home is where the heart is, and home studio is where the heart of “Joyride” is (IMO)

My latest: I reviewed Tinashe’s new album “Joyride” for the Boston Globe.

give your ears a treat with one of my favorite tracks from the album, “Stuck with Me.”

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“It’s in the blood.”

“One can become an artist, but one must be born a griot.” – balafonist Fodé Lassana Diabaté

The members of Malian group Trio da Kali have known each other “like family” all their lives, but they hadn’t played together in a formal group until collaborating with Kronos Quartet for last year’s phenomenal album “Ladilikan.” The trio is currently touring the US, and making its Boston debut tonight in a solo show. I talked to Lassana Diabaté about griot families, religion and griots, and how Islamist extremist activity in Mali has impacted musical life.

Read over at the Globe!

My latest(s)

I’ve had two feature articles published this week in the Boston Globe. One is an interview with soprano Kelly Kaduce, who captured my attention after her performance as a remarkable down-to-earth Mimi in Boston Lyric Opera’s “La Bohème” two years ago. I caught her in a break between BLO “Threepenny Opera” rehearsals to chat with her about preparing for new roles, planning childcare when both parents are performing opera singers, and why it’s easier to play onstage lovers with a stranger than with her husband. Read it here!

The second has to be some of the most fun I’ve ever had writing a Globe article. I wrote a preview of Celebrity Series of Boston’s experimental new music series Stave Sessions, which runs for five night next week. I talked on the phone with Shara Nova of My Brightest Diamond, a personal favorite of mine. (I’ve admired her ever since she sang the role of the imperious, terrifying Queen of the Forest on the Decemberists’ 2009 album “The Hazards of Love,” which came out when I was 15, during the height of my Decemberists fandom.) I also got to spend an hour observing the jawdroppingly impressive musicians of Boston experimental art rock sextet Bent Knee, and talk to them and their percussion mentor Samuel Solomon afterwards. I now know from experience that if you ask the six a question, you’ll get seven answers. You’ll probably also laugh. A lot. Read it here!

Charles Dutoit has been accused of sexual assault by a former Boston Symphony intern.

“Immediately after her encounter with Dutoit, Allan alleged, the BSO’s orchestra manager called out to her to warn her — too late — about Dutoit. “Before you see maestro, I need to tell you something,” she recalled the manager saying. “Look, we advise, we’ve had some complaints, and I wouldn’t go in there alone.”

Allan believes that at the time, the manager thought he was doing her a favor.

“But the thing that always struck me afterwards was: They had a system in place,” she said. “And the system was called: Don’t go in there by yourself. Like, we’ve had complaints, therefore the way we get around that is that we send people in in pairs. Not: We don’t employ that person anymore.””

Read the full story in the Globe. Rebecca Ostriker and Malcolm Gay report.

Dutoit was a frequent guest conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra until the orchestra severed ties with him in late 2017, following the Associated Press’s publication of a story about four women who accused him of assault over a period spanning twenty years.

This comes less than two months after Andris Nelsons, the current music director of the BSO, stated on a Boston Public Radio interview that sexual harassment isn’t a problem in classical music. His comments seemed to not only put forth that sexual harassment isn’t a problem, but brush aside any need for self examination or interrogation of the culture that has permitted these things to happen. That said,  English is Nelsons’s fourth language, and he often has trouble expressing himself clearly in interviews. He later released a statement through the orchestra to clarify his comments. It essentially boiled down to acknowledging that sexual harassment can happen in all fields, though he has not observed any in his. He then called for art and music inspiration to guide us to the “better angels” of our human natures.

Dutoit is the second conductor with BSO ties to be accused of sexual assault. The first was former music director James Levine, with whom the BSO has also discontinued its relationship.

Tomorrow’s Globe today: it’s wabbit season at Symphony Hall!

When playing the music live, there’s no room to fall out of synch, Daugherty said. “The sound effects were designed to absolutely be synchronous with the music. We have to be exactly to the frame with it. And it’s fast, it’s very fast, and it’s wall to wall. We have an expression; there’s no slow movements in Looney Tunes.”

But it’s also a fun concert, he said. “I can’t tell you how many times I look into the orchestra — and I’m talking about the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” Daugherty said, “I see musicians mouthing the words “Oh Bwunnhilde, you’re so wuvwy. . .”

 

Read more here.

Polyrhythms.

The jumpsuited trio sat in a triangle of percussion setups facing one another. One piece combined the eerie coo of amplified bowed cymbals with undulating synthesizer chords, shot through with the glimmering tones of Moody running his fingers along glass rods. The next utilized delay effects to extend stick taps on drums into the sound of ball bearings clattering through a whimsical Rube Goldberg machine, before falling into a tight, infectious groove. “I hope you’re ready for some dancing,” Garapic told the crowd in reference to Innov Gnawa, the group that was to play the second half of the concert. I was ready to dance already.

For the Boston Globe, March 24, 2017.

 

Hypnagogia.

Hypnagogic hallucinations are vivid, bizarre sensory experiences that can arise on the edge of sleep. They can immerse us into into weird worlds, stretching a few moments of real time into what may feel like hours. They may seem surreal, even magical — testaments to the ineffable power of the subconscious.

These phenomena came to mind listening to Matthias Pintscher’s new cello concerto, “un despertar” (“an awakening”), which received its world premiere Thursday night via the Boston Symphony Orchestra, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and guest conductor François-Xavier Roth. Though not a direct adaptation of the Octavio Paz poem from which it takes its title, the concerto encompasses the untethered, hazy feeling of the text. Weilerstein, a profoundly physical player with a dark and intoxicating timbre, was the perfect guide through the piece’s nebulous and unpredictable sonic landscape. Music seems to move through her viscerally.

For the Boston Globe. March 24, 2017.