“Miserere” by Henryk Górecki


In the past, I have written about the terrible tragedy memorialized today. As the years pass, though, I find myself less and less inclined to do so. Not because the day’s events have faded from my memory or because they seem somehow less significant today than they did then, but because my words seems increasingly faded and insignificant in [Read More...]

The Science Behind Repetitive Music


Extreme susceptibility to earworms is a fact of life for me. As it is for most of us, I suspect. Just something we’ve come to accept without why or wherefore. Now, though, I’ve got a bit of a scientific account to help explain their constant presence. And if this little TED tidbit from Dr. Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis [Read More...]

Because Sometimes You Just Want To Be Blown Away


This should do the trick. I’m not a huge solo violin guy, myself. But I make a notable exception for Bach. Especially Perlman-performed Bach. And I picked this particular version because I love watching him perform. The sound quality might not be ideal, but the sheer joy on his face as he plays more than [Read More...]

“Classical Music-Minded Pieces” from The New Yorker


Via NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog, a veritable treasure trove of “delicious classical music-minded” long-form writing from The New Yorker: Last month, The New Yorker announced that it was teasing a new “freemium” version of its website (which launches this fall) with an alluring proposition. All of its most recent pieces, plus the full archives back to 2007 and some [Read More...]

SongExploder № 15: Brian Reitzell and “Watch Dogs”


Hrishikesh Hirways’ “SongExploder,” which I discovered through the crazy folks at MaximumFun.org, is one of my regular podcast stops. Described as “a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made,” it tends to focus on electronic music — which is a) unsurprising, given its stated interest in pulling apart/putting together, [Read More...]



This is a fantastic playlist. Also, a reminder: While there are occasionally new things under the sun, I never find them. My range of interests is shockingly (even embarrassingly) narrow. Which is why I have to double-check my list of Streaming Suggestions every time I post a new one, just in case I’ve already recommended it. And [Read More...]

Playin’ In My Jukebox: Great Big Sea’s “Heart of Hearts”


Great Big Sea is great big fun. They’ve been described as a “Canadian folk-rock band from Newfoundland and Labrador, best known for performing energetic rock interpretations of traditional Newfoundland folk songs including sea shanties, which draw from the island’s 500-year-old Irish, Scottish, and Cornish heritage,” and that pretty much nails it. Especially the “energetic” part. I can’t remember when I first [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “Doug Wood” Edition


The following comments are offered without irony (if not entirely without guilt): That’s musician Doug Wood performing his own work, “Eye of the Needle.” I stumbled across his music (and unusual technique) on our local NPR station some months ago and was immediately intrigued. He’s got a few albums out there – including one called “Cellocentric,” which must [Read More...]

Whistling My Way Across Wyoming’s Steppes


I’m a whistler. And I’ve been a whistler for just about as long as I can remember. (To my co-workers’ chagrin? Quite possibly.) I’m also a walker. (No, not AMC’s kind of “walker.” Though I definitely feel like one, at times. Lots’o kids can do that to you. At least “lots’o younger kids who sometimes like [Read More...]

Ear Worm Alert: Ola Gjeilo’s “Seven Eight”


I’ve written about contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo in the past, and I’m sure I will do so again, because his stuff is wonderful — some of it very classical in its flavor, some very cinematic, and some more jazzy-bluesy than anything else. In fact, the unpredictableness of the genres in which he works — though [Read More...]