Music

Tiny Desk Concerts
10:45 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Anonymous 4 With Bruce Molsky: Tiny Desk Concert

Tiny Desk Concert with Anonymous 4 on March 4.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 5:18 pm

It was December 1990 — more than a year before the first Anonymous 4 album was released — when NPR invited four slightly shy women into our studio to sing 13th-century Christmas music. Back then, we already knew the manifold beauty of their sound, its purity and accuracy, was something unique.

Now, some 25 years and 21 albums later, the a cappella vocal quartet is calling it quits at the end of 2015. But not before one final visit to NPR.

Read more
Music News
7:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Influential Guitarist John Renbourn, Co-Founder Of Pentagle, Dies

John Renbourn performs onstage at the Royal Festival Hall in London June 29, 2008. The influential guitarist died at his home in Scotland Thursday. He was 70.
Barney Britton Redferns

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 1:41 pm

Guitarist and composer John Renbourn co-founded the group Pentangle and went on to become revered by guitarists around the world. Renbourn was found dead of an apparent heart attack at his home in Scotland on Thursday, after failing to show up for a concert. He was 70 years old.

Read more
Music News
7:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

The Tale Of Mingering Mike, Who Painted Himself A Music Career

Mingering Mike's Joseph War & Friend, 'As High As The Sky' (mixed media on paperboard).
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 1:29 pm

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has just added a handful of soul records to its collection — or at least that's what you might think when you first see the work of Mingering Mike. A self-taught artist, he grew up in a tough part of Washington, D.C., just a few miles from the museum, though his family didn't spend much time there. Now, his work is in the museum permanently.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
12:49 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

The Sensuous Radical: Pierre Boulez at 90

French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, photographed in Salzburg in 2011.
Martin Schalk Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:01 pm

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
10:56 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Cross The Arctic With The Kronos Quartet

The Kronos Quartet.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 3:49 pm

Dogs barking, wind howling, ice crunching, then the sudden "ch-ch-ch-ch" of a sawing beat: That's composer Derek Charke's opening salvo in his transporting piece Cercle du Nord III.

Read more
All Songs Considered
9:19 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Lower Dens' Jana Hunter Explains 'Escape From Evil,' Track By Track

Lower Dens singer and songwriter Jana Hunter writes that her band's new album, Escape From Evil, is typified by "warmth and physicality."
Frank Hamilton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 9:28 am

There's something mysterious, almost opaque, about the songs of Lower Dens. The ones on the band's new album, Escape From Evil, are lush but distant, beautiful things held just out of reach.

Read more
Music News
5:15 am
Tue March 24, 2015

First Listen: 'Carrie & Lowell' By Sufjan Stevens

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:11 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
First Listen
11:30 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

Review: Missy Mazzoli, 'Vespers For A New Dark Age'

Missy Mazzoli's new album, Vespers for a New Dark Age, comes out March 31.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 9:10 am

Can robots think and feel? Could there be a day when computers control our lives?

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
3:23 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Pretty Yende: An Opera Star Whose Rise Began With A Fall

Soprano Pretty Yende in a Los Angeles Opera rehearsal. Starting Saturday, she'll be appearing in the company's production of The Marriage of Figaro.
Corin Cates-Carney NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:20 pm

Read more
Goats and Soda
4:44 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Egyptian Singer, Meet Burundi Bassist. Play Among Yourselves!

A Nile Project concert in Al Azhar Park, Cairo, Egypt, 31 January, 2013.
Courtesy of Matjaz Kacicnik/Nile Project

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:23 pm

Late one night, Dina el-Wadi, a singer and musician from Cairo, arrived in Kampala, Uganda. She'd come for a gathering of musicians who live in countries along the Nile River.

She went to bed and woke up to pure enchantment: "I found a very beautiful woman singing in the morning in a very, very, very magical way. So I said, 'Oh, who is this girl that's going to sing with us?'"

Read more

Pages