For his third symphony, the 26-year-old American composer Mohammed Fairouz decided to incorporate text in three languages. Poems and Prayers, which had its debut Thursday in New York, features passages in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic.
The symphony was commissioned by Northeastern University, where Fairouz teaches. The idea was to write something exploring the conflicts in the Middle East, so for inspiration, Fairouz delved into the region's poetry — both ancient and modern.
Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 10:47 am
So what's wrong with rap and opera? Not much, really. Except that last week when we asked readers to name their musical blind spots (genres or bands they ignored, either by choice or neglect) a distinct refrain emerged within the responses. Two examples:
"Oh, and by the way, rap is not music. It is mostly a bunch of meaningless drivel by people with no real talent and who certainly should not get paid."
Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 7:00 am
An all-star cast, including guitarist Pepe Romero and the legendary I Solisti di Zagreb, heads up these performances of three concertos by Ernesto Cordero. Born in New York in 1946, Cordero was raised in Puerto Rico where he teaches guitar and composition at the University of Puerto Rico. Each of these works is an appealing musical paella with Caribbean seasoning.
Science-fiction author, technology activist and blogger Cory Doctorow visited the NIU campus recently. Doctorow has long been involved in issues of privacy and freedom related to modern technology. His bestseller “Little Brother” focused on just those issues as a group of teens use the internet to battle government attempts to strip them of their civil liberties. WNIJ’s Guy Stephens had a chance to sit down with Doctorow for a conversation about the dilemma society faces in the Internet age.
Calling all basses: Decca Records is on the hunt for someone who can sing a low E, nearly three octaves below middle C. The note is featured in a new piece called De Profundis (Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord — Psalm) by the Welsh composer Paul Mealor.
I'm really attracted to the depths of the human spectrum," Mealor tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "We're seeking to find the person that can sing the lowest note ever written in choral music — and not just that note, but the solo in this piece for bass solo and choir. So we're looking for someone very special."