Acclaimed guitarist Todd Mosby joins me for the latest episode of Harmonious World. We all need perspective right now, and there's a lot of that in Todd's latest album - Aerial Views . Todd's comment about creating music that musicians will love to perform on is very apt and I finish with Aether, one of my favourite tracks of 2021. Harmonious World Podcast gives many thanks to Todd for allowing me to feature clips from Aerial Views alongside our conversation.
Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups-most notably, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors-and embracing influences from the sounds of London's diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub. "The common theme in my career as a jazz musician has been wondering if what I'm doing is the thing that I should be doing," says Hutchings, who studied classical clarinet at college at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama. "Me learning about jazz, how to play and interpret, was always a case of just trial and error. I think where I've come to recently is I've stopped trying to think ‘Is what I'm doing valid? or ‘Is what I'm doing part of the jazz tradition?' and just see myself as a musician."
Hutchings is featured on the cover of the May issue of Downbeat. SEE COVER IMAGE
Skope's Sasha Lauryn writes....."A world in which people seek the uncertainties, and possibilities, of art" is the vision of one of the most innovative ensembles to be gracing the popular music landscape right now. With the recent release of their latest album, it's undeniable that Art Of Time Ensemble is bringing that vision to life. Led by the artistic direction and vision of Andrew Burashko together with arrangements by Jonathan Goldsmith who reinterpreted a wide array of songs that qualify as standards. Goldsmith stays faithful to the original melodies and form and then pushes the boundaries as far as possible in every conceivable way. After immersing myself in the deeply sensory sonic landscapes, mesmerizing motifs and hypnotic storytelling that their recent album ‘Ain't Got Long' boasts, I can say with certainty they do just that. The Canada based collective have been breaking archaic genre boundaries since 1998, as their eclectic mix of musicians has attracted captivated crowds on multiple tours. Honestly, I'm just waiting for them to announce their next road trip. This album features the phenomenal pipes of Madeleine Peyroux, Gregory Hoskins, Jessica Mitchell and Sarah Slean. Perhaps it's Andrew's perfect pairings of soundscape with singer or the astounding arrangements of the songs themselves that sets this album apart from anything I've experienced.
Whatever it is, I can't get enough.
READ THE FULL Skope Magazine REVIEW
WRTI's SUSAN LEWIS writes......The Catalyst Quartet uncovers music and the stories of the people who wrote it in its new recording series UNCOVERED. The first volume focuses on music by late 19th-century English composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
The Catalyst Quartet, founded in 2010 by the Sphinx Organization, aims to "reimagine" the classical music experience. "Sometimes classical music is presented like a museum piece," says violist Paul Laraia. "We want to make sure everything we do has relevance to today," and so the ensemble's programs reach out to a diverse audience, with diverse repertoire.
This new project, Uncovered, featuring music of composers who have been overlooked because of race or gender, begins with an album of music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a Black English composer born in the late 19th century, the child of an English mother and an African father from Sierra Leone.
Ironically, Coleridge-Taylor, who was born in 1875 and died suddenly at the age of 37, was acclaimed during his short lifetime. Raised in England, he started violin at 5, joined the Royal College of Music at 15, and at 23, had a triumphant premiere of his cantata, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, set to the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He toured the U.S., where he visited The White House at the invitation of President Teddy Roosevelt. He was so successful, the story goes, that New York musicians in the early 1900s began referring to him as "The Black Mahler;" others are said to have called him "The Black Dvorak."
And while Hiawatha's Wedding Feast remains familiar to many choral ensembles and you may recognize his melodies such as Deep River, much of his over 80 compositions, including operas, ballet music, songs, a symphony, violin concerto and chamber music are unknown today.
Volume 1: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor includes one quartet, and two quintets, one featuring pianist Stewart Goodyear, and one with clarinetist Anthony McGill.
LISTEN & WATCH THE 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia INTERVIEW
'SOMETHING came from Baltimore's' Thom Gouker......Yeah! This was a big thrill for me. I was nervous interviewing one of my favorite artists of all time, Joe Lovano, so I decided to ask him 20 goofy questions to see how he handled them. He easily accepted the challenge and spun junk questions into gold. It's very impressive and that it why I suggest that you check out the Youtube interview, we chatted for 1 1/2 and must of it make it to tape.
"Garden of Expression" is the sent album with the trio Lovano/Crispell/Castaldi, the first was the 2018 release "Seeds of Change"
Do we have to explain who Joe Lovano is????? This is copied from Wiki. Joseph Salvatore Lovano (born December 29, 1952) is an American jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist, and drummer. He has earned a Grammy Award and several mentions on Down Beat magazine's critics' and readers' polls. He is married to jazz singer Judi Silvano with whom he records and performs. Lovano was a longtime member of a trio led by drummer Paul Motian.
LIMELIGHT Magazine's Clive Paget writes......Superlative soloists and compelling chamber music from a quartet on a mission.
One of the revolutions set in progress by last year's Black Lives Matter protests has been the refocusing of the classical music industry's attention of composers of colour, many of them historical figures formerly the preserve of the curious collector and rarely programmed live.
New York-based Catalyst Quartet was founded in 2010 by the Sphinx Organization, an outstanding Detroit-based social justice organisation dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. The ensemble (Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello) build programs and projects accordingly and this excellent release of music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is the first in a projected series of "Uncovered" CDs focussing on composers overlooked because of race and/or gender (others releases will include music by Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Saint-Georges, William Grant Still, Florence B. Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and George Walker).
CLICK HERE FOR THE LIMELIGHT PAGE
Spellbinding Music's GUILLAUME writes....Born in Chicago and based in Palo Alto, California, William Susman is an American composer and pianist whose work encompasses orchestral, chamber, vocal and soundtrack music informed by western classical, jazz, African and Latin American traditions as well as contemporary minimalism. Constantly toying with instrumental permutations – from solo performance to his scaled-down big-band formation Octet – the music of William Susman is a continuous exploration of harmonic and rhythmic patterns. Released in October 2019 and January 2021 respectively on his own Belarca label, Collision Point and A Quiet Madness introduce works spanning over 25 years.
This is "music for moving pictures" – to paraphrase the title of his documentary soundtrack released in 2009 – an astute and contemporary sonic expression of the "quiet madness" playing out on 24-hour news TV channels or as an infinite scroll on our smartphone screens.
READ THE FULL Spellbinding Music REVIEW
Icelandic pianist and post-classical composer Eydís Evensen has confirmed details of her debut album, BYLUR, which will be released on 23rd April, 2021 by XXIM Records, Sony's new imprint for innovative, post-genre instrumental music.
On 26 March 2021 the ambitiously multifaceted musician/composer Clark presents his chillingly affecting ninth studio album Playground In A Lake, on which he broadens horizons and tries new things, with profound results.
Three-time GRAMMY Award-nominated pianist Joey Alexander follows his major-label debut album, WARNA (Verve Records), with three new singles "SALT" (March 19: LINK), "Under the Sun" (April 23), and "Summer Rising" (May 28) set for global release on Verve.
In 1911, my conducting teacher and beloved friend Carl Bamberger, then nine years old, returned home from a day at his Viennese grade school to find his mother sitting at the kitchen table staring into space, a newspaper spread out before her. The headline stabbed young Carl straight into his heart: "Mahler is dead!"
To music loving Viennese one hundred nine years ago, the conductor Gustav Mahler was a god. Most music lovers knew that he composed as well, but Mahler was then more famous as the music director of major opera houses, such as the Court Opera in Vienna. A few years before his death he had left Austria (seen off at the station by Gustav Klimt and Alban Berg among many others) for hopefully more lucrative work at the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. Mahler's sojourn in the states soon ran into whirlwind opposition by Arturo Toscanini at the Met and the ridiculously short-sighted prejudices of the patrons and lawyers at the orchestra. Mahler fled from New York City with a bacterial infection that would end his life on that day in 1911 when young Carl entered the kitchen to find his mother staring into space.
Carl's best friend Joseph Braunstein (later a well-loved musicologist and the program annotator of Musica Aeterna concerts in New York) was ten years older and had remarkable memories of Gustav Mahler during those Viennese years.
Braunstein related that he was a student of Arnold Schoenberg, the influential teacher and composer, at the conservatory in Vienna. Braunstein possessed a bold sense of humor and recalled Schoenberg throwing him out of class on more than one occasion. Braunstein remembered seeing Mahler walking alone in the Prater in Vienna, deep in thought. Braunstein, always eager, thought of going up to Mahler and introducing himself, but felt the need to check himself and did not speak, but watched the solitary composer walk by.
Braunstein later played in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under the illustrious direction of Richard Strauss and Arthur Nikisch, but Braunstein deeply regretted never having played under Mahler.
One wonderful story remembered by Braunstein was of seeing Mahler at the performance of one of Schoenberg's premieres. While the Schoenberg piece was being played, several in the audience began to make derisive comments. One audience member was so loud and negative, the music might have been shouted down unless someone acted quickly to prevent a fiasco. Right in front of Braunstein, Mahler stood up and told the objectionable audience member to shut up, sit down, and be quiet. Mahler was immediately dumped upon by the rude audience member that at the premiere of the composer's Fifth Symphony worse obscenities had been shouted, and now Mahler should shut up and sit down!
One cannot imagine such a reaction occurring today when no one seems to care much about anything.
Yet during this time of pestilence, I have initially had great difficulty in composing or even listening to music. It does not help that I am stressed to the brink in worrying about my loved family and friends.
Gustav Mahler was no stranger to these feelings. His music is full of expressions of worry, life and death concerns, the German word angst nowhere more apt. Just listen to the beginning of the Third Symphony for its representation of the most significant and basic issues we face. Other works such The Song of the Earth, I am Lost to the Earth, Primal Light, Songs on the Death (I cannot finish the title), place Mahler straight up against the worst we may face or are indeed facing.
Carl's mother was not alone in her shock and hurt in learning about Mahler's death. The Viennese culture of the period was ravenous in its appreciation of Mahler and his contemporaries. Yet, Mahler had a special place in their hearts as he was Jewish, his conversion to Catholicism never hiding his Old Testament prophesies and cares. And for those that listened to his music, there was something that stuck and was personal. Mahler's combination of Yiddishkeit, Middle European rootlessness, cosmopolitan virtuosity, and simultaneous passion for old and new galvanized.
The Bamberger family in Vienna was no stranger in its love of Kultur. Carl's later wife Lotte Hammerschlag (a string player and the first principal viola of the Palestine Orchestra) was the daughter of Alma Schindler Mahler's personal gynecologist, Dr. Albert Hammerschlag. Dr. Hammerschlag was a neighbor and close friend of Sigmund Freud, etc. etc. When the Hammerschlags visited the Freuds for dinner, little Lotte was dispatched to the nursery only to be psychoanalyzed by Freud's daughter Anna (who later became a well-recognized child psychologist). Lotte remembered her encounters on Anna's couch with disgust.
The bottom line was that they all knew each other.
Mahler's music ponders every moment, asks questions which he often does not and cannot answer. But asks questions that were not foreign to his contemporaries and remain valid now. Macabre dances, marches by vulgar bands, lead into ecstasy or into depths from which there is no escape.
(And there was no escape for Carl's mother. After the Anschluss of 1938, she vanished into the miasma of the Holocaust, murdered in Theresienstadt.)
Despite the death of Gustav Mahler from a bacterial infection (that a few decades later might have been defeated by antibiotics) and the destruction of Viennese culture by religious hatred that gave us this music, and so much more, Mahler's lessons still ring true. His titanic symphonies are somehow directly personal, the largest means chosen for their most intimate effect.
I understand and feel deeply his intent in every bar. This is not music one can easily render over time. Musicians must shape every bar, every phrase, every note to give it context. It cannot just happen. It has to LIVE.
I will never forget Carl Bamberger and Joseph Braunstein and certainly, Carl's dear mother. They link us to Gustav Mahler, whose love and caring will forever carry us through trying times.
One lesson is to care as much as they did. Listening to this music, I cannot avoid doing just that. I look into Gustav Mahler's face and find peace.
The extraordinary violin virtuoso, Tim Fain, and New York Philharmonic and Brooklyn Knights pianist, Steven Beck, play Michael Shapiro's four movement Second Violin and Piano Sonata. Each movement features their unique artistry portraying the exciting and sometimes bittersweet lyrical melodies of Michael Shapiro. A special and meaningful presentation of unforgettable music.
With his adventuresome spirit and vast musical gifts, violinist Tim Fain has emerged as a mesmerizing presence on the music scene. The "charismatic violinist with a matinee idol profile, strong musical instincts, and first rate chops" (Boston Globe), was seen on screen and heard on the Grammy nominated soundtrack to the film Black Swan, can be heard on the soundtrack to Moonlight and gave "voice" to the violin of the lead actor in the hit film 12 Years a Slave, as he did with Richard Gere's violin in the film Bee Season. Fain captured the Avery Fisher Career Grant and launched his career with Young Concert Artists.
Peace Variations were written for the great virtuoso violinist Tim Fain and premiered in 2010 at the Meisel Loft in Soho, New York, City. The customary Jewish greeting of Shalom Aleichem – Peace Be Unto You – is also memorialized in a traditional theme often used to greet the beginning of the Sabbath. The music expresses a hope for universal peace that is the ultimate goal of Judaism and civilized living. The Hebrew symbol of "Chai" or life or the number 18 are represented in an equivalent eighteen variations. Yes, cherishing life is more important than anything else. Those desires outlined in contrasting variations are abundantly nurtured by the expressivity of Tim's miraculous playing.
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.
Michael Shapiro was commissioned in 2002 by the Boris Koutzen Foundation to write this film score. The world premiere of this work, with live chamber orchestra and film, occurred in October 2002 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Jacob Burns Film Center in New York. Since its premiere, it has received over 50 performances worldwide, including its European premiere at the Bergen International Festival in Norway, and at the Mariinsky Theater Film Annex in St. Petersburg, with major symphony orchestras in the United States, Canada, and the U.K., by Federal service bands such as the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Canadian Air Force Band (La Musique de Aviation royale canadienne) in Winnepeg, and university ensembles throughout the Americas.
Notes by the composer..........My Second Symphony is a work of absolute music.? It has no subtext; it tells no "story"; it just is.? I had always wished to write a four-movement symphony, containing a serious first movement, a scherzo, a lyrical slow movement, and a set of variations concluding in transcendence.? Working in 2010 with Maestra Marin Alsop and the virtuosic Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (for the California premiere of my Roller Coaster) provided inspiration to open my symphonic veins further, write a large work for large orchestra, and out came this purely instrumental symphony (my first, Symphony Pomes Penyeach, is a song cycle).? The Second Symphony is scored for full orchestra including the usual complement of winds, brass, percussion, and strings, but adding alto flute and English horn for their special pungency. Its premiere reading with The Chappaqua Orchestra in the United States was immediately followed by this recording in July, 2015 with the miraculous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at CBSO Centre in Birmingham, UK. ? The recording sessions with these great musicians confirmed the sounds, textures, timbres, rhythms, and, yes, emotions I intended to impart when I wrote the work.? It is preserved now for listeners to hear, and, I trust, be moved by ? a symphony in four movements for orchestra, plain and simple, colorful and complex, a work that is absolutely what it is.? The symphony is dedicated to Marjorie Perlin.
Duration of the Second Symphony: 36'
Michael Shapiro breathes new life into the famous Toccata from the Fifth Organ Symphony by Victorian French composer Charles-Marie Widor with this arrangement for full orchestra named Widorama! played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by the composer. Shapiro's arrangement of the famous Toccata, frequently used by organists for weddings and church services, brings the work into the concert hall in highly dramatic fashion.
‘Archangel Concerto for Piano and Orchestra' features pianist Steven Beck (New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Knights). The Concerto is probably the most programmatic piece of music Michael Shapiro has ever written. Archangel is in two books or movements. Book One depicts the war between the forces of good and evil set forth in John Milton's Paradise Lost. Book Two portrays Adam and Eve (and the Serpent) in Eden and their being cast out into the world we all live. Archangel is therefore about the most basic and terrifying truth, the fight between good and evil raging to this day.
‘Perlimplinito, Opera Sweet, A Lace Paper Valentine for Orchestra' contains the entr'acte music from Shapiro's first opera, based on the play by Federico Garcia Lorca. The fantastical story of an old man who falls tragically in love with a beautiful young woman who cuckolds him on their wedding night with the five races of the earth, the music of Perlimplinito is emotional, visceral, and beautifully lyrical. A perfect piece for Valentine's Day!
‘Roller Coaster for Orchestra,' is a five-minute wild ride. Premiered at the Cabrillo Festival in California by conductor Marin Alsop, the piece is a musical representation of the Coney Island (Brooklyn NY) Cyclone amusement park ride and a metaphor for life's ups and downs.