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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Mercury

Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly: NPR Music Field Recordings

 

In a Manhattan studio, some of the musicians behind Planetarium play the album's beautiful closing track.

By Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

Early on a spring morning in Manhattan, Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and Nadia Sirota gathered at Reservoir Studios in Manhattan to play a song first performed five years ago and an ocean away.

"Mercury" is the closing track off Planetarium, a song cycle about the planets by Stevens, Dessner, Muhly and James McAlister. The work was originally composed on commission for the Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, and first performed there in 2012. Five turns around the sun later, Planetarium will arrive in recorded form on June 9 via 4AD.

"Mercury" is one of the most intimate songs on the record, a quality that's emphasized by its spot just after the 15-minute, ambient, electronic epic, "Earth." Where the record's other songs foreground synthesizers and spastic electric drum samples reminiscent of 2010's The Age of Adz, "Mercury" largely rests on Muhly's gentle piano work and Stevens' beautiful vocal. Where once, in the original live performances, the song swelled to a cinematic rush on the order of Illinois, it's now spare and elegant. Its warm intimacy is all the more apparent in the group's live performance, which features Dessner of The National lightly doubling on guitar Stevens' wordless refrain at the song's close.

Like many of the pieces on the record, its lyrics are a constellation of the cosmic, the personal and the mythological. The song, named for the messenger god, is a perfect musical setting for the feeling of having something dear carried away from you. "All that I've known to be of life / and I am gentle," Stevens sings. "You ran off with it all."

"Life is so abundant here, and yet we're so obsessed with the exterior of here," Stevens told All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen in a companion interview. "That's what's so interesting, there's a sort of beautiful, perfect order to life on earth that's so mysterious and so profound. And yet, as people, we really fuck it up. We're so dysfunctional. And we seek guidance from the exterior world — from the heavens — to help us understand our purpose here, and to sort of create a sense of order."

Credits:

Producers: Bob Boilen, Ben Naddaff-Hafrey; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Editor: Nickolai Hammar; Violist: Nadia Sirota; Audio Engineering: Daniel Availa, Fritz Myers, Josh Rogosin, James Yost; Videographers: Annabel Edwards, Mito Habe-Evans, Nickolai Hammar; Series Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins; Special Thanks: St. Rose Music, Mark and Rachel Dibner of the Argus Fund.

 

The trio talk about the grand mysteries of the universe that helped inspire their celestial collaboration, Planetarium.

By Bob Boilen

There's a stunning project by a handful of music's current big-thinkers: composer Nico Muhly, songwriter and singer Sufjan Stevens and guitarist-composer Bryce Dessner of The National. The trio, along with percussionist James McAlister, have created Planetarium, an existential song cycle that confronts both the heavens and the human condition in a marriage of hypnotic sound and song.

The NPR Music team met Muhly, Dessner and Stevens at Reservoir Studios in Manhattan to capture a video of the trio performing the song "Mercury" with violist Nadia Sirota, which you can watch here.

We also got a chance to to talk with them about the work's complex creation. There's have a brief video interview here and a more extensive conversation in the All Songs Considered podcast.

Credits:

Producers: Bob Boilen, Ben Naddaff-Hafrey; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Editor: Nickolai Hammar; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Annabel Edwards, Mito Habe-Evans, Nickolai Hammar; Special Thanks: St. Rose Music, Mark and Rachel Dibner of the Argus Fund; Series Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins

pain changes

pain changes from David Lang's 'death speaks' from Red Poppy Music on Vimeo.

pain changes // from the album 'death speaks'

Shara Worden - vocals // Bryce Dessner - guitar // Nico Muhly - piano // Owen Pallett - violin

Sound recording and engineering - Adam Armstrong // Sound editing, mixing and mastering - Nick Lloyd

Recording produced by Bryce Dessner

Cinematographer - Meg Kettell // VFX Supervisors - Jake Braver, David Isyomin // Hair and Makeup - Kaarin Lanyi // Key Grip - John Hay // Editor - Mary Angelica Molina // Color - Nat Jencks // Producer - Drew Houpt // Director - David Lang

 

death speaks – words and music by david lang 
 
1. you will return 
   
you will return to dust 
you will turn 
return to dust 
   
turn to the sun 
like me, turn to the sun 
turn to the light 
turn to the light 
 
if thereʼs an eye still open 
grieving 
sweet sleep 
close it for me 
 
turn your heart, your poor heart 
it will only find rest 
when it has stopped beating 
 
turn to peace 
turn to peace 
this is the only road that leads you home  
 
enter 
 
I am your pale companion 
I mirror your pain 
I was your shadow 
all those long nights, all those days long past 
 
listen to me 
this message is for you 
where I am now, all sorrow is gone 
where I am now, all lovers are together 
where I am now 
in my arms only will you find rest 
gentle rest 
 

2. I hear you 
 
I hear you 
I hear you call 
I pity you 
I am your friend 
I am not cruel 
give me your hand 
you will sleep so softly in my arms 
 
when love breaks free from sorrow 
a new star shines 
a new star shines 
 
three roses, half red, half white 
they will never wither 
 
the angels  
they shed their wings  
and fall 
  
rest well 
rest well 
close your eyes 
you will rest with me 
until the river drains into the sea 
 
Iʼll make a bed for you 
the softest pillow 
come, rest 
everyone will sing for you 
for you 
 
I will protect you 
from the hunter, from the forest 
from the flowers, from your dreams 
from the wicked girl, from her shadow 
I will keep your eyes covered 
I will protect you 
 
good night, good night 


3. mist is rising   
 
mist is rising 
moon is full and rising 
sky above us 
it is so full 
 
I greet you, sister soul 
rise up, like an eagle  
rise up, to where the light is 
rise up, to where the light is from 
 
I am your rest, I am your peace 
I am what you long for, and 
what makes the longing go away 
I am full of joy for you, and 
I am full of grief  
come in and close the door behind you 
I will drive your sadnesses away  
my eyes fill with your light 
fill them 
fill them  
 
sweetest child 
come with me 
I will play with you  
I will show you 
the flowers and the shore 
my motherʼs golden robe 
my daughters and their evening dance 
they know a song to sing while you are sleeping 
I love you 
I love all of you  
I love your face 
I love your form 
please donʼt make me make you follow me 
 
come and see 
 
tears of love become strands of pearls  
when the angel comes 
 
 
4. pain changes 
 
pain changes every shape 
 
once you are truly lonely 
you will never be alone 
 
feel my hand 
I feel you  
touch my cold hand 
I will take you  
from her 
to your new cold land 
 
I have chosen you  
my only love 
those others 
they search for you 
but 
where they search  
they will never find you 
 
after the leaves fall, spring returns 
after love is parted, it returns 
all you have to do is  
come with me 
and wait 
one day she will be lowered in the earth  
beside you 
my hand will guide her home 
to the place where love is 
and no pain 
 
when that door opens  
you will be healed 
 
dearest man, dearest woman 
dearest boy, dearest girl 
dearest mother, dearest father 
dearest son, dearest daughter 
you will never leave me 
 
you listen 
you are silent 
you feel me leaning towards you 
 
nothing escapes me 
not the warrior 
not the hunter 
 
everything awaits the way it changes  
when life falls away 
that is the meaning of the swan and its song 
 
the night canʼt last forever 
nor will this sleep 
beyond this sleep is light 
forever light 
until that light can shine 
until you see it shining 
sleep sweetly here 
in the cool, dark night 
 

5. I am walking 
 
I am walking in the sunlight 
I see the moon, at my feet 
I see the sun, at my feet 
I walk in joy 
I am kissed by angels 
 
your heart 
child of man 
your heart canʼt know  
what joy I feel 
 
sister soul, come to rest 
 
pure notes of love  
echo around you 
a lily, a rose  
they wait for you 
while you sleep 
 
only you can hear me 
only you can see me 
only you can hear the music 
it never stops 

 

© 2013, Red Poppy, LTD.

Clogs - Last Song (feat. Matt Berninger)

The classical, indie, post-rock haze that Clogs has become known for has materialized once again on the Last Song EP.

The first proper "single" from their most recent LP, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, "Last Song," appears on the EP, featuring the evocative muttered baritone of Matt Berninger of The National. Clogs co-founder Padma Newsome sings lead on the second track, "No Bridge." The final instrumental piece "Loev Song" is performed by the group.

Released at the same time as the EP is a video for "Last Song" by Benjamin and Stefan Ramirez Perez, twin brothers studying film and animation at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany, and the Vancouver School's Digital Design program, respectively.

eighth blackbird: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

May 2, 2016 by TOM HUIZENGA • The Chicago new-music ensemble eighth blackbird is on a roll. Just after winning its fourth Grammy in February, the group received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions; the prize came with a $400,000 grant. Hand Eye — eighth blackbird's second album in seven months — just came out, and this season the group marks its 20th anniversary. The celebration includes an extensive tour, with world premieres of music by Bryce Dessner and David T. Little, as well as a gig as a "living installation" at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, where eighth blackbird has commandeered the third-floor galleries as a space to rehearse and perform.

It's an understatement to note that there's far less space behind Bob Boilen's desk. But after a few discussions about placement, the sextet squeezed in while making sure everyone could see each other — one of the keys to navigating rhythmically challenging pieces by David Lang, Bryce Dessner and Robert Honstein.

Right out of the gate, we meet the group's newest member, flutist Nathalie Joachim, who opens the first of two short pieces, "Wave The Sea," with a scurrying theme of nervous energy. The music is by Bryce Dessner, perhaps best known for his work in The National but increasingly in demand as a classical composer. It's Dessner's take on the folk tradition of grisly story-songs collected in his larger suite, Murder Ballades.

"Pulse," from Robert Honstein's three-movement Conduit, seems to hover in midair. Throbbing notes from Matthew Duvall's vibraphone, Yvonne Lam's violin, Lisa Kaplan's piano and Michael J. Maccaferri's clarinet fold in one by one, as if in a round. Joachim's flute floats above while Nicholas Photinos' cello secures the bottom end, fleshing out a mesmerizing wash of sound.

David Lang's "learn to fly," also from a larger work, pumps up the energy with a motorik beat, fueled by Kaplan's syncopation. The interlocking parts race on until Lam finally breaks out of the pattern, soaring in a sweepingly romantic solo.

For those who persist in predicting the death of classical music, eighth blackbird once again demonstrates that it remains vibrantly alive.

The group's new album, Hand Eye, is available now:
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/han...
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hand-Eye-Eighth...

Set List:
Bryce Dessner: "Wave The Sea," "Brushy Fork"
Robert Honstein: "Pulse"
David Lang: "learn to fly"

Credits:
Producers: Tom Huizenga, Niki Walker; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Kara Frame, Colin Marshall; Production Assistant: Jackson Sinnenberg; Photo: Brandon Chew/NPR.

For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast: http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510292/ti...

Antony e Bryce

Descobri recentemente uma colaboração entre Antony Hegarty e Bryce Dressner. Chama-se "I Was Young When I Left Home" e está numa compilação da série Red Hot, de nome "Dark Was The Night". A compilação inclui nomes como David Byrne, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, José Gonzalez, Bon Iver, The National, Andrew Bird, Conor Oberst, Beach House... bom, ficava aqui o resto do dia.

Comprei no iTunes, mas só depois me apercebi que o Bryce em causa era dos The National, uma das minhas bandas favoritas, e logo de seguida apareceu-me este artigo à frente.

O senhor tem um mestrado em guitarra clássica, tem uma outra banda de nome "Clogs", vai tocar com a Brooklyn Philarmonic, está a participar na escrita do próximo álbum dos The National (Yay!) e está a aprender uma nova peça de Steve Reich.

Diz ele: "I'm 32 years old, and I feel happy to be busy. I'm also still really learning a lot. Everyday, I'll do some composition and then probably have a band rehearsal or write some songs, and then maybe there'll be something I have to learn that's harder music that I have to practice."

Go Bryce!