Gagosian (December 19, 2022) – As part of Sessions, a spin-off of Gagosian Premieres, composer and saxophonist John Zorn and bass guitarist and producer Bill Laswell perform an improvised work in Sterling Ruby’s exhibition “TURBINES,” at Gagosian, 522 West 21st Street, New York. Zorn is celebrated for his experimental approaches to composition and improvisation in forms ranging from classical, jazz, and ambient music to rock, metal, and hardcore. Here he plays saxophone while Laswell, a prolific and diverse musical collaborator known for his involvement with the band Material among many other projects, plays electric bass. The duo responds to Ruby’s new abstract paintings, which create a sense of flurried motion through the energetic convergence of materials.
Ivor Novello Award winning and Emmy nominated composer, Ben Salisbury, is best known as one of the countries leading film and TV composers, with recent credits including the feature films ‘Ex Machina’, ‘Free Fire’ (both co-composed with Geoff Barrow) and ‘Beyonce: Life is But a Dream’. He is also a member of the bands ‘Drokk’ (with Geoff Barrow) and ‘Dolman’ (with Scott Hendy).
Ben is particularly well known in the field of Natural History, where he has scored over 50 films – including the last 3 of David Attenborough’s ‘Life Of…’ series. He has also formed a critically acclaimed writing partnership with Porstishead’s Geoff Barrow. The pair have so far released the album DROKK: Music Inspired By Mega City One, described by The Quietus as ‘jaw dropping.. one of the heaviest and most intensely atmospheric records of the year’. The soundtrack album to Ex Machina has been described by Louder Than War as ‘sensational’, and there are further plans to continue a collaboration which, according to screenwriter/director/producer Alex Garland ‘sets an incredibly high bar of creative skill and integrity’. Other recent co-written credits from Ben and Geoff include Ben Wheatly’s Free Fire (executively produced by Martin Scorsese) and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Men Against Fire.
Biking along country side roads, listening to songs every Swede know by heart: Sol, vind och vatten, Visa vid vindens ängar, Sjösalavals, En kväll i juni. It’s about 8 o’clock in the evening, the sun won’t set for another couple of hours. Summer is lovely on evnings like these. The music is next to cliché but so much a part of Swedish summer they where the obvious choice.
The author of more than three thousand folk songs, Woody Guthrie (1912–1967) is one of the most influential songwriters and recording artists in American history. He is an icon of the Depression era and wrote the world’s most famous protest song, “This Land Is Your Land.”
But he was not only a songwriter, and his subject matter extended well beyond labor politics. The full corpus of his creativity—including lyrics, poetry, artwork, and largely unpublished prose writings—encompassed topics such as the environment, love, sex, spirituality, family, and racial justice. Guthrie created a personal philosophy that has impacted generations of Americans and inspired musician-activists from Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen to Ani DiFranco and Chuck D. As Bob Dylan noted of Guthrie, “You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live.”
“Mozart really belonged to the 19th century”, says Icelandic star-pianist Víkingur Ólafsson about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart “He belonged to a new area, where the artist was a free thinker. Image, if he had lived a little longer and would have had a dialogue with Ludwig van Beethoven.”
Ólafsson has no doubt that Mozart was a so-called Wunderkind. “He did have a divine gift.” But to Ólafsson another aspect of Mozart’s music is even more fascinating. According to Ólafsson Mozart wrote his best works after the age of 25, when his life was in deep crisis and the Vienna aristocracy had turned its back on him.
“The greater the music became, the less popularity he had.” To Ólafsson Mozart’s legacy must be seen in the light of the tragedy. Víkingur Ólafsson grew up in Reykjavík and started playing the piano at an early age under the tutelage of his mother, a piano teacher. He studied at the Juilliard School in New York, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees under the supervision of Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald. He also took lessons with Ann Schein.
In 2011, Ólafsson was the soloist in the opening concert of Harpa in Reykjavik, playing Edvard Grieg’s piano concerto with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Since he has developed into one of the most recognized and award-winning artists within classical and contemporary music.
In 2016, Víkingur signed an exclusive recording contract with the renowned label Deutsche Grammophon releasing four albums featuring the music of Philip Glass, Johann Sebastian Bach, Debussy & Rameau as well as Mozart & Contemporaries. Ólafsson has collaborated with many contemporary artists among them John Adams, Philipp Glass, Daniel Bjarnason and Icelandic singer Bjørk. He has also recorded the soundtrack of Darkest Hour, a film directed by Joe Wright, and released Bach Reworks, featuring six ‘remixed’ works by Johann Sebastian Bach from the likes of Ben Frost, Peter Gregson, Valgeir Sigurdsson as well as Ólafsson himself.
Víkingur Ólafsson was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in November 2021. Camera: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan Edited by: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021 Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling
An important moment in the relationship between pop music and writing occurred in 2017 when the Nobel prize in literature was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro. The previous year, it had gone to Bob Dylan.
In Long Players, a collection of short pieces by poets, novelists and journalists about the albums that have most affected them, a recurrent suggestion is that you can learn more about writing from songs than you can from books, especially when you’re young. “In my view, David Bowie was a great writer”, says Deborah Levy about The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972).
Pioneering rock ’n’ roll musician Don Everly of The Everly Brothers has died at 84. The legendary duo is credited for influencing a spectrum of musical acts like the Beatles to Simon & Garfunkel and more recently Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones.
The organization NYCNext, dedicated to building New York City into a more equitable place for all, is honoring the city with a special performance of Billy Joel’s classic, “New York State of Mind.” The video features performances and cameos by Zeshan B, Sara Bareilles, Victoria Clark, Cautious Clay, Andy Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Chloe Flower, Alexa Ray Joel, Joseph Joubert, Tom Kitt, The Klezmatics, LaChanze, Anaïs Reno, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brian Newman, Kelli O’Hara, Joan Osbourne, Peppermint, Angie Potani, Mark Rivera, David Rosenthal, Bobby Sanabria and Suzanne Vega.
Outside of Denver is one of America’s most iconic music venues: a naturally-formed amphitheatre, millions of years in the making, that is today a stunning setting for concerts and yoga sessions. Correspondent Luke Burbank visits Red Rocks, and talks with members of the band The String Cheese Incident about the intensity and acoustics of a Red Rocks set.