#MusicMonday: Is this the sound of genius?
Behold the Andalusian Cadence. Never heard of it? Perhaps, but you sure have heard it! It’s a simple sequence of four notes—in the key of A major, it would be A, G, F, E—and it’s been used from the Renaissance to Rihanna, with Beethoven, Mozart, the Beatles, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Green Day in between.
Listen to 50 different examples of Andalusian Cadence from our friends at WNYC Radio.
Is that genius? We think so. #thatsgenius
#MusicMonday: Is this the sound of genius?
Today is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s 300th birthday, the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach. Considering all the generations of Bachs who were great musicians, if they ever do find a gene for genius, maybe they should call it the “Bach” gene?
Here are a couple examples of CPE Bach’s music. Now #thatsgenius:
WQXR Classical will also be playing his music all weekend.
Jimi Hendrix - “Born Under A Bad Sign”
#TuesdayTip - A Blues n’ Roll by Chris Bergson, 92Y School of Music faculty member and guitarist extraordinaire. His albums Fall Changes and Imitate the Sun were named MOJO Magazine’s #1 Blues Album of 2008 and #2 Blues Album of 2011, respectively.
Ever wanted to learn how to master the “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” technique mastered by blues masters like Albert King and B.B. King, and imitated by rock guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Derek Trucks? Check out my three steps to “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” greatness, and then head on over to my Blues and Rock guitar workshop this Sunday, March 9, at 92Y’s High School Guitar Day, where Sheryl Bailey and I will also be performing her arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” in the High School Guitar Day opening concert.
The Brentano String Quartet and Vijay Iyer give the world premiere of Time, Place, Action for Da Camera of Houston, Feb 15, 2014. Photo from @theeastenders.
A new piece takes flight at 92Y
Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer comes to 92Y this Saturday to give the New York premiere of his new work, Time, Place, Action, for Piano and Strings, with the Brentano String Quartet. The music is inspired in part by the improvisation dance form, “flocking,” where a group takes its collective cue from a leader, like birds in migration.
Yet throughout the piece, Iyer notes that performers may add their own dynamic, rhythm and energy through interpretation, making each performance thoroughly unique. Check out this exclusive preview of the score of Time, Space, Action, and be sure to join us Saturday to see and hear what “flocking” is all about!
Photos from “the joyous opening-night performance,” on Saturday of Lyrics & Lyricists “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away: Boom, Bust and High Spirits.”
The show, hosted by the music historian Robert Kimball, had surefire musical grounding in the buoyant 11-member dance band Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, which recreates the past, note by note, sound by sound from Mr. Giordano’s collection of vintage band arrangements, sheet music and old recordings. Oh, it sounds like a museum exhibition, you may scoff. But to hear them in action is to be reminded that this music, when played with enthusiasm, is as alive and vital as any being created today.
Read more from The New York Times.
The show continues today with two more performances at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm!
When the Depression hit and America went “bust,” romance suffered and not even a Valentine’s Day could ease the new realities. But America’s songwriters wouldn’t give up and churned out hundreds of new songs that raised the “high spirits” of love.
A lot of these songs will be performed at our Lyrics & Lyricists show next weekend: “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away: Boom, Bust and High Spirits,” created and hosted by Robert Kimball. The show stars Christine Andreas and Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks. To see more songs in the show, visit the “Program Notes” for the show and check out the “Selected Song List.”
From “Norwegian Wood” to “Under Milk Wood:” How Dylan Thomas Inspired the Beatles’ Greatest Hits
It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years since the Beatles made their U.S. debut and changed music forever. As we gear up to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Fab Four’s debut on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 6, a name that keeps coming up as we read about John, Paul, Ringo and George is Dylan Thomas. Did you know the iconic poet was one of the main sources of inspiration for the Beatles? The “Under Milk Wood” author has a few anniversaries of his own to celebrate—October will mark the 100th anniversary of his birth and 62 years ago today, Thomas gave a reading at 92Y. (He also debuted “Under Milk Wood” at 92Y.) Below are the surprising connections shared between the Beatles and Thomas.
Can you imagine a world without John Lennon’s songs? According to Paul McCartney, Thomas was the reason John Lennon began songwriting. “I am sure that the main influence on both [Bob] Dylan and John was Dylan Thomas. That’s why Bob’s not Bob Zimmerman—his real name. We all used to like Dylan Thomas. I read him a lot. I think that John started writing because of him.”
Even the Beatles’ mastermind producer, George Martin, was obsessed with the Welsh poet. In 1989, he conceived, composed, arranged and produced a musical version of “Under Milk Wood,” featuring Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce and Tom Jones.
The album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which many believe to be the greatest album cover of all time, also has a smattering of Thomas. Artist Peter Blake added the poet’s face to the group of people featured on the cover at the request of Lennon.
Blake was a huge fan of Thomas’ himself. He debuted an exhibit of illustrations based on “Under Milk Wood” at the National Museum of Cardiff last November—a project that took 28 years to complete.
You can listen to Dylan Thomas’s debut performance of “Under Milk Wood” at 92Y here.
The Beatles, of course, can be heard here, there and everywhere. Thanks to Dylan Thomas, that is.
Russian pianist Olga Kern will give a recital at 92Y on Feb 1. She is dedicating it, and all her upcoming appearances, to the memory of American pianist Van Cliburn, who died Feb 27, 2013. In 2001, Ms. Kern won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and they soon became close friends. Below, Kern pays tribute to her mentor and recalls a special performance of his.
I would like to dedicate my recital to the memory of my mentor and friend Van Cliburn, as we are now approaching the one-year anniversary of his passing. The program that I chose for this recital has some of Van’s most favorite compositions. He would be so happy to hear it.
I will never forget how he performed Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 and Rachmaninoff in his historic concert a couple of years ago at the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory. I was so inspired by his performance. At the end of the concert, I went on stage to give him a beautiful bouquet of 70 dark-red roses, which I bought especially for him, as I knew how much he loved the roses and this color of flowers. He couldn’t see me, because the bouquet was so big that it covered me completely! When I finally turned the flowers to the side, Van saw my face and became so happy. He asked me to stay with him on stage, next to the piano, in front of the full concert hall, and he played for me—especially for me, just for me. It was one of his encores—the Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor. That was such a special moment in my life and I will never forget it.
Van Cliburn was always a great inspiration for me, and he will always be a great inspiration. He was the greatest musician and greatest person. He was a genius. Every word he said and every note he played was dedicated to the most incredible magic in this world—MUSIC! I will always follow his advice and his way in the life of heavenly, beautiful music.