Posts tagged Music
Posts tagged Music
Nature for the win.
The wild and vivid imagination of Emilie Nicolas has been set to film in this fantastic music video reel by André Foldøy Chocron. Though it’s a composite of several music videos, the syncopation brings it all together quite well.
Speaking of great music that happens to be electronic, Emilie Nicolas just posted a new track. Be sure to repost and help spread the word about Emilie’s wonderful music.
Modern music has created an effectively limitless context of sounds. Everything is fair game - strings, synths, brass, industrial noises - the only relevant question is whether or not it all “works”. As a result, modern music forces us to acknowledge the abstract reality that thoughtfulness is entirely independent of medium and style: art is either well-done or it isn’t.
Telefon Tel Aviv was a Chicago-based duo that produced some truly spectacular, truly modern, electronic music that made use of a maddening variety of noises and textures. At the time their music was dubbed “IDM” - intelligent dance music - but my personal view is that it’s just great music that happened to be beat-heavy and electronic.
I had tickets to see them perform at the Guggenheim Museum in 2006, but their flight from Chicago was delayed, and the show was ultimately cancelled. Three years later, one of the two members of TTV, Charles Wesley Cooper III, died, and unfortunately, I never got to see them perform live.
Being animated, and impacting the things around you in an organized manner, is a key distinction between living matter and the rest. And in that regard, creating objects, images, songs, and institutions that people continue to interact with extends the lives of their creators - they form a fossil, a thought or a moment suspended and sustained. The capacity to create these artifacts gives us the ability to communicate with and touch the lives of people far beyond the term and geography of our corporeal existence. So despite never meeting Charlie Cooper, he continues to exist as an imprint, like the scores of other artists and thinkers that have contributed to the context of my life. In general, death forces us to acknowledge the abstract nature of human interaction - we know others by interacting with them, and some of us seem to stick around for a little longer.
This is the third time I’ve posted this piece, and invariably it’s ended up the subject of some copyright dispute. I’m going to hope this time the content is being posted free and clear.
This is one of my absolute favorite pieces of music, irrespective of genre.
Shostakovich, famous for his demented 8th string quartet, and on Tumblr for his monotonous personality, reveals his humanity in this, his second piano concerto, in the second movement. This is sweeping stuff - shamelessly heartbreaking, unpretentious, and warm.
There is a very grave person under those cokebottle glasses.
My Funny Valentine arranged and performed by yours truly.
Francis Poulenc’s, “Melancolie”, as performed by his student, Gabriel Tacchino.
Pianistic leviathan Georges Cziffra lived a dramatic, painful, and completely remarkable life. Born in Budapest to an ethnic Romani family living in abject poverty, he performed in traveling circuses and bars as a child to support them - these lowbrow venues would provide a forum for Cziffra to demonstrate his remarkable talents as a pianist throughout his life. He was scouted by the Franz Liszt Academy at age 9, studying there until age 16, when he returned to Budapest’s nightlife scene, playing at bars and nightclubs to support himself and his family. At the age of 21 he was drafted into the Hungarian army and forced to fight in World War II.
The indomitable Cziffra managed to survive 4 years of battle, but worse was to come shortly after he returned home from the war. After attempting to escape Soviet-controlled Hungary, he was imprisoned and sentenced to hard labor. For 18 months, Cziffra was forced to spend his days carrying 300 pound stones, doing permanent damage to his wrists and his hands. When he returned, he was unable to practice, let alone perform. But Cziffra was not cut from ordinary cloth, and in act of heroic defiance, he stubbornly worked his way back to the heights of his abilities. After delivering a well-received performance of Bartok’s second piano concerto, Cziffra successfully escaped Hungary to Vienna, where he launched an incredibly successful career as a concert pianist, and eventually achieved international fame.
This cover by Lake Street Dive of The Jackson Five’s, “I Want You Back” is a joy to listen to and watch, taking the form of an impromptu Washington Square Park style jam session (though this was filmed in Boston). As a native New Yorker, this melody is, perhaps unfairly, associated with Biggie Smalls’, “Give Me One More Chance” in my mind. Nonetheless, this cover demonstrates the depth of influence exerted by the heartwarming classics of The Jackson Five, tying a common thread through the evolution of pop music that stretches over 40 years.
H/T Heidi N. Moore
“Beau Soir” is a beautiful, albeit brief song by French composer Claude Debussy. This arrangement/performance on cello by Nicholas Canellakis, who currently teaches at my musical alma mater, Manhattan School of Music, is truly compelling, achieving a richness that would be difficult if not impossible for a vocalist or violinist (e.g., at the 1:30 mark). That said, cello is by far my favorite instrument, and my years at MSM were some of the best of my life, so, I might be a bit biased.