Archive for the ‘classical’ Category

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E101: Beginning Electro for the Classical Musician

December 10, 2010

See this page:  https://professorkeanbean.wordpress.com/e101-beginning-electro-for-the-classical-musician/

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Brian Eno – Small Craft on a Milk Sea [2010]

October 31, 2010

Post # 50. Brian Eno‘s Small Craft on a Milk Sea, released 11/2/2010.   I am featuring this album not because I find it all that amazing, but because it has powerfully affected me.  Therefore, use caution.  These songs have no intended story and your emotions will likely become the focal point as you experience the album.  When already feeling a bit down I gave this album my first listen and it made for a very melancholy evening.  Eno explains it all:

”The work in this collection is a result of an occasional collaboration between myself, Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins. The two of them are gifted young player/composers whose work, like mine, is intimately connected to the possibilities and freedoms of electronic music. Over the last few years we’ve worked together several times, enjoying exploring the huge new sonic territories now available to musicians. Mostly the pieces on this album resulted not from ‘composition’ in the classical sense, but from improvisation. The improvisations are not attempts to end up with a song, but rather with a landscape, a feeling of a place and perhaps the suggestion of an event. In a sense they deliberately lack ‘personality’: there is no singer, no narrator, no guide as to what you ought to be feeling. If these pieces had been used in films, the film would complete the picture. As they stand, they are the mirror-image of silent movies – sound-only movies.” —Brian Eno


source: dataless

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Punch Brothers – Antifogmatic [2010]

June 23, 2010

Post #42, written by SPK.  Punch BrothersAntifogmatic.  If you like pure bluegrass, rock, or classical music, you probably won’t like this.  But if you can imagine them all rolled up into a ball, pressed flat, and cut into four-minute eclectic cookies, this is your band.  His third album since departing from grammy-winning Nickel Creek, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile’s newest, Antifogmatic, with the band Punch Brothers and produced by renowned Jon Brion, conjures musically the restlessness of ambitious young urban spirits eager to be recognized for creativity by day, lyrically distracted by the call of collective loneliness-avoidance at night (supplemented with Rye Whiskey, of course).  A personal favorite is the out-of-body violin “float[ing] out the window and down the street” in contemplative Me and Us.  See the WSJ review, their entire Bonnaroo set, and don’t miss the homage to Radiohead below.  Enjoy!

Link to This is the Song video

source: ncreek

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Infinite Body – Carve Out the Face of My God

April 12, 2010

Post #33.  Infinite BodyCarve Out the Face of My God.  I can’t claim to know the exact way you should interpret this album, but I can share with you how I have interpreted it and how it affects me emotionally.  First, read the song titles.

1. Dive

2. A Fool Persists

3. What They Wanted to be Was Useless

4. Out to Where I Am

5. On Our Own to Fall Off

6. Beside me in the Dawn

7. Sunshine

8. Lived on it’s Knees (for Matt)

9. He Runs without Feet and Holds without Hands

10. Drive Dreams Away

11. Carve Out the Face of My God

I do not know if Kyle Parker, creator of Infinite Body, is a Christian or even if he believes in a Higher Power.  His song titles, however, are strongly evocative of Christian Theology and belief in a God who is all-powerful, all-present, and personal.  Some songs seem to be conveying grand ideas while others are reminiscent of church music with organs and strings.  This is, perhaps, Parker’s attempt to sculpt his understanding of God with music, and it may just be Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel of electronic music. (Another element that may be a stretch in interpretation is that each song seems incomplete and trails off or fades away, and if this were man’s attempt to describe an Infinite Being it would be appropriate to acknowledge his inability to do so completely).

Even without a Theological interpretation the music is powerful and can be enjoyed by anyone who is willing to slow down and let the music pass over and through them.  There are no obvious melodies, hooks, or drum beats, but this is well worth your time.  I hope you enjoy it.

and a live version of Sunshine

source: pfork

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Radiohead Singles!

March 23, 2010

Post #31.  You knew it was coming.  I’m actually impressed with myself that I went 30 weeks without making a Radiohead post.  Well, there are three reasons to do it now: 1. Radiohead and various band members have been writing and releasing singles recently, 2. Radiohead are currently recording!, and 3. I get to see Atoms for Peace (Yorke’s solo group) perform in Chicago on April 10 and I wanted an excuse to brag about it.  (And, yeah, I took that photo at Bonnaroo.)

RadioheadHarry Patch (In Memory Of).  Gorgeous classical arrangement featuring Yorke’s isolated voice.  This was written for Harry Patch, the last surviving British soldier of WWI, and released after his death last year.  Yorke’s vocals are left untouched to portray Patch’s state.

RadioheadThese Are My Twisted Words.  This song is as good as any of the tracks on In Rainbows and makes me excited for what they might be recording now.  I love the trailing guitars and light kickdrum thump.

Thom YorkeHearing Damage.  Song from Twighlight series New Moon Soundtrack.  Way to expose those vampire-loving teenagers to good music, Thom!

Thom Yorke feat. Jonny GreenwoodFeeling Pulled Apart by Horses. This track is a pretty neat experiment in musical deconstruction.  Instruments enter and exit as they please to contribute to the creepy groove.   A less impressive track, The Hollow Earth, was included on the flip side of this release.

Thom YorkeAll for the Best.  This is a lovely cover of a Mark Mulcahy song featuring Thom’s brother, Andy Yorke, on harmony vocals.  This is from the tribute album Ciao My Shining Star.

Jonny GreenwoodDoghouse.  This is an abstract classical piece that Greenwood was commissioned to write for the BBC Orchestra.  It is similar to his earlier composition Popcorn Superhet Receiver, which was used for the soundtrack to There Will Be Blood.  You can stream it here, but only for two more days.  An interview with Greenwood starts about 26 minutes in and the actual piece starts around the 31 minute mark.

Phil SelwayThe Ties that Bind Us and The Witching Hour.  Two finger-picked acoustic songs. (The Ties that Bind Us is the better of the two.)  From Seven Worlds Collide album The Sun Came Out.

Ed O’Brien (with Liam Finn) – Bodhisattva Blues.  A basic rock song with some pretty neat guitar work.  You can stream it here. From Seven Worlds Collide album The Sun Came Out.

Thom YorkeThe Present Tense.  Beautiful unreleased song.

source: dead air space and pfork

(all but Greenwood’s and O’Brien’s work is on this youtube playlist)

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Ben Frost – By the Throat [2009]

February 15, 2010

Album post #26.  By the Throat by Ben Frost.  This one is for the dead of winter.  It’s very dark, very bleak, and frightening.  I imagine it as the soundtrack to a movie in which a man lost somewhere in the Northwest Territories wonders whether he will freeze to death or be torn apart by wolves.  [insertion – In fact, it’d be the perfect album to accompany a reading of London’s To Build a Fire.]  In spite or because of it’s haunting qualities, this album is incredibly beautiful.  There’s something about listening to it that arrests my focus and makes me observe detail in my surroundings.

I’ve embedded a player of the whole album below.  The second youtube video, Leo Needs a New Pair of Shoes, was recorded for a podcast for Iceland radio and ended up being used on the album.

source: pfork

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Owen Pallett – Heartland [2010]

January 19, 2010

Album post #22. Heartland by Owen Pallett, who formerly performed under the moniker Final Fantasy. Every song is incredibly orchestrated with surprising twists and turns.   Though I’ve listened to it over 15 times I only know a couple of words. This is because I get so wrapped up in the melodies carried by strings and horns I forget to listen to what he is saying.  His voice becomes an instrument for me.

I suggest listening to this album on lala.com the whole way through, but you can sample a couple songs from Heartland on Owen’s Myspace.  You can also download the single Lewis Takes Action in exchange for your email from his website here.  Please excuse the Final Fantasy video game scenes below.  It was the only studio recording that WMG didn’t remove.

source: pfork