classical Archive

Ian Anderson: System Latency and the Opportunities of Multimedia

British Progressive legends Jethro Tull have been around in one form or another for nearly half a century. From 1967 until now, the group’s mainstay has always been Ian Anderson: as songwriter, singer and flautist, Anderson has long cut a distinctive figure. His trademark standing-on-one-leg flute solos accent the band’s reliably high-energy performances. Even today

For Ian Anderson, It’s Not Just Another Day at the Office

Jethro Tull started out as a blues band; the group’s 1968 debut album This Was drew to a large degree upon jazz and blues styles. But under the leadership of founder Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull soon moved into a style of its own, a European folk-tinged kind of progressive rock. That approach served the band

Black Violin: Smashing Stereotypes

The practice of combining disparate musical genres has been around for many years: a hybrid of rock and jazz, fusion developed in the late 1960s. But the idea of combining classical music and hip-hop remained largely unexplored until a pair of Florida musicians formed Black Violin in the mid 1990s. Violists Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste

Best Music of 2016: Concerts

There’s a bit of overlap where my best albums and best concerts of 2016 are concerned. And there are some old favorites, too. John Mayall Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte NC March 11, 2016 It was only around this time that I pivoted to writing as a full-time job (in other words, how I make my living).

Album Mini-review: Mike Mills and Robert McDuffie – Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra

File next to: R.E.M., E.L.O. Hybridizing rock ‘n’ roll and classical is nothing new: arguably, the Beatles did it in 1965 with “Yesterday.” And many others have attempted since, including E.L.O. Yet there’s something fresh and new about this, the latest project from R.E.M. Bassist Mike Mills. Working with lifelong friend, Juilliard-trained violinist Robert McDuffie

Mike Mills Bridges the Gap Between Rock and Classical

Most people know Mike Mills as the bassist in R.E.M.; he was a founding member of the band and remained with them until their 2011 breakup. Since that time, he’s been a key player in the series of “Big Star‘s 3rd” concerts. But behind the scenes, Mills has been working on an even more ambitious

Brevard Music Center: Celebrating 80 Years with 80+ Shows

There’s something for most every musical taste during Brevard Music Center‘s 2016 season. Less than an hour’s drive southwest from Asheville, the center not only mounts an impressive array of performances, but centers all its activities around the teaching of more than 425 students in classical symphony, opera, chamber music and other disciplines. “We’re both

Mark and Maggie O’Connor: Life Influences Art

“In music of the 1700s, 1800s and the early part of the 20th century, the violinist or fiddler carried the weight of the group,” says virtuoso violinist/fiddler Mark O’Connor. “Everybody else kept playing and just went with it. But as musical literature for bands became more sophisticated, the violin somehow lost some ground. So with

Roomful of Teeth: Putting Music Where Their Mouths Are

“It’s all about the voice,” says Brad Wells, founder of Grammy Award-winning Roomful of Teeth, a nine-person modern classical vocal ensemble dedicated to “min[ing] the expressive potential of the human voice.” Through use of a wide array of supremely challenging and/or obscure vocal techniques, the group creates a sound like nothing else. “Pretty much all

Album Review: Craig Leon et. al. — Bach to Moog

During a press conference held amidst the April 2014 Moogfest – the last time that festival would be held in Asheville, NC, home of Moog Music and the adopted hometown of the late Dr. R.A. (Bob) Moog – Moog personnel and famed musician/composer Keith Emerson unveiled a new build of Emerson’s classic “beast,” the modular