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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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katya-oddio on 06/12/2013 at 04:22PM

Sound of Summer Days

photo by kahanaboy

Cricket and bird songs, ice clinking in glasses, block parties, kids in the sprinkler, ice cream truck jingles, wind against paper kites, "cloop" sounds in the creek, bicycle chains, and all those other musical sounds of summer have their places in our hearts. There is still space for new sounds of summer days, and the Free Music Archive is here for your summer soundtrack. Here's one I put together for a summer evening party featuring 18 tracks across the spectrum of genres. Let's hear yours!

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mix, summer
katya-oddio on 05/18/2013 at 03:00PM

Better World Through Collaboration

The Forever Better with Miele fashion show organized by Redress. photo: Redress

Creative Commons licensing has opened a new world for collaboration. Most artists with works in the Free Music Archive share their copyrighted work with some rights reserved. Depending on the chosen license for the work, this often allows others to incorporate the work into something new without the use of lawyers and other middle men.

An avenue of collaboration that the Free Music Archive has actively promoted is the reuse of recordings in film and video. The FMA Music for Video selections offer filmmakers a sampling of the variety of music available for reuse. The FMA also has a partnership with Vimeo, the video host, helping filmmakers find just the right music to fit the setting of the film.

The collaborative music+video results have been remarkable around the world. In fact, in some cases this collaboration even benefits the world. Nonprofit organizations, not typically known for having large promotional budgets, can benefit greatly by re-purposing Creative Commons recordings licensed for reuse.

One FMA success story is the union of a recording by American artist Aaron Ximm with a public service message for sustainability organization Redress. Ximm's track is used in a promo video for the EcoChic Design Award.

Redress is a Hong Kong based NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in Asia's fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. We achieve this via educational sustainable fashion shows, exhibitions, competitions, seminars, research and media outreach. Our unique profile allows us to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders. We work with multiple fashion designers, textile and garment manufacturers, retailers, schools and universities, multilateral organizations, governments, NGOs, financial institutions and media organizations.
The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition inspiring emerging fashion designers and students to create mainstream clothing with minimal textile waste. Apply now.
Redress Website | YouTube | Facebook | EcoChic Design Award
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katya-oddio on 04/19/2013 at 04:45PM

Ma Mère l'Oye

Detail from Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke, c. 1860 by British painter Richard Dadd (1819–1887)

Saturday, April 20th is the anniversary of the 1910 premiere of Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye in Paris, France. Ma Mère l'Oye: Cinq Pièces Enfantines (Mother Goose: Five Children's Pieces) was originally composed for two pianos, a duet for Mimi and Jean Godebski, ages 6 and 7. Later the same year, the work was transcribed for solo piano by Ravel's friend Jacques Charlot. In 1911, Ravel orchestrated the work for a full orchestra, and in 1912, he expanded it into a ballet. It was recently arranged for a string quartet, as well.

The solo work is performed on the Free Music Archive by Felipe Sarro in a collection of Ravel compositions for single piano.

The five pieces of both the duet and the solo piano suites of Ma Mère l'Oye are:

1. Courtly Dance of Sleeping Beauty (Pavane de la belle au bois dormant)
2. Little Tom Thumb (Petit Poucet)
3. Little Ugly Girl, Empress of the Pagodas (Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes)
4. Conversation of Beauty and the Beast (Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête)
5. The Fairy Garden (Le jardin féerique)

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