January 10, 2006
I have been on a big Philip Glass kick lately. Thankfully, the Minuteman Library Network seems to have quite a number of his cds available, and even more thankfully, they have reinstated inter-library loan of audio-visual materials. It was pretty tough there for a while being restricted to borrowing exclusively from the Bedford Library. In any case, Mr. Glass is pretty amazing. Some of his stuff is better than others, for sure, but his style is remarkably unique and is amazing how influential it has been over the past 40 years and how it has wormed its way into our collective ears.
December 05, 2005
I love it when it is cold and snowy outside and there are Christmas lights up inside and a fire in the fireplace and there is classical music playing. This is so calming for me. The music best suited for this is choral music, I think, so I pulled out my copy of Haydn's The Creation and have been listening. This music may be over 200 years old, but it ain't bad!
October 28, 2005
OK, so I haven't posted one of these in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been listening to anything. I've just been distracted...
Just the other day, a friend of mine asked me what my favorite album of all time was. I couldn't answer as there is so much music I love, but the question stuck with me for a while and then I thought: Make a Jazz Noise Here!! We all know (or at least should know) that Frank Zappa was a genius, but there is something special about this album with the combination of incredible arrangements for acoustic instruments along with very tasteful use of electronics and general all around incredible musicianship. And then you realize that it was all done in front of a live audience with no overdubs or anything and it becomes simply flabbergasting. FZ was so far ahead of his time, I doubt if we'll ever catch up.
What's your favorite album?
May 27, 2005
It was quite remarkable to listen to Berio's Sequenzas and Ornette Coleman's free jazz in quick succession. This is not the nice sensibly melodic music we are all comfortable with, but it is pretty amazing to listen to. Notes jumping around all over the place like Jackson Pollack.
May 05, 2005
cinco de listening list
This trio of new albums was fun to listen to. It's always interesting to hear the new (or not) directions that musicians go in with subsequent albums. Although I have only listened to each of these once, I can say that the Moby is really bad (not a big surprise), the Beck is totally good (even less of a surprise) and the NIN seems like it will settle in nicely as well (thank you, Trent).
(I know I normally have five items on these lists, but it would have been overload today...)
March 31, 2005
This woman Evelyn Glennie is totally incredible. She is a virtuosic percussionist and she is 'profoundly' deaf. I'm not kidding. She performs barefoot because by some twist of Darwinian persistence, she has effectively turned her feet into listening devices. She feels the minute sound vibrations through the floor and her feet rather than through the air and her ears. Weird, huh? I don't know how she does it, but what is entirely clear is her ability to perform at the highest levels with countless other musicians.
It is incredible when you think about it, but I have not done her justice here at all. Being a deaf musician is fascinating, but being an incredibly talented and multi-faceted musician is what is truly worth writing about. When you are a percussionist, unlike virtually all other musicians, you have to master a huge number of far flung instruments. Believe it or not, playing the maracas is totally different from playing timpani, or marimba, or snare drum or... Yes Evelyn, you are amazing.
As far as this cd goes, the concerto for marimba by Ney Rosauro totally kicks ass.
March 08, 2005
The Morton Feldman cd is one track, 79.35 long! And it feels like there are about 4 notes in the entire thing. Really quite remarkable in its own incredibly sparse and beautiful way.
February 17, 2005
This percussion cd actually says on the label in big red letters: "WARNING! Contrary to established practice, this recording retains the staggering dynamics of the ORIGINAL performance. This may damage your loudspeakers, but given first-rate playback equipment, you are guaranteed a truly remarkable musical and audio experience. Good luck!" How cool is that? They wished me luck! This music is so crazy, it might just break my speakers! Now that's good stuff.
January 20, 2005
ha ha ha
thank god there is other music!
December 17, 2004
I like this band Sparklehorse a lot. It seems like it is sort of a one man band with an non-eponymous name like Badly Drawn Boy or, say, aesthetic evidence.
November 29, 2004
Tom Waits - Real Gone
Steve Reich - Electric Counterpoint
David Byrne - live bootleg (March 2004)
Eminem - Encore
Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People
Olivier Messaien - Meditiations Sur Le Mystere de la Sainte Trinite
It's been a long time since I have listened to Electric Counterpoint. I heard it once played live while in college and it blew me away. 10 recorded electric guitars along with 2 basses (Pat Metheny playing on my recording) accompanied by one live soloist. The rhythmic complexity Reich creates with short simple motives working off of one another is unbelievable. This is minimalism at its absolute best.
I like to listen to it when it is raining.
November 03, 2004
1) why are ALL classical composer websites terrible?
2) Ed Kowalczyk is great on the Tricky album
September 21, 2004
I think that the woman in Catatonia has the sexiest voice I have ever heard.
September 02, 2004
Turns out that I was right in my feeling that Mum's newest music was probably better in recorded form than live. Summer Make Good is a very cool and unique album. They have come far from the Sigur Ros-ishness of Finally We Are No One.
August 12, 2004
the Villa-Lobos has some of the coolest percussion I have heard in a classical piece in a long time...
July 20, 2004
July 05, 2004
Arnold Schoenberg - The Complete String Quartets
Underworld - Everything, Everything
Anders Eliasson - Concerto for Bassoon and Strings
Stabbing Westward - Ungod
Toru Takemitsu - Riverrun, Water-Ways etc.
This is a slightly incongruous list. Apparently I've been into classical lately.
How about you?
June 23, 2004
What are you listening to today?