Recognized as the first artist to win a Grammy Award for music written for a video game, composer Christopher Tin released his new album 'To Shiver the Sky' last summer. It marks Tin's major label debut after signing to Decca Gold.
To Shiver the Sky, is "an oratorio about the history of flight, and mankind's quest to conquer the heavens," explains Tin. The ambitious 11-track album will also mirror that story with the parallel evolution of Western classical music. Tin ultimately settled on eleven historical figures which are "our greatest astronomers, inventors, visionaries and pilots," he details. Each of whom serve as the basis for a composition, adding up to a kaleidoscopic epic that crosses centuries, continents, and perspectives.
The history of aviation is full of outlandish tales and colorful figures. PRX: The World's April Peavy discusses the project with the Califormia based composer. LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
Budapest Concert is the second complete show to be issued from Keith Jarrett's 2016 European tour, recorded two weeks earlier than the widely-acclaimed concert released as Munich 2016. The new double album documents the pianist's solo performance at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest. Jarrett, whose family roots reach back to Hungary, viewed the concert as akin to a homecoming – also with regard to his lifelong affection for Bartók, as he explained to the audience - and the context inspired much creative improvisation.
Keith Jarrett - Budapest Concert makes Echoes November 2020 Top 25. SEE THE CHART
'some kind of peace' is the stunning new album from the ground-breaking composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds, available now on Mercury KX. The record features a brand new track 'The Bottom Line' ft. Josin, alongside a beautiful video featuring the work of Japanese flower artist Azuma Makoto out today, and 'Loom', Arnalds' collaboration with Bonobo. Also out now is 'finding some kind of peace', a very special behind the scenes film about the new album.
Ólafur has been confirmed as the closing act for Iceland Airwaves' virtual festival, ‘Live from Reykjavík', on November 13th, where he will perform mostly new material played live for the very first time. Ólafur's music will also play a major role in the forthcoming Netflix documentary on Shawn Mendes, 'In Wonder', which is set to be released on November 23rd. Ólafur has also recently surpassed a staggering 1 billion streams, an incredible milestone for the Icelandic multi-instrumentalist.
Olafur Arnalds - some kind of peace makes Echoes November 2020 Top 25. SEE THE CHART
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.
Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. People of many countries have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet" and the "best selling poet" in the United States.
Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. Rumi encouraged listening to music and twirling, or doing the sacred dance. The dance represents a mystical journey in which the seeker symbolically turnstowards the truth, grows through love, and finds the truth. The seeker then returns from this journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations. It was from these ideas that the practice of whirling Dervishes developed.
Rumi's poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and today Rumi's poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene. Recordings of Rumi poems have made it to the USA's Billboard's Top 20 list. A selection of his love poems have been performed by artists such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Philip Glass and Demi Moore.
Shunia - Breeze At Dawn makes Echoes November 2020 Top 25. SEE THE CHART
Pianist Hélène Grimaud has created a "dialogue" of sorts between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Ukrainian-born contemporary composer Valentin Silvestrov in her latest album "The Messenger."
The recording presents three works by Mozart, all in chronological order and in minor keys. Grimaud sees his use of the minor as suggestive of "confrontations with fate or destiny". Written in memory of his late wife, Larissa Bondarenko, Silvestrov's The Messenger – 1996 "establishes a connection between the world that once existed and the present day." It offers "both a response to and an echo of Mozart's music – this idea of acknowledging and paying tribute to what has gone before is central to his art as a composer."
I hope you enjoy the discussion with Hélène and Classical Music Host@VPM Music - Mike Goldberg about this project and her approach to the works that are included. LISTEN
On this edition of All Songs Considered, we pick our favorite music released in November 2020, featuring Kali Uchis' heart-struck devotionals, Tierra Whack's playful pop, metal duo Jucifer's tribute to Arabic music and Salaam Remi's star-studded soundtrack of the Black experience, as well as; Ólafur Arnalds: "Spiral" from Some Kind of Peace.
Some Kind of Peace is a perfect description of what lies within; it's the most impactful record I've heard this year. At its center is Ólafur Arnalds' calming piano and electronics, which often sets the tone for the many collaborations heard within. (By the way, you can listen to my conversation with Ólafur Arnalds in the All Songs Considered podcast feed.) This is music that works as background or foreground, rich in textures making it the perfect headphone album. - Bob Boilen
SEE THE FULL NPR PAGE
In his concerto for guitar and orchestra, Chris Brubeck pays homage to his father, the late jazz great Dave Brubeck. The pianist and composer, whose centennial we celebrate on December 6th, passed away in 2012. Brubeck's piece is the title track of our Classical Album of the Week. Guitarist Sharon Isbin's Affinity features music inspired by different cultures and genres, and has a personal story behind each work.
When Chris was writing his 2015 concerto for guitar and orchestra for her, Sharon says he wanted to tap into her broad-ranging musical interests. He was "intrigued by the idea that I'd worked with so many people from so many different genres."
Sharon met with me on Zoom in late September, 2020, and shared the personal stories behind the Brubeck piece and the other music on the album, which includes works by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro, Chinese composer Tan Dun, and American composer Richard Danielpour.
Sharon Isbin's 'Affinity' is the 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia 'Classical Album of the Week.' READ THE FULL ARTICLE & WATCH THE VIDEOS
Invited to experiment with Deutsche Grammophon's Shellac Project – a collection of digitized material restored from early 20th-century 78s in a collaborative initiative with Google Arts & Culture – German musician, visual artist and producer Christian Löffler has created his own experimental electronica tribute to Beethoven.
Sony Music today announces the November 20 release of THE CROWN: SEASON 4 (SOUNDTRACK FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES) with music by BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award-winning composer MARTIN PHIPPS (Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders).
Dynamic pianist CHLOE FLOWER has given the Christmas classic "CAROL OF THE BELLS" an eloquent twist on her latest single, which was co-written and co-produced alongside GRAMMY® Award-winning icon Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.
Daniil Trifonov's latest album for Deutsche Grammophon, recorded with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, recalls a time when Russia's composers, poets, artists, dramatists and star performers were among the most original anywhere in the world.
Conceived jointly by violinist Movses Pogossian and violist Kim Kashkashian on the occasion of Tigran Mansurian's 80th birthday, the Con anima project brings together a dedicated cast of players to perform the chamber music of Armenia's great contemporary composer.
Recorded in Buenos Aires last year, Albores [Dawn] is among Dino Saluzzi's most intimate albums, featuring the great Argentine bandoneonist alone with the instrument that has been his constant companion since childhood.
Many of the tracks feature the rich, melodic voice of Anna Emelyanova. She gives the album a touch of the seraphic. In addition, joining Sharon's delightful piano arrangements are Helen Hendriks on flute and Ies Muller on Irish flute. Joep Willems plays cello and Wilfred Sassen plays violin.
Overall, the light ensemble pieces are a testament to the texture and beauty that make up the fabric that is America's heartland. Each of the works are vignettes that were created by memories in Sharon's life. Through her amazing music, we are witness to her deepest thoughts and most vivid impressions.
L'Dor Vador is a musical chronology. It is the history passed on from one generation to the next, sometimes in stories, sometimes in song. This time it is song. Sharon not only connects with her past in this soaring ballad, but perhaps, her future as well.
A Secret's Song is an inviting piano foray into places unknown. The cello in the background is like the voice of an old friend. The mysteries of the memory, the yearnings of the heart, or the very soul of a lover can be discovered by the connection to the music. Sharon's song is nostalgically warm and sublimely comforting.
Within Whispers is a slow, calming piece. Flute and cello balance with the piano in a spiraling number softer than the wind, but stronger than breath. The introspective tune is contemplative in its complexity. The music has movement, like a river of thought running through your mind. Unhindered, clear, ever flowing.
A clap of thunder, a storm in the distance and the title tune Red Sky Prairie begins. Through Sharon's magnificent melody, you can imagine endless plains, clouds that take on the vermillion hues of dusk, and if you listen closely, you can hear her joyful tidings on the wind. Fendrich's neo-symphonic tale is bold, breathtaking, and perfect for getting to know the stories of her heartland journey.
Never Alone is a prayer. Simple and from the heart, it is sung in Spanish, English, and Yiddish. "Help us and Save us. I Beg You. Guide us to safety."
Even the most simple of prayers requires a fervent heart and this prayer has that in every note. Sharon's tune is solemn, making Emelyanova's voice reverent and with tremendous passion.
Any reference to September is obvious in our history here in the United States. Sharon's tune, That September Day is sad. Not quite two decades later, tears still fall, hearts remain unmended, and memories are still etched with an acid so much stronger than grief. This heart wrenching song is a lamentation with a modicum of hope, something we need each and every day.
I liked all eleven cuts on Red Sky Prairie. There is a gentleness about the album as if every song was touched by a special kind of love. It is something rare these days. The mix of vocals and instrumentals offered enough variety that made you not only listen more, but also listen more closely on the next go around for every nuance that Sharon Fendrich tenderly cached in the notes. – R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
American neo-classical composer Sharon Fendrich presents her self-produced first album, Red Sky Prairie. With 11 tracks full of emotive melodies that captivate the heart, the disc offers the listener a soundtrack to their own dreams and memories, featuring Fendrich on piano, along with four Dutch soloists: violinist Wilfred Sassen, cellist Joep Willems, flautists Helen Hendriks and Ies Muller, and Russian vocalist Anna Emelyanova. Mixing both instrumentals and lyrical pieces, Fendrich writes her songs in five languages including Esperanto, and together with a captivating orchestral sound design, the 59-minute album creates an inviting and magical sonic world.