185 singers, 12 countries, one conductor -- all online. Grammy-nominated composer and conductor Eric Whitacre put out a call for singers on his blog in July of 2009. He then posted the conductor track for his piece "Lux Aurumque" and gave instructions, including how to audition for the brief soprano solo. Recordings trickled in on YouTube over the next few months until the January 1 deadline; the results were posted on March 22. [more inside]
Jaap Blonk, Namesake of the blonkorgan, performer, sound poet. AaaaaAAAøøøøøøøøøAEEEeeeiiiIIIIIiiiüüüüüüüüüüieeeeooooOUUUUUooooooo. [more inside]
Fiddle, accordion, and a singing drummer. Seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of Gypsy music from Ukraine, live in Budapest. The real thing. Totally wailing. Kickass. Técső Banda at Kertem.
Kuchh Kook Hota Hai is an all singing, dancing (and possibly epileptic fit inducing) Indian cookery show (without much cooking), featuring two sassy assistants 'salt' and 'pepper'. To whet your appetite – Mutton Burger and Carrot Roll.
Stan Hugill, often known as "The Last Shantyman," authored a book called Shanties From the Seven Seas, based on his own work experiences in the last days of sail. Influential in the folk revival, the book is one of the most important written sources for music sung aboard ships in the 19th and early 20th century, the "Bible" of sea music. Decades of chanteying in pubs and at festivals have kept many of the songs alive, but in most cases they've strayed stylistically from the verses and versions Hugill collected, or dropped out of popularity entirely. Now, one musician is returning to the source and creating a new audio archive for the original versions of the songs as written, by singing through the more than 400 songs in the book, one song each week, and posting the songs on YouTube, with commentary. [more inside]
Some revolutions are about hate. Others are about revenge. But there was at least one that was about hope and music. The Singing Revolution is the story of how hope and music saved a nation. [more inside]
The Singing Nerd is a guy who likes to write, play, and record songs about the things that he likes and then post music videos on Youtube. Most of these songs are about nerdy things, such as The Ballad of Catan, a song simply entitled Chess! and a song about Role Playing. But there's also songs about things we can all relate to, like Fast Food Commercials, A Trip To Las Vegas and... um... Pirates?. Hmmm. Anyway, check out the rest of his songs here.
Perhaps the greatest country baritone since George Jones is confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy and has a day job at a nuclear power plant. [more inside]
Here are some of Ireland's current and past crop of Irish traditional singers, for your perusal and enjoyment this fine St. Paddy's Day.
The Vocaloids,1 anime-like characters created for the singing synthasizer program by the Yamaha Corporation, have been capturing the imaginations of Japanese fans for more than a year. They've inspired and starred in a large body of fan-produced songs and animated videos,2 ranging from macabre to sorrowful to dramatic to humorous. [Massive MLYTP] [more inside]
Pehli Nazar (First Look)
Salaam-E-Ishq (Salute thy Love)
Tujhe Aksa Beach Ghuma Doon (May I show you around Aksa Beach)
Frank Harte is considered to be one of the greatest balladeers and song collectors in the Irish musical tradition. He specialized in the songs of Dublin City and saw himself as a "storyteller in song". [more inside]
This is a list of frogs. Look at pictures the frogs. Most importantly, listen (sounds like a fart) to (sounds like a baseball card in your bike tire) the (sounds like a sheep) frogs (classic frog sound). [more inside]
Frank Newsome leads the congregation at the Little David Church in Hayside, Va. Old Regular Baptists, they sing the way people sang when they first came to the American colonies: without instruments or notation, and following their leader line by line. It's called lined-out hymnody, and people outside the southern Appalachian Mountains rarely hear it. One of the songs Newsome sings at services is a hymn about longing for heaven, called "Beulah Land."
Can I Get a Napkin Here? A food court musical brought to us by the fine folks of Improv Everywhere . For more musicals in public places, check out "Reach! A Lecture Musical!" and "Reading on a Dream: A Library Musical" both from Prangstgrup.
In Mongolia, overtone singing (or hoomei, as it's known locally) is mainly a guy thing, but there are exceptions to the rule, for example, the Hoomei Women's Group. More commonly though, women who want to sing do so in an exquisite, soaring style like this and this. Sometimes the men do the hoomei thing while the women do that soaring thing. Then there are those lovely choral arrangements. And then there are those rare moments when the YouTube poster's description of a clip just hits the nail square on the head, as with this one: amazing. [more inside]
Drinking Songs & Barroom-lore is an unbelievable collection of audio , textual and other materials related to "traditional drinking songs (many bawdy), toasts, recitations and other bar-room folklore." If that's not enough, check out ARRR!!!'s sea shanties and drinking songs and/or Barstool Mountain's Top 100 Drinking Songs. Still not enough? Well, OK. [more inside]
Pride of Toledo - 2004 Contest Pictures of barbershop harmony female singers from Lake Erie Region 17, encompassing parts of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. (All are part of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization of women singers, which was mentioned before)
THE church elder’s reaction was one of utter disbelief. Shaking his head emphatically, he couldn’t take in what the distinguished professor from Yale University was telling him. "No," insisted Jim McRae, an elder of the small congregation of Clearwater in Florida. "This way of worshipping comes from our slave past. It grew out of the slave experience, when we came from Africa." But Willie Ruff, an Afro-American professor of music at Yale, was adamant - he had traced the origins of gospel music to Scotland. [more inside]
Apparently there is no trickery here; just a lot of practice, which allows this guy to sing backwards. [more inside]
I got a gal in Kalamazoo, and a lucky number. Jumpin Jive! Is that the Chatanooga Choo-choo? No, even better! It's the Nicholas Brothers!
Hatsune Miku is the latest singing sensation to sweep Japan. No, she's not a new idol singer, she's Yamaha's Vocaloid2 software simulating the voice of vocalist Saki Fujita. Currently a #2 seller on Amazon, even at the cost of 15750 yen (about $137). But you don't need to buy the software to appreciate it. Check out Ievan Polka, Fly Me to the Moon, the theme from Princess Mononoke, and more!
It seems that this gentleman bought a set of musical robots from the defunct Showbiz Pizza restaurant chain. This gent has been reprogramming the robots to sing recent hit songs, rather than the '60s Motown hits they sang originally. He then takes video of these performances, and posts it on YouTube. I guarantee this version of Evanescence's "Lithium" will haunt your dreams (or, perhaps, make you hurl).
Broadway's original Effie White, Jennifer Holliday, has been very open about how haunted and snubbed she felt during the production of the Dreamgirls movie. In particular she was hurt when, without permission, her own singing voice was used in a theatrical trailer to promote the production that had completely shut her out. Yesterday at the BET Awards she was finally given some overdue recognition and invited to join Jennifer Hudson onstage for a duet of the song she made famous. You may have heard the song a hundred times, but try to make it 101. 'Cuz seriously, the girls can sing. Previously.
Religious popular music from Upper Egypt Munshidin sing devotional songs, Tartil (a melodic recitation of the Qur'an), and Tawashih, which uses call-and-response . One of a number of interesting music resources at bolingo.
UCLA's Awaken A Capella does some strange, beautiful things with the power of combined human voices. From Ave Maria to Mr Roboto, their oeuvre spans the spectrum. More clips, including Like a Prayer and Walk Like an Egyptian, available on their MySpace page. Their version of Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek," available through KCRW's daily podcast, is sublime.
They're on NPR? They're in the New York Times? (archived here as a .pdf). I guess it's no wonder - I can't go into half of the rooms at work without hearing them. And they took in $45 million last year singing "Yummy, Yummy"? Yes, i'm talking about The Wiggles, a pop-culture
bitch-slap gift from Australia that has apparently kicked Barney's ass. That doesn't mean that they aren't open to some well-deserved satire.
For when you really want to karaoke with a severed deer's head, but just don't know where to start. Do you have a cousin, grandparent, or spouse who enjoys really large, high-concept, expensive gag gifts? Look no further. Buck the Singing Trophy is the latest product from Gemmy industries, whose previous culture-changing invention was Big Mouth Billy Bass. It's already sold out at Wal-Mart and most online stores, so you'll either have to wait until the new year or head to Ebay to get your crate of Pepsi Blue. And really, has Pepsi Blue ever tasted so strange (WMV)?
"The extraordinary radiance of the voice. I still remember that. The extraordinary, enveloping, overwhelming beauty of Ferrier's voice." When Kathleen Ferrier died at 41 in October 1953, she was as famous as the newly crowned Queen. A working class girl from Blackpool who had to quit school at 14 to work as a telephone operator, a young woman who lacked formal musical training and whose husband bet that she would never win a music contest, Ferrier -- under the guidance of the great conductor Bruno Walter -- went on to become an international superstar. An "ordinary diva" who humbly worshipped "Herr Doktor Bruno Walter", gave very few newspaper interviews, never appeared on television or in cinema newsreels. Her speaking voice can be heard only briefly and only twice, on a tape made at a post-concert New York party, and in a short speech she made for the BBC at an Edinburgh Festival. Her extraordinary career lasted only less than 12 years. Half a century later, although her legacy lives on through her music, Ferrier herself -- "Klever Kaff" -- remains elusive. More inside.
"I had been planning to set up a socialist band, which I hope will play a leading role in the world socialist revolution because it is possible to influence people greatly through music and I have acquired sufficiently strong singing abilities through karaoke to convince myself that I would be capable of singing in a band." [music here]
Mouse serenade: Tim Holy and Zhongsheng Guo at Washington University School of Medicine in Missouri discover the songs of mice. Published at the Public Library of Science, Biology, (non newsie, science article). Examples of the singing, 1- shifted down 4 octaves, timing intact (MP3 file) and, 2 - shifted down 4 octaves and slowed down 16 fold. (MP3 file) (partially via)
The Song and the Singer For many he is the greatest Lieder singer of the 20th century. As he turns 80, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau reflects on his long career.
Together at last! Joy Division and Mongolian throat singing.
George Bush sings (MP3 contains swearing) and shows how he imagines the world should be. Now that John Ashcroft has left the administration it was clearly time for someone else to step up and lead the vocals. There's more info at Wax Audio.
Merry Christmas from James My sister sent me this link from a friend that didn't want to send out cards this year - he's not much of a singer but I thought it was a great idea! Hallmark could be in danger...
On the origins and history of the military (marching/running) cadence. Some were straightforwardly about identity, some inevitably about the performance of bloodthirstyness, but it always seemed to me that the most rewarding and enjoyable cadences to sing were those that were simply special cases of an older tradition: the working man's blues. A platoon run to cadence in the Fort Knox gloaming may be one of the few purely vocal expressions remaining, at that, now that others have fallen by the wayside.