Archive for September, 2006

Fearsome Foursomes

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

There’s something about writing for four parts that is pure. No doubt that is probably why choirs are divided SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). No doubt that’s why Bach wrote his experimental last movements of Art of Fugue in four parts. And no doubt that’s why the Beatles chose to be the Fab Four. This […]


Friday, September 29th, 2006

The pipa is called the Chinese lute. But the way it’s played these days, it rocks like an axe. Because of some innovations about a hundred years ago, the instrument can now play the Western scale and therefore can play along with any orchestra. It’s pretty amazing given that it is a 1800 year old […]

Piano Score

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

¬† The tradition of scoring movies with pianos goes back to the silent era, when a pianist was given the task of providing the entire score live to picture using tricks of the trade. That included a laundry list of musical themes to be exploited during the movie, themes that could be interchangably used in […]

Beauty, Brains, and Talent

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Gabriela Montero¬†has it all. Born in Venezuela, she is probably the most exciting female pianist today. She was a child prodigy. She won a Bronze at the Chopin International Piano Competition, certainly nothing to sneeze at especially considering that year no one won the Gold (two tied for Silver). And she has released several strictly […]

In His Own Shadow

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Can you blame DJ Shadow to be for being caught in his own shadow? He made his reputation doing sound-collage sample-crazy masterpieces. And now he plays concerts where he plays those collage masterpieces faithfully for his fans. But the issue is that he hasn’t invoked the spirit of his work. The whole idea is that […]