Chad Lawson has been one of my favorite pianists for many years. When I first saw him play live in 2011, his velvety piano touch literally stopped me in my tracks. More than proficient in many genres of music, it is with his own breathtaking compositions that Lawson truly shines the brightest. Never one to show off with a lot of bravado or fancy finger work, Lawson's goal with his music is to provide a peaceful respite where people can breathe. "If you listen to any of my albums, they all revolve around the idea of stillness," he says. "I'm just trying to invite people to take a moment and reconnect with who they are. The music I make is meant to create calm." "Waltz in B Minor" is a beautiful and compelling example of this. Closer to Chopin than Strauss, the piece is slow, poignant and very expressive. I think it would be appropriate to call it an exquisite gem of contemporary classical music.
Prelude in D Major (single)
Chad Lawson has been an independent artist for quite a few years and has created and released some stunning music - much of it solo piano. With one of the most elegant piano touches in contemporary music, Lawson's recent signing to the Decca label will make his music available to a much broader audience. With all of the chaos everywhere in the world right now, the timing couldn't be better for Lawson's soothing messages of hope and beauty.
Chad Lawson's goal with his original music is to bring calm and stillness to those who hear it, allowing them to breathe and reconnect with who they are. "Prelude in D Major" hints at the grace and emotional depth of the music of Chopin, but remains very much in the present. Reflective and very dreamy, the truth in this music should easily bridge the generations and appeal to a universal audience.
First Light begins with the title track, a piece that reflects the stillness and peace of a brand new day. The "official" video for this piece is visually stunning and illustrates the music beautifully. "Waves" reflects on the ocean at its most serene with a lazy surf and beams of light dancing on the water. More ambient than melodic, it's almost as relaxing as a walk on the beach. "Peaceful Dream" is also very ambient and moves with the rhythm of someone's breathing while in a deep sleep. "Distant Shores" ups the tempo a little for a daydream about what life might be like on the other side of the water. Layered guitars take us on a journey through the imagination. I'd love to see a video for "Fjord," which seems to very effectively describe the majesty of a fjord and the smooth peacefulness of the water that flows through it - a favorite. "Wanderlust" is by far the longest piece on the album at a little over 10 minutes. With a relaxed, easy pace on the guitar and atmospheric synth background sounds, it's a soft and dreamy journey to anywhere your mind wants to go. "Path of Light" brings the album to a quiet and gentle close, leaving the listener feeling refreshed, uplifted and ready to move forward. You really can't ask for more!
READ THE FULL Mainly Piano REVIEW
World-renowned guitarist Sharon Isbin takes us on a personal tour of her two latest albums: Affinity and Strings for Peace. Affinity is loaded with works written for Isbin, including the title track – a new guitar concerto by Chris Brubeck which contains a musical nod to his late father, legendary jazz musician Dave Brubeck (whose centenary is in 2020). Also on that disc: works that span the global palette from Tan Dun, Leo Brouwer, Antonio Lauro, and Richard Danielpour (whose song settings of Rumi poems also feature the wonderful mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard). Sharon also introduces us to Strings for Peace, her collaboration with Sarod master Amjad Ali Khan that presents four Ragas masterfully arranged for Sharon with sarods and tabla, thus drawing compelling connections between Western and Indian classical music.
LISTEN TO conversation with FM91: Toledo OH, Classical Host - Brad Cresswell
Called "the next big jazz guitarist" by NPR in 2010, Nir Felder has become a highly sought-after musician as both a solo artist and sideman. Equally adept across a wide range of genres, inspired by icons from John Coltrane to voodoo chile Jimi Hendrix, Felder has forged a unique and highly recognizable sound. He is a member of Band of Other Brothers (Jeff Coffin, Jeff Babko, Will Lee, and Keith Carlock) and has performed with Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, John Mayer, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington (with whom he recorded the GRAMMY-winning Money Jungle), Vijay Iyer, Jack DeJohnette, Meshell Ndegeocello, and many others.
A DownBeat Editor's Pick, Felder's debut album Golden Age (Sony/Okeh) has been called "absolutely beautiful" by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "lyrical and lofty" by The New York Times, and "a melodic triumph" by the New York City Jazz Record. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, where he was awarded the Jimi Hendrix Award.
LISTEN TO THE PREMIER Guitar podcast
The original soundtrack for The Last of Us Part II is now available from Sony Music. The music for this soundtrack was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla (who also worked on the original The Last of Us), with additional music composed by Mac Quayle. Gustavo Santaolalla is a musician and film composer from Argentina who has previously won the Oscar for Best Original Score for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Babel (2006), not to mention his work in other film and video game soundtracks. Santaolalla is also slated to compose the music for the upcoming HBO series based on The Last of Us.
Of the soundtrack for The Last of Us Part II, composer Gustavo Santaolalla had the following to say:
"Composing the music for The Last of Us Part II represented one of the biggest challenges of my career. Diving into the universe of the first game inspired me to come up with sounds, instrumentation and moods that became very closely related to the story and the characters. Fortunately, people found in the music the precise emotional support that a story such as The Last of Us required. The way in which fans related to the score of that first game is something I had never experience before."
Listening to the music for The Last of Us Part II reminds me yet again that you should never judge a video game by its cover art. If you think the music for this game is generic and action-y, then you have another thing coming. This soundtrack is sensitive, with only an occasional foray into "action mode" music. That tells me that this game is more retrospective than I thought, as it's my experience that the music largely reflects what goes on in the game (and you're not going to get calm music if it's crazy fighting all the time).
If you want to experience the music in this game without the distraction of playing it through, then I highly recommend picking the soundtrack up.
READ THE FULL FILM MUSIC CENTRAL REVIEW
With an eclectic whirlwind of a resume that includes work on hit Broadway shows, an Emmy nomination for co-writing the theme to "Dateline," MD and keyboardist for late tap legend Gregory Hines and work with everyone from Liza Minelli, Freddie Hubbard and Donna Summer, it was only a matter of time before composer, pianist and drummer Rick Cutler really cut loose in his solo career and presented a freewheeling showcase of everything he can do in a single collection.
After 15 years mostly focused on piano works (with a few vocals and percussive elements chiming in), that inspiring, multi-faceted journey arrives with Women & Children – a colorful, often lyrical, sometimes spiritual, alternately grooving and meditative 12 track romp exploring the multiple muses of his life. Fans of Cutler's long-established beautiful solo piano flow will gravitate first towards graceful ivory-centered tracks like "Green," "Hymn #4" and the truly hypnotic (thus perfectly titled) "Trance."
READ THE FULL JW VIBE REVIEW
Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019 - "old school" style as Scofield says, acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it. John was a 20-year-old student at Berklee when he first met and played with bassist Swallow, and they have continued ever since, in many different contexts.
"I love these songs", says Scofield of the selection of Swallow compositions explored here – a broad range including tunes that have become standards, as well as some lesser-known works. The rapport between Scofield and Swallow is evident in every moment. John: "Sometimes when we play it's like one big guitar, the bass part and my part together."
Behind the drum kit, Bill Stewart is alert to all the implications of the interaction. "What Bill does is more than ‘playing the drums,'" Scofield says. "He's a melodic voice in the music, playing counterpoint, and comping, while also swinging really hard." The guitarist himself plays with fire and invention throughout: "These two giants bring out the best in me."
Karim Mosna, radio host with 101.5 The Hawk in Hamilton, Ontario features Steve Swallow with insightful and inspiring conversation for the attached podcast
Sony Music Masterworks today releases Not Our First Goat Rodeo, the long-awaited follow-up album to the GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
In the fall of 1968, a sixteen-year old high school student named Danny Scher had a dream to invite legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and his all-star quartet to perform a concert at his local high school in Palo Alto, CA.
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today.
Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019 - "old school" style as Scofield says, acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it.
Max Richter's 'Sleep' now available as an app / Louder Than War
Posted: June 30, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Max Richter's trailblazing 2015 composition Sleep is now available to download with the launch of a new app. The app enables listeners to reimagine the 8-hour Deutsche Grammophon recording in custom-made musical sessions to help with focus, meditation and sleep which many people will need in the midst of the pandemic lockdown. It brings to a wider audience some of the experience shared by those lucky enough to attend Richter's extraordinary eight-hour overnight performances of Sleep – complete with beds – including LTW's own Tim Cooper who wrote about it here when it came to London in 2017.
Over a decade after its inception, ground-breaking composer Max Richter announces the release of VOICES – a major new recording project inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first single from his uplifting new work, which he describes as "a place to think and reflect", is out today via Decca Records. It is the latest album from the innovative, billion-streaming artist behind landmark 2015 composition SLEEP, which continues to evolve five years on with the launch of a new app. Available to download now, the app enables listeners to reimagine the 8-hour Deutsche Grammophon recording in custom-made musical sessions to help with focus, meditation and sleep. At the heart of both VOICES and SLEEP is a profound sense of global community, born out of Richter's career-long view of music as activism and his desire to unite audiences worldwide.
Max Richter's score for the 2018 drama Never Look Away is released on DG. The latest from director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarch (Lives of Others), Never Look Away is inspired by the life of artist Gerhard Richter through the story of an art student in post-war East Germany. The film was selected as the German entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards and stars Tom Schiling, Sebastian Koch and Paula Beer.
Composer Max Richter has written a compelling and dramatic score for the upcoming historical drama, Mary Queen of Scots. Directed by Josie Rourke and starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, the movie explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart and her attempt to overthrow her cousin, Elizabeth I, Queen of England. The lavish orchestral score features a full orchestra and eclectic vocal pieces.
Max Richter wrote the score for White Boy Rick, the story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison. Directed by Yann Demange and starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the film arrives in theaters September 14.
DG releases a new, deluxe edition of Max Richter's The Blue Notebooks to celebrate its 15th anniversary with brand new artwork as well as new arrangements, remixes and a previously unreleased new track. Written in 2003, The Blue Notebooks was originally composed in protest to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and features readings by Tilda Swinton of selections from Kafka's The Blue Octavo Notebooks and Czesław Miłosz's Hymn of the Pearl and Unattainable Earth.
The latest film from director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), Hostiles stars Christian Bale as a legendary Army captain in 1892 who reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family through dangerous territory. The Hostiles soundtrack features music by composer Max Richter (The Leftovers, Sleep). Richter has received both Grammy and Emmy nominations for his work in film and television. Recent awards include The European Film Academy Award for Waltz with Bashir, the International Film Music Critics Award for The Leftovers, and a German Film Award and Australian Film Critics Award for Lore.
Following the success of SLEEP, Max Richter reveals his latest recording project – a new album entitled - Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works. It's drawn from his music to Wayne McGregor's award-winning Royal Ballet production Woolf Works – inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf – and will be released on Deutsche Grammophon on January 27, 2017. Woolf Works returns to the Royal Opera House in London, with performances beginning on January 21 and continuing on February 2,4,8,11,13 & 14. There will also be a worldwide cinema broadcast on February 8 with subsequent screenings.
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