Thursday, December 15, 2011

Visual Violinist Hahn-Bin is clearly out to define himself on his own terms

Hahn-Bin, the eyeliner-wearing Juilliard-trained violinist, debuted his original production Till Dawn Sunday last Tuesday night at Joe’s Pub. Accompanied on stage by his longtime pianist, John Blacklow, with occasional (non-musical) cameos by the actor Peter Samelson, Hahn-Bin performed 16 works by nearly 20 composers including Piazzolla, Liszt, Gershwin and Ravel.

A conventional violin recital, this was not.

The program note for Till Dawn Sunday includes a mock obituary from The New York Times. According to the obituary, Hahn-Bin committed suicide after the murder of his ex-lover; the title reads “Hahn-Bin, The World’s Saddest Clown, Dies at 24.” The production (which repeats on Dec. 13), is loosely based on one Saturday night in Bin’s life, while he was preparing for his debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and living on the Lower East Side. While sometimes difficult to follow, it is told through sequenced musical performances and a few lines of monologue.  Read More

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Copland and gay and the Republicans and ...

From Copland's FBI file. Click to enlarge.

A few days ago, I mentioned a musical irony undercutting an odious new TV ad by Rick Perry, the Texas governor and presidential aspirant. While Perry bemoans the fact that openly gay men and women are now allowed to serve in the American armed forces, the soundtrack gestures toward the "Americana" style of Aaron Copland, and in particular his immortal Appalachian Spring. You can see what I mean by comparing the ad itself — if anyone has moral qualms about accumulating hits for Gov. Perry, there is the option to vote "dislike," as more than half a million people have already done — to the opening and closing sections of Appalachian Spring. This observation is now making the rounds, although it's been somewhat distorted in the process: the music is not by Copland, although it certainly attempts to get close.  More

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Composer Scammed for $20M

A wealthy musician lost $20 million over six years to scammers who persuaded him - after finding a virus on his computer - of threats against him coming out of Central America, Opus Dei and the CIA, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore said a Chappaqua man was indicted last week in a scam targeting Roger Davidson, a pianist and composer from Katonah, a small town north of New York City. Davidson is founder and president of the Society for Universal Sacred Music. His great-grandfather and great-uncle founded the oil services company Schlumberger Ltd.

The district attorney said Vickram Bedi, 37, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of grand larceny. His computer services business in Mount Kisco was also indicted. Bedi pleaded not guilty and was held on $5 million bail.  Read more

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

City Opera Seeks Federal Mediator

Nearly a week after declaring an impasse in negotiations with its orchestra and chorus, New York City Opera is looking into getting a federal mediator involved. Dan Batchelder, the company's principal trumpeter, is encouraged by that move.

"We think it's a very positive, hopeful sign," he said. "We had offered mediation last month, and management wasn't interested in that. So now it sounds as though management may have re-examined their options and they're interested in coming to a deal, and that's all pretty good."  More

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Worst Classical Album Covers Of All Time. Ever. Really.

From KUSC Blog:

Recently I received a copy of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s latest CD, The Greatest Video Game Music, in the mail. The cover art features a soldier in full military garb playing a flaming cello against the backdrop of a vast war-torn wasteland.  There's a lot more here!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Philip Glass spoke to an Occupy Wall Street demonstration at Lincoln Center

From  Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

As promised, Philip Glass spoke to an Occupy Wall Street demonstration at Lincoln Center tonight, after a performance of Satyagraha at the Met. The protest, which was directed not at the opera itself but at a certain disparity between its lofty moral message and the machinery of corporate arts funding, got under way during the third act; police cleared everyone from the plaza, loitering music critics included (I had gone to the Mahler Tenth at the New York Philharmonic), and so the crowd assembled on the sidewalk at the foot of the steps. When the Satyagraha listeners emerged from the Met, police directed them to leave via side exits, but protesters began encouraging them to disregard the police, walk down the steps, and listen to Glass speak. Hesitantly at first, then in a wave, they did so. The composer proceeded to recite the closing lines of Satyagraha, which come from the Bhagavad-Gita (after 3:00 in the video above): "When righteousness withers away and evil rules the land, we come into being, age after age, and take visible shape, and move, a man among men, for the protection of good, thrusting back evil and setting virtue on her seat again."  More

Symphony Goers, Start Your Smart Phones

To Tweet or Not to Tweet.

It’s a question that has confronted a number of American orchestras as they try to connect with a population more accustomed to getting information from the touch of a button on smart phones than through things like program books and pre-concert lectures.

Now the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has established "TweetSeats," a section of Music Hall in Cincinnati where audience members can bring out their iPhones, Androids and tablets and Tweet along with the music.

Patrons who sit in this special section can use a hashtag -- #CinSym – to engage with others during the concert and better share the experience. During its latest installment, on Thursday night, some 10 to 15 Twitter users sat in their own Tweet section while the orchestra’s assistant conductor Will White and associate conductor Robert Trevino also sent out messages about the music they were hearing from backstage.  Read More

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Job Opening - Student Assistant for Jazz Collections - Conservatory Library

Student Assistant for Jazz Collections

START DATE: winter term or spring semester
HOURS: minimum of 6 hours/week. More can be assigned.
PAY RATE: $7.70/hour

  • Assist with inventorying and digitizing the recently-arrived Neumann jazz collection (ca. 40,000 LPs, ca. 5,000 78s, and hundreds of jazz and blues periodicals).
  • Special projects as needed.

  • Willingness to ask questions, to continue learning and growing with the job, and to accept increasing responsibility.
  • Reliability and punctuality.
  • Favorable references.
  • Ability to handle meticulous and detailed work independently and with accuracy. A short proofreading test will be given at time of interview.
  • Knowledge of jazz and/or recording technologies desirable.
  • Familiarity with word processing, data entry, and spreadsheet development desirable.

Applications are available at the Conservatory Library Circulation Desk.
Leave completed applications (attn. Jeremy Smith) in the box marked “Completed Applications.”

Questions? Contact Jeremy Smith: ~ 775-5181

Oberlin College Library actively seeks a diverse student staff.
Oberlin College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Mysteriously Lost Sibelius Symphony Emerges

In a new video featuring the Helsinki Philharmonic, sketches of what are believed to be Jean Sibelius's mysteriously unfinished Eighth Symphony are heard for the first time in history.

Sibelius scholars may never get their answer to the question: "What happened to the Eighth Symphony?" Left unfinished, the manuscripts were assumed to have burned in an infamous fire at the composer’s home. But hundreds of pages of sketches by Sibelius exist in the Finnish National Library, including a significant amount from the time period when Sibelius was known to be working on his illusive Eighth.  Read More

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boston Symphony Announces 75th Anniversary Season at Tanglewood

One of the most storied concerts in the history of the Tanglewood Festival took place on Aug. 12, 1937, when a violent thunderstorm broke out at the beginning of an all-Wagner program by the Boston Symphony. As rain poured on the enormous canvas tent under which the musicians played, even the Ride of the Valkyries couldn’t compete, and the concert was stopped several times. By the end, the tent was in tatters, audiences were soaked and the orchestra resolved to build a permanent shed, which stands to this day.

On July 21, 75 years later, the BSO will reproduce the program during the latest edition of the Tanglewood Music Festival -- though “hopefully without the storm,” said Mark Volpe, the orchestra’s managing director in an interview. The concert will be one of many special events planned for the 75th anniversary season, which runs from June 22 to Sept. 2 in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.  Read More

Broadway's Porgy and Bess Drops New Happy Ending

The forthcoming Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess has dropped plans for a new happy ending, following public criticism from composer Stephen Sondheim.

In August, the creative team behind the show described making significant changes to the 1935 opera in the hope of reframing it for a contemporary Broadway audience. That included punching up some dialogue, inventing new biographical details and adding a final scene that indicated that sought to lessen the ambiguity about whether Porgy and Bess would be reunited.  Read more

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Red flag: Louisville Orchestra looking for nonunion players

The embattled Louisville Orchestra, which has filed for bankruptcy and canceled its entire season through December, is seeking replacements for its union musicians. Despite mediation, the management and musicians failed to come to an agreement by the Oct. 31 deadline. Management was asking to reduce the size of the orchestra from 71 to 50 players, and for other concessions.  More

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beethoven Workout Mix

In celebration of the  New York City Marathon and WQXR's Beethoven Awareness Month, they created a mixtape to get you over the finish line - or just through your daily workout.  Listen here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

German Minister Combats Road Rage with Mozart

Germany's transport minister is sharing one of his own stress-reducers - the slow movements of Mozart's piano concertos - with drivers in hopes the soothing music will help reduce road rage on the nation's autobahn freeways.

A new CD called "Adagio in the Automobile" features Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer playing part of Mozart's Piano Concerto Nr. 21 accompanied by the orchestra of Berlin's Deutsche Oper.  More

For Top Salaries in Classical Music, Head to Los Angeles

In the worst case scenario, a poorly-managed orchestra cuts musicians' pay to compensate for budgetary shortfalls. In the best case scenario, you are the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Newly available tax returns reveal the generous compensation the Los Angeles Philharmonic awards its top artistic and chief executives: Gustavo Dudamel and Deborah Borda, respectively. The numbers were reported by the Los Angeles TimesMore

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mozart May Improve Detection During Colonoscopies

If you're headed for colon surgery, take your iPod.

Doctors who listen to Mozart while performing colonoscopy may increase their detection rates of precancerous polyps, a small study has found.

The study included only two doctors, but for one, listening to Mozart more than tripled the polyp detection rate from 21.25 percent to 66.7 percent, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston reported today at the American College of Gastroenterology’s annual meeting.  More

Stafford Hartman ('10) Memphis Opera Singer Performs After Being Shot

Stafford Hartman, a soprano and artist in residence at Memphis Opera, performed from a wheelchair during Saturday night's performance of Tosca at the company. Three days earlier she was shot in her right knee and a bullet grazed her left ear as she was robbed outside her home in Memphis's Cooper-Young neighborhood.

The robbery took place Wednesday night at 10 pm she was returning from a rehearsal of Tosca, in which she has an off-stage role as the voice of a shepherd boy.  More

Tokyo String Quartet to Lose Remaining Japanese Members

The two remaining Japanese members of the Tokyo String Quartet – including its founding violist – will retire in June 2013, the ensemble announced today. The violist, Kazuhide Isomura, 65, co-founded the quartet in 1969. Second violinist Kikuei Ikeda is also retiring, after more than 25 years.  More

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative

The Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative is a special initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), providing pioneering support to individual artists while adding $50 million to the Foundation’s substantial existing commitment to contemporary dance, jazz, theatre and related interdisciplinary work. Over the course of ten years, the three-part Performing Artists Initiative will provide awards to more than 200 artists, as well as a range of dance companies, theaters and presenters. Read more.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Soprano Bella lose court case over earsplitting wedding performance

When lifelong opera fans Virginia and Alan Lynch complained to the Guardian's consumer champions last year about an entertainment company that had ruined their wedding reception, we suggested they go to the small claims court to get back the £2,500 they had paid for the 30-minute performance.
The couple argued that the voices of three Soprano Bella singers were amplified so much some members of the audience had to put their fingers in their ears. This, they said, had ruined their big day at London's exclusive Chandos House in September 2010. It was made worse by the fact that the generous fee had included a £250 supplement to hire one of the company's own sound technicians to help ensure a "perfect performance".
Mrs Lynch told us at the time: "To my dismay … it was deafening. A guest had tried to turn down the volume, only for the sound technician to turn it up again. The singers' voices were very good, but the whole thing was ruined by over-amplification."  Read More Here

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New in Con Reference -- From Vodou to Zouk: A Bibliographic Guide

From Vodou to Zouk, the inaugural volume in African Diaspora Press's Black Music Reference Series, is a landmark work documenting vernacular music traditions of the French- and Creole-speaking Caribbean. Its nearly 1300 entries cover all of the French-speaking islands, in particular Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, as well as their overseas enclaves in France, the United States and Canada. Idioms covered range from the liturgical music of Haitian Vodou to folk and popular dance musics such as kalenda, bélé, compas, zouk, ragga, and more.  

 Con Reference ML3565 .G73 2010  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Unsingable - vocal problems with Susanne Mentzer

There is a stigma in opera singing that is rarely openly spoken about.

When classical singers have vocal problems the cause is assumed to be bad technique or from doing too much. Sometimes this is the case but many times it is something both literally unspeakable and unsingable.

The unspeakable happened to me in April of 1994, the day after Easter to be precise. I had laser surgery on my vocal cords. The journey to that point was a bumpy one.

Singers are independent contractors. We are paid "per performance." If we do not sing we do not get paid. It is that simple. Our livelihood relies on two tiny membranes in our throats that we use all the time for speaking, laughing, crying, and what have you.  Read More

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some Cite Censorship (more on Huang Ruo's ('00) opera)

The composer, cast and crew had already begun rehearsals in the egglike National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing when word came down from Communist Party officials in late August: the Sept. 30 world premiere of Huang Ruo’s “Dr. Sun Yat-sen,” a new opera depicting that revolutionary’s turbulent love life, would be postponed indefinitelyRead more.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Scan it!! It's free and saves paper!!

Did you know that you can use library copy machines to scan documents to pdf instead of copying them?  Instructions are posted by each copier. It saves paper and IT'S FREE!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Geek Fest! @ Azariah's Tues 10/11 4-5:30

TUESDAY, OCT. 11 @ 4-5:30pm in AZARIAH’S Cafe

Tech geeks and book nerds alike will want to be there!

This is a FREE, LOW-KEY, DROP-IN event! Visit as few or as many tables as you wish and earn tickets for the PRIZE DRAWINGS! Oh, and there will be SNACKS!

• Check out some cool mobile library apps
• Find out what was in the New York Times on the day you were born
• Learn how you can set up and maintain an online catalog of your own book collection
• Hear about the Winter Term course in letterpress printing
• See what Summon is all about — and how it works
• Join the Student Friends of the Library and get a preview of the upcoming book sale
• Meet the friendly Writing Tutors

And much more!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

#FakeAMS: Musicology Jokes and Academia’s Online Future

If you haven’t given in to Twitter yet, or just missed the overnight #hashtag sensation that’s rocking the musicologists of Twitter, allow me to catch you up. The annual conference of the American Musicological Society is coming up, and the time has apparently come to lovingly poke fun. In recent years, a bit of an arms race has developed for attention-grabbing titles. With so many papers being presented at the same time, you need to catch the readers’ eyeballs in order to draw them in to seats. Alex Ross picked out some of the top contenders from the upcoming conference, including this gem:   Read more

Monday, October 3, 2011

Top ten AMS paper titles

The annual meeting of the American Musicological Society will take place in San Francisco in November. As with any academic conference, some scholars seem to have worked a tiny bit harder than others to arrest the eyes of those browsing the program. There is, of course, no guarantee that these will be the most interesting papers in the conference. (Hat tip: Will Robin.)  Read more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

'Dr Sun Yat-Sen' (by Huang Ruo '00) Cancelled

It looks like “Dr. Sun Yat-Sen” the opera will not get its premiere at the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts after all. Scheduled to bow on Sept. 30, the new work by Huang Ruo was suddenly pulled last week from the schedule for what are rumored to be “political reasons.” So the opera will get its first outing instead by Opera Hong Kong, its primary producer, on Oct. 13.

The official reason for the last-minute cancellation is logistical problems, but few observers believe that. Karsten Witt Management in Berlin, which represents the composer, tells the South China Morning Post that the production was indeed "cancelled ... due to political reasons." Update, 9/26 11 p.m. The New York Times reports speaking with an unnamed source in that office today who said "a government official had gone to rehearsals and decided that the music was inappropriate."

Sun was the first president of the Republic of China. The opera's premiere was planned to coincide with the centenary of the Republic.

Sit-in as Royal Conservatoire of Scotland sets fees

Students have staged a sit-in after the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) set its tuition fees for students from outside Scotland at up to £36,000.

The board of governors agreed that annual undergraduate fees be set at £9,000 for non-Scottish students.
Students from the rest of the UK will pay a comparable amount to those at similar institutes in England.

Fees match charges in England for three and four-year undergraduate degree courses in music and dance.  Read more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Equinox! A Song That Says Fall: Richard Strauss' 'September'

from NPR:  Autumn is in the air — you can just sense it. It's a feeling beyond just the evening chill, or noticing the calendar date (the autumnal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere officially takes place on Friday at 5:05 a.m.). No, something more enigmatic gets triggered and tells us, "It's fall now."

Music can have those mysterious triggers, too. Some pieces, such as the "Autumn" concerto from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, wear their fall titles proudly. But others, like late Brahms piano pieces, songs by Bon Iver and Elliott Smith, or the fifth symphony by Vaughan Williams, say fall — at least to me — but in less obvious ways. It's not easy to put your finger on why it is.  Read More and Watch Jessye Norman Sing "September" by Richard Strauss!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New title in Periodicals

Orgues Nouvelles has been added to the shelves in Periodicals.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rethinking Sheet Music, With A Few Bells And Whistles

The acoustic piano hasn't changed much lately, but you can't say the same for sheet music. These days, piano scores are a click away — not just on your laptop, but via fancy new apps like Etude 2.0, which Steinway & Sons officially launches today for the iPad. It's essentially a souped-up sheet-music store, with a couple of slick interactive functions, at least one of which is designed to help you learn to play.

I downloaded the free Etude app and immediately found plenty of fast, free sheet-music downloads. Not a pianist, I opted for something super-simple, the Pachelbel "Canon," then shuffled off to our Yamaha grand to see if Etude could help me learn to play it.  Read More.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NEW in Con Ref -- Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide

Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide (new in the Conservatory Reference Collection)
 is an annotated bibliography to books, recordings, videos, and websites in the field of ethnomusicology. The book is divided into two parts. Part One is organized by resource type in categories of greatest concern to students and scholars. It includes handbooks and guides; encyclopedias and dictionaries; indexes and bibliographies; journals; media sources; and archives. It also offers annotated entries on the basic literature of ethnomusicological history and research. Part Two provides a list of current publications in the field that are widely used by ethnomusicologists. Multiply indexed, this book serves as an excellent tool for librarians, researchers, and scholars in sorting through the massive amount of new material that has appeared in the field over the last decades.

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 In Children's Voices: Michael Gordon's 'The Sad Park'

Michael Gordon never planned to write a piece of music based on the events of Sept. 11.

"I wouldn't have known how to approach this subject," he says. "I wouldn't have dared approach this subject. It's huge and I don't think I could have done it justice."

But Gordon, one of the co-founders of the new music collective Bang on a Can, eventually did write a 9/11 piece, The Sad Park. He found inspiration amid an unlikely group of commentators — the 3- and 4-year-olds who attended a Lower Manhattan preschool with his son after 9/11.  Read more & Listen to the piece here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in World

On September 6, 2011, we announced that we are making journal content in JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.  This “Early Journal Content” includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences.  It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. This represents 6% of the content on JSTOR.  Read More

One solution for paralyzing stage fright

Zoe Keating: A Symphony Unto Herself by Martina Castro

 Keating started playing the cello classically when she was 8 — but when she reached her teens, something weird started happening during her performances.

"Suddenly I'm like, 'How am I doing this? This seems really difficult. How am I doing this?' And then, soon enough, [I] wouldn't be able to play the cello," Keating says, laughing.

These performance hiccups developed into paralyzing stage fright, which led Keating to give up pursing a classical career. However, she continued to play through college, and eventually discovered a way to do it without fear.

"I started improvising," she says. "And I found that when I improvised, I wasn't nervous."  Read more

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome class of 2015

Conservatory Library orientation tours on Friday, September 2nd from 11:00a until 2:00p.

Come to the Conservatory Library and learn about the awesome services and resources we offer, and get some cool FREE stuff!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"She's Got the Power!" Girl-Group Hits From Rock’s Women

It was all about love. Waiting for it, finding it, showing it, fearing for it, fighting for it, sometimes losing it, sometimes taking it all the way to happy-ever-after marriage. On Saturday afternoon the rock archivists of the Ponderosa Stomp and Lincoln Center Out of Doors presented a fond four-hour marathon of girl-group songs from the early 1960s, sung by the women who made them.  More

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Red Beans And Ricely Yours: The Culinary Habits Of Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was arguably the greatest artist of the 20th century. He was also one of its greatest eaters.

The man behind "Struttin' With Some Barbecue" so often had grub on his mind that he often worked it into his song lyrics, and occasionally signed his letters "Soul Foodly Yours." More often, the signoff was "Red Beans & Ricely Yours," after his favorite food. We'll get to that in a minute — including his personal recipe for the New Orleans staple.  More

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Music of Louisiana's Angola State Penitentiary

It's been called the "Alcatraz of the South." Locals call it "The Farm." The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola has been synonymous with brutality, suffering and executions for much of its 110-year history. There was a time when even the most hardened criminals were said to break down and cry when they were sentenced to time there. Yet as prisons go, it stands out for an entirely different reason: its music.

It was one of the first stops for legendary folklorist John Lomax and his son Alan (who was just 18 at the time) when they set off on a year-and-a-half long odyssey on America's back roads in 1933. They were on a mission to gather folk songs of African-Americans, specifically music born of slavery, and they wanted it in its purest form. The elder Lomax believed prison walls were a filter against what he considered the "polluting" influence of popular music.
Read more here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free Concerts: In Washington D.C., They Happen 365 Days A Year

In Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, audiences can hear opera, jazz, folk and hip-hop seven days a week, 365 days a year, at 6 p.m. sharp — and never pay a dime.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is funded by both public and private dollars. And it was always intended to be accessible to everyone. But the mammoth white building can be a little intimidating. Immense chandeliers, red carpeting, tickets priced at easily $50 or more.  More

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lorin Maazel to conduct Brazilian Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven Festival

American conductor Lorin Maazel will conduct all seven concerts in Brazil’s Beethoven Festival, which starts on 10 August, it has been announced.

Maazel is replacing conductor Kurt Masur, who cancelled his engagement due to health issues.
The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra’s (OSB) principal conductor and former artistic director, Roberto Minczuk (right), will not be conducting at the festival and has been stripped of the title of artistic director by the orchestra's management due to an ongoing dispute over his decision to dismiss 33 members of the orchestra.  Read More

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ravi Coltrane Quartet In Concert - Newport Jazz 2011

His bloodline alone makes him something of a prince of jazz. But his legendary father died when he was a toddler, and Ravi Coltrane blazed his own trail on the tenor saxophone; indeed, his ideas about composition and flow and tone sound most at home with his own generation of improvisers. His quartet has developed a new set of repertoire for a new album in the works. We get a good midterm progress report from the Harbor Stage at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival.  Enjoy the concert here!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Harmonica Blues With A 'Brand' New Beat

The harmonica is a staple of American blues, beginning with the Memphis jug bands of the 1920s. In the 1960s, blues-influenced artists like The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton brought the harmonica into the sound of mainstream rock and roll. These days, however, few young artists pick it up.

Twenty-year-old Brandon Bailey is an exception. His debut album, Memphis Grooves, brings a new take to traditional blues harmonica. As Bailey plays, he uses his mouth as a percussive instrument, a technique called beat-boxing. He also uses a loop pedal to layer and repeat the phrases he creates.

Bailey has his own name for his unique playing style: harp-boxing. "I sort of consider it a modernization of the one-man band," he explains.  Read More & listen to Brandon!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pakistani 'Take Five' Is The Best Selling Jazz Thing On iTunes

After a BBC report, and some word-of-Internet buzz, this version of "Take Five" is easily the most popular thing on the most popular jazz album on iTunes.Watch and Listen Here!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

When Borders Closes, Do Doors Slam Shut In Classical Music?

In addition to the grim truth of another 11,000 jobs lost and 400 retail fronts closing, the news of the Borders failure marks the end of another chapter in how classical music is distributed, sold and enjoyed.

Virgin and Tower Records have long since given up the ghost. And as Barnes & Noble and Borders both morphed from being booksellers to books/music/tchotchkes/coffee chains, they were the two remaining national outlets that took up at least a bit of the slack, even though their classical offerings were never particularly deep or broad. Borders was never another Tower: You wouldn't encounter clerks who could reel off their objections to the Penguin Guide's picks, share a moment of mutual discovery with another giddy fan, or glimpse a renowned musician or two browsing the racks, but it still was a store that acknowledged classical music exists.  Read More

Friday, July 22, 2011

Enterprising Young Musicians On The Road To Interlochen

From npr:
For young people who want a career in the arts, a handful of prestigious summer camps are a vital early step. Interlochen, in northern Michigan, is one of them.

Jessye Norman, Josh Groban, Norah Jones and Lorin Maazel all spent summers at Interlochen when they were younger. But with tuition ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the campers' age and discipline, does it mean that only rich kids get to follow in their footsteps? It turns out that some extra-resourceful young people are paving their own way. I went to camp to meet them.  Read More.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

'New Hero' Of Classical Guitar Shares His Passion

Classical guitar is getting renewed interest thanks to Milos Karadaglich and his debut album Mediterraneo.

A newcomer at age 28, he knew early on that he had a good ear for music. He was 8 years old when his father took him to the music school in his home country of Montenegro and told him to choose which instrument he wanted to play. His teachers suggested the violin or piano.

"Piano was too expensive and violin was too hard for my parents to listen to, because when a child is learning to play the violin it is quite painful on the ears, you know," Karadaglich says with a laugh.  Read more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Codex Caper: Medieval Guidebook Stolen from a Spanish Church

It sounds like something out of an Agatha Christie novel, but the Case of the Codex Calixtinus is all too real. On Thursday, July 7, church authorities in the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela publicly confirmed that the priceless 12th century manuscript had been stolen from a safe in the cathedral vault. According to the local press, when the theft was discovered, the keys to the safe were still hanging in the lock. Read more.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Turning Abandoned Buildings Into Recording Studios

The Mason Jar team conducts a recording session with a chamber orchestra and The Wood Brothers (sitting on the desk, Chris on the left and Olive on the right) in a classroom at St. Cecilia's Church in Brooklyn.
For a hundred years, there was singing in the classrooms of St. Cecilia's School in Brooklyn. But since the parish closed it down a couple of years ago, the space has been pretty quiet. The empty rooms are rented by artists or for the occasional film shoot.

This spring, musician Dan Knobler got the keys to the five-story school building from the church, and when he opened the door, he says he knew it could work.

"It sounded real nice when we walked in and just said some words. I was worried that we were gonna over-saturate it with instruments, having a 12-piece ensemble," he says. "But it has a certain charm to it." Knobler has been scouring the city of New York for empty spaces with that charm.  More

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

EMI Publishing Dumps ASCAP

The music business has undergone drastic changes during the Internet era, but until recently, one thing that hadn't changed was the role of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known to the industry as ASCAP. This performance rights organization has helped songwriters and music publishers get paid when their songs are played in radio broadcasts, on elevators and in clubs for nearly 100 years. But as broadcasting moves online, ASCAP's future may be uncertain.

Take its relationship with the major record label EMI as an example. Like many labels, EMI has a publishing arm that controls several different catalogs of songs. April Music, one of those, holds the rights to some 200,000 songs, including works written and performed by Jay-Z, Mos Def and Beyonce. Holding those rights means that when any of those 200,000 songs are played in public spaces or in front of an audience, April Music — along with the song's writer — is paid a fee by the broadcaster.
Read More and listen to the NPR story

Friday, July 1, 2011

Conservatory Library closed July 4th

              Have a safe and happy holiday!