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Posts Tagged ‘wood’

Photo: Iñaki LL

One of my Facebook friends shared an entertaining page on “rare and strange instruments” (you have to see it to believe it), leading me to seek more information on an instrument called the txalaparta. It may not be as unusual as the piano that makes cats meow but is nevertheless worthy of investigation.

According to Wikipedia, the txalaparta is “a specialized Basque music device of wood or stone. In some regions of the Basque Country, zalaparta (with [s]) means ‘racket,’ while in others (in Navarre) txalaparta has been attested as meaning the trot of the horse, a sense closely related to the sound of the instrument. …

“During the last 150 years, txalaparta has been attested as a communication device used for funeral (hileta), celebration (jai) or the making of slaked lime (kare), or cider (sagardo). After the making of cider, the same board that pressed the apples was beaten to summon the neighbours. Then, a celebration was held and txalaparta played cheerfully, while cider was drunk. …

“Traditional txalaparta was almost extinct in the 1950s with a handful of pairs of peasants maintaining the tradition. It was then revived by folklorists, such as Jesus and Jose Antonio Artze from the group Ez dok amairu.” Now you can hear it on YouTube, below.

More at Wikipedia.

Video: The Give and Take of Wood and Stone. Oreka Tx Brings Once Threatened Basque Sounds and New Global Resonances to the U.S. in September 2010 and on Nömadak Tx.

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Photo: Boston architecture firm IKD.
Designer Timothy Olson, material supplier Fraserwood/Mack Magee. The wood is cypress. “The presence of natural materials such as wood is associated with lower stress and positive feelings.”

There’s a great exhibit about using wood in construction at the Boston Society of Architects on Congress St. in Boston, but only until Tuesday, September 30.

I was surprised to learn that nowadays it is actually possible — and maybe even safer — to use wood for city buildings.

According to the BSA website, the timber “exhibition celebrates wood as the region’s most sensible and abundant choice of material for urban building, highlighting its flexibility and technical qualities, including timber’s potential to combat climate change.

“Yugon Kim, founding partner of IKD, Associate/Director of TSKP Boston, and co-curator of the exhibition explains, ‘We now know that timber is a superior structural building material that should be considered alongside steel and concrete. The carbon offset and sustainability benefits of wood make it an ever-relevant and timely building material in the urban landscape.’

” ‘Urban Timber: From Seed to City’ shows that recent developments — including numerous successful implementations of timber as primary structural for midrise buildings in Europe — point to a different future.

“The exhibition includes a number of case studies, examples of existing wood technology and recent material innovations in the many kinds of engineered timber available to the building industry today.”

Read more about the exhibit here.

Meanwhile, at Andrew Sullivan’s blog (here), we find a quote from James Hamblin about why trees are good for our health: “It is becoming increasingly clear that trees help people live longer, healthier, happier lives—to the tune of $6.8 billion in averted health costs annually in the U.S., according to research published this [year]. And we’re only beginning to understand the nature and magnitude of their tree-benevolence.

“In the current journal Environmental Pollution, forester Dave Nowak and colleagues found that trees prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in 2010 alone. That was related to 17 tonnes of air pollution removed by trees and forests, which physically intercept particulate matter and absorb gasses through their leave.”

More from Hamblin at the Atlantic.

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