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Tuesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 28 May 2013 7:48 AM

We’ve been talking about Ain’t Them Bodies Saints for months, and now we’ve got a trailer. Plus, hanging with the Cliburn piano tuners and a foreign author weighs in on Texas readers.


SNEAK PREVIEW: We’ve been talking about Ain’t Them Bodies Saints for months now – ever since it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Since then, the film by Dallas director David Lowery has been picked up by IFC and will be released in August. And now, we’ve finally got a trailer, which debuted over the weekend.

PITCH PERFECT: If you watched any of the live stream from the Cliburn Competition over the weekend, you know those pianos get quite a workout. And that means a team of piano tuners must be at the ready to make sure the instruments are in tip-top shape. The notable thing about these tuners is that they do it all by ear. “We stretch the strings. There are about seven friction points on a string, and we pound on the piano to make sure that string actually moves over those friction points,” Ron Coners, head concert technician for Steinway & Sons, tells “You can turn a pin and get a string in tune, but then when you come along and hit it, it will shift. We set the torque on the pin, and then just bang the heck out of it to make sure it doesn’t move. The pianos get very stable after I beat on them for a long time.”

QUOTABLE: “Texas always surprises people if they’ve never been there. Every time I’ve gone … to Austin for the Texas Book Festival, they’re lined up the stairs and down the stairs. If you just look at South by Southwest or politics, you’re getting the wrong impression of Texas. There are a lot of readers there, very dedicated readers.”

– Margaret Atwood, in an interview with ahead of her appearance in town Friday for Arts & Letters Live.