Music

Deceptive Cadence
11:31 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Flower Songs: A Springtime Opera Puzzler

Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili sings amid a massive field of poppies in a Metropolitan Opera production of Borodin's Prince Igor.
Cory Weaver Metropolitan Opera

Spring finally seems to have arrived with an abundance of flowers. In the old poem, it's April showers that bring May flowers. But in opera, flowers pop up for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are pretty. While operatic flowers can be enjoyed for their beauty, their allure can also spell trouble. This springtime fleurs de l'opéra puzzler includes some lovely blossoms you might not want to sniff. Score high and come out smelling like a rose. Score low and feel yourself wilt with inadequacy.

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Music News
8:25 am
Sat May 2, 2015

'Louie Louie': Indecipherable, Or Indecent? An FBI Investigation

The "Louie Louie" record, shown in 2003 ahead of an eBay auction, was a huge hit in the '60s. The hard-to-decipher lyrics led to some sordid speculation among teen listeners — and some fretting among those teens' parents.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

Everyone knows the song — or, well, parts of it.

"Louie, Louie." "Ohhhhhh, baby." "A fine little girl, she waits for me."

But the next line ... How's it go again?

The voice growling out those indecipherable lyrics belonged to Jack Ely, the lead singer of The Kingsmen, who died this week at the age of 71.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Sat May 2, 2015

3-D Printers Bring Historic Instruments Back To The Future

Sina Shahbazmohamadi places a 3-D printed copy of a recorder foot joint into a measuring device in a lab at the University of Connecticut's Center for Clean Energy Engineering.
Peter Morenus UConn

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

In a recital hall at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, a group of musicians got together to play Jean-Baptiste Singelée's 1857 quartet for saxophones on some very old, very special instruments.

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Remembrances
5:09 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Ben E. King, Soul Singer Best Known For 'Stand By Me,' Dies

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

One of the most distinctive voices of 1950s and '60s R&B has died. Ben E. King, best known for the song "Stand By Me," died yesterday in New Jersey of natural causes. He was 76. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has more.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Singer Ben E. King, Best Known For 'Stand By Me,' Dies At 76

Ben E. King
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:31 pm

Soul Singer Ben E. King, best known for his hit "Stand By Me," has died, his publicist says. He was 76.

Phil Brown, the publicist, says King died Thursday of natural causes.

Born Sept. 28, 1938, in Henderson, N.C., King moved to Harlem, N.Y., at age 9, his biography says.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:15 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Dazzling Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig Dies Suddenly

Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, of the Empire Brass Quintet, was acclaimed for his lustrous tone and virtuosity.
Columbia Artist Management

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 4:39 pm

Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, praised for his beautiful tone and virtuosic style, died Monday afternoon at his home in West Stockbridge, Mass. The cause of death, according to his long-time manager Mark Z. Alpert, was a heart attack. Smedvig was 62.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:27 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

Philip Glass photographed in New York City in 1980.
Jack Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 6:23 pm

It was 1964 when the young Philip Glass found himself in Paris. He was on a Fulbright scholarship to study with the revered pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It was a career move carefully planned. Glass wanted to be a composer and he knew Boulanger's rigorous lessons in traditional Western harmony and counterpoint would sharpen his skills.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:43 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Roomful Of Teeth: A Vocal Group That's 'A Band, Not A Choir'

Roomful of Teeth's new album is Render, out April 28.
Bonica Ayala Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 2:16 pm

The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically trained singers incorporating Tuvan throat singing, Appalachian yodeling, operatic trills, rhythmic exhalations and whispered speech into music written by some of the most exciting young composers of the 21st century.

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The Record
2:18 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Waka Flocka Flame Is Hiring

Waka Flocka Flame reading resumes at Webster Hall in New York City April 20.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:27 am

They say you can't overestimate the power of a good handshake. If that's the case, my job interview with Waka Flocka Flame was doomed from the start.

I went in for the sort of greeting I'm familiar with -– a clasp that pivots up into a grip and pulls in for a hug — but it unexpectedly continued. He raised our wrists to shoulder level, pointed his fingers out, locked them with mine ... but by that point I was long since lost. He looked at me and smiled sympathetically. First impressions, I thought, resigned, are everything.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Bang On A Can Riffs On John Cage

On the Bang on a Can All-Stars' new album, Field Recordings, composers riff on a range of recorded sounds.
Peter Serling Bang on a Can

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 9:38 am

Life changed a lot after that day in 1877 when Thomas Edison spoke "Mary had a little lamb" into a contraption he called a phonograph and discovered he could reproduce sound. Back then, tinfoil cylinders captured just a few flickering moments. Today Wagner's entire Ring cycle fits on a 16GB flash drive.

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