music

Newlywed bride and groom stepping into car, circa 1955.  Sign in front passenger side window reads "Hold Her Tight."
MOHAI, Al Smith Collection, 2014.49

Seattle is a young city, young enough that most of its history can be traced through photographs.

Until recently though, most of those photos have been official portraits or documentation of public works projects like the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Musician Kim Gordon at La Route du Rock 2007
Flickr Photo/Guillaume (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattleites turned out in force recently to hear from and ask questions of alt-rock deity Kim Gordon. Gordon is a musician, artist, record producer and one of the founders of the band Sonic Youth.

Inspired by post-punk, avant-garde and no wave bands of the 1970s, Sonic Youth created an unconventional sound marked by dissonance, feedback and alternate tunings that helped change how rock was defined.

Jimi Hendrix in 1967.
Wikipedia Photo

Jeannie Yandel talks with music historian and Jimi Hendrix biographer Charles Cross about a collection of early songs featuring Hendrix getting an official re-release.

Pianist Arthur Migliazza performs in the KUOW studios on Jan. 30, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds interviews blues and boogie pianist Arthur Migliazza, who then treats a live audience to a performance in the KUOW studios.

Migliazza began playing the piano professionally at the age of 13. His tutors included the blind master New Orleans pianist, Henry Butler. 

Charles Corey of the University of Washington plays the chromelodeon, one of 57 instruments that composer Harry Partch created for his music.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

The door to room 5 at the University of Washington School of Music is solid wood, nothing to distinguish it from other classrooms.

But inside this cramped space is a collection of unusual instruments, handcrafted to play one man’s music.

John Luther Adams
MELANIE BURFORD FOR NPR MUSIC

Heavy.

Gentle.

A gigantic, slow-motion movement.

Those are terms used to describe “Become Ocean,” the composition that on Sunday night clinched the Seattle Symphony’s first-ever Grammy.

Sleater-Kinney, a band that helped define the Northwest's indie rock scene begins a much-anticipated tour this weekend, starting in Spokane on Sunday, then moving on to Boise on Monday.

Sunday night, in the middle of Katy Perry's flashy Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring dancing beach balls and sharks, rapper Missy Elliott and her dancers dropped in.

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready with Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot.
Courtesy Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Mike McCready, the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, gave his first performance for the Seattle Symphony when he was just a kid.

"I was 12 years old," he says laughing, "and my band Warrior played a Symphony fund-a-thon underneath the Monorail."

Now McCready gets a chance to make music with the orchestra.

lelavision
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

When Ela Lamblin was a little boy in Oregon, his father said he wouldn't buy him any toys. Instead, Lamblin's father offered to help Ela build anything he wanted.

Fast forward several decades. Ela Lamblin still builds things at his Vashon Island studio. He and his wife, Leah Mann, landed in the Seattle area more than 20 years ago after they finished art degrees in Atlanta.

Lamblin is a sculptor, but his artwork doesn't just sit there. Most of Lamblin's creations move. And they can be played like musical instruments.

American soldiers in presence of gas, 42nd division. Essey, France. September 20, 1918.
Flickr Photo/Otis Historical Archives (CC-BY-NC-ND)

To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, University of Washington professor Robin McCabe planned a series she calls “Music from the War to End All Wars.”

The debut event includes professor Robert Stacey’s talk ,“A Gathering Storm? Artistic Crisis and the Coming of the First World War.” 

Musician and author James McBride.
Flickr Photo/American Library Association (CC-BY-NC-ND)

As you listen to this episode of Speakers Forum, keep in mind that author James McBride gave this talk without any notes. In it he riffs on his family, career, books and life in America with thoughtful, humorous and inspiring improvisation.

New Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang
Facebook/Seattle Opera

The first sign that change has come to Seattle Opera is on the walls.

Many of the temporary partitions that for years divided the Opera's administrative office into a warren of cubicles are gone. The cramped room feels bigger, or at least roomier. There's space to breath.

New General Director Aidan Lang has performed a similar surgery on his corner office. Gone is predecessor Speight Jenkins' couch and stuffed animals. In its place are a neatly organized desk and a business-like round table and chairs.

Jon Osborne

“Welcome to the Stroke a Chord choir, my name is Tim Adams.”

Adams, a 49-year-old lawyer from Australia, was training for a marathon about four years ago when he suffered a massive stroke. He survived, but the stroke damaged the part of his brain that controls speech. The condition is known as aphasia.

But sometimes people who can't speak can sing, because the two acts are controlled by different parts of the brain. And that's how the Stroke a Chord choir in Melbourne can exist. 

Local musician Jamie Aaron, in a screenshot from one of her music videos.
YouTube

Ross Reynolds talks with local musician Jamie Aaron, who recently released her debut solo album "Velo Scene," about her inspirations.  Aaron will be playing January 23 at the Columbia City Theater. 

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