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Music from The Hours

Philip Glass - Music from The Hours | Live & Complete | Arranged for piano solo by Michael Riesman and Nico Muhly.


 0:00  The Poet Acts

 3:39  Morning Passages

 8:32  Something She Has to Do

11:00 I'm Going to Make a Cake

14:08 An Unwelcome Friend

17:51 Dead Things

22:23 Why Does Someone Have to Die?

25:58 Tearing Herself Away

30:13 Escape!

33:05 Choosing Life

36:05 The Hours


The Hours is the original soundtrack album, on the Elektra/Nonesuch label, of the 2002 film The Hours, starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. The original score was composed by Philip Glass.


Thomas Bartlett & Nico Muhly's "Festina," from the album Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music, out May 18 on Nonesuch Records.


Director: Tom Kalin
Producer: Tom Kalin & Craig Paull
Director of Photography: Tom Kalin & Chris Teague
Editor: Tom Kalin
Production Company: tsk tsk tsk productions

An Evening With Nico Muhly

From September 2013:

Opera audiences are well acquainted with all manners of intrigue — whether political, romantic or psychological. The exciting American composer Nico Muhly is updating that paradigm to the 21st century with his opera Two Boys.

This work, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, is loosely based on a true story from the 1990s, just at the birth of online culture. It delves into a curious and still very timely tale: a detective's investigation into the stabbing of one teenage boy by another, a crime that unspools within a web of chat room activity. Upon the piece's world premiere at the English National Opera in June 2011, New York Times critic Zachary Woolfe described Two Boys as "Muhly's best work yet." Two Boys arrives for its American premiere at the Met in October.

On May 14, Muhly teamed up with a spectacular group of friends for an intimate evening performance produced by the Met and (Le) Poisson Rouge that anticipates Two Boys' American debut. The performers represented the incredible range of Muhly's musical fluency: tenor and Two Boys star Paul Appleby; soprano Jennifer Zetlan, who starred in Muhly's 2011 chamber opera Dark Sisters and is also slated to sing in Two Boys at the Met; indie folk singer/songwriter Sam Amidon; frequent Muhly collaborator, violist (and Q2 host) Nadia Sirota; and duo violinists Angela and Jennifer Chun. With Muhly's entertaining and illuminating running commentary — and many exciting performances — this was definitely an evening to remember. -- ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS



All music by Nico Muhly unless otherwise noted

Hudson Cycle (Nico Muhly, piano)

Etude 3 (Nadia Sirota, viola; Nico Muhly, piano)

JOHN ADAMS: Am I in Your Light (Jennifer Zetlan, soprano; Nadia Sirota, viola; Nico Muhly, piano)

Two Songs: "Last Words" and "Empty House" (Jennifer Zetlan, soprano and Nico Muhly, piano)

"I'm Scared for My Life" from Two Boys (Jennifer Zetlan, soprano; Nadia Sirota, viola; Nico Muhly, piano)

Etude 1 (Nadia Sirota, viola; Nico Muhly, piano

SAM AMIDON: "Wild Bill Jones," "Short Life," "As I Roved Out," and "Saro" (Sam Amidon, voice, guitar and banjo; Nico Muhly, piano

Honest Music (Angela and Jennifer Chun, violins; Nico Muhly, piano)

"I'm Only Sixteen" from Two Boys (Paul Appleby, tenor; Nadia Sirota, viola; Nico Muhly, piano

Skip Town (Nico Muhly, piano)

PHILIP GLASS: Etude 12 (Nico Muhly, piano)


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."


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.


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 
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  
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 
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.