We Interrupt This Website For A Brief Commercial Message

Someone — and for once, I’m not sure who it was, possibly Updike — once noted that “Americans are extremely unwilling to have someone be good at two different things.” Our sole cultural exception at the moment is for the omnipresent-in-media rapper-turned-actor, likely in recognition of the fact that rapping is

a) not very hard from a technical or effort perspective, thus freeing up time to learn another skill;
b) much like acting in the sense that virtually none of the “gangster rappers” were gangsters and very few of the “trap rappers” have done any pimping and so on. Compare the excellent work done by Ice-T or LL Cool J in various movies to Pavarotti’s turn in “Yes, Giorgio!” if you want a study in contrasts.

Yet it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that extraordinary people have extraordinary abilities in multiple areas. Most professional athletes can also point to success in other sports at an earlier level, or even in another professional discipline. From DaVinci to John Ruskin to Donald Knuth, the history books are filled with men who have worked the ragged edge in multiple fields of study or endeavor.

Is concert pianist and citizen-of-the-world Hyperion Knight one of those fellows? Now’s your (and my) chance to find out.

“Hype” has written a book that appears to toil in the deeply furrowed, but also (on occasion) deeply satisfying, field of ancient secrets-slash-conspiracies. The mystery at the center of the book is very real, although currently unsolved. I’ve ordered a copy of “The Manuscript” for myself; if you do the same, let me know what you think. Even if it’s no good, Hype can fall back on the consolation self-administered by the wacky ‘Feel My Fire’ dude: “Well, I’ll still be handsome.”

18 Replies to “We Interrupt This Website For A Brief Commercial Message”

  1. AvatarNewbie Jeff

    Man, I learn about the craziest stuff at RG…

    “Compare the excellent work done by Ice-T or LL Cool J…”

    Let’s not forget Ice Cube. “Today Was a Good Day” expertly re-purposed a 70’s jingle, and “Friday” is a masterpiece…

    Reply
  2. AvatarJohn Marks

    Thanks for this, Jack. The piano in the video is a Stuart & Sons 2.2-meter grand piano with 97 keys and 4 pedals. Unless Stuart & Sons has a piano in inventory, the wait for these hand-made beauties is about one year. A piano similar to that one will cost somewhere in the region of $150,000 today, in that the pianos have to be shipped from Australia. Website here: https://www.stuartandsons.com/

    Stuart & Sons has a proprietary means of terminating the speaking length of the strings at the far end, which drastically reduces self-cancellation from reflected vibrations’ being out-of-phase. It’s really an experience to play one.

    Hyperion Knight got used to the piano very quickly, and that medley was recorded and video’ed all in one take with no edits. Jerry Bruck, legendary NYC classical engineer, did the audio.

    Ciao,

    john

    Reply
    • Avatarbenjohnson

      Thanks for the details about the instrument and the recording – it’s fun to see innovation being well used.

      Much better innovation than the Boîte Diabolique

      Reply
    • Avatarltrftc

      Thank you for the information, it’s exactly the kind of insight, detail and expertise that makes this a great site.

      Reply
  3. AvatarGuns and Coffee

    I perused whole thread in a crazy order. First I read Jacks “short” followed by the comments on rap, which i am completely ignorant of, so words. Next, I dialed up the the “wikki” and read about the ancient manuscript, which caused curiosity. Then I clicked the link to the “amazon,” read the plot of the suggested reading. It sounds fun especially with it’s tie in to the current debacle (dare I say unprecedented or uncertain times in the advertising parlance of the day). I’ll have to pick up the suggested reading after I am done with my latest Clayton Lindemuth e-book, an author I cannot seem to stop reading, though I am not sure why. His protagonists are as unlikable as Baruth’s fictional anti-heroes, and I read all of Jack’s fiction that he re-releases here. I am not sure what that says about me. I followed that with the piano link, still thinking the hell this all has to do with rap. Perhaps, nothing.

    Reply
  4. AvatarOne Leg at a Time

    Is it a sign on intellectual weakness that I want to like the main character of any fiction that I read? I am just not a fan of the anti-hero, and will put a book down if I can’t find someone to root for.

    If I want an unlikeable protagonist, I read non-fiction. If I want crushing despair, I read about politics.

    Reply
  5. AvatarHyperion Knight

    Thanks so much for the great article! It was a welcome surprise when so many of the rappers turned out to be credible actors. “Rap music” is really urban poetry that incorporates music, and rappers are playacting, so it stands to reason that acting skills come with the territory. The movie Straight out of Compton will be remembered long after people stop listening to NWA’s recordings.

    Reply
  6. Avatarsgeffe

    What is the bilge I constantly hear out of any young person’s car nowadays, no matter the demographic? It seems like whatever it is, the requirement is for the subwoofer itself to be the primary means of sound reproduction, with bonus points if you actually can break windows out of the tenth floor of the adjacent skyscraper!

    I should have gone to school for dermatology to remove the tatts that will suddenly not look so good at 55 or so, or as an ENT to be able to make a killing off hearing aids these kids will need by the time they’re 35!

    Reply

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