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.
As the live concert scene vanished, 'at home music-making' surges / The New York Times
Posted: June 28, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
When the coronavirus sequestered Americans at home and forced businesses to close, Hale Ryan braced himself for a financial winter. As the director of sales and marketing at Metroplex Piano in Dallas and a 30-year veteran of the piano business, he had seen other crises - like 9/11 and the 2008 recession - damage sales. When the lockdown began in March, Mr. Ryan said in a recent phone interview, "I thought this was going to be the final nail."
Instead, he began to field a flood of requests for instruments. Even with his showroom closed, the economy nose-diving and the professional music world in tatters, he sold pianos.
"It's actually been the best three months that I've seen in retail," he said.
The piano market encompasses a wide range of instruments, from hand-built concert grands that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to factory-made uprights, digital pianos and keyboards designed for young learners. The high-water mark of piano sales in America was 1909, when 364,500 new acoustic pianos were sold in the country. Since then, radio, television, recordings and instrument technology transformed the way music is created and consumed. Only about 30,000 new acoustic pianos are now sold here each year, but the number surpasses a million when all digital varieties are included.
Even a lower-end instrument represents a significant investment, and can seem like a luxury during a time of economic uncertainty. And with showrooms closed this spring, potential buyers could no longer test-drive the possibilities. A sale represented not just a splurge, but also a leap of faith.
"It's actually been the best three months that I've seen in retail," said Hale Ryan of Metroplex Piano in Dallas.Credit...Metroplex Piano
And yet interviews with nearly a dozen dealers across the country reveal surprisingly robust sales that suggest a resurgence of at-home music-making just as the live concert scene vanished. Most of the dealers noted a rise in demand for digital pianos, which allow players to channel the sound through headphones: a key feature in households where working-from-home parents share space with distance-learning children. The phenomenon seems to be part of a general pivot toward home-based recreation, along with increased demand for gym equipment and bicycles.
Indeed, a significant portion of purchasers appears to be new to the market. Tom Sumner, the president of Yamaha Corporation of America, said in an interview that he had heard from retailers that between 20 and 25 percent of sales this spring were to first-time buyers.
"A good chunk of customers are people they've never seen before," Mr. Sumner said.
According to him, Yamaha sold 60 percent more digital pianos this April than in the same month last year. He added that the sales increase was especially significant because, in a typical spring, schools tend to make big purchases in preparation for fall band season. Because of the coronavirus, he said, that segment has dropped away, so the spike in sales likely comes from individual buyers.
Brian Majeski, the co-owner of Music Trades, a company that analyzes data about the musical instruments industry, said in an interview that across America, sales of digital pianos rose by 30 percent this April and May, with the trend appearing to continue into June. He also noted an uptick for acoustic pianos, though it was smaller and mostly driven by used instruments.
Still, Mr. Majeski said, "The question in our industry is: Will this stick? Are you creating a new generation of players, or is it a momentary spike with people who have time on their hands looking for things to do?"
The Piano Guys, a crossover group that has clocked over a billion YouTube views with music videos of its arrangements of pop and classical standards, began selling digital pianos for $2,000 to $8,000 on its website last December, typically bundled with online learning materials alongside proprietary sheet music. Steven Sharp Nelson, a member of the group, said that in the first months it sold a piano every two or three days. In April and May demand rose steeply; some days the band sold six pianos in one day.
He said it was the pandemic that had led many to learn to play the piano for the first time. "We're in a cadenza fermata," he said, referring to the moment in a classical concerto when the orchestra drops away and the soloist takes off on a flight of fancy. "People are improvising."
Isaac Namias, who sells restored acoustic pianos in Brooklyn, said email inquiries shot up when the virus hit New York. Under lockdown, he said, he sold nearly twice as many units per month as during normal times, mostly instruments in the lower price range, about $2,500 to $6,500. About half his business was driven by piano teachers referring students. Notably absent from the client list were professional performing pianists. Mr. Namias said, "They want to touch the piano, they know exactly what they're looking for."
But the reliance on hands-on, in-person sales seems to have lessened. Anthony Gilroy, a spokesman for Steinway, said in an email that although the company had seen a drop in sales when showrooms closed, the decline had been less than expected. In response to the pandemic, Steinway for the first time created an option to buy pianos directly from its website. And sales representatives using digital platforms were able to make big-ticket sales, including limited-edition Steinways costing upward of a quarter of a million dollars.
Mr. Nelson of The Piano Guys likened the trend to car sales. "To my mind it's like when people started selling cars on eBay," he said. "At first people thought that was crazy. But now a significant portion of car sales is done online."
Mr. Ryan, whose showroom in Dallas has since reopened, said he had organized virtual demonstrations of instruments on Zoom. "I never thought anybody would buy a $20,000 piano without playing it first," he said. But he sold several concert grand pianos this way, including a $200,000 Bösendorfer to a doctor who had been working on the front lines of the coronavirus.
"He is a pathologist and a serious player and he's always wanted a Bösendorfer," Mr. Ryan said. "He's stressed beyond belief and he just wants to get back to playing piano."
Having spent the last decade together releasing chart-topping music, debuting stunningly original music videos and touring in sold-out venues across the globe, THE PIANO GUYS will celebrate their tenth anniversary as a group with the release of their tenth new album 10, out November 20 from Sony Music Masterworks. Available for preorder now, the 2-disc album reflects on The Piano Guys' greatest career moments thus far with fifteen newly-remastered fan favorite tracks from the past decade as well as introduces their next chapter with seven brand new songs and six tracks never-before-released CD. Making its debut today alongside album preorder is the first of these new tracks, a newly-recorded rendition of Lauren Daigle's chart-topping hit "You Say" that combines the uplifting ballad with Beethoven's "Sonata Pathétique" to create a rich mosaic of strings and piano – listen here. As visually creative as they are sonically, The Piano Guys pair today's release with a new music video filmed amidst the gorgeous scenery of their home state of Utah.
Utah sensation The Piano Guys release an all-new album Limitless (Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks) on November 9. On Limitless, The Piano Guys showcase their talent for reinventing the music of any genre, from contemporary pop and rock hits to classical compositions, Hollywood scores and even never-before-heard originals. Also, catch them on their U.S. tour, which kicks off in their home state of Utah on November 7 and continues through early 2019.
"As we go through life's cycles, sometimes we face the sun and sometimes we face stars that stretch on forever. We may extend our reach so far away from us at times that we forget we only need to look within to rediscover who we actually are and soar. We are limitless. We hope that's the way this music makes you feel." – The Piano Guys
With over a billion YouTube views for their 50 plus music videos,The Piano Guys announce the release of their new holiday album Christmas Together(Portrait) available October 27. The album features collaborations with music royalty from the pop, opera, and video worlds on classical themes, holiday chestnuts, and original compositions. Their seventh full-length studio album and second holiday collection, Christmas Together brings The Piano Guys' "Wonders of the World" quest back home for the holidays after their last album, Uncharted, found the Utah quartet roaming far afield to places like Scotland, Mexico, and Jordan.
15 NEW 48 TOTAL
Markets include: Los Angeles, Boston, Hartford, Saint Augustine, Santa Fe, MI(Statewide), AL(Statewide), WI(Statewide), WV(Statewide), Barcelona INTER: Canada, UK, Spain Online: Musicas Imaginadas, Zephyr Planet Radio, HNR, MainlyPiano, StageBuddy, AccuRadio, IMDb, LDS Living, Daily Herald
With over a billion YouTube views of their more than 50 music videos,The Piano Guys announce the release of their new album Uncharted(Sony - Portrait) which includes the upbeat new song "Okay" written by hit-makers Andy Grammer and Dave Bassett. Uncharted literally charts new territory for The Piano Guys. Continuing their "Wonders of the World" quest, they've shot three of their recent hit videos far afield – Scotland, Mexico, Jordan – while "Okay" shows them in the recording studio where they create their inspirational music, and in front of a cheering crowd of 20,000 at the USANA Amphitheatre in their home state of Utah.
13 NEW 33 TOTAL
SYND: The Bill Miller Show Direct: MOOD, Stingray Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle, Long Island, Cedar Rapids IA, Saint Augustine FL. Online: Zephyr Planet Radio, Musicas Imaginadas, The Eclectic Chair, Mainly Piano
The Piano Guys continue their fairytale story of turning a musical hobby and friendship into an extremely successful worldwide career. The four talented dads from Utah, have climbed the Great Wall of China for their craft, landed atop Billboard charts, sold out tour dates around the world, accrued a massive social media following and scored YouTube viewership at 730 million-plus views. On November 13, they reach a new career milestone, releasing their first ever live album, The Piano Guys – Live!(Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks). The deluxe package features live audiofrom The Piano Guys' sold out performance at the world's most famous concert hall, Carnegie Hall in New York City, plus live video from their sold out concert at the stunning outdoor amphitheatre, Red Rocks in Colorado. Plus, The Piano Guys latest video"When Stars and Salt Collide," their take on the Coldplay hit, "A Sky Full of Stars, is a heartfelt dedication to their fans
21 NEW 48 TOTAL
SYND: Stingray Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Madison, Canada Online: Live 365, Taintradio
The incredible success story known as - The Piano Guys, four talented dads from Utah, release their fourth studio album entitled Wonders on Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks. Not only has TPG climbed the Great Wall of China for one video, they have also landed atop the Billboard charts, sold out tour dates around the world, accrued a massive social media following and scored YouTube viewership at 500 million views. Wonders, a nod to the "Wonders of the World," features successful single/video releases from the past year such as, "Let It Go," "Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends," "Don't You Worry Child," and "Story of my Life." It also includes new songs with strong familiarity – "Batman Evolution" (The Piano Guys' take on various Batman themes over the years), a mash-up that incorporates melodies from Dave Matthews Band's huge hit "Ants Marching / Beethoven Ode to Joy," and Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."
9 Total 32 Total
SYND: PRI/Echoes, Sixty Second CD, The Bill Miller Show, Galaxie Markets include: Cleveland, Berkeley CA, Kansas City, Long Island NY, Chattanooga TN, El PasoCanada Online: HLN, Humboldt 101, HuffPost, Live 365
With the success of The Piano Guys' first two major label releases, The Piano Guys and The Piano Guys 2, Portrait/Sony Masterworks releases the Utah-based classical-pop group's new holiday album: A Family Christmas. The album is also available as a deluxe set that includes a bonus DVD of their hit holiday music videos, plus a classic Yule Log video featuring all of the songs on the album. Produced by the group's Steven Sharp Nelson, Jon Schmidt, Al Van der Beek and Paul Anderson, A Family Christmas puts The Piano Guys' signature twist to such Christmas classics as "Silent Night," "Good King Wenceslas," and "Angels We Have Heard On High," which will be supported by a new YouTube video.
26 New 'ON' 134 TOTAL
SYND: PRI/Echoes & Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Galaxie Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Detroit, Kansas City, El Paso, Jacksonville FL, Wichita KS, Buffalo, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Honolulu, Canada Online: LIVE 365, Humboltdt 101, Taintradio, WGOE