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on life, music etc beyond mainstream

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„In the decades following the death of her husband, John, the jazz musician Alice Coltrane deeply immersed herself in eastern philosophy. She changed her name to Turiyasangitananda, became a spiritual leader in the Vedic religion, and founded an ashram on 48 acres of land in southern California, attracting dozens of followers. These tracks are drawn from four rare, cassette-only releases that were distributed to devotees between 1983 and 1995. There is none of Coltrane’s trademark cosmic jazz: instead she uses clattering percussion, choral voices and the textures of the Oberheim OB8 synthesiser to build up the necessary sense of rapture. Om Shanti sounds like a Baptist gospel service sung in Sanskrit; Er Ra sees Coltrane praying in a soft, soulful, androgynous contralto over a cascading harp orchestration; the version of Journey to Satchidananda suggests something akin to a funereal dirge orchestrated by Gary Numan. Even those untouched by spiritual connotations of this music should be able to embrace its truly numinous energy.“

(John Lewis, The Guardian)

2017 2 Mai

Before The Fall

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“ (…) Noah Hawley really knows how to keep a reader turning the pages, but there’s more to the novel than suspense. On one hand, “Before the Fall” is a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel. On the other, it is an exploration of the human condition, a meditation on the vagaries of human nature, the dark side of celebrity, the nature of art, the power of hope and the danger of an unchecked media. The combination is a potent, gritty thriller that exposes the high cost of news as entertainment and the randomness of fate.“

(Kristin Hannah, The New York Times)

2017 2 Mai

The Edgar Awards 2017

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April 27, 2017 New York, NY – Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce the Winners of the 2017 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2016. The Edgar® Awards were presented to the winners at our 71st Gala Banquet, April 27, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

 

BEST NOVEL – Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing) – in deutscher Übersetzung

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR – Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry (Penguin Random House – Penguin Books)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books) – in deutscher Übersetzung

BEST FACT CRIME – The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale (Penguin Random House – Penguin Press)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL – Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (W.W. Norton – Liveright)

BEST SHORT STORY – „Autumn at the Automat” – In Sunlight or in Shadow by Lawrence Block (Pegasus Books)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY – “A Blade of Grass” – Penny Dreadful, Teleplay by John Logan (Showtime)

 

GRAND MASTER
Max Allan Collins
Ellen Hart

 

 

Hello Micha!

So exciting to have my music played at the Deutschlandfunk! The playlist for the evening looks really fantastic – very happy to be a part of it :)

The title „Tauchgang“ from my Hubro-album „Metrics“ is a direct translation of the Norwegian word „dykk“. I asked my (German) wife Eva what it would be in German, and thought it sounded even better and more fitting in your language. I also speak German (but I’m not so good at writing it – hence the english in my email), and could thereby understand it quite well.

The reason for the title, is that after putting together the many, many layers making up the piece I took a step back and tried to hear it without analysing it, to be able to give it a proper title. I could very clearly visualise the music, which doesn’t happen that often. To me, the long, almost hesitating waiting and tension in the introduction, resulting in a big crescendo and ultimately a near orgasmic release (I couldn’t find a more fitting word) very much resembles standing on the edge of a cliff and diving into the water. Going deeper and deeper and finally when you open your eyes you’re in a submarine landscape where sounds behave differently, your body moves more slowly, and your sight is a bit obscured.

The deeper you go the more mysterious creatures you find.

For the interested:

The process behind it was quite complex and it’s maybe the track that involves the most unconventional audio processing. Especially the drum machine track was a new experience for me – except for the pulsating deep bass, the rest of the percussive elements move around in a very unorganised way, through different shifting reverbs, speeds and volumes, and creates a truly uncontrollable energetic force – almost like an unhinged free-jazz drummer taking a solo. It creates a contrast to the rest of the elements, and to me the unpredictability, and constant shift of reverb/rooms makes for an exciting listen.

Hope this was what you where thinking about?

All the best, und viele Grüße aus Bergen,

Stephan Meidell

 

„Anything that makes you comfortable is dangerous. And routine has always been my Prozac. Writers like me, we lean hard on that Flaubert chestnut. “Be regular and orderly in your life so you may be violent and original in your work.” But if you’re too orderly, too safe, how can you ever do something harder, deeper, stranger? Because there’s the other Flaubert quote, the one that our friend Sterling Watson taught me: “Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.” I want to melt the stars and that goes beyond discipline. Sometimes, I feel like Veda in Mildred Pierce, when she goes to audition for a new piano teacher. He closes the lid on the keys, almost on her fingers, and tells her there’s nothing in her fingers, but there may be something in her head. I hope there’s something in my head to make up for what I don’t have in my fingers.“ (Laura Lippman)

2017 21 Mrz

The Saxophones

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2017 21 Mrz

Open Road Ahead

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Ray Davies has a knighthood in his pocket. But „Americana“ shows a man still writing to find out his place in the world. He’s seen it all, he’s seen through it all, but there’s still open road ahead. And there’s no better adventure than that.

(The last sentences of Victoria Segal’s „album of the month“-review in the May edition of „Mojo“)

 

Previously known as the 21st Birthday Album, this is a gorgeous and goofy compilation of 45 fun and experimental electronic tone poems made for radio and TV from 1958 to 1979, some from the days when the music department only allowed the Workshop to exist by pretending electronic music wasn’t music (just as Forbidden Planet was scored with „electronic tonalities“). So since no one was being taken seriously, the composers could even be women, of whom Delia Derbyshire has recently gained acclaim (in electronic-music geek circles; if you’re not in one, it’s not too late to join!). The longest track, ‚A Whisper from Space‘, is 2:11; so if something doesn’t grab you, wait a minute. If only all records could be this varied and entertaining. Derbyshire’s immortal Dr. Who theme isn’t even necessarily the best track.

(Stephin Merritt, The Magnetic Fields, more of his current musical obsessions in TheQuietus)

2017 16 Mrz

Jeb Loy

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“Sun Ra was, for me, one of the three or four most important musicians in the 20th century. With Hank Williams, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield he has made me what I am. Both as a visual artist and a musician. I once saw him in New York when he played a weeks residency at The Squat Theatre on 23rd Street. I went five times and each time was a revelation. One of the best weeks of my life.”

(Jeb Loy Nichols)

 

– „Country Hustle“ is such a fuckin‘ great record. Slow Motion killer groovers, hush-hush vocals, irresistible vibes, melodies to sink in (again and again), deep bass rolling, turn the lights down blue – and dance!“

– Michael, isn’t this a little bit too enthusiastic?

– No, not all. You know what tells you quite often that you have a damned great record in your hands? You just can’t decide what your favourite song is! 

 

2017 15 Mrz

The aspect of nature

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Michael,

thanks for the question.

The Necks, when performing live, never discuss beforehand what will happen. Our music, in the live performance, is never prescribed – verbally or otherwise; it “discovers” itself while being made by us and we, in turn, respond. To set out to try and fulfil a stated “aim” would result in music very different to “Necks’” music.

This is relevant because Unfold resembles, possibly more than any of our other “studio” albums, a live approach. That’s not to say that certain “traits” don’t come to the fore (certain methods that appear frequently in other Necks’ pieces), but these “traits” reside in a deep, non-verbal layer of the group’s methodology. I certainly don’t deny that landscape and nature play an important part in what it is we are trying to express, but exactly how this happens is largely a mystery.

I don’t set out to mimic or sonically construct particular settings in nature. Having said that, I believe there is a strong connection between the seemingly repetitive and gradually modulating nature of much of Australia’s landscape and the music we make. I also see that there is a connection between myself (and other members of the group) having grown up on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the aesthetic choices I (we) make.

Chris (The Necks)


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