IN: Reviews

Daniel in Rockport’s Lions’ Den


Play of Daniel in recent NYC production (RCMF photo)
Play of Daniel in recent NYC production (RCMF photo)

Friday evening I saw a performance of what artistic director David Deveau described in prefatory remarks as the earliest music ever performed in the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. Yet, as became clear in a “talkback” session between audience and performers afterward, it was also the newest music. Much of it was improvised for the occasion, never to be heard again, as music director Mary Anne Ballard explained in response to a question.

The Play of Daniel was, as described in the festival program booklet, “a medieval music drama set in Beauvais Cathedral, circa 1200 A.D.” More precisely, it is an example of what scholars call liturgical drama, a more or less theatrical reading of texts interpolated into a church service: in this case, a retelling of two incidents from the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible. It was originally performed as part of services for the Feast of the Circumcision, better known in our modern calendar as New Year’s Day. The play has nothing to do with an actual bris, as Ballard also explained in answer to another question. But it would have been performed on the eighth day after Christmas, commemorating the circumcision of Jesus—who, despite the story’s Old Testament origin, is the real focus of this decidedly Christian work.

Performing any medieval music, and particularly liturgical drama, raises all sorts of questions about historicity and performance practice, to which I shall return. But first let me describe what I saw without any consideration of its status as “early music” or “historically informed” performance.

There were hisses and mock boos as the curtain behind the stage was closed prior to the performance in the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center. Friday had seen perfect weather, and with the curtain open the window behind the stage gave the audience an exceptional view of Rockport’s still sunny coast and harbor. The transformation of the room from sun-lit concert hall to darkened theater was ably carried out, however. When it was complete, one saw a table, a few chairs, and a larger armchair at center stage, with an assortment of musical instruments to the right. The armchair would serve during the first half of the play as throne for the Babylonian king Belshazzar—who presided over the captivity of the Jews—and during the second half for the Persian ruler Darius, who supplanted him. Daniel, who accurately prophesies Belshazzar’s overthrow in the first half, is thrown into the lions’ den in the second, only to be released at the end by an angel, thereupon declaring the coming birth of Jesus.

The production, stage-directed by Drew Minter and Jeffrey Johnson (who also performed in several minor roles), was ingeniously adapted to the compact space of the Shalin Liu center. The thirteen singers as well as six instrumentalists, all in quasi-medieval costume, entered and exited in processions down the hall’s two aisles. The action, or rather dialogue, took place largely around the table on the stage, the six musicians (including music director Ballard) taking their places on either side. Their lutes, recorders, and harps therefore became part of the staging, as suggested by a few of the work’s original performance rubrics. So too did an array of less obviously medieval percussion instruments, including suspended cymbal and waterphone. The latter, a device used in film and television soundtracks, provoked an entertaining explanation from percussionist Rex Benincasa in the talkback session. In the performance, it provided occasional sound effects, as did some of the other instruments, in a manner that reminded me of kabuki theater.

At center stage, behind the action, was a deep blue curtain or backdrop suspended within a black square frame. This was revealed in the second half to be a representation of the lions’ den, as the curtain was pulled away to reveal a design of stylized lions’ teeth. Real lions also appeared, in the guise of two actors dancing down the aisles in colorful costumes. Other costumes (designed by Sasha Richter) were more conventionally medieval, and Brian Barnett’s lighting design brought out their bright colors. Visually, then, this was a gorgeous production, particularly notable for the spectacular outfits worn by two angels and for singers’ gestures which director Minter based on his study of artwork at New York’s Cloisters Museum (this according to talkback remarks by Gene Murrow, executive director of Gotham Early Music Scene or GEMS, which produced the performance; Minter himself was not present).

As musical theater this production was charming. It clearly seized the imagination of the audience, which filled most of the hall’s 330 seats. I particularly enjoyed the expressive singing of tenor James Ruff as Daniel, and four sopranos (Amy Bartram, Melissa Fogarty, Sarah Gallogly, and Amaranta Viera) sang and danced gracefully in minor roles. The nature of the work, however, is such as to make it difficult to single out any individuals from the ensemble; suffice it to say that I was not aware of a single weak link in the intricate production.

The stylized character of the play affords few opportunities for real drama. Some humor was interjected by a few exchanges between Ballard, playing little melodic fragments on rebec and vielle, and one or another singer. A shift at the end from Old-Testament history or story-telling to Christian sanctity and ritual was carried out impressively: the stage lights dimmed and the entire company exited up the aisles in procession, singing the Gregorian chant “Te Deum,” as directed by the original text, to the accompaniment of small handbells. (The latter are depicted in many late-medieval artworks, such as the famous “Figure of Music” at Chartres cathedral, reproduced in the program book.)

Given what many in the audience clearly found to be an engrossing, even moving, theatrical experience, some may think it impertinent to make an issue of the production’s status as historical performance. Yet a number of the questions in the talkback session clearly reflected the curiosity of audience members about the degree to which this performance resembled an actual medieval one. Answers by members of the cast and crew did not entirely clarify the issue.

It is understandable that, after an intense hour-long performance, singers and musicians would not be prepared to answer questions quite as thoroughly or directly as might have been done under other circumstances. Some of the questions could have been answered by reference to the commentary in the program book. But the latter also gave a less than entirely forthcoming characterization of the production. For this presentation could be considered historical or “authentic” only to the degree that this is true of any modern staging of, say, a Shakespeare play.

Indeed, what we saw might better be characterized as a contemporary work that happened to incorporate the text and melodies of a medieval act of worship. These were adapted for the modern stage using various devices, some of them suggested by historical practices that were in use at various places in Europe during the eleventh through fourteen centuries. Among these were the elaboration of the original melodies through the techniques known as parallel organum and discant, as well as certain types of melodic decoration or embellishment known from late-medieval instrumental music. The instruments themselves are, of course, another borrowing from medieval or early-Renaissance practices, although hardly any original instruments actually survive; what we were hearing were modern constructions based mainly on visual art of the period, and on backward deductions from later instruments.

The original Play of Daniel is believed to have been performed during services at Beauvais Cathedral in northern France—not in the existing, never-finished late-Gothic structure, but a smaller, earlier one that was nevertheless far larger than the confined space of either the Rockport hall or The Cloisters, where this production was created in 2008. The original performers were members of the clergy—doubtless all men, even for the one female role, that of Belshazzar’s queen. In all likelihood there were no instruments at all, except perhaps as props. But whether there was in fact any staging—costumes, props, or movement other than ritual processions—is unknown.

Crucially for the music, the original notation shows only pitches: notes without rhythm. Like later examples of Gregorian chant, which it resembles, the music may well have been sung slowly, with little inflection or nuance. Most of the text, in Latin with a few phrases in French, is in a type of medieval verse that falls into regular rhythmic patterns. Scholars have long assumed that these patterns can be applied to the music as well. But this can be done convincingly only in certain portions of the music, which divides into distinct types. In most modern editions and performances, some sections are presented in the manner of Gregorian chant, whereas others are given a dancelike quality.

This performance strongly emphasized the dance element, with drums and other instruments frequently marking the steady beat that is merely implicit in the original words and music. Only brief portions of the text were sung without accompaniment by instruments, which also furnished interludes. Much of what the instrumentalists were playing apparently consisted of improvisation, although Ballard took credit for the arrangement as a whole and clearly took a large role in creating the sound—the very musical identity—of this performance.

This sound resembles in a general way what one hears nowadays in many “historical informed” performances of early music, including some that took place last week during the Boston Early Music Festival. Yet I doubt that what we hear in such performances is any more or less historical than in a work such as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. No one thinks of the latter as “medieval” music, even though it consists of arrangements of genuine medieval songs, one or two of which also occur in the Play of Daniel.

At times, what I was hearing reminded me of nothing more than Prokofiev or neo-Classical Stravinsky, as harps and lutes created a sort of pan-diatonic ostinato or drone background for a singer. The effect could be lovely, but I cannot believe it had much to do with medieval music. Certainly the chords and the little scale figures that the instrumentalists were playing have little basis in what we know of 12th-century French music, even if a casual listener might find them vaguely reminiscent of the Parisian organum of the period. Even less certifiably medieval were the suggestions of contemporary Arabic or perhaps Turkish or north-African idioms in some of the lute and percussion accompaniments.

The reason this matters is that a production such as this, as effective as it is, enshrines and reinforces certain mid-20th-century notions about medieval music and its performance. Ballard told the talkback audience that she made her arrangement without consulting the one that was performed in 1958 by the New York Pro Musica under the direction of Noah Greenberg. That production, according to the program booklet, was “arguably the single most important early music event in 20th-century America.” I remember being enthralled by a recording of it that I came across, years later, as a high school student. The exotic instrumental sounds, the conviction of the singing, and the catchiness of some of the modal melodies surely did give it a popular appeal that attracted many to the incipient historical performance movement.

Yet I was astonished by Ballard’s remark, for in many ways this production seemed very close to that New York one of more than half a century ago. Many details of scoring, such as the bells in the closing recessional and the frequent use of drone accompaniments, are quite similar, as is the “rhythmicization” of much of the music. More fundamentally, the basic approach, turning a sacred liturgy, probably performed at daybreak, into an evening of fully staged musical theater, was evidently the same (although I never saw the New York production). Of course, modern audiences would never stand for the much more solemn and austere type of performance implied by the historical sources.

Or would they? Fifty or one hundred years ago no one could have imagined Bach “cantatas” performed with all-male quartets of singers instead of large mixed choirs. Musicologists knew that Renaissance instruments were very different from their modern counterparts, but hardly anyone actually played lutes or small medieval-style harps. When they did so, it was within a cliquish if not cultish atmosphere of historical reenactment, not contemporary creative music making. To perform a Baroque opera with anything like original staging, gesture, and dance was completely out of the question.

Of course, we now know that all these things are possible. More important, they have completely changed how we experience Renaissance and Baroque music. We know, too, that doing things “authentically” does not mean museum-style petrification—not that museums, either, must present historical material without creative imagination. Some audiences do enjoy things that are strange or challenging, although recreating the sound world of a Romanesque cathedral service in the confined space of a small modern theater would be difficult—and potentially offputting to a secular audience seeking a night of entertainment.

As much as I appreciate what Ballard, Minter, and the rest of the company have done in creating a convincing modern stage piece from this work, I am disappointed that I saw no serious grappling with the conceptual challenges that it presents. What would have happened if, instead of hammering those quizzically notated melodies into dancelike numbers, the singers were allowed to present them free of the tyranny of a rock-like beat, and without the nearly constant and sometimes distracting elaboration and interruption by instruments? For that matter, how much more expressive might this work be if performed with more attention to the actual words—which seemed to be largely ignored in a production that lacked either a printed libretto or translated supertitles?

The Latin is not difficult, but even a listener (such as your reviewer) who has a smattering of the language had a hard time understanding any of it over the occasional din of percussion instruments and in the modern French-style pronunciation with which it was sung. Contrary to what Deveau asserted at the outset, the action of the production is not “self-explanatory,” even to one who knows the biblical story. Not only details but essential elements, such as the appearance of the minor prophet Habakkuk near the end, led by an angel to bring nourishment to Daniel in the lions’ den, must have been baffling to many audience members.

In writing about this production, I am mindful of Joel Cohen’s thoughtful response to the Newbury Consort’s recent performance of the Cantigas of the Spanish king Alfonso “the Wise” [here]. Those works, roughly contemporary with the Play of Daniel, require similar musical reconstruction if they are to be performed today. As Cohen reminds us, “we are centuries away from any living performance tradition for these works . . . as with all medieval music we seek to perform anew, the recreation of some sort of plausible playing and singing ethos is a paramount consideration.”

Plausibility is indeed one criterion of judgment. But historical plausibility (“authenticity”) is a very different thing from theatrical or artistic credibility. This production was a convincing theatrical experience; an imaginative mélange of contemporary and historical performance traditions; a creative reworking of an ancient text—but it was not exactly a medieval music drama.

See related essay here.

David Schulenberg is a harpsichordist and author of Music of the Baroque and The Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach. He teaches at Wagner College in New York City. His website is here.


7 Comments [leave a civil comment (others will be removed) and please disclose relevant affiliations]

  1. I was not present at the Rockport performance of Daniel, and so am unable to comment on any specifics of that event. What I would like to underline, however, is that ANY performance of music this old involves reconstructing a performance ethos. Of necessity, it is going to be a largely-contemporary ethos; there is simply no other path available to us.

    I am happy to see some basic issues coming up for discussion via recent reviews. The print media is in no current shape to host these valuable discussions, so let us move forward this way.
    In my view the term “authenticity” is of little use to us medievalists. And yet, all is not pure subjectivity, either. Knowledge and research and musicianship do count. I much prefer the concept of plausibility – it is less judgemental and goody-twoshoes than the rather hateful “A” word.

    Since the notion of fidelity to the medieval past has come up several times recently on this blog, how about a debate/symposium on the subject, Mister Publisher?

    One correction of a point of fact: Carl Orff used none of the medieval Carmina Burana melodies in his oratorio. The tune in Daniel that has been (correctly in my view) correlated with one of the medieval Carmina Burana texts nowhere appears in the Orff work.

    Comment by Joel Cohen — June 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm

  2. Thank you, David Schulenberg, for your detailed and thoughtful review of the GEMS production of “The Play of Daniel” at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. Your knowledgable and articulate comments are much appreciated (even the ones I don’t agree with :-) )!

    Providing a mechanism for audiences to follow the actual texts more closely in a dramatic production like “Daniel” is a vexing issue; we’ve been grappling with it for years. The common practice of providing printed texts and translations in a program is fine for a static vocal ensemble, but it would mean patrons would have their heads in their program books and miss a lot of the action– something the creators of our production (Mr. Minter and Ms. Ballard) did not think desirable. Much of the plot is communicated by gesture and action; these are entertaining as well. Super-titles are a felicitous solution for opera and similar dramatic productions, but this modern form of “writing on the wall” would dilute and defuse the drama of the appearance of this key part of the story.

    So we’ve settled on providing a detailed printed synopsis, which we hope patrons would read before the performance begins. And, in Rockport, I gave a brief run-down of the plot to folks attending a dinner beforehand. Many of them thanked me afterward, so that must have been helpful as well.

    Any other ideas from Mr. Schulenberg or readers of this blog would be most welcome!

    Gene Murrow, Executive Director
    Gotham Early Music Scene

    Comment by Gene Murrow — June 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

  3. Dear David,

    I’m pleased that you would take the time to comment in such detail on our production of The Play of Daniel. I was not present for the recent performances, but rather asked Jeffrey to take over putting our Cloisters production into the two touring venues while I was off directing a Coronation of Poppea, so I cannot vouch for the letter of what took place in Rockport. However, I’m assured by the cast that all of the gestures, both musical and dramatic, are what we did in the production that I created and directed in New York.

    Consequently I would be pleased to speak out on several of your comments.

    #1. I did see the NY Pro Musica production, when it toured the second time in the 60s and was performed at the Washington National Cathedral. I was also weaned on a number of NYPM recordings, my first experiences of medieval music, and The Play of Daniel was among them. I remember being entirely amazed at what I saw and heard. However, even a cursory listening between what our production realized musically and what Greenberg created would make it clear that 50 years of study and performance of medieval music has transpired between the two events. They do not sound remotely alike, and are different in many ways — vocally, musically, musicologically. I’ve performed in two other productions of Daniel (as the Queen and the Angel both times and both in Europe) and the realizations of the musical score were almost entirely different in those as well. All of these productions included instruments — of course, the rubrics of the Daniel text call for instruments (the procession of Darius enumerates these, as well as calling for dancing in that procession). I don’t believe a waterphone was available in 12th c. Beauvais, but we liked it for the creepy effect it made people feel when the writing on the wall appeared. We believe that people were probably afraid when the writing first appeared on the wall, and using the waterphone was a way in which we felt we could create that sensation, viscerally, I mean. Just seeing the letters through a gobo up on the wall, in the context of a theatrical “show” didn’t have the punch that the sound effect did. One could of course object; that is, if our object had been to be historically authentic. Then again, we’d have to object to so many modern performances of medieval music. I play harps for instance. I have four of them, and my smallest (and the one I use least, even though it is the most beautiful) has 15 strings. I use it least because it has the least number of possibilities when I have to perform a full hour or more of medieval song. Did you know that the average number of strings calculated so far from a comparison of all available iconography of medieval European harps is eleven (yes, 11 — this figure was calculated by Ron Cook, former president of the Historical Harp Society). How many modern recreations of medieval harps have 11 strings (or less)? I haven’t yet used one nor been accompanied by one. Does that mean we should scrap all these bigger harps that people our medieval concerts?

    #2 — The French-style pronunciation of the Latin was not modern. It was based on philology that has been around for a while, first comprehensively set out by Harold Copeman some twenty or so years ago (in “Singing in Latin: Pronunciation explored”). In addition I consulted with two conductors of ensembles who perform in early Latins all the time. Because we do not know exactly how people pronounced, especially if we take into account regional variations, some decisions have to be made. We opted for the unvoiced “s” for all soft c’s (in modern French latin they would be a djze — sorry, can’t have that character in this website font). Also kept all u’s as umlauted. We decided not to nasalize the u’s before m and n, because there is no clear consensus on it. Besides that, trying to nasalize generally more than would be acceptable today was attempted. Not every singer can do that equally. These were most of our variants because they gave the biggest sound change from what you would hear today. If you listen to the most recent commercial recording (well, I think it’s the most recent) of the PLay of Daniel — by the Dufay Collective from 5 years ago — you will hear how they came to different decisions. Ours was at least consistent with itself (or at least we tried to be), something I have found to be the most important consideration in a modern performance.

    You mentioned the Cantigas. I first performed from the Cantigas in 1977. Language experts have probably changed their minds 3 or 4 times about the Galician pronunciation since then when I have prepared subsequent performances. Decisions as to pronunciation are something I rely on experts to make, but in the end I have to perform what I can believe in.

    #3 — I’m sorry you didn’t see serious grapplings with the conceptual challenges, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t made and that many others did not see them. I’ll give one instance. When the Princes or other elevated characters sang, I wanted them to sing in higher musical styles, reflecting their position and character as compared to the rhythmic notations (and syllabic settings) of lower characters like the Satraps. Hence I created high-style Parisian organum (unmetered) in their music — which, when they sang together was, by the way, unaccompanied by instruments. Daniel also did this in particularly chosen phrases, and Belshazzar and Darius did throughout. I have no idea if such musical characterizations were realized at Beauvais, but I also don’t know that they weren’t. Franconian rhythmic notation was routinely applied to what appears to be free notation on the page — especially if it is syllabic. Again, we did make choices here, but they based on things we know, not just plucked from the sound effects of Orff’s musical world, or the new age repertoire.

    All of what I’ve said above gives credence to your concluding statement that we created “an imaginative mélange of contemporary and historical performance traditions.” But I would argue along with Richard Taruskin that we are doing so whenever we set our minds to performing earlier music — even the well-worn Bach. Performing Bach one to a part is a choice, but based on Bach’s letters asking for greater resources it isn’t the one he made (especially with those he had at his disposal) as a first choice, or at least not as the only choice. In the Play of Daniel, are we so sure that a special sound effect was not made when the writing on the wall appeared? Mind you, in a Daniel world of no instruments (which is surely contra-indicated if we take the Darius procession into account), the sound effect could have been made by cast members making vocal sounds or oohing and ahing. Don’t think these alternatives were not considered. We are in the end serving our taste as we have developed it up to this point. But to be fair to us and to all serious early music performers, it is a taste that has been developed by reading and looking at the available sources (including iconographic), as well as listening to each other performing this music over many years, (and this particular piece, The Play of Daniel, for the last 50).

    Comment by Drew Minter — June 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm

  4. I am grateful to Joel Cohen, Gene Murrow, and Drew Minter for their comments. It’s especially valuable to have Drew’s detailed explanation of some of the decisions that went into the GEMS production.

    Joel is of course right that Orff’s Carmina Burana consists of new settings of medieval lyrics, not “arrangements” of medieval songs, as I had it.

    I was glad, though not surprised, to learn from Gene how much thought went into the decision not to burden listeners with a booklet of texts and translations or to alter the visual design of the production by providing supertitles. In fact I don’t see how it could have been otherwise, given the premises of this production. But I stand by my view that this was a real problem.

    I know Drew’s work well enough to understand that he puts a great deal of thought as well as artistry into everything he does. I wasn’t questioning that, nor the artistic integrity or the effectiveness of this production. I’m glad, too, that he mentioned the ways in which the production used “musical characterizations” to distinguish some of the various personages in the play, since this was something I didn’t address.

    Rather, my point was to raise the question what would happen if we resisted the impulse to add instruments and all those other touches that were done so well in this version? What if, instead, singers just sang, with all the freedom and expression that is possible in an unaccompanied solo (we heard this occasionally, as in Daniel’s lament)? What if the staging created an atmosphere in which we pay attention to every word and every nuance of the singer’s art in projecting it? What if the production tried to convey the mystery and ritual of a purely vocal performance in a great space, where silences are filled with the echoes of those words?

    Maybe this has been tried, and maybe it didn’t work. I don’t know. I’m sure it wouldn’t work without the same scholarship, imagination, and commitment that went into this production.

    I could have been wrong to describe the pronunciation as “modern French,” but that is what I thought I heard. Also, as distinct as this version of the Play of Daniel is from Noah Greenberg’s, its underlying premises are, I think, not so different. Just one example: the fundamental assumption that instruments are to be used, through most of the work.

    Much has been written on the historical question of whether the references to instruments in the text and rubrics of medieval works such as this one refer to actual instruments that accompanied the singing. We simply don’t know, just as we don’t know how literally visual artworks that show musicians and musical instruments depict actual practices. The words of the “Darius procession” do mention the playing of instruments, but so does Psalm 150, which the clergy sang every week, not necessarily with any instrumental participation.

    By the way, I don’t know of any letters from Bach indicating a desire for “greater resources” in his vocal music. Drew may read it differently, but I agree with Joshua Rifkin (and others) that the famous 1730 document to which I think he refers is about something else. Nor would I say that Bach “chose” to perform his vocal music one-singer-to-a-part. Again, I agree with Rifkin, Parrott, et al. that this was simply the normal practice of his time and place. Bach wrote his vocal music with that in mind, just as he wrote his keyboard works for the harpsichord. People used to tell harpsichordists that Bach would have played the modern piano if it had been available. Of course he would have – and he would have written different music for it.

    Comment by David Schulenberg — June 26, 2013 at 9:49 am

  5. In recent years I’ve heard a number of early music performances where performers use an “early French” Latin. At the Sunday performance at Conn College to my ears most of the performers in the current “Daniel” succeeded in doing this pretty well. The recessional Te Deum sounded to me more in what I think of as “Church Latin”, possibly because the instrumentalists who sang along with the vocalists were not attempting the “earlier” sound.

    Comment by N. Tooney — June 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

  6. I offer this comment as a totally uncredentialed listener who greatly enjoyed the recent performance at Rockport. While much of the erudition of the previous commenters is, frankly, over my head, I do have the advantage of having heard the New York Pro Musica perform this work at the Kennedy Center (in the 70s, I believe), and I have frequently listened to the original LP. For whatever it may be worth, I’d like to say that I felt that the style of performance was, in the large, similar to what I recalled of the Pro Musica performance, with a couple of glaring exceptions: the instrumental smears to heighten tension at a few points, a distinctly contemporary addition that reminded me of Xenakis’s writing, and the contemporary-sounding French pronunciation. In my view, the smears worked; the French sound did not–particularly those wretched u’s. I love to speak French and listen to French properly sung and articulated–but please spare us from Frenchified Latin.

    If, as the experts seem to agree, there is no reasonable expectation of recapturing whatever performance choices may have been made at Beauvais in the 12th century (or even if there were), why not opt in favor of what sounds good to contemporary ears? It may be a novel concept, but if it is rejected, don’t you risk adopting the now-discredited “Who cares if they listen” attitude favored by certain serialist composers of yesteryear?

    And finally, I agree with Mr. Schulenberg that the drama was not so transparently obvious that titles were unnecessary. I would have made the choice to have titles available, despite the possible distraction. (What were those Hebrew words, anyway?)

    Comment by phillip radoff — June 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

  7. Lots of good points here. @Prof. Schulenberg: I agree that not having access to the actual dialog is not ideal. Still trying to think of a good solution! @Mr. Radoff: the Hebrew letters were actually a bit of a jumble. While the individual letters appeared correctly, the “words” were backwards (don’t ask). The words are supposedly Aramaic, which uses Hebrew letters for script, and are indirect in their meaning (which is why only a wise man like Daniel could interpret the message). Wikipedia has a good explanation of it all:

    Comment by Gene Murrow — June 26, 2013 at 6:25 pm

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