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Stelios Kerasidis says his latest work is for people who suffer and isolate because of Covid-19

Move over Mozart, here comes Stelios Kerasidis. A seven-year-old Greek prodigy has penned an isolation waltz inspired by the pandemic.

The hypnotic, fugue-like melody has picked up more than 43,000 hits on YouTube since its launch last week.

Hi guys! Im Stelios. Lets be just a teeny bit more patient and we will soon be out swimming in the sea, he beams, perched on his piano stool, feet barely touching the floor. Im dedicating to you a piece of my own.

The work, his third composition, was written especially for people who suffer and those who isolate because of Covid-19, he adds.

Stelios Kerasidiss Isolation Waltz

Born in Athens in 2012 to Fotis and Agathe Kerasidis, both pianists who now teach him, Stelios first performed in public at the age of three.

In 2018 he played Chopins Waltz in A Minor at New Yorks Carnegie Hall, and last year he appeared at Londons Royal Albert Hall performing on Elton Johns famous red piano.

Stelios says his favourite pianist is the late Canadian Glenn Gould, best known for his technically demanding renditions of Bach variations.

The Greek has shown a flare for composing. His two earlier works were written for his sisters, Veronica and Anastasia, and like Isolation Waltz were met with critical acclaim.

Greece has been under lockdown for longer than most other European nations, the government having closed schools almost a month ago. Last week the government announced that swimming was also forbidden as the measures were ramped up.

The precautionary steps appear to be working: Greece has reported 79 deaths and fewer than 1,800 confirmed coronavirus cases, far fewer than some other countries.

Stelios, who is likely to be homebound for some time yet, has not hinted whether he has another composition up his sleeve.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/06/seven-year-old-greek-piano-prodigy-pens-an-isolation-waltz

With concert halls and opera houses closed due to coronavirus, organisations and musicians across the world are livestreaming concerts from their homes, or from empty halls, and opening up their digital archives so that every one can still access music.

This page is being regularly updated [last update: 8/4]. Please email us (details at end) of things we have missed, or tell us in the comments section.

Easter music special

[NEW] The Sixteen are streaming the performance they gave in the Sistine Chapel in April 2018 of James MacMillans Stabat Materon Friday 10 April at 7:30pm (BST).

[NEW] The Philharmonia Orchestra had been due to mark its 75th anniversary with concerts at Southbank Centres Royal Festival Hall this Easter weekend. Instead, theyre offering a concert from 50 years ago at the same venue. In June 1970 the orchestras first Principal Conductor, Otto Klemperer, led the orchestra in a cycle of Beethoven symphonies, and on Friday 10 April at 7pm (BST) you can watch the orchestra perform the ninth, the choral symphony, featuring soloists including mezzo Janet Baker. The historic concert will be available to watch on demand thereafter.

Operas and concerts on demand

Solo
Solo Bach from his own church… Isabelle Faust

[NEW] Violinist Isabelle Faust live-streamed a solo Bach recital on 5 April from Leipzigs Thomaskirche, the church where JS Bach was Kapellmeister from 1723 until his death in 1750. The spine-tingling 60-minute concert is on Arte.tv, free to view until 4 July.

[UPDATED] Each evening at 730pm EST, New Yorks Metropolitan Opera is streaming a past production from its award-winning Live in HD series. Productions are available to stream, free, for 23 hours. More details on @MetOpera or metopera.org/. The week of 6 to 10 April includes Verdis Aida (recorded in 2018) with Anna Netrebko, and 2013s Parsifal, conducted by Daniele Gatti and starring Katarina Dalayman and Jonas Kaufmann.

Amsterdams Concertgebouw Orchestra has a huge array of past concerts to watch, organised by composer (including a Beethoven and also a Mahler symphony cycle), conductors (well represented are former chief conductors Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons and Daniele Gatti, plus Andris Nelsons, Ivan Fischer, although women on the Concertgebouw podium are conspicuous by their absence), and soloists. Theres also conducting masterclasses, portraits of the orchestras members and documentaries, enough to keep you engaged for weeks to come.

Mariss
Mariss Jansons conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, March 2014. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Dutch National Opera has on its YouTube channel the world premiere production of William Jeths Ritratto, which never actually got to be publicly performed. More will be available over coming weeks, check operaballet.nl/en/online.

The Melbourne Recital Centre has a range of performances from over the past few years of predominantly Australian performers and repertoire in an admirably easy-to-navigate site.

Garsington Opera has made available its 2019 production of Smetanas Bartered Bride in a staging our critic declared full of charm and wit, and also their Nozze di Figaro, captured in 2017.

Garsington
Garsington Operas Bartered Bride, staged in 2009 and now available to view on demand. Photograph: Clive Barda

Brusselss famous opera house La Monnaie has curated a virtual season with seven recent productions (including Tristan und Isolde, Aida, Dusapins specially commissioned Macbeth Underworld and a hallucinogenic La Gioconda). Not all the surtitles are in English try this database of librettos to gen up). You can also access the same content on its YouTube channel.

Bavarian State Opera (Bayerische Staatsoper) are livestreaming a chamber music concert each Monday evening, then available on demand for a fortnight. The first, featuring Christian Gerhaher, the Schumann Quartet, and pianist Igor Levit was watched by almost 50,000 live and is available until 31 March. Heres the second (highly recommended); Jonas Kaufmann is among the artists who will feature in coming concerts. Check the schedule here. The opera house has also made available a 2013 recording of Il Trovatore, starring Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann (until 28 March), and Lucia Di Lammermoor with Diana Damrau and Kirill Petrenko conducting (until 8 April).

The EU-wide Early Music Day was of course online only this year but featured livestreamed concerts that can all be watched on demand alongside plenty of previous concerts and shorter performances. Dont miss Steven Devines performance of Bachs 48 Preludes and Fugues on the harpsichord at the York Early Music Centre, or, if you need a lift, Bachs Toccata and Fugue (other Baroque composers are available) arranged for four very nimble-fingered recorder players.

The Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Academy (currently still scheduled to run from 17 July to 6 September 2020) have an online space where you can watch performances, backstage interviews and masterclasses from previous festivals. Registration is required but this will also enable the non-German speakers among us to access the English-language version of the written content.

Berlins Pierre Boulez Saals Intermission series features a regularly updated selection of past concerts each available for two or three days.

Deutsche Oper Berlin have a regularly changing programme of past productions available on demand. Check for details

The audio stream of Missy Mizzolis Breaking the Waves (which was at the Edinburgh international festival last year) captured in Opera Philadelphias premiere production in September 2016 is available via a Soundcloud embed.

Susan
Susan Bullock as Queen Elizabeth I, Toby Spence as the Earl of Essex and Mark Stone as Lord Mountjoy in Gloriana at the Royal Opera House in 2013. Photograph: Clive Barda 2013

The Royal Opera House is making available weekly ballets or operas streamed live (and then available on demand) on their Facebook and YouTube channels. The 2010 outing of Jonathan Millers Cos fan tutte on 10 April and, on 24 April, the 2013 production of Brittens Gloriana. More ROH content is available on Marquee TV (see below).

Desmond
Desmond Barrit (Bottom) left in The Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

Arts and culture streaming platform Marquee TV has extended their trial period to 30 days, giving free access to a huge array of theatre and ballet productions and a large and varied collection of operas that includes most of Glyndebourne festivals recent productions (from Brett Deans Hamlet to Jonathan Kents glorious staging of Purcells Fairy Queen, bonking bunnies and all). Other must-sees include Arvo Prts Adams Passion, and Opera Norths award-winning production of Jonathan Doves childrens opera, Pinocchio, and one of the greatest opera events of the last decade: Aldeburgh festivals outdoor production of Peter Grimes, staged on the beach where Brittens opera is set. Registration (and thus credit card details) are required to activate the free trial period, but you can cancel anytime.

The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra has a wide array of past concerts on demand and will be adding to this page regularly. Of many wonderful concerts there, try Daniel Barenboims joyful performance of Beethovens 5th Piano Concerto under the baton of Mariss Jansons (from November 2017), or watch their celebrated and much missed Chief Conductor Jansons conducting Bruckners Mass No 3 F minor.

Opera Norths acclaimed semi-staged Ring cycle from 2016 is available on their website. Their 2017 production of Trouble in Tahiti is available via Now TV and Sky on-demand services, and, on operavision (more of which below) you can watch their production of Brittens Turn of the Screw, captured live on 21 February 2020.

Neue
Neue Oper Freiburg production of Gerard Barrys The Importance of Being Earnest, available to watch on OperaVision.eu Photograph: PR

Established opera streaming platform operavision.eu has a wonderful archive of productions from across Europe all available free. New productions are coming every three or four days (check here). You can also watch via their YouTube channel.

The Teatro Massimo in Palermo has several concerts and recent opera productions recorded live available to watch on demand. At time of writing the operas include Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, a Barber of Seville (check out the witty animated opening) and a Cav and a Pag. And theres more to come, we are promised.

The Teatro Regio in Turin has set up a YouTube channel Opera on the Sofa and is making available past productions from the historic theatre. The opening offering is Nabucco, staged last February.

Vienna State Opera is offering a different opera available to watch each day via its streaming platform. Check here for whats on offer this week. (theres also a large archive of previous ballet and opera productions that can be watched with a subscription.)

Francois-Xavier
Francois-Xavier Roth conducts the London Symphony Orchestra. Photograph: Doug Peters

Many UK organisations livestream concerts and make them available via YouTube or other channels. Check out the Wigmore Hall, which has a huge array of their past chamber music concerts free to watch, or try the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras YouTube channel or Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, who have continued these last few weeks to perform concerts and livestream them.

Live and on-demand streams on social media

[NEW] Violinist Elena Urioste and her pianist husband Tom Poster are posting short clips each day of their performances of anything from Mozart to Messiaen, Nat King Cole to nursery rhymes. Dont miss the Come on Eileen/Toxic/Baby Shark mashup, or their themed costumes to match the music. Send in your requests, and drop in to #UriPosteJukeBox to brighten your day. Wonderful stuff.

Part of its new portal Lincoln Center at Home, the New York arts venue is posting on Facebook past concerts from its Live from the Lincoln series. Highlights include Jaap van Zweden conducting the New York Phil in Act 1 of Die Walkre, or Mahler 5, or, Joshua Bells Seasons of Cuba. Check for regular additions.

The Academy of Ancient Musics Streaming Sunday sees a new concert uploaded each week that you can watch on their YouTube channel. Scotlands Dunedin Consort has on Facebook a recent all-Bach programme recorded at Washington DCs Library of Congress.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra launched lpo.org.uk/lponline with a remarkable performance of a movement of Beethovens String Quartet No. 10 led by Anne-Sophie Mutter from Munich, with her fellow musicians in Tonbridge, Pimlico and Barnes. Edward Gardner, the LPOs Principal Conductor Designate, will introduce the first concert in this series on Saturday 28 March.

The London Mozart Players new At Home series features a daily changing series of imaginatively curated and friendly streams, workshops, family-friendly broadcasts and even live recitals. Check its YouTube channel or londonmozartplayers.com/athome/.

Violinist
Welcome to my living room – violinist Daniel Hope and pianist Christoph Israel livestreaming the first Hope from Home concert Photograph: PR

On 25 March, violinist Daniel Hope began live-streaming Hope at Home 14 half-hour episodes of live musical performance by leading classical artists, interspersed with English and German talk, live from his living room in Berlin. Tune in at 6pm CET/5pm GMT via the ARTE Concert website, where each episode will then be archived for 90 days, or on Deutsche Grammophons YouTube channel. And lest you be worried, no more than two artists will perform together at any one time, and they will always take care to keep at least two metres between them, while the film crew are using remote cameras.

The London Symphony Orchestra are streaming full-length concerts on Sunday and Thursday evenings. The series kicked off with Francois-Xavier Roth conducting Debussy, Bruckner and Bartk, on Thursday 26 March you can watch John Eliot Gardiner and soloist Isabelle Faust in a programme that includes Schumann and Mendelssohn. Each concert will be available up to midnight (UK time) on the day of broadcast, and thereafter on streaming site Stingray Classica (currently offering a free 30-day trial).

Every evening at 6.30pm (GMT) theres a live organ recital from Worcester Cathedral on Facebook Live.

Pianist Igor Levit is broadcasting nightly House Concerts on Twitter. Boris Giltburg, likewise follow him on @BorisGiltburg to find when the next one is.

Igor
Igor Levit Photograph: Lawrence K Ho/LA Times via Getty Images

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is playing short pieces that give him comfort and posting regularly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Search for hashtag #SongsofComfort. Fellow cellist Gautier Capuon, on lockdown in Paris, is posting daily doses of Bach on Twitter. Alisa Weilerstein has embarked on a #36daysofBach project each day a different movement of Bachs six Cello Suites streaming performances on twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Bass Matthew Rose and cellist Steven Isserlis are introducing each other to new music each day on twitter. Follow their dialogue and listen to their choices (heres the first one).

Ivan Fischer and musicians from his Budapest Festival Orchestra are livestreaming chamber concerts in a series they have called Quarantine Soires. Check the website for details.

Please send us details (email imogen.tilden@theguardian.com, or tweet @tildeni) of what weve missed and well aim to keep this updated. Many thanks to all whove sent information so far.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/mar/16/classical-music-opera-livestream-at-home-coronavirus

Sigma Project(Wergo) The Labyrinth, Eschers unending stairs and a Borges story inform Posadas three works for saxophone quartet, and Sigma Project find a huge range of effects with subtlety and detail

A 55-minute cycle of pieces for saxophone quartet might not seem a particularly enticing prospect. But in a succession of works over the last 20 years, including the remarkable Liturgia Fractal for string quartet, Sombras, for soprano, clarinet and string quartet, and Erinnerungsspuren for piano, the Spanish composer Alberto Posadas has shown that his fondness for composing pieces in linked groups, which may be performed individually or as continuous sequence, has resulted in some of the most striking music written in Europe in recent times.

Alberto
Alberto Posadas: Potica del Laberinto album art work

Posadas has likened his way of composing to journeying through a labyrinth, and the three pieces from 2016 and 2017 that make up Potica del Laberinto (Poetics of the Labyrinth), for saxophone quartet, take examples of such structures from the the arts and the classical world as their starting points. The first piece, Knossos, reflects on the excavations of the famous Minoan palace on Crete, generally thought to be the source of the legend of the labyrinth built by Daedalus to contain the Minotaur; the title of the second, Klimmen en Dalen, is taken from Eschers lithograph of a building with a never-ending staircase, while the third, Senderos que se Bifurcan, comes from Jorge Luis Borgess story The Garden of Forking Paths.

But theres nothing tritely descriptive or pictorial about Posadass approach; the sources are starting points for purely musical arguments. Knossos introduces each member of the quartet in turn, building up microtonal textures strand by strand, and extracting a huge range of shimmering effects trills, glissandi, multiphonics from the reed instruments. Klimmen en Dalen is built out of tangles of rising and falling scales and arpeggios from which it seems impossible to escape, with the sound of the instruments constantly modified by an exotic variety of mutes, while in Senderos que se Bifurcan, two tenor and two baritone saxophones trace out a series of independent lines that occasionally merge, only to separate and go in different directions again. Its music of immense subtlety and intricate detail, and the four instrumentalists of the Sigma Project realise its myriad effects with extraordinary faithfulness.

This weeks other pick

Three recent concertos by Bent Srensen, which are full of attractive, vivid instrumental effects, are brought together by Dacapo Records, all with their dedicatees as the soloists. Leif Ove Andsnes plays the Danish composers piano concerto, La Mattina, Martin Frst is the clarinettist in Serenidad, which is inspired by a collection of Spanish poetry, while the Trumpet Concerto, with a central movement evoking a Venetian barcarolle, was composed for Tine Thing Helseth. It may be fundamentally undemanding music, but it is beautifully made.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/mar/12/posadas-poetica-del-laberinto-review

It is mind-blowing to think how alike humans and animals can sometimes be. I’m not talking about physical appearance—the closest resemblance there are primates and that’s about it.

Animals continue to surprise and inspire us through their mental capacity for things we often find exclusively human. You know, things like emotion, empathy, the capacity for creativity and whatnot. What is most surprising to see is the fact that animals understand and partake in what we view as art and culture.

Believe it or not, but this cute blind elephant prefers to dance to classical music

Image credits: Paul Barton

Take this for example: A British musician by the name of Paul Barton dragged out a piano into the middle of an elephant sanctuary and began playing classical music to a blind elephant named Lam Duan.

The female elephant’s response? A pretty human one. She began swaying from side to side, moving her trunk, and even stepping around as if to dance to the music.

Image credits: Paul Barton

In his video, Barton explains that the gentle old female elephant named Lam Duan has been blind for most of her life. The 62-year-old elephant spends her days in ElephantsWorld which is an animal protection organization based in Wang Dong, Thailand. He then proceeds to play her some soothing classical music by Frédéric Chopin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, and Erik Satie.

This musician dragged his piano to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand so he could play for retired elephants

Image credits: Paul Barton

What adds even more charm to this story is the idea of this kind-hearted pianist sharing his talent and time with someone who is blind and can’t enjoy the beauty of sight but can, however, enjoy all that is aural. It’s like reading to the blind except with music.

Image credits: Paul Barton

Barton got the idea to do this one day on the River Kwai bridge while filming a video for his channel. There, he found out about this elephant sanctuary that takes care of old, injured, handicapped logging, and street elephants. Since he loved elephants, he went down there and asked if he could bring in and play the piano to the elephants. They had no objection to that.

Lam Duan isn’t the only elephant enjoying the soothing sounds of Bach, Chopin, and Schubert

Image credits: Paul Barton

Believe it or not, Lam Duan wasn’t the only elephant to enjoy this gift. There was a whole slew of elephants coming in and listening to Barton’s performance. Some even sang! Well, sang to the best of their ability. There is even a video of him playing the Saiyok, a traditional Thai flute, for an elephant named Plara.

Here is the full video of Lam Duan swaying side to side to the sound of classical music

Image credits: Paul Barton

Paul Barton has his own YouTube channel where he posts music on the regular, including all the times he played for elephants, so the beauty never has to stop.

Here is how the internet reacted to Barton and his performance for the elephants…

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/blind-elephant-dances-to-classical-music/

From experimental sonic meditations to singing sessions for the homeless, theres a new spirit of inclusiveness in choirs and you dont even need a good voice to join

I have joined a choir by mistake. This time last year, I was adamant I could not sing. But now, here I am, with 15 other people in the Cafe Oto Experimental choir in London, and we are each singing one long, even note, in whatever pitch comes naturally: this is the composer Pauline Oliveross Sonic Meditations.

You are probably imagining a cacophony of bum notes, but it is the opposite. Our voices fall in together in a huge harmonious chorus that fills the space with beautiful sound. As we shake off any lingering self-consciousness, people reach for higher volumes, and the hair on my arms stands on end. My eyes are shut and I feel as if we are floating.

For me, singing like this has become a welcome respite from the noise of the news and other stresses. I am not alone; choirs that require no auditions are on the rise across the UK. Making Music, an organisation that supports a cross section of leisure-time music, has seen a rise in registered vocal groups from 1,781 in 2014 to 2,065 today. Rock Choir is a franchised choir that started in 2005, to get people singing rock and pop by removing the usual barriers to entry to amateur choirs, such as knowing how to read music or passing a nerve-racking audition. Its membership has rocketed to about 30,000 people in the UK.

Lifetime
Lifetime friendships, jobs, housemates its pretty much a lifestyle London City Voices choir. Photograph: Matty Swan Photography

Individual groups also seem to be seeing a rise in numbers. London City Voices has gone from 10 people in 2012 to 450 at each rehearsal. It has been life-changing for loads of people, says the choirs musical director, Richard Swan. My wife and I met in the choir, as have loads of other couples. Lifetime friendships, jobs, housemates its pretty much a lifestyle. Our semi-jokey hashtag is #notacult.

Sacred Harp singing is also growing in the UK since its arrival in the 1990s. Groups sit in four blocks facing one another, leaving a hollow square in the middle, where people take turns to lead the singing. While it is rooted in religious singing from New England and the southern US, you are not expected to be a believer. Cork hosts the biggest Sacred Harp convention in Europe, with 200 attendees; last years UK convention in Bristol was its biggest yet, with 160 attendees from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Norway and the US.

Co-organiser Steve Brett points out that Sacred Harp groups are not, technically, choirs there is no conductor or director, and they do not perform or practice. When we sing, were singing to and for each other, he says. So its a bit different. I think the non-performative aspect attracts some people who wouldnt otherwise sing.

All four parts are written to be enjoyable to sing. There are fireworks between the parts, because its not designed to be listened to, its designed to be sung.

The
The Cafe Oto Experimental choir, with Jennifer Lucy Allan, back row, second from left. Photograph: Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi/The Guardian

Like others I speak to, Brett struggles to put into words the feeling he gets from singing in a large group. Its just so powerful, he says. Its not something you get a sense of from listening to a recording. Youre surrounded by loads of people who are also singing in full voice. Singing next to other people like this, you are showing a lot of vulnerability and you tend to form very strong bonds with people very quickly.

If singing together can feel like exposing ourselves, it also generates feelings of trust and togetherness when we take the risk. This is something that is at the core of the Hope Community Gospel choir in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, run by Barbara and Stephen Thomas. They took over the choir in 2014, when they were volunteered for the task by Stephens goddaughter. At that point the choir had dwindled to around a dozen people. Now, there are up to 80 at rehearsals. There are no auditions, and although hardly anyone has musical training, Barbara is adamant: If you enjoy what youre doing, youll make a good sound.

The Thomases, who are both social workers, are proud that the choir is a place where anyone, including those with disabilities, can join in. Their youngest member is 23; their oldest is in their 80s. Choir members come from a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnicities and religions. All of those tensions or divisions that might have been there, between black and white members, atheist and Christian it doesnt matter, because we all go through the same struggles in life, says Stephen. This is a community choir; you have to embrace everyone.

Sacred
Sacred Harp singers in Bristol. Photograph: Anne Altrinhgam

Some of their members also come for therapeutic reasons. For a while, a woman brought her husband, who had dementia. He would scream at various intervals, but he loved it, and the group were unfazed by his exclamations. They tell me how it was only after the death of a choir member that they discovered she had been walking long distances to attend. It makes it worthwhile when youre giving back to people who might not shout about their needs, says Barbara.

Lucky Kaur runs drop-in sessions and singing groups in St Austell, in Cornwall. Trained in Indian classical and western choral music, she also trained as a psychotherapist and was a social worker, and initially brought the two parts of her life together in vocal workshops she ran at the towns soup kitchen. She has since taken this practice into other spaces, where it forms part of rehabilitation programmes, and also runs an open drop-in session. I live near the sea, she says, and this singing is about anchoring people.

At the group she ran at the soup kitchen, she saw that singing was more than just a social activity. Homeless people often dont feel they have a voice, she says. But when we got everyone in a circle and made sounds, it became polyphonic and harmonious. We practised using our voices how to project your voice, for example as in a traditional choir, and I used to keep the front door open, so passersby would hear people singing inside.

Kaur says that many of us dont know how to use our voices whether that is about projecting across a room or just being able to vocalise our needs and her sessions build confidence and help singers get to know their voices. Singing like this, she claims, can help us feel as if we can speak up in other parts of our lives.

For all of the people running them, a choir is often not just a choir, but also a social club, a community and a charity. For me, it has become a refuge; I cant check my phone when I am hollering and humming, and holding a note distracts me from the usual clutter of my mind. At the end of a session, as our voices fade to silence and I feel the boards under my feet again, there is a deep silence that descends a gleeful peace that fizzes like static in the room. I ask Kaur about this feeling is it just me, or does this happen in other groups she runs? Oh yes, she says. Ive seen that. Ive seen tears; Ive seen big smiles There is a wonderment on peoples faces. Its just beautiful. Absolutely exquisite. I think its out of this world.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/02/black-white-avant-garde-atheist-how-did-choirs-become-so-cool

The disco icon to follow in footsteps of Patti Smith, Yoko Ono and Nick Cave as curator of the London music festival, saying, Its about time, dont you think?!

Grace Jones is to curate the 2020 edition of Meltdown, the nine-day festival taking place at Londons Southbank Centre.

Year after year, the festival continues to spread its colourful wings, allowing its curators to bring together an array of diverse talent not seen anywhere else, Jones said in a press release. Its about time I was asked to curate Meltdown darling, dont you think?!

Bengi nsal, Southbanks head of contemporary music, said: Grace Jones is unlike anybody else. She was the first artist who made me feel that I could express myself, be whatever I wanted to be, and not be afraid of what the world might say.

Jones has performed at previous editions of the festival, as part of Jarvis Cockers 2007 lineup, and the following year with Massive Attack. Her lineup for the festival will be announced in the new year.

Meltdown was founded in 1993, initially as a classical music-focused festival. It soon widened its remit, making curators of artists including Nick Cave and Scott Walker. Jones is only the sixth woman to curate the festival in its history, following Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Anohni, Yoko Ono and MIA.

The next Meltdown will take place 12-21 June. Jones, who is 71, released her last album, Hurricane, in 2008, and published the autobiography Ill Never Write My Memoirs in 2015.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/nov/06/grace-jones-to-curate-meltdown-festival-2020-southbank-centre-london

The composer has suggested that Episode IX will be his last film in a faraway galaxy, opening the door for familiar and lesser-known names to take his place

Artists spend their lives working to attain the kind of supremacy over their field currently enjoyed by John Williams. If someone only knows one composer of film scores, they know him. Thats not a comment on his status as a perennial Oscar fixture this year he collected his 51st nod, making him the most-nominated person alive but rather a testament to the staggering volume and ubiquity of the work hes chosen to do. From the militaristic pomp of the Star Wars marches to the mounting tension of Jaws lurking theme, from the majesty of the lilting Jurassic Park melody to the bounding energy of Indiana Joness title music, Williams has carved out a legacy that will loom over his corner of film culture forever. Costuming has Edith Head; music has him.

Though the question of for how much longer has reared its ugly head as of late. Williams said in a radio interview earlier this week that his days with Star Wars will soon be behind him, as he readies his Episode IX score as his final contribution to the rapidly expanding franchise. This development has created a power vacuum that can only be filled with the right replacement; not to put too fine a point on it, film music must crown its new king. Below, weve floated a handful of suggestions for the heir to Williamss throne. And admit it, youve been humming the Jurassic Park theme since the first paragraph.

Alexandre Desplat

Desplat
Photograph: John Milne/Silverhub/Rex/Shutterstock

A tidy bit of real-world symbolism could cue up the coming transfer of power: at this years Academy Awards, John Williams and his score for The Last Jedi fell to this French favorite for his work on The Shape of Water. Desplat has garnered nine nominations since 2006 for delivering precisely the sort of opulent, stately music that Oscar voting bodies love and the Star Wars universe needs. Orchestral pomp is the name of the game, providing a fitting counterpoint to epic imagery, and Lucasfilm already knows it they tried to tap Desplat for the Rogue One music, but ultimately replaced him when reshoots started fighting the tone Desplat was trying to set. Let him do his thing this time around, and the results will speak for themselves.

Mark Mothersbaugh

Mothersbaugh
Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BMI

Hell probably spend the rest of his life under the shadow of Whip It, but the former Devo member has built himself a respectable second career as American comedy cinemas go-to guy for incidental music. The past decade has seen Mothersbaugh alternating between undoubtedly well-paid studio gigs and more impassioned compositions for indie jobs for every Hotel Transylvania 2, theres a Brads Status. Split the difference between them, and Mothersbaugh would deliver. He knows how to write with a broad appeal, but also how to do so with individualistic flavor setting his work apart from itself. (Nobody would ever mistake the upbeat background of 22 Jump Street with the ominous post-industrial gurgling punctuating scenes on the Fox TV series The Last Man on Earth.)

Jon Brion

Jon
Photograph: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Maybe after decades of the same titanically scaled symphonic sound, the Star Wars universe could use a dose of the new-and-now. Ever since he worked his magic on Kanye Wests instrumentally diverse Late Registration, Jon Brion has been like a hipster Midas turning everything he touches cool, from the lovably creepy accompaniment to off-beat kiddie flick Paranorman to the warming wind ensemble of last years Lady Bird. Brion could revitalize the Star Wars universe with a little eccentricity, giving us more colorful selections like the Mos Eisley Cantina Band song and fewer indistinguishable variations on the buttoned-up title music and its thundering da-da-da-DAAAAH.

Jonny Greenwood

Greenwood
Photograph: David Fisher/Rex/Shutterstock

Be forewarned, were now entering the realm of never gonna happen, but wouldnt it be nice? Either way, consider another of Williamss most recent Oscar competitors, the Radiohead guitarist and Paul Thomas Andersons repeat collaborator Greenwood. Hes a virtuoso in his field, and hes got range to match his skills; compare the sparse, tribal percussion of There Will Be Blood to the ravishing, swooning violins of Phantom Thread. The primary excitement of tapping Greenwood would be the sheer unpredictability of his output, a complete remolding of what it means to be Star Wars music. Whatever he delivers, audiences can trust itll be meticulously crafted and engineered to perfection Greenwood earned a reputation as an obsessive studio tinkerer from his earliest Radiohead days.

Keegan DeWitt

Keegan
Photograph: Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

If the producers decide to dig a little deeper into the indie back channels, theyd do well to keep an eye out for this relatively under-the-radar talent. DeWitt lands a magnificent one-two punch in 2018, adding tone-perfect ambient-noir sax to the thriller Gemini and a full orchestra arrangement for the dramedy Golden Exits that sounds more expensive than the film containing it looks. Lucasfilm seems to enjoy plucking creative personnel from semi-obscurity and bumping them right up to the big leagues. Why not draw on the same spirit of risk-taking that compelled studio executives to give some weirdo kid named George Lucas a shot and go with someone whos got less experience but ability to spare?

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/12/star-wars-music-john-williams-successor

The Icelandic musician won a Golden Globe in 2015 for his score to the Stephen Hawking biopic

Theory of Everything composer Jhann Jhannsson dies at 48

The Icelandic musician won a Golden Globe in 2015 for his score to the Stephen Hawking biopic

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/feb/10/theory-of-everything-composer-johann-johannsson-dies-at-48

Best known for his film scores, Jhannssons earlier electronic and classical work confronted existential horror

Jhann Jhannsson: the late Icelandic composer who made loss sublime

Best known for his film scores, Jhannssons earlier electronic and classical work confronted existential horror

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/feb/11/johann-johannsson-the-late-icelandic-composer-who-made-loss-sublime

Exclusive: American conductor welcomes new role at ORF but hopes being the first woman will soon no longer be news

Marin Alsop appointed first female artistic director of top Vienna orchestra

Exclusive: American conductor welcomes new role at ORF but hopes being the first woman will soon no longer be news

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/29/exclusive-marin-alsop-appointed-first-female-artistic-director-of-orf-orchestra