"Howard Shore has composed the scores for over 50 films, including The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, After Hours, and Seven. His collaborations with David Cronenberg have resulted in scores for Cronenberg’s films The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, M. Butterfly, and Crash, spanning a nearly 20-year period by the year 2001.
Shore’s formal education came at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. From 1969-1972 he recorded with the group Lighthouse. He was one of the original creators of Saturday Night Live and served as its musical director from 1975-1980. In 2000, Shore began work on one of the most expansive projects of his career when he signed on to produce scores for film adaptations of the Lord of the Rings series. He spent a year just working on the first film, using Tolkien’s texts and drawing from eighth and ninth century music sources to try to evoke the books’ magical worlds.”
"Philip Glass is recognized as one of the most prominent composers associated with musical minimalism, the other major figures being Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and John Adams. His style is easily recognizable because of its use of repetition, particularly the repetition of small distinctive rhythmic and melodic cells, and its reliance on traditional diatonic harmonies. In some of his early works, like Two Pages (1967), the whole of the piece evolves from a single unit that expands as notes are added. In later works, such as the massive Music in Twelve Parts (1971-1974), expansion comes by lengthening of note values and other inventive processes. Many describe his music in the minimalist vein as mesmerizing; others hear it as numbingly repetitive and devoid of variety in its simplicity. The latter view of his style is itself simplistic and fails to take into account the subtleties and complexities found in the many ways Glass varies and shapes his material. His later styles, since the 1980s, embrace more than just minimalism and include a broad neo-Romanticism, with greater emphasis on melody and more complex harmonies. Glass is one of the most popular and succesful classical composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with a broad fan base that includes both rock and classical enthusiasts.
Glass showed early musical talent both on violin and flute. He graduated from the University of Chicago at the age of 19. He enrolled at Juilliard, and had by then rejected serial techniques in favor of more conventional styles, favoring the music of Ives, Copland, and Virgil Thomson. Over the next four years he studied with Persichetti, Milhaud, and Bergsma. He then studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, and it was during this two-year period that he met and worked with sitar player Ravi Shankar, who introduced him to Indian music. He was intrigued by its sound and structure and attracted to Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Eventually, he converted to Tibetan Buddhism. Glass has spoken of how greatly his 1966 visit to India influenced his thinking, both musically and spiritually.
After returning to New York in 1967, Glass struggled financially and worked as a cab driver and plumber while he developed his music. He established the Philip Glass Ensemble in the early ’70s. This group consisted of seven players including keyboards, woodwinds, and amplified vocals, and eventually became immensely popular both with fans of rock and the Downtown classical scene. Glass has worked collaboratively with a number of artists, including theatre director Robert Wilson, poet Allen Ginsburg, choreographer Twyla Tharp, and filmmaker Godfrey Reggio.
Glass’ monumental opera Einstein on the Beach, a collaboration with Wilson, was staged in 1976 and was his first large-scale triumph, culminating with performances at the Metropolitan Opera House. It has been described as “one of the truly pivotal artworks of our time,” “among the most significant theatrical achievements of the entire post-World War II period.” It was the first of an important trilogy of biographical operas, the other two being Satygraha (based on Gandhi’s struggles in South Africa, 1980) and Akhnaten (based on the 14th century BCE Egyptian pharaoh who introduced monotheism, 1983). Other operas include Orphée and La Belle et la Bête (both based on films by Jean Cocteau), The Voyage (commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera for the 1992 anniversary of Columbus’ voyage), The Fall of the House of Usher, In the Penal Colony, and Kepler. Since the early 1980s, he has devoted considerable energy to film scores, which have brought his work to even larger audiences, and have been recognized with numerous prestigious nominations and awards. Among his most notable are Koyaanisqatsi and its sequels Powaqquatsi and Naqoyqatsi (written in close collaboration with Reggio), Kundun, The Hours, and Notes on a Scandal. Glass has also written in traditional Western classical forms, including nine symphonies, five string quartets, two violin concertos, and two piano concertos.”
"The defining moment of Glenn Gould’s career came in 1964 when, at the age of 31, he withdrew from all public performance. The move was viewed by audiences and critics as willful and bewildering, and was seen as evidence that despite his demonstrably supreme artistry he was, in the argot of the common man, a nut.
But, as George Szell once said of him, “That nut [was] a genius.” In his short international career, which spanned only 24 years, Glenn Gould changed the way the music world thought about performance practice, recording, and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Glenn Gould was born to comfortable middle-class parents in Toronto in 1932. A pampered only child, Gould demonstrated his remarkable talents quite early and in 1943 entered the Toronto Conservatory of Music, where he quickly came to the attention of its director, Sir Ernest MacMillan. On MacMillan’s recommendation, Gould was taken on as a student by the Chilean-born pedagogue Alberto Guerrero, whose own style was partly the basis for Gould’s own sensitive touch. Gould once described Guerrero’s keyboard technique as not so much striking the keys as “pulling them down.” The other influence on Gould’s technique was his experience playing the organ, wherein the tracker action is particularly responsive to variations in finger pressure.
Gould made his debut at the age of 16, playing Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto in Toronto. He followed this triumph with tours across Canada and frequent broadcast performances over the CBC, introducing him to the studio enviroment which would remain a focus of his life thereafter. Gould leaped into international acclaim, in fact, through a studio production: his now-legendary 1955 Columbia Masterworks recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. This recording, which has never been out of print in the 50 years since its first release, established Gould as a performer who combined penetrating insight (his Goldberg Variations was nothing short of a complete rethinking of the piece) and artistic daring with daunting technical prowess.
Gould’s immediate fame brought international demand, and he responded with worldwide concert appearances; he met these with considerable reluctance, however, and quickly gained a reputation for last-minute cancellations. His dislike of performing in public, of being “looked at” by audiences, allowed a natural tendency of hypochondria to blossom (it was a convenient cancellation excuse), and he soon became the habitue of specialists ranging from chiropractors to psychiatrists. Long before quitting the stage forever, Gould had made frequent threats to do so, so that his 1964 decision was no surprise to those who knew him.
Following his withdrawal, Gould threw himself into a frenzy of recording, writing, and radio documentary production. His method of splicing together single performances from dozens of takes was initially viewed as something of an artistic fraud, though the technique was eventually adopted, in less exhaustive form, by the recording industry in subsequent years. His radio documentaries were less successful: a trilogy about life in Canada’s northern territories combined multiple interviews in contrapuntal ways, an interesting idea that nevertheless rendered the sense of what was being said more or less unintelligible.
Though plagued by many imaginary maladies, Gould suffered from a very real hypertension that eventually led to a massive stroke, which he suffered in 1982, and from which he never recovered. He died in Toronto General Hospital, one week after being stricken, on October 4, 1982, at age 50.”
"Moodymann also known as Kenny Dixon Jr or KDJ for short, is a Techno/House musician based in Detroit, Michigan.
He creates a thoroughly hybrid form of techno/house dance music, jazz, soul, disco and funk via his innovative use of reworked riffs, samples (including old movie soundtrack samples mainly culled from the old blaxploitation and b-movie genres), and grooves taken from Detroit’s historically influential jazz, R&B, soul, funk, and disco scene.
He is outspoken on the current state of dance music, decrying the lack of black techno and the white domination of the genre.
His sets often feature him playing hidden from the crowd, the dj booth covered in white sheets.
He is also known to stop records while they are playing to talk to the crowd. In many of his gigs he would stop the music, scratch the vinyl on the decks then lift the record and speak to the crowd informing them how his women prefer 12”.
Moodymann is a strong supporter of the Vinyl Preservation Society.
An outspoken voice in the normally non-confrontational world of electronic dance music, Moodymann (Kenny Dixon Jr.) is committed to keeping a distinctly black imprint on techno and house.”
"Deep house DJ and producer Etienne de Crécy was a key figure behind the French capital’s rise as one of the world’s dance music hubs during the 1990s. De Crécy has peddled his talent under several different guises, including Motorbass, La Chatte Rouge, and Super Discount. He has also worked closely with French new wave honoraries Air, Alex Gopher, and Philippe Zdar. Born in Lyon, De Crécy began his music career in the late ’80s with the band Louba in Versailles, on the outskirts of Paris. When the band folded, De Crécy set up shop in the capital and gravitated toward studio work with hip-hop and house, a move that swiftly earned him plenty of street cred. His first major undertaking, deep house project Motorbass, grabbed a cult following soon after its launch in 1991. The project, a collaboration with Zdar (who went on to release the chart-topping album 1999 with Cassius), was what first alerted the world to the rapidly evolving dance music scene in Paris. It spawned such underground favorites as the Motorbass EP and “Transphunk” single, and climaxed with the release of the Pansoul album in 1996.
Only a few months later, De Crécy served up the very popular Super Discount album, offering his own house tunes (including the standout “Prix Choc”), as well as remixes of Air and Alex Gopher works. Dance music critics around the globe were again praising the Parisian in late 2000 courtesy of the Tempovision album — a collection of disco house and downbeat tunes, such as “Am I Wrong?” and “Scratched” — released under his own name. In 2004, De Crécy released Super Discount, Vol. 2, again featuring help from Zdar and Alex Gopher. In the years that followed De Crécy stayed busy remixing a wide variety of artists; he did a mix CD (2005’s House Party for the Most label); and he released a number of singles under his name for various labels, including his own Pixadelic. In 2011, Dim Mak issued Beats ‘n’ Cubes, Vol. 1, a collection of these singles. The next year, De Crécy released an ambitious career-spanning collection of his work, My Contribution to the Global Warming.”
"An incredibly respected figure of New York’s dance-music underground since the mid-’80s, Brooklyn’s Bobby Konders has been at the forefront of multiple movements, infamous parties, and radio programs that have kept house music alive and kicking. A selector, a label entrepreneur, a producer, a master of the airwaves, and a proponent of the breaking down of racial barriers, Konders’ spot in the dance music Hall of Fame should be reserved well before any ground-breaking ceremony.
Konders first broke out as one of the higher-profile members of a collective that threw down at a series of parties called Wild Pitch, which helped fill the large shoes left empty by the unfortunate exit of the Paradise Garage. This DJ crew included Victor Rosado, Kenny Carpenter, Nicky Jones, John Robinson, David Camacho, DJ Pierre, and Timmy Richardson — just to name a few (not to mention occasional appearances by legends Tony Humphries and Tee Scott). Just as Konders likes to point out that everyone bleeds red, he built his reputation as a DJ and producer on finding the common thread that runs throughout several styles of music: hip-hop, reggae, disco, house. During the late ’80s and early ’90s, Konders issued a series of productions on the Nu Groove label that went down well with the underground. At the height of house music’s flirtation with mainstream appeal, Konders and his Massive Sounds crew landed on Polygram for a self-titled album. Unsurprisingly, the material proved to be too raw and not pop enough to cross over, so Konders and company happily remained outside of the general public’s consciousness.
In the early ’90s, Konders and partner Jabba formed Massive B Sound System, which has served as both a production outlet and as a formidable radio presence, bringing reggae of the dancehall variety to the listeners of New York’s Hot 97.1 FM. Konders and Jabba have also taken their sound system to a number of other continents. In addition to cultivating talent for Massive B, Konders has remixed and produced for artists like Aswad, Shabba Ranks, Ziggy Marley, and Supercat. In 2002, Konders and Massive Sounds’ back catalog of productions was anthologized with A Lost Era in NYC 1987-1992, a disc that focused on the man’s trademark deep house/reggae hybrids.”
"Let’s be honest: most of today’s club music protagonists are as exciting as dead meat. Or if you wish to choose more friendly words, we agree that they are servants of an alternative entertainment industry. Frank Timm a.k.a. Soundhack alias Soundstream is the great exception to this rule. This boy serves cuisine instead of fast food. But before he reached that state, the true-school Berliner had to graduate from the city’s club boot camp. Awestruck by Berlin’s basements and industrial places, where techno was in its early-nineties prime, Soundstream was overwhelmed by Detroit’s beauty and Chicago’s roughness. Unsurprising, he soon agitated in the coordinate system of the world-renowned record store Hard Wax. An institution that also distributes his labels Soundstream and Soundhack. The first one takes care of Timm’s never-ending love for disco and refined house music (take the ear candy of ‘Love Jam’ for example), the latter is dedicated to cut-up and loop adventures that are better described with folly than the customary house and techno signs. Therefore the scalpel is one of his typical tools of the trade. He chops, dismembers, deconstructs and mills - until he drops. However, he never creates Frankenstein’s monster and does not fall for the risks of this mode of operation: Sophistication and consciousness, safe from harm and also from being nerdy. “DJ tools with an attitude”, as Dr. Dre would say.
The same goes for his ‘band’ Smith’n’Hack. Together with his peer and friend Errorsmith, Mr. Soundhack creates amazing long players like ‘Tribute’ that takes a bow in front of disco’s vast history or incredible remixes. Just listen what they did to Ricardo Villalobos’ ‘Easy Lee’ or Herbert’s ‘Moving Like A Train’. Stripes of italo disco in the one case and a future classic paint of gold in the other. On his own, Timm’s revisions for Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir, the Olympian Rhythm & Sound duo or Auto Repeat might be the most remarkable ones.
His appearances as a live act or DJ are also outstanding. A look into his box reveals lovely disco 12-inches, dirty Chicago house, immortal club classics and dew-fresh jams. All blended, mixed and sliced together with style and grace. His brand new Soundstream live set literally “Tears down the house”. Using a mixture of his “Greatest hits” as well as new unreleased “Soon to be hits”, he presents the listener with a solid, funky, “Sure to get you on the dance floor” sound. Whether live or spinning vinyl, be sure to put on your dancing shoes, your feet won’t forgive you in the morning. You can also catch him behind the machines under the Smith’n’Hack guise, which has just released 2 new 12-inches.”
"Millie Jackson’s first taste of singing in front of an audience occurred one night at the famed nightclub Smalls Paradise. Sitting in the audience with friends, Jackson heckled the lady onstage and, when dared to do better, she stepped up to belt Ben E. King’s "Don’t Play It No More." Jackson was hired for another gig within two weeks, but didn’t get paid. A gentleman by the name of Tony Rice took her to a venue in Hoboken, NJ, a couple of weeks later and then on to Brooklyn, NY, to perform for a nominal fee. Born in Thompson, GA, Jackson lived with her grandmother prior to moving to Newark, NJ, to live with her father in 1958. She grew up influenced by the sounds of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, and later, the O’Jays. Her first single to chart was 1971’s deceptively titled “A Child of God (It’s Hard to Believe),” which many thought was a gospel track. Due to its heated lyrical content, the single was canceled, but still managed to peak at number 22 on the R&B charts. In the spring of 1972, Jackson had her first R&B Top Ten single with “Ask Me What You Want.” She kept busy performing in nightclubs and enjoyed her second consecutive Top Ten single with “My Man, A Sweet Man” in August of 1972; it peaked at number seven. (Ironically, the song was not one of Jackson’s favorites.) A year later, Jackson, whose vocal texture is similar to one of her idols, Gladys Knight, had her third Top Ten single with the moderately paced “Hurts So Good,” which peaked at number three on the R&B charts and made the pop Top 40. The single bore the title of her album and was also featured on the movie soundtrack for Cleopatra Jones. Jackson produced the album with Brad Shapiro. However, she was only given credit for the album concept. In Jackson’s own words, “…that’s when they (label owners) met the real Millie Jackson.” Thereafter, she was given credit for her efforts.
In January of 1975, Jackson released the album that would introduce what would later become her trademark rap style of racy, raunchy language; her audience loved it. The album was Caught Up and the featured release was “If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want to Be Right,” for which she received two Grammy nominations. Jackson openly admits that she never had singing lessons and never thought she could sing. Consequently, she began to talk (or what was commonly known at the time as rap) on her songs in a blunt, candid manner to make up for the shortcoming and had her fourth Top Ten single with country singer Merle Haggard’s “If You’re Not Back in Love by Monday” (Billboard country charts number two). Jackson’s version peaked at number five on the R&B charts. Over the next ten years, Jackson had numerous Top 100 singles for Spring Records. In 1986, she signed with Jive and released her fifth and sixth Top Ten singles in “Hot! Wild! Unrestricted! Crazy Love” and “Love Is a Dangerous Game, both respectively peaking at number nine and six on the R&B charts. In addition to her impressive music career, Jackson wrote the play Young Man, Older Woman; the play toured for four years. Her attention, though, has turned to the broadcast booth as a radio program host on the afternoon radio show in Dallas, TX. According to Billboard, Jackson is one of the top R&B acts to ever record or step onto a stage and is still giving her fans what they want as a radio host and a performer.”
"Bob James’ recordings have practically defined pop/jazz and crossover during the past few decades. Very influenced by pop and movie music, James has often featured R&B-ish soloists (most notably Grover Washington, Jr.) who add a jazz touch to what is essentially an instrumental pop set. He actually started out in music going with a much different direction. In 1962, James recorded a bop-ish trio set for Mercury, and three years later his album for ESP was quite avant-garde, with electronic tapes used for effects. After a period with Sarah Vaughan (1965-1968), he became a studio musician, and by 1973 was arranging and working as a producer for CTI. In 1974, James recorded his first purely commercial effort as a leader; he later made big-selling albums for his own Tappan Zee label, Columbia, and Warner Bros., including collaborations with Earl Klugh and David Sanborn. James remains relatively busy in the studio and since 2000 has released several albums including Dancing on the Water in 2001, That Steamin’ Feelin’ in 2002, Hi-Fi in 2003, and Urban Flamingo in 2006, among others."