bang on a can

recommended.

i could stop right here, even though i’ve only gotten two of their albums. i will be getting more, you can count on that. a while back i bought lost objects. it’s very much indebted to reich/adams/glass, but it’s very energetic and fresh; a valuable addition to your collection. (couldn’t find it on amazon though, but it’s somewhere on cdnow)

the other album i got is music for airports, and i got it just at the right time. this monday i got (very much) stuck in traffic (90 mins to travel 5 kms), and the music was just so soothing, that i couldn’t have cared less. errmmm… a bit overstated perhaps, but the music did help to ‘keep my cool’

go visit their site (incidentally, if you’re from the us, there’s a competition that might get you to london to attend one of their concerts).

(there is another disc in my collection, performed by the same ensemble: steve reich’s new york counterpoint / eight lines / four organs (released on nonesuch))

chester novello

i’m just discovering the chester novello site. do check out their calendar. i don’t know how complete it is, but it’s one of the better i’ve been able to come up with. a word of warning though, be sure not only to look at the schedule for a given day, but als click on the month itself -there are quite a number of performances that are only mentioned on the general month list instead of on the day list.

e.g. when I click on february 4th, there’s no mention of michael nyman’s performance in melbourne, whereas when i view the month, it’s there in the list (not chronologically on the 4th, but in the date range feb 1st-6th).

another neat feature is that you can access the performance list per composer, e.g. here’s the one for michael nyman, philip glass, john tavener, and… let’s be trendy, say: magnus lindberg & esa-pekka salonen

you don’t suppose i could convince them to make rss feeds so i can use their news on december.org, do you?

adams disc

last week i promised a review of the adams album i got. two words. get it.

it’s a very ecclectic disc, with already very ecclectic music. it ranges from the inspired, or as adams himself puts it – ‘maddeningly symmetrical’ – fearful symmetries (this work in itself is worth getting this disc for), to a more brute minimalsim of the chamber symphony and the gospel and rock-like music of the 4 songs from i was looking at the ceiling and then i saw the sky & christian zeal and activivity

if nothing else it’s a great introduction to the versatility of adams. worthwhile.

bad news is: i don’t know where you can buy it. i’ve bought it from the fnac (in gent), but i haven’t been able to find it @ amazon.

here’s all the info i have : fearful symmetries, chamber symphony, four songs from “ceiling/sky”, christian zeal and activity, performed by the orchestre philharmonique de montpellier (ren‚àö√† bosc, conductor), released on actes sud OMA34102

nyman in spain… saxofourte in germany

the nyman performances in spain have been rescheduled to may 2002, as follows (these are all michael nyman band concerts):

21st: granada, spain

22nd: salamanca, spain

23rd: san sebastian, spain

24th: barcelona, spain

25th: barcelona, spain: tbc

+ the germans are the lucky ones: if you haven’t seen songs for tony performed by saxofourte, there’s no excuse now.

yann tiersen (2)

no.no.no.no.no. i’m sorry, this is the second negative review in a row, but i honestly cannot recommend any more tiersen. or rather i can, but i cannot recommend buying the albums. let me explain.

there are definitively some gems on the two cds that arrived yesterday from amazon.fr (le phare & l’absente). unfortunately they are burried under a lot of crap (pardon my french) and do not give sufficient reason for buying the full albums. most of the songs really sound like cheap pop songs (and probably are). i can understand that work very well in the context of a movie soundtrack, but they do not have much value on their own

i am sorry, because i really wanted this to work out, but i’m afraid amélie is tiersen’s best work (out of these three albums at least).

to end on a good note, if you’d like some good french soundtracks, i can wholeheartedly recommend gabriel yared’s 37° le matin (betty blue in english) and eric serra’s le grand bleu (the big blue in english)

dave digs disney

maybe i was just over-eager. maybe i listened to the wrong album. after listening to amélie yesterday, i thought i’d be in the mood to listen to goran bregovic, so i brought ‘la reine margot’ ost with me, to listen to on the way back home. what a mistake. dave may dig disney, but i most certainly don’t dig bregovic -at least not ‘la reine margot’. when i switched to the radio, they were playing an excerpt from puccini’s madama butterfly (i think it was io seguo il mio destino). what a relief.

btw i so dig o mio babbino caro from gianni schicchi (also by puccini) ever since i heard it in room with a view. actually, forster’s novels (and then james’) is what steered me towards reading ‘adult’ literature

still, tessa used to be (?) a fan of bregovic, so we have a couple of his albums at home. i’ll try ‘underground’ and ‘le temps des gitans’ tomorrow, and let you know if these make me change my mind

yann tiersen (1)

the amélie ost is very worthwhile. i’ve been listening to it on my way to work, and i agree with the reference to tiersen being the french nyman. there are lots of similarites with nyman; some tracks you could swear to that they’d been composed by nyman. and yes, it’s very french. it’s got that french joy-of-living (savoir vivre) aspect to it, to which the use of the accordion certainly contributes

i’ve ordered two other tiersen albums from amazon.fr (le phare & l’absente), and you might be interested in ordering the older tiersen albums from them, since they’re on sale: 9 EUR. never mind the french, just enter ‘yann tiersen’ in the search box (recherche rapide)

(incidentally, here’s my wishlist @ amazon.fr)