Game of Tones:
Microtonal Guitarist John Schneider plays the 30th iteration of PITT's Beyond 2020 Microtonal Music Festival.
Despite its modernist ring, microtonal music is not a recent phenomenon. The term was first coined over a century ago, and the concept - music using altered pitches and tuning systems to play notes not found in the standard Western twelve-tone system - has been utilized as far back as history books go. But thanks to the internet, the ease of self-education through YouTube tutorials, and the advancement of musical technology, microtonal music has evolved into an (almost) mainstream field of study and expression.
Founder of MicroFest, John Schneider is a guitarist and arranger who also writes for harp and percussion. A professor of music at Los Angeles Pierce College, Schneider also hosts the KPFK Los Angeles weekly radio program "Global Village."
From Fri., Feb. 28 to Sun., March 1, a slate of local and international groups will explore microtonality from a variety of approaches through a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, light shows, video projections, and dance, as well as lectures from experts in the field. Performers include Del Sol String Quartet (San Francisco), MikroEnsemble (Finland), Brightwork Ensemble (Los Angeles), and Pittsburgh musicians Aaron Myers-Brooks, Nuiko Wadden, and Lindsey Goodman, and many more.
READ THE FULL PGH City Paper ARTICLE
Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader recently unveiled 'Warna' (Verve Records). The album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician. Translating as "color" from Alexander's native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics' and readers' poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are Larry Grenadier and Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On several tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join the burgeoning jazz pianist.
Joey sits down with 91.3KXCI: Tucson to discuss the recording. Listen to the attached file
The two Piano Concertos by Frederic Chopin recorded here have been an integral part of British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor's repertoire ever since his early teens. And this level of familiarity definitely manifests itself in his playing. There's a constant fluid limpidity and clarity to his phrasing, and an overall forward momentum shaped by delicate contours. Nothing ever sounds forced or affected, but rather seemingly moves along naturally. The slow passages are contemplative whilst the fast passages quite simply dance off the keyboard. And when a certain degree of darkness creeps into the music, his playing takes on an appropriately different mien, and the same can be said when the music takes on a highly Polonaise style.
READ THE FULL Classical Music Sentinel REVIEW
Celebrating Harry Belafonte's 93rd birthday. A celebration of his life and work with special guests: Common, Maxwell, Sheila E., Talib Kweli, Aloe Blacc, Alice Smith, John Forté, Gael Faye, Resistance Revival Chorus, and many more special guests!
American singer, actor, producer, and activist; Harry Belafonte started as key figure in the folk music scene of the 1950s, especially known for popularizing the Caribbean folk songs known as calypsos. He was also involved in various social causes, notably the civil rights movement. Harry became a folk singer, learning songs at the Library of Congress's American folk song archives. He sang Caribbean folk songs as well, in nightclubs and theatres; his handsome appearance added to his appeal as a frequent performer on television variety programs. With hit recordings such as "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)" and "Jamaica Farewell," he initiated a fad for calypso music and became known as the King of Calypso. In the mid-1950s his Harry Belafonte and Mark Twain and Other Folk Favorites were the first of his series of hit folk song albums. During this time he made his Broadway debut, appearing in the musical John Murray Anderson's Almanac (1953–54); for his performance, he won a Tony Award for supporting actor. Later in the decade he starred on the stage in 3 for Tonight and Belafonte at the Palace.
Throughout his career, Belafonte was involved in various causes. He was a supporter of the civil rights movement and a close friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Belafonte was active in African humanitarian efforts, notably appearing on the charity song "We Are the World" (1985). In 1987 he became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. He received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2014.
100% of the net profit to benefit The Popular Democracy Movement Center and the Harry Belafonte 115th St. NY Library.
SEE THE THEATERMANIA PAGE
Following his critically acclaimed and multi-award winning recording Johann Sebastian Bach, Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson will release his new album, Debussy • Rameau, on 27 March 2020. The innovative recording juxtaposes pieces by two giants of French music, Claude Debussy and Jean-Philippe Rameau, exploring the contrasts and common ground between them.
Ólafsson explained, "This album is set up as a dialogue between two of my favourite composers, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Claude Debussy. I see them as musical brothers and soulmates, even though one was 180 years older than the other. They were musicians of the future, who loved to stir things up. They were two uniquely gifted keyboard composers, two progressive and fiercely original musical thinkers who could capture incredibly evocative images through sound. I want to show Rameau as a futurist and I want to emphasise Debussy's deep roots in the French baroque – and in Rameau's music in particular. The idea is that the listener almost forgets who is who, while listening to the album."
Watch Víkingur Ólafsson perform Debussy's ‘La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin' from his new album Debussy • Rameau.
The Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series will present Grammy Award-winning violinist and producer Johnny Gandelsman in A Violinist Explores Bach's Cello Suites, 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at St. Mark's-in-the-Valley, 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos. Gandelsman will perform as part of the 40th annual Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series.
Since its inception by founder Rose Knoles in 1981, the concert series has brought widely acclaimed classical artists to perform in intimate spaces in the Santa Ynez Valley. Noted for its acoustics and serene ambiance, St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church has been the home of the series since 2007. "We are very much looking forward to hearing Johnny Gandelsman's interpretations of Bach's timeless and transcendent music," said Robert Cassidy, artistic director. "A magical sonic environment will be experienced with the sound of the solo violin resonating off the long-grain fir, high-ceiling interior of the church."
READ THE FULL NOOZHAWK ARTICLE
The Met Opera's Live in HD series for the 2019-20 season continues this Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 with a transmission of "Agrippina," which was composed by Handel to a libretto by Grimani.
The broadcast, which kicks off 12:55 p.m. Eastern time, will feature Joyce DiDonato in the title role with Brenda Rae as Poppea, Iestyn Davies as Ottone, Matthew Rose as Claudio, Kate Lindsey as Nerone, Dunan Rock as Pallante, and Nicholas Tamagna as Narciso. Harry Bicket directs the production by Sir David McVicar. Find out which theaters in your local area are transmitting the simulcast by clicking here. PHOTO (Credit: Marty Sohl / Metropolitan Opera)
SEE THE OPERAWIRE PAGE
‘Love Letters' marks a different direction for the internationally celebrated artist; it offers a shift in intimacy and content and comes at a pivotal time in her career as she signs to her new record label, Mercury KX.
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.
Busting myths and belting high notes. There's a lot to love about opera / npr: Weekend Edition Sunday
Posted: January 26, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
We've been starting this new year off with genres of music you might not listen to, or that you say you're not a fan of - so far, we've covered jazz, country and deep house. One of those styles of music people love to say they hate is opera, so we asked NPR's resident opera expert Tom Huizenga to explain what he loves about the music and to soothe some common opera-related anxieties.
Well there's a lot to love about opera. For one thing, it's one of the most complicated art forms because, if you think about it: you've got drama, you've got music, you've got singing, you've got costumes, you've got lighting, you've got ballet sometimes. You've got all kinds of stagecraft. When all the cylinders are firing, it can be mind-blowing. But for me, it ends up being all about the voice. They've got to do it without a microphone, over the top of an orchestra, and they've got to project that voice, even if it's soft, way up to the nose-bleed seats. A great example of delicate singing is from the Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé who sculpts a gorgeous line, with painterly precision, in the aria "D'amor sull'ali rosee" from Verdi's Il trovatore, all on a single breath.
Also, we need to get rid of this American thing where we only speak one language and we only care about one language. All operas are subtitled whether you see them at the theater, whether you're watching them on DVD or on television. If you listen to tenor Joseph Calleja sing an aria from Francesco Cilea's L'arlesiana, you don't need to speak a word of Italian to understand that the character is sad and he's lost his love, a love that he can't have. PHOTO: Maria Baranova/Beth Morrison Projects
Joseph Calleja, one of the world's leading tenors, returns with his new album ‘Verdi' – due for release on Decca Classics on 2nd February 2018. The album sees Calleja explore the light and dark in Verdi's heroic tenor roles and features guest appearances from soprano Angela Gheorghiu and baritone Vittorio Vitelli.
Verdi has a special place in Calleja's heart, having made his debut as Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth when he was just 19. It is his first new album in six years – his last solo album ‘Amore' was released in September 2013 and he was also part of a 2013 recording of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. However, this new album marks a significant step into Verdi repertoire for Calleja, as he tackles new roles which he has yet to play on stage.