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Welcome to Songs for Listening, a curated site for daily playlists from musicians, agents, managers, writers, scholars, and programmers.

09-25-19 | Songs for Listening | David Cieri

09-25-19 | Songs for Listening | David Cieri

Composer and pianist, David Cieri, responsible for myriad scores for films by Ken Burns, the Ewers Bros., and Barak Goodman, amongst others, selected tunes for Wednesday, September 25 at Songs for Listening.

Here's David's picks with his annotations:
'Indaba Yomkonto' by Hope Fountain Girls Choir "Hope but the real kind – the kind w barnacles on it & the kind that comes sullied & riven but stronger for it."

'Limited Approximations, Mvt. 1' by Georg Friedrich Haas from 'Donaueschinger Musiktage 2010'
"Jack Gilbert’s phrase: 'it takes a long time to get the ruins right', seems right on while listening to this. Like looking at a building being built – is it being built up or taken down piece by piece. It could go either way.

the C subway train in the distance the 72nd st platform – highways that while half way to sleep sound like the ocean – & the ocean itself sounding like violent streaks of approaching light.

Bending metal because of extreme heat that is aspiring to live in exactly this transformed way – like it finally figured out who it wants to be. & when sleep almost comes it has witches shrieks & demonic howls – like Iris Murdoch’s 'The Sea The Sea'. Enough beautiful hell in here to make one see Springtime much more dynamically. Just yesterday I was walking by an air conditioner & as I was just about out of earshot, an overhead airplane coming into land took its sound over. It was truly a miraculous relay of the baton."

'Papillions' by Kaija Saariaho, performed by Alexis Descharmes
"Yusef Komunyakaa’s 'the electric woods' comes to mind - also, Gombrich’s history analogy: lighting a piece of paper on fire & dropping it into a deep well ... the light receding from our eyes & flickering & fading as it speeds deeper & deeper into darkness.

Like the aurora borealis – or Salman Rushdie’s: 'singing knives' as Saariaho's music in these pieces catches light, deflects it, loses it in the dark & finds it remade as an ember – she makes the sounds into a veil at moments & turns it into steel girders at others.

I feel like I am being stalked in my own small kitchen when I listen to this."

'Ligueyou Ndeye' by Doudou N’Diaye Rose
"War & raw power – myth & ritual – unity of purpose – preparation in meeting our world w/ the magnitude it requires. A safe & life giving Chernobyl. Elbow room to be yourself because you are simultaneously committed to the larger human project. To pull these two threads (selflessness & individualism) apart would be to suddenly not recognize them."

'Mannish Boy' by Muddy Waters
"A deep love of humanity. What gratitude! - for the drum that is the body & of the sorrow converted into strength – like an inoculation. I'll never get used to the direct current this music delivers – I did in fact put a key into a socket as a kid – this music is the closest I’ve come to the feeling of what it means to complete a piece of music as a listener by being a conduit – (although listening to this cut feels much better & I can keep doing it without fear that I won't be able to do long division if I must.)"

'The Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge in NYC'
"as bowed by people driving cars across the middle liftable section. – a truly transcendent choir of sound."

'Sukram (Offering for the Great Protector)' by Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery
"Powerful enough to make thin the veil of our worlds we all take for granted everyday. Made to wake up the hungover & lazy subconscious. The blow out – Boring holes through the earth – inciting earthquakes. This music will dust your home."

David’s film-scoring work includes: Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, The Address, Prohibition, Baseball: The Tenth Inning, and the Emmy-winning National Parks, Barak Goodman’s Emmy-nominated The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Heart of the Matter, a short directed by George Lucas for The Academy of Arts and Sciences. His original score for Raymond De Felitta's Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story was listed for an Oscar nomination in 2013. His recently completed scoring project, Oklahoma City, which premiered at Sundance in 2017. David has just completed a score for the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage for her project, This is Reading. He recently released a set of recordings on Ropeadope Records with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa entitled White Dust, and a follow-up release with Komunykaa, Dark Furniture. A compilation of David’s original score compositions for Ken Burns’ Florentine Films — Notes From The Underscore — was released by Ropeadope Records in 2017. Most recently, he completed a score, which features Bill Frisell, for A Ewers Brothers Productions film, The Mayo Clinic. He has just finished scoring Carl Th. Dreyer’s classic 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc. The near future has him composing for the second season of The Paris Review Podcast arriving in 2020, while completing the score for a four part documentary about Genetics, The Gene, as written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, which will arrive on PBS in 2020.

'Indaba Yomkonto' by Hope Fountain Girls Choir
'Limited Approximations, Mvt. 1' by Georg Friedrich Haas from 'Donaueschinger Musiktage 2010'
'Papillions' by Kaija Saariaho, performed by Alexis Descharmes from 'Saariaho: Complete Cello Works'
'Ligueyou Ndeye' by Doudou N’Diaye Rose from 'Djabote'
'Mannish Boy' by Muddy Waters from 'Mississippi Muddy Waters Live'
'The Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge in NYC'
'Sukram (Offering for the Great Protector)' by Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery


09-27-19 | Songs for Listening | Shawn Galvin

09-27-19 | Songs for Listening | Shawn Galvin

09-24-19 | Songs for Listening | Mark Jacobson

09-24-19 | Songs for Listening | Mark Jacobson