Boise Greenbelt Bicycle Trail with Snow - January 2018

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones. – John Cage

Cage also said, “If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.” Happy new year!

Where does music come from? Jennifer and I talked at dinner recently about where do we run across new music and how radio still plays a huge part of that for us, especially via the syndicated-on-many-public-radio-stations-program Echoes (thank you Ethan).

Echoes primarily plays post-rock, ambient, and electronic music but we’ve also heard some music that fits somewhere between post-rock and art music–what we used to call “classical music”–which many refer to now as post classical. Here are some of our recent favorites:

Post Classical Favorites

  • I love the sound of “The Lotus Eaters” by Sarah Kirkland Snider. She mixes orchestral chamber music with electronic music and you can hear about her composition process in this short interview. Snider is also co-founder of the artist management and record company, New Amsterdam Records which is one to listen for if you enjoy the post-classical sound.
  • Composer Olafur Arnalds and pianist Sara Alice Ott remix and perform Chopin in “Eyes Shut” from their album “The Chopin Project” which was recorded live in cafes to subvert the standardized sound of perfectly-played-and-recorded Chopin.
  • This animation of Steve Reich’s oldie-but-goodie “Piano Phase” that shows how this music works. The same melody is played by two pianos only at different tempos (speeds) which creates incidental rhythms and harmonies. Talk about subverting the ego.
  • Did I mention David Lang’s “Just After Song of Songs“?

Not So Post-Classical Recent Favorites

Fasting

  • It’s that time of year when some go on “diets” and so here’s another approach: intermittent fasting. Other than losing weight, having more energy, and sleeping better, here are five other things that happened when this dude tried fasting a couple of days a week.

I’m listening to a live radio recording of a concert Olafur Arnalds performed in Iceland as I’m writing this. It’s cozy and warm and the music is lovely.

I hope you can fall into something here,

Jeff O.


If you want “These Things” delivered to your inbox, you can sign up here. It’s an email I send out every other week–no spam and no selling your email address. Just things that inspire me.