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Wednesday, April 29th
- Every week you’ll hear from a faculty/staff member or CSSMA friend about some piece/pieces of music, art or anything that inspires them.
- These emails hopefully offer a chance to take a break and take a breath and be taken away from it all through the power of the arts, something we deeply value at CSSMA.
- Contributors will share why these piece(s) are important to them and you will get to experience these works for yourself. Hopefully you will learn a little bit about the person sharing and then hear, see or read something that will also inspire you…and the joy spreads from there!
Let’s take a break now and watch this beautiful Ted Talk from Conductor Benjamin Zander, currently of Musical Director of The Boston Philharmonic & The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He takes a packed audience on wonderful journey to describe the transformational power of music. Enjoy:
Wednesday, April 22nd
Michael continues: The primary emphasis here is on slowly shifting textures, with parts of rhythms distributed among each of the six players that together form a composite whole. It might sound lulling or relaxing, but pulling this off in performance would require a lot of rehearsal and familiarity to make it work. Often in the score Reich does not indicate a definite number of repeats for a given passage; he leaves it up to the ensemble to determine what feels right in the moment, but the paradox is that this is otherwise a highly controlled work. The chords change so slowly and quietly you may not notice if you are not actively listening.
Michael says: Copland inhabits a very elegant post-impressionist harmonic universe. Although he often records and concertizes in piano trio settings, he made a number of duo albums in the early 2000s, including this one from 2003, which pairs him with saxophonist Greg Osby. Copland and Osby make natural duo partners; Copland’s glassy and austere touch set offset against Osby’s warm, full bodied alto sound that tapers to a razor point. Their writing and improvising is filled with subtlety and relaxed artistic mastery. Copland’s style exploits a murky lyricism, while Osby plays with fluid geometry. For example, I love the subtle bitonality (two keys at once) in the first four measures of “Round She Goes”, or the way Osby’s jagged chromaticism suddenly shifts from the inside to the margins of the chords. Jazz can often be joyous and high energy music, but the mood here is introspective; hauntingly grey and yearning, but pulsating and alive.
Wednesday, April 15th
Take a look at the full video here:
Jane says: And so, to continue the theme of my bond with New York, here is the track ‘Manhattan’ from George Russell’s 1959 album New York N.Y. Narrated by the John Hendricks. American jazz singer, lyricist and the most prolific exponent of the art of vocalese. “It may seem like a cold town, but man, let me tell you, it’s a soul town.” -Jon Hendricks
Wednesday, April 8th
Today’s first of several sonic selections is from
Church Street SchoolMusic Faculty Member Abby Payne:
Our second selection comes on the heels of losing one of America’s most beloved folk singer-songwriters, John Prine. John got his start in the 1970’s at a Chicago music club while still working days as a mail man. He was beloved for his expertly and simply crafted songs that chronicled the human condition and he was known for his humility and humor. Take a look at this interview from 2016 where Prine speaks with inCommon & Mike Leonard about the creative process…magic words for Church Street Schoolers.
Finally, we must give a huge bow to the incredible Bill Withers…another music legend we lost too soon. Like the artists above, his words, music and soul resonate profoundly for so many right now. In the spirit of togetherness…please take a watch and a listen to this beautiful version of Lean On Me from 1973. For all who are celebrating today and through the weekend, we send you lots of warmth and love to you and your family near and far.