Watch Barbara Hannigan conduct while singing – no to mention the SM-costume she is wearing…
Also check her performance in the Digital Concert Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic if you are a subscriber…
Discovered at Reeperbahnfestival: Willis Earl Beal – the man’s name is hard to memorize, but his music is hard to forget. Especially live, he is a very powerful one man soul event (check out these pictures of him performing live)
Although most of Beals songs are rather slow-tempo they ooze a raw form of energy out of almost every syllable the man says, sings, screams. Something a real soul legend or people like Michael Jackson in Thriller transported. Willis Earl Beal is intruding – it is not possible for me to listen to this music as background music, as it always crawls its way into my mind and attention. A style somewhere between Stevie Wonder, Tom Waits and Tom Jones, he’s a one-man of sensation as easy entertainers like Tom Jones could only dream to ever be. There is just nothing artificial about Willi Earl Beal. Music out of the comfort zone (the recordings underline that) , which does not need a high tempo, a high volume or a wall of sound to be heard. Maybe that is why they chose to start the new album with a vocal only song. Everything his voice needs later on are smart drums, a pulsing bass and a couple of delicate additional sounds of organs or samples, or a out-of-tune acoustic guitar.
His biography may give some clue to where this power came from. As wikipedia has it Beal was born in Chicago, thrown out of the army, returned to Chicago, became homeless, worked low-level jobs, began to record music, leaving CD-Rs and flyers (in search for a girlfriend) in public spaces around Albuquerque. Because of these flyers Found Magazine (a magazine for found objects and other ephemera) covered Beal which led to him trying to get casted for a talent show and then being signed by Hot Charity records. Beal’s debut album, entitled Acousmatic Sorcery was released on April 2, 2012. His second album is titled “Nobody knows” (just released). He will also star in a film entitled ‘MEMPHIS’ directed by Tim Sutton that will premiere at the 2013 Venice film festival.
This album by the wonderful, open-minded and very sympathetic violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja has won the Gramophone award for the record of the year. Gramophone is one of the leading classical music record magazines worldwide and its awards are amongst the most important in the classical music world.
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/awards/2013/concerto (including a free track via stream)
The CD features modern (20th century) compositions of three Hungarian composers: Bartok and Ligeti and Peter Eötvös, who conducts the world-famous Ensemble Modern – an ensemble that exclusively plays modern music and has cooperated not only with classical composers but also with John Zorn or Frank Zappa.
The music in this record breathes – it comes to life (instead of just being notes played in correct but boring timing) because Kopatchinskaja brings her character and her Moldavian roots into these compositions, her mother plays violin, her father the tsimbl. She has recorded a great album with traditional AND comtemporary music with them.
The album on Spotify: Patricia Kopatchinskaja – Bartok, Eötvös, Ligeti
the new Bill Callahan album is out…
Berlin concert: Heimathafen Neukölln, February 15th, 2014