Menu Close

Tag / Music

The Human Sound: Yo-Yo Ma & Silkroad Ensemble’s “Sing Me Home”

Gwen tended not to make New Year’s resolutions. “Why should the start of a calendar year be the one time we make self-improvements?” she always wondered, aloud, towards Dania and Eleanor.

 

Still, self-improvement has to happen sometime, and Gwen typically made her resolutions, if any, around her birthday. This year, along with specific goals for health and wellness, she also resolved to generally diversify the music she listened to while working. Jazz had been a staple since high school, but now –– she declared –– was the time to begin branching out. More classical music! She knew the composers but rarely sampled their work.

 

This was why, when Dania glanced over her shoulder one day, she saw not the typical music library pulled up the “JAZZ FOR STUDYING” playlist, but instead a YouTube video of an older, Chinese man playing the cello.

Continue Reading

The Television Virtuoso: Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream”

“Ten years?” Eleanor said, with considerable shock.

“Yep, it was 2009,” Gwen confirmed. She tilted her computer screen towards her friends, showing them clearly the Wikipedia article with the date inscribed on the top.

“Wow,” Eleanor said. “It feels way more recent than that.”

“I’d say it feels longer,” Dania replied. “I mean, when was the last time you thought about Susan Boyle, really?”

Continue Reading

Tear It Up: “Cannonball Adderly’s Fiddler On The Roof”

The cover art made Eleanor uneasy. Something about that neon yellow background, with Adderly’s beady eyes at the center. Not to mention the forced perspective of his feet – he looked as though he were about to slip off the roof.

But the album cover, she knew, was not what she had purchased from the garage sale. What she had intended to buy was a gift for Gwen. The record was an unexpected but  appropriate discovery, matching Gwen’s passion for theatre and her hipsterish fascination with vinyl. A quick search confirmed that the record was indeed the  combination the cover implied: an album of jazz covers of songs from Fiddler On The Roof, performed by the famed Cannonball Adderly Sextet.

Continue Reading

Shadow Folk: Alabama Shakes’ “Sound & Color”

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of friends who are always out experiencing the best of entertainment. Be it plays, films, concerts, exhibits, or games, they’ve learned that the arts are best when experienced together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Recently, the Girls discussed “Sound & Color,” the 2015 genre-mixing album from blues rock band Alabama Shakes. Let’s listen in on their conversation…

 

Dania laid on her bed, headphones on, eyes closed. She was in a funk, and was attempting to de-funk herself the most effective way: music. American folk seemed the right pathway to follow, with the chill of Fall descending on the city – Gwen had already decked out the kitchen with decorative gourds. So Dania laid still, focusing her attention on the music of Alabama Shakes.

It had initially been a jarring experience. Following their début Boys & Girls, Dania had expected the more pure folk sound of that first album, which gave her the earworm “Hold On” in 2012. But the opening vibraphone sounds of Sound & Color‘s title track, immediately set an entirely new tone. What is this album? wondered Dania. It was calming, certainly. But it hadn’t been what she was expecting.

Continue Reading