classical posts

Oskar Schuster

Sunday, August 12th, 2012 by Julija

german composer // instrumental

The sound of Berlin-based composer Oskar Schuster is probably best described as dreamy escapism. His delicate piano, Parisian accordion, tender glockenspiel and music box create a perfect late-night soundtrack. Oskar’s soft, elegantly structured compositions evoke certain similarities with such artists as Yann Tiersen and Detektivbyrån, yet evolve into his own captivating soundscapes. “Sneeuwland”, featured below, was recorded for his SellaBand promo video to crowdfund his new album.

Dreamy soundscapes to carry you away.

Oskar Schuster – Sneeuwland
Oskar Schuster – Les Sablons (from Les Valses Invisibles)
+ Purchase/Visit


Saturday, June 18th, 2011 by Paul Irish

cinematic // vocal orchestral

Woodkid (Yoann Lemoine) is probably best known for his work directing films for artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, but those successes haven’t kept him from expanding his talent into new realms. With booming drums, powerful brass, and fluttering woodwinds, the uncomplicated title track to his premier EP “Iron” (accompanied by an eery and equally beautiful video) makes you feel like you’ve entered an epic battle from which there is no turning back.

Powerful simplicity flush with presence.
Woodkid – Iron

(Words and music provided by snover)
+ Purchase/Visit

Peter Broderick

Monday, January 10th, 2011 by Kyle

classical // soul

Just wanted to let you know, Mr. Broderick, that I love this song, and How They Are is one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever heard. (thx, Owen)

Play the field. Knee-deep, heart-steep.
Peter Broderick – Sideline
Peter Broderick – With A Key
+ Purchase / Visit

The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble

Saturday, October 31st, 2009 by Kyle

Orchestral // Jazz // Ambient

Overtures creep toward you bearing ominous insight. A ravenous beast of symphonic scale lurks behind every measure; its teeth a menacing discord that devour your surroundings presence. Henryk Górecki could be leading The Cinematic Orchestra through a dirge, yet the scourge of blaring horns and thunderous storms evoke nameless regions. This elegant, brooding ardor bleeds from The Netherlands as The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble; a project originating with Jason Köhnen and Gideon Kiers to recreate scores for the classic films Nosferatu and Metropolis. Angelic offerings scarcely appear to cradle your stay, but whirlwind strings and industrial plight will have their say. Aching with beauty and purpose, Here Be Dragons is a story I do not want to unhold.

Arrangements for Hallows’ eve.
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – Caravan!
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – Embers
+ Purchase / Visit

Ólafur Arnalds

Monday, October 19th, 2009 by Kyle


Less we spoke, more we listened. “The Light” is directed by Esteban Diácono for Ólafur Arnalds‘s Found Songs. Seven pieces recorded during seven days at his apartment in Reykjavík with piano, strings, twitter and flickr.

Gentle fireworks.
Ólafur Arnalds – Ljósið
Ólafur Arnalds – Raein
+ Purchase / Visit


Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 by Kyle

classical // experimental

Let me go where you take me – childhood’s hour of bewildering delight. Pause only for concerns lasting moments already forgotten; where radiant lights and sounds shimmer haphazard perfections into play. Harmonious adventures subsisted by slight twitter, and glitter, of prepared flitter upon piano strings; riding waves in a carousel’s jubilee. Volker Bertelmann‘s forthcoming Ferndorf (Distant Village) unlocks uncharted passages. Ivory may tiptoe along veiled paths, as violins portray swaying leaves, and barely visible electronic trees branch recognition. His memories unravel beside nourishing cellos in a summer’s gala dream.

Recalling youth with esoteric, aural morsels.
Hauschka – Heimat
Hauschka – Alma
+ Purchase/Visit

J. Ralph

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 by Kyle

classical // operatic

Do you recall the beat of Busta Rhymes’ Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See? Now imagine a man and woman singing operatically over that beat in Italian, with a gently plucked classical guitar and accordion filling the air. If you’ve seen Volkswagen’s Big Day commercial, you’re one million miles closer to what’s in store with this adventure. So take a trip with a thrift shop warrior and hear what happens when a not-so-average Josh takes command of an 85-piece orchestra as only part of his medium.

Evocative soundscapes with lush, orchestral backdrops.
J. Ralph – Mi Ricordo
J. Ralph – Thrift Shop Warrior (Instrumental)
buy this cd

Julia Kent

Friday, October 19th, 2007 by Kyle

classical // experimental

Cellos excitedly dance and play as subtle sounds find their way; like clouds taking shape in the sky, a vivacious harmony is perceived as Julia shares her Delay. She’s contributed music to Leona Naess, Devendra Banhart, Rufus Wainwright, among many others, and is currently performing with Antony and the Johnsons. If her name seems familiar elsewhere, you may remember her as an original member of Rasputina. All tracks on Delay were composed and performed by Julia, at home, in-between touring and traveling for about a year. An abundant warmth and persistence bellies this music; making most songs feel like a soundtrack in themselves.

Cellos folding like clouds rolling.
Julia Kent – Idlewild
Julia Kent – Dorval
buy this cd

Bobby McFerrin & Yo-Yo Ma

Monday, April 16th, 2007 by Paul Irish

vocal // contemporary classical

Sadly, too many people only will recall “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” when they think Bobby McFerrin. Beyond novelties, McFerrin actually brought a lot of innovation to a capella and music, in general. The song below comes from his 1999 collaboration with cello master Yo-Yo Ma. In a simply divine arrangement, McFerrin’s voice and Ma’s cello weave lyrical lines together and apart, creating a sonic landscape that escapes categorization. I hear hints of Akira’s Dolls’ Polyphony in the tune (and since it was released only 2 years after the movie, I bet it’s more than coincidence.)

A master of voice and a master of string. Making sound.
Bobby McFerrin & Yo-Yo Ma – Grace
buy this cd

Carl Orff

Thursday, June 1st, 2006 by Paul Irish

percussion // contemporary instrumental classical

You’ve heard Carl Orff’s composition in the trailer of some movie, I’m sure. From the opera Carmina Burana, “O Fortuna” has appeared in countless contemporary contexts, from Walt Disney World to internet video memes. ‘Gassenhauer’, or ‘Street Song’, was arranged from a lute setting by Hans Neusiedler from 1536. Orff used basic orchestra percussion, layering each one one top of eachother to create a vibrant crescendo of sound. If it comes off as familiar, you’ve likely heard it in one of these films: Badlands, True Romance, and Me and You and Everyone We Know.

Xylophone, marimba, timpani, shaker, castanets, then snare.
Carl Orff – Gassenhauer
buy this cd