In my opinion, Persian classical music has some of the most unique and beautiful sounds, thanks in large part to the array of ancient instruments used. Hossein Alizadeh is a master of both the tar and setar, which he plays in this composition for jazz trio and cello octet. Fusion abounds, and I dig it.
Anne Cole (my former teacher/maker of my La Sirena cello) was recently featured on PBS. Anne has been a luthier since age 11, when she first took her school cello apart and put it back together again. See if you can spot La Sirena’s cameo.
Oswaldo Golijov’s incredibly rich compositions are a perfect match for Alisa Weilerstein’s relationship to the cello. From a pedagogy perspective, Alisa has reached a point in her artistry that transcends traditional ideas of “ideal” technique. I find it fascinating when tone quality, intonation, and musicality are no longer intimately connected to the exact shape of the bow hold or the placement of the left hand, and yet are still strong and fully formed.
You could argue that cello-as-projection-screen is a bit gimmicky, but I find it a cool idea nonetheless, especially for those of us who like some visual stimulation along with our music. Sol Gabetta is also never a bad idea.
Sometimes falling down the rabbit hole of an internet search means being rewarded with a gem like this. I had never heard of the Danish String Quartet, and yet here they are with their unique brand of chamber music from Scandinavia.
I discovered Kelsey Lu McJunkins via Instagram, and I love her synthesis of classical cello sounds and vocals that come from the guts. Add looping and effects, season with dashes of hip-hop/soul/Bjork-like electro synth pop, and you get an absolutely mesmerizing one-woman band.
Young. Yo-Yo. Universal. Artist.
Some fluffy folk-y rock-y sweetness for your Saturday, courtesy of the Kopecky Family Band
Congratulations to Sami, the first place winner of the fall outside listening challenge! Sami had 33 points, followed by Deleine in second place and Safin in third place.
Over the winter break, Deleine and I played a corner concert in my neighborhood. Deleine compiled a set list of about 20 minutes worth of music, and we set up on the sidewalk to bring music to whoever happened to be around. The response was very positive, and we had a great time. Stay tuned for more corner concerts coming soon!