Tag Archives: Classical

Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: April 2019

Classical_Store_April-1244The taxonomy of contemporary classical music—new music, contemporary music, whatever you want to call it—is a thorny issue. But every two months, we’ll take a look at some of the best composer-driven music to surface here on Bandcamp, that which makes room for electronic experimentation, improvisation, and powerful takes on old classics. Continue reading

A Guide to the Discography of Diamanda Galás, Avant-Garde Oracle

Diamanda Galas

Photo by Austin Young

When I spoke with avant-garde legend Diamanda Galás in 2017, she had some understandably harsh words for critics who fail to understand both the deep and intense emotional veins running through her discography as well as the actual musical history behind her work. “People who do not know anything about music—notably, most music critics—really should equip themselves with the changes of the original song and realize that every single one of the chord changes I use are connected to the original chord changes,” she said, speaking about misinterpretations of her performance of Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” on All the Way. “It is not a bunch of keys falling down the stairs, and it is not someone who uses the song to her own ends only to destroy it and desecrate it and dismember it.”

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Album of the Day: Jeremy Dutcher,“Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa”

Toronto-based Jeremy Dutcher, a member of the Tobique First Nation reserve in New Brunswick, is a vocalist and composer whose background includes studies as an operatic tenor, training as an ethnomusicologist, and an apprenticeship with Maggie Paul, a Passamaquoddy elder and song carrier. His stunning debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, is a breathtaking exploration of water-themed songs created by his people, the Wolastoqiyik—the People of the Beautiful River—which were originally recorded on 1907 wax cylinders and had languished, forgotten, and collecting dust in a museum collection. Paul recommended that Dutcher find the recordings, and he first began using them to learn the songs and practice his Wolastoq, a severely endangered language on the verge of extinction.

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Meet Shida Shahabi, Classical Music’s Proudly Imperfect Virtuoso

Shida Shahabi

Shida Shahabi by Alex Knight

Artistic work rarely comes without the pressure of expectations. For Stockholm-based pianist and composer Shida Shahabi, playing the piano carries with it a particular kind of baggage. It’s an act, she says, that’s haunted by the image of the virtuoso solo pianist; self-assured, macho, and preternaturally gifted, a stereotype which pervaded her classical training at school. “You’re used to seeing men behind the instrument who take a lot of space and who are super self-confident,” she says over Skype. For Shahabi, this created a pressure to be perfect, to carry herself with an air of unassailable confidence.  Continue reading

Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: August 2018

Classical

The taxonomy of contemporary classical music—new music, contemporary music, whatever you want to call it—is a thorny issue. But every two months, we’ll take a look at some of the best composer-driven music to surface here on Bandcamp, that which makes room for electronic experimentation, improvisation, and powerful takes on old classics. Continue reading

Album of the Day: Kyoko Kitamura, “Protean Labyrinth”

The improvisational vocalist and composer Kyoko Kitamura has played a major role in the world of Anthony Braxton. She’s sung in an intimate trio with the veteran alto saxophonist, and also in operas from the composer’s grand Trillium cycle. Now she’s leading her own band—a group called Tidepool Fauna—on the album Protean Labyrinth.

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Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: February 2018

classical

The taxonomy of contemporary classical music—new music, contemporary music, whatever you want to call it—is a thorny issue. But every two months, we’ll take a look at some of the best composer-driven music to surface here on Bandcamp, that which makes room for electronic experimentation, improvisation, and powerful takes on old classics.

Continue reading

Poppy Ackroyd’s Compositions Are as Smart as They Are Accessible

poppy ackroyd

Photo by Kat Gollock.

She’s not the first conservatory-trained musician to merge classical techniques with electronic production, but pianist/violinist Poppy Ackroyd’s dense layering of traditional chamber instruments (including harmonium and spinet, and ensemble winds and strings), found sounds, and post-production treatments have all the markings of a game-changer.

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