thu 13/08/2020

New Music Features

10 Questions for musician Burnt Friedman - with video exclusive

joe Muggs

Bernd “Burnt” Friedman is one of the most relentlessly questing of experimental musicians. In over 30 years of making music and 25 years of releasing it, he has specialised in researching ancient, hypermodern and as-yet-undiscovered methods of soundmaking, including traditional and home-built instruments and the application of high-tech methodologies to established forms from around the world, in particular jazz, western club sounds, and African and Japanese styles.

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theartsdesk in the Shetlands: Seasick Vikings

Thembi Mutch

“Would we be able to prosecute the Vikings today, should we? I mean are there parallels between what the Nazis did by plundering art and gold, or what the German soldiers did who raped Norwegian women when they occupied Norway?” Silke Roeploeg might perhaps fit the Viking caricature: tall, blonde, physically fit, ruddy weathered cheeks, and smart.  She is however German, and a lecturer on the Highland and Islands Nordic studies, which includes a component on Vikings.

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Pete Seeger: 1919-2014

Peter Culshaw

Pete Seeger has had a vast number of tributes since he died aged 94 on Monday. That might seem surprising for an artist whose real heyday was over 50 years ago. Part of the reason no doubt was the dignified and steadfast aura of a man of the people and heartfelt activist.

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Video Exclusive: Judith Owen's Ebb & Flow

Russ Coffey

Judith Owen has form for hanging around with the hairiest of musicians. Her husband is, of course, one Harry Shearer AKA Spinal Tap’s Derek Smalls. Lately, however, Owen has been hanging out with a trio, who, although as hirsute as Smalls, prefer their music a little more on the smooth side.

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Extract: Cher - Strong Enough

Josiah Howard

Cher was the multi-platform performer of her day, a singer, TV personality, cabaret artist, and Oscar-winning actress. She came up as the initially teenage half of pop duo Sonny & Cher (pictured below left) in the mid-Sixties with her partner (and later husband) Sonny Bono, hitting the charts with megahit "I Got You, Babe". The pair went on to helm a successful TV show in the early Seventies but when they split up Cher was given her own self-titled variety show in 1975...

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Phil Everly, Rock'n'Roll Original: 1939-2014

Thomas H Green

With the passing of Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers yesterday, aged 74, rock’n’roll loses half of one of its greatest original pairings. With his brother Don he meshed the close harmonies of country acts such as the Louvin Brothers with the poppy rock’n’roll of fellow southern boy Buddy Holly, a close friend with whom they toured regularly.

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New Music 2013: A Death-Defying Industry

theartsdesk

2013 was the year that Thom Yorke, somewhat tautologically, referred to the music business as “a dying corpse”, and Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun claimed that same business “doesn't exist any more.” This was slightly odd, given that it was one of the liveliest years in recent memory, with mainstream and underground pulsating with debate over big issues and big releases, and – for all the technological and multimedia proliferation which prompted Yorke and Braun's hyperbole – the...

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World Music 2013: A Quiet Storm

Peter Culshaw

Not a year in which big names came through, and many on the list below are actually quite introverted and low-key, but none the worse for that. Among numerous global musical gems this year were the following:

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Listed: The 12 Derangements of Christmas

theartsdesk

We at The Arts Desk are as fond as the next person of swans-a-swimming, partridges and pear-trees, not to mention gold rings, but be honest: 'tis already the season to be jolly sick and tired of all those knee-jerk compilations of Slade, sleighbells and Celine Dion's "O Holy Night". Without wishing to audition for the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s time to admit that not everything made in the name of Christmas is of the highest artistic merit.

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theartsdesk in Rennes: 35th Trans Musicales Festival

Kieron Tyler

White noise saturates the air. At mind-melting volume, it shifts through the aural spectrum to settle on the bass end. A voice begins yelling angry-sounding gobbets. The words are unintelligible. The stage is in darkness. Gradually, it becomes possible to make out the source of this impassioned diatribe. It’s a non-descript, white, bespectacled young man in a T-shirt. This nerdy fellow stops for a moment. So does the accompanying noise.

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