History Recorded and Archived in Real Time 日記、影音口述、社群媒體 疫情下即時記錄的歷史
文/Audra D. S. Burch
Sherri Denney was in the fourth day of quarantine in her home in Springboro, Ohio, when she thought about the toll the coronavirus was taking. She sat in her recliner chair and cried as the state's governor checked off the number of dead and sickened, knowing there would be more the next day. Overwhelmed, Denney, 55, tried to put her feelings into words.
The week before, a woman in Nevada turned to her own version of journaling. Mimi J. Premo recorded a video on her cellphone, giving voice to a kind of stunned weariness so many Americans are feeling. And in Indianapolis, in an interview recorded by two university research assistants, a man who is diabetic and HIV positive talked about how the speed and unclear ways of transmission "freaks me out."
Universities, archives and historical societies, ranging from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to a tiny college radio station in Pennsylvania, are rushing to collect and curate the personal accounts of how people are experiencing this sprawling public health crisis as told in letters and journals, audio and video oral histories, and on social media.
They are inviting people such as Denney and Premo to share stories and material from the 2020 coronavirus and its aftermath in real time. The idea is to bridge communal history and offer a fully realized look at the outbreak that can help the public, researchers and policymakers better understand how the pandemic permeated our lives.
Whether a somber handwritten journal or an endearing Instagram post, the contributions will offer a look at a nation attacked by a virus coast to coast. The stories document sickness and death. The profound disruption of American rhythms and rituals, evidenced by empty shelves and streets. The gnawing restlessness of sheltering in place. The ways people showed resilience and managed to still find joy.
The team of historians and artists launched A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19 on March 13, two days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. The name was inspired by Daniel Defoe's novel "A Journal of the Plague Year," which chronicles the bubonic plague in 1665 London through the lens of one man.
首段俚語take a toll指的是造成傷害，常跟介系詞on搭配使用，同段動詞片語check off則意指「清點、核對」，又文中第三段片語freak somebody out是「嚇壞某人」之意。
Loud, Louder, Loudest: How Classical Music Started to Roar 「威靈頓的勝利」 古典樂為何愈來愈大聲？
文/Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
In 1813, Beethoven wrote a symphonic work so noisy and trite that most scholars consider it an embarrassment. "Wellington's Victory, or the Battle of Vitoria" depicts, with the help of spatially separated brass and percussion effects, a rout of French forces at the hands of the British.
A hundred musicians played at the premiere — twice as many as at the first performance of the "Eroica" Symphony, in 1805 — with the audience seated at the center. Afterward, someone remarked that Beethoven had written a piece seemingly designed to make the listener as deaf as its composer.
By all common measures of musical value, "Wellington's Victory" is schlock. But in his detailed instructions on the number and positioning of instrumentalists, Beethoven reveals how carefully he crafted this sonic assault on listener. "One has to imagine these performances not like an evening at the Berlin Philharmonie, but rather like a modern-day rock concert," musicologist Frédéric Döhl has argued.
After Beethoven, fortissimos grew only louder. One reason was the development of instruments, which added decibels across the board. Steel replaced gut for strings; metallic flutes replaced those made of wood. The biggest changes occurred in the brass section, where changes in design increased not only the power of sound, but also range. The introduction of valves in horns and trumpets meant that instruments that had previously been limited to notes of the overtone series could now roam across the whole chromatic spectrum, adding oomph wherever a composer desired it.
And composers sought out new highs. In a treatise on orchestration, Berlioz fantasized about an orchestra numbering more than 400 players that would be capable of evoking not just weather phenomena but different climatic zones, transporting the listener into new worlds: "When at rest, it would be majestic, like a slumbering ocean. When in a state of agitation, it would recall tropical storms. It would erupt like a volcano. It would convey the laments, whispers and mysterious sounds of virgin forests."
In his own "Symphonie Fantastique," Berlioz orchestrated a form of sonic invasion. In the fifth movement, which culminates in an orgy of formidable loudness, he employs a pair of massive church bells. If Beethoven's experiments in surround-sound broke down the fourth wall dividing musicians and audience, Berlioz tore down the separation between the concert hall and the city.