Our regular listen to and look at living, breathing musicians that you may not know yet, but I know you should… And can, right here and now, since they’re nice enough to offer so much good listening online:
Strange and intimate places via Myspace
Rather than go in-depth on one or two musicians, we’re going to play epicurean. The back-stories and other works of each of these musicians may (or sometimes, may not) be found easily enough with a few clicks around; I’ll leave that up to you. Right now, it doesn’t matter; I only want to lead you to a specific track on their individual Myspace pages, tracks that keep echoing around in my mind long after the first encounter.
None of these are truly “classical”; yet none are quite pop, jazz, etc. etc… they all inhabit the cracks in between, with no apologies or justifications other than that they exist. They’re also each one “intimate”. By that I mean we feel a kind of “beside-ness” with the artist, drawn into their space rather than simply presented to. Simple or complex, across all cultures, that drawing-in is one of the greatest achievments of any art. So simply find the suggested title on the flash player on each page, click and listen, and see where each leads you.
10-D PJ (UK) “My tears are for you” — Exquisite mix, match & mash of completely different Asian-and-otherwise recordings, creating some entirely new place in the world.
Charles Reix (Montréal) “Contemplation” — Brilliantly dark, serpentine duo for shakuhachi and ‘cello.
Thomas Leer (Scotland) “Blood of a Poet” — The voice of Charles Bukowski, placed just so into the perfect “frame”.
Sylvain Chauveau and Felicia Atkinson (France) “How the Light” — The simplest of songs: a few chords and figures, no sung melody. Yet a completely absorbing emotional “space”.
Olivia De Prato (Wien-Venezia-NYC) “Ageha Tokyo” — Over and over, a nervously unstable play of string and electronics suddenly refracts into hopefully radiant textures.
[Update: Due to the flaky options Myspace offers for putting anything other than pop songs on the site, I passed over the tiny bit that tells me that "Ageha Tokyo" is actually a piece by the composer Samson Young (Hong Kong, but currently finishing his study at Princeton). A wonderful piece nonetheless, and Olivia's is a fine performance. Samson's own website, with much more information and listening is at http://www.samsonyoung.com/.]
Maxim Moston (Moscow-NYC) “Myrtle Blue” — A solo guitar, with just a few chords, out-Harold-Budds even Harold Budd.