Leyla McCalla is a classically trained cellist who grew up in New York with her Haitian parents. She moved to New Orleans where she performed on Royal Street and learned about the Haitian history of the community. McCalla also joined the Carolina Chocolate Drops and diversified her style and sound. With the combined influence of place and company, she started performing Haitian folk music, which she paired that music with poetry of Langston Hughes for her first solo album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes (Soundcloud album stream). That was two years ago, and now she has her second album, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey (YT, official video for the title track; YT playlist), where she sings in Haitian Creole, French, and English. [more inside]
Take one part saw (1:15 in). Add one part glockenspiel and one part fiðla. Then, a dash of harmonium and some drum brushes. Accentuate with a cello, then layer with keyboards. Finally, add some piano and ensure there are two parts harp. Very carefully blend and Gleðileg jól! Amiina (previously) have bakaðar you a song.
If you've encountered delicately uplifting chimes and bells or a singing saw, seen the contributions of a string quartet in a Sigur Rós video, heard the last recording by Lee Hazlewood and noticed the gentle singing and music, or listened to Yukihiro Takahashi consider words, then you've possibly encountered the Icelandic band amiina. [more inside]
2CELLOS (Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser) have released a new music video. The period audience are...Thunderstruck. [more inside]
Leonardo Da Vinci is well known as a man who invented many things on paper that never found their way into three-dimensional reality. Some would later prove to be unworkable in reality. Others would later prove to be potentially life-saving. But not all of Da Vinci's inventions were of a practical nature. Consider his plans for the viola organista, a keyboard instrument containing a system of revolving wheels, strings and other machinery to create a kind of cello that can be played with a keyboard. Never constructed in Da Vinci's lifetime, the inventor himself could only imagine what it would actually sound like. We no longer have to imagine that. [more inside]
Giovanni Sollima is a contemporary composer and cellist whose music is at once fiercely modern and lushly romantic. Witness Daydream: the first half is a rich, warm trio, and the second half is a virtuosic cello solo that is, for lack of better words, punk as fuck. His longer composition Violoncelles, Vibrez! is a lush, pulsating piece that builds to an incredible climax. My favorite work of his, L. B. Files, is a four-part work that rapidly shifts styles and colors and textures – simply glorious all around.
Election Day Divertimento: Mischa Maisky plays Bach Cello Suite No.1 in G (SLYT)
Tricks for getting your violin on a plane, by Lara St. John. How about an upright bass? A cello? A guitar? (previously) A trombone? A tuba (and other horns)? What about lutes, a djembe, a hurdy-gurdy, or bagpipes? (Some general tips. More general tips - part 1, part 2.)
In their 25 year career San Fransisco-based Kronos Quartet might be most famous for creating the go-to dramatic movie trailer music but they've recently courted controversy with their latest album, 9/11, with Steve Reich (NPR First Listen). The album is another in a long line of collaborations with composers such as Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, and Pēteris Vasks. And like any good instrumental ensemble, they've covered Hendrix, Sigur Ros, and Tom Waits. Oh, and they've been on Sesame Street. [more inside]
Observe a classy penguin. It's worth it. Take time. If you don't expect something big huge and exciting, usually, um... [more inside]
George Mason Green Machine athletic band plays Killing In The Name Of... Welcome To The Jungle played on two cellos. One by Apocalyptica. The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain plays the theme from Shaft.
Cellist Zoë Keating describes her music as "the fusion of information architecture and classical music," and uses a traditional French cello and a foot-controlled MacBook to create lush, multi-layered cello music. From 2002 to 2006 she was a member of Rasputina, and more recently she played with Amanda Palmer. Keating has prospered online through iTunes and her website; her new album, Into the Trees, is streaming free and can be purchased on her website, and you can watch her perform some older pieces on her Youtube channel. [Via]
Remember Lasse Gjertsen? Now he's helping cellist Giovanni Solima, and has created an awe-inspiring multi-armed, multi-location music video for his piece, 'DayDream'. (video links youtube)
Pachelbel Rant (YouTube) by Rob Paravonian (official site). A few more of his videos, including a comedy bit on the Friends theme and Sugar Ray lyrics. (previous reference on MeFi here)
A Cello Rondo A cello piece digitally combined from 37 different cello parts all played by the same musician. With funky video. [Qucktime, 45mb], [Quicktime, 22mb]. Other formats available through the link. via Digg.