A Salute to Our Favorite Drummers

Give the drummer some! We at the AU Music Library have a special place in our heart for the percussionally-inclined (I don’t care if that’s not a real word in there). As a matter of fact, both of my bosses are drummers, and they’re pretty cool! Sam ripped the skins back when he was a young punk, and Nobue is the bee’s knees at classical percussion. And guess what? I too am a drummer! What a suprise!

Anyways, in honor of Nobue’s upcoming gig in Texas (more on that soon), we’ve decided to treat you to some of our favorite drummer videos. Now these drummers may not be the most traditionally talented out there (maybe that post will come another day), but they’ve all got more than enough personality to bring them to the top in our eyes. After all, we should all agree that your drummer face is just as important as how fast you can paradiddle.

Until today I thought that everybody had seen this first one, but then I found out that Sam hadn’t and realized that there may be more poor souls out there who hadn’t yet witnessed the famous Drummer at the Wrong Gig. So here he is, in all his flailing, ecstatic, caring too much to be in a wedding band glory.

Here’s a rarer gem in a similar vein, although still pretty popular, it seems. This guy really takes the cake for over-emoting/stealing the spotlight. While the singer indeed sings beautifully and the song is a nice Korean torch song, the whole vibe is thrown off by the drummer’s ridiculous enthusiasm, playing sensitively but in an insensitive manner. The results are hilarious. My favorite moment is early on, when the camera is on the singer but you can see the drummer’s face on the edge of the frame, contorting in musical glee. His stick twirls, while less deranged than our gold-jacketed hero from above, are hilarious nonetheless simply due to their ubiquity.

And then, in contrast with these two showboaters, there’s the meek but mighty Garth Algar (played by Dana Carvey) from Wayne’s World. When Wayne, Garth and Cassandra visit the guitar store, Wayne fawns over a white Strat, but Garth slips off to the drum section (as drummers are wont to do) and plays an epic solo on his own. When complimented afterwards by an admirer, he simply responds: “I like to play”. Garth Algar is a true hero of a drummer, one who plays because he likes to, and this is one of my favorite scenes (in a music-related film, at least). The crucial scene is at 0:40-1:58.

Hope this inspires you to pick up the sticks, or at least gives you a good laugh that’ll last you till hump day.

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AU Musical Events: Jazz Orchestra, 4/4

It’s that time of year, readers, the time when the sun makes its reappearance, finals feel just around the corner, and weekends are filled with the concerts of AU ensembles. Kicking off the season is none other than our illustrious Jazz Orchestra (neither a band nor an ensemble, an orchestra, people), performing tomorrow night!

Quite the classy poster

In what proves to be a highlight of every AU concert season, the AU Jazz Orchestra, directed by professor Josh Bayer, bring down the house with lush, loud arrangements of classic jazz charts. Most of the tunes are in the swing idiom, with a few funky exceptions.

Tomorrow is sure to be an exciting night, with a super pair of features. As shown on the poster, D.C.-based trumpeter Tom Williams will be featured, playing tunes with the full band as well as with a smaller combo. Not included on the poster is our very own Music Librarian, Nobue Matsuoka, who will be performing a marimba solo on the tune “Cute”- very aptly named! I promise she didn’t tell me to write this.

It’s happening at 8 PM in the Abramson Recital Hall in Katzen. Tickets are $5 for AU community members and $10 for everybody else- a great bargain for a great night of jazz!

The event page, with all the above information listed in a less prose-y form, is here: http://www.american.edu/cas/performing-arts/calendar/?id=5122056

Staff Picks: Music for 18 Musicians

Well, readers, it’s Wednesday… Not early enough in the week to talk about sweet new arrivals, and too far from the weekend to start getting excited about cool DC events. So what do we talk about?

The answer, readers, is our Staff Picks, a third new column here at the AU Music Library blog. In this column, our staff looks back into our extensive CD library (over 10,000 of ’em!) and picks something that we think is a special enough part of our collection to tell you about it! It may not be a new arrival, and it may not be a weekend activity, but it’s definitely worth coming in and listening to with us (and maybe checking out).

Our inaugural Staff Pick is Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians.

Steve Reich, one of THE names in 20th-Century classical music, took two years to compose this piece. It premiered in 1976 in New York City. This CD is ECM’s recording of the original ensemble (with Reich’s guidance) playing through the piece. One listen and you can understand why 18 Musicians is considered a landmark minimalist piece as well as an essential album in any genre.

The piece, nearly an hour long, is divided up into 14 tracks, each track representing a different section. It moves past you effortlessly and beautifully, following a 16th-note pulse through serene chords, with the 18 musicians switching among different instruments (including wordless vocals at points) and achieving fluid, soothing musical motion. Unless one plays very close attention, it is hard to hear the piece shifting along; the effect on a casual listener is an hourlong reverie. Put this album on and experience a meditative head-clearing. It’s impossible to listen to this without experiencing reduced stress.

So, if you’re experiencing some midterm-related rage, take an hour off in the music library, and come listen to Steve Reich with us. It’ll be on all week!

Robert’s Stäff Picks!!!

Don’t forget, the Music Library is having an LP Bag Sale this Friday, April 26 from 10AM-2PM in front of Bender Library!!!

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This set of Staff Picks is dedicated to currently performing string quartets and new music ensembles/composers.

CD 5290 — Six Quartets, Op. 20 — Haydn

The quartets are pretty standard Haydn works but the cool part about this CD is that this recording is played by the Daedalus Quartet.  The Daedalus Quartet is considered a leader among the newest generation of string ensembles.  The members of this string quartet hold degrees from the Julliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute, and Harvard University.  Min-Young Kim and Matilda Kaul play violin, Jessica Thompson plays the viola, and Thomas Kraines plays the ‘cello.  This CD was released in 2009.

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CD 10048 — Meanwhile — eighth blackbird

eighth blackbird “combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company.” The members of the ensemble  “hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay States, and Australia’s Sunshine State.  There are four foodies, three beer snobs and one exercise junkie.”  It seems like it would be fun to hang with these folks. Tim Munro plays the flutes, Michael J. Maccaferri the clarinets, Yvonne Lam the violin & viola, Nicholas Photinos the ‘cello, Matthew Dunvall percussion, and Lisa Kaplan the piano.  This CD was released in 2012.

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John Adams

I often reference works by John Adams in my Staff Picks, and I honestly don’t think I could ever forget to mention him.  Adams is a North American based new music composer.  Once again, the symphonic version of my favorite opera, CD 9695 — Doctor Atomic / Guide to Strange Places.  This CD was released in 2009.

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CD 10053 – Adam’s Lament — Arvo Pärt

Do you like Arvo Pärt as much as Ethan Hicks? I doubt it, but you should still take a listen to this fantastic Pärt CD that explores many of his works including, but not limited to: Adam’s Lament, Beaatus Petronius, Salve Regina, and Estonian lullaby.  This CD was released in 2012.

 

We just got Eighth Blackbird’s GRAMMY NOMINATED “Meanwhile” (and other scores, CDs, DVD)

Get excited about our newest acquisition, Eighth Blackbird’s recent release “Meanwhile”: CD 10048.

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“Is there an ensemble anywhere that conveys the sheer exuberance and joy of contemporary music like Eighth Blackbird? To listen to this brilliant young American sextet is to be constantly reminded of just how exciting, funny and ingratiating new work can be – especially when it’s delivered with these players’ characteristic blend of breakneck virtuosity and charm.”

– Joshua Kosman for the San Fransisco Chronicle

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The Kashmere Stage Band: Texas Thunder Soul, 1968-1974 – CD 10047

Paul Winter Sextet: Jazz Meets the Bossa Nova/Folk Song – CD 10046

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DVD

Chops – Music Library DVD 55

Follows a group of high school students from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a public school in Jacksonville, FL, as they try to win a competition where the prize is being able to play at the prestigious Essentially Ellington Festival at New York’s Lincoln Center and an opportunity to work with famed jazz musician Wynton Marsalis.

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JOHN CAGE

Bird Cage  –  M1473.C34.B57 1972
Chess Pieces for Piano  –  M25.C34 C54 2005
 Nocturne for Violin and Piano  –  M221.C34 N63 1972
Radio Music  –  M1473.C34 R33 1961
Sonata for Clarinet  –  M72.C34 S66 1963
Sonata for Two Voices  –  M298.5.C34 S66 1979
String Quartet in four parts  –  M452.C32 S77 1960
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MORE NEW SCORES!

David Amram  –  Cancion de Verano: A Piano Quartet for Young Musicians  –  M412 A47.C36 2012
J.S. Bach  –  Sechs Partiten for Klavier, 1-3  –  M24.B115 S8 1958 v. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven  –  Three Equali for four Trombones WoO 30  – M457.4.B44 D74 2012
Luigi Carvelli  –  Serenata Napolitana for Violoncello and Piano  –  M233.C37 S47 2012
Richard Danielpour  –  Spirits in the Well for Soprano and Piano  –  M1621.4.D36 S65 2012
Michael Daugherty  –  Elvis Everywhere for String Quartet and Tape  –  M585.D38 E48 2010
Jacob Druckman  –  Dance with Shadows for Brass Quintet  – M557.4.D78 D36 2012
Beat Furrer (yes that is a name)  –  Phasma for Piano  –  M25.F87 P53 2005
David Friedman  –  Mirror from Another: A collection of solo pieces for vibraphone  –  M175.X6 F75 1987
Osvaldo Golijob  –  Tenebrae (Version III) for String Quartet  –  M454.G65 T46 2011
Aram Khachaturian  –  Double Fugue for string quartet  –  M452.K53 D68 2011
Lowell Lieberman  –  Six Songs on Poems of Nelly Sachs, Op. 14 for Soprano and Piano  –  M1621.L54 op.14 2012

Steve Mackey  –  Fusion Tone for Electric Guitar and Violoncello  –  M295.M33 F87 2012

Steve Reich  –  Know what is above you for Three Soprano Singers, One Alto Singer, and 2 Small Tuned Drums – M2019.5.R45 K66 2012
Igor Stravinsky  –  Circus Polka composed for a Young Elephant, for saxophone quartet  –  M459.S77 C57 2011

New Arrivals!

New CDs!

Benjamin Broening – Eighth Blackbird – Trembling Air – CD 9978

Victor Herbert – Eileen: A romantic comic opera – CD 9976

Joel Hoffman – Three Paths: 9 Pieces for Piano…the first time and the last         CD 9977

George Walker – Great American Concert Music – CD 9979

CanAm Piano Duo – This is the World – CD 9980

Charles Bestor – Eric Berlin, trumpet – The Sound of Time – CD 9981

Ragtime Concert feat. Bob Becker, Xylophone – CD 9975

New Sheet Music!

Karlheinz Stockhausen – Stimmung for six vocalists, Nr. 24                                M1529.5.S76 S75 1969

Karlheinz Stockhausen – Kurzwellen for six players,  Nr. 25                                M1470.S76 K8 1969

Louis Andriessen – Disco for Violin and Piano – M221.A63 D5 1995

Philip Glass – Four Movements for Two Pianos – M214.G48 M68 2011

Mario Davidovsky – Capricio for Two Pianos – M214.D250 C2 1965

John Cage – Music Walk – M25.C34 M875 1960

[In] CAGE

[In] CAGE
September 2,  2:00 pm [Studio Theater]
September 7,  4:00 pm – 9:30 pm [Recital Hall]
September 8, 9:00 am [Recital Hall]

Join the AU Music Department in a centennial celebration of John Cage’s birthday!  In partnership with the John Cage Centennial Festival of Washington, DC, American University will be hosting three Cage-ian events!

On September 2nd at 2 pm, come to the Katzen Center Studio Theater to get a taste of Cage’s repertoire with [In] CAGE.  Bonnie Whiting Smith, Dustin Donahue and AU Music Faculty Dr. William Brent, the members of red fish blue fish will be performing.

On September 7th at 4 pm, Tom Delio will give a lecture about John Cage’s percussion work “Amores” [1941].  Following Mr. Delio’s lecture, a series of concerts will cover every decade of Cage’s work from the 1930s to the 1990s.  Steven Schick and the Percussion Group Cincinnati will give rare performances of Cage’s music.  This performance will be located in the Studio Theater at 5:30 pm [free], the Katzen Museum at 6:30 pm [free], and there will  be a feature performance in the Recital Hall at 7:30 pm [$5 with a student ID]. There will be another performance of Cage’s work at 9:30 pm in the Museum [free].

On Saturday September 8th at 9:00 am [Recital Hall], Steven Schick and Percussion group Cincinnati will lead a free masterclass on interpreting Cage and other experimental music that will be performed in the September 7th concert.

For more information about the rest of the John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC, visit http://www.johncage2012.com/index.html.