A cellist has composed a haunting song that turns charted data of climate change into an ominous serenade.
Just over a hundred years since it serenaded Titanic survivors huddled in a lifeboat on the icy seas, a little toy pig’s music has been resurrected.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Is this land really made for you and me? That was the original tone of doubt at the end of Woody Guthrie’s classic folk anthem “This Land Is Your Land,” and now anyone can see its original lyrics exhibited below a halo of illuminated guitars in the new Woody Guthrie Center.
Each morning and evening, as he ate, George Eastman would be serenaded by live pipe organ music played by a musician who came daily to the the photography innovator’s home in Rochester, New York. Sometime after his death when the house became a museum, this system of thousands of pipes was irreparably damaged by a fire. Now the North Organ Project at the George Eastman House is returning the massive organ to its blaring glory.
Look, Ai Weiwei’s been through hell. But that doesn’t mean he needs to put the rest of us through it. And yet, here we are — “Dumbass” has arrived. In terms of metal, Ai Weiwei, in one song, has become the Billy Ray Cyrus of the genre. Billy Ray is about as country as Pat Boone was heavy metal. And as far as metal cred goes, Pat Boone was more believable than Ai.
What happens when you immerse the vocals of a dancehall queen who thrives on pulsing beats in the droning of an art sound machine? That was the experiment set up between Jamaican dub vocalist Warrior Queen and New York artist Marina Rosenfeld in P.A./Hard Love, which had its premiere last weekend at the Kitchen in Chelsea.
As the Cat Stevens–loving Maude declared to a morose Harold in the 1971 film Harold and Maude, “If you want to sing out, sing out!” But for those of us who are too self-conscious or cursed by shrill tones and off-key octaves, having such belting confidence is hard. For such introverts, Ranjit Bhatnagar has created “The Singing Room.”
Space-themed music experiences were having something of a moment last week. While Oktophonie at the Park Avenue Armory brought the stark coldness of the world beyond our earth in minimal electronica, over at the Brooklyn Academy of Music there was Planetarium, a collaboration between Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, and Bryce Dessner.
BEIJING — Feng Hao speaks with a firm and straightforward attitude. He does not like long sentences, nor does he enjoy the elliptic dialectic typical of Chinese speech. He listens carefully to my questions and takes his time before answering them. Then he resumes his thoughts in a short statement that leaves very little room to compromise. His conversation rhythm is unpredictable, sharp and syncopated. He tests you without being indulgent or impolite and if you are not bluffing, he will warmly rescue you from the corner where he just pushed you. He simply won’t play around on the surface of things, yet he is ready to engage further, if you want to.
One person’s final frontier is another’s impersonal void, or at least those are the two experiences of space you’re likely to have at Oktophonie at the Park Avenue Armory. On the first of its performance run that started this week, the crowd, some grudgingly, took off their shoes and put on white “cloaks” (really more like ponchos) and filed into the circles of chairs on the floor of a raised white stage. What followed was over an hour of what is described as a “ritualized lunar experience,” scored by cold modernist music and shifts of light.
Between 1968 and 1977, Mingering Mike released around 50 albums, each with its own hand-drawn album art, and played sold-out shows around the world. Yet if you haven’t heard of the prolific soul and funk singer, it’s because he was entirely fictional, but the art was real and has just been acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The record store experience currently inhabiting Recess gallery’s Soho space feels like any other vinyl hub: bins of albums to flip through in the center, staff picks on the walls, a turntable rotating with scratchy music. Yet this one has a surreal twist: the only thing in stock here is the Beatles’s White Album, and the store doesn’t sell any of them, it only acquires more. A project of New York and Shanghai-based Rutherford Chang, We Buy White Albums includes nearly 700 copies of the 1968 double-LP first edition of the White Album, all the personal collection of Chang.