Music

Silent Night: A Creepy Classical Version

birth-of-jesus-1150128_1920.jpg

Christmas continues to approach, and what better way to celebrate than with some Christmas music? But not just any Christmas music…behold, the classical composer Alfred Schnittke’s rendition of “Silent Night” for violin and piano:

What starts out as a relatively simple, beautiful version of the carol starts to become unhinged towards the end of the first Continue reading “Silent Night: A Creepy Classical Version”

Music, The Other Stuff

Thanksgiving Music

(Because it does exist.)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Even though the day has passed, I’m still reminded of how much I can be thankful for my family, my friends, to everyone who has supported and continues to support me, and the ability to support myself and study at Northwestern. While it’s all to easy to lose perspective I am truly, deeply grateful.

So in the spirit of continued thankfulness here’s a song specifically about Thanksgiving as sung by Josh Groban. Enjoy!

Music

Stock Characters You Can Hear in Classical Music

butler stock character

“In the old times, when it was still of some use to wish for the thing one wanted, there lived a king whose daughters were all handsome, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun himself, who has seen so much, wondered at her beauty each time he shone over her.”

-The Frog Prince

In many stories, there are stock characters: the evil stepmother, the beautiful queen, the creepy vampire, the clever detective (and of course, the butler did it!) … There may always be variations, and characters may not always be explicitly transparent as stock characters, but they’re Continue reading “Stock Characters You Can Hear in Classical Music”

Music

Suspense in Classical Music (and Books!)

suspense books and music

“But Mr. Tate said, “This court will come to order,” in a voice that rang with authority, and the heads below us jerked up. Mr. Tate left the room and returned with Tom Robinson. He steered Tom to his place beside Atticus, and stood there. Judge Taylor had roused himself to sudden alertness and was sitting up straight, looking at the empty jury box.”

-To Kill a Mockingbird

Suspense is obviously in horror stories (“No! Don’t open that door!!!”) but it’s also all over the other books we read whenever we find ourselves holding our breath to Continue reading “Suspense in Classical Music (and Books!)”

Books, Music

The Who’s Tommy: A Rock Opera (As Experienced by an Assistant Director)

Tommyalbumcover.jpg

Last week Northwestern University saw its last performance of a concert production of The Who’s Tommy and I was fortunate enough to be able to serve as the assistant director for the incredible Geoff Button. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, the rock band The Who released a concept album in 1969 called “Tommy” which was later made into a musical (or rock opera if you will). It’s a story about a young boy (Tommy) who witnesses the murder of his mother’s lover by his parents after his father returns unexpectedly from war. Although his mother turns him away from the fight he sees everything through a mirror, and when Continue reading “The Who’s Tommy: A Rock Opera (As Experienced by an Assistant Director)”

Books, Music

The Irony of Portraying “Stillness” in Books (and Classical Music)

Monet Esquisse d'ensemble.jpg
“Woman with a Parasol” by Monet, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Portraying stillness or inactivity is a pretty bizarre paradox in books and music when you stop to think about it because the only way to show stillness is to have movement! After all, what options do authors have of showing that a character is still? They Continue reading “The Irony of Portraying “Stillness” in Books (and Classical Music)”