The soul yearns for peace in a time of crisis…
A chance encounter between minimalist composer Philip Glass and beat poet Allen Ginsberg results in the collaboration, Hydrogen Jukebox.
Hydrogen Jukebox is a chamber opera, taken from a phrase coined by Ginsberg, from his poem Howl.
‘…listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox…’
Of the project, Glass said:
“In 1988…I happened to run into Allen Ginsberg at St. Mark’s Bookshop in New York and asked him if he would perform with me. We were in the poetry section, and he grabbed his book from the shelf and pointed out Wichita Vortex Sutra. The poem, written in 1966, reflected the anti-war mood of the times, seemed highly appropriate for the occasion. As a result I composed a piano piece to accompany Allen’s reading, which took place at the Schubert Theater on Broadway.
The reading went so well they decided to collaborate by creating a full-length work. A small orchestra and six voices with text compiled from Ginsberg’s catalog of poetry.
According to Ginsberg, “Hydrogen Jukebox signifies a state of hypertrophic high-tech, a psychological state in which people are at the limit of their sensory input with civilization’s military jukebox, a loud industrial roar, or a music that begins to shake the bones and penetrate the nervous system as a hydrogen bomb may do someday, reminder of apocalypse.”
The crisis state of Syria and the pending talks with North Korea that fills our airwaves compels the music of our heart to find solace and meaning from this past work. My personal mission today is to listen to and comprehend Hydrogen Jukebox.
May the past genius of Ginsberg and Glass bring the soul peace.
Brian Eno announced he is releasing a CD box set, “Music for Installations,” on May 4, 2018. It features works he has composed since 1986 for mixed-media installations in galleries, airports, hospitals and other public spaces.
The set will be available as a six-CD box and on vinyl, with super deluxe editions of both versions containing a 64-page book that features rare exhibition images and a new essay by Eno.
One piece, “Kazakhstan,” for example, was written to accompany the artist Asif Khan’s 360-degree movie, “We Are Energy,” in the British Pavilion at the World Expo in Kazakhstan.
“Music For Installations is a collection of new, rare and previously unreleased music, all of which was recorded by Brian Eno for use in his installations,” reads the press release for the set. “He has emerged as the leading exponent of ‘generative’ music worldwide and is recognized as one of the foremost audio-visual installation artists of his time. Eno’s visual experiments with light and video have proved to be the fertile ground from which so much of his other work has grown and they cover an even longer span of time than his recordings, paralleling his musical output in recent decades.”
Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s Landfall will be released on Nonesuch Records on February 16, 2018. The piece, which was inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars.
The Washington Post calls it “riveting, gorgeous.” Pre-order to download a track now and get a limited-edition print autographed by Laurie Anderson.
Marking a significant moment for the multimedia artist and forefather of alternative rock, Michael Stipe will release a never-before-seen installation at Moogfest 2017. The installation will be a compilation of video footage he has shot over the years in New York City that explores desire and movement. Using Moog gear, Stipe will score the piece, marking his first solo composition ever. The installation will run continuously throughout the festival.
Stipe became involved thanks to festival’s exec producer Kai Riedl, a former member of experi-post-rock band Macha. It’s thanks to the Athens, Georgia connection, that Riedl and Stipe have been friends for 20-odd years.
“Over the last decade, Michael has expanded his futurist leaning and artistic output through various projects, many of these with imagery and film he’s shot himself,” says Riedl of Stipe’s involvement. “During this time, largely as a member of R.E.M., he has also worked often with Moog synths. This installation presents a unique opportunity to wed these two worlds in a multimedia experience and to expand on his explorations as a solo artist. Stipe has always had a futurist yet Southern leaning style and has had a rich history of creating in the South, so having Moogfest in the region of his hometown of Athens made it all the more appealing. In addition, Stipe has always been a voice for equality, new creative possibilities and futurist ideals—many of the same pillars of Moogfest.”
Here is a NY Times interview from last year that serves as a prediction to Michael Stipe’s return to live performance. He has joined his good friend, Patti Smith at several of her concerts including her birthday celebration on 12/30/16 at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago.
Piano Portraits is the 100th solo album from Rick Wakeman.
Painting pictures is how Rick describes his playing style and how he visualizes music, and this album paints a very vivid, lush landscape for the listener to explore.
Pre-orders are available from Rick Wakeman’s Pledge Music page.
Full Track List:
2. Stairway to Heaven
3. Life on Mars
4. I’m Not In Love
5. Wondrous Stories
7. Amazing Grace
8. Swan Lake
9. Morning Has Broken
11. Space Oddity
12. Dance of the Damselflies
13. Clair de Lune
14. I Vow To Thee My Country
15. Eleanor Rigby
CD Release Date: 13/01/2017
Vinyl LP Release Date: 03/02/2017
The music of Philip Glass, music from Einstein on the Beach and Koyaanisqatsi arranged for piano solo and performed by Anton Batagov, Orange Mountain Music.
Stunning and provocative.