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Designing specific compilation CD's for media and corporate projects, movie soundtracks for short films and feature films, documentaries and presentations.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Like Some Enormous Music"

Minimalist composer Philip Glass reaches new heights with the soundtrack to the Paul Schrader film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Elektra/Nonesuch, 1985), following his score for the 1982 cult film Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, directed by Godfrey Reggio. In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means 'crazy life, life in turmoil, life out of balance, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living', and the film implies that modern humanity is living in such a way.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ballads Of Living And Dying

Songs III: Bird on the Water is Marissa Nadler's third full-length album, released in March 2007 on Peacefrog Records. Marissa Nadler (born April 5, 1981) is an American dream-folk artist based in Boston. She is known for her dreamy, atmospheric music, that although rooted in folk traditions, is more ethereal than earthy. Her music was recently described as "ethereal reverberations" in the New York Times. Some describe Nadler's songs as having American Gothic leanings; her stories often take place in an imagined, idealistic time with a cast of characters of her own creation. Her links to American Gothic are reinforced by "Annabelle Lee," the last song on her debut album, Ballads of Living and Dying (Eclipse Records, 2004), which puts the poem of the same title by Edgar Allan Poe to a musical backing. Singing in a haunting mezzo-soprano, the foundation of her songs are her delicate acoustic guitar, often accompanied by a variety of instruments, ranging from organ to theremin to electric guitar. Marissa Nadler's fourth full-length record, Little Hells, was
March 3, 2009.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Juju Space Jazz

Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics (EG/Polydor) is an album by Brian Eno and Jon Hassell, released in 1980. "Fourth World" is a term used by trumpeter Jon Hassell to describe a style of music employing modern technological treatments and influenced by various cultures and eras. He wanted the music in this album to be "future primitive", or "a coffee-coloured classical music". Hassell had studied Indian classical music with singer Pandit Pran Nath, and later applied the vocal techniques to his trumpet playing. Together with Eno, he melded the sounds from his instrument with digital delay, echo, and electronic effects to produce a unique blend of ambient and world music. The "Fourth World" is the current world according to the Hopi belief system and Maya mythology; the coming age is the Fifth World. Eno took what he learned from making this album and put it to use in his collaboration with David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Top/ Recorded over the course of three days, immediately after the end of the Woodstock Festival, Bitches Brew (Columbia Records, 1970) was a turning point in modern jazz. American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis had already spearheaded two major jazz movements – cool and modal jazz – and was about to initiate another major change. Some critics at the time characterized this music as simply obscure and "outside", which recalls Duke Ellington's description of Davis as "the Picasso of jazz." Original gatefold cover art by Mati Klarwein.

Foretold in the Language of Dreams

Louis Thomas Hardin (May 26, 1916–September 8, 1999) better known as Moondog was a revered pioneer on the Avant-Garde/Minimalist scene. His revolutionary attitude towards composition and melody was lauded by such eminent notables as Philip Glass and Steve Reich, while his style and attitude drew comparisons to Harry Partch. His influence can be seen in the music of Stereolab and Moonshake among others. A blind American composer, musician, cosmologist and poet, Moondog also invented several musical instruments, including a small triangular-shaped harp known as the "Oo", another which he named the "Ooo-ya-tsu", and (perhaps his most well-known) the "Trimba", a triangular percussion instrument that the composer invented in the late 40s. Although these achievements would have been considered extraordinary for any blind person, Moondog further removed himself from society through his decision to make his home on the streets of New York for approximately twenty of the thirty years he spent in the city. Indeed, he was known for much of his life as 'The Viking of 6th Avenue'. Moondog had a particular interest in Native American music. He partially supported himself by selling copies of his poetry and his musical philosophy. Because of his street post's proximity to the famed 52nd Street nightclub strip, he was well-known to many jazz musicians and fans. Moondog's music took its inspiration from street sounds, such as the subway or a foghorn. He released a number of 78s, 45s and EPs of his music in the 1950s, as well as several LPs on a number of notable jazz labels, including an unusual record of stories for children with actress Julie Andrews in 1957. For ten years no new recordings were heard from Moondog until producer James William Guercio took him into the studio to record an album for Columbia Records in 1969. The track "Stamping Ground", with its odd preamble of Moondog saying one of his epigrams, was featured on the sampler double album Fill Your Head with Rock (CBS, 1970). The melody from the track "Bird's Lament (In memory of Charlie Parker)" was later sampled by Mr. Scruff as the basis for his song "Get A Move On", which was then used in commercials for the Lincoln Navigator SUV.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We Want The Airwaves

Top/ Rocket to Russia (Sire) is the third album by the Ramones. Released on November 4, 1977, the album incorporates surf rock and other influences. It includes some of the Ramones' best-known songs, including "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker", "Teenage Lobotomy" and "Rockaway Beach". Formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, the Ramones were an American rock band often regarded as the first punk rock group. In the early 1970s, a new music scene emerged in New York when many bands started to play in clubs on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, such as Max's Kansas City and most famously CBGB's. The songs the Ramones played were very fast and very short; most clocked in at under two minutes. The Ramones' minimalist, loud, fast musical style was influenced by pop music that the band members grew up listening to in the 1950s and 1960s, such as The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Ronettes, the Rolling Stones as well as what are now known as proto-punk bands like The Stooges and the New York Dolls. Touring virtually non-stop for 22 years, the band's three founding members —Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone— died within eight years of the break-up in 1996. Bottom/ Recorded in 1993, towards the end of the Ramones' career, the album Acid Eaters (Radioactive) is often set apart from other Ramones releases in that it is entirely composed of covers. Unlike other punk bands of their time, such as the equally popular Sex Pistols or Blondie, the Ramones embraced some of the music from their childhood and welcomed it into their own unique sound. Acid Eaters forms a musical tribute to the Ramones' 60s favourites.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Accept The Signal

Bottom/ Verve Remixed is a series of albums released by Verve Records centered on the concept of classic Verve tracks, remixed by contemporary electronic music producers and DJs. The series has proven to be very popular, both with fans of the original recordings and with younger generations of music listeners, many of whom are exposed to the classic jazz and blues artists for the first time. Middle/ Below the Waste (China Records, 1989) is Art of Noise's fourth full-length original album, and their last album for China Records before Anne Dudley reformed with ZTT's Trevor Horn and Paul Morley for The Seduction of Claude Debussy (1999). The album saw them experimenting with world music, collaborating with Zulu group Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens. The African singers provide a heavy layer of mostly non-English vocals. The "Emphasis Speakers" on the album cover were designed by Morton V. Warren for B&W Speakers. Top/ Treats from The So Called Seder: A Hip Hop Haggadah (JDub, 2005), by genre-bending Canadian rapper and producer Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled, include "Passout for Passover". Known for his eclectic mix of hip hop, klezmer and other styles, Socalled has worked with a variety of acts, ranging from clarinetist David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness!, to Feist collaborator Chilly Gonzales and funk trombonist Fred Wesley. Dolgin's Socalled collective and guests recently celebrated the Jewish Festival of Lights with the seasonal concert "Hip Hop Hanukkah".

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where The Wild Roses Grow

Amélie (Virgin, 2001) is the soundtrack to the French Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated motion picture Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie). Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet chanced upon the largely accordion and piano driven music of Yann Tiersen while driving with his production assistant who put on a CD he hadn't heard before. Greatly impressed, he immediately bought Tiersen's entire catalogue and eventually commissioned him to compose pieces for the film. The soundtrack features both compositions from Tiersen's first three albums, but also new items, variants of which can be found on his fourth album, L'Absente, which he was writing at the same time. Beside the accordion and piano the music features parts played with harpsichord, banjo, bass guitar, vibraphone and even a bicycle wheel at the end of "La Dispute" (which plays over the opening titles in the motion picture). Prior to discovering Tiersen, Jeunet was primarily considering composer Michael Nyman to score the film. "Les Jours tristes" was co-written with Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. The English language version also appeared on Tiersen's L'Absente. "Comptine d'un autre été: L'après-midi" is a piano piece composed by Yann Tiersen, best known from Amélie but also used in the German movie Good Bye Lenin!, for which Yann Tiersen also composed the soundtrack. Top/ Featuring Einstürzende Neubauten member Blixa Bargeld on guitar, Henry's Dream (Mute Records, 1992) is the seventh album released by Australian post-punk dandys Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.