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Date

June 29, 2017

Goldmine Magazine Fairport Convention celebrate 50th anniversary with new releases

British folk rock pioneers Fairport Convention’s 50th anniversary celebrated with 7-CD box set, “Come All Ye – The First Ten Years,” and vinyl reissue of classic album, “Liege & Life” on July 28.

The post Fairport Convention celebrate 50th anniversary with new releases appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Goldmine Magazine Dead and Company charity guitar auctions to be held at Wrigley Field concerts

“Participation Row” area at Dead & Company concerts brings out charities and socially-conscious fans.

The post Dead and Company charity guitar auctions to be held at Wrigley Field concerts appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Goldmine Magazine Goldmine Magazine Podcast, Episode 2 – Candice Night

Candice Night, vocalist for Blackmore’s Night, talks about her solo album and what’s going on musically for her and guitarist-husband Ritchie Blackmore.

The post Goldmine Magazine Podcast, Episode 2 – Candice Night appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Classic Album Sundays Incredible String Band’s Mike Heron’s Top Five Albums Of All Time

We are delighted to be hosting an event as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2017 where we will be joined by Incredible String Band’s Mike Heron and producer Joe Boyd. Colleen will discuss the making of the album The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion and its incredible legacy with Mike and Joe followed by a full album playback on a world class hi-fi soundsystem installed by Edinburgh’s Loud & Clear.

Full event details and ticket info can be found here.

Ahead of the event we were lucky enough to catch up with Mike who lifted the lid on his Top 5 Albums Of All Time.

Joseph Spence and the Pinder Family – The Real Bahamas

My first choice is The Real Bahamas by Joseph Spence and the Pinder Family.
“John the wise he saw the sign” John say “I’ve seen a number of signs”. So sing the choir on the beach. Next we hear Joseph Spence grunting rhythmically, his pipe clamped in his jaw, while playing an impossibly complex picking style on his guitar. I selected this at random from the Elektra vaults on my first visit to New York and its stayed with me.

Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks

Bob had reached me by “In my time of dyin’” on his first LP. But my preferred Dylan album has to be Blood on the Tracks for the brilliant songs and cinematic story telling.

Traffic – Mr Fantasy

Early British psychedelia with the added yearning soulful voice of Steve Winwood.

Joni Mitchell – Hejira

Joni Mitchell is such a complete artist who seemed to appear fully formed, making it possible to overlook the exceptional standard of the separate parts. The guitar playing, songwriting, singing and arranging all peak for me on Hejira, with the added bonus of Jaco Pastorus bass lines.

The Young Bloods – Elephant Mountain

American folk rock of 1969. Lovely voice of Jesse Colin Young. Bruce’s Record Shop in Edinburgh recommended this. I was wearing my Afghan coat at the time.

You can also check out Joe Boyd’s Top 5 Albums of All Time here.

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Classic Album Sundays Album of the Month: Kraftwerk ‘Trans-Europe Express’

Trans-Europe Express is one of the most significant works in the Kraftwerk canon as this is the album in which the art-music hippies began their transformation into electro-pop robots. It’s also the album that had the most far-reaching impact, as it inspired African-Americans from New York City and Detroit to create their own musical and cultural identity.

Kraftwerk also used their music to forge a new cultural identity in a post-war Germany. However, it wasn’t a complete rejection of the past as they found inspiration from the Weimar Era, the 25 years between the end of the Imperial Period and the beginning of Nazi Germany.

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Despite the era’s political turmoil and economic hardship, it was a fertile time for intellectuals, innovators and philosophers, as well as the Bauhaus art school whose treatise of finding beauty and form in commonplace objects, merging mass production with artistry, and integrating different artistic disciplines into a total work of art were of great inspiration to Kraftwerk.

Post-war German musicians like Karlheinz Stockhausen also mobilised Kraftwerk but so did some of the composers of their European neighbours such as Pierre Boulez and Pierre Schaeffer.

It was this outward-looking mind-set that inspired Trans-Europe Express. And as this album celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, its theme of a unified Europe is especially poignant for us Brits as our government begins its negotiations for our Brexit from the EU.

The album was named after TEE, the Trans Europ Express luxury railway service that connected 130 European cities, Kraftwerk’s sixth studio album embraced a European identity rather than a specific German identity. The train motif was suggested by French rock critic and producer Paul Alessandrini, who told Hütter and Schneider that “with the kind of music you do, which is kind of like an electronic blues, railway stations and trains are very important in your universe, you should do a song about the Trans Europe Express” as revealed in the book Kraftwerk: Man, Machine and Music by Pascal Bussy.

It was also partially inspired by David Bowie’s Station to Station and Bowie paid a visit to their Kling Klang recording studio that year. Kraftwerk name check him in their Trans-Europe Express title track and Bowie returned the favour with “V-2 Schneider” on his next album Heroes.

But there was another inspiration behind the train motif as Kraftwerk electronic percussionist Karl Bartos told The Quietus, “By using the train motif we were following the path of someone like Pierre Schaeffer who made the first piece of musique concréte by only using the sound of trains.”

Kraftwerk were rhythmic innovators much like their idol James Brown. Their patterns were more stripped down but are funky in their own minimalistic way. At times they took a primitive approach to beat-making such as the hammer on pipes method found on “Metal on Metal”. But for the most part, they used drum machines operated by Bartos and Wolfgang Flür and Hütter and Schneider even designed and patented their own.

Not fully satisfied with the music technology that was on the market in the mid-Seventies, Kraftwerk also commissioned Synthesizerstudio Bonn, Matten & Wiechers to design and build the Synthanorma Sequenzer which was a 32-step, 16-channel sequencer they used to control the electronic sources which create the rhythmic texture on the album.

There are two main themes to the album – one of a unified Europe found on the title track and the wistful “Europe Endless” which plainly states the wonderfully divergent attributes of Europe – its “real life and postcard views”, its “elegance and decadence” – seemingly simple yet very profound statements. And Kraftwerk’s sense of European identity is further proclaimed by the two different language versions of Trans-Europe Express. From this album onward, they released both German and English versions of their albums. “Showroom Dummies” was also recorded in French.

The other motif on the album has to do with authenticity – a concept that would imbue the very nature of Kraftwerk’s music and performance through to the present.

“The Hall of Mirrors” questions what is authentic – the “real” person or their made-up looking-glass reflection of the person they would like to be – their “new personality. It challenges our perceptions of who we really are – the person we portray (or publicise) on Facebook, our mirrored-reflection – or the person looking in the mirror.

“Showroom Dummies” elaborates on this theme using imagery taken from their local environment, as Dusseldorf is a leading city in the fashion industry where models and mannequins abound. In this song, the dummies break out of the showroom and go to a club and dance, one of the most human of activities. The dummies have become real or maybe it’s we who have become dummies.

And the idea of authenticity versus inauthenticity is often the lens through which Kraftwerk’s efforts are assessed: music made by computers and performed by robots – is that real? Is that human? Rather than give us answers, Kraftwerk are happy to pose the questions, and in the process they often take the mick out of themselves almost in a self-deprecating way.

But it is Kraftwerk who have the last laugh as their synth-pop sound, and this album in particular, had an impact that went beyond the boundaries of Europe. The rigid quality of the drum machine rhythms and the futuristic equipment itself appealed to urban African-Americans in the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods of The Bronx and Detroit so much so that it laid the foundations for both hip hop, electro and later, techno. And “Showroom Dummies” ended up as a disco hit and even won them a Pop Music Disco Award.

Glenn O’Brien interviewed Ralf and Florian when they travelled to New York City to pick the award and asked if they also liked to dance. Ralf Hütter answered, “We didn’t dare to for some years. Most people who play electronic music don’t dance. But we started to learn it again and we’ve been to dance school in Germany. Now we are composing some electronic tap dances. We will do body movements and trigger electronic sounds through them.” Once again, Kraftwerk get the last laugh.

 

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Classic Album Sundays Kraftwerk ‘Trans-Europe Express’ Music Lead-Up Playlist

While tracking Kraftwerk’s influence forward into modern music is relatively easy, discovering the band’s influences is a little complicated. The four human robots were innovators of a powerful and thought-provoking songwriting using synthetic sounds, which inspired the development of early electronic music in the 1970s (They  did claim to be inspired by James Brown, The Beach Boys, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, at some point in their career).

A few bands in this musical lead-up playlists with similarly innovative with their brand of futuristic music, such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, and Brian Eno. Their trippy soundscapes are attempts to harness the infinite amount of sounds from keyboards and synthesizers in a cohesive, digestible track.

Kraftwerk also identifies as a krautrock band due to their highly experimental sounds, so some other bands from the genre, Yes, Faust, and Can, are represented here. Pink Floyd and Yes were some of the first rock bands incorporate synthesizers into rock music, which most likely assisted in the popularisation of electronic music.

Take a listen via Spotify!

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Classic Album Sundays Kraftwerk ‘Trans-Europe Express’ Legacy Playlist

Kraftwerk’s driving synthetic sounds have a significant impact on modern music for the past three decades. Electronic music has been built and popularized in dozens of different ways since Kraftwerk shocked the world with Trans-Europe Express, and all of the artists here are ones who think outside the box just as much as the band did in their heyday.

The oldest musicians here gravitated towards Kraftwerk’s genius quickly. David Bowie’s “V2-Schneider” is a tribute to Florian Schneider, a founding member of the band, from his album, Heroes. Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, was an avid fan of their discography, and you can tell he takes some influence from Schneider and Ralf Hütter vocal style.

Kraftwerk sings a lot about isolation, and many artists here build their songs from a desk or bedroom with their computer and keyboards. The environment can make their songs feel more intimate and warm, as a result. James Blake, Aphex Twin, Neon Indian, Todd Terje, and Oneohtrix Point Never.

The remaining artists here have made significant leaps in their respective genres using computers and synthesizers. While Radiohead turned the rock world upside down with Kid A, William Onyeabor shows how Kraftwerk’s music impacted funk music.

Take a listen via Spotify!

Take a listen via Spotify!

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Classical-Music.com Thomas Quasthoff

German bass-baritone, Thomas Quasthoff

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Thomas Quasthoff is one of the best baritones of his generation, though he had no shortage of obstacles to overcome to become an international classical singer. Today he is a widely respected teacher and panellist on singing competitions around the world and, in his new series on BBC Four – Becoming a Lied Singer: Thomas Quasthoff and the Art of German Song, he presents a guide to one of the great loves of his life – German Lied.

In 2002, Quasthoff spoke to us about the music which had the biggest impact on his life in our regular Music that changed me column…

 

The first piece I remember is Carl Loewe’s Tom der Reimer sung by Josef Greindl. My father particularly liked to play it on Sundays, when we were allowed to sleep longer – it was his way to wake us up! Then, when I was about ten, my brother gave me a record of Oscar Peterson – History of an Artist . It was my first jazz experience, and I loved it. I grew up with many completely different styles of music. My brother brought me into contact with jazz and rock music, like Jethro Tull, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Deep Purple. I started singing in the school choir and the church choir very early. So oratorios and Bach cantatas were part of my life.

The first classical recording that really affected me was Bach’s St Matthew Passion. I had a beautiful recording from Karl Münchinger, who for many years was the conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. One of the aria basses was Tom Krause. He was one of my favourite bass singers – a wonderful, smooth, deep voice.

My parents wanted to encourage me to have a hobby. They realised that I sang well, so when I was 13, my father took me to sing for the man who was at the time in charge of the North German Radio’s chamber music department – Sebastian Peschko, who was also a famous accompanist. He knew that I was disabled, and thought my parents wanted to make me a star. So he said he only had 15 minutes. The 15 minutes turned into two hours, and afterwards he put me in touch with my teacher, Charlotte Lehmann. I was 14 when I began studying with her. I started with Bach, and then Lieder.

Schubert’s Winterreise is my favourite song cycle. I started singing it very early – I was 20 when I gave my first performance. That was good, because this cycle really has to grow with you. Anybody who has ever been in love and lost that love can follow this story; it’s the easiest way to be isolated or to isolate yourself.

I went to boarding school for people with disabilities, and there was no possibility of attending opera performances. But that changed. First I became interested in symphonic music, and listened to all the Brahms and the Beethoven symphonies, with Klemperer, Bruno Walter, Solti – all these great heroes. Then I started to listen to opera. It began very easily, with Mozart operas, and then Rossini, then Puccini. Gradually I got to know all the major Italian and German repertoire, except for Wagner. It’s only in the past six or seven years that I’ve really begun to get to know Wagner’s operas better.

I love nearly all of Mahler’s music. The big compositions for me are the orchestral songs. The Kindertotenlieder bring up deep emotions that overwhelm me every time I perform them. To lose a child – it’s better not to even imagine that.

Simon Rattle has been a very important figure in my life. I watched all of his BBC television broadcasts about music. Apart from the Young People’s Concerts of Leonard Bernstein, they’re the most exciting thing I ever saw on television. We recently gave four performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic. The way he worked with this orchestra was incredible – full of respect, but never old-fashioned, with so much emotion and intellect, with so much imagination.

Two years ago we were touring with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and he insisted I should do opera. I was reluctant, because I didn’t want the spotlight to be on my disability. But he said, ‘Why not?’ Something clicked in my head. If he trusts me to be able to do this, why should I be insecure? And so the decision was made that I will do Don Fernando in Fidelio with him in Salzburg next year.

In 2004 I will sing Amfortas in Parsifal at the Vienna State Opera, and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s an opera that’s especially close to my heart, almost an oratorio, about as intense as it’s possible for music to get. It’s an incredible honour to be able to sing this role for the first time in an opera house with such a huge tradition.

Interview by Shirley Apthorp

 

Thomas Quasthoff presents Becoming a Lied Singer: Thomas Quasthoff and the Art of German Song on BBC Four on Friday 7 July at 8pm. Click here for more information.

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Ionarts Hairy Matters—Classical Performance, Criticism and Coiffure:&nbspThe Daniel Müller-Schott Interview (Supplementary Post)

The issue of performer-and-hair has recently come up on a instagram conversation thread of the always interesting fellow writer, obsessed listener, and musical explorer “foreignwords” (he also runs the podcast & website Fugue for Thoughts), where cellist Carmine Miranda, having just joined the social media world, found a mention of himself regarding his recording of the Dvořák and Schumann cello

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