music

chorusangelicus.com

In 1990, when five-time Grammy Winner Paul Halley left NYC for the northwest corner of Connecticut, he formed the acclaimed children's choir Chorus Angelicus, and it's adult counterpart Gaudeamus. 

The Meadows Brothers Perform at WNPR

Dec 12, 2014
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut-based music duo The Meadows Brothers recently visited WNPR's Where We Live to perform and record some live music. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

If you've ever seen a photograph from the Civil War era, there's a good chance it was created using a process known as tintype photography. These pictures are honest and organic in nature, and they're beginning to make a comeback within the modern photography world. 

NBC

Unless you were marooned on an ice floe last week, you know that NBC brought forth its second live broadcast of a musical in as many years.

Look Into My Eyes / Creative Commons

In his new book, Jealousy, Peter Toohey explores the lesser talked about side of the green-eyed monster. That is, he takes a look at some of the ways that jealousy can actually be good for us. 

This hour, Peter joins us for a panel discussion about jealousy's impact on creativity. We take a look at how the emotion has fueled some of society's greatest books, plays, songs, and paintings -- and discuss what these works, in turn, tell us about ourselves. 

Facebook

For even as distinguished a venue as New Haven’s Firehouse 12, presenting the iconic, brilliant, forever bold 87-year-old alto saxophonist/composer Lee Konitz in separate shows at 8:30 and 10:00 pm on Friday, December 12, is a real coup.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Colin McEnroe has been working for an age to get Winterpills to appear on his show. A new album was recently released by the band, Echolalia, allowing WNPR a perfect reason at last to bring in members Philip Price and Flora Reed.

Sky Arts / sadieandthehotheads.com

Elizabeth McGovern doesn't want her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, to overshadow her identity as a musician. But she does admit it drives people to come see her band. Sadie and the Hotheads have just released a new album, Still Waiting. They'll be at Hartford's Infinity Hall on December 14.

It turns out that Joni Mitchell keeps the same hours as the Morning Edition staff. She recently showed up at NPR's studio in Culver City, Calif., just before midnight to discuss Love Has Many Faces, a four-disc collection of songs dating back to the 1960s.

JJ Georges / Creative Commons

Casting is an underrated art. There used to be an Academy Award for it, and there probably still should be. We honor actors, but not the people who pick the perfect actor for the role, so that actor doesn't have to act quite so much.

"Downton Abbey" is immaculately cast, and the choice of Elizabeth McGovern to play Cora, the Countess of Grantham, seems especially nuanced and inspired. Cora is an American Jew, a transplant to English nobility, who wears all the status and tradition comfortably without fully buying into it. McGovern herself is a transplant, married to a British director for 22 years, long enough to slip effortlessly into Cora's skin.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Work songs can be found around the world, sung by a variety of laborers from field workers to fishermen. 

Connecticut Lyric Opera

Grand opera returns to Hartford after a five-year hiatus.

Bill Morgan Media, LLC

Thanksgiving week brought a brief lull, but from now until Christmas, the local concert schedule is busier than a Rich Rosenthal eatery.

Nathan Turner / Litchfield Jazz Festival

Several performing arts and literary publications in Connecticut have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, totaling $290,000.

Want to play a Tiny Desk Concert? Now's your chance: NPR Music and Lagunitas are holding a contest, and the winner gets to perform at my desk here at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For centuries, female composers have often found themselves overshadowed by their male counterparts. Take Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Alma Mahler, for example. Their names don't roll off the tongue quite as easily as Felix Mendelssohn, J.S. Bach, and Gustav Mahler's do. 

But why?

Marta Crowe / Creative Commons

Last week, while discussing some of classical music’s great Christmas works, I casually mentioned that I might want to extend the conversation to the pop music side.

The Internet radio service Pandora made its name by creating personalized stations using tools such as "like" and "dislike" buttons for listeners. But a deal between Pandora and a group of record labels has raised concerns that the company is favoring certain songs over others because it's paying the musicians behind those songs a smaller royalty.

When Pandora emerged a decade ago, its big selling point over traditional radio was that it created a station just for you, as the company's Eric Bieschke told NPR last year.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When Laura and Joe Hudson moved to Bristol, Connecticut, they brought with them some of their Southern traditions. 

For Laura, that tradition was quilt-making. For Joe, it was singing gospel music. 

Hartford Chorale

Merry Christmas!

Oh, sorry – too soon?

John Rogers

A rare artistic species, the great pianist/composer Fred Hersch is a true original, as independent a voice and as rugged and self-reliant an individual creating in the American grain as, say, Henry David Thoreau or Walt Whitman, Bill Evans or Thelonious Monk.

Diane Orson / WNPR

Amateur musicians have loved playing music since the word was first derived from the Latin - ‘amare’ – meaning ‘to love’.  Once a month in Connecticut,  a group of amateur recorder players meet to improve their technique and sight-read skills, and to enjoy the experience of making music.

Ray Hardman / WNPR

This Friday night, Concora presents a concert featuring keyboard music from the time of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Creative Commons

The first truly modern composer?

Stravinsky? Schoenberg?

I say a case can be made for Giacomo Puccini.

Credit Jimmy Katz

Guitar gods Pat Metheny, a master maker of melody and texture, and the thunderous, Thor-like, lightning-tossing duo of Eric Johnson and Mike Stern rule supreme in the next few days in the Jazz Corridor with individual appearances ranging from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Hartford and Norfolk.

Thai Weber / Flickr Creative Commons

This is one of those shows where you may start by saying, "huh?"  But with any luck, 30 minutes from now, you'll start to say, "Oh!" 

I got interested in the word "twee" and in the idea that it's a mostly undocumented cross-platform artistic movement.

There is no question that, in the 1990s, a musical movement called "twee pop" arose, first in England, spearheaded by a label called Sarah Records. Acts like The Field Mice and Talulah Gosh were embraced as twee by fans who wore their twee-ness with pride.

GHAA

Nearly 20 years ago, I made my first visit to the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at its original site, just past Colt Park in Hartford, heading south on Wethersfield Avenue.

I pulled into a parking lot protected by a tall, chain-linked fence. It acted like a divider between a worn-out apartment building in the deteriorating neighborhood, and the old funeral parlor that had been resurrected as Hartford’s arts magnet high school.

The school has come a long way since then. Last month, it was honored as the nation’s top arts school by the Arts Schools Network.

Library of Congress

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer Irving Fine. Concerts and celebrations are taking place in New York, Washington, and coming up this weekend, here in Connecticut.

Pump Down the Volume

Nov 6, 2014
Dishpig Eldritch

Music can theoretically unfold at every conceivable volume, from barely audible to ear-splitting. Increasingly, however, for reasons that I sort of understand but not entirely, music these days tends to be experienced at one of two basic levels: Loud, and Insanely Loud.

Morning Edition is celebrating its 35th anniversary this week.

Over the years, many stories, voices and sounds have come and gone on the show. But there has remained one constant — our theme music.

The Morning Edition theme was written by BJ Leiderman in 1979. At the time, he was a struggling college student who wrote jingles on the side. He gave a demo tape of his music to a friend who worked at NPR.

On that tape was one little musical phrase that eventually became the Morning Edition theme music.

Pages