05-24-19 | Songs for Listening | Will Evans
Publisher, translator, & entrepreneur Will Evans picked tunes for Friday, May 24 at Songs for Listening In 2013, Will founded Deep Vellum Publishing, a nonprofit indie book publisher dedicated to translating the world’s best novels into English for American audiences. Will also founded Deep Vellum Books in early 2016, a brick-and-mortar bookstore & cultural community center in Dallas’s historic Deep Ellum neighborhood.
Prior to his career in publishing, Will worked for 5 years in the music industry on tour and in Los Angeles, serving in varied roles for prominent companies like The Agency Group and Live Nation, before moving to Texas to become a talent buyer for Austin’s iconic music venue Emo’s. Evans earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Emory University in History and Russian Language and Culture. He also received a Masters of Arts in Russian Culture at Duke University.
Here's Will's playlist with notes and annotations:
"So here's three songs I love and have been obsessed with the past year and chose to go the solo piano-classical route not only so as not to scare off your average audience member who maybe is not ready to delve into the 3rd movement of "cosmic death metal" band Blood Incantation's "Hidden Species (Vitrification of Blood, Pt. 2)", but also because I've been OBSESSED with all forms of solo classical piano in the past year, whether it's meditative and sounds like spa music or it's a massively intricate shredding piece that human hands can barely contain. But I did publish a book a few months ago by an Icelandic writer that won that country's major literary prizes & was the bestselling novel of the year there that contains an extended aside about how death metal is the logical progression of classical music, with a long soliloquy about the brilliance of legendary death metal band Morbid Angel founder/guitarist Trey Azagthoth. & this author is not alone, our mutual friend John Darnielle is obsessed with death metal and this guitarist too and all this is to say, maybe that'll be my Will Evans playlist 2.0!!!"
'Homesickness' by Emahoy Tsegue-Mariam Gebrou
"I was introduced to this Ethiopian composer / pianist, whose only album of original jazz-inflected solo pieces was put out as part of the Ethiopiques series, by the writer Fernando Esteban Flores of Austin, who has as broad a taste in music as is humanly possible, and thanks to whom I listened to this album that has become nearly a daily staple in my and Meriwether's life since discovering it. Her playing is light, FUN, and yet so emotionally poignant that you can feel what she is saying with every note in every song."
'Reflection #2' by Joep Beving
"I was introduced to this composer/pianist via a photographer-librarian friend here in Dallas, who told me she played this album every night with her daughter before she went to sleep when she was about 4 & then took her to see one of his only US performance he's done and I just love everything about his style, both of play and of beard and of Russian-monk-level hair and of the fact he's 6'10", and his story, in addition to how hauntingly beautiful his songs are, especially this one, off his gorgeous 1st album."
'Migration' by Goldmund
"From the 1st note of this song, something inside me shifted, & I was open to it, and it's stayed that way with every subsequent listen; and I've listened to this song & album while driving, while sleeping, while writing long emails, editing books, tasks that require deep focus, & it's always there, landing in the same receptive spot. Meriwether makes fun of me for this and says it makes her think she's getting a massage, which is funny, because I just got my first massage last year after falling in love with this song & there's definitely the aspect to this song & this album that is deeply meditative, deeply focused, deeply beautiful, and when I listen to it my pulse & breathing slow, aand the world slows a bit too & I need that a lot of the the time. And this is all funny to say because I discovered this album off a publishing friend in NYC's Instagram Stories, and I saw the cover to the album and thought it might be a doom metal band's album cover, and then I listened to it, and it's definitely 100% not doom metal, but the cover still rules."
'Homesickness' by Emahoy Tsegue-Mariam Gebrou from ‘Ethiopiques Vol. 21’
'Reflection #2' by Joep Beving from ‘Solipsism’
'Migration' by Goldmund from ‘Occasus’