Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. Arguably the most influential movie composer who ever lived, his music is familiar to audiences around the world. Morricone passed away on Monday in Rome, city of his birth, where he'd lived all his life. Cause of death is reported as complications arising from a fall and broken femur. His collaborations with some of the true greats of cinema echo through the ages. Rising to prominence with Sergio Leone – with whom he went to school – he added the iconic twangs, whistles and harmonicas to the director's "Dollars trilogy" (1964-66).
"Added" is probably the wrong word – for Leone, his friend's compositions were an essential part of creating the film. The Guardian notes, "he once remarked that part of the reason Sergio Leone's westerns were so slow was that certain scenes were extended in order to accommodate his soundtrack, a luxury that seems almost unthinkable in today's film industry." In some cases the music was finished before a frame was shot.
Morricone disliked the term "spaghetti western", feeling there was more to his career. No arguing about that – his work moved viewers from the Old West to classic gangster battles in the big cities. His final collaboration with Leone was 1984 crime saga Once Upon A Time In America, which he regarded as his best. Three years later his score accompanied Eliot Ness's pursuit of Al Capone in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987). Robert De Niro starred in both movies, as well Morricone-scored historical drama The Mission (1986), directed by Roland Joffé.
Ennio Morricone in 2012 (Photo by Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Redferns via Getty Images)
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On March 13, 2020 Shabaka & The Ancestors made their Impulse! debut with the band's sophomore album 'We Are Sent Here By History.' Their breakout 2016 album, Wisdom of Elders, established Shabaka & The Ancestors as a sudden force in spiritual jazz. But where that record warned of impending societal collapse, this one unfolds within it. Shabaka refers to the album as a "meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning." On the lead single "Go My Heart, Go To Heaven," Siyabonga pays homage to his father's favorite church song. The word "hamba" (or "go") is repeated, and within the context of this track, it's "about the point where one gives in and wants out of this world," Siyabonga says. "But in times of darkness is a call to the light and the heart."
"We Are Sent Here by History" melds saxophone, trumpet, drums, percussion, bass, and piano notes to evoke images of South Africa's traditions and culture.
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Spike Lee's very new joint is an anguished, more funny, violent argument with and about the whole American history, also with an unforgettable performance from Delroy Lindo at its heart. Spike Lee's career can also be described as a lover's quarrel with American movies and with America, too. As he has demonstrated his mastery of established genres, he has also now reinvented them, pointing out the blind spots and filling the gap.
His all critiques of Hollywood's long history of ignoring and distorting, the black lives have altered the way we look at the movies. His all attempts to expand the frame and also correct the record have now changed the course of the cultural mainstream.
He said ‘I am tempted to say that with ‘Da Bloods', which debuts on Friday, Lee has done it again. But, when as he ever repeated himself? This whole long, anguished, funny, violent excursion into a hidden chamber of the nation's heart of the darkness is not like anything else, even if it all may put you in mind of a lot of other things. In all its anger, its humour and its exuberance in the emotional richness of the central performances and also of Terence Blanchard's score'.
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Sally Potter's The Roads Not Taken premiered at this year's Berlin Film Festival and stars Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek and Laura Linney. The film now has got a release date and opens in UK and Ireland cinemas from 11th September. It was released in the US in April through Bleeker Street through on-demand services. Universal will release in the UK. You can watch a trailer for the film below.
THE ROADS NOT TAKEN follows 24 turbulent hours in the life of father and daughter Leo (Bardem) and Molly (Fanning) as she grapples with the challenges of dealing with her father's chaotic mental state. But as they weave their way around New York City, their ordinary but stressful day takes on a hallucinatory and epic quality, for Leo is seamlessly flowing in and out of two other parallel lives – a passionate marriage with his childhood sweetheart Dolores (Hayek) in Mexico a life of solitude on a remote Greek island, where a chance encounter with two young tourists unmasks some uncomfortable truths….
The film weaves a rich, cinematic tapestry as Leo's parallel lives – visible only to him – gradually unravel in moments of tragedy, happiness, regret and humour. It is only Molly who eventually begins to understand his secret selves.
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Violinist Niv Ashkenazi plays one of a handful of restored violins that survived the Holocaust, and his debut recording, "Violins of Hope" (Albany Records) is a document of the perseverance of the instruments' original owners. Mr. Ashkenazi, along with pianist and fellow Juillard student, pianist Matthew Graybil, breathe life into music that, in some cases, was written and played in the camps on these very violins. The styles and moods of the music is of wonderful variety: heartfelt, melodious, modern, and sometimes humorous. The recording ensures that the story, the very lives of these human beings, will never be forgotten.
Niv Ashkenazi' discusses 'Violins of Hope' with All Classical Portland. LISTEN
Cellist Inbal Segev recorded music by Lucas Richman with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Now she has a new cd on the Avie label with the London Philharmonic conducted by Marin Alsop with Anna Clyne's Dance and the Elgar Cello Concerto. She talks about Anna Clyne and creating the new music and her work with other women composers and the great classic by Elgar. Topics include what she is doing during the pandemic in New York, a commissioning project and much more in this interview with 89.3WQED: Pittsburgh -Jim Cunningham.
With artists stuck at home these days struggling to make sense of a radically new normal, many are turning to the one thing you can do when everything else is on hold: create. We've had a wonderful smorgasbord of new songs and videos coming out over the past three months – but so far, few artists have tried to create work about the pandemic, and some of the efforts I've seen to date have felt a bit forced.
Let's face it, it's very hard to process something when you're still wildly in the thick of it. But Sultans of String strike just the right chord with this video for their song "I'm Free" featuring Waleed Abdulhamid from their latest album Refuge. The concept is simple and the format well-broken-in: they asked friends and fans all over the world to hold up signs showing what they miss most during lockdown.
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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.
Anoushka Shankar chats about the joy of discovery at WOMADelaide / The Adelaide Review
Posted: February 16, 2018 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Anoushka Shankar chats about taking the sitar into new musical territory, collaborating with M.I.A. and the joy of discovery at festivals like WOMADelaide. "At base level I think it is a beautiful instrument and I think it has got an extremely emotional and evocative sound," she says of the sitar's enduring appeal. "It also has references in people's psyche of that time in popular culture - when it really first hit global recognition through my father's work. Because of that it seems to have an indelible association with elements of spirituality that seem to affect people very deeply." Anoushka Shankar plays WOMADelaide on Friday March 9
‘Love Letters' marks a different direction for the internationally celebrated artist; it offers a shift in intimacy and content and comes at a pivotal time in her career as she signs to her new record label, Mercury KX. Hailed by the Guardian as a "virtuoso sitar player", Anoushka truly pushes the boundaries of how the instrument is heard and perceived and "uses it as a vehicle for creativity" (Times).
Love Letters documents a time of profound flux for Anoushka: health issues, heartbreak, domestic upheaval – "These were difficult times, which pushed me into some very vulnerable places. I've written from a personal place before, of course, but there was something particularly tender about the process this time, and it was a creative challenge to be brave enough to allow the music to remain as raw as it began" she says.
Land of Gold, Anoushka Shankar's fourth album for Deutsche Grammophon, is her heartfelt response to the trauma and injustice experienced by refugees and victims of war. Offering an uplifting message of hope for dark times, its music was inspired by recent news images of people fleeing civil war, oppression, poverty and unbearable hardship. The album contemplates the common thread of humanity and its power to reconnect people divided by hatred and fear. "The seeds of Land of Gold originated in the context of the humanitarian plight of refugees," Anoushka recalls. "It coincided with the time when I had recently given birth to my second child. I was deeply troubled by the intense contrast between my ability to provide for my baby, and others who desperately wanted to provide the same security for their children but were unable to do so."
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After several stunning experimental/crossover albums, including the Grammy®-nominated recordings Rise, Traveller and Traces Of You,Anoushka Shankar returns to her classical roots, paying homage to the teachings of her father and guru Ravi Shankar. Home features two ragas, one of which is a creation of Ravi Shankar's, and with them Anoushka shares an intimate, heartfelt live performance in the traditional style. Indian classical music is not written down, but has been improvised and passed down through an oral tradition for centuries; Home is a paradigm of this genre, exemplifying the unique dichotomy between the ancient structure and in-the-moment improvisations. Home is self-produced by Anoushka, and on it she strove torecord the ancient instruments at an unprecedented, "high-definition" quality, working with a team of experts to design a studio in her own home that would be uniquely suited to the timbre of her instrument.
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Inspired by the loss of her legendary father, Ravi Shankar, and by the idea that everything in the universe leaves an indelible mark on everything else, Anoushka Shankar releases her first Deutsche Grammophon recording: Traces of You. The work is a juxtaposition of sorrow surrounding the loss of her father during the recording process and the joy of raising her son, Zubin. Anoushka Shankar has been nominated for three Grammy® Awards, making her the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category. As a classical sitarist her professional debut was at the age of thirteen and she has championed her father's orchestral works with the world's leading orchestras. Shankar will tour the U.S. in support of the album.
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From the time that the great sitar maestro Ravi Shankar attuned Western ears to the eloquence of Indian Classical music, the world has been fertile ground for creating new fusions of culture and music. The evidence is heard in music from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin, as well as that of Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale. East meets West with the Anoushka Shankar, Karsh Kale collaboration on Breathing Under Water. The new CD on Manhattan records includes guest tracks by Sting, and Anoushka's sister Norah Jones
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Sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar releases: Rise, her first studio recording in 5 years, and first release since 2001's Grammy-Nominated CD Live At Carnegie Hall.
TIME Asia wrote: "Anoushka Shankar has made her sitar an instrument not just of a silky melody but of a cultural revival, injecting freshness and energy into traditional Indian music, and broadening its appeal for a younger generation."
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