Nominated for instrumental album of the year, Upfront is the third release from pianist Ron Davis's SymphRONica project, an outlet for the jazz crossover that springs from his fertile imagination. Abetted by a string quartet, Davis covers a wide range of styles, from the genteel neo-baroque of "Drew Bourrée" to the intoxicating tango-meets-klezmer sounds of "Chance." Of the album's 12 tracks, his take on Miles Davis's iconic "So What" stays closest to the jazz idiom, and benefits from some nicely detailed drumming and expressive guitar and electric piano solos. Stay until the end and hear how the pizzicato strings ingeniously escort the song out of the room.
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Let the Rhythm Lead: Haiti Song Summit Vol. 1 is a meeting of musical styles and traditions that brings together the world views of songwriters Paul Beaubrun, Jackson Browne, Habib Koité, Jenny Lewis, Raúl Rodríguez, Jonathan Russell and Jonathan Wilson alongside members of Haitian roots band Lakou Mizik at the Artists Institute of Jacmel.
Steeped in polyrhythmic drumming of Haitian Vodou, complex notes of Spanish Tres, Flamenco and Malian Guitar, interwoven with North American folk and rock, Let the Rhythm Lead is a musical odyssey, employing an array of diverse songwriting traditions and genres to tell stories of new friendships and collaborations, powerful spirits and ancient traditions, all the while honoring humanity, love, understanding, awakening and rejuvenation. Six languages narrate the journey with singing in English, French, Creole, Khassonké, Manding and Spanish.
READ THE FULL MUSIC Monthly REVIEW
Louisa May Alcott's classic tale "Little Women" is back on the big screen, in at least its fifth cinematic adaptation, this time in the confident hands of writer/director Greta Gerwig. She has assembled a magnificent cast, using a great script (that she wrote), and crafted a warm, superb movie that is absolutely one of 2019's best.
For those unfamiliar, "Little Women" is about the March sisters: their lives and adventures in Massachusetts around the time of the Civil War, in which their father has volunteered to fight for the Union. As women in a less enlightened era, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to certain privileges enjoyed by men, but that doesn't stop them from carving their own paths.
Alexandre Desplat's music is playful and sad and always pairs well with its scenes. Jacqueline Durran's costume design shows why she won the Oscar for that category. Yorick Le Saux's cinematography is sumptuous, and he and Gerwig employ warm and cool color palettes to differentiate the dual timelines, though they begin to merge as the past catches up to the present.
READ THE FULL LIFESTYLE.INQ ARTICLE
On Saturday, February 22, at 8:00pm and Sunday, February 23, at 4:00pm, Greenwich Symphony Orchestra will perform an all Beethoven program, the Eroica and the Emperor, in honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. Soloist John O'Conor, known as ‘the world's preeminent Beethoven interpreter', will perform Piano Concerto No.5, (Emperor). John O'Conor Is one of the most popular soloists ever to collaborate with Greenwich Symphony. The concert will take place at the Performing Arts Center at Greenwich High School. A free pre-concert lecture will take place one hour before each performance.
SEE THE Greenwich Free Press PAGE
While recording their third studio album, The Undivided Five, A Winged Victory for the Sullen experienced the capricious extremes of life and death. "This record was bookended by two huge events in our lives," explains Dustin O'Halloran, speaking on Skype from Los Angeles. The other half of this highly acclaimed American ambient duo, Adam Wiltzie, joins us from Brussels. "A really close friend died when we started working on the record. Towards the end of the album cycle, my first child was born."
Dustin O'Halloran, Adam Wiltzie deceased friend was the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The album's title is inspired by a group formed by a pioneering Swedish artist called Hilma Af Klimt, who was a mystic, as was WB Yeats, Gustav Mahler, Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky. In 1896, Af Klimt founded a ‘Friday group' called ‘The Five' with four other like-minded female artists.
"They communed with the other side," O'Halloran says. "It wasn't based on Catholicism or anything, but more about the spiritualism of communicating with the unknown. In a lot of ways that is like the magic that happens between Adam and I. Our project becomes something bigger than us. It becomes its own entity with subconscious ideas in tune to universal energies." O'Halloran and Wiltzie discovered more parallels. Photograph: Jonatan Gretarsson
READ THE FULL Irish Times INTERVIEW WITH Dustin O'Halloran, Adam Wiltzie
Musician Jake Shimabukuro released a new album, Trio, on Friday, which features his first-ever recording of a traditional Hawaiian song "Wai'alae." The song is special to Shimabukuro as he shares, "When I first started touring in Japan back in 1999, I opened for one of my favorite Hawaiian bands, ‘Side Order Band.' It consisted of Chris Kamaka, Bryan Tolentino, Del Beazley, and Asa Young. They are four legendary musicians who I grew up listening to. During that tour, the band would open up the concert with Wai'alae and it brought tears to my eyes as I missed home so much. Recording Waialae on the Trio record was a tribute to these four stellar musicians who inspired me since I was a little kid strumming my mom's ukulele."
READ THE FULL ABC - Island News4 ARTICLE
Laila Biali recently released the first single 'Sugar' from her deeply personal new album, 'Out of Dust.' The JUNO Award winning Biali's hard-won optimism is apparent in the music on this new recording. Co-produced by Biali and her husband, Ben Wittman, 'Out of Dust' is a celebration of life; warm and uplifting even as it confronts her recent challenges (and the current political climate!) head-on "These new songs took shape as I processed my own feelings of doubt and loss," Biali reveals. "I believe that nothing is wasted, that even life's greatest challenges can produce something meaningful, even if only to make us more aware of and empathetic to the struggles of those around us."
The album will be released Friday, March 27, and Biali is currently touring through Canada and the US. She recently stopped by CBC Radio One's 'Saskatchewan Weekend' with Shauna Powers to discuss the recording, touring and life's challenges. LISTEN
Stories of hope and transformation. Saskatchewan Weekend on CBC Radio One is filled with conversations that connect you to the weekend and the people who live here. Did we mention music? There's plenty of that, too! Join them 06:00 - 09:00 weekends.
Milan Records today releases THE NEW POPE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SKY – HBO – CANAL+ SERIES produced by FREMANTLE'S THE APARTMENT and WILDSIDE, co-produced with HAUT ET COURT TV and THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO) with music by LELE MARCHITELLI.
Referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele," Jake Shimabukuro is a true virtuoso, and exhibits his talents once again with the release of ‘Trio', available February 14th through Music Theories Recordings.
You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so.
Zofo's Zoforbit - Interview on New Classical Tracks
Posted: August 6, 2014 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
"The piano four-hands is very unique and a very interesting form of chamber music. One that's very intimate compared to other forms of chamber music," says Keisuke Nakagoshi of the duo ZOFO.
It's really the best of both worlds, he adds, because when you're playing piano duets, you're both a solo pianist and a chamber musician at the same time. "And on top of those, there's an element of choreography." Keisuke says. "We have to figure out the movements of our arms, our fingers, not to bump each other. And that's very interesting." The duo ZOFO are Japanese pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi and Swiss-born pianist Eva Maria Zimmerman. Five years ago when they met in San Francisco, they formed ZOFO - a kind of abbreviation for "twenty-finger orchestra."
Their third release is ZOFORBIT: A Space Odyssey. The musical journey begins in our own galaxy with "The Milky Way." It's a piano suite by Estonian composer Urmas Sisask. To evoke images of outer space, the composer asks for muting and plucking of strings, making full use of the spatial resonances of the instrument. "I did most of that and Eva plays the same motif many times on the keys. And I get to mute the string and then play on the key. That creates almost like a gong sound," Keisuke says.
"And Keisuke is standing all the time so he can have better access to the inside of the piano," explains Eva.
So visually, this does not look like your typical piano duet.
"No, no. But I really enjoy this technique," Keisuke says, "and I know some presenters are not very happy having pianists who deal with the inside of the piano, but we like to push the boundaries."
One of the most memorable moments for Eva during the making of this recording was when they finally figured out how to mark the strings on the inside of the piano to allow them to play a piece titled "Celestial Mechanics" by American composer George Crumb. "The thing is that we need to put our fingertips exactly in the middle of those strings, and we played a key and the pitch is actually an octave higher and it sounds like a gong rather than like a piano," Eva explains. "And in order to find the middle of the string - I think it was your idea, Keisuke - we ended up putting a piece of thread below the piano strings. And the shape of the thread was following the harmonics of the strings. So we had something to hold on to visually, to find those harmonics. So that moment, when we found that, that was such a relief."
The centerpiece of "A Space Odyssey" is a one-piano-four-hands arrangement by ZOFO of Gustav Holst's seven-movement suite, "The Planets." "There are actually three versions of this piece out there," Keisuke explains. "The one is the famous orchestral version. And Holst himself made an arrangement for two pianos. And his close friend also made a version for piano four-hands, which we started with. He actually took two years writing the whole suite The Planets. In 2015, it is going to be 100 years since he wrote the piece, so that was the perfect timing for putting it on our album."
One thing that sets this new arrangement apart from the three previous arrangements, according to Keisuke, is that this one is a lot harder. "Well, we put back the missing lines to make it more three-dimensional," he says. "Also I think there are a lot of elements cut out to make it more playable but we took the challenge to put those back. And visually, we changed who plays what, so we get more choreographed actions on the keyboard."
Eva says their arrangement of The Planets offers a fresh perspective on this suite. "A lot of audience members come to us after the concerts and say that they heard different things than in the orchestra version, new things," she says. "And it was almost easier to listen to it, to hear the structure of the piece … hearing it boiled down to just piano duet."
"I also like the aspect of introducing the audience to new music," Keisuke adds. "And just like this, something they already know … but never heard the piano version … is something I really enjoy to do."
On their latest recording of piano duets, the piano duo ZOFO take you out of this world … at least for a little while.
New Classical Tracks can be heard on American Public Media's Classical 24 and statewide on Minnesota Public Radio.
ZOFO is at it again, this time with an all Terry Riley album, which includes original compositions, arrangements and a special commission by the duet. It is quite evident in this music that the composer and the performers were personally engaged in the making of this electrifying project. From the very beginning, Terry Riley worked in collaboration with ZOFO in the making of this album. Mr. Riley himself said: "There is nothing quite like hearing the full 8 octaves of a piano sounding in all its orchestral richness." He certainly makes full use of the sounds of the piano in the pieces originally written for piano-four-hands, from The Heaven Ladder, Book 5, which include the varying "Cinco de Mayo," "Jaztine," "Waltz for Charismas," "Tango Doble Ladiado," and "Etude From the Old Country." Keisuke arranged "G Song" and "Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight," which were originally composed for the Kronos Quartet, and Eva arranged "Simone's Lullaby," originally for solo piano. The arrangements were both challenging and fun to create, but ZOFO managed to keep the transparency and flavor of Riley's originals while exemplifying the unique potential for four-hand piano. The "Praying Mantis Rag" was composed especially for ZOFO, and actively illustrates their vibrant character as a duet.
19 New 'ON' 96 TOTAL
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, Portland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, Honolulu Online: Taintradio, Buffalo.com, AXS, Midwest Record, ClassicallyHip
ZOFORBIT, the third album from dynamic Steinway Artist Ensemble ZOFO, follows Grammy nominees Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi as they embark on a musical voyage through the galaxy, with mesmerizing, outer space themed piano duet works by four noted composers of the 20th and 21st centuries – Gustav Holst, George Crumb, David Lang and Urmas Sisask. Estonian composer Urmas Sisask sets the mood with the other-worldly sounds of his composition The Milky Way, featuring aurally stunning inside and outside the piano techniques that evoke a sense of the cosmos. The journey continues with original piano-four-hands arrangements of Gustav Holst's The Planets, and visits to the stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Cygni as musically envisioned by George Crumb in his duet masterpiece Celestial Mechanics(Makrokosmos IV). The space exploration concludes with David Lang's gravity, which metaphorically coaxes the listener back to earth in slow-moving patterns of descending notes.
14 New 'ON' 123 TOTAL
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC, The Romantic Hours Direct: Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Portland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, Louisville, Buffalo, Hartford CT, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: MusiClassical, WGOE, Taintradio
"...vibrant, beautifully blended playing" - "..brilliant sound and a suave deployment of four hands at one piano" San Francisco Chronicle
"...the performances have a very attractive looseness that persists through all the technical fireworks. A most enjoyable piano four-hands release." - AllMusic
Sono Luminus is excited to release this second album from the dynamic duet ZOFO: Mosh Pit, where Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi put their considerable keyboard skills to the test in an exciting, in-depth exploration of dance-inspired duet compositions by six distinctly American voices of the twentieth century – George Gershwin, Conlon Nancarrow, Allen Shawn, Samuel Barber, John Corigliano and Paul Schoenfield. With pieces ranging from waltz to tango to boogie and beyond, ZOFO's high energy interpretations beg the question: Shall we dance?
25 NEW 120 Total Stations/Shows SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Portland, Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Buffalo NY, Honolulu, Canada Online: RadioIO, Taintradio, WGOE
Sono Luminus releases the ZOFO duet - MIND MELD thier first CD that features stunning one-piano-four-hands works by Leonard Bernstein (Candide Overture), Harold Shapero (Sonata for Piano Four Hands), Claude Debussy (Six Epigraphes Antiques) and Igor Stravinsky (The Rite of Spring). Recording took place in August 2011 at the state-of-the-art Skywalker Sound Studios in Marin County California. ZOFO will record their second CD with Sono Luminus MOSH PIT: American Dances for 20 Fingers in September, 2012 with release scheduled for spring of 2013. MOSH PIT includes works by George Gershwin, John Corigliano, Allen Shawn, Samuel Barber, Conlon Nancarrow, Terry Riley and Paul Schoenfield.
23 New 'ON' this week: 146 Total
SYND: The Romantic Hours, Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, DMX Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Seattle, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Berkeley CA, Louisville KY, Columbus OH, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: Taintradio, RadioIO, WGOE