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katya-oddio on 10/18/2016 at 12:05PM

Diverse Instrumental Works

Recent instrumental albums additions to the FMA from Olga Scotland, Hermelin, and the artists from the Eklektik Sessions

For your listening pleasure, three predominantly instrumental albums are now part of the enormous Free Music Archive catalog. They could not be more diverse.

Various Artists (Eklektik Ensemble, Punkt, and Lutosławski Quartet) - Punkt Eklektik Session 1
Formal Class: Varied Classes
Classifications: Varied Genres; Downtempo; Progressive Art; Contemporary Composition
Nationality: Europe East: Poland: Warsaw

Olga Scotland (Ольга Шотландия) - Iron Flowers From Sirius
Formal Class: Art: Progressive
Classifications: Electronic; Flute; Contemporary Composition; Progressive Art; Experimental; Beats Trad; Ambient; Soundtrack; Score
Nationality: Europe East: Russia: Moscow

Hermelin - Hermelin (self-titled album)
Formal Class: Popular
Classifications: Rock; Post-Rock; Progressive Rock; Electric Guitar
Nationality: Europe West: Germany: Hannover

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katya-oddio on 10/18/2016 at 04:00AM

Caligari: An Exquisite Corpse

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is a 1920 silent horror film considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema. It tells the story of an insane hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to commit murders. The film style is creepy and features bizarre leaning, twisted, angular landscapes and sets.

To accompany the classic film, eleven composers from the Chain Tape Collective collaborated via exquisite corpse method to produce two entirely new soundtracks.

Those soundtracks are now housed at the Free Music Archive in time for Halloween. Artwork, liner notes, and more information are available from the Chain Tape Collective. The complete film with the new soundtracks is available for free download from the Internet Achive under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

Some of these Creative Commons licensed tracks may sync beautifully with the soundtrack for your Halloween festivities. Just try not to get creeped out of your skin.

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katya-oddio on 06/24/2016 at 08:00AM

Psychedelic Pop Inspired by Beach Boys and Beatles

Love the 1960s pop of the Beach Boys and Beatles? Then we highly recommend the brand new album CLOUDHEAD by Jamie Ward. This is a new favorite at Rancho Oddio.

This follow-up to 2015’s “I Am The Sun” shows Jamie Ward’s ability to push even further into a mixed bag of 1960’s inspired pop gems. Written, recorded, performed and produced by the artist, it is a more complex album in it’s songwriting and arrangements, tipping it’s hat to Brian Wilson’s modular recording style employed on “Pet Sounds” and the orchestral arrangements by George Martin on The Beatles middle period records, plus Phil Spectors layered “Wall Of Sound” technique. Elements of other 1960’s music makers including The Byrds, The Left Banke, The Rolling Stones, Harry Nillson and others are also honoured in this collection of original songs.   

CloudHead” was written as a concept album, a commentary on the disillusionment of a consumer driven existence based on the artists personal experience of transition between western society’s force-fed values and expectations to self-realization. The album represents a complete day in the life, starting with “Get Up!” and ending with “End Of The Day/Now That’s It’s Over”. It is a tribute to the dreamers, the “CloudHeads” of the world.

We are also wildly in love with Jamie Ward's aforementioned I AM THE SUN EP. You can find both albums on Bandcamp and on the FMA.

PS: If the voice sounds vaguely familiar, you may recognize Jamie Ward as the voice of that legendary children's artist, Uncle Neptune, a long-time favorite at both Kazoomzoom and Oddio Overplay.

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katya-oddio on 06/06/2015 at 06:23PM

Der Abend World Premiere

photo: "Flying heron in the early evening" by X posid

Harold Rosenbaum, conductor of the all-professional choir, The New York Virtuoso Singers, had this to say about American composer John Harbison's choral work "Der Abend":

"Der Abend (Evening) is a short work on a poem by Joseph von Eichendorff, for double choir, paying homage simultaneously to the homophonic simplicity of Schubert, the antiphonal style of the 17th century Venetians, and the bitonality of Ives. That is quite a mix! Beginning and ending both in C Major and G Minor, and seeming to traverse almost every other key in between, the effect, while appearing somewhat incongruous or jarring at first, soon transports us into a dreamlike state where, as the poem states, we begin to notice that, 'ancient days and gentle sorrows now fuse like quiet showers luminously through the heart.'"

A recording of the world premiere of the piece is now housed on the Free Music Archive, as well as a reprise of the piece in the same concert performed by the Massachusetts Instiitute of Technology Concert Choir.

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katya-oddio on 06/05/2015 at 09:16PM

Welcoming the New Season

The four seasons captured in photographs by Karen Arnold

The MIT Symphony Orchestra supports the MIT Concert Choir in this performance of Franz Joseph Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons).  The choir is conducted by William Cutter.

In failing health near the end of his musical career, Haydn composed this work over two years while struggling with a libretto prepared by Austrian nobleman Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who also penned the libretto for Haydn's popular The Creation.  The text is based on the poem "The Seasons" by English poet James Thomson.  Haydn's final work premiered in 1801.

In The Seasons, the chorus sings mostly in four parts, featuring three vocal soloists.  The same solo voices representing archetypal plain country people appear here as in The Creation — Simon (bass), Lucas (tenor), and Hanne (soprano).  For this performance, the soloists are Diana Hogland, Mark Evans, and Mark Andrew Cleveland.

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katya-oddio on 05/21/2015 at 05:19PM

Go To Work, You Jerk

from a USA Federal Work Projects Administration poster in Illinois

School ends any day now, and the legions of unemployed students will hit the streets looking for summer jobs.  That is the inspiration for a 30-song mix of employment  (and unemployment) themed songs for the job hunt and the daily grind.

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katya-oddio on 03/19/2015 at 05:00PM


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katya-oddio on 10/30/2014 at 05:51PM

Gothic Halloween Dance Party

detail from Union of Opposites album cover

The Deuxvolt album Union of Opposites provides industrial gothic dance music for tomorrow night's Halloween dance.  Deuxvolt hails from Tuscany and shares all their recordings with Creative Commons licensing.  Ghouls can still shake it down on Halloween!

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katya-oddio on 10/15/2013 at 11:33AM

52 Horror Releases

Detail of haunted house scenery, Prater Parc, Vienna, Austria (photo: Jebulon, license: public domain)

Gearing up for your Halloween soundtrack? Whether you are looking to terrify, make mischief, or fill the dance floor, the FMA has got you covered. Here are 52 FMA albums and compilations for your ghoulish celebration.  [originally posted 22 October 2012]

Calling All Fiends
Calling All Fiends
Silber Sounds of Halloween
Sounds of Halloween
Fangdango Halloween LP
Fangdango Halloween
Music for Vampires
Music for Vampires
Trick Or Treat
Trick Or Treat
Dr. Phibes and The Ten Plagues of Egypt: Carmina Burana
Dr. Phibes Carmina...
Messer Chups - Swinging Singles
Messer Chups
Ekleipsi Halloween
Ekleipsi Halloween
Shadow Creatures
Shadow Creatures
Behold! The Living Corpse
Behold The Living...

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katya-oddio on 06/17/2013 at 12:30AM

Happy Anniversary, Stealing Orchestra

Stealing Orchestra have been amazingly generous contributors to the free music world for a decade. The orchestra has provided a prolific free netlabel (also at Free Music Archive) featuring their work and the works of fellow Portuguese bands.

In 2011, Stealing Orchestra released their concept album DELIVERANCE, containing nine new tracks and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the band's netlabel You Are Not Stealing Records and 13 years of making albums together. [press release]

Now Stealing Orchestra is celebrating their 15th birthday and are giving digital versions of all of their albums as gifts to the world, including DELIVERANCE.

Happy birthday, Stealing Orchestra, and thank you so much!

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