Underground Symphonies

ya girl here is officially a photographer/ contributor to the music news blog Underground Symphonies! I’ll hopefully be vlogging for the site soon?? also finally maybe get press passes??? v exciting go follow. it’s pretty dead rn because it’s being rebuilt for the impending re-launch, but I’ll keep ya updated, here and there. wink emoji.

Blink-182 has dropped off Bamboozle due to drummer, Travis Barker’s, health and are being replaced by My Chemical Romance, you can read Bamboozle’s statement below:

“The Bamboozle 2012 has revised its lineup for Saturday, May 19 due an emergency tonsillectomy for Travis Barker.  Blink-182 will be greatly missed and all of us at The Bamboozle extend our thoughts and best wishes to Travis for a speedy recovery.

The Bamboozle is pleased to announce My Chemical Romance has been added to the lineup and will perform before the Foo Fighters on the main stage on Saturday.

The Bamboozle is looking forward to celebrating its 10th anniversary and has an incredible musical lineup and non-stop entertainment planned for fans including headliners Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Incubus, Brand New, The Gaslight Anthem, Mac Miller, and more performers. The three-day event will be held on the beach and boardwalk at North Beach Asbury Park, New Jersey on May 18, 19 and 20.

Passes for single day, three-day and after parties are currently available for purchase. For more information about The Bamboozle please visit: www.TheBamboozle.com

For any customer service questions, please email support@intellifestival.com”


Subway life.

“I believe that music makes people happy, and makes them reflective.  I think people who are willing to do what it takes to live here and work here–the commutes and the crowds, deserve a small sonic gift on their way home…”

WU Review: Taking the Fifth by Rebecca Danos ‘98 (@RebeccaDanos), A Performance by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (@WpgSymphony)

Image: TicketsInventory.com

Do you ever have that rare abeyance of your pedestrian day that makes you fall in love with life? Do you ever feel like a grounded insect and then some experience nudges you to discover your wings, and you take to the stars? Are you longing for transformation? To answer these questions, I recommend a night at the symphony.

On May 8, my husband, Andrew, and I were members of the audience for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s performances of two fifths, Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto and Shostakovich’s fifth symphony. Both were conducted by Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate with Nobuyuki Tsujii at the piano for the concerto. As I’ve always had backwards inclinations (I even discovered that I can write backwards in high school), I will begin my musings at the end, with the second part of the program, the Shostakovich symphony.

The early movements struck me as powerfully menacing, with an almost militaristic rhythm in parts. Violins expressed anxiety, and the music traversed a journey through dark landscapes- spaces mirroring those dark places through which we sometimes descend in our inner worlds. During the Largo movement, Maestro Mickelthwate conducted without a baton, using his hands to caress the music from the orchestra. His gentle movements conjured music from the instruments and the musicians, massaging our troubled minds from the earlier movements into gentle calmness. In the final movement, the Allegro non troppo, I felt a successful, resounding resolution to whatever conflict might have tormented the composer’s inner life. I felt a successful resolution was possible in our lives as well.

Full disclosure, I am not a music critic. I am fairly uneducated in music beyond my voice and piano lessons. These are just my impressions, ghostly images generated by the sounds I inhaled last night. I might not possess the expertise to critique a concert, but having existed as a human being my entire life, I possess the expertise to validate how moving the concert was. So often I look inside myself, listening to the voices in my head. A night at the symphony gives you the opportunity to look outside yourself and to listen to the music encompassing you, enabling you to grow on the inside just the same.

And I haven’t even begun to discuss the part of the concert that really touched my heart and mind, which was the first part of the concert, the performance of Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto, dubbed the Emperor concerto, with pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. I think the first time I heard part of the concerto was in the film Dead Poets Society in which I believe the Adagio is played as background music to an emotional scene. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have the CD of this piece with Leonard Bernstein as conductor and Rudolf Serkin on the piano. I have played this CD so many times, it is one of the most familiar pieces of music to me.

The first movement played by the WSO of the Emperor concerto airlifted me out of the daily battles that we negotiate just to get through life. The program notes written by James Manishen indicate that this concerto emerged during the time that Beethoven was forced to hide from Napoleon’s invasion of Vienna. The program notes also mention that the name “Emperor” for the concerto was not Beethoven’s choice, and I wonder which emperor to which it refers. Napoleon? Did the music in Beethoven’s mind airlift him out of his circumstances as well?

The second movement, the Adagio un pocco mosso, is more difficult to broach. In that movement, the music touches all those secret places in your heart and mind that you try to repress. I immediately began to cry with the opening bars of the strings and held my breath until the release with the entry of the piano. Nobuyuki Tsujii expressed all the broken parts that lay dormant (or not so dormant) inside of us and then mended the wounds all in a breath of music. The performers didn’t seem anxious about performing; the goal was not to show off or to exhibit, but to touch and to move the audience. To create beauty. I absolutely loved Tsujii’s interpretation. In the pauses that created suspense in passages lay poetry. Yes, there is poetry in spaces, music in silence. Then when the next note sounded, I felt a sense of ecstasy. The performance possessed all the qualities of a diamond with its distinct clarity.

We all face obstacles every day, some more than others. Beethoven suffered under the invasion of Napoleon and later became deaf. The pianist who performed Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto, Nobuyuki Tsujii, has been blind since birth. Maestro Mickelthwate guided Tsujii, two partners in the creation of otherworldly beauty, to and from the stage, arm in arm. It reminded me of how Andrew and I have walked through our lives together, arm in arm. Tsujii could not see the immediate standing ovation of the auditorium, but I am sure he could hear the audience’s love and affection through our overwhelming applause. It makes me wonder what I don’t see in life even though (with strong prescriptive glasses) I do possess the ability of sight. We are all blind in some ways, and I can suspect through the beauty that Tsujii could conceive, he sees better than most of us.

I had had a difficult week and didn’t feel like mustering the energy to change out of my sweat pants and t-shirt to go to the symphony. We had paid the fee for the tickets already and are on a tight budget, so there was no doubt we would attend; I just felt reluctant. Andrew told me perhaps it would change my life.

And perhaps it did.

This review was originally posted on Rebecca’s blog Rebecca Danos: A Harmonic Analysis.


UK Pop Sensation and XFactor UK 2011 Winners ’s debut album, “DNA”, has debuted in the US at Number 4 on the Billboard 200 Chart, breaking the record for the highest charting debut of a UK girl group’s first album, a record previously set by the Spice Girls in 1997 with “Spice”.

Little Mix will be appearing on Good Morning America with Emblem 3, a contestant on the XFactor US 2012, on Friday, June 7.


The Velvet Underground: A Symphony of Sound, 1966, filmed by Andy Warhol.

A 67 minute instrumental improvisation. 

“Shooting at his New York studio the Factory, Warhol and crew intended this not as a concert film but as a bit of entertainment to be screened before actual live Velvet Underground shows.
   It and other short films could be screened, so the idea developed, their soundtracks and visuals intermingling according to the decisions of those at the projectors and mixer.
   “I thought of recording the Velvets just making up sounds as they went along to have on film so I could turn both soundtracks up at the same time along with the other three silent films being projected,” said director of photography and Factory member Paul Morrissey, best known as the director of Flesh, Trash, and Heat.  
   “The cacophonous noise added a lot of energy to these boring sections and sounded a lot like the group itself. The show put on for the group was certainly the first mixed media show of its kind, was extremely effective and I have never since seen such an interesting one even in this age of super-colossal rock concerts.
   Alas, someone’s noise complaint puts an end to the Symphony of Soundexperience: one policeman arrives to turn down the amplifier, and Warhol tries to explain the situation to the others. But the bustle of the Factory continues apace.” - Written by Colin Marshall, 2012.