No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog

Coming from an Irish family, my earliest memories of hearing live music came from family parties. The ‘adults’ would each take turns singing a song a cappalla in the circle in the living room. And my great grandma – Nana Nana – somehow knew every song. I remember thinking “how could she know all of these songs. Some of them weren’t even in English?” I was fascinated.




 |  Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

A close friend of mine hosts lively dinner parties mixing exotic foods, unlikely pairings of people, and free flowing spirits. These convivial gatherings last late into the night, fueled by many elements including far reaching conversations. One night following a poignant memorial service, while ruminating on the musical choices of the service, we delved into the songs we’d want sung at our memorials.




 |  Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Though it ran on Broadway for more than 4 years and was a commercial success, I’ve never met anyone else who saw The Magic Show, a Broadway musical from the 1970s starring magician Doug Henning. My mother took me to see it when I was 12-years-old, and the main thing I remember is that it included a song about WEST END AVENUE—the street I lived on!




 |  Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

I grew up in a household full of music. Both my parents are talented amateur musicians and
compulsive singers – you have to find yourself taking care to not say any sing-able phrase aloud
lest the whole family breaks into song mid conversation – even a cheerful “Good Morning” will
either give you Garland and Rooney or, perhaps more often from my flower child mother, “Good
Morning Starshine” from Hair.




 |  Amy Owens

Clarice Assad constantly surprises and delights me with her inventive audio-visual offerings. I discovered this music video and I absolutely love it! Check out her crazy vocal effects around 1:28 and appreciate all the vocal colors that feel like instruments layered throughout. I can’t put it any better way: she’s just cool.




 |  Amy Owens

Tonight’s American premiere of Roberto Sierra’s composition 33 Sueños will be quite an epic musical journey. I have also really enjoyed listening to some of his vocal music for soprano, so here is the cycle Décimas. It is lyrical and beautiful, playful and stylistic. I particularly enjoy the spirited Amanecer which begins at 2:09 and Agua Maldita which begins at 7:13. If you have time to listen to the whole cycle, it’s absolutely worth it.




 |  Amy Owens

Today, take a listen to some Persian music from Parisa and the Dastan Ensemble. Parisa is a Persian classical singer introduced to me by Daniel Sabzghabaei, whose piece we will hear in tomorrow’s concert. I am intrigued by the vocal style, especially “tahrir,” or what sounds like “breaking” of the voice. It is incredibly passionate and expressive, and the soaring vocals over the deeply rhythmic sounds of the ensemble are hypnotic. Enjoy!




 |  Amy Owens

I’m honored to be sharing songs with you this week, the week of the “Hyphenated Americans” concert at Merkin Hall! I have loved exploring the music of two of the composers featured on Wednesday’s program: Bright Sheng and Daniel Sabzghabaei. This is a chance to hear many different styles of music influenced from the hybrid experiences of the composers. I’m particularly struck by how the language affects the style and even my vocal approach to this music.