I felt haunted by a monumental sense of failure, of aborted struggle and lost time.

I set out to write an exploration of music and its relation to the science of time. Music itself embodies time, shaping our sense of its passage through patterns of rhythm and harmony, melody and form. We feel that embodiment whenever we witness an orchestra’s collective sway and sigh to the movement of a baton, or measure a long car ride by the playlist of songs we’ve run through; every time we feel moved by music to dance; when we find, as we begin dancing, that we know intuitively how to take the rhythm into our bodies, that we are somehow sure of when and how the next beat will fall. Surely, I thought, there must be a scientific reason behind that innately human sense of embodied time, a way of grounding our musical intuition in physics and biology, if not completely quantifying it. But I also wanted to write about music because it has shaped the time of my own life more than almost anything else. I have played the violin for nearly twenty years, practicing five or six hours a day for most of them, because all I wanted was to become a soloist. When I realized in my early twenties that this never would be—and never had been—a possibility for me, I began to question why I had wasted so much time on music at all. I stopped playing for a while, and though I eventually picked it up again I no longer felt the same fire or ambition. Instead I felt haunted by a monumental sense of failure, of aborted struggle and lost time. Not only had the effort and sacrifice of the past all been for naught, but the future I had planned from that past seemed obliterated, too.

Natalie Hodges, from Prelude in “Uncommon Measure. A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time” (Bellevue Literary Press, March 22, 2022)


This, is failure?


NY Times Book Review: The Violinist Natalie Hodges Writes About Her Devotion to Music & 12 Books We Recommend This Week (April 7, 2022)

Sunday Morning: On the Nature of Daylight


Cremaine Booker (Cello) & Catlin Edwards (Violin) cover of the Nature of Daylight by Max Richter

Sunday Evening


Jóhann Jóhannsson, 48, performs “The Drowned World” with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble in this clip.  He was born and raised in Reykjavík, where he later went on to study languages and literature at university. He started his musical career as a guitarist playing in indie rock bands. In 1999 Jóhann co-founded “Kitchen Motors”; a think tank, art organisation and music label that encouraged interdisciplinary collaborations between artists from punk, jazz, classical, metal and electronic music. His own sound arose out of these musical experimentations.


Note: Find entire music video here. (I’ve clipped the back half above). Find Jóhannsson’s web site here.

Mozart. People compare you to Mozart. What do you think of that?

It takes Alma Deutscher just four notes and forty seconds to improvise an impressive short piano sonata right before 60 Minutes cameras. That alone is remarkable – but she’s also just 12 years old…Alma, a musical prodigy who, by the age of 10, had composed a full-length opera. She’s also a virtuoso on the violin and piano, where the music flows from her fingers as effortlessly as the breath from her body.

Scott Pelley: There is another composer who had an opera premiere in Vienna at the age of 11. Mozart. People compare you to Mozart. What do you think of that?

Alma Deutscher:  I know that they mean it to be very nice to compare me to Mozart.

Scott Pelley: It could be worse.

Alma Deutscher: Of course, I love Mozart and I would have loved him to be my teacher. But I think I would prefer to be the first Alma than to be the second Mozart.

~ Scott Pelley, Watch a prodigy create – from four notes in a hat (CBS 60 Minutes, November 5, 2017)


Having trouble viewing video, try this link.

A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder

Jóhann Jóhannsson, 47, was born in Reykjavík, Iceland. He has been composing music for a wide array of media including theatre, dance, TV and films. His stately, slow-building and hauntingly melodic music, frequently combines electronics with classical orchestrations, has been quietly bewitching listeners since he released his first genre defining solo record Englabörn in 2002. (Find him on Facebook and iTunes)

1995


Related Posts: Ólafur Arnalds

T.G.I.F.: Öldurót


Related Posts: Ólafur Arnalds

To express feelings that can’t be expressed in words

A Winged Victory for the Sullen is the name of an ambient music duo consisting of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie. They met backstage in 2007 in Bologna, Italy, and agreed to form the duo. They are based in Brussels.

The intro runs to 1.35 min of this video and then is followed by a selection of their music: Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears.

Stick with this to the finish.

Find this tune on their album on iTunes or Amazon. Their site can be found on Facebook.


Source: Thank you DeepSauce

Gloam·ing (n) twilight; dusk. Just One More Listen

Shelley Rainey: A beautifully relaxing album. Lie back, close your eyes and let the music wash over you.

Ian CrippsSometimes music stops you in your tracks, sometimes you have to listen, sometimes nothing else matters. Moments that stretch time…This is traditional Irish music played with emotion, with joy for the most part, with sadness occasionally, with beauty always…this is simply music that moves you…Twelve tracks, over an hour of listening but it’s not, you get to the end and hit play again. And again. And time passes, the day has gone and still you are mesmerized. At times reflective, haunting, peaceful, happy this album runs the full gambit of emotions. You don’t want it to end. It doesn’t have to. Just one more listen.

The The Gloaming’s second album can be found here: “2”


Source: Thank you Hammock Papers

Just Watch. Full stop.


Thank you Lynne.

Falling Slowly


Glen Hansard and Lisa Hannigan: Falling Slowly.

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can’t go back
The moods that take me and erase me
And I’m painted black

Well, you have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It’s time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
You’ve made it now

Falling slowly sing your melody
I’ll sing it loud

Lautari


Lautari is an award-winning ethno-jazz quartet, whose members hail from central and southern Poland. They draw their name from the wandering Romainian musicians, or Gypsies, of the mid-1800’s. Named for lute players back then, historic lautari fostered a rich history that spread among central, southern and eastern Europe and now informs the very contemporary approach by our modern Lautari, who blend traditional folk music with classical composition and jazz improvisation into a unique mix with as many cultural influences as Poland itself has today.


Source: The KEXP Blog. Listen to Full Performance here.

Don’t like Classical? Lower form than Animal.


A zoo in Belgium has released amazing footage which seems to show their elephants swaying in time to live classical music.

Sunday Morning: People are religious or not, but


Lisa Batiashvili, the 35-year-old Georgian violinist who is this season’s artist in residence with the New York Philharmonic and will perform Barber’s Violin Concerto with that orchestra this week, is an eloquent musician. In concert and on award-winning recordings, she has captivated critics and audiences with her natural elegance, silky sound and the meticulous grace of her articulation. There is a laserlike directness to her playing that enables her to transmit concentrated emotions without a trace of affectation or theatrics: the musical equivalent to laparoscopic surgery.

In conversation, Ms. Batiashvili exhibits many of the same qualities. Soft-spoken but determined, she speaks as openly about the political responsibilities of an artist as she does about her personal relationship to Bach’s music — the subject of her latest recording and of coming performances with the Philharmonic — and the unhealthy obsession of the violin world with the instruments of Antonio Stradivari…

Ms. Batiashvili said it took time and experimentation for her to feel ready to record Bach. When she did, she said, “something spiritual happened to me — people are religious or not, but Bach makes you believe in something for sure.

~ Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim on Lisa Batiashvili on Violins, Ukraine and Valery Gergiev


Lisa Batiashvili, 35, is a Georgian violinist, the daughter of a violinist father and a pianist mother. Her father was her first teacher from age 4. In 1995, she was a prize winner in the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition. Batiashvili and her oboist husband François Leleux, reside in France with their two children. She plays the 1709 Engleman Stradivarius on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

For Now I Am Winter


Ólafur Arnalds, 26, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from ambient/electronic to pop.

This song can be found on iTunes on his album titled For Now I Am Winter – which I acquired several weeks ago and have had playing on a continuous loop. Highly recommended.

For related Olafur Arnalds posts:


Ólafur Arnalds


Ólafur Arnalds, 26, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from ambient/electronic to pop. This tune features Arnór Dan who is the lead singer and songwriter of the Icelandic band Agent Fresco and collaborator of Ólafur Arnalds.

  • His official web site can be found here.
  • This song can be found on iTunes on his 2013 Album titled For Now I Am Winter

Related Post: Near Light


Saturday Morning Coffee


Topology is quintet from Australia formed in 1997. They perform throughout Australia and abroad and have to date released four albums. Find their album on iTunes here: Difference Engine


Noah & Abby Gundersen


Noah Gundersen, 25, is an American singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington.  Gundersen began playing music when he was 10 or 11 years old when his parents had him take piano lessons. In 2002, he inherited his first guitar from his father and taught himself to play the guitar and recorded songs with his father’s recording equipment. Three years later, his birthday gift was an acoustic guitar with which he still performs with today. Around the age of 16, Gundersen was performing solo in local cafes. His sister Abby began to accompany him with violin and harmonies in 2006. 

Find this tune on iTunes on his album Ledges.


Let Me Comfort You


Erick Baker, 35, is a singer-songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. He didn’t sing or write songs until he enrolled at the University of Tennessee. Baker had picked up the guitar during his college days and played occasionally at parties for fun, by his own admission in hopes of meeting women. While doing a set at an open-mike night in Knoxville, Baker was spotted by a local promoter who gave him a spot opening a show for John Legend and soon buzz about Baker began to spread. He has performed with national acts, including rock musician James Blunt, alternative country musician Brandi Carlile, pop-rock musician Gavin DeGraw, the rock band Goo Goo Dolls, the rock band Heart, R&B artist John Legend.

My songs belong to every right turn and wrong turn that have led me here,” Baker says.  “They reflect the pieces of poetry hidden in the experiences that lie in each of our everyday lives.

Find this tune on iTunes: Erik Baker: Live At The Bijou Theatre

If you liked this, don’t miss: Erick Baker – Stay Awhile


Credits:


Árstíðir

Árstíðir (English: Seasons) is an Icelandic indie-folk band with classical, progressive rock and minimalist elements. This tune is titled “Ljóð í sand” (Poetry In The Sand). Árstíðir became known to a wider internet audience in 2013 when a Youtube video went viral (3,000,000+ hits) showed them performing impromptu, Heyr himna smiður (“Hear, Smith of heavens”, a 13th century Icelandic hymn) at a train station in Germany. The video was shot by their PR manager after they had played a concert the venue inside the train station. The a capella was noted for improvising with the vaulted acoustics of the train station to effect the echo chambers of a monastic chapel.

Find the Icelandic Hymn that went viral on Youtube here.

Find their album on iTunes here: Svefns Og Voku Skil (Sleep & Waking Returns)


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