A look behind the scenes of Akhnaten, Philip Glass’s 1983 opera now playing at the Metropolitan Opera, in which the countertenor plays an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who defied gender conventions.
Kate Soper’s Here Be Sirens explores, through beautiful harmonies and curious discords, the constraint of fixed roles and the desire to release oneself from them through the activity of research—finding the origin of the fixed identity being key to redefining and freeing oneself.
Composer Paola Prestini is the creative director of the soon-to-open Original Music Workshop. With vocalist Helga Davis, she elaborates on her Italian and Mexican background and her collaborations with artists of other disciplines.
On being nothing, looking outward, and the obstinant relevance of that popular art form, song.
I first learned of Joanna Newsom when I read a review in the UK’s Observer six years ago. I was initially struck by her beauty, and I was inspired by knowing that she was “in the world.”
A review of How to Wreck a Nice Beach, a new book that tells the history of that most mysterious of musical instruments, the vocodor.
The phase vocoder bends the pitch of
my voice toward a norm.
To be “young at heart” one must ostensibly be old at everything else: old hat, old fashioned, old guard.
Howe Gelb has jet lag. In fact he spends so much time touring and traveling between Europe and his hometown of Tucson that he has taken up residence in his wife’s native Denmark four months a year.
Something is—and has been, for a long time—happening in Spain, something largely unheard by English speakers, that brings together the nuevo flamenco movement with the music of the grand Iberian diaspora.
“I try to fight against the temple of fashion, you know. In terms of different interpretations and music being made there is the freedom to do everything, but you must feel it, not do it because it’s fashionable.”
Virginia Rodrigues showcases a near-godly voice on her album Nós, evoking love, blind faith, and a reaching beyond the self.
Katherine Vaz recounts her experiences seeing Madredeus in Portugal, as well as the band’s haunting style.
The Magnetic Fields’s 69 Love Songs is a “carnivalesque compendium of remorse, self-deprecation, pining, and pure adoration, with three singers, four instruments, and beats ranging from rumba to country” writes reviewer Jennifer Bluestein.
Singer Macy Gray’s smoky, scratchy, full-bodied voice is paradoxical. Let it be said that she can belt it like Aretha, growl it like Tina, and is as unmistakable as Dinah, Eartha, or Nina in her range, tone, and delivery.
What can I say? Robert Earl Keen played my wedding party last Christmas time—on CD, alas—and inaugurated the prancing with “Gringo Honeymoon,” in which the newlyweds cross over the Rio Grande and encounter a cowboy “running from the DEA.”