Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘music’

28 OCTOBER, 2010

Beethoven Reimagined as Jazz

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For the past 16 years, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has been reinventing impressionistic and improvisational contemporary jazz. LUDWIG is their most beautifully belabored project to date — a reinterpretation of Beethoven’s 3rd and 6th symphonies in jazz, three years in the making.

JFJO’s new album, Stay Gold, is a treasure trove of melodic experimental jazz magic — we highly recommend it.

Thanks, @teddyz

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27 OCTOBER, 2010

PICKED: Verbal + Yoon Cover The Runaways

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Last month, we spotlighted The Raveonettes’ fantastic cover of The Stone Roses’ “I Wanna Be Adored,” part of Doc Martens’ 50th anniversary celebration — a project asking 10 of today’s hottest indie artists to cover 10 cult-classic tracks. This month, they’re back with another gem: Verbal + Yoon covering “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways, the iconic all-girl teenage band made up of guitarist Joan Jett and lead Cherie Currie, who laid the rugged groundwork for generations of female rockers to come.

The track is available as a free download from the project site.

On a related note, The Runaways, the surprisingly excellent film about the cult band starring Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, came out on Blu-ray and DVD recently — we highly recommend it.

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11 OCTOBER, 2010

Nowhere Boy: John Lennon’s Early Life

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UPDATE: Nowhere Boy is now out on DVD, Blu-ray and video on demand.

This past weekend, John Lennon would’ve turned 70. On Saturday, we celebrated his birthday by revisiting I Met The Walrus, a brilliant animated interview of the great Beatle, recorded by a teenage fan who snuck into his hotel room in 1970 and animated the recording 39 years later. This week, Nowhere Boy — a fascinating chronicle of Lennon’s childhood and teenage years in Liverpool, both trying and thrilling — is coming to select theaters across the U.S. and skyrockets to the top of our to-see list. From The Quarrymen, Lennon’s early band and precursor to The Beatles, to the difficult home life with his mother and Aunt Mimi, the film offers a tender and rare look at the making of a cultural icon.

If you find yourself off the screening map, don’t cry baby cry — the film, a British import, is already out on Blu-Ray (and DVD, too, though in a non-US format).

The soundtrack alone is an absolute gem, a brilliantly curated mix of classics and music history icons, from Elvis’s unshakeable “Shake, Rattle & Roll” to Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over, Beethoven” to Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue” to Lennon’s heartfelt “Mother.”

Nowhere Boy is now out on DVD, Blu-ray and video on demand.

via The Daily Beast

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30 SEPTEMBER, 2010

83,7 Kilo Ohm: Hug, Kiss and Play in Public

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What kissing in public has to do with sensor data and Norwegian art.

In May, we highlighted several experimental sound and music projects challenging the definition of art creation. A recent discovery spotted at The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in Oslo should be added to the list. 83,7 Kilo Ohm is a sound installation by German artist Erwin Stache. The project is meant to inspire people to play in public spaces, while interactively conducting a series of musical pieces produced and recorded by Erwin himself.

The installation includes a series of wooden platforms with a varying number of metal tubes that spring up from the base. When you touch two or more tubes at the same time, sensors trigger an array of music from attached speakers. If two people touching separate tubes make contact, they can create music together by holding hands, hugging or kissing — encouraging public interaction in the process of art-making.

Depending on the pressure, speed and location of the contact, the music will change tempo, tone, pitch and volume, making each musical creation completely unique.

See it in action below:

Brian W. Jones is a designer, etc. who moves often to embrace the inspiration found in new places. Last year Brian helped open PieLab, a pie shop and community space in rural Alabama, and now lives in coastal Maine helping organize Project M sessions, riding his bike, and writing about his love of coffee.

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