My New Year’s Resolution…

…well, I’ve got a few, like this being the year I stop being scared of personal finance, biking to work once Boston ceases to be a salt-stained frozen waste, and updating this blog more!

But one resolution I have every year is to dive deeper into the endless musical kaleidoscope that is Bandcamp. For some of the most adventurous, thrilling music and alive music writing that the Internet has to offer, look no further.

Today I’m exploring this list, featuring a ton of excellent music I missed (and you probably missed as well) in 2017. Sites like Bandcamp are one reason why I never believe best songs/albums lists can be truly adequate snapshots of a time period’s music. There’s just so much more out there that you’re going to discover in a year, or two years, etcetera and so forth. (My best songs of 2017 list is still coming, though. Not to worry.)

If you’re already on Bandcamp, find me here.   If you’re not, sign up, start collecting, and find me there!

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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.

Storytelling

Colin Currie’s knack for storytelling was evident even before he stepped onstage Wednesday night. The Scottish percussionist included his own engaging, poetic notes in the program for his solo recital at Longy School of Music’s Edward J. Pickman Hall, presented as part of of Celebrity Series of Boston’s 2016 Debut Series. Many program notes are either laundry lists of facts or needlessly flowery, but Currie’s writing struck a satisfying balance of informative, colorful, and personal, with numerous striking turns of phrase (“magnificently murky marimba bath”). His words set expectations high, and his performance exceeded them.

For the Boston Globe.

Dreaming

“These ear-footfalls came to mind Tuesday night at the Goethe-Institut, where Dutch pianist Reinier Van Houdt performed Michael Pisaro’s “Green Hour, Gray Future” in an intimate salon, presented by the Boston new-music series Non-Event. Pisaro is perhaps the most notable American representative of the Wandelweiser Group, an international collective and ensemble known for creating atmospheric, expansive music that unfolds slowly and weaves silence into its scores. For some, such music is more effective than NyQuil for drifting off to dreamland. For others, it invites the listener into an untethered state of hypersensitive listening, where time becomes amorphous and the entire body tunes in to a piece’s sound world plus whatever ambient noise may slip in. The creak of doors elsewhere in the building, the whoosh of cars on Beacon Street, and the breathing of fellow concertgoers mingled with Pisaro’s hazy landscape.”

Reinier Van Houdt plays Michael Pisaro, Dec. 7 2016. For the Boston Globe. The off-periods of the BSO (which must be reviewed every week) sometimes allow me to venture further afield in what I write about.

Sprawl

“To sprawl, spread, and swell is the nature of mythology. No wonder, then, that Cerise Lim Jacobs’s 2005 birthday present idea for her husband — a song cycle based on an ancient Chinese myth about love between an immortal and a human — could not be contained in its natal skin for long. The final incarnation of that project, 11 years in the making, took over the Cutler Majestic Theatre all day on Saturday. “Ouroboros,” a cycle of three mystic operas (“Naga,” “Madame White Snake,” and “Gilgamesh”) by three profoundly distinct composers, is an enchanted exploration of the eternal mysteries humanity has always turned to mythology to explain: love, loss, hubris, mortality.”

For the Boston Globe. Nine hours of opera in one day, and three hours of writing.