Posts tagged with "musician"

Brian Eno’s “Film Music 1976-2020” to Release in Nov.

Brian Eno releases Film Music 1976 – 2020 – his first-ever collection of music from his film and television soundtrack oeuvre digitally on November 13, 2020, and on 2LP and 1CD on January 22, 2021. Spanning five decades, this release features classic Eno compositions and includes some lesser-known gems and seven previously unreleased tracks.

Eno’s long-standing affair with film goes all the way back to 1970 with his soundtrack to Malcolm Le Grice’s short experimental film Berlin Horse. In 1976 he followed this with Sebastiane and a long-forgotten Greek b-horror film, Land Of The Minotaur AKA The Devil’s Men. This led to an unstoppable momentum largely initiated by the release of Music For Films. Early classic Eno film moments include “Prophecy Theme” from David Lynch’s Dune, “From The Beginning” from Dario Argento’s Opera, “Force Marker” and “Late Evening In Jersey” from Michael Mann’s Heat, “Under” from Ralph Bakshi’s Cool Worldand his moving cover of William Bell’s soul classic, “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” in Jonathan Demme’s Married to The Mob.

His 1978 studio album, Music For Films was a loose compilation of material recorded between 1975 ~ 1978. It was intended as a conceptual soundtrack for imaginary films, and only the last track, “Final Sunset” was written for an actual film. It proved to be a fruitful project with nearly every piece on the album going on to be used in future films, including several of Derek Jarman’s, the remake of Jean-Luc Goddard’s Breathless, John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Todd Hayes’ Safe. 

Eno again explored this approach with U2 as Passengers on their collaboration album, Original Soundtracks 1. Four of the tracks from the album were used in films prior to release: “Beach Sequence” and “Your Blue Room” in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Beyond the Clouds, “Miss Sarajevo” in an eponymous documentary about a beauty pageant held in the midst of besieged ‘93 Sarajevo, and “One Minute Warning” in Mamoru Oshii’s Japanese animation classic, Ghost in the Shell. Another track, “Always Forever Now” later appeared in Heat.

In the mid-seventies, Eno began a rich and rewarding collaboration with British filmmaker Derek Jarman, who initially commissioned Eno to record ”Final Sunset” for the closing scene to his first feature film, Sebastiane. The collaboration continued all the way through until Jarman’s untimely death in 1994. Including the several tracks in Sebastiane, this collaboration resulted in Eno’s music in four of Jarman’s films, including “Still Water” and “Dover Beach” in Jubilee, “Blue” and the entire score of the autobiographical Glitterbug – his final film. 

“An Ending (Ascent)” and “Deep Blue Day” are taken from Apollo: Atmosphere & Soundtracks, Eno’s collaboration with his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois. The music was originally written for Al Reinert’s landmark documentary of the Apollo moon landing, For All Mankind, although since then, “”An Ending (Ascent)” has taken on a life of its own and is now remembered just as much from Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner. It even made an appearance in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. And then there’s “Deep Blue Day,” which will forever be identified with Ewan McGregor’s legendary toilet dive in Trainspotting.

Aside from Glitterbug and For All Mankind, Eno has also provided complete scores for a number of other films including Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, and more recently, Henrique Goldman’s atmospheric Brazilian serial killer biopic, O Nome da Morte AKA A Man Called Death, Slavoj Žižek’s mind-boggling documentary, The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema, Gary Hustwit’s spotlight on pioneering industrial designer Dieters Rams, Rams, and most recently a documentary film on close long-time friend and associate, Stewart Brand, We Are As Gods, which will have its public premiere in early 2021.

Eno has also scored extensively for television, including all three series of award-winning UK crime drama Top Boy, for which he received a BAFTA Award.  Danny Boyle’s Mr. Wroe’s Virgins, which also earned Eno and his brother Roger a BAFTA nomination for “Best Original Television Music.” Other television credits include his scores to BBC Natural World’s Hammerhead, Francis Bacon’s Arena, Neil Gaiman’s futuristic urban series, Neverwhere, and Stewart Brand’s BBC mini-series ‘How Buildings Learn’.

Eno has had hundreds of pieces of his music used in films, documentaries, and television programs, including more than 20 complete scores for some of the best-known directors in the world. Film Music 1976 ~ 2020 is a long-awaited album that finally brings together seventeen of his most recognizable film and television compositions, a perfect introduction to this enormous body of work.

Film Music 1976 ~ 2020 Track-list:

  1. “Top Boy (Theme)” from Top Boy – Series 1, directed by Yann Demange, 2011 
  2. “Ship In A Bottle” from The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson, 2009 
  3. “Blood Red” from Francis Bacon’s Arena, directed by Adam Low, 2005 
  4. “Under” from Cool World, directed by Ralph Bakshi, 1992
  5. “Decline And Fall” from O Nome da Morte, directed by Henrique Goldman, 2017 
  6. “Prophecy Theme” from Dune, directed by David Lynch, 1984
  7. “Reasonable Question” from We Are As Gods, directed by David Alvarado / Jason Sussberg, 2020 
  8. “Late Evening In Jersey” from Heat, directed by Michael Mann, 1995
  9. “Beach Sequence” from Beyond The Clouds, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, 1995
  10. “You Don’t Miss Your Water” from Married to the Mob, directed by Jonathan Demme, 1988
  11. “Deep Blue Day” from Trainspotting, directed by Danny Boyle, 1996
  12. “The Sombre” from Top Boy – Series 2, directed by Jonathan van Tulleken, 2013 
  13. “Dover Beach” from Jubilee, directed by Derek Jarman, 1978
  14. “Design as Reduction” from Rams, directed by Gary Hustwit, 2018 
  15. “Undersea Steps” from Hammerhead, directed by George Chan, 2004 
  16. “Final Sunset” from Sebastiane, directed by Derek Jarman, 1976
  17. “An Ending (Ascent)” from For All Mankind, directed by Al Reinert, 1989
Rita Azar illustrates Madison Beer for 360 MAGAZINE.

MADISON BEER – BABY

VIDEO OUT NOW

TAKEN FROM DEBUT

ALBUM LIFE SUPPORT

WATCH HERE

Madison Beer release her latest single “Baby” via Sing It Loud/First Access Entertainment on exclusive license to Epic Records. With the drop of the single comes a dreamy voyeuristic video that finds Madison plucked from a picturesque scene and dropped into the dark reality of life. “Baby” is taken from Madison’s forthcoming debut full length album Life Support, out later this year. You can listen to the single here.

“Coming out of a dark time mentally I inevitably had to build my confidence back up,” says Madison. “Writing ‘Baby’ made me feel in control of myself and my body again in the best way. When I wrote ‘Baby’ I was not only reminding myself that I can have what I deserve but also warning the next person that comes into my life that being with me is conditional . ‘If you wanna be my baby’ then know I’m going to be loud, quiet, wild, sexy, shy, high, low. I’m not going to apologize for who I am or shrink myself down anymore so if you can’t deal, then keep walking. I am regaining my confidence and this song truly makes me feel powerful and I hope it supplies anyone who might need a boost of confidence the same thing.”

Madison’s debut album, a strong personal and artistic statement, is slated for release later this year. “Her soon to be released album,” states V Magazine, “will surely pay homage to her years of growth in the spotlight with an entirely new depth of clarity.” Life Support sees Madison where she thrives – commanding complete creative control through writing her own songs, producing and creating her own visuals. The album will feature previous releases “Good In Goodbye,” “Selfish,” and “Stained Glass” which have a combined total stream count of over 282 million. “Selfish” is now also certified Gold in the US.

Prior to signing with Epic Recordslate last year, Madison Beer achieved unprecedented success as an independent artist with her partner First Access Entertainment. Her debut EP As She Pleases boasts over 950 million streams and made her the first independent female solo artist to break into the Top 20 radio charts, after having debuted in the Top 5 on iTunes in 18 countries and in the Top 10 in 42 countries worldwide. Globally, Beer has over 2 billion streams across her catalogue.

She’s attracted the endorsement of Time, NME, V MagazineBillboard who named her among its coveted “21 Under 21” list and Rolling Stone who hailed her as a “raising pop star.” Madison will be debuting “Baby” on The Late Late show with James Corden on August 26th.

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SZA illustrated for 360 MAGAZINE by Kaelen Felix.

SZA × TY DOLLA $IGN

SZA SHARES NEW SONG AND VIDEO FOR “HIT DIFFERENT” FEATURING TY DOLLA $IGN

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE SZA-DIRECTED VIDEO

Today, Top Dawg Entertainment’s multi-platinum selling, chart-topping and award winning recording artist SZA, blesses the universe with the release of “Hit Different,” the new track and video featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Released via TDE/RCA Records, the song is available now at all digital service providers – click here to listen and watch.

Produced by The Neptunes, the mid-tempo bop provides the perfect foundation for SZA’s signature hypnotic vocals and is complemented by Ty’s recognizable smooth tone. Accompanying the new track is the arresting video, marking SZA’s directorial debut.

“Hit Different” is the long awaited new music from the talented artist since teaming up with Justin Timberlake on “The Other Side” from the Trolls World Tour (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) and Kendrick Lamar on “All The Stars” from Black Panther: The Album.

Listen/watch “Hit Different” feat. Ty Dolla $ign and stay tuned for more news.

About SZA:

One of the redefining voices of today’s contemporary music era, SZA entered the music scene in 2012 with her first critically acclaimed EP, See.SZA.Run, consecutively followed by S and Z, both to rave reviews. In 2013, SZA signed to Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), being the first female artist to join the label. SZA wrote and performed on Rihanna’s Anti single “Consideration” in 2016 and helped write Nicki Minaj and Beyonce’s “Feelin Myself” in 2014.

Revered for its raw and honest lyrics, her major label debut album Ctrl (TDE/RCA) landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart, No. 2 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and, No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, according to Nielsen Music. Streamed over 3.9 billion times worldwide since its June 2017 release, Ctrl is currently RIAA certified 2x Platinum, while hit singles “Love Galore” is 4x Platinum, “The Weekend” 3x Platinum, “Broken Clocks” 2x Platinum, and both “Supermodel” and “Garden (Say It Like Dat)” are Platinum. 

SZA is the recipient of several awards including the 2018 Billboard Women in Music Rule Breaker, BET Award for Best New Artist, Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Female Artist, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding New Artist, Soul Train Music Awards for Best New Artist and Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, and more.

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Orava inside of 360 MAGAZINE

ORAVA – NOW I KNOW

With his new music video for Now I Know just released, Orava – the French-born, London-based multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer – is gearing up to release his debut album ‘Behind The Wave’ on September 25th. This rising artist should be on everyone’s radar this year. A graduate of the Musician Institute of London, Orava draws inspiration from French touch, classic electronic, DnB, and traditional rock, blending analog with digital, homemade recordings with elaborate production, and vintage instruments with synthetic textures.

Born Axel Gerard and crafting his music between England and his native France since 2018, Orava is named after a stream in north-western Slovakia that roughly translates as “roaring river.” Inspired by artists like Daft Punk, Phoenix, and Depeche Mode, Orava’s compositions tackle the common hopes, doubts and fears of his generation, drawing mostly from his own experiences.

We spoke with Orava about the inspiration behind his new album, his recent music video for “Now I Know,” and his plans for the coming year.

1. What is the creative inspiration for the new album?

I get inspired by my daily life and my own experiences. This album is about the fears, doubts and hopes of my generation. Musically speaking, I would say that blending genres is the main inspiration of my music.

2. Tell us a little bit about your background and upbringing. When did you start writing music?

I got into music very early as a child. I started taking guitar lessons at age 7 and taught myself the piano after a few years. I remember recording my first demos around the age of 10, using a loop pedal and improvising melodies over chord-progressions. My songwriting pretty much came out of my guitar-playing. When I was 18, I moved to the UK and studied at the Musician Institute of London to become a session-guitarist. I wanted to do more and slowly started to produce my own music. This is how the Orava project and my debut album “Behind the Wave” came about.

3. What drew you to combine genres like house and traditional rock?

I started playing the guitar at age 7 and grew up listening to a lot of rock, punk and metal music. I got into electronic music a bit later, around the age of 20. I just tried to make the type of music I wanted to hear more often.

4. Is there anyone you credit with influencing your style?

Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Phoenix, Electric Light Orchestra… There are many more but these bands definitely had a lot of influence on the making of my album “Behind the Wave”.

5. Can you tell us a little bit about the message behind Now I Know?

I wrote “Now I Know” to express the difficulty we have as individuals to change our vision on life. Many of us tend to focus on trouble and forget that everything is a matter of perspective. I have struggled with this for a while and writing this song was therapeutic in the sense that it helped me move forward as a person.

6. Why did you decide to shoot the music video at Vercors Regional Natural Park?

The video emphasizes the song’s subject with a mysterious storyline featuring a character running away from his problems. I was looking for big and empty landscapes and the Vercors Park just seemed to be the perfect spot.

7. How did you use the video to show your own creative process?

The first scene of the video is very close from my real creative process. Recording in my home studio by myself is a big part of my life. The scenario is an interpretation of different elements of my music such as introspection, loneliness and the fear of failure.

8. Your album art was shot by French photographer Richard Bellia, known for his work with Kurt Cobain, The Cure, Joe Strummer, and Serge Gainsbourg. What was it like working with Richard?

Richard Bellia shot some of the most iconic artists and musicians of our era and I was a big fan of his work way before meeting him. The photoshoot took place in Metz. (North-East of France) where we’re both from. Bellia’s into analog photography which happens to be one of my main passions besides music. He quickly understood the type of aesthetics I was going for and the session felt very spontaneous. I remember him saying “I think we’ve got it” after one specific shot, which ended up being the cover for my single “Now I Know”.

9. How does your French heritage influence your style?

I look up to a lot of French bands and artists such as Phoenix, Daft Punk or M83. This scene is living proof that music has no frontiers and allowed me to feel legitimate singing in English. I have a strong attachment to my cultural heritage but also feel very English in my way of approaching music. Living in London was an opportunity to discover a broad range of cultures and meet musicians from all over the world. It certainly pushed me to be very eclectic in my creative choices, I tend to mix a lot of genres in my songs, from French touch to traditional rock and electronic music.

10. How do you use vocals to enhance your instruments?

I don’t. I’d say I do the opposite. The instruments enhance my voice. I always compose the music and write the melodies before recording any vocals.

11. Do you use your platform and voice in any way in the community?

My main task as an artist is to convey emotions through my music and lyrics. I guess it’s a positive thing in the sense that my music is full of hope.

12. Where do you hope your career takes you in the future?

On tour! I have spent a lot of time making music in studios this past two years and I can’t wait to hit the stage. My only aim is to have people to relate with the overall message I’m trying to express in my songs.

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LIBERTY × JUSTICE, FOR ALL?

“An American Lie,” the new single/video from emerging East Coast based Singer/Songwriter Rory D’Lasnow, will be available Friday July 31st, 2020 on Spotify, YouTube and all the other major services.

LISTEN TO “AN AMERICAN LIE” ON SOUNDCLOUD

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR “AN AMERICAN LIE” ON YOUTUBE

The song, written among the ever-increasing instances of violence against people of color in America, speaks to the ever widening dichotomy of “An American Lie”; the supposed promise of liberty, justice and equality for all. D’Lasnow holds the belief that we as Americans are pledging our allegiance to a false ideal that is not fully realized for many of our citizens.

“We the people are responsible for standing up to speak out when we see wrongs done to our fellow man, and to help make them right whenever we can”, Rory said, “So we protest, we become activists. But then, once the public outrage subsides, the same targeting, abuse of power, and negligence in response – which has been going on for centuries – quickly returns; to a collective shrug from the general public.”

After spending the better part of the past two years performing as the opening act for national artists at some of the East Coast’s most distinguished venues and festivals, Singer/Songwriter Rory D’Lasnow; who – like Babyface, Buddy Miles, Jimmy Cliff and Dick Dale – plays right handed guitar upside down and backwards (“Lefty” as it were; but not quite) was in quarantine writing for his new EP. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and recognizing this important moment in history, he resolved to  contribute his music and its message to the cause. That respect and reverence for resilience is encompassed in “An American Lie.”

D’Lasnow continued, “My hope is that we can unite as a human race to eliminate the bigotry and prejudice that is so rampant in society today. My goal is to use my voice in the best way I can to stand up for equality and justice.”

“An American Lie” is available Friday July 31st, 2020

About Rory D’Lasnow

Enigmatic Singer/songwriter Rory D’Lasnow first picked up his father’s right-handed guitar as a small child, instinctively deciding to play the instrument upside-down and backwards. Most guitarists play right handed. Some play lefty guitar. Only a select few treat the instrument as if it’s not even a guitar at all such as legendary artists like Babyface, Buddy Miles, Jimmy Cliff and Dick Dale.

Despite never turning the guitar right-side up, Rory has cultivated a unique contemplative sound that has propelled him on to perform at some of the East Coast’s most distinguished venues and festivals; from the Knitting Factory, The Bowery Electric, Pianos and Rockwood Music Hall, to Revolution Music Hall on Long Island, and The Saint and Brighton Bar on the Jersey Shore. 

D’Lasnow has also had the honor of opening for featured headliners such as American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, actor/musician Drake Bell, and John Corabi of Motley Crue/Dead Daisies fame. Next year, Rory is slated to perform on the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival acoustic stage for the New Found Glory and The Early November session in April 2021. 

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Duckwrth makes an appearance on behalf of Republic Records in 360 MAGAZINE

DUCKWRTH × GENERAL ADMISSION

Purchase Merch HERE

In celebration of Duckwrth’s newest album SuperGood, he has teamed up with LA based General Admission to bring merch items that complement the West Coast funk and soul feeling from the album. The drop features a tee and hoodie with artwork and colors tying back into the projects warm and soulful color palette. Everything is printed on General Admission’s cut and sew blanks featuring hits of puff prints on garment dyed and washed bodies. All items are made in Los Angeles. Available now at www.generaladmission.com.

Listen to SuperGoodHERE

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS
A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Zendaya and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G) and Hollywood Records. In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video

BARD COLLEGE illustrated by Rita Azar in 360 MAGAZINE.

BARD COLLEGE – VIRTUAL CEREMOMY

BARD COLLEGE HOLDS ONE HUNDRED SIXTIETH COMMENCEMENT, IN A VIRTUAL CEREMONY, ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2020

Musician David Byrne Delivered Commencement Address
 
Honorary Degrees Were Awarded to Byrne, Multimedia Artist Laurie Anderson, Physicist Steven Chu, Composer Gao Xiaosong, Curator Thelma Golden,  Brooklyn Public Library President Linda Johnson,  Educational Historian Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, and Biophysicist George Rose ’63.
 
Bard College held its one hundred sixtieth commencement on Saturday, August 22, 2020. In the virtual commencement ceremony streamed live from the Bard College campus, Bard President Leon Botstein conferred 437 undergraduate degrees, in absentia, on the Class of 2020 and 161 graduate degrees, including master of fine arts; doctor and master of philosophy and master of arts in decorative arts, design history, and material culture; master of science and master of arts in economic theory and policy; master of business administration in sustainability; master of arts in teaching; master of arts in curatorial studies; master of science in environmental policy and in climate science and policy; master of music in vocal arts and in conducting; master of music in curatorial, critical, and performance studies; and master of education in environmental education. The program, which took place at 2:30 p.m. in the commencement tent on the Seth Goldfine Memorial Rugby Field, included the presentation of honorary doctoral degrees.
 
Owing to the severity and longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College held a modified commencement. The events and ceremonies were held in real time, but, consistent with public health policies and regulations, access to them was limited.
 
Text (unedited) of commencement address by musician David Byrne:
 
Thank you. Congratulations to the brass ensemble. It’s very difficult to play together when you’re distanced. I heard a story from a musician the other day. There was a socially distanced orchestra that was playing, and some of the musicians said, “You have to gesture bigger, we can’t see you.” So, the conductor had to make it bigger than before, so that everybody could see.
 
This is certainly my first time talking to a live audience … performing, alright, to a live audience in many, many months. It’s kind of strange. It’s kind of wonderful. It’s strange and wonderful to actually be gathered in a group of people this much. I’m encouraged by this institution. I was invited to come here. I have some familiarity with this place. I understand what Bard stands for.

I recently worked with a Bard alumnus named Alex Kalman ’06 on a book. I’ve written about the Bard Prison Initiative, which I think some of you will be familiar with. And, I’ve read some pieces that Mr. Botstein wrote about music.
 
This place is special. I’ve been here, visited here a few times over the years. I saw an exhibition at the gallery in 2008. The gallery had been turned into a re-creation of the artist Keith Edmier’s parents’ house, with all its extreme ’70s décor. It was like walking into a movie set. And, you know, as you walk into a movie set, you know that it’s all fake, but part of you is still seduced into feeling that you’re in that place. There’s this kind of wonderful tension in something like that where you know it’s fake, but you kind of feel like you’re in the place at the same time, between the real and the artificial. We are in a world that someone has made that is just like this world that this artist made of his parents’ house.
 
His world, like our world, is unreliable. It’s based on unreliable memory and imagination. We all do this. We make these artificial worlds. The difference is, we have to live in them. A world that’s made like this, it can be a seductive lie, or it can be a revealing truth. On a thing like this, a commencement, I imagine it’s common to ask oneself, “Well, what comes next for me? What comes next for me as I leave this place? Will I be a different person? Will I be a different person than I was a month ago?” Well, I think we’re all different than we were last week. Things are changing incredibly rapidly. And then you ask, “What person am I now, and how should I be as that person? What do I love? What does that entail? What, if any, are the … obligations? Obligations to myself? Obligations to a larger community? How does one reconcile oneself, between one’s personal rights, one’s personal desires, and those of the community and the collective? What have I learned here? Has the world changed? Has the world changed [laughing] since the spring? It probably has. Has it changed into something far different than the world that I knew? Is that a good thing? Is everything I learned here, at this institution, now meaningless?” I don’t think so.
 
I’m very sorry for the world you inherit. We’ve left you a mess, the one that we made, the world that we made. But, there are reasons to be cheerful. The pandemic has pulled back the curtain, which has revealed both the worst and the best of what and who we are. Arundhati Roy, the writer, referred to this moment as a portal when we have unprecedented opportunity to change things, to cross into another world. In this moment, we have been both cursed and blessed. This is one of those moments that occur once in a while. Ideas that were taken as given, economic ideas, cultural ideas, etc., are being questioned, reconsidered. An era based on a set of biases and assumptions is ending. In a sense, we’re lucky. The portal that she mentions is opened and we have a chance to go through it.
 
I’m as a guilty as anyone else for waking up in the morning and feeling that nothing really changes very much. I have moments of despair and anger and frustration. No surprise. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice,” some mornings that feels like an empty platitude when I look at the news that morning. It sometimes feels like, oh, you know, same as it ever was. But that’s not really true. The real constant is change. We often forget or overlook the momentous changes in our thinking that we now accept as obvious, inevitable. But, in truth, nothing was inevitable. The changes that have happened, that we live with now, for better or worse, they’re here because we made them so.
 
Okay, here’s a few of them: slavery is now universally considered unacceptable. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle thought slavery was natural and necessary, but even then his contemporaries argued that it was unacceptable. These changes don’t happen overnight. Okay, here’s another one: women should be allowed to vote. If I said to anyone now that if you heard someone else say, “No, women shouldn’t be allowed to vote,” you would think that was completely ridiculous. It happened in the United States, state by state, one hundred years ago. In Saudi Arabia it happened five years ago, but it happened. Education, primary and secondary education, I think everyone accepts that it should be free, it’s a right for everyone to have it. This was not always true. Children were considered cheap labor. Eventually, maybe higher education will be considered a right as well. Interracial marriage: I think we all accept this now. We all accept this. It seems like, what’s the big deal? The Supreme Court made a ruling legalizing interracial marriage in 1967—not that long ago. Alabama has some laws on the books that counteracted the Supreme Court ruling, and those were overturned 20 years ago. Okay, gay marriage, we all know that this is now law, this is now legal. When I was a young person, if someone had told me that this would be legal and generally accepted, I would have said, “You’re crazy, this should happen, but it’s going to take forever.” But, just five years ago, in 2015, it was recognized as legal in all 50 states.
 
I can go on—infrastructure, clean air, clean water, things that don’t exist for us entirely now, but we do think of them as our right, and these ideas that we consider as part of our lives and how it is to live and how it is to be, it didn’t always have to be that way. It wasn’t always that way. This is something new in the world, and the world has changes. These changes weren’t predictable, and they weren’t inevitable. I’m a little older than some of you, and I can say that some of these changes, they weren’t expected. They weren’t expected to happen as soon as they did, and when they did, then they seemed inevitable. People make these changes. Things that seemed impossible have happened, and they will continue to happen. Try and imagine what radical and momentous changes in our thinking might happen next, and they will! We can imagine what they might be.
 
Okay, make no mistake, things can go wrong, things can go the other way. This country was ever so closely inching towards democracy, but, as in many other countries around the world, there’s been some serious backsliding. There’s no guarantee that change will be good. That part is up to us. And, so I ask myself, “How did these changes happen? Where’s the levers? Where’s the buttons? What’s the process? What can we, as a lone individual or with a little group of people, what can we do to have an effect?” I supposed you might ask yourselves the same questions. “Does my line of work have any wider resonance?” Not that every line of work has to focus directly or solely on social justice. I believe that the meaning of what we do, in our work and our lives, is more subtle than that. I’ll use myself as an example, okay? Most of the time I’m a performer and a musician, and it seems to me that music and performance affects people’s view of the world, not directly, not by me writing a song about climate policy or housing inequities, although I might like to do that. Rather, it works in a less didactic and not kind of text-based ways. It’s kind of a language without words. Music creates community. When I was young, I heard music on a little radio that was about the size of a phone. And, I realized when I heard this music that there was a world out there that was very different and wider than the little suburban town that I lived in. You’ve heard people say things like, “That song saved my life” or “That DJ saved my life,” and these are kind of clichés, but there’s a truth to it. Music can have that kind of effect. It reveals a larger world, and it brings people together because they know that there are other people out there like them. For someone else, it might not be music that has this effect. It might be the visual arts, theater, cooking, dance. It might be ways of thinking in education, sustainability, even economics can touch people about a new idea and it changes their thinking.
 
I also think that one discipline needs to influence all the others. There needs to be a lot of curiosity about what’s going on in other disciplines, and one discipline can, in surprising ways, affect another one. When I heard the music of James brown, as a young man, I came to realize that here is music where no one part is more important than any other. The melody is not played by one instrument, but it emerges out of the interlocking parts played by all the instruments. The groove is not just played by the drums, but it comes into being as a result of what everyone is doing. I sensed that, unlike traditional Western music, Brown’s music is nonhierarchical. In his musical model, we’re given an audio metaphor. We hear, metaphorically, a model of social organization and cooperation that makes us feel joyous and transported. We’re not kind of intellectually going through all of this, but I feel that we sense it. Here I sense is a social and economic argument made with music, and the transcendent feeling it brings, when you hear and experience it, is more persuasive that language. Music proposes a world. Metaphorically, it gives evidence of that possibility. An economist hearing James Brown might possibly see the world the same way. Of course, my model for cross-disciplinary influences comes from music, but it can go the other way as well.
 
I’m going to mention the first abstract artist, Hilma af Klint, who was influenced by spiritualism that was prevalent over a hundred years ago, turn of the last century. It had been proposed that one of the reasons for the wide enthusiasm for this spiritualism was because of the scientific discoveries that were happening at that time. The science was showing that there were invisible forces in our world. Electromagnetism, radiation, radio waves, X-rays. The entire world, ourselves included, are affected by these invisible and pervasive forces. Science proposed this world, a world that hadn’t previously existed in our imagination, and this affected how these artists worked. They realized that what we with see with our eyes is only part of what is there, and artists like af Klint and others began to attempt the abstractions to represent this world, a world of energy that go through buildings and go through our bodies. So, with art and science, we conjure worlds, and, over time, we who conjure these worlds, we ourselves change, and then worlds that we conjure, those change as well.
 
A couple of years ago, after I finished a music tour that lasted almost a year, I decided to go to India. I wanted to catch a traditional music festival in Chennai. It was wonderful. I saw a kid, this young kid in a kind of Elvis outfit playing Carnatic music on a saxophone. I saw singers communicating with drummers with their hands. And, I also went to Kerala, which is another state in the south, and there’s a kind of performance there called Kudiyattam. It’s an ancient form of dance drama. It’s about a thousand years old. In this dance drama, the performer begins the performance by metaphorically dancing into existence and kind of proposing a world. This will be the world that the story will take place in, kind of like Star Wars or Game of Thrones. It’s complete, it has a cosmology, it has a history, every detail. In the dance drama, the world building is not made with sets and props and computers. It’s conjured in the audience’s imagination, via singing and dancing and gesture. Like the actors in this drama, we, in whichever field we endeavor, we also dance a new world into existence—not just in music or theater, every kind of work and activity we engage in proposes a world. In the end of the Kudiyattam performance, the actors dismantle the world that they have made. Likewise, we destroy an old world, a worn-out world, the one we ourselves and others before us have made, so that a new one can be imagined and brought into existence.
 
Thank you.
 
 

ABOUT THE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

 
David Byrne’s recent works include the Broadway debut of David Byrne’s American Utopia (2019); launch of Reasons to be Cheerful—an online magazine focused on solutions-oriented stories about problems being solved all over the world (2019); the solo album American Utopia (2018), which was nominated for Best Alternative Album at the 61st Grammy Awards; Joan of Arc: Into the Fire, a theatrical exploration of the historical heroine, which premiered at The Public Theater in New York (2017); The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY, a series of interactive environments created in conjunction with PACE Arts + Technology that question human perception and bias (2016); Contemporary Color, an event inspired by the American folk tradition of color guard and performed at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Toronto’s Air Canada Centre (2015); Here Lies Love, a 22-song theatrical production about the life of Imelda Marcos, authored in collaboration with Fatboy Slim, which premiered at The Public Theater in New York City (2013), traveled to London’s National Theatre for a sold-out run (2014–15), and was remounted at Seattle Rep (2017); Love This Giant, a studio album and worldwide tour created with St. Vincent (2012); and How Music Works, a book about the history, experience, and social aspects of music (2012).
 
In 2015, Byrne curated Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown festival in London. A cofounder of the group Talking Heads (1976–88), he has released nine studio albums and worked on multiple other projects, including collaborations with Brian Eno, Twyla Tharp, Robert Wilson, and Jonathan Demme, among others. He also founded the highly respected record label Luaka Bop. Recognition of Byrne’s various works include Obie, Drama Desk, Lortel, and Evening Standard Awards for Here Lies Love; an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe for the soundtrack to Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor; and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Talking Heads. Byrne has published and exhibited visual art since his college days, including photography, filmmaking, and writing. He lives in New York City.

Tate McRae – Don’t Be Sad

MTV VMA’S Push Best New Artist nominee Tate McRae releases her newest track and music video, “don’t be sad” today via RCA Records (listen/watch here). The track was written by Tate, Larzz Principato (Dua Lipa, Halsey) and Jeremy Dussolliet (Anthony Ramos) and is another step up in showcasing Tate’s personal songwriting abilities.

Tate’s current single, “you broke me first” currently has over 100 million streams worldwide. The track continues to receive top tier pop playlisting at Spotify and Apple including Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits and Apple’s A-List Pop and many more. Both “you broke me first” and “vicious” will be featured on Tate’s upcoming EP due out this fall.

Earlier this month, Tate received a nomination for an MTV Video Music Award for Push Best New Artist. Fans can vote daily at http://www.mtv.com/vma/vote/.

About Tate McRae

Named YouTube’s next Artist On The Rise, singer/songwriter/dancer Tate McRae released her debut EP all the things i never said, in January and features her standout tracks “stupid” “tear myself apart,” “all my friends are fake,” and “that way.”  She also wrapped her completely SOLD OUT all the things I never said pt 1 tour which made stops in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, London, Berlin and Amsterdam. 

Tate has received early praise from a variety of publications with TheInterns.net claiming she is, “going to be one of the hottest names in music” while Idolator voted her one of 40 artists to watch in 2020. E! included her as one of 15 newcomers you need to know. She has also garnered early press from Fader, i-D, Wonderland, NME, Young Hollywood, ET, Billboard, & more.

Tate launched her YouTube channel and her “Create with Tate” music series where she has been consistently releasing original music (check out some here). In just over a year, she has over 2.4 million subscribers and over 230 million video views on YouTube and has over 450 million combined on demand streams to date.

Tate McRae hails from Calgary, Canada after living in Oman until she was 6 years old. She made a name for herself as a competitive dancer placing second runner up on Season 13 of the FOX series So You Think You Can Dance, achieved the “The Best Dancer” honor three times at the prestigious Dance Awards, and hit the stage for performances on Ellen, The Teen Choice Awards, and beyond. Not to mention, she lent her voice to NETFLIX’s animated Lalaloopsy in the role of Spot Splatter Splash.

Sasha Sloan – Lie

Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Sasha Sloan releases her new single “Lie” today. Written by Sasha along with King Henry and Emi Dragoi and produced by King Henry, “Lie” unpacks the denial and fallout of a failed relationship. With a breathtaking visual to follow next week, “Lie” sets the stage for Sasha to unveil her debut album, Only Child coming this Fall.

On Only Child, Sasha finally steps into her own as one of music’s most gifted lyricists and a profoundly affecting artist. “This album is a very mature version of me,” Sasha says. “It’s the most honest I’ve been. And there’s even a twinge of hope in there, which is new for me!” The album, which Sasha has been working on since last year and finished in quarantine, is equal parts arresting and affecting. It’s bold, confessional, funny and real. It builds off the beautiful foundation Sasha set forth with her trio of prior EP’s.

About Sasha Sloan

After emerging in 2017 and appearing on a handful of high-profile collaborations, 25-year-old singer/songwriter Sasha Sloan released her debut single “Ready Yet.” Since then, she has established herself as a true wordsmith, an artist’s artist, who crafts potent melodies filled with poignant lyrics. As a songwriter Sasha has amassed over 3.5 billion streams by penning hits for some of today’s biggest artists. In 2018 Sasha released her first two EPs, Sad Girl and Loser. Her track “Normal” has been heralded by Billboard as a “catchy introvert anthem.” These emotionally-rich, left-of-center pop releases lead to her late night debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2019 with a performance of “Older.” That year, Sasha completed her first North American and European headline tours (sold out) and released her 3rd and final EP Self Portrait, which had her single “Dancing With Your Ghost” as Idolator’s 6th “75 Best Pop Songs Of 2019.” She also recently scored a #1 on the Dance Chart for “I’ll Wait,” her collaboration with Kygo. Remarkably before she has released a debut album, Sasha has garnered over 2 billion streams worldwide to date.

Alec Wigdahl – Summer is Over

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Alec Wigdahl releases his third single “Summer is Over,” out now via 10K Projects/ Internet Money Records. Following the release of past singles “Lipstick” and “Cologne,” “Summer is Over” is a pop-rock anthem that shows Wigdahl singing over a dance-floor ready, guitar-led beat. His recent breakout “Cologne” has gained over 2.4 million plays on Spotify and holds a coveted spot on its “Young and Free” and “Anti Pop” playlists, and his catchy July release “Lipstick” has been heralded as the song to “soundtrack your summer romance” by Earmilk. The release is also accompanied by a music video, directed by Molly Hawkins (Harry Styles, The xx, Kelsey Lu), featuring bright colors and trippy visuals.

Based in L.A. but originally from outside Minneapolis, Alec Wigdahl took up songwriting at the age of 15, initially using music as a form of therapy. After teaching himself to play guitar by watching videos of his favorite musicians, he put out a self-produced EP called On My Mind his senior year of high school. Upon graduating he headed to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, but quickly dropped out and returned home to enroll at the University of Minnesota, compelled to continue with his D.I.Y. approach to music. Those instincts proved to be right on target when the Internet Money team reached out to Wigdahl after discovering his songs on social media. By the end of last summer, Wigdahl had signed his deal with 10K Projects, and soon set to work on Strawberry – released December 2019, the EP showcases Alec’s stripped-down sonic palette.

Alec kicked off 2020 with a brutally honest but infectious new single called “Cologne.” His most popular to date, the track was produced by Wigdahl along with Internet Money founder Taz Taylor, Nick Mira, and OkTanner and featured more elaborate pop production than his previous record, Strawberry. Despite the differences in its production, “Cologne” offers up the same raw emotion that Wigdahl has always brought to his songwriting. As Wigdahl explains, that fearless honesty ultimately serves as a vehicle for personal connection.

“I love the kind of songs that are incredibly specific to the artist’s life, but when you listen it hits you right in the chest — almost like it’s happening to you,” says Wigdahl. “In my own music I try to be as personal and vulnerable as I possibly can, so that everyone can feel like the song was made for them. I want them to feel like I’m narrating their story at the same time that I’m narrating mine.”