His music sinks deep into the question not only of who we are, but who we aspire to be. His works have been streamed over a billion times and, perhaps more importantly than that, he is the composer to whom we turn as we try to find truth in this world.
His new album, Voices, is just out, and it is a work almost beyond categorisation. Voices started as a small idea ten years ago when Richter composed a short piece called "Mercy" in response to events around Guantanamo Prison. Richter's aim was to write a piece to think to, a piece which would provoke us, inspire us, beguile us, something within which we could let our minds go to the most important things in our world.
And he has succeeded. The original piece "Mercy" is now at the end of the album, which combines Richter's new compositions with readings, in many different languages, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was created after the horrors of the Second World War.
"All human beings are born free and equal, in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of community."
Ed Ayres interviews Max Richter READ & LISTEN TO ABC - Australia
Even a globally-renowned, multiple Grammy-winning orchestra such as Maria Schneider's is difficult to fund in the 21st century, and she has to rely on commissions and the crowdsourcing website ArtistShare to bring her projects to the public. Data Lords is Schneider's fifth album in a row she's made using ArtistShare and her first since 2015's autobiographical The Thompson Fields, an album that racked up a bunch of 5-star reviews.
Schneider had a different theme in mind for her next album, one that expresses society's loss of control and identity due to the massive, aggressive and stealthy collection of personal data from tech giants such as Google and Facebook, and how much harder it is to retreat to the natural world, that part of our being still unaffected by the ugly side effects of technology.
There's a message in all music; how successful is the music depends a lot on how effective it is in carrying out its message. Maria Schneider wanted to send a strong message about the threat of a mass manipulation of humanity with Data Lords. Through her high standard for meticulous composing and arranging, delivered by some of jazz's best musicians, she gets the message across in perhaps the grandest way possible.
READ THE FULL SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEW
Music and motion come together beautifully in a new video featuring the work of pianist and composer Chad Lawson. Explaining the link between the images and his music, Lawson quotes painter Edgar Degas: "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." The video for Prelude in D Major, directed by Agostina Gálvez, features the dancers Jason Rodriguez and José Lapaz Rodriguez. Jason has become the new face of the art form of voguing, bringing his distinctive moves to the television series Pose, set in the ballroom scene of the 1980s. In the video, the two dancers perform a series of controlled falls, elaborate turns, and fluid movements as they vogue to Lawson's Prelude in D Major against the backdrop of New York City, merging modern classical music with contemporary dance.
From 98.7WFMT: Chicago - WATCH THE VIDEO
Daniel Barenboim and Decca Classics continue their acclaimed Elgar series, recording Sea Pictures again after four decades and paired with the symphonic poem Falstaff. Recorded live in the winter of 2019, the album features the Berlin Staatskapelle and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča in her first recording of Sea Pictures.
For July 30 2020, Daniel Barenboim Elgar -Sea Pictures, Falstaff is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
There are enough records in the world already, thinks the composer Max Richter.
So when he writes music, there has to be a "good reason". So far, those have included the Kosovo War, which he tackled on his debut album Memoryhouse in 2002, the Iraq War, the subject of 2004's The Blue Notebooks, and the 7/7 bombings, on 2010's Infra. 2015's eight-and-a-half-hour concept album Sleep was intended as a break from the pressures of the digital age and became a classical phenomenon, streamed more than 450 million times.
His latest, Voices, began with the contemplative violin and piano-led "Mercy", which takes its inspiration from the "Torture Memos", which revealed how prisoners were treated at Guantánamo Bay, that had left him "dumbstruck". "It felt like the world had gone wrong in a new way, and I wrote ‘Mercy' as a way to figure that out. A bigger piece of protest music was set in motion right then."
The resulting album takes its theme from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, which set the aspirational blueprint for better times after the Second World War.
Music has always been a rebellion for Richter. He was born in Germany, and his family moved to Bedford when he was four. He took piano lessons, but dropped out of school at 16 because he hated it.
READ THE FULL iNews ARTICLE
Guitarist Sharon Isbin first caught my eye when I saw her in a trio setting where she held her own with Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo at a concert at CSUN. Here, she releases a pair of albums, one with her in the lead and the other in a unique quartet setting.
The first, Affinity, has her in solo, duet and concert settings all to rich rewards. The feature piece is Chris Brubeck's "Affinity: Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra" which includes intricate and romantic fingerwork with modern Iberian tones and sweeping strings. Leo Brouwer's "El Decameron Negro" is darker and filled with shadows, while her duet with guitarist Colin Davin on "Waltz No. 3 Natalia" is a joyful conversation. On her own, she displays a strong touch, crisp and affirmative on ""Balada de laDoncella Enamorada" and with mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard gets folksy and minstrel'd for "Listen…" and "This Night of Love…". A wide stringed palate.
Quite eclectic is the four piece team of Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash and Iben for a handful of premiers for guitar and sarod, which is essentially a mini-sitar. Kavthekar plays tablas on all tracks with isben, while the three sarod players take turns teaming up. Kavthekar guides the team on the concise "Love Avalanche" with mysterious strings in abundance, while rapid fingers race and dance to a rich climax to "By The Moon". The strings bend to almost exhaustion on "Sacred Evening" and while they gallup to the finish lne on the bluesy "Romancing Earth". Southern Asia tones and harmonies meld with Western musings like a rich sauce.
SEE THE Jazz Weekly PAGE
Jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath died this past January 19 at the age of 93. That means that he lived through just about every genre of twentieth-century jazz. His personal involvement in making jazz can be traced back to performances with both Howard McGhee and Dizzy Gillespie.
A little over a week ago Verve released his final album entitled Love Letter. There are only eight tracks, all of which are ballad classics, including songs written by Billie Holiday, Mal Waldron, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, and Gordon Parks (who is probably better known for his work in photography and film). Heath's rhythm section includes Kenny Barron on piano, David Wong on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums. For some tracks the combo is augmented by Russell Malone on guitar and/or Monte Croft on vibraphone.
The album also features three "special guests." Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis joins Heath for a duo account of Dorham's "La Mesha." In addition two of the leading vocalists of the current century join the group. Both of them sing songs by Parks, "Left Alone" presented by Cécile McLorin Salvant and Gregory Porter delivering "Don't Misunderstand."
The focus of listening deserves to be centered on Heath himself. While there is no question that Heath approaches these eight tracks with keen sensitivity to the tunes themselves, there is nothing intellectual about the foundational rhetoric.
READ THE FULL REHEARSAL STUDIO REVIEW
Cellist Jonah Kim and pianist Sean Kennard have been making music together since they were teenagers at the Curtis Institute of Music and together they have played almost every sonata in the standard repertoire.
The first-time teaming of Poland's dynamic Marcin Wasilewski Trio and big-toned US tenorist Joe Lovano brings forth special music of concentrated, deep feeling, in which lyricism and strength seem ideally balanced.
Sony Music Masterworks today releases Not Our First Goat Rodeo, the long-awaited follow-up album to the GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today.
Dave Soldier - Zajal is very unusual but very impressive / Jazz Quad
Posted: January 13, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
The third time I meet with the works of American musician Dave Solger (aka David Sulzer, a prominent neuropsychiatric scientist from Columbia University), and each time he amazes with the unusual, imagination and creativity of his musical projects. First it was The Eighth Hour of Amduat (2016) - an avant-garde opera (?) On the themes of Ancient Egypt, then The Brainwave Music Project (2017), a joint project with fellow scientist Brad Garton, where a computer program shot brain brain encephalographs of improvising musicians, translated they turned them into the language of music and turned them into the background for real improvisations. And now a project that can be attributed to archaeological excavations in the field of ethnic music in search of the roots of popular music. There is one more more politicized subtext here, but - about everything in order.
This time, Solger turned to Andalusia, a region in the south of Spain, during the X-XIII centuries, when it was dominated by Muslim Moors (Cordoba caliphate, then Granad emirate), and the reconquest (conquering the lands by Christian kingdoms) has not yet gained full power . This period, under fragile political equilibrium, is called the golden age for culture and science, when there was an intensive and mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and cultural values between Christians, Muslims and Jews. It was at that time that the foundations of such musical forms as fandango, buleri, peter, and gypsy flamenco or the poetry and song styles popular in Lebanon today in muvash and zajal (which gave the name to the album) were laid. Traces of that time are kept to the best of their ability in Spain even today - I saw them while traveling in Andalusia, I saw them and Solger, and from him they gave rise to the idea of the currently implemented project.
Solger composed compositions in the style of various stylistic trends in Andalusian music to verses by prominent Muslim (al-Amma al-Tusili, Ubad al-Quazazaz, ibn Sahl) and Jewish (Shmuel ha-Nagid, Moshe ibn Ezra, Yehud Halevi) poets of that time, added to them one composition to the verses of the great Sufi poet Jalaleddin Rumi, and gathered for their performance a large international team of instrumentalists and vocalists. The songs are in Arabic and Hebrew, Old Spanish and Farsi. These old-new songs are sung by Israeli singer of Sephardic origin Ana Nimouz, singer and oud singer from Lebanon Maurice Hadid, flamenco performers Triana Bautista and Ishmael Fernandez, and musicians from different countries and directions also play modern and traditional instruments. In this project, Solger himself plays the guitar (he specially took flamenco lessons) and keyboards, and he translated Jewish and Arabic texts into English.
This album is very unusual but very impressive. Least of all from entertaining music, most of all from ethnomusicology. It is interesting to listen to, but even better to watch. Solger posted the entire album publicly available on the Web. There, each composition is accompanied by its own video series: from the old silent cinema, to the works of Goya and Solger's partner on a number of projects by Vitaly Komar, one of the founders of social art. Highly recommend!
Zajal, renowned Downtown composer and instrumentalist Dave Soldier explores the beginning of popular song and locates it 1000 years ago at the intersection of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures in southern Spain. Zajal, along with muwashaha, were the lyrics of medieval Andalusia. While many are still sung today (notably in Lebanon), their offspring are everywhere. On a trip to Spain in 2004, Soldier read about the Andalusian caliphate, when the Muslim, Christian and Jewish com- munities not only coexisted, but co-created much of the world we inhabit today. Together, they produced the novel, cowboy culture, the guitar, the dance suite, the Kabbalah, Maimonides and ibn Arabi and the discovery of the New World. And modern song: the zajal and muwashaha introduced the verse and chorus that are the backbone of popular music. Imitation of Andalusia's singing oud players begat the troubadours and the figure of the wandering poet and singer in its myriad incarnations, from Villon to Joni Mitchell.
Released for the one hundredth anniversary of the Soviet Revolution's toppling of the statue of Czar Alexander II at the Kremlin, this is the premiere recording of the socialist realist opera Naked Revolution by composer Dave Soldier with the Russian migr satirical artists Komar & Melamid.
The work was premiered at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis and the Kitchen in New York City in 1997. The central conceit was drawn from a series of dreams by Russian immigrants to New York (and in fact were dreams by Vitaly Komar). A collection of satirical heroic paintings in the socialist realist style, American Dreams, were created with the opera and toured museums and galleries and released as an art book: the CD cover and additional art in the CD are from this collection.