A bizarre instrument combining a piano and cello has finally been played to an audience more than 500 years after it was dreamt up Leonardo da Vinci.
Slawomir Zubrzycki spent three years and more than 5000 hours re-creating this fabulous instrument, the Viola Organista, from da Vinci’s notes. ‘‘This instrument has the characteristics of three we know: the harpsichord, the organ and the viola da gamba,’’ said Zubrzycki. (“Wacky piano” really isn’t the word.)
In the video of his performance linked above, Zubrzycki plays pieces by Carl Friedrich Abel, Marin Marais, and Bach.
Icelandic descendants of Vikings singing a hymn in a German train station. They totally need to be on the next Thor soundtrack.
Oh man oh man oh man. 6 guys, and it FILLS THE SPACE. Luck of the architecture - and they know how to pull it off. Nothing is easy making vocal music in a space not built for it. I want to do this kind of thing - randomly perform multipart harmony in public spaces.
THE WOMEN OF AFROFUTURIST SOUND by Kareem Reid (westindians)
These women are just a few examples of pioneers in contemporary art and culture that offer unique perspectives on the multi-narratives and realities of black femininity. They often re-appropriate and challenge mainstream representations of black female bodies, sexuality and desire. Emphasis is placed on the inherently fluid nature of their identities and often present themselves as aliens or androids to communicate their “otherness”, a common thematic trend among Afrofuturist artists.
The rise of emerging artists Janelle Monae,THEESatisfaction, Solange, Kelela and Moko are encouraging signs of a new wave of enigmatic performance artists charged with the double-objective of making us dance as well as think.
Shoshana Damari was born in Dhamar, Yemen in 1923. At the age of one, she and her family made aliyah because of intensifying antisemitism. She got her musical start accompanying her mother during celebrations in the Yemeni community in Rishon LeTziyon. She was on the radio for the first time at the age of 14 in 1937.
In the time between the Shoah and Israeli statehood, Damari would travel to the Displaced Persons camps in Cyprus to perform music for the survivors being detained there by the British. I’ve seen the above photograph from this time period of an “unknown singer” in the camp that is, in fact, Shoshana Damari.
Her fame was rekindled for our generation by her 2005 collaboration with Idan Raichel on the songs “Aleh Nis’a BaRu’ach” and “HaEr Et Einav.” The two artists had planned on collaborating again, this time on a full-length joint album.
In 2006, Damari died of pneumonia. At the time of her death, she was surrounded by her family as they sang “Kalaniyot”, the song that launched her professional career.
(here is a link to both the Hebrew and English translation of the song)
Aviva Semadar was the fourth generation of her family to be born in Israel, which was the British Mandate for Palestine at the time of her birth. She graduated in 1955 from a teachers’ prep course before joining the Army. After her two years of service, she taught at schools in various border communities. During this time she founded and led small singing groups.
After teaching for a few years, she realized that music was her true passion. She began her career primarily singing Israeli folk songs, Yiddish songs, and Jewish liturgical songs that her grandfather, a cantor, taught her. She later expanded her repertoire to include the Diasporic songs of the various Israeli communities.
Hungarian folksong “A Csitári Hegyek Alatt (Under the Csitári Mountains)”, as interpreted by Oi Va Voi, a British band that draws on Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish and Sephardi (Iberian) Jewish musical traditions, as well as other diverse influences.
Female Composers of the Romantic Era: The Male Composers stole the spotlight but the females were just as talented
When you hear about composers from the Romantic era or earlier, many people automatically assume that they are learning about a male, because they dominated the industry in an era where a woman’s place was not in the spotlight. Contrary to what many people believe, there are some extraordinarily talented female composers that called the Romantic era home, and it is high time that these exceedingly gifted composers take their rightful place in the spotlight. Here is a look at the lives and achievements of three brilliant female composers of the Romantic era.
One of the most famous female composers of the Romantic era was Josephine Lang. Born in 1815, Lang was born into a most musical family. Her mother was a soprano, her grandmother a coloratura soprano, her father a music director, and several aunts who each possessed musical ability. She was educated in Munich and composed many brilliant pieces of music. Some of her best works include “Erinnerung,” “Der Winter,” and “Herbst Gefuhl.”
Clara Wieck Schumann
Another exception female composer of the Romantic era is Clara Wieck Schumann. Born in 1819 to Friedrich Wieck, a piano company owner, and Marianne Tromlitz, a soprano vocalist, Clara Wieck Schumann had music flowing in her veins from birth. At a very young age, she was recognized by other famous composers as a tremendously gifted child prodigy. Some of her admirers include Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Nicolo Paganini and others. Some of her best works include “Nocturno, Op. 6, No. 2,” “Tre Romances, Op. 11,” and “Souvenir de Vienne, Op. 9.”
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel has not received even a sliver of the praise she deserves as a composer of the Romantic era. Born in 1805, she is the sister of Felix Mendelssohn and showed outstanding musical skill and talent as a child prodigy. History lends the story that at the age of 13, Fanny played all 24 pieces from Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” by memory alone. Fanny would grow into a tremendous composer of the age whose compositions resounded with passion and intensity. Some of her best works include “Trio in D Minor,” “Melodie, Op. 4 No. 2,” and “Aus Meinen Tranen.” [x]
Jayne County is probably the most interesting musician you’ve never heard of. A regular at the Stonewall Inn, County was one of many trans women who participated at the Stonewall Riots.
She worked alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, David Bowie (having a great influence on his Diamond Dogs tour) and was direct influence on a young Patti Smith, who met County by being cast opposite her in the first of several plays they would do together. While Jayne was already an active musician in what would become the punk rock scene, it would still be several years before Patti Smith would begins putting her poems to music.
She was also the inspiration for the titular character in the cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
There’s really no other woman more deserving of the title “mother of punk rock.”
Reblogging again because Jayne County is a goddess and an inspiration. “She scares straight people,” according to the director of Wigstock: The Movie (read the rest of that interview, it’s pretty great) and a badass punk rock diva second to none. Her name should always be mentioned along with Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Poly Styrene, Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, and the other incredible female underground vocalists of the 70s.