My iPod contains a combination of music history music and not music history music and music that is both music history and not music history music. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
So I found this song because I thought I might need to do it in my Music and Gender class next term — and I DO need to do it in my class next term — and I’ve been listening to it a lot, especially in the car on the way to and from campus. I love the way she uses her voice in different ways — she makes me think a lot about her mouth and about the ways our voices are constructions. And I’ve been singing it a lot, in the car, loudly. and out of the car, not as loudly.
Regina Spektor, “Folding Chair”
I love Regina Spektor! “I’ve got a perfect body — ’cause my eyelashes catch my sweat –yes, they do, they do.”
Louis Andriessen, “The Index Singer”
This is the final track of Andriessen’s violent and disturbingly parodic — or not — opera “Rosa, the Death of a Composer,” which we studied last term in Opera and Betrayal class. The Index Singer raps a really long alphabetical list of terms and their definitions related to the opera: “audience,” “blood,” “bovine breath,” “cowboy,” “lechery,” etc. The music and vocalization are very different from that contained in the rest of the opera and this index highlights and dissolves boundaries of all kinds while the audience has to decide whether or not they should leave the auditorium.
The Dresden Dolls, “Coin-Operated Boy”
Thank you to Nathan Uhl for introducing me to this song — and this CD. Who doesn’t want a coin-operated boy? And who doesn’t want to sing about it?
A Sesame Street Celebration, “Mah Na Mah Na”
Yes, this is for school and for pleasure!!
Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Bach’s “Ricercar a 6” from A Musical Offering
This is a 6-voice fugue! I love fugues — they make me see the world as beautiful, as simultaneously ordered and chaotic. I can listen to this and forget about everything and think about a different kind of everything.
Louis Andriessen, “Michelle”
Daniel Barolsky introduced me to Andriessen’s Beatles’ arrangements — from the 1960s! — each is written in a different “classical” style. This one, sung by Christina Zavalloni, is definitely Ravel-ified and I think it’s clever — and yes, weird, and sure, these settings are often described as satirical — but I also think it’s beautiful. And I sometimes listen to the end about 1,000 times in a row.
Stravinsky, “Orpheus,” opening
My music history survey students have to listen to this for their journal this week. In this part of the ballet, Euridice is already dead and Orpheus is weeping. This music is restrained and delicate and circular and deep.
Damien Rice, “the professor and la fille danse” (live)
I love this performance and I love the messed-up-ness of this song.
Charpentier, M***e acute***d***e acute***e, “Quel prix de mon amour”
Sung by Lorraine Hunt and conducted by William Christie. Everyone should listen to more Lorraine Hunt! Here she is a betrayed Medea and her rich voice makes the dissonances of Charpentier’s music more unbearable. You will forget all previous conceptions of Medea!