Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu: dancing in the face of the virus

"There is a long tradition of folk music reacting quickly to events and commentating on them for those who don't pay much attention to the mainstream media and the flu-inspired songs are delivered in the accordion-based cumbia style which is popular across the Americas."

For the full story and additional videos please see, Telegraph.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"Steve Reich's "Drumming" is widely considered a masterpiece of minimalism by both critics and fans. Minimalism flourished in symphonic music in the 1960s and '70s. Composers like Reich broke music down to its most elemental forms — a single chord, even a single tone or a simple pulse — and then weaved those elements back together to create a new musical structure, often using the same motif over and over again. Performance Today's Mark Mobley spoke to Reich and prepared this report."

For the full story, please see NPR.

Monday, April 27, 2009

In a digital age, vinyl albums are making a comeback

"Neil Schield knows the grim state of the music business as well as anyone; last May, he was laid off from a company at the vanguard of digital music distribution. But this month, Schield began an unlikely second act: He opened a brick-and-mortar record store in Echo Park, with racks of tasteful inventory carrying price tags as high as $100 -- all presumed liabilities in an age when "digital" and "free" seem to rule the day."

For the full story, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Photo by Tony Case.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Twitter opera plot contest is back...

"The unfeasibly popular Twitter #operaplot contest is back, courtesy of the blogger and Tweeter the Omniscient Mussel (follow her as missmussel). Billed as "the most fun opera nerds can have in 140 characters" the game involves creating a witty, brilliant, and accurate precis of an opera plot (my favourite from the first iteration of the competition was a rendering of the entire Ring cycle as in the form of a set of tennis tournament scores)."

For the full article, please see the Guardian.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Steve Reich: Minimalism In The Mainstream

"Composer Steve Reich won the Pulitzer Prize for music Monday, taking the award for his 'Double Sextet.' In honor of Reich's career, here's a look at another of his most celebrated works."

For the full article, please see NPR

Friday, April 17, 2009

Contemporary World Music Online

The Music Library would like to introduce you to its newest online streaming audio database Contemporary World Music Online. Contemporary World Music Online covers a variety of genres not limited to reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, and gagaku. The database currently contains 14,235 track and continues to grow. Contemporary World Music Online can be located under the Streaming Audio and Video section of the Music Library's homepage. We hope you will enjoy listening to this wonderful addition to our collection!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

YouTube's Un-Harmonic Convergence

"The conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is rehearsing an orchestra. He tells the oboes to play out. He asks the strings to emphasize the third and fourth beats of each measure, which are getting muddy. He makes a joke. Everybody laughs, even though not everyone speaks English. This is not uncommon in an orchestra. Music, after all, is a universal language -- particularly classical music, since you can play it without needing words."

For the full story, please see the Washington Post.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Add Your CD to the Libraries' Collection!

Does your local musical group have its own CD? Consider donating it to the Libraries’ Puget Sounds Collection! The Puget Sounds collection is located in the Libraries’ Media Center and contains music from groups located from Olympia to the San Juan Islands. Genres include everything from art rock to hip hop, folk revival to free jazz, classical to new age, freak folk to shockabilly, and Latin American folk to Balkan folk. To donate materials to this collection, please contact John Vallier at the Media Center. To listen to music in the Puget Sounds Collection, please see the library catalog.

Photo by B Mullins.

Monday, April 13, 2009

YouTube Orchestra Ready to Tune Up

"The YouTube Symphony Orchestra has settled on the program for its concert at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday evening, most of it to be conducted by its artistic adviser, Michael Tilson Thomas, right."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Social Media Networks Are Music's Curse and Salvation

"In the golden age of the record album, friends would gather around the hi-fi system to share the latest music, most of them not paying a cent. Today, music fans do pretty much the same thing — online, in social networks."

For the full article, please see Wired.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Orchestras need to program a new business model

"Is this the end for American orchestras? Hardly.
But is it the beginning of the end for the American orchestra in the form we've come to accept? It's starting to look likely."

For the full article, please see the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Love Streaming? Try the New Music Online!

Do you want to save some time and search several streaming audio and video databases at the same time? Try our new database Music Online. Music Online searches American Song, Classical Music Library, Dance in Video and Opera in Video in a single search! A link to Music Online may be found in the "Streaming Audio and Video" drop box on the Music Library's homepage.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pianist Gould foresaw tech role in music

"Forty-five years ago this week, the great Canadian pianist Glenn Gould stepped off the stage of the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and became the prophet of a new technology."

For the full article, please see the Los Angeles Times.

Photo by Duchamp.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The world's 10 most inspiring orchestras

"After Gramophone’s recent and very widely discussed poll to determine “The world’s 20 greatest orchestras”, many readers responded that they would like something to follow that would specifically focus on the inspiring social role that orchestras can play. We agree. At a time when bands are seeing their funding threatened left, right and centre, and one suspects that governments are covetously eyeing their arts budgets, it is not at all a bad idea to remind ourselves of the hugely positive role that music can play in society."

For the full story, please see Gramophone.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New at the Music Library

The list of new books, scores, CDs, and DVDs added to the collection in March has been posted. Highlights include Lee's "Chinese Opera in Singapore", Johnson's "Dark Side of the Tune: Popular Music and Violence", Queen Latifah's "All Hail the Queen", the "William Primrose Collection", "Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz", and much more. To view the full list and past lists, please see About the Music Library.

Also new this month, the Music Library has added changed the location Music Stacks to reflect the floor location of each item. The new location Music Library Upstairs is located in Room 113 and houses items M1 through ML410. Music Library Downstairs is located in Room 15 and houses items ML411 through Z. We hope these new locations will save you time when searching for materials.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Linda Ronstadt hails Gustavo Dudamel in testimony on Capitol Hill

"In a remarkable testimony by Linda Ronstadt to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Tuesday, the pop singer made an impassioned plea for government support of the arts. And Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's soon-to-be music director, was her poster boy."

For the full story, please see LA Times.