Iva Bittová is a storyteller who rarely uses actual language to convey the emotions of her stories. Singing wordlessly, or using an implied language of her own, she creates intimate, engrossing narratives. David Garland welcomes Iva Bittová to the WNYC Studio to perform and talk about her music. She sings and plays violin simultaneously, sings some songs for voice alone, and with kalimba, drawing chiefly from material on her new ECM album, "Iva Bittová." Plus she tells of living in rural upstate New York, and being a film star in the Czech Republic.
Composer and singer L.D. Brown records as Grey Reverend, and his songs display his reverence for the grey areas of emotion and musical style. David Garland welcomes Grey Reverend to WNYC for this in-studio performance and conversation. Along with songs from his new album, A Hero's Lie, Grey Reverend brings us his thoughts and observations on flawed heroes, skateboarding, racism, songwriting, and much more.
Yoko Ono has always pushed the boundaries of art, culture, and politics. At 80 years old she's still an active, daring artist and musician, and a provocative public figure. Now the controversial legend joins David Garland to present her newest work, the album Take Me to the Land of Hell.
Some songs benefit from being performed with the intimate accompaniment of just a guitar or piano. But there are also songs that need more sonic texture and color; songs that require an orchestra. David Garland presents a variety of new and old songs that use orchestras to enhance their scope, power, impact, and even intimacy.
In this episode of Spinning on Air, David Garland brings Nature Theater of Oklahoma's cast of six singers and three musicians to WNYC to perform two extended excerpts from Episode 1 of "Life and Times." OK Theater's co-directors Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper also join in to talk about their work, and the thoughts and process behind it.
David Garland welcomes Judy Collins back to the show to perform new and old songs, accompanying herself on piano or guitar along with musician Russell Walden, and to speak movingly with Garland about memory, time, family, loss, and love.
The piano, or, to use its full name, pianoforte, earned its name because it can be played both quietly (piano) and loudly (forte). Lately there seems to be a trend toward the quiet side. David Garland presents an hour of pianissimo pianos.
This is the music of gradual change. A piano piece that runs for nearly six hours. Pensive. Music that sweeps the listener along into an elegiac exploration of gentle tonal and rhythmic shifts. This is November by Dennis Johnson. Several years ago La Monte Young gave composer and writer Kyle Gann a wobbly cassette transfer of Johnson's 1962 performance of a portion of November. Gann realized that the history of Minimalism needed to be rewritten to acknowledge November as one of its starting points. Gann joins David Garland to tell how his fascination for and curiosity about November led him to transcribe the old cassette, get in touch with Johnson, and create a full realization of the piece, which has now been recorded by pianist R. Andrew Lee. We hear about the piece, and hear excerpts from this multi-hour quiet explosion of ideas.
Climb into the cello. Make yourself comfortable. Feel the vibrations engulf you as the instrument is played. Your entire world resonates.
It's always good to have a goal, and to feel like you know where you're headed, but, as they say, the real joy and adventure is in the journey itself. David Garland presents some music that takes us places and provides some beauty and mystery in the process of getting there. New music is heard from French composer Olivier Longre, Glaswegian troubadour Alasdair Roberts, and Princeton professor Dan Trueman, along with oldies by The Beach Boys and The Cryin' Shames, and more
The celebrations are already beginning for composer John Zorn's upcoming 60th birthday on September 2nd. During the next few months there will be concerts of Zorn's music in the museums and concert halls of New York City, as well as elsewhere in the world. Zorn has been David Garland's most frequent guest on Spinning On Air over the years, and now he returns to the show again, to share some new music that will be featured in two concerts that are part of the Lincoln Center Festival this month.
Judy Collins' 1967 album "Wildflowers" is a lovely collection of thoughtful songs sung beautifully to inventive, timeless orchestral arrangements. There hasn't been another album quite like it, before or since. Joshua Rifkin, who created the sensitive arrangements for "Wildflowers," and conducted the recording, joins David Garland in the WNYC Studio to tell of his experiences helping to make this timeless album at age 23. We learn how he was at first stuck for ideas, and how at a convivial California lunch of wine and Collin's Beef Stroganoff, inspiration suddenly struck. Rifkin shares insights about a few specific arrangements, and we learn a bit about Rifkin's own diverse career as a member of The Even Dozen Jug Band, arranger of "The Baroque Beatles Book," catalyst for the revival of interest in composer Scott Joplin, and Rifkin's life-long involvement with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Imbibe some sounds to refresh your summer. David Garland presents the Lee Hazelwood/Nancy Sinatra classic "Summer Wine," some instrumental guitar music, recent recordings by Nina Nastasia, Clare and the Reasons, Kemp & Eden, Rozi Plain, Will Stratton, and others, and the scintillating summer whine of the Brood II cicadas.
Tim Buckley wrote and sang beautiful, adventurous songs in the late 1960s and early '70s. He was just 19 when his son Jeff was born, and Tim was only 28 when he died of a drug overdose in 1975. Jeff Buckley didn't grow up with his father, and apparently they met only once. Jeff also wrote and sang beautiful, adventurous songs, and also died young, when he drowned at age 30 in 1997. For Father's Day, David Garland presents music recorded by both father and son, Tim Buckley and Jeff Buckley.
Composer, singer, and pianist Reuben Butchart brings his song cycle "Nameless and Awake" to the WNYC Studio. Setting poems by John William Carroll, Butchart's music combines a soulful contemporary singing style with intricate, detailed arrangements. David Garland talks with Butchart about the songs and how the music came together at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center.
There was a particular renaissance back in the 1950s and '60s, bringing together poetry and jazz. Some of those vintage experiments surely laid the groundwork for the poetry slams and rap of today. David Garland presents some classic poetry and jazz recordings, including the voices of Jack Kerouac and Langston Hughes, along with music by Charles Mingus, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, Allyn Ferguson, and others.
Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon join David Garland to present and talk about Yoko Ono's music. Yoko and Sean tell many interesting stories, speak intimately about the music, and reminisce about the events that inspired the compositions. Plus, see photos here. This show first aired May 13, 2012.
Guitarist/composer Don Bikoff's album "Celestial Explosion" was released in 1968. The album featured acoustic guitar gently altered with studio effects, and an Eastern-influenced take on the bluesy finger-picking of Mississippi John Hurt and American Primitivism of John Fahey. Bikoff has continued to play and compose, and to accumulate experience with a sense of adventure and joy. He joins David Garland in the WNYC Studio to reminisce, laugh, and play us some guitar.
Back in 1996 David Garland welcomed John Simon to the WNYC Studio to perform and to talk about Simon's music and career. Here are highlights from that session, featuring John Simon's solo renditions of several of his songs, music from some of the albums he produced for Leonard Cohen, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Band, and more.