Like Rachmaninoff, Danill Trifonov was born in Russia, and is already considered one of the world's great pianists at age 29. He is also a composer, and made his way to the United States where he settled in New York. Despite all these parallels, Trifonov didn't start studying and performing Rachmaninoff's music until he was 21, but he has made up for lost time by releasing three albums devoted to the composer: an album of Rachmaninoff's three sets of variations in 2015; "Departure", featuring concertos 2 & 4, in 2018; and "Arrival", featuring Concertos 1 & 3, in October 2019. All three were done in collaboration with The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. It was in January 2019, just a few months after the release of Departure, that WETA evening host James Jacobs spoke to Daniil Trifonov backstage at the Kennedy Center during a week in which he was appearing with the NSO. In a wide-ranging conversation Trifonov shares his thoughts on Rachmaninoff and reflects on his own career.
LISTEN TO THE WETA: Wash DC INTERVIEW
Nina Simone's Fodder On My Wings was initially recorded not long after she moved to Paris in 1982. Simone always loved the album, but it remained rather obscure as it was recorded for a small French label and was often in and out of print. It is now being reissued in CD and LP formats with three bonus tracks from a French reissue in 1988. You may have already heard audio or videos for the jubilant "I Sing Just to Know I'm Alive" or "Liberian Calypso."
This is not the rebellious Nina of "Mississippi Goddam" or even the jazzy "My Baby Just Cares For Me." Yet, her signature powerful crescendos ("Thandewye") and shimmering piano flourishes ("Le Peuple En Suisse") are all over the album which is anything but even. These are deeply personal songs, including the aforementioned, "I Sing Just To Know That I'm Alive" and "I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them," as well a searing lyrical improvisation about the death of her father on "Alone Again (Naturally)."
At the time she recorded the album, Simone was living in France and was extremely lonely; her mental illness was increasing, and her family life was fractured. It's this despair that spawned one of the many album standouts, the near title track "Fodder In Her Wings. "A top music outlet wrote that, the composition "captured with startling intimacy the pain of this period, and she returned to it frequently through the next decade, cutting another studio version three years later (the synth-heavy take on Nina's Back!) and including it on several live albums, including an awe-inspiring performance on 1987's Let It Be Me, continuing, "Simone's vocal makes a song of weariness and defeat carry an air of defiance, a wise word from someone who survived to tell the tale."
Recorded at a time when Simone was feeling rejuvenated by her surroundings and by the African musicians she met in her newly adopted France, Fodder On My Wings is an essential Simone album that is making a long-overdue reappearance.
READ THE FULL glideMagazine REVIEW
When Víkingur Ólafsson was about 5 years old, he already knew what he wanted to be. "It sounds crazy, but I always saw myself as a concert pianist," he says. "Even if I wasn't a good pianist."
The Icelandic musician, who turned 36 last month, has become a very good pianist indeed. Whether playing baroque or contemporary music, Ólafsson's technique is formidable, but it's transparency combined with warmth that has defined his singular sound. He is sought after by the world's top orchestras and concert venues and has signed on with the swanky Deutsche Grammophon record label. After well-received albums of Philip Glass and J.S. Bach, his latest album, Debussy – Rameau, was released March 27.
The recording unfolds almost like a classical mixtape, with Ólafsson juxtaposing tracks by two French composers, born almost two centuries apart, who both broke new ground in music. The pianist says he tried to create a conversation between Jean-Philippe Rameau, the baroque master who literally wrote the book on French harmony, and Claude Debussy, who, straddling the 19th and 20th centuries, absorbed those theories and then, as Ólafsson says, "threw them out the window."
Over the phone from his home in Reykjavík, the young pianist spoke with NPR about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on his relationship to music, the idea of Debussy as a "bank robber" and why he has been dubbed "Iceland's Glenn Gould." This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
To one generation, Karsh Kale needs no introduction- he is one of the pioneers who defined the Asian Underground musical scene of the early '90s. To another generation, he is the guy who scored the famous Train song for Gully Boy (2019). Point this out, and he laughs. Because Kale has always been fiercely protective of his independent artiste tag, and it is ironic that he is known to GenZ for a film song.
""I have experienced situations where I knew it was my skin tone that didn't land me the gig!"
"I am 45 and I have been doing this for too long to be swayed by adulation," he says. "The joy of making music is what you have written and not what happens after the track is released. It is not because you have got so many likes on YouTube, but because you believed in that piece of work before anyone else even heard it. Everything else – numbers and views – is just an illusion."
Kale is also evolving. "I don't want the same things I did when I was 18, and I don't want to die doing the same thing. I have written a few scripts and I want to direct a film. But at the right time!"
READ THE FULL hindustan times ARTICLE
"Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn't hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener." – Nils Frahm
Piano Day, a annual worldwide event founded by a group of likeminded people, takes place on the 88th day of the year – in 2020 it's the 28th March – because of the number of keys on the instrument being celebrated.
The aim of the day is to create a platform for piano related projects in order to promote the development of musical dimensions and to continue sharing the centuries-old joy of playing piano. Piano Day welcomes all kinds of piano lovers - young and old, amateur and professional, of any musical direction – to join in this years festivities. It is intended to be the most joyful of all holidays!
Celebrate World Piano Day with livestreamed concerts and recitals from across the world.
Five for Five, or five quintets with five different solo instruments: bassoon, English horn, clarinet, oboe and transverse flute accompanied by and dialoguing with a string quartet was written by Michael Fine. Before being a composer, Michael Fine was a clarinetist, label director, artistic orchestra manager, conductor and a popular producer.
We find there what makes the quintessence of the music of the American composer where each work has almost its universe as descendant of an aesthetic line specific to the instrument. For the one for bassoon, we will think of the music written for this instrument by Devienne (for the relationship between the soloist and the strings), Jean Françaix or Roger Boutry. The one for clarinet between lyricism and swing recalls Copland. There is almost a kind of neo-classicism in that for oboe but sometimes with a touch of jazz. The one for flute and the Elegy for English horn have an almost impressionist side.
The work and the writing of Michael Fine will not transcend the music of our time but this disc, by being interested in rather original formations deserves to be listened to.
READ THE FULL froggy's delight ARTICLE
I'm on a musical voyage again, and I am now wondering if this is the most exciting sojourn through tone and sound I have taken this year, as Michael Whalen is back with Scared Spaces a breath taking new offering from the artist, and a completely new direction from all that I have heard before.
Michael known recently for his lush and moving piano work on Cupid Blindfolded, has delivered a truly refreshing new offering of electronic ambient and new age styles for us to enjoy.
This is powerfully illustrated by the opening piece entitled A Metaphysical Morning, a wonderfully upbeat and literally sparkling new composition that sets the scene musically for us, with one of the most empowering performances on keyboards that I think I have ever heard; this is true music to raise the rhythms.
The title track Sacred Spaces is up next, the combination of synths and keyboards here transports us to a whole new musical realm entirely; this is an extremely smooth performance by Whalen, one that has to be both admired and deeply enjoyed; the mix here is sublime, it's a track that if listened to carefully, moves you from one space to another with such a crafted sense of movement employed in the presentation.
READ THE FULL Steve Sheppard Music Review
‘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.
What we have here is an extremely rare example of a "complete" musician among the violinists of the present day: one of the most sought-after soloists in today's world of music, he regularly performs with leading international orchestras under the most high-profile conductors.
Milan Records today announces the February 28 release of WENDY (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by award-winning composer, songwriter and producer DAN ROMER and the film's award-winning director BENH ZEITLIN.
Wolfgang Muthspiel, whom The New Yorker has called "a shining light" among today's jazz guitarists, returns to the trio format with Angular Blues, the Austrian's fourth ECM album as a leader, following two acclaimed quintet releases and his trio debut.
Debussy has been with me as far back as I can remember, but my first encounter with the keyboard music of Rameau was Emil Gilels' 1951 recording of "Le rappel des oiseaux", which I came across during my student days in New York.
Anoushka Shankar | Karsh Kale: Breathing Under Water. Fertile ground fusing culture and music
Posted: June 19, 2013 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
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, from Shakti to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, to today's most influential fusions of sound like that of Anoushka Shankar and Six Degrees Recording Artist, Karsh Kale. Imagine living in a world where psychedelic raves follow classical recitals and rock and roll dives become Bollywood hangouts. A world where one finds West Coast yogis immersed in Eastern culture and the New York underground drawing inspiration from the New Delhi club scene, where globalization is an internal state-of-being and borders were made to be crossed. This is the world Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale live in and journey through. "Breathing Under Water" is the soundtrack of this journey as created by two of the most visionary talents pioneering the hip and fertile overlap of today's world music scene. The album is carefully constructed and composed, boasting some of the finest guest artists on the order of Ravi Shankar who created the nucleus of two climatic pieces for the album (Oceanic Parts 1 & 2) plus Sting, Anoushka's sister Norah Jones, Midival Punditz, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Noah Lembersky , Shankar Mahadevan and Sunidhi Chauhan. "Breathing Under Water" plays like a modern gypsy travelogue through the alluring world of Shankar and Kale.
That Anoushka Shankar--the 25-year old star sitarist and composer (and daughter of legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar)--would meet and work with producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Karsh Kale (Kursh Kah-lay) seems almost inevitable, given their markedly parallel paths. Like Shankar, the 32-year old Kale was raised in America by Indian parents, and proved his instrumental talent early--as a founding member of the all-star super group Tabla Beat Science and later on Six Degrees Records as producer and composer of some of the finest global electronica of the past decade. As leaders, both have four albums to their credit, with their latest--Shankar's Grammy nominated "Rise" and Kale's "Broken English"(Six Degrees Records)--launching both on a creatively multi-dimensional musical path. "Breathing Under Water" marks the convergence of these paths and is the first time either has shared titled credit on a recording.
To say that "Breathing Under Water" stands as a career breakthrough for both Shankar and Kale is an understatement. For both, it proved creatively catalytic and stands as a measure of their growth as musicians, as they broke ground beyond the roles each is known for: Shankar expanding her talents as an electronic producer, keyboard/pianist, composer and lyricist, and Kale as a composer and singer, while playing guitars, tabla, drums, keyboards and bass. For both the common thread within this album remained the Indian Classical repertoire. In the same way rock and roll artists used blues music and hip hop artists use jazz and funk as their muse to create new forms, Kale and Shankar both keep Indian music at the center of all that they create, yet allow the music to expand beyond cultural and traditional borders to reach a panoramic view of their world.
The songs were "conceived organically, written mainly on sitar and acoustic guitar before taking them in all different directions," Kale says. "There were two ways that we composed for the most part," Shankar adds. "Some songs came from an acoustic space, coming up with the melody and then orchestrating around it. And there were a few pieces like 'Slither' and 'PD7,' which we started creating and programming on the computer first, and layered on top of later."
Adding structure and lending studio expertise to the project were two of India's most celebrated producers: Gaurav Raina, known for his groundbreaking work with electronica/raga fusionists Midival Punditz (Six Degrees Records); and Salim Merchant, the prolific Bollywood soundtrack composer and keyboardist. According to Kale, the two were a guiding force to the project. "They facilitated our ability to collaborate. They made it possible for us to throw things on the wall until they were sticking, without worrying about anything else."
"Travel is one thing that's very common to the music--Anoushka's and mine," says Kale. "It's that feeling of being in-between places, of always moving. That's how we made the album--going from Delhi to New York to California and Bombay, back to Delhi. I don't think I've ever done an album in one city anyway." "This is where the water theme comes in. Travel inspires a lot of song and a lot of these songs are literally about being a traveler at sea."
"I've not really had this type of intense musical experience with anyone, other than my father," says Shankar. "To be creatively free with somebody else and trust them with your ideas before they're already formed, that was very new to me, and it allowed both of us to do things we don't usually do. I think the real surprise to most people on this album is that a lot of what we're known for switched--a lot of the hardest, most rhythmic moments on the album came from me, and a lot of the prettier, melodic moments were from Karsh."
"But we've both been developing a personal style rooted in and influenced by Indian classical music and we've been friends for a number of years. That really broke down a lot of barriers that usually exist between musicians. Anoushka and I were also able to break each other down a bit. Instead of being too respectful with each other, sometimes we got at each other and challenged each other," says Kale.
Anoushka Shankar's own playing is a major part of "Breathing Under Water." She plays on every track, and says "with the sitar being such a distinctive instrument, it conveys so much to hear it travel through the range of musical styles and genres that it does on this record. One of the greatest aspects of creating this album, for me, was giving unabashedly full reign to my creative desires, pushing and being pushed far outside my comfort level, and working with people whose talents complemented my own to the point that I was able to give the best of myself as a producer, writer, and instrumentalist."
As for Kale, he was able to push the creative envelope as a guitar player and singer while continuing to lay down the foundation as drummer, tabla player and keyboard player. "I was able to do different things on this record, use my voice in different ways, sometimes as a composer, sometimes as a bass player, sometimes all at the same time. This was the best part of creating this album for me, to be able to play so many different characters," he says.
If the varied sounds and styles on "Breathing Under Water" offer a unifying musical force, Kale says, "for me the real thread holding it all together is Anoushka's voice as a sitar player. On each of the tracks, I got to run in all different directions in terms of composition in order to create scenery for her to stand in. I got to focus on the music in so many different ways having her voice to anchor these songs. That's why it didn't feel like we had to keep boundaries on this album stylistically because that voice was flowing through all of it."
There is little doubt that in a time when cultural connections that span the globe can be achieved with the simple click of a mouse, musical blending is becoming more and more a standard practice. "Being an Indian musician in the world we live in right now, when there's the amount of fusion and crossover music that's being made, it's a challenge to find a genuine and sincere way of making these different sounds work together," says Shankar. "Our end goal with this record was to create an honest picture of how dynamic a world we live in, and how natural and beautiful it can be for seemingly-incongruous elements or ideas to co-exist." Shankar sums up the priority of their joint vision on Breathing Under Water. "It's not fusion for the sake of doing it--I mean we weren't intellectualizing the music. All of this is organic to us. All of this music, all these styles and sounds are what we are."
‘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."
15 NEW 132 Total
SYND: Sing Out!!, Echoes, The World, Here&Now, CBC, worldbeatcanada Direct: SiriusXM, Stingray Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Diego, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Montreal, Vancouver Online: worldbeat canada, NewWorldBuzz, France 24, Jamtv, SoulandJazz, Global Roots & Culture, New World Buzz, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, The Eclectic Chair, straight.com, myvancity
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.
16 NEW 43 Total
SYND: NPR/Hears Of Space, UnderCurrents, Stingray Direct: SiriusXM, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Detroit, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Rochester NY, Canada Online: Taintradio, M3
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.
24 NEW 'ON' 196 Total
SYND: NPR/ATC, PRI/Echoes, Acoustic Cafe, Global Village Direct: SiriusXM/Watercolors, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle, Cleveland, Portland, St. Louis, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Austin, Albuquerque, Long Island NY, Toronto, Berkeley CA Online: GreenArrow, Spinnaker, New World Buzz, Taintradio, Live 365
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
2 New "ON" 116 "Total Stations/Shows"
SYND: NPR:Day To Day/PRI:The World, Sounds Eclectic & Echoes Direct: TV & Radio/ Undercurrents, XM:Upop, Worldspace:Upop, DMX:Groove Lounge(Zen) Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Baltimore(ADI), Kansas City, Portland, New Orleans, Austin, Orlando, Columbus OH, Albuquerque, Tucson, Madison WI, Knoxville TN
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."
8 New "ADD's" this week: 103 Total Stations
Syndicated includes: The World Direct: XM Online: EVR, WPS1 Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle(ADI), Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Austin, Berkeley CA, Santa Fe