Saturday, January 2, 2010

Trio Mediaeval, Ben Allison, Hillary Hahn, and James Keelaghan: Playlist for The Open Window for January 4 and 5, 2010

The Open Window airs at (Kootenay Cooperative Radio in Nelson, B.C.) Mondays at 6:30 am and Tuesdays at 2pm, sponsored by Sidewinders Coffee

Listen to a podcast of this show

Trio Mediaeval: Three pieces by Gavin Bryars and one Gregorian Chant from Soir, Dit-Elle (ECM)

These two Norwegians and a Swede sing everything from early music to contemporary compositions and folk songs
a capella and they've gained an international following for their voices and harmonies and pure sound. This Cd reminds me of the music of Arvo Part because of its re-working of ancient forms to sound simultaneously both modern and medieval. You can watch them discussing their music and singing here.

Igor Stravinsky: Violin Concerto movements 1 and 2 performed by Hilary Hahn, violin and Neville Marriner conducting The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields from Brahms Stravinsky Violin Concertos (Sony Classical)

I have just recently begun looking into Stravinsky's music with the help of the music writer Alex Ross and I find this piece does present all the things he is famous for: colourful, dramatic rhythms and unusual use of instruments and general audacity. It's exciting....

James Keelaghan: McConnville's from House of Cards (Borealis)

Keelaghan is one of Canada's best and most moving story-tellers. He was a student of history at university and has carried that into his songwriting career. He is well known in certain circles but really, he should be more of a household name. Want to hear one of the best stories ever sung? It's Cold Missouri Waters on his A Recent Future CD. Want to watch him performing with the late and brilliant Oliver Schroer? Look here.

Ben Allison: Slap Happy, Peace Pipe, Goin Back, and Music is Music from Peace Pipe (Palmetto)

Ben Allison is an American jazz bassist and band-leader who on this 2002 CD and on several others included a kora player, Mamadou Diabate, in his band. The sound of that instrument transforms the jazz sound really delightfully. Michael Sarin drums, Frank Kimbrough piano, Michael Blake tenor saxophone. Goin' Back is a cover of a Neil Young song done beautifully.