Classical Music – Flute: “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” – Christoph Gluck

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Flute

It’s an instrument based on the most fundamental sign of life: breath. Listen to the best music ever written for it.

The flute is one of humanity’s oldest ways of producing a beautiful sound, and it is based on the most fundamental sign of life: breath. Made from bones, wood or reeds, the earliest specimens date from the Paleolithic era. The flute is often associated with things elegiac, poetic, angelic — with purity — but also with the world of magic; in mythology, Orpheus seduces the underworld playing the flute. In this excerpt from Gluck’s Orpheus opera, the flute is extremely sensual, and, with its lyrical soaring, takes us from earthly pleasures to heavenly ones.

Flute: Julien Beaudiment

Piano: Hugh Sung

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Autumn Travel: Hyakusaiji Temple, Higashiomi City, In Shiga, Japan (Video)

Hyakusai-ji is the oldest temple in Omi. It was founded by Prince Shotoku in the year 606, more than 1400 years ago. It was created at the mid-point of Mt. Oshitate (771.8 m) for the sake of visitors from the Korean kingdom of Baekje, and drew inspiration from a temple in that nation that was called Ryu’un-ji in Japanese. Hyakusai-ji is located along the 35th parallel north, facing west; 880 kilometers away in that direction, beyond the other temples of Tarabo, Hieizan, and Jirobo (Mt. Kuraya), there lay the kingdom of Baekje. Many Korean visitors are said to have prayed at the temple while thinking of their distant homeland. Furthermore, climbing the stone temple path leads to an appreciation garden known for its spectacular view out over the world below. This is also a famous spot for fall scenery, with the crimson leaves spreading across the mountains of Hiei and Suzuka creating a stunning backdrop.

Aerial Travel: ‘Ottawa – Canada’ (4K video)

Ottawa is Canada’s capital, in the east of southern Ontario, near the city of Montréal and the U.S. border. Sitting on the Ottawa River, it has at its centre Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums such as the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in summer and ice-skaters in winter. 

Historic Villages: ‘Barnes – Richmond Upon Thames’ In Southwest London, UK

Barnes played a role in everything from the invention of football to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Carla Passino takes a closer look.

Toby Keel – January 6, 2021

Until an army of 19th-century engineers descended on Barnes to build bridges and railways, this was a world apart, a rural idyll preserved intact by the Thames that bounds it on three sides.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the village had made history even earlier, when it was granted by King Æthelstan to the canons of St Paul in the 900s. The link between Barnes and St Paul’s persists more than 1,000 years on, as the Dean and Chapter owns one of the local gems: 122-acre Barnes Common.

Today, its woodland and acid grass-land are an oasis for hedgehogs, bats, butterflies and Nature-starved Londoners, but, for many centuries, they were home to grazing cattle. The livestock even became embroiled in a dispute between Barnes and neighbouring Putney in 1589, when ‘the men of Barnes refused to allow the men of Putney to use the Common and impounded their cattle,’ reports A History of the County of Surrey.

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Innovative Space: Studio Puisto’s ‘Modular Cabin’

A peace of mind – Space of Mind is a modern cabin that acts as a dedicated space to think, recharge and unwind – somewhere we can find our own peace of mind. Through a modular system, Space of Mind can serve as anything from a spare bedroom to a gym to a home office with the flexibility to be placed nearly anywhere in the world.

Away from home – at home

As a concept, Space of Mind was initially developed in response to the on-going pandemic. With many of us now spending significantly more time at home than ever before, our collective notion of a ‘home away from home’ needed to be redefined to fit our newly limited range for travel. No matter whether it is placed in a backyard, rooftop terrace or even the nearby forest, Space of Mind acts as a spatial solution that fosters a similar experience – just without leaving home.

Yet how we find that peace of mind looks different for all of us. Therefore, an integral aspect to the design of Space of Mind is its versatility and adaptability. The outer wooden structure acts as a blank slate while the interior is adjustable to individual preferences, creating a space that can manifest into a gym for one and into a home office for another. Within the overall modular system, the custom furniture attaches to the wooden structure on rungs, giving the freedom to tailor the space as desired over time.

Architectural design

The overall architectural footprint of Space of Mind comes in at just under 10m2. Space-efficient and compact, a guiding emphasis within the design was to similarly express how even a minimal space with only the essentials can offer us the headspace to enjoy what matters most. With less, we can feel more.

In line with this, the structure is not insulated, connecting us closer to the raw, natural elements and ever-changing weather conditions outside. As a mass timber construction using ecologically sourced Finnish wood, Space of Mind can withstand even the harshest of arctic winters while remaining aesthetically cozy and nest-like inside through warm wooden tones and colors.

To make Space of Mind available to even the most remote of locations, it was strategically planned to be light enough for transportation by crane or helicopter with a resilient foundation that supports almost any site. This, in turn, adds to its versatility, ultimately creating an opportunity where we have the freedom to tailor a spatial experience to our exact needs and wishes during a time when our entire systems of living have seemingly turned upside down.

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‘Space of Mind’ is a spatial experience designed by Studio Puisto Architects and developed and produced in collaboration with Protos Demos. Its modular interior is designed by Studio Puisto Architects in collaboration with Made by Choice.

Walks In the Snow: ‘Linz – Northern Austria’ (Video)

Walking in Linz, Austria in the snow. January 1, 2021.

Linz is a city in Upper Austria, straddling the Danube River midway between Salzburg and Vienna. Baroque buildings, including Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) and the old cathedral or Alter Dom, ring Hauptplatz, the old town’s main square. The riverside Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz has a major modern art collection. Across the river, the striking Ars Electronica Center focuses on society, technology and life in the future.

Architectural Walks: The ‘Art Deco’ Buildings Of Miami Beach (T+L Video)

Take a walk and check out some of the amazing Art Deco architecture around Miami Beach in Florida. David Brauer shows you a wide variety of buildings featuring the classic Art Deco style and the history behind them.

Video Timeline: 00:00 Introduction 00:33 David Brauer Poem 01:12 Congress Hotel 02:53 Versace Mansion 03:36 Hotel Victor 03:52 Marlin Hotel 04:05 The Carlyle Hotel 04:22 Barbara Capitman 05:00 Beach Walk 05:20 The Betsy Hotel 05:38 Leslie Hotel 06:28 The Wolfsonian Museum of Art 07:07 Oldest Building in Miami Beach

Aerial Travel: ‘Threlkeld – Lake District’, Cumbria In Northern England (Video)

This was filmed in late Nov 28th 2020 in the late afternoon with the Mavic 2 Zoom. Filmed & edited by Eden Valley Drones UK.

Threlkeld is a village and civil parish in the north of the Lake District in Cumbria, England, to the east of Keswick. It lies at the southern foot of Blencathra, one of the more prominent fells in the northern Lake District, and to the north of the River Glenderamackin.

Travel Tour: ‘Welcome To Afghanistan’ (BBC Video)

Afghanistan was once a firm fixture on the backpacker trail, but decades of war and violence have crossed it off the destination list for almost all tourists. Most governments advise against travel there. But American blogger Drew Binksy is one traveller bucking the trend. He says he has a coronavirus test before travelling to new countries, and follows local measures in the places he visits.

Video produced by the BBC’s Suhrab Sirat and Kawoon Khamoosh

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.