No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Devony Smith

I am shamelessly ending this week of music with one of my favorite techno-pop songs. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for a solid beat and varied syncopation. I think that’s why I am drawn to contemporary music—I love the challenge of decoding a composers rhythmic intent and marrying difficult rhythm with the language on the page.




 |  Devony Smith

In the spirit of the Kate Soper NYFOS Next concert this evening, I would love to share the very first piece I ever heard of Kate’s, “Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say.” This song from Kate’s larger work Ipsa Dixit (translated: she, herself, said it…), which was premiered with a quartet from the Wet Ink Ensemble in 2016 and was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Composition in 2017.




 |  Devony Smith

Today, I wanted to share a song by one of my favorite folk artists, Hazel Dickens. I stumbled across this song while curating music for a play set in the Appalachian mountains. Hazel Dickens is known primarily for her one of a kind vocal color, and her provocative pro-union feminist songs.




 |  Devony Smith

Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite pieces of all time for soprano—“Lúa Descolorida,” by Osvaldo Golijov. The piece was premiered in 2002 by Dawn Upshaw and the Minnesota Orchestra. The recording below is from Dawn’s album “Voices of Light,” and features her long-time pianist/collaborator Gilbert Kalish.




 |  Devony Smith

We start the week with a song from my childhood. My uncle is the pianist in a longstanding jazz fusion band called the Yellowjackets. The band formed in 1977 around the popular jazz guitarist, Robben Ford. In 1991, they collaborated with the the acapella group Take 6 to record the song “Revelation.”




 |  Steven Blier

A quick post-concert report as I bid farewell to this beautiful week. Overview: both shows went extremely well for the cast, who delivered the goods. The Sunday run took place in a black box theater that needed to be borrowed for the occasion due to renovations at Caramoor. Its dryness proved to be a challenge to be overcome. Yet the show went smoothly and faultlessly. The in-depth work we’d done on the songs gave the concert the kind of strength and subtlety I had hoped for.




 |  Efraín Solís

We close this week with one of my favorite Mariachi songs ever. I heard this song at a friend’s party once a long time ago and completely fell for the words and the show stopping quality of the vocals. It’s almost always sung by a woman and it requires so much control and agility from the female voice.




 |  Efraín Solís

Okay, so I may be on a bit of a Sondheim/Company kick. But this is one of my favorite shows! Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m inching towards 30 this year that I’m starting to get much more of what Mr. Sondheim was trying to get across. Either way, this is one of my favorite pieces of the whole evening.




 |  Efraín Solís

I love this number from Company by Maestro Sondheim. The revival cast now features some gender switches and I’m hoping I can catch it in NY. It’s everything you want in a broadway show, plus a little bit of (okay a lot of) subtext. But it’s a good old broadway romp and I love every minute of it.




 |  Efraín Solís

For my second selection I’ve chosen “Dear Someone” from the album Time (The Revelator) by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. They are both credited for writing this song, but some internet digging actually revealed that they actually were not the original writers of the tune, which was written by Ry Cooder.