The banjo’s recent return to favour has seen the likes of Otis Taylor and Rhiannon Giddens reclaim the instrument as part of African America’s musical roots. Twenty-three-year-old Kaia Kater from Québec studied mountain music in West Virginia and writes songs from the here and now. Her second album manages to triangulate bluegrass, Nina Simone and Toni Morrison, with numbers provoked by school shootings (Paradise Fell) and Black Lives Matter, next to fiddle-and-banjo folk standards and an opener, Saint Elizabeth, that details a woman being stalked. Recorded in a day, it’s an intense, mostly solo affair, with Kater’s banjo and rich voice supported by bass, muted trumpet and backing vocals. -Neil Spencer, The Guardian
Treatise is a musical composition by British composer Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981). Treatise is a graphic musical score comprising 193 pages of lines, symbols, and various geometric or abstract shapes that eschew conventional musical notation. Implicit in the title is a reference to the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, which was of particular inspiration to Cardew in composing the work. The score neither contains nor is accompanied by any explicit instruction to the performers in how to perform the work. Cardew worked on the composition from 1963 to 1967. Continue reading CORNELIUS CARDEW :: TREATISE, performed by the Cardew Trio, maskfest, 1.12.2010
Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten is a short canon in A minor, written in 1977 by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, for string orchestra and bell. The work is an early example of Pärt’s tintinnabuli style, which he based on his reactions to early chant music. Its appeal is often ascribed to its relative simplicity; a single melodic motif dominates and it both begins and ends with scored silence. However, as the critic Ivan Hewett observes, while it “may be simple in concept…the concept produces a tangle of lines which is hard for the ear to unravel. And even where the music really is simple in its audible features, the expressive import of those features is anything but.” A typical performance lasts about six and a half minutes. Continue reading Arvo Pärt :: Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, BBC Orchestra, Edward Gardner, conductor, 2010
From November 2016 album We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service , the sixth studio album from A Tribe Called Quest. The album features guest appearances from André 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Elton John, Kanye West, Anderson Paak, Talib Kweli, and the group’s most frequent collaborators Consequence and Busta Rhymes. The album features contributions from member Phife Dawg, who died several months prior to the album’s release.
An old Willie Nelson song from 1965 (written by Willie Nelson, Paul Buskirk, Walt Breeland). From the album Willie Nelson His Own Songs
Daniel Bachman: Song For The Setting Sun II
Daniel Bachman calls Durham, N.C., home now, but he grew up around the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg. It’s a quiet town in Northern Virginia that still has a pharmacy with cheap sandwiches and milkshakes; but, as Bachman pointed out to us, it has more tattoo parlors than music stores these days. That’s not a judgment, just the way things are.The 25-year-old has been at the solo-guitar game since he was a teenager, befriending folks like the since-departed Jack Rose and slowly finding his own way into the music. That’s why it felt right to bring Bachman back to the area that inspired River, a record surrounded by history, but guided by hands and a heart that know its bends and bumps.In early March, we met Bachman in Fredericksburg to drive an hour east to Stratford Hall, home to four generations of the Lee family, which includes two signers of the Declaration of Independence; it’s also the birthplace of Robert E. Lee. Bachman knows it well, not only because his dad works there, but also because he can’t help but bury himself in history books about the region.There’s still snow on the ground when we arrive, as we scrape chunks of mud from our boots before entering the impeccably preserved Great House. Overlooking the rolling hills of Virginia, Bachman plays a version of “Song For The Setting Sun II” in what was the performance space at Stratford Hall. The song leaps boldly around the sunlit, symmetrical room, bouncing off walls decorated with paintings of buxom women and men in powdered wigs. -npr clip notes
In 1969, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono had giant poster-billboards put up around the world in various major cities featuring the inscription (in black letters on a stark white background) “War is over! If you want it. Happy Xmas from John and Yoko.” The posters appeared in Paris, London, Hollywood, Athens, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome, and Toronto. Perhaps most pointedly, one also appeared in Times Square, New York, directly across the street from a Marine recruiting center. This was right in the heart of the most political phase of Lennon’s fascinating career (the late ’60s and early ’70s). Continue reading JOHN LENNON/YOKO ONO :: HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER), 1969
From the folks at Indiegroundradio in Athens – a Best of 2016 mixtape. playing tracks by(Γεωργία Νήρου) E, (Nick’s Flicks) Animal Collective, (High Fin Delity) Declan McKenna, (Wanted Man) The Dead Rabbits, (Antony K.) Swans and more.
Part one of two, 2 hours and 20 min long. Via Mixcloud.