Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Greats paying homage to the Greats

Recently, it seems there's been a small, but noticable surge of modern artists expanding their music beyond current borders by expanding or integrating their genre into others. Whether it be acquiring an extra musician, covering a difficult piece or playing with an entire orchestra, The Mountain Tempo is here to fill you in, if just a bit.

Case 1: Josh Ritter - According to his website, Ritter has an upcoming concert at the Symphony Hall in Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, featuring a special reading from Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. In addition, NPR recently aired a performance of Josh Ritter with violin virtuoso, Hilary Hahn, the 28 year-old Grammy winning artist who graduated with a bachelor's in music at the age of 19. Given Ritter's soothing voice and his reputation of this generations best songwriter, it should be no surprise that adding in a violinist who's already performed with orchestras across the globe just might make your skin tingle.

Josh Ritter and Hilary Hahn - Girl In The War (Live at the Met Museum)

Case 2: Chris Thile
Yes, Chris Thile has also shared some performances with Hilary Hahn. But, Thile also released a Live: Duets, available on Sugarhill Records, with Mike Marshall where they re-made a version of Bach's "Dm Gigue."

Chris Thile and Mike Marshall - J.S. Bach: The Goldberg Variations, Var. No. 1

And if you want to see if he really can pick that fast...

Case 3: Trace Bundy - I couldn't talk about paying homage to classical greats and leave Trace Bundy out of the mix. A Boulder local, Bundy has floored audiences with his ability to work the guitar as a whole beyond what most deemed possible. Trace often fills the neck of his guitar with multiple capos, each with cut slots in them, to allow certain strings to run past the capo. In addition, Bundy picks and slaps the guitar and strings with both hands simutaneously, giving the effect of mulitple guitars and percussion instruments playing all at once. Most don't believe it possible until seeing him live or visiting YouTube. Anywhoo, I bring Trace Bundy into this conversation becuase of his adaptation of Pachelbel's Canon. Immediately after I saw him perform this live, I knew he'd be the one to play my wedding while everyone filtered in. Now I only need a wedding...

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