t amazes me how many films today have a soundtrack that isn't informed by the movie itself. This interchangeable claptrap has made it almost impossible to review. But composer William Susman flavors the setting of Sarah Sifer's Fate of the Lhapa beautifully. Interestingly enough, I saw this documentary many, many years ago, and it truly affected me, but I never knew the soundtrack was available until it was sent to me to review 13 years after its original release. Go figure.
While there are certainly traditional forms of Western instrumentation such as harp, Susman has incorporated sounds we would associate with Nepal: There is no list, but I believe we are hearing drums - such as the dhimay, madal, and khin - a bansuri (a bamboo flute), a plucked string (perhaps the tunga), tingsha cymbals, a sringa (a large "C"- or "S"-shaped horn which is also a political symbol), and more. Along the way is minimalism that is so transporting it would make Philip Glass proud, as it helps achieve a sense of bittersweet spirituality so prevalent in the film. (Glass is also a fierce proponent for Nepal's freedom and Buddhist principles - the latter evidenced in his opera, Satyagraha.)
At first, part of the fun for me was parsing out the instruments (wait - is this sound that conch shell that has both ritual and religious importance in Hinduism?), but magically by the seventh of eleven tracks, they merge into a higher plane of trance-inducing balminess that lovingly elucidates the subject matter. While it's accurate to say that the music of Susman (who also performs) blends that mysterious, uncanny long-established Asian music with those soul-moving Western strings evokes what the press notes call an "ancient healing tradition in danger of extinction," this is music that stands alone from the film - in fact, this journey requires you to listen with headphones on and your eyes closed. The mixing by Stephen Hart at Berkeley's Fantasy Studios makes everything sound crystal clear.
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James Whale's film classic Frankenstein (1931), starring Boris Karloff, was released without a musical score, as were many films in those early days of the talkie. A number of critics, including Leonard Maltin, have remarked that Frankenstein is badly in need of music. Michael Shapiro's 70-minute score is written to be played simultaneously with the screening of the film. For modern-day concert- and moviegoers, his haunting music adds significantly to the emotional impact of the film.
Harmonious World Podcast's Hilary Robertson interviews composer and conductor Michael Shapiro.There's a good chance that I'll be jumping on a plane as soon as such things are possible again - this time to see the operatic version of Michael's film score to the original film of...
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Ben Rosenblum plays both piano and accordion on this pastoral session with the blended horns of trumpeter Wayne Tucker, Jasper Dutz on tenor sax or bass clarinet, guitarist Rafael Rosa, bassist Marty Jaffe, drummer Ben Zweig and guests Jake Chapman/vib, Sam Chess/tb and Jeremy Corren/p. Chapman's vibes team with Tucker's horn on an Old World tango of a title track with added accordion atmosphere, with similar moods with Corren replacing Chapman on the European "Motif From Brahms". A fun tarantella with Tucker out in front gets you dancing on "Fight Or Flight" with the horns in gorgeous harmony on the elegiac "Bright Above Us" and the folk tune "Izpoved". The team takes a dreamy read of Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere" with Neil Young's "Philadelphia" a rich vehicle for Rosa and Chess. Sounds of the piazza.
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Labrinth pulls off yet another pristine, passionate endeavour through his latest number ‘No Ordinary.' The British singer-songwriter has always displayed a knack for taking simple melodies and working wonders with them, and he does so again with this latest feature.
The composition is gentle but magical in its own way, especially when coupled with Labrinth's soulful, touching voice that seems to hit every feeling in the range. The first verse makes use of light bass instrumentation that is resounding without being overpowering; the vast majority of the focus is on Labrinth's phenomenal vocal range that's underscored at each and every step of the way. What gives the composition the extra edge is the vocal layering and overlapping that carries us all the way to the chorus. His voice is so powerful that even the moderate notes are charged with an all-consuming force. The lyrics refer to both ‘devotion' and ‘Holy Ghost,' hinting to the religious stylings of the melody, though they're never hammered in.
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NPR Music and Lara Downes announce the launch of AMPLIFY With Lara Downes, a new bi-weekly series of intimate and deeply personal video conversations with visionary Black musicians who are shaping the present and future of the art form, premiering Saturday, October 17 on NPRMusic.org, YouTube, and social media platforms.
Created and hosted by pianist and artist Lara Downes, and co-produced by NPR Music's Tom Huizenga, this series invites viewers to experience raw, revealing, and open-hearted conversations reflecting on how artists are responding and creating in this time of profound challenge and change. Downes and her guests-initially including MacArthur Fellow vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens, 2020 Avery Fisher Prize-winning clarinetist Anthony McGill, multidisciplinary artist Helga Davis, and vocalist Davóne Tines, with other guests such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason and family to follow-connect and reflect on highly relevant themes ranging from music and mission, legacy and lineage, to transformation and change.
Guests to include Rhiannon Giddens, Anthony McGill, Helga Davis, Davóne Tines, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason and family.
Series premieres today!! Saturday, October 17 on NPR Music.org and NPR's YouTube and social media platforms.
Says Downes of the series: "In this time of our collective reckoning about historical inequities in American life and art, I'm excited to amplify the voices of extraordinary artists of color, shining a bright light on a diverse and rich future that is, in the words of James Weldon Johnson, 'full of the hope that the present has brought us.'"
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What is multiple Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin's response to everyone wearing masks to stay healthy? "Welcome to my world!" she says. "I've been wearing an N95 mask for almost 20 years on every single airplane flight, and since doing that, I've never gotten sick from flying."
In this 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia TIME IN interview, Sharon talks about navigating the pandemic with more healthy habits, including Transcendental Meditation, and learning the technology to create new ways (beyond Zoom) of teaching her guitar students at Juilliard, where she directs the department she founded in 1989.
Sharon met with me on Zoom on September 22nd, 2020 to talk about life during the panedemic. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation:
For her latest studio album, pianist Hélène Grimaud travels to Salzburg where she creates a fascinating juxtaposition between the eternal Mozart and the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. In selecting the music for this album, Grimaud has carefully chosen music by Mozart that fits into an overall dramaturgy: from his famous unfinished D minor Fantasy, she transitions seamlessly into the great D minor concerto, K. 466. The C minor Fantasy then signals "the end of Mozart" and a new beginning: Silvestrov's The Messenger starts with a theme reminiscent of Mozart and creates a connection between the present and the world that existed before.
For October 15 2020, Hélène Grimaud: The Messenger is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
Inspired by the ground-breaking mission of NASA's Juno space probe and its ongoing exploration of Jupiter, Juno to Jupiter is a multi-dimensional musical journey through electronic, progressive, ambient, techno, orchestral, and vocal music.
Milan Records today announces the release of Luca Guadagnino's WE ARE WHO WE ARE (ORIGINAL SERIES SCORE) featuring music by producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and vocalist DEVONTÉ HYNES.
Women Warriors, The Voices of Change: Chapter 9: Seeking Justice and Equality
Posted: September 16, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Women Warriors: The Voices of Change multimedia concert performed by Orchestra Moderne NYC, under the direction of Amy Andersson, features the music of eight renowned female film composers and presents 800 years of women fighting for human rights and equality. This 80-minute interactive experience is a socially and culturally relevant world premiere concert which includes historical visuals from the past to present day. Women Warriors: The Voices of Change celebrates the strength and heroism of female global activists fighting for human, civil, and minority rights, environmental causes, and gender equality.
Orchestra Moderne NYC and Conductor/Producer Amy Andersson team with composers Nathalie Bonin, Miriam Cutler, Anne-Kathrin Dern, Sharon Farber, Mandy Hoffman, Penka Kouneva, Starr Parodi, and Lolita Ritmanis, who together have created a rich and cinematic orchestral experience in seventeen world premiere pieces that inspire hope and courage for women and girls around the world. Special guest artists include; Afghan rapper/songwriter Sonita Alizadeh, fifteen year old singer/songwriter Isolde Fair, and violinist Nathalie Bonin. Iranian human rights activist and author Masih Alinejad is the honored guest speaker.
The opening theme music for this podcast was provided by Penka Kouneva
Sharon Farber is a four time Emmy Award Nominated Film, TV and concert music composer. Farber is a true believer in Hans Christian Andersen's quote; "When words fail, music speaks" and she is honored to be a part of the Women Warriors, Voices of Change concert. Always drawn to human stories, she feels privileged to be able to musically communicate the teaching and moral of these narratives and shine light on the human experience.
For Chapter Nine - ‘Seeking Justice and Equality, Farber wrote - "Say Their Names", which highlights the three founders of Black Lives Matter. Farber says that she cannot imagine the heartache of losing a child, and says from this experience, a new, strong and determined voice of change will emerge, with a call for human dignity and respect for all life.
Join us at New York's Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center - September 20 2019 at 8:00pm for this historical and stunning concert experience which celebrates the strength and heroism of female global activists fighting for human and civil rights, environmental causes, and gender equality.
Narration for this podcast by Max Horowitz.
This content, as well as the related podcast, are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) for redistribution and adaptation.
Recorded live to the highest industry standards in front of the magnificent scenery of Beijing's Forbidden City, this unique gala concert celebrates the 120th anniversary of Deutsche Grammophon. The concert features conductor Long Yu and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, both freshly signed as exclusive recording artists to Deutsche Grammophon, and performances from Aida Garifullina, Daniil Trifonov, Mari Samuelsen, and more.
Impulse! has brought together some of the great progressive jazz musicians of our time to pay tribute to The Beatles'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A Day In The Life: Impressions of Pepper will be available on vinyl for Record Store Day on November 23, available on CD, digital, and streaming platforms on November 30, with a wide vinyl release on January 18, 2019.
A Day In The Life: Impressions of Pepper includes performances and interpretations by artists such as UK saxophonist and Impulse! recording artist Shabaka Hutchings, Impulse! pianist Sullivan Fortner, Verve recording artist Miles Mosley, Onyx Collective, percussionist Antonio Sanchez, guitarist Mary Halvorson, The JuJu Exchange and more.
This stellar lineup represents some of the great progressive jazz artists from around the world: Shabaka from the UK Jazz scene, Miles Mosley and Cameron Graves from LA's West Coast Get Down, Onyx Collective from NYC, Makaya McCraven and the JuJu Exchange from Chicago.
Many people picture grim-faced Beethoven, shaking his fist at the heavens and persisting through deafness and illness to compose works of transcendent beauty, but he also stirs emotions that feel both deeply personal and ubiquitous. There are moments of red-cheeked optimism, quiet introspection, playful dances, heroic declarations, a restless search for the sublime. And while Beethoven is perhaps most famous for his sonatas and symphonies, he composed an opera, chamber works, songs, sacred music, incidental music for the stage, even dances. Taken together, these selections paint a rich portrait of Beethoven's humanity, which has attracted artists of the highest caliber such as Leonard Bernstein, Carlos Kleiber, Janine Jansen, and Martha Argerich. Some of these recordings are legendary, but all of them jump out with their undeniable virtuosity and brilliance. This collection may remind you of that iconic portrait of immortal Genius suffering for Art, but it will also reacquaint you with an artist from another time who somehow captured so much of the human experience.
Decca Records is proud to release The Official Recording of The Royal Wedding, one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. Having recorded the entire service live at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle today, every piece of music, the readings, blessings and the vows will be available to listen to permanently on all streaming services in just a few hours: a first for a Royal Wedding. The physical album, on CD, will then be released into retail stores around the world from 1st June.
The musical highlight of the moving and joyous ceremony was British cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, one of the most exciting musicians of his generation, who was personally asked by the bride and groom to perform at their wedding. The 19-year-old musician took centre stage for the all-important signing of the register. Dressed in a black Paul Smith suit with vibrant pink tie, Sheku played three beautiful pieces: "Sicilienne" by von Paradis, Schubert's "Ave Maria," and "Après Un Rêve" by Fauré. He was accompanied by orchestra*, as the Royal Couple officially became husband and wife. Knowing he was performing not only for the Royal Family, 600 invited guests in the Chapel, and an estimated global audience of up to three billion people, the talented teenager was thrilled to be involved in the occasion:
History was written in 2000 BC, and 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Brahms' Lullaby, so this precious musical tradition has deep cultural and emotional roots. These personal songs bring people together, span generations, and tell stories about where we come from, who we are now, and our hopes for the future. The legacy continues with the release of Hopes and Dreams: The Lullaby Project on Decca Gold (Verve Label Group). The recording is inspired by the Lullaby Project, a program of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute which pairs pregnant women, new mothers, and family members with professional artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development, and strengthening the bond between parent and child. Hopes and Dreams: The Lullaby Project features fifteen lullabies written by parents from across New York City, as performed by Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman (The Voice 2017), Rhiannon Giddens (Nashville), Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs), Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The second installment of the Jazz Loves Disney series, Jazz Loves Disney 2: A Kind of Magic features guest artists including Angélique Kidjo, Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Jacob Collier, George Benson, Madeleine Peyroux and more, taking on beloved melodies from the Disney canon. The album will be released on Verve Records on November 10. The Jazz Loves Disney series celebrates the nostalgia and universal appeal of the music of Disney films. The rich catalogue of Disney songs that span genres and generations inspired producer Jay Newland and arranger Rob Mounsey to continue the series.
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The Passion of Charlie Parker is a new album from producer Larry Klein that tells the story of Charlie Parker using his music as inspiration for new songs that narrate his life. Guest artists include Gregory Porter, Madeleine Peyroux, Kandace Springs, actor Jeffrey Wright, and more. The album will be available on impulse!/ Verve digitally on June 16, with physical release to follow on June 30. Larry Klein says, "With this album I've endeavored to do something new and different in an effort to illustrate who ‘Bird' was as an archetypal character, and to draw attention to the huge impact that his work had on Jazz." Rather than create another tribute of traditional bebop tunes, Klein partnered with lyricist David Baerwald to create a musical play that tells the story of Charlie Parker's life while still playing with the jagged melodic nature of Charlie Parker's compositions.
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