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Birmingham’s Young, Popular, Fiery Conductor Says British Orchestras Don’t Have An Easy Life

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla became the music director for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2016. She says, “British orchestras, the CBSO included, don’t have an easy life. They work very hard, very fast. They don’t have the government support you get in, say, Germany or Austria or elsewhere. Or the rehearsal time.” – The Observer (UK)
Tags: MUSIC, 03.23.19


San Francisco Symphony Musicians Announce Their Support For Striking Colleagues In Chicago

They are supposed to perform in Chicago on Tuesday, but they say they “will join striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians on the picket line if the labor conflict hasn’t been settled by then.” (They already sent a letter of support, but this is a bit more direct.) – Chicago Tribune
Tags: MUSIC, 03.22.19


Michael Tilson Thomas On His Relationship With Music

“We are living in a time when production has mostly superseded content in every area you can think of. It’s very archaic to be holding on to what is the actual content and how to keep it meaningful.” – Washington Post
Tags: MUSIC, 03.21.19


The Essential Brilliance Of Studio Musicians

In the 1950s and ’60s, especially, session musicians could make or break a hit. And session musicians were in high demand, as producers like Phil Spector became obsessed with production techniques such as the Wall of Sound, forcing as many musicians as possible into a studio and having each of them contribute a small part to a larger, bombastic sound. As a result, session musicians became highly valued: Each had to play their role well, but they also had to find a way to click with every other ...
Tags: MUSIC, 03.21.19


Google Doodle For Bach’s Birthday Uses AI To (Try To) Compose Bach-Like Chorales

The little Bach-bot “promises to take any two-bar melody you type in and turn it into a Bach, or Bachlike, chorale in four parts, played by charming little music-box figures of bewigged 18th-century musicians.” Yet, writes Anne Midgette, “it may only add to the doodle’s charm that what it actually proves is the opposite of what it sets out to do.” – The Washington Post
Tags: MUSIC, 03.21.19


Fistfight At The Opera: Lawyer Punches Designer In Dispute Over Seats At Covent Garden

“Matthew Feargrieve, 42, was accused at Westminster Magistrates Court of repeatedly punching Ulrich Engler on the shoulder in the performance of Wagner’s Siegfried at the world-famous [Royal Opera House]. It is understood the dispute began because Mr Engler allegedly grabbed a coat belonging to Mr Feargrieve’s wife from an empty seat and threw it on her lap.” – The Telegraph (UK)
Tags: MUSIC, 03.20.19


Conductor Thomas Wilkins Works To Get Composers Of Color Into Boston Symphony’s Repertoire (And Into The Canon)

Wilkins, the BSO’s conductor for young people’s and family concerts, makes his subscription-season debut this weekend with a program of music by Florence Price, Adolphus Hailstork, Roberto Sierra, and Duke Ellington. Wilkins is aware of the charge of tokenism: “The easy observation would be to say that this is just a night of box-checking so that we can move on. In reality, it is not. It is, in fact, a launch. … And you know what? You gotta start somewhere.” – The Boston Globe
Tags: MUSIC, 03.21.19, Sjm


When Gustav Mahler Rode The New York Subways

Oh yes, he traveled by subway during his years (1908-11) as director of the New York Philharmonic. (He’d have taken one of the BMT lines to conduct at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the now-gone Ninth Avenue El to get home on the Upper West Side.) “Yet claiming Mahler as a New Yorker … is complicated,” writes David Patrick Stearns. “Connect the dots one way, New York was Mahler’s nightmare and possibly his undoing. Connect the dots another way, and Mahler himself was a nightmare no matter wh...
Tags: Art, Music, New York, Mahler, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York Philharmonic, Gustav Mahler, BMT, David Patrick Stearns, New York Subways, 03.20.19, Upper West Side Yet


Seattle Opera Gets A New General Director

Christina Scheppelmann, who’s currently the artistic head of one of the top opera houses in Europe, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain, will become general director of Seattle Opera in August, succeeding Aidan Lang, who announced last fall that he would be leaving at the end of this season to become general director of the Welsh National Opera. – Seattle Times
Tags: Art, Europe, Music, Seattle, Seattle Opera, Barcelona Spain, Aidan Lang, Christina Scheppelmann, 03.21.19, Gran Teatre del Liceu


Flume: Hi This Is Flume (Mixtape Visualizer)

For his first release since 2017, electronic artist Flume taps fellow Aussie Jonathan Zawada for a 42+ minute visual for Hi This Is Flume. Though the release is available to stream on all platforms, it’s most powerful when experienced alongside the Zawada-directed video. Complete with lucid digital renderings and eclectic live-action scenes, the cuts accentuate the insanity of Flume’s music—it’s frantic and enveloping, but when the …
Tags: Video, Music, Design, Music Videos, Culture, Electronic Music, Australian, Listenup, Electronic, Flume, Jonathan Zawada, Zawada, Mixtape Visualizer


Kansas City Symphony Names A New Executive Director

He’s Daniel Beckley, who most recently was vice president and general manager of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  Beckley succeeds Frank Byrne, who’s retiring this year after a 19-year tenure. 
Tags: Art, Music, Kansas City, Frank Byrne, 03.20.19, Daniel Beckley, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Beckley


Emily Wells: Come on Doom, Let’s Party

Backed by clips of climate crisis, protest and dance, Emily Wells appears front and center in the video for her newest single, “Come on Doom, Let’s Party.” Surrounded by strings, echoed synths and drums, Wells sings with forlorn longing. “My movements are actions of love, mimicry, isolated protest. My movements illustrate willful blindness. My movements illustrate a willingness to see. My movements illustrate a fury …
Tags: Music, Design, Climate Change, Culture, Music Video, Party, Listenup, New Music, Emily Wells, Wells, Strings, Singer Songwriter


Louisville Orchestra And Teddy Abrams Renew Contract For Five Years

“The youthful musical director of the Louisville Orchestra, who has built a national reputation as a creative and innovative force on the music scene, has signed an ‘unprecedented’ five-year contract to helm one of Louisville’s cornerstone institutions through the 2024-25 season.” – Louisville Courier Journal
Tags: Art, Music, Louisville, Louisville Orchestra, 03.20.19


Exit Lines: “To Kill a Mockingbird”

There’s been so much drama regarding Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird that the actual show may get lost in all the headlines. (There’s this, and this, and this.) Once you’ve gotten through all that hubbub, however, book your tickets to what’s become a bonafide theatrical event. It’s excellent. Mostly. Lee’s 1960 novel, the basis of the Oscar-winning 1962 film, needs no introduction. In all the best ways, it plays to Sorkin’s strengths: It’s a courtroom thr...
Tags: Music, New York, Aaron Sorkin, Theatre, Alabama, Jeff Daniels, Broadway, Harper Lee, South Pacific, Detroit, Bartlett Sher, Exit Lines, Bob Cashill, New York Theatre, Tom, Lee


Yo Yo Ma And Deborah Borda: Music As A Force For Social Justice

Ma: “It’s never art for art’s sake, because even if I do it for myself in my head, I have an ideal. I’m actually trying to take something — a construct, a concept, a theory — and then I want to make it visible, I want to make it audible, I want to make it tactile. I want to make it felt.” Borda spoke of the New York Philharmonic’s efforts to engage with social issues, including gender equality. Recognizing that “all the music we play was written by men,” the organization is launching an initiat...
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, Ma, Yo Yo Ma, New York Philharmonic, SJM, Deborah Borda, Borda, 03.15.19


Magic Flute, The Video Game? It’s Coming To A Console Near You

Created by gaming company Opus Ludus, The Flute challenges players to take on the role of Prince Tamino and move through a series of adventure scenes, combat and puzzles as he embarks on his quest to rescue Princess Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. – ClassicFM
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, Tamino, 03.19.19


Striking Chicago Symphony Musicians Talk About What’s At Stake

We do not easily fit into the capitalistic system. And this is a good thing. The best things in life — education, medical care, love, nurturance —also do not fit neatly into economic life. – Jacobin
Tags: Art, Music, Chicago, 03.19.19


Lizzo + Missy Elliott: Tempo

Lizzo and Missy Elliott have teamed up for an absolute banger with “Tempo.” With a beat that’s reminiscent of an early 2000s hip-hop club anthem, it’s a celebration of thick women: “Slow songs, they for skinny hoes / Can’t move all of this here to one of those / I’m a thick bitch, I need tempo.” The third track from Lizzo‘s Cuz I Love You, …
Tags: Music, Design, Culture, Hip-hop, Listenup, New Music, Lizzo, Missy Elliott, Lizzo Missy Elliott


Is Music Strictly A Human Ability? Or Do Other Animals Have Musicality?

“Do we share musicality with other animals on account of the ‘common physiological nature of [our] nervous systems,’ as Darwin suspected? To understand the evolution of music and musicality, we have to establish what the components of music are and how they demonstrate their presence in animals and humans.” Music cognition researcher Henkjan Honing takes on the challenge. – Nautilus
Tags: Art, Music, Darwin, 03.14.19


Actors, Politicians, Even Nancy Pelosi Speak Up In Support Of Striking Chicago Symphony Musicians

As negotiations over a new contract drag on and concerts get cancelled, members of Chicago’s acting community have joined musicians on the picket line, both candidates for mayor in the city’s runoff election have come out in the strikers’ favor, and the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has issued a statement of support. – Chicago Tribune
Tags: Art, Music, Chicago, Nancy Pelosi, U S House of Representatives, 03.19.19


Chicago Symphony Musicians Strike Continues Into Second Week

There are no further meetings between the sides scheduled at this time. CSO President Jeff Alexander said that after no progress was made after lengthy sessions on Friday and Saturday, both sides agreed it would be “good to take a pause” in negotiations. On a small note of optimism, Alexander said that “there is room for movement” on the salary element of the contract. The CSOA is currently offering a 5% increase over a three-year contract while the union seeks a 12% increase over the same peri...
Tags: Art, Music, Alexander, CSO, CSOA, Jeff Alexander, 03.18.19


Turn your wired Bose headphones into a truly wireless headset!

There’s a higher likelihood of your headphone having a 3.5mm jack than your phone having a 3.5mm input… but don’t ditch your headphones for wireless ones yet! It’s exactly what these large corporations want! To have you adopt standards that help them further their vision. Your wired set of headphones are more than capable of being your primary headphones, the only hurdle is turning them wireless. The AirMod by Bolle & Raven helps that happen. Designed here for the Bose QuietComfort QC25 headphon...
Tags: Deals, Gadgets, Music, Design, Bluetooth, Audio, Wireless, Bose, Product Design, Portable Audio, QuietComfort, AirMod, Bolle Raven, QC25, Bolle RavenClick


Here’s What Happens When You Play Mozart, Hard Rock, Techno, And Hip-Hop To Ripening Swiss Cheese

Last fall, Swiss researchers exposed nine wheels of Emmentaler in an aging cellar to various types of music: classical (Mozart’s Magic Flute), rock (Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”), techno (Vril’s “UV”), hip-hop (A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)”) ambient music (Yello’s “Monolith”), and, as controls, steady high, medium and low tones and silence. All were on nonstop loops, with mini-transducers transmitting the sounds directly into the cheese wheels. After six months, the wheels we...
Tags: Art, Music, Steve Reich, Mozart, Zeppelin, 03.18.19, Mahler Monteverdi Stravinsky


MySpace Finally Admits It Lost All The Music Its Users Uploaded Over 12 Years

“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from Myspace. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies.” Boing Boing
Tags: Art, Music, 03.17.19


Louis Cole: Doing The Things (Short Song)

Instantly recognizable as a Louis Cole bop, the delightful “Doing The Things (Short Song)” has just been released—and is also a teaser for the upcoming Live Sesh and Xtra Songs EP, which is due out on 5 April. Melting together funk, pop and so much more, the track is off-kilter in the best possible way. The LA-based singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist is also heading out on tour—from …
Tags: Music, Design, La, Music Videos, Pop, Culture, Listenup, Funk, New Music, XTRA, Louis Cole


Farewell to Andre Williams, R&B Singer and Godfather of Rap

Singer, songwriter and arguably the inventor of rap Zephire “Andre” Williams—singer/songwriter and arguably the inventor of rap—has passed away in Chicago at 82 years old. Nicknamed Mr Rhythm, Williams worked in the music industry in various positions since the 1950s, from procuring and developing new talent to songwriting and producing. He co-wrote “Shake Your Tail Feather,” produced for Parliament-Funkadelic, teamed up with the Dirtbombs—his desire …
Tags: Music, Design, Rap, Chicago, Culture, Rip, Blues, Rb, Songwriters, Singers, Parliament Funkadelic, Andre Williams, Zephire Andre Williams, Rhythm Williams


British Opera Audiences Are Booing The Villains, Just Like At A Panto

“Audiences at the opera are increasingly booing the ‘baddies’, not for a perceived poor performance but because of their characters, in a change that has been attributed to the enthusiasm of new audiences. While lifelong opera-lovers have feared the trend may be disconcerting for singers, especially foreign stars who would find the world of pantomime alien, it has been emphatically welcomed by many.” – The Telegraph (UK)
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, 03.16.19


La Scala To Return €3 Million Of Saudi Money

“The Teatro alla Scala in Milan on Monday decided to return more than three million euros in funding to Saudi Arabia, amid growing criticism that Italy’s premier temple of music should not accept money from a country with a jarring human rights record. Mayor Giuseppe Sala said the theater’s board of directors had deliberated over the issue and ‘unanimously decided to return the money.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Milan, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Teatro Alla Scala, Giuseppe Sala, 03.18.19


New York Public Library’s Lou Reed Archive

Before NYC rock icon Lou Reed passed away in 2013, he did not give instructions on how to handle the large collection of recordings, photographs, notes and other artifacts from his prolific career. His wife, Laurie Anderson, decided to donate the collection to an institution that would display it for the public—and to “present raw material and let people make up their own minds.” Two …
Tags: Music, Design, Rock, Culture, Museums, Lincoln Center, Lou Reed, New York Public Library, Velvet Underground, Linkaboutit, Laurie Anderson, New York Public Library 's Lou Reed Archive


How Does Music Affect The Brain? [VIDEO]

Every way possible. In this video, the folks at Wired dig into research and find out things like “why the prefrontal cortex shuts down during improvisation. ‘It’s not just something that happens in clubs and jazz bars. … It’s actually maybe the most fundamental form of what it means to be human.'”- Wired
Tags: Art, Music, 03.16.18



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