WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:31 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Top 5 Jazz Stories This Week

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 4:25 pm

Tweets like these will make more sense in a second:

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
1:02 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Divinity From Dust: The Healing Power Of 'The Disintegration Loops'

Ambient music composer William Basinski says the four-volume work, now a box set, saved his life.
James Elaine

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:30 am

William Basinski has lived on both American coasts, but I know a Southern gentleman when I hear one. The ambient music composer, who grew up in Texas, is on vacation visiting the Celeste ranch of his partner James Elaine's family when I call him — "I just fed the horses apples," he mentions — and is just as sweet as I'd heard from colleagues. He pauses long between words, measuring each one because the weight of each word is just as important as its meaning.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
6:11 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Hearing History In The Sounds Of 'Lincoln'

Lincoln follows the president in the last few months of his life.
DreamWorks

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 8:23 pm

In the new movie Lincoln, actor Daniel Day-Lewis is getting a lot of attention for his spot-on portrayal of the 16th president. But Ben Burtt, the sound designer, also deserves credit for the film's authenticity. You may not know his name, but you surely know his work.

Burtt is something of a legend in the movie sound world. He has won numerous Oscars, including for his work on Star Wars.

Burtt invented that iconic swoosh of the light saber, using the hum of an old projector and the buzz of a television set.

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Review
2:00 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

'A Late Quartet': A Film With A Pounding Musical Heart

Mark Ivanir, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener as the Fugue String Quartet.
courtesy of Entertainment One Films

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:23 pm

After a quarter century together as one of the world's top chamber music ensembles, the Fugue String Quartet is falling apart at the seams. A generation older than his colleagues, cellist Peter (Christopher Walken) is experiencing the early symptoms of Parkinson's, and with his sudden retirement, a morass of long-buried resentments and pain come spewing out of his three younger partners: first violinist Daniel (Mark Ivanir), second violinist Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and violist Juliette (Catherine Keener).

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:34 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Samuel Yirga Ushers In A Golden Age Of Ethiopian Music

Samuel Yirga plays Ethiopian standards with a voracious talent that helps him savor each musical flavor.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:09 pm

Ethiopia enjoys a rich tradition of enticing music, filled with asymmetric rhythms set to a haunting, five-note scale and sly double-entendre lyrics in the Amharic language. It's a shame that, for Western listeners, a full, clear picture of Ethiopian music has been elusive.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:50 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Elliott Carter, Giant Of American Music, Dies At 103

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:08 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
10:41 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Storm Scores: Finding Poignant Reminders In Water-Damaged Music

A window-screen view toward conductor Marin Alsop's studio, badly damaged during the hurricane.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 10:18 am

This past week has been filled with some truly tragic stories of loss and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. There are also a few stories of near misses and disasters averted. Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, fortunately has one of the latter.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
6:25 am
Mon November 5, 2012

How Is The White House Like The Opera House?

With the presidential election set for Tuesday, we take a look at operas that tackle today's toughest political issues.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 11:37 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:06 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

A Brief History Of Jazz Education, Pt. 1

Bassist Percy Heath demonstrates a technique to a student at the summer jazz workshop in Lenox, Mass. in 1959.
Alfred Eisenstaedt Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:21 pm

One year ago, when I began graduate study in ethnomusicology at UCLA, I found myself undergoing what has become a familiar ritual. As I played my trombone in a near-empty classroom accompanied by a play-a-long recording, it occurred to me that I was in the midst of my sixth college big band audition. A professor — in this special case, guitar legend Kenny Burrell — led the proceedings. When he engulfed my hand in his massive grip, I learned that I was in.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
1:11 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Michel Petrucciani: The 'Mischievous Elf' Of The Piano

Michel Petrucciani on the concert stage in February 1993.
Frederic Reglain Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:06 pm

Michel Petrucciani was the first important jazz pianist I ever saw live. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that he would make it to Guéret, my tiny hometown in the middle of France. But in 1992, on a tour called "Like father like son" ("Tel père tel fils"), Petrucciani came to perform with his father, guitar player Tony Petrucciani.

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