know as well?  Our exclusive toddler T-shirts and infant bodysuits proudly proclaim, "Mozart Made Me Smarter!"(TM)

Oh, all right... let's not leave off Mom and Dad...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Craig Bevan: #13

I have a confession to make. Normally, I try to post these folks in roughly the order in which they've signed up (and there's a link up above if you'd like to show up on the Table); but Craig Bevan, element #13, wasn't next on the list. Here's the true story of how Craig came to be on PeriodicGeek this week... my wife lobbied for it. By "lobbied" for it I mean that she determined to make my life a living hell if Craig weren't next up on the blog.

I relate this story not to cast a shadow on my wife, but to illustrate the kind of appeal that Craig Bevan has. This is a guy who truly has star power. He has supreme control of both his guitar and his voice. Listen and watch...

See what I mean? Obviously, Craig was a shoo-in for the Table in his own time, but I couldn't help but ask my wife why he should be next. As English has no words for "je ne sais quoi", she just drooled silently at the screen for a while. I, being a loving husband of 16 years, understand this to mean, "his sex appeal has sex appeal and if he were in the room I wouldn't give you conversation." Fair enough, Lisa.

Craig's got quite a YouTube presence, with a number of covers. They're ALL good, people, but please take the time to sift through the videos for his original songs, like the one above... they're awesome. The voice is smooth, the music is smooth, and it's easy listening all the way through. I'm ecstatic that Craig's offered to lend his presence to the Periodic Table, and in so doing support the RiteCare charity!

In terms of merchandise, the most compelling design I can think of is Craig Bevan's own presence. So here's a taste of what we have for you (this image is used on the button):

Click the image to visit Craig Bevan's section of the PeriodicGeek store!

We're pleased to offer Craig Bevan buttons, T-shirts and mugs, so please click through the graphic to the PeriodicGeek store and see what we have to offer. Remember please that all the profits are donated to Rite Care Centers for Childhood Language Disabilities, a superb charity that helps pre-school children live up to their full potential.

While your bank card is out, head over to and check out Craig's new album, I Think We Made It.

You can buy it right there on the website and can download a FREE track, 'Feelings I Find Hard To Show'. Or buy it on iTunes.

In addition you can find out how to follow or friend Craig on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Twitter.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Hiatus is Over!

We're back! And we're busy listening and doing. Busybusybusy. Look for an update soon!