In 1320 a landmark document set out the principles of democracy on which the U.S. constitution was later based and it helped inspire the Declaration of Independence. This letter, The Declaration of Arbroath, is remembered today in fiddler Laura McGhee's "Arbroath Suite."
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Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:56 am
The huge popularity of EDM — electronic dance music — has led to a sea change in concerts lately, as huge crowds gather to watch brand-name DJs like Skrillex, Deadmau5 and Avicii. Nothing wrong with that, but it was great to be reminded last night at Celebrate Brooklyn that there are still bands playing dance music the old school way: with multiple human beings and instruments being played in real time.
Sory Kandia Kouyaté was one of the most celebrated singers in West Africa when he died suddenly in 1977. He was just 44, and given his spectacular voice, it's a safe bet that Kouyaté would have been an international star had he lived just a few years longer. Now, some of his finest recordings have been collected on a two-disc retrospective called La Voix de la Révolution.
Bear in Heaven, the brainchild of Jon Philpot, spent the winter trimming down (from a quartet to a trio) and stocking up, releasing its third album I Love You, It's Cool this spring. To promote the record, Philpot posted it in its entirety on the band's website, but not before slowing the audio down 400,000 times. At its original tempo, Bear in Heaven's music is at once ambient and energized, resonating in synth-driven waves that swell and pulse through an electric sea.
Bahamas' music has really grown on us at KCRW. The group is led by Afie Jurvanen, who previously played guitar with Feist and is such an aficionado of the instrument that he doesn't even have a bassist in his band. Instead, he's accompanied by a drummer and a pair of backup singers who reinvent his gorgeous pop songs in a live setting.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:22 pm
File this under Strange Bedfellows. The crazy-huge success of E L James' Fifty Shades erotic trilogy — which as of late May stood at more than 10 million sales in all formats and 60 physical printings, according to publisher Vintage Books — has made quite the impact in ... classical music, of all things.