Archive: June 2009

VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE releases new album in July

VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE is set to release a new album titled SA-KA-NA ELECTRIC DEVICE on July 29, reports Bounce.com. Band leader Ahito Inazawa wrote all lyrics and music for the 10-track album, which is the first-full length release by the band since 2006’s ANDROID ~like a house mannequin~. VOLA is also working on a split single with Italian band Hey Hey Radio titled WEEKEND LOVERS and will appear at a number music festivals this summer.

Morton Feldman: The Viola in My Life / False Relationships and the Extended Ending / Why Patterns?

This entry is less a review and more of a reminiscence.

The first time I listened to this collection of Morton Feldman’s work was in 1992. I was on a student exchange program to New York City and having a rough time with homesickness. I was also nowhere near coming out of the closet, and on the night this album was playing on my boombox, a fellow exchange program participant approached me and said maybe I should come out of the closet.

That talk was the first time another person voiced what I had been thinking, but before we entered that discussion, he remarked the music sounded like some horror movie soundtrack.

The album, titled American Masters: The Music of Morton Feldman, was on loan from CRI, where I worked as an intern that year. I brought it back and considered buying a copy for myself, but I never got around to it.

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Music for writing

So my latest excuse for not updating this site: I finished writing a novel.

I showed some friends this unfinished manuscript I’ve had sitting around since 2004, and they wanted to know how the story ended. So in between all the stuff I’ve been doing for Eponymous 4, I decided to chip away at it. I got the first draft done over the weekend. Now comes the arduous task of editing and rewriting.

I wrote the novel mostly without any music playing, but in that last stretch, I put on a whole bunch of Eastern European and Central Asian composers on the media player, primarily string quartets.

My Last.fm history should show multiple plays of Alfred Schnittke, Henryk Górecki, Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich, Osvaldo Golijov and a few instances of Sofia Gubaidulina. (A smattering of Arvo Pärt and Witold Lutoslawski is in there too.) I don’t think I reached a point where I had to bust out any Giya Kancheli.

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eMusic + Sony = classical boon?

Digital Audio Insider has a lot of great links — and some thorough analysis — of the recently-announced pricing changes happening over at eMusic.

When I discovered my own subscription plan would be shaved from 65 to 37 tracks a month, my initial reaction was, "Where’s the cancel button?" Of all the major labels with which eMusic could team up, Sony is relatively milquetoast. I would have been far more impressed if they snagged Warner Music Group, or even EMI. But when I think of indie music — even major label-subsidized indie music — Sony is not within the solution set.

But I use eMusic mostly for classical music. And the merger of Sony and BMG back in 2004 meant the consolidation of two of the deepest classical music catalogs. The Sony partnership will reportedly add about 200,000 tracks to the eMusic catalog. It can’t all be Kenny Chesney and Alicia Keys.

So for the time being, I’ll be sticking around eMusic to see how the classical offerings turn out. If I’m not impressed, I’m out of there. Hopefully, Lala will still be around.