sun 15/12/2019

New Music Features

theartsdesk at the Setúbal Music Festival 2018: youth leads the way

David Nice

"Get those creatures off the stage, or I won't answer for what I'll do". The exclamation of the Prima Donna in the backstage prologue of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, about to share her grand opera with lower forms of theatrical life, seems to have been shared by a head teacher at the first Setúbal Music Festival in Portugal eight years ago, faced with the arrival of special-needs children to join his pupils.

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Ryuichi Sakamoto: 'Ideally I'm recording all the time, 24 hours a day' - interview

joe Muggs

Ryuichi Sakamoto has conquered underground and mainstream with seeming ease over four decades, never dropping off in the quality of his releases.

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Jazz FM Awards 2018 - a banner year for Ezra Collective

peter Quinn

Hosted by Jazz FM presenters Chris Philips and Jez Nelson on UNESCO’s International Jazz Day, rising stars and international icons were honoured at the fifth Jazz FM Awards on Monday night.

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theartsdesk in Ramallah - the music biz turns its sights on Palestine

Peter Culshaw

Maen, a member of the rap collective Sa’aleek, was working one night in their small makeshift studio in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah. He dozed off, only to find the studio door had been concreted over and he was trapped. It took fellow band members 36 hours to dig him out, but Maen didn't seem that worse for wear. As studio disaster anecdotes go, that takes some beating... 

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10 Questions for Courtney Pine: 'How do you express rage?'

Matthew Wright

Over 30 years after he made his debut as a solo artist, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Courtney Pine is still Britain’s most prominent and influential jazz musician. He had a crucial role in reviving interest in jazz in the 1980s and 1990s, and has been an important role model for black British musicians.

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Tony Banks: ‘You either do it by diplomacy or you do it by violence’ - interview

Adam Sweeting

In a career that began in 1967 and may yet have further life in it, Genesis have sold 150 million albums (and possibly more), and in their original incarnation with Peter Gabriel as vocalist were an influential force in the development of progressive rock.

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 review - political change at Reykjavík's major music festival

Kieron Tyler

Óttarr Proppé, the stylish chap pictured above, was appointed Iceland’s Minister of Health in January this year. Last Saturday, when the shot was taken, he was on stage in his other role as the singer of HAM, whose invigorating musical blast draws a line between the early Swans and Mudhoney.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Homer Flynn, spokesman for The Residents

Kieron Tyler

An encounter with Homer Flynn is disconcerting as the extent of his involvement in The Residents is unclear. He acknowledges that he speaks for the eyeball-headed quartet whose identities are unknown. As he talks, it's clear he has intimate knowledge of their creative process, their motivations and what they think. He discusses them as “they”. Occasionally the word “we” is used.

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2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards: the votes are in

peter Quinn

Held auspiciously on the hundredth birthday of one of the giants of the music, composer and pianist Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-1982), the winners of this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards were announced at a congenial ceremony at London’s newest live venue, PizzaExpress Live Holborn.

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Woody Guthrie: 'The true voice of the American spirit'

Liz Thomson

Some will rob you with a six-gun
And some with a fountain pen.…

I was around 12 years old when I first heard those lines, from “Pretty Boy Floyd”, written by Woody Guthrie and sung by Joan Baez on a live album recorded on her 1962 tour of America’s black campuses. I couldn’t fathom what they meant – how could you be robbed with a fountain pen?

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