WordPress 4.0: An Easter egg

Every WordPress release is named after a jazz musician. I didn’t grow up listening to jazz and still don’t have much of an ear for it, despite significant exposure through college (I did terribly in required jazz classes, but I still went to concerts!). So when it came time to pick a musician for the release, I wasn’t quite sure where to go. As a pianist, I felt torn about my bias – Art Tatum came to mind almost immediately, but didn’t immediately feel right. I would also have loved for it to be Ella Fitzgerald for some hometown pride, but she’s already got a release named after her.

Then I remembered that there is a jazz musician whose work I know a little better and have loved: Benny Goodman. He’s known for quite a bit in the jazz world, as well as in pop culture – if you’re familiar with “Sing, Sing, Sing”, it’s probably this version:

In classical music, Benny Goodman is known for commissioning and premiering some of the most significant chamber and concerto works for clarinet in the 20th century, such as Bartók’s Contrasts and Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto. Being married to a clarinetist, I am deeply familiar with these works and their lasting influence.

When I settled down to work with Michael Pick on the release video, we chatted about what the style and tone of the video should be like. You can see his genius in the end product – it’s absolutely everything I wanted, and more:

If you listen carefully to the background music, you’ll notice that it’s classical music with piano and clarinet; specifically, the third movement of the first Brahms Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, a piece that Benny Goodman never recorded, although he did record its sister sonata. What you might not know is who’s performing it, and I’m really pleased to reveal that it’s actually my husband and I playing!

Pick and I think it worked out beautifully with the visuals and the tone of the video, and I love that I was able to add just a little something extra to a release that I’ve been so proud to lead. I hope you all enjoy 🙂

11 responses to “WordPress 4.0: An Easter egg”

  1. Pick Avatar

    After hearing the piece some couple of hundred or so times in the course of production, I love it a little more each time. It sets the tone of the video – and the release – so beautifully.

  2. Dougal Avatar

    Awesomesauce! Now I have to go back and watch the video again. Or, listen to it…

  3. Arturo A. Mijangos Avatar

    Wow, great music! Great work on this release Helen, followed the progress and I so happy for the results.

  4. Elijah Avatar

    Great job, Helen! I’m excited for the new features. 🙂 Personally, I’m holding out for a “Sun Ra” release dedication some day. That would be SOOOO awesome.

  5. Peter Bui Avatar

    how cool is that! Very very cool!

  6. Japh Avatar

    That is brilliant! Beautifully done, both of you 🙂

  7. C.P.M. Sianipar Avatar

    Thank you being the leader of the current WordPress Codeharmonic Ensemble! You’re so cool!

  8. Michael Beil Avatar

    just can’t get enough of that rad vid and the gorgeous music in the background. nice work Helen, Adrian, and Michael.

  9. Sheri Avatar

    Love the music! Bravo.

  10. Brent Norris Avatar

    way to be! Really great job. 4.0 feels good, better.

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