South African opera star sings for the queen

first_img22 March 2016The Pretoria-born opera singer, Simphiwe Simon Shibambu, performed a dazzling version of the evocative isiXhosa Click Song in front of Queen Elizabeth II at a Celebration of the Commonwealth service held in London’s Westminster Abbey on 17 March 2016.Priveleged to be at today’s Commonwealth Service. Great performance from @ABRSM scholar Simphiwe Simon Shibambu. pic.twitter.com/8az4PlOKXU— David Roper (@davidroper_pwc) March 14, 2016The Commonwealth service is the UK’s largest multi-faith celebration, and Shibambu, the 28-year-old bass-baritone, was the sole South African representative at the event.His performance of the Click Song, also known as Qongqothwane, the traditional isiXhosa song customarily sung at weddings to bring about good fortune, was a moving experience for the audience, including the queen, who took a moment after the performance to talk to Shibambu.Shibambu has been singing since he was young, and began his love of opera in high school. “Singing opera is not only about your voice; it’s about many other things, like connecting with the music, understanding what the composer wants in the music, acting and putting a lot of effort into your work,” he writes on his website.TUT’s Simphiwe Shibambu, won a 1s & Audience Prize, at the Clonter Opera Competition in England. pic.twitter.com/8VQsneeY4X— Official TUT (@Official_TUT) April 30, 2015Following an undergraduate degree in vocal arts at Tshwane University of Technology, Shibambu moved to London to study at the Royal College of Music for a Master’s in vocal performance and opera. He has won several international competitions along the way.Photo Westminster Abbey https://t.co/ccwfId7i5hQueen attended The Commonwealth Service Westminster Abbey 14 March pic.twitter.com/uxgbgkACcU— Simon Shibambu (@SimonShibambu) March 18, 2016Shibambu is also part of the Young Singers Project for the Salzburg Festival 2016 in Austria, which brings together new and exciting opera singers from around the world to add new life to the opera format.He won first prize in the Amazwi Omzansi Africa national opera singing competition in Durban in 2013; in 2015, he won first prize and the audience choice award at the Clonter Opera singing competition in the UK.He has also featured in several opera productions in London and at home, including key performances in Mozart’s Die Zauberflӧte and Don Giovanni, as well as in Gounod’s Faust.In a review of his latest performance in Handel’s Ariodante this month, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper wrote: “(Shibambu) sang the (part of) King with authority, anguish and a huge, resonant tone.”Handel’s Ariodante from London Handel Festival & Royal College of [email protected] – photo Chris Christodoulou pic.twitter.com/zbt5VQooSG— Simon Shibambu (@SimonShibambu) March 11, 2016Source: SA Peoplelast_img read more

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Current: Meme Tracker With Data Visualizations

first_imgWhile in New York earlier this month, I attended New York University’s annual ITP Spring Show. ITP is a graduate program for communications studies and the Spring Show is a chance for students to showcase their interactive projects. I saw everything from Matrix-like interactive squiddies, to a woman on stilts powered by an iPhone app, to a paint brush that made music. Probably the most impressive thing I saw, though, was a media project by a student named Zoe Fraade-Blanar. Current: A News Project is a prototype meme tracker using data visualization.Current tracks the lifecycle of internet memes over 24 hours, using data visualization of U.S. news media coverage. It makes it easy to identify when a meme is starting, trending, at its peak, or dying. The tool is aimed at newspaper editors and writers, as it tells them which stories have the best chance of success. The underlying data of Current comes from Google Trends, in particular the Hot Searches section. So it is ultimately powered by Google search queries. That data is cross-referenced with the five largest newspapersin the United States, using Google News.“…it is not theplacement but the thickness and volume of each line thatrepresents the fluctuating level of interest.”Creator Zoe Fraade-Blanar has a noble goal for the project. In an explanatory paper, she explains that the goal is to “spotlight missed opportunities innews coverage, and, potentially, recover news readershipthat has been lost to more sensational sources.” Current is Fraade-Blanar’s third attempt to use data visualization “totackle the question of what topics news media should becovering.”Fraade-Blanar did a stint with the New York TimesAnalytics Group in the summer of 2009, helping to analyze incomingtraffic behavior. She discovered then that it often wasn’t ‘hard news’ like politics or economics which drew the most traffic, but ‘soft news’ such as celebrity gossip or entertainment news. Here at ReadWriteWeb, we’re well aware of this issue. Some of our best posts are ones that our writers sweat over for hours, yet probably won’t hit the Digg frontpage because of the topic. Whereas a top 10 list about YouTube videos can draw hundreds of thousands of visitors!“Each of these circles is a news item. So every time you see a circle inside this information stream, that’s a successful news item.” – Zoe in an On The Media interview. While Current has a noble aim, curiously it’s the exact same goal that motivates content farms like Demand Media and the newly Yahoo-acquiredAssociated Content. In the words of Fraade-Blanar’s white paper: “Each highlighted meme represents untapped traffic that could bechanneled to a specific news site if only an article existedon the topic.”As we’ve noted before on ReadWriteWeb, content farms aim to supply content to meet demand – usually perceived to be what people are searching for on Google. Demand Media, for example, has a sophisticated analytic engine that identifies topics that will be most attractive to Google.So although Current aims to mediate between a writer’s “need to drive trafficto [their] website and the need to cover important, albeit lesssensational topics,” in reality it would most likely be used to identify high traffic topics (the ones that will make money).Regardless of how it might be deployed in the real world, Current is a beautiful tool that nicely illustrates trending stories on the Web. Although currently it is based on Google Trends, it may add other sources like Yahoo,Technorati, Twitter and Bing. Congratulations to Zoe Fraade-Blanar for a smart and well-designed project! There is definite potential for Current to become a useful commercial product. Check it out for yourself on the project website. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Data Services#New Media#Visualization#web center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

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Apple iPhone 6 may come with barometer, air pressure sensors

first_imgApple iPhone 5sRumours continue to pour in on expected new features, specs and release date of the much-talked about iPhone 6.The next Apple’s flagship phone is expected to be launched in mid-September this year. Though, some reports suggest it could come in August. Well, if recent rumours are to be believed, the iPhone 6 may sports some new features, apart from a larger screen and redesigned body. The latest rumour doing the rounds is that it will come with two new sensors–a barometer and an air pressure sensor. Though, barometer is not a new addition as it is available on some Android devices.  However, these two sensors could be useful for mountaineers and hikers as it will help in measuring temperature and will provide weather data.Also, these sensors could tap into and sync with the rumoured iWatch, which also is expected this year.Earlier, a German phone firm Deutsche Telekom had predicted September 19 launch.The date is consistent with Apple’s recent launches as the US tech giant generally introduces its new iPhone models on Fridays and September 19 does fall on a Friday. Apple had launched the iPhone 5S on September 20, 2013, which was a Friday.The new handset is believed to have a larger 4.7 inch screen, with a second version boasting a 5.5-inch screen. As far as the innards are concerned, one can expect a new A8 processor, perhaps more RAM and defiantly a better camera.last_img read more

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