No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Dorothy Potter Snyder

All through Andalusia, from the rock of Jaén to the snail’s-shell of Cadiz, people constantly talk about the duende and recognize it wherever it appears with a fine instinct. That wonderful singer El Lebrijano, creator of the Debla, said: ‘On days when I sing with duende no one can touch me.’




Many songs from the American Roots realm (folk, blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, cajun, string band, traditional, and more genres) are cultural touchstones, songs that just about everyone knows. Songs like “Blowin’ In the Wind”, “Stand By Your Man”, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. But there are hundreds, if not thousands, of lesser known songs being sung in local song circles, small coffee houses, regional festivals that, if given the opportunity, would also find their way into the canon of songs with the power to touch and move any listener.




I’ll admit it—I’m a Snarky Puppy addict. They’re ridiculously good. Picking only one song from them is actually easy because there’s no wrong choice. Listening to only one song is not easy, so if you’re reading this, and you haven’t listened to SP, a good starting point are their Family Dinner albums (volume 1 and 2).




 |  Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

I spent the school breaks of my college years in Norway, while my parents lived there for a work assignment. It was impressed upon me during that time that the Norwegians are an entirely proud bunch, and nothing makes them more proud than their stunning landscape of rugged coastlines, vast mountain-scapes, and steep fjords.




 |  Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

I can’t say for sure the first time I heard this song, but I remember distinctly when it first made a serious impression—as an encore at Susan Graham’s recital at Carnegie Hall in 2003. I was absolutely swept away by the beauty of it. Up until then I didn’t really know anything about Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947), a Venezuelan-born composer who lived in France. Now I see his songs pop up on recital programs frequently.




 |  Jack Gulielmetti

While the other songs have been chosen for their objective beauty and ability to touch anyones heart regardless of musical ability, I selfishly chose this one because it titilates my ears as a musician. I find this piece to be a testament to the power of the human voice, and the depth of color that can be created when many people sing together.




 |  Jack Gulielmetti

This was a hard decision. I knew that with any piece on my favorite songs and songwriters of all time I would have to put in a Stevie Wonder song (because, um, duh? He’s only one of the greatest songwriters of all time), but picking one was extremely difficult. Ultimately I chose this song because of its beauty and simplicity in context with the rest of his music.




 |  Jack Gulielmetti

This is going to be a relatively eclectic list. While Mahler is not someone who I would always list among my favorite composers of all (he’s absolutely phenomenal, don’t get me wrong, just not someone who I always think to listen to) but this piece, and this movement in particular, always gets to me. Mahler’s incredible orchestration combined with the Rückert’s heart wrenching poetry creates an absolutely unforgettable aural experience.