Archive for the ‘ I’ve Been Listening To… ’ Category

Jason Robert Brown – The Old Red Hills of Home (from Parade, performed by Jeff Edgerton and Don Chastain)

This week, for the first time since high school I’m playing in a musical pit orchestra. The orchestra I’m in is playing for my university’s production of the 1998 musical Parade, and it’s been a lot of fun to struggle with challenging pit music again.

One of the first things our orchestra director told us about the musical is that it wasn’t your typical happy, feel-good Broadway show. Set in Georgia in the 1910’s, it tells the story of Leo Frank, a Jewish New Yorker who was accused, seemingly falsely, of the rape and murder of one of the girls he employed at the pencil factory he oversaw. After being convicted despite lack of evidence, the governor of Georgia commuted his sentence to life imprisonment, Frank was taken from his prison and lynched by citizens who were still convinced he was guilty. The incident and its adaptation for stage highlight some of the lesser-recognized issues in race relations at the time, especially anti-semitism and black-white relations in a region that still felt wronged by the Civil War and its aftermath.

This is the opening of the show, which starts with a flashback to a Confederate soldier leaving for the war, and is continued by the same character, only older and wounded, as he praises the efforts of the Confederates with the rest of the people during Confederate Memorial Day. The scene sounds, looks, and feels patriotic. Even knowing the rest of the story to follow and the complicated history it references, it is powerfully written and is exhilarating to perform. That feeling has given me an important reminder that I think everyone should have from time to time, especially in the current political climate: to constantly be self-aware and critical of why you support what or who you do. It’s way too easy to get carried away with the music of those around you.

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The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Just Like This (Don Diablo Remix)

Vincent Persichetti – Pageant (Performed by Eugene Migliaro Corporon and the North Texas Wind Symphony)

I’ve been taking a class on the history of the wind band this semester, and have listened to a few pieces that I played back in high school, including this one. Whether due to time or musical maturity, I appreciate many of them much more now than I did then. It would be fun to go back and play them again.

deadmau5 – Aural Psynapse

Ryan George – An Gé Fhiáin (Performed by Kenneth Collins and the United States Navy Band)

Just got back from a short tour with the University wind ensemble. We’re playing it this semester and I think it’s one of my favorite pieces for wind band that I’ve played.

Zonderling – Particle Parade

Somewhat fitting that I discovered this while working on a biochemistry lab. Very well may be my favorite track by Zonderling yet.

Axwell ^ Ingrosso – I Love You (feat. Kid Ink)