No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  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.




 |  nyfos

I told Michael, “We have got to bring that music to our mainstage series. Everyone needs to hear Daniel’s—what is it, a cantata?” At first we thought of pairing At the Door with other stories of thwarted lovers, picking up on the work’s story. But we saw a more interesting possibility, something to address our current national quandary about welcoming people of other nationalities into our country. Daniel is Persian-American, and At the Door is set to a poem in Farsi. NYFOS has ventured far afield in its 31-year history—a couple of years ago we did a song in Zulu. But it was time to open our borders even further, and Daniel Sabzghabaei proved to be our passport.




 |  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.




 |  Bright Sheng

Bartók once said that a simple folk melody can accommodate more complicated harmony. And here is a case in point. This descending Dorian tune repeats itself while the text changes, but the piano accompaniment changes quite bit along with the text, from consonance at the beginning to something more dissonant. I learned a great deal from performing this song many years ago.




 |  Bright Sheng

This three-song set is equivalent to three scenes from an opera. It paints the actions of the text both in reality and in abstraction, but in its most effective way, it depicts an unyielding longing for something unfathomable or unobtainable.