Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Absolut Bowie: New Yorker 10.15.2001

This was the back cover advertisement for the New Yorker Magazine on October 15, 2001.

It was just a month after the horrible terrorist attack, and the articles included,  "Life in the largest Arab-American community, and a letter from China on "the disaster as it appeared in the provinces."

RIP David Bowie, for whom resting peacefully meant being cremated in New Jersey and having ashes spread across Bali.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Reset your mind: Glass & Kurosawa

Tired of endless chatter? Reset your mind with this, which surely is completely unrelated to anything you have done or seen today: a scene from "Dreams" by the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa set to the music of Philip Glass.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Soundtrack For Brazil

For Brazil fans who want an avant garde soundtrack to the World Cup games, try the Brazilian group Uakti and the sound of wooden vibraphone. This piece, Tiquiê River/Japurá River, was written by the contemporary American composer Philip Glass. My favorite Uakti piece is for flute players, electronica fans and those who love them: Alnitak, circa 1991.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Music: The Island of Peace & Love

“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” 
Ludwig van Beethoven
“Music has first place among the arts. It brings us to an island with peace, beauty and love. Music is a dream. Music helped me have hope. In difficult times, when suffering … even the bad is beautiful. It is a mystery when the first tone of music starts: it goes straight into our soul. Music … is …. God.” 
Alice Herz-Sommer, pianist, Holocaust survivor 
Died 2/23/14 Age: 110

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Manganiyar Seduction NYC

A total of 36 musicians in stacked red boxes - lit with bright, round bulbs - seduced the audience Thursday night.
"The Manganiyar Seduction" was a sight-and-sound experience - their Rajasthan-style turbans, hand gestures, flutes, drums - non stop for nearly 90 minutes!
It was at the Rose Theater at the time Warner Center, and part of the White Lights Festival. Photo shot with my iPhone 3G.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Washington McClain Remembered

Washington McClain was a precious soul who defied stereotypes in ways that were truly inspiring, perhaps even radical. But in the most gentle way.
Washington McClain
We were honored to consider him a family friend, always overjoyed to receive his prolific emails, and we cherished his deep laugh and big bear hug.
Washington's sudden passing this week at such a young age has left us in shock. 
"Wash" used his gifts to defy what you might expect of a black man who grew up in rural Louisiana in difficult circumstances. He played Baroque oboe in some of the finest period orchestras in North America, including Tafelmusik. (Listen to Wash playing while you read.) He lived in Canada and conducted much of his daily life in French. But he drove regularly to the Indiana University Early Music Institute where he was a music professor.
“Wash told me about his life, which was a miracle,” recalled Ensemble Arion colleague Matthieu Lussier in Musical Toronto. “Somehow he ended up playing baroque oboe. He was the sweetest guy with the roughest childhood. It says something about his force of character and determination.”
Washington traveled the world in pursuit of his music, reconnecting with us in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York - he knew people everywhere and always crashed with friends while touring. He always asked about extended family. He was devoted and made profound connections with many people.
Somewhere along this amazingly independent path, Washington became an Orthodox Christian. We met him when he was learning Greek while pursuing advanced music studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He was an inspiring presence in worship and in choir at Sts. Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Glenview, Illinois.
“On tour in Athens performing at the Odeon theater at the Acropolis, Wash spoke to the audience in fluent Greek," Tafelmusik music director Jeanne Lamon told Musical Toronto. "And the looks on their faces were priceless."
Wash's Facebook "likes" describe him well: He was "Against Modern Opera" and for J. S. Bach and Romanos the Melodist. He was for President Barack Obama and against Sarah Palin. He liked the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Orthodox Church in America. He liked Battlestar Galactica. He read stories on the Al Jazeera Network. His last post: "Bonne fete, Toni Morrison!!"
Thank you Washington for the chance to play a Bach oboe-flute duet together at a church Christmas music program.
We remember you for your inspiring presence, your gift of language, your gift of music - one recording nominated for a Grammy last year! - and the many lives you touched. A bientot, Washington. Eternal memory dear brother. Eternal memory. Eternal memory!

  • Musical Toronto has a fine tribute, a video & details here.
  • Indiana University's press release on his passing here.
  • Here & below, the Grammy-nominated Handel performance in New York, featuring Washington on oboe quite clearly.
  • The Arion Orchestra posted this video tribute to Washington.
  • Washington's brothers said on Facebook that tributes may be left here.
  • Washington's friend Alison, a fellow woodwind player, wrote a tribute here with sound clips of his oboe playing.