Andrew Bird: Fever Year Trailer (Video)

Earlier this Spring, the documentary film Andrew Bird: Fever Year was screened at fourteen festivals. Containing interviews, concert footage, and capturing rehearsals of works in process, it looks to be a fascinating corollary to Break it Yourself, Bird’s latest studio album (out now via Mom and Pop). Would love to review a screener of the film (anyone?).

“He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” (Video)




Thanks to mezzo Megan Ihnen and violinist Joseph Kneer for performing this piece twice this past Spring.





He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
by Christian Carey

Performers:
Megan Ihnen, Mezzo-Soprano
Joseph Kneer, Violin

The Federal Hill Parlor Series: the enormity of small things
Jordan Faye Contemporary January 21, 2012 7:30pm

The Federal Hill Parlor Series is committed to bringing quality performances to our beloved Baltimore City neighborhood. The open house format of the Parlor Series is a chance for us to mix and mingle with neighbors and friends while enjoying performances by some of Baltimore’s best talent.

A note from the composer:
“I enjoy working with unconventional combinations. I’ve composed a number of pieces in recent years for solo voice and solo string player. The W.B. Yeats poem “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” was one of the readings that my wife and I selected for our wedding ceremony. For our first anniversary, I created this setting for vocalist and string instrument. The inscription on the score’s title page reads:

To my wife Kay Mitchell on the occasion of our first Wedding Anniversary (They say the appropriate gift is paper; I took the liberty of adding notes.)”

“Aphorism” (Soundcloud demo)




With just a day to spare, I managed to get an entry into Hilary Hahn’s Encore Contest.
Below is a Soundcloud embed of a midi demo of “Aphorism,” a brief duo for violin and piano. I like creating miniatures – and love that Hilary is running this contest – so this was doubly fun to write.


Andrew Bird: “La Blogothèque” (Video)

Andrew Bird has an upcoming collaboration with La Blogothèque and Radio France. He shared a brief teaser of it on YouTube last week.

Meanwhile, he’s also recently released a new full length recording, Break it Yourself via Mom + Pop.

And we’ve got a lengthier, and artsy, video, also posted to Bird’s YouTube channel, for more extended viewing below.


Concert Announcement: Federal Hill Parlor Series on 1/21

Please join us for the Federal Hill Parlor Series’ January Open House: the enormity of small things.

Featured Performers:
Lydia Beasley, Soprano
Megan Ihnen, Mezzo-Soprano
Joe Kneer, Violin

Jordan Faye Contemporary Gallery
1401 Light St
Federal Hill
Baltimore, USA

Featured Composers:

Josh Bornfield
Doug Buchanan
Christian Carey

Vaughan-Williams ‘Along the Field’
Gustav Holst ’4 Sacred Songs’
David Lang ‘I had no reason’

Tickets available online (recommended) and at the door: $20.00.
Please also take a moment to thank our contributing composers by making a donation to the Composers Fund while purchasing your tickets.

Tickets can be purchased/donations can be made here.

Even if you are not able to make it to this performance, please consider making a donation to the Composers Fund so that the Parlor Series may continue to bring new and important contemporary works to our guests.

Program note for piece by Christian Carey:

I enjoy working with unconventional combinations. I’ve composed a number of pieces in recent years for solo voice and solo string player. The W.B. Yeats poem “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” was one of the readings that my wife and I selected for our wedding ceremony. For our first anniversary, I created this setting for vocalist and string instrument. The inscription on the score’s title page reads:

To my wife Kay Mitchell on the occasion of our first Wedding Anniversary (They say the appropriate gift is paper; I took the liberty of adding notes.)

-Christian Carey

Ljova’s Lost in Kino (CD Review)

Ljova
Lost in Kino
Various Artists
Kapustnik Records CD

Probably most of us have sat through a film where the music seems to clash with the onscreen visuals; one that seems disconnected from the plot and just generally uninspired. Then there are film scores that, even without the movie playing, allow us to ‘see’ the scene; we’re transported. This is the kind of music one finds on Lost in Kino, the third CD release from the versatile Ljova. Violinist, violist, composer, and arranger Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin shares twenty-four musical sequences from film scores he composed in the years 2005-’11. Arranged programmatically to have a light music “A side” and a more serious “B side” (with the “obligatory” happy ending for a final “closing credits” cut), Lost in Kino draws upon many musical styles: all of them adroitly arranged and energetically performed by Ljova and a host of collaborators.

Ljova’s experience performing Eastern European folk music looms large. Romashka, a band devoted to the performance of Gypsy music, appears on a dozen of the CD’s selections and master cymbalomist Kalman Balogh provides a memorable guest turn on the track “Satul Dintre Noi.” Other styles represented include a country-inflected piece titled “Old Men,” with flourishes from banjo player Mike Savino, as well as a downright bluegrass hootenanny on “Pickle Porker Polka,” courtesy of Ljova fiddling alongside the alt-country band Tall Tall Trees. Asian music adorns the track “Doctor Wrong,” with guest appearances by my favorite pipa player, Wu Man, and shakuhachi player Kojir Umezaki. “The End (Baby you Got to Get Up)” is a rousing way to close the proceedings, featuring boisterous singing from Sarah Natochenny and a chamber orchestra sized cohort of musicians.

Forget those film scores supplied by racks of sythesizers. Ljova has got the right idea: capture the scene using live musicians as actors in sound. As the principal performer and as a composer/arranger, he shines on Lost in Kino. Recommended.