by Tiana Feng
Here’s an adorable track that will have you tapping your foot if you’re not singing along. Carrie Clark and the Lonesome Lovers from Oregon bring some enjoyable tunes that draws influence from many styles such as jazz, pop, cabaret with some country instrumentals at times. Her album Between the Bed Sheets & Turpentine will be released October 4th, 2011.
Carrie Clark and the Lonesome Lovers- Bum Bah Dum
by Tiana Feng
The Dust Engineers’is the recording project started off by Ernest Wheyton who resides in South Dakota, where his latest EP was recorded. Swallowed Up has that country twang but a more pop rock sort of feel. It’s a country psych rock of some some sort that has its hooks. You can order their limited cassette here and it only costs as much as the change in your pocket.
The Dust Engineers- Swallowed Up (And Washed Down)
By Sweet Sound of Sunrise
Remember the first time you watched Gladiator and thought to yourself, “Wow, that’s a really epic soundtrack! Add that to a historical fiction filled with fighting and a love story…what more could you want?”
Well, maybe that didn’t happen to you but it did to me. And there have been few movies that led to the same reaction – historical films with really, really ridiculous good looking (?) soundtracks that stick in my head long after the movie is over are too just to hard to find these days.
The movie is about two men who fall in love with the same woman and, to make things even better, are on opposite sides of a war between the Polish nobles and the Zaporozhian Cossacks in one of the most tumultuous times in Polish and Ukrainian history. The original score, composed by Krzesmir Debski, reflects this. The tracks range from the sorrowful songs about lost love and the horrors of war to energetic songs about the heat of battle and victory – with, in true Eastern European tradition, some good old folk music in between to remind the listener that the soldiers were not apt to forget the simple things in life like eating, drinking and being merry.
The following takes place at the Siege of Zbarazh.
By Sweet Sound of Sunrise
Think of typical folk music. And when I say folk music, I don’t mean protest songs from the 1960s. I mean Eastern European songs about the life of a soldier, women, and the country so old and familiar that everyone who speaks the language knows the lyrics. Then, pick a folk song you like and make it gratuitously epic by amassing a choir of men with powerful voices – and uniforms, of course – and make it sound like you’re about to march into battle. Now do it in Russian.
That’s the easiest way to describe the music of the Red Army Choir.
The Alexandrov Ensemble, more popularly (at least to slavophile history geeks, a.k.a. my friends) known as the Red Army Choir, has unclear origins, but it has been around since it began touring the Soviet Union in the late 1920s. The following years saw it evolve into a 300-member choir for three voices from its humble beginnings as a small group focusing on military songs. It soon began to receive international recognition. In 1937, it won the Grand Prix at the Exposition in Paris, France. The choir also toured extensively to entertain Soviet troops during the Second World War.
Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov conducted the Red Army Choir until his death in 1946, when he was succeeded by his son Boris. When Boris retired in 1987, Igor Agafonnikov took his place until 1994. His successor, Victor Federov, has been conducting the choir ever since.
One of the ensemble’s more noted soloists is the still-active Leonid Mikhailovich Kharitonov, who was particularly noted for his solo in the 1965 video for “The Song of the Volga Boatmen”.
The song is a traditional shanty depicting the hardships of barge-haulers, or burlaks, on the immense Volga river in Russia. They were extremely poor members of the peasant class whose work pulling barges became largely obsolete following the Industrial Revolution. It is said that the song was inspired by Ilya Repin’s famous realist painting, Barge Haulers on the Volga, pictured above.
Since it was first popularized by Feodor Chaliapin in 1902, the song has gone beyond its original incarnation as a Russian folk song. Glenn Miller’s cover topped Billboard’s Best Sellers List – this was long before the Hot 100 – the week of March 15, 1941.
By Sweet Sound of Sunrise
Like last week’s Amadou and Mariam, this week’s pick is also in French. However, it comes from the motherland itself, with the chanteuse who, almost 50 years after her death, is still probably the single most famous French singer in the world.
Edith Piaf is a legend. Songs like La Vie en Rose can be recognized by people from the other side of the world, and have been redone by the likes of Louis Armstrong. A movie about her life won an Oscar, being the first French winner in the category of “Best Actress.” Her grave in Paris is still visited often by fans, demonstrating that she will not be forgotten anytime soon.
This week’s song is just one example of what made Edith Piaf so renowned. “Sous le ciel de Paris”, which translates to “Under the Paris sky,” was written by Hubert Giraud and Jean Drejac, and was made famous by Piaf in 1954. The lyrics tell of the life within the city, of the lovers, loafers, the sounds of Paris. At the end, the sky gets jealous of Paris, and unleashes a torrent of rain, but soon afterwards begs forgiveness with a rainbow.
Call me preposterously cliched and/or a hopeless romantic, but this is one of those songs that makes you want to dance and throw everything away and go live la vie boheme in old France. And acquire an accordion. Maybe it’s just me.
This week I chose to do Canon in D by Pachelbel because its a tune thats already in my hands. I shortened it though because the song is a little bit long for me and the beginning isn’t that exciting haha. What would you like for me to play next time?? I keep all requests in mind and will get back to them eventually.
You can get the sheet music for this song here.
by Tiana Feng
So as you all know I just graduated with a Bachelors degree in music. Because of this, I want to keep my musical brain busy so it doesn’t prune itself and I decided to start what will be called REQUEST A PIANO TUNE THURSDAYS. How it will work is that each week I will upload a clip of me playing something AND the piano sheet music or transcription for it for the aspiring musicians. You can request ANYTHING, a pop tune, a tv show theme, something totally obscure (but you would have to give me a link to the track), something that already exists. I will choose from the list I get and play one of the things every Thursdays starting next week. This week I will start you off with the jazz classic A-Train, a semi improv thing I did for class:
Leave your requests in comments and I’ll have one of them up next week!
Tiana Feng- A-Train Improvisaion
I know I told you about Sunny before, but I thought I’d mention her again because she continues to update her piano solos to keep up with the top of the billboard charts! She’s one talented pianist with the ear to create the most beautiful pieces out of pop music from Lady Gaga to Ke$sha to Usher. You have to check out her Youtube Page and just watch everything!!
Here’s a few of my favourites!:
Lady Gaga Telephone
by Tiana Feng
Sorry for the lack of updates recently, been working on school finals and things! The best productivity music I found was modern instrumental music, not your regular Beethoven symphonies that stuff would put me in a lazy mood, but more interesting things like movie soundtracks and rock music done on strings.
I first heard of Dr. Draw when I saw him during Toronto’s all night art festival Nuite Blanche. He is an electric violinist who plays in a band with an electric cellist, electric harp, electric piano, rock guitar and drummer. Their energy on stage was amazing, and took classical music to a whole new level. I managed to pick up their CD “The City”. I have to say though, listening to a recording is nothing like actually seeing it live, but its still really good. My favourite track off their album and when they played live was Alexandria.
Since “The City” they have released 3 other albums. Check out more about them on their Myspace.
Exams are getting closer and closer, and I have work so much work piled up and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way this time around. The only reason I have survived all this stress so far is with some relaxing tunes. Here are some of my favourites.
1.BT- Every Other Way
More great relaxation songs can be found at Bedtime Tunes where they update it with a new track nightly!!
As you are aware, I attend school at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. It is exciting and yet intimidating to be around talented people on a regular basis. Sunny Choi was actually not at the faculty for music, but I met her in choir and she has a huge array of talent.
Sunny is perfect pitch which allows her to hear something and instantly play it on the piano without having to write it down. She is a brilliant performer doing many upscale weddings and corporate events around the province. She is frequently performing at the Fallsview Casino.
Her Youtube Page features lots of piano renditions of today’s Top 100 songs.
Listen to this beautiful rendition of Halo by Beyonce.
Probably the most interesting is this version of KeSha’s Tik Tok: