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8 Pieces That Will Change the Way You Hear Music

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Put these masterpieces on your playlist and you'll never hear music the same way again.

1. “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin

Many musicians draw a line between pop and classical music. Not Gershwin. He blurred classical music and jazz—the pop music of his day—and created one of the most-played pieces ever.

2. “Pachelbel’s Canon”

It’s simple and beautiful—and you hear echoes of it on the radio every day without knowing it. The chord progression is one of the most copied in pop music. (For the music nerds out there, the progression is: I V vi iii IV I IV V.)

3. “Tristan Und Isolde” by Richard Wagner

For a music theorist, Wagner’s opera is one of the most confusing pieces ever written. It’s so tonally ambiguous that you can’t really grasp what key it’s in. There’s no cadence until Act 3—almost five hours into the piece. That kind of ambiguity has influenced hundreds of film scores.

4. “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”

Don’t tell the kids, but something’s happening in the kitchen. Most people leave out the verse, “Someone’s makin’ love to Dinah; someone’s in the kitchen I know. Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah, ‘cause I can’t hear the old banjo.” Back then, the phrase “making love” meant flirting.

5. Hildegard’s Music

Generally, the history of classical music is all about dead men in wigs. It hasn’t always been that way. The first notable composer in western music was actually a woman—Hildegard von Bingen. Not only is she a saint, she wrote some of the most soulful early church music.

6. “She’ll be coming ‘Round the Mountain”

Children’s songs aren’t so innocent. “Ring Around the Rosy” and “London Bridge” are both tunes about death, and “Coming ‘Round the Mountain” is even worse. It’s a riff off an old spiritual called “When the Chariot Comes,” which happens to be about the end of days—the rapture.

7. Symphony No. 8 by Gustav Mahler

Go big or go home! Featuring a full symphony and three choirs, some performances of Mahler’s No. 8 feature over 1000 performers. An ensemble that large is guaranteed to blow you away—it helps that the piece has one of the most powerful finales in all of music.

8. "La muette de Portici" by Daniel Auber

Don’t let anyone tell you that music can’t change lives. Or, for that matter, a country’s borders. Auber’s nationalist opera was so powerful that concertgoers rioted outside the concert hall, sparking the Belgian Revolution. One year later, Belgium had won independence from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Want to see your passions and connections to your friends? Check out Nissan's Passion Genome to create your interactive Passion Portrait and share the passions that make you, you.

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10 Trails Every Passionate Hiker Must Trek
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Lace up your boots and grab your walking stick. It’s time to climb!

1. Observation Point
With hikes like Angel’s Landing and the Narrows, Zion National Park in Utah is a goldmine for trail-lovers. But the best view is at Observation Point—your reward for climbing 2100 feet.

2. Tour de Mont Blanc
One of the most popular long distance hikes in Europe, the 100-mile trail passes through Switzerland, Italy, and France. It takes about a week to finish.

3. Appalachian Trail, US
Extending from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, this wild 2200-mile trail is a great way to see 14 states.

4. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
There’s only one way to get to Hawaii’s secluded Kalalau Beach: you have to hike 11 miles to get there. The trail is a fantastic way to see Kauai’s rugged wild side.

5. Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne
Winding back and forth between France and Spain, the 497-mile footpath travels the length of the Pyrenees—and at high altitudes, too.

6. Cape Wrath Trail
Considered one of the toughest trails in the UK, the 200-mile hike in the Scottish Highlands attracts people the world over.

7. Semien Mount Trek
This National Park in Ethiopia is a World Heritage Site, and with mountains almost topping 15,000 feet, it’s one of the few places in Africa that sees snow regularly.

8. Laugavegurinn
Connecting two nature reserves, the 50-mile Icelandic trail crosses over mountains, glaciers, hot springs, lakes, and rivers. There are 20 waterfalls in just the first seven miles!

9. Copper Canyon
Forget the Grand Canyon. Mexico’s Copper Canyon is deeper, wider, and longer. On one trail, you’ll loop 38 miles and see 20,000 feet of elevation change!

10. Santa Cruz Trek
One of the best ways to see the Andes Mountains, Peru’s 30-mile trek requires you to pass through a 15,617 foot mountain pass.
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Want to see your passions and connections to your friends? Check out Nissan's Passion Genome to create your interactive Passion Portrait and share the passions that make you, you.

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9 Kitchen Techniques Passionate Chefs Should Master
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Want to kick your kitchen game up a notch? Learn these nine techniques and watch as your food gets even more delicious.

1. Searing

Searing can add a tasty caramelized crust to your favorite dish. Start with a hot, hot pan. Add a thin coat of oil—enough to make the pan gleam—and add what you’d like to cook. Let it hiss and watch the crust form, then flip.

2. Dicing An Onion

Halve the onion from top to bottom and place the flat sides down on the board. Peel off the skin, face the root end away from you, and make vertical cuts. When you’re done, make horizontal cuts. Don’t cut all the way through the root.

3. Make Pan Sauce

After searing, put those extra brown morsels on the bottom of your pan to use. Add wine, stock, or vinegar to your hot pan. Scrape up those leftover bits on the pan let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. Remove it from the pan and stir in some cold butter cubes. Season.

4. Make Roux

Roux will amp up your gravy dishes. Melt some butter in a saucepan until it foams, and then add an equal amount of flour. Whisk until the concoction is smooth and cook for three minutes. Cook longer for a darker, nuttier roux.

5. Tempering

Every cook should now how to blend ingredients that are different temperatures—especially if they work with eggs or chocolate. When chocolate isn’t tempered, unsightly white blotches of cocoa mighty appear. So heat your chocolate, and let it cool by stirring in a solid chunk. When the chocolate is about 88 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the remaining chunks and dip away!

6. Make Vinaigrette

Here’s the secret: One part vinegar, three parts oil. Add a pinch of salt to the vinegar and a little Dijon mustard. Now use both hands—one to pour the oil and one to whisk the mixture. Keep going until it’s all blended.

7. Blanch Vegetables

To soften the taste of your veggies, blanch them! Boil a pot of very salty water and dump the vegetables into it. Once they’re cooked plunge them into ice water. This will stop the cooking process and make your veggies cool and crisp.

8. Make Your Own Stock

Throw some chicken in a pot of water with onion, carrots, and celery. Bring it to a boil, reduce the temperature, and let it simmer for a few hours. Skim off the fat, strain it through a sieve, and put it in the fridge. Your soups and sauces will never be the same.

9. Make whipped cream

Become a master of desserts with this skill! Put your metal mixing bowl and whisk or beaters in the freezer. When they’re cold, pour a pint of heavy cream and whisk aggressively until the mixture becomes cloudy. As it thickens, add some powdered sugar and vanilla for extra flavor.

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Want to see your passions and connections to your friends? Check out Nissan's Passion Genome to create your interactive Passion Portrait and share the passions that make you, you.

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