The Big Bach Puzzler

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Over at NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog, Tom Huizenga has a fun little quiz called “Wig Out With The Big Bach Puzzler.” His music, as compelling today as it was centuries ago, continues to inspire artists of all stripes. So if you thought you knew a few things about the granddaddy of classical music, try this puzzler to see [Read More...]

Waxing Musically Nostalgic with Michael Z. Land (and Bajakian and McConnell)

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The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of Michael Z. Land, the justly-famous composer whose musical influence on my youth was both vast and unforgettable. … What do you mean, “He’s not famous?” … What do you mean, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS???” Here. Listen to this: Actually, hang on. That’s a bit [Read More...]

Sam Rocha’s “Late to Love”

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That’s Sam Rocha. He’s a Patheotte. An Academic. A Soul-Singer. And most of all, he’s a soul-searcher. He’s got a Ph.D. And a Kickstarter project for a SoulBluesJazzFunkFolk/Gospel album called “Late to Love.” An album that takes its name from St. Augustine’s “Confessions.” A project with the stated intention of making “the craft of the music its main priority.” [Read More...]

Appropriate Title? There Is None.

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Elizabeth is always reminding us Catholic Patheosi to be thoughtful about our post titles. Well, I thought about this one for a couple of days, and finally decided that there is no title that could possibly prepare you for this musical …thing. None. Why am I posting it, you ask? Just look at it. That’s [Read More...]

Crossing Over with Béla Fleck

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Here’s what I’m listening to right now. Also known as “what you’re listening to right now.” You’re welcome. That’s Paganini’s Allegro vivace a movimento perpetuo. But it’s not your grandfather’s Paganini. For that, I give you Gil Shaham, “The Traditionalist.” Here’s a slightly less traditional (but really fun) version from Wynton Marsalis. But wait. There’s [Read More...]

“No More Sorrow” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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This is exactly what I needed today. Exactly. That’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a South African choral group most recognized for their work on Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” And the sound of their singing is astonishingly joyful. Which means it’s hard for me to think of a group more fitted to sing a song about the passing away [Read More...]

Frozen’s “Let It Go” …Gets Away

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Google Translate, you’re doing it wrong. (Or is that “doing it very, VERY right?“) I can’t belt like Idina Menzel, but I can mess around with Google translate. That software can really destroy a song…and yet make it way too funny not to share. By way of comparison: The snow glows white on the mountain [Read More...]

“Something That God Has Allowed To Happen:” NPR Interviews The Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles

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This “Morning Edition” piece on Missouri’s singing nuns is almost impossibly charming. Almost. When the sisters of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles aren’t hard at work on the monastery grounds, they’re topping the charts with albums of sacred music. The group’s Angels and Saints at Epheseus topped the Billboard classical charts, and now it’s releasing its latest, Lent at Epheseus. [Read More...]

A Sick Note for the Ages

The Old Brick Layer. Photograph by Gertrude Jekyll. Old West Surrey (1904).

This tune’s been stuck in my head for a few days now, so I’m sharing. But let me be clear on one thing: It’s not stuck in my head because my job is anything like this. Not even metaphorically. (Well, not very metaphorically, anyway.) And it’s not (to the best of my knowledge) triggered by [Read More...]

WANTED: A Familiar Version of “Ge Mig En Dag”

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YouTube has failed me. I can’t find the version of “Ge Mig En Dag” I want, and it’s driving me nuts. Instead, all I can find is this: Pretty, no? Ring any melodic bells? Recognition is made slightly more complicated by the fact that this is hardly its most famous setting. The one that springs [Read More...]


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