Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Two Albums Are My Picks
From The Twenty Five Offered Here

sample one song from each
by clicking on the artists name in each selection below

Cover for The Magic Place 
Julianna Barwick,'The Magic Place'
  • Song: Bob In Your Gait
One of the most alluring and elusive albums of 2011, Julianna Barwick's The Magic Place is a meditative musical journey, equally spiritual and haunting. Barwick crafts her songs alone, sitting cross-legged on her bed, singing into a lone microphone processed through a few effects, a loop pedal and a laptop. But don't mistake this for an introverted bedroom project. Her gorgeously resonant voice is meant to be heard filling the rafters of some ancient cathedral. Barwick sings each vocal part with purpose, each slowly unfurling and overlapping until they swell into a room-enveloping chorus of otherworldly voices. With minimal instrumentation and no decipherable lyrics, it's up to us, the listener, to affix our own meanings and interpretations for ourselves. Still, The Magic Place is a euphoric record intended for searching, for self-reflection, and ultimately for getting lost in its subtle charms. (written by Mike Katzif)

Cover for Gra Agus Bas 
Donnacha Dennehy, 'Grá Agus Bás'
  • Song: That the Night Come: Her Anxierty
Grá agus Bás ("Love and Death"), an album of music by the contemporary Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy, is a revelation. More than deftly dispatched by conductor Alan Pierson and the Crash Ensemble, the two works on this album are split in Manichean fashion in both mood and substance. The first is the haunting and utterly bracing title work, sung in Gaelic by vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird,whose initial honey-sweet murmurs rise through anxiety and morph irrevocably into churning, roaring terror. The second is That the Night Come: custom-fit settings of Yeats' poetry for soprano Dawn Upshaw and her silvery, glistening voice in bracing, rich, complex and just plain gorgeous displays.
(written by Anastasia Tsioulcas)

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