Balloon Ballad

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

When Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson premiered his piece Virthulegu forsetar in a large towering church in 2003, the country's biggest newspaper raved that it was the most memorable musical event of the year. The musicians (playing brass, percussion, organs, piano and electronic instruments) were positioned all throughout the church for stereo effect. While a simple melody transformed throughout the piece, blue helium balloons were timed to fall slowly from the ceiling as the light transformed during that late summer evening. Tonight we hear this transporting piece, along with music of Toumani Diabate and Bill Whelan.

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Comments [6]

Richard Vezza from Berkeley Heights, NJ

Can anyone tell me what was playing tonight at around 10:20-10:30? How do you find the current night's program on the web site. That would be a highly useful feature for those of us who listen in cars.

Oct. 03 2009 11:24 PM
David Garland from the WNYC studio

Eric Siegel, at 8:50 tonight what was on was "The Fifth Lake" by Sahsa Matson, performed by Just Strings, from a CD on the New Albion label.

Folks, thanks for your comments. Please note that this is the final weekend of Evening Music; find the new WNYC schedule here:


Oct. 03 2009 11:18 PM
Mathias Black from Brooklyn, NY

Thank you for playing Johan Johansson's Virthulegu forsetar. I have never heard anything quite like it, and will now seek out more of his music. Wonderful!


Oct. 03 2009 10:28 PM

Rather chagrined to say that I was not aware of this and am much in your debt for introducing it to me. Astonishing, ravishing piece of music.

Oct. 03 2009 10:28 PM
Eric Siegel from new york

what is playing at 8:50 PM on Saturday? How do we find that out on the web site?


Oct. 03 2009 08:51 PM
rachel mattson from brooklyn

hey, thanks for playing joanna newsome. i've recently fallen in love with her music, and i'm excited to hear some of her earlier work. also, i REALLY appreciate the quirky mix of genres you and terence mcknight both play.

thanks for the nice saturday night surprise.


Sep. 26 2009 10:08 PM

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